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View Poll Results: How do you grade Cowboys & Aliens?
A 13 22.81%
B 26 45.61%
C 12 21.05%
D 2 3.51%
F 4 7.02%
Voters: 57. You may not vote on this poll

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Old August 14 2011, 09:15 PM   #91
Psion
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Re: Cowboys & Aliens: Review, Discuss, Grade, Sequel, DVD **SPOILERS**

Mild spoilers ahead ...

Dolarhyde changed quite a bit as a result of this movie. His character was incomplete when the movie started, and he hadn't allowed himself to come to full realizations about the people around him. The events of the movie changed the Colonel and completed his journey, teaching him valuable lessons and softening his harsh mindset.

Lonergan also completed a journey, although part of his transition happened before the movie started and was interrupted by the aliens and the terrible knowledge he didn't want to remember.

Then there's Doc, an intelligent man but not exactly a gifted warrior. He had doubts about his manhood that were ultimately resolved by the story.

And little boy Taggert; throughout the movie he sat on the sidelines and watched, terrified to do anything that would incur the wrath of the hulking adults around him. But in a final, critical moment, he found the strength he needed to act out against a much bigger and more fearsome adversary.

Even the dog, as noted earlier in this thread, had a character arc ... a story of its own that was impacted by the events of the film.

I like stories where the characters are changed by the events they encounter. They're missing valuable life lessons that are only learned when they overcome adversity through heroic deeds. The only two major characters who didn't have any satisfying development were Dolarhyde's son and Ella -- whose character didn't develop so much as reveal through exposition. She was little more than a plot device. Very pretty, but still a plot device.

Then there were the western tropes turned on their heads by giving them to aliens. Things like stealing gold, claim-jumping, and rustling cattle. And the aliens didn't show up in flying saucers ... they landed in rockets and attacked using jet fighters. That final scene of the alien rocket launching like a warty, asymmetrical Saturn V out of the desert canyon ... just gorgeous!

This was a good film with a great cast, good photography, decent writing, and a lot of fun scenes. I didn't like the Ella character, but she was necessary to tell the story the way they did -- she's the only rough part of an otherwise well-polished wild west meets science fiction tale. I'll be adding this to my disc collection happily as soon as it's available.
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Old August 15 2011, 11:46 PM   #92
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Re: Cowboys & Aliens: Review, Discuss, Grade, Sequel, DVD **SPOILERS**

A generous C, because I liked Harrison Ford, especially with Adam Beach. The movie had way too many scriptwriters, which might explain why it had practically every Western trope in the book, yet didn't successfully invert them. And they meant to. Sam Rockwell as a civilized man who wandered into hell was paired with a dipshit cartoon like Clancy Brown's clergyman. Bah, humbug.

I think Harrison Ford's side in the Civil War was meant to be ambiguous.

The final scene where the nutty rocket took off, then blew up was fortunately denouement and spectacle.

Olivia Wilde is pretty but her performance would only have been impressive if she'd been facing the camera during that special scene.
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Old August 19 2011, 07:30 PM   #93
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Re: Cowboys & Aliens: Review, Discuss, Grade, Sequel, DVD **SPOILERS**

Gaith wrote: View Post
I just got back from this and it was awful. Granted, I was sitting a bit off-center and the speakers were cranked way too loud to the point where I had to cover my ears during the action sequences, but it still sucked balls. And here's the thing: I loved Battle: LA, and they're pretty much the same movie. So why does one suck and the other rule?

- Characters: Battle has upstanding Marines who are terrified of the aliens, but fight back with boundless courage. C&A has two mains that are loathsome, cruel and humorless. And no one is anywhere near as afraid as the aliens as they should be.

- Story: Battle starts as a rescue story, moves into survival, then ends in attack. C&A is one big hunt movie. Incidents happen, but nothing much changes.

- Kids: Battle has some kids that must be protected and comforted, and are credibly useless. C&A has a precocious youngun, who, trusty dog by his side, kills him a full-grown alien. Puke.

- Women: Battle has two tough women. C&A has a dead flashback chick and a humorless, character-free broad.

- The ending: Battle finishes on a tough but hopeful note. C&A ends with everyone joyfully celebrating a mere day or so after incredibly traumatic events, complete with gratuitous American flags everywhere. Yuck.

- The matchup: I never believed the cowboys and their dinky little pistols could actually down those aliens. Though the Marines were badly outmatched, with their modern weaponry, they at least had a fighting chance.


This one's a real stinker; I haven't disliked a movie this much since (Pretentious) Days of Summer. D.



