Tuesday, August 16, 2011

After Game Movies: Gunless

Had a long day at work, spent enough time with the family, or just had your friends over. Well no sense in cleaning up, why not watch a movie instead?

Here's a movie that might tickle your fancy, this week on After Game Movies.........


GUNLESS


Here's a little gem of movie that came out last year. I had the pleasure of watching it and finding a copy of this truly unique Canadian western, Gunless................................



SIGNIFICANCE

About roughly a year ago, I read about this film in my local newspaper; I felt fairly interested in watching a film that was quoting itself "A Canadian Western". I have seen several dozen of the older traditional western films in the past few years. Films that include the likes of John Wayne, Clint Eastwood, and Kevin Costner. After having my fill of the American movie industry, I was very excited to potentially find a Canadian movie, let alone a western. Within this movie there are so many relatively famous Canadian actors like Paul Gross, a relatively recent star who is responsible for films like: Passchendaele(2008) and Men with Brooms(2002). Sienna Guillory, the female lead is also relatively well known as well for her works in
Resident Evil: Apocalypse (2004), The Time Machine(2002), and Eragon(2006). One particularly interesting actor that makes a brief cameo in this movie is Graham Greene, who you might recognize from films like: The Green Mile(1999), Dances With Wolves(1990), and Die Hard With a Vengeance(1995). The film had an estimated budget of 10,000,000 $CAD, and earned roughly $CAD 258,865 on it's opening weekend. So as you can see, this film was not exactly a major blockbuster, but the film is a really great fresh breath of air, as I hopefully show you why.




BACKGROUND

The story follows the exploits of the infamous Montana Kid(Gross), as he escapes from bounty hunters to you guessed it...Canada. In his travels he runs into a small Canadian town with a rough around the edges blacksmith, who has no time for another American trouble maker. Little does this blacksmith know, he's angered one of the best gunslingers in the old west and has been challenged to a duel. The catch of course, is that no one in this small Canadian village carries a pistol(can't duel with rifles, goes against the code of the old west) except for the local rancher, Jane Taylor(Guillory) who happens to have one. In the meantime his bounty hunters are just days away wanting to settle an old bounty and grudge.



PRODUCTION VALUES

For a film that took an estimated 10 million to create, it sure does not feel like a film that spent that much. 10 million seems like a lot of money to make a film, but by today's standards it's fairly cheap, compared to other big budget movies like Pirates 4 and the Rise of the Planet of the Apes. The money went towards the indepth costumes designs, the construction of the town/fort and other set pieces. The actors for the most part are fairly top notch and good in their roles. The story creates a realistic(If a bit cartoony) atmosphere to the movie. The music in this movie is alright, but the problem is that it's fairly absent for most of the film. There are parts of the movie where they play the same theme over and over again, however it's not bad music. Although it can get rather repetitive in a hurry. The dance scene changes this up a bit later in the film and makes up for the lack of variety.




CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT

The major pieces of character development in this film revolve mostly around the Montana Kid and Jane's relationship throughout the film. At first, they both seem to be fairly stereotypical in their roles. The kid being a roaming gunslinger that gets into trouble on a regular basis; Jane being the tom boy farmhand that everyone in town respects and loves. As the film goes on though, the kid becomes more well rounded as we find out more from his life and learn that his real name is shawn. His motives which seem pretty cookie cutter at the start of the film, become more realistic; showing us that theres more to him then his pride when everything is at stake. Jane develops a bit more from our first impressions, but not much from what you would expect from this kind of film. For some reason I really enjoyed the side characters of the story more, new stereotypes that really could only come from a Canadian film are introduced. The two shopkeepers that are both English and French respectively. Having split their store down the middle, trying to constantly out do the other, by offering goods and services that the other doesn't. The Chinese Railroad construction workers, play a larger role in this film and I have to respect a film that acknowledges that there are others in the old west then....I don't know cowboys and indians. It really makes the film feel more relatable, when there are multiple perspectives during any period, especially in film. 

One part of a scene that I really enjoyed is during the discusion that takes place in the school house. "Is a person with a rock, considered a killer"? Suddenly every character starts talking about the topic; everything there is to be known on the subject. From "No a rock is not a weapon" to "Tell that to the Indians". It's a really great scene and I wish more comedies would poke fun at the reality of the situation and not make a thousand pop culture references.


PACING

The pacing in this movie, is fairly smooth. There is no real moment in this film where I felt it dragged on for too long, except maybe for the beginning. I just feel like the beginning of this movie gets off to a slow start and drags on a bit. After that first couple minutes, however the film has decent pacing and you will not feel too bored at an given time.


OVERALL PRESENTATION

Taking all the previous points into consideration, I really enjoyed Gunless. While it may not be a perfect movie, it does hit some high points and you do feel involved with the characters. Actually caring about what will happen to them in the end of the story.


"Where am I"?
"In the Dominion of Canada".
"Ooh just when you thought it couldn't get no worse".


THE FINAL VERDICT:

A RECOMMEND FOR( Lovers of: Canadian film making, spaghetti westerns or even westerns in general) A fairly light hearted film with regards to violence and blood; it is kid friendly.


NOT RECOMMENDED FOR (Violence/gore junkies, this is no 3:10 to Yuma or Inglorious Bastards(New version)) If you love films like Kill Bill Volume one or gory campy horror flicks, this film does not go that far with the bloodshed or violence.


For additional information.

torontolife.com

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1376195/

http://www.lefrelonvert.com/2010/08/gunless-dvd/

5 comments:

  1. Cracking article idea - I like me a bit of unknown good films. Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thank you for the comment, I tend to buy films later then most, so as a result I find rare gems like this one every once in a while.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thanks for the review, I thoroughly enjoyed this movie, but your bottom quote was a bit off.
    The Montana Kid drily drawled "Just when you thought it couldn't get NO worse." rather than the more grammatically correct "any worse".

    Just sayin'. :-)

    ReplyDelete
  4. Many thanks lol, can't believe I missed that. Changing it now.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Had to listen to it a few times, but yeah he actually says that...... oh well :-)

    ReplyDelete

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