RandyS wrote: View Post
Screw the critics. Go see it and use your own brain to decide if you like it or not.
See, some would say that the critics are there to help you decide whether or not to see it.


indranee wrote: View Post
Hi guys, just a quick question: can we take a 10-year old to see this movie?
No, no no. The second half is nonstop violence. I'd slap this one with an R if I were in charge of things. It's worlds away from the goofy, all-in-good fun cartoon battles of Captain America.

And please, if you're even thinking about taking a 10-year-old to PG-13 movies, consult a good web site, like this one.
I agree with your overall review.

Btw, we did take her. Don't worry, she's inured to much of the violence in film. Such is life for kids these days. She just says "ew" and makes a face to kissing scenes etc. She did want to see "Han Solo" and now wants to see ALL of the Indiana Jones movies (next on the DVD lineup). She's more than a bit of a tomboy.

All that said, she actually enjoyed the movie and thought it was slightly boring in the middle but okay toward the end. I thought it was humongously bad (and so did my brother) with a really overt and ham-handed message re "gold rush" and the days of yore. Ham-handed message: human beings are now UNITED instead of divided.

Ugh. Anyway.
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Old August 19 2011, 07:38 PM   #94
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Re: Cowboys & Aliens: Review, Discuss, Grade, Sequel, DVD **SPOILERS**

stj wrote: View Post
The movie had way too many scriptwriters, which might explain why it had practically every Western trope in the book, yet didn't successfully invert them.
yeah, those five or six (including the Orci/Kurtzman duo) scripters kinda reminded me of STIV with its bunch of scripters.
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Old August 20 2011, 01:57 AM   #95
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Re: Cowboys & Aliens: Review, Discuss, Grade, Sequel, DVD **SPOILERS**

indranee wrote: View Post
Btw, we did take her. Don't worry, she's inured to much of the violence in film.
But... that's part of my worry.
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Old August 20 2011, 07:58 PM   #96
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Re: Cowboys & Aliens: Review, Discuss, Grade, Sequel, DVD **SPOILERS**

Yeah, I got that
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Old August 22 2011, 04:10 PM   #97
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Re: Cowboys & Aliens: Review, Discuss, Grade, Sequel, DVD **SPOILERS**

As box office battles go, last weekend’s wasn’t just bloody. It was flat-out embarrassing.
In the red corner, we had Cowboys & Aliens: a film that boasts two hugely popular action stars in Daniel Craig and Harrison Ford, a winkingly hip premise and enough bus stop advertising behind it to wallpaper a Boeing 747 hangar.

But Hollywood reckoned without the four scrawny twerps in the blue corner.
The Inbetweeners Movie, a spin-off from the popular E4 sitcom, follows a group of hapless teenage lads on a boozy holiday to Malia, Crete, in which they pull down each others’ trousers and swear a lot.

This film took £13.2 million and topped the UK box office over the weekend, with the help of two days of paid previews. Cowboys & Aliens, on the other hand, took £1.8 million over the same period.
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/f...eir-faces.html


It didn't even match to beat the smurfs - this film has been a real bomb.
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Old August 22 2011, 04:38 PM   #98
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Re: Cowboys & Aliens: Review, Discuss, Grade, Sequel, DVD **SPOILERS**

Good; scripts this rotten deserved to be punished. Freakin' Underworld was a better high-concept mashup movie.
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Old October 20 2011, 10:49 PM   #99
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Re: Cowboys & Aliens: Review, Discuss, Grade, Sequel, DVD **SPOILERS**

Cowboys & Aliens passed $100m domestic as of receipts from Wed 10/19. The films worldwide total is $167m versus it's budget of $163m. The film is still a dissapointment just noting the 'milestone'. The DVD release has been set for Dec.6 and is up for pre-order.

This marks Harrison Fords 12th $100m film which ties him with Will Smith now. Tom Cruise leads modern stars with 14 films over that mark and even though an asterik should be applied to this film the movers and shakers still watch that $100m mark.

I thought this was a fun film and why I will not buy it on release I would pick this up 6-8 months from now when it's $10 bucks.
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Old November 21 2011, 05:46 PM   #100
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Re: Cowboys & Aliens: Review, Discuss, Grade, Sequel, DVD **SPOILERS**

Well, I went to the BoxOfficeMojo site and they said the global take was $174m. So, with a cost of $163m, that means the studio had an $11m profit. Not much compared to other films. But, it did have the virtue of "earning out" (making more than it cost to make). DVD/BluRay sales will add to that take as will sales to PPV outlets and cable.

Whether there will be a sequel or not will probably depend on the total take. However, there may be problems getting Daniel Craig to reprise his role now that James Bond has been brought back to life. A lot of critics don't like James Bond either. But the franchise did have a history of being a cash-cow for MGM ... and if handled right, it will continue to be a cash-cow for Sony/Columbia.
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Old November 21 2011, 05:52 PM   #101
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Re: Cowboys & Aliens: Review, Discuss, Grade, Sequel, DVD **SPOILERS**

Poirot wrote: View Post
Well, I went to the BoxOfficeMojo site and they said the global take was $174m. So, with a cost of $163m, that means the studio had an $11m profit. Not much compared to other films. But, it did have the virtue of "earning out" (making more than it cost to make). DVD/BluRay sales will add to that take as will sales to PPV outlets and cable.

Whether there will be a sequel or not will probably depend on the total take. However, there may be problems getting Daniel Craig to reprise his role now that James Bond has been brought back to life. A lot of critics don't like James Bond either. But the franchise did have a history of being a cash-cow for MGM ... and if handled right, it will continue to be a cash-cow for Sony/Columbia.
No, $174m for a $163m budget is not a profit. You need to add Marketing costs onto the $163m, which is generally believed to be about 50%, I believe. Therefore, the cost would be $163m + 80m +/-

Also, International Box Office is a much smaller take for the Studio than Domestic, so you need to deduct from the $174m, a percentage of the Foreign portion.
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Old November 21 2011, 10:30 PM   #102
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Re: Cowboys & Aliens: Review, Discuss, Grade, Sequel, DVD **SPOILERS**

Studios don't get all the money from the Domestic Box Office either. I don't know the percentages (and they vary from film to film) but they get the biggest part of the first few weeks and then increasingly smaller ones (which means the studios actually want the films to be frontloaded at the box office, because that's when they get the most money). The rule of thumb I've heard most often is that studios get 50-55% of the Domestic Box Office.
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Old November 21 2011, 10:59 PM   #103
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Re: Cowboys & Aliens: Review, Discuss, Grade, Sequel, DVD **SPOILERS**

nvek86 wrote: View Post
Studios don't get all the money from the Domestic Box Office either. I don't know the percentages (and they vary from film to film) but they get the biggest part of the first few weeks and then increasingly smaller ones (which means the studios actually want the films to be frontloaded at the box office, because that's when they get the most money). The rule of thumb I've heard most often is that studios get 50-55% of the Domestic Box Office.
Studios typically will find a distributor. Many times the distributor is a subsidiary of the studio, but sometimes not. The distributor will pay the studio a flat fee plus a percentage of the box office. The distributor then places the film in theaters, and charges them a flat fee and/or a piece of the box office. The studio never gets the full box office, but the fee they collect for the film to be in theaters should help cover the cost. Studios are more concerned with how many theaters the film shows in, and how long it runs. That shows how much they make more than box office.
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Old November 22 2011, 02:52 AM   #104
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Re: Cowboys & Aliens: Review, Discuss, Grade, Sequel, DVD **SPOILERS**

Gave it a "C-", very uneven. Not the best acting I've ever seen. Non-sensical plot drivel: Aliens who can travel interstellar distances, who are hyper-intelligent, act like animals and try to chew their enemies in the 19th century, when they have frickin' laser beams and air superiority.

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Old November 22 2011, 05:49 AM   #105
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Re: Cowboys & Aliens: Review, Discuss, Grade, Sequel, DVD **SPOILERS**

Sindatur wrote: View Post
Poirot wrote: View Post
Well, I went to the BoxOfficeMojo site and they said the global take was $174m. So, with a cost of $163m, that means the studio had an $11m profit. Not much compared to other films. But, it did have the virtue of "earning out" (making more than it cost to make). DVD/BluRay sales will add to that take as will sales to PPV outlets and cable.

Whether there will be a sequel or not will probably depend on the total take. However, there may be problems getting Daniel Craig to reprise his role now that James Bond has been brought back to life. A lot of critics don't like James Bond either. But the franchise did have a history of being a cash-cow for MGM ... and if handled right, it will continue to be a cash-cow for Sony/Columbia.
No, $174m for a $163m budget is not a profit. You need to add Marketing costs onto the $163m, which is generally believed to be about 50%, I believe. Therefore, the cost would be $163m + 80m +/-

Also, International Box Office is a much smaller take for the Studio than Domestic, so you need to deduct from the $174m, a percentage of the Foreign portion.
On average, studios (acting as the distributor) take 50-60% of domestic grosses and 40% of foreign grosses. Exhibitors (the theaters) take the rest. And, importantly, those percentages don't account for the cost of advertising.

At least, those were the numbers as far as Jay Epstein crunched them back in 2005.

So, no, Cowboys & Aliens (which I haven't seen) won't be making a profit, at least based on theatrical box office. It will probably get closer to breaking even based upon home video sales/rentals and, very importantly, television sales.
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