I went to see Cowboys and Aliens last night. It was excellent. For older nerds like me who find the screen-filling CGI, eye-searing lens flares and nausea-inducing jerky camera effects of today's sci-fi movies to be a bit too much sensory overload, Cowboys and Aliens is a nice change. That's not to say this isn't a F/X-heavy film, but it isn't the visual assault and battery that most big budget sci-fi movies are these days. I won't reveal any spoilers, because there are some genuine surprises in this film, but I will say the acting was pretty good. Daniel Craig was excellent and Harrison Ford was decent in an unconventional role for him. While not exactly a villain, his character certainly was a nasty piece of work.
I kept thinking, as I watched, how cool this would be as a game setting. There were great character types, such as the gun-totin' preacher man (played by Clancy Brown), the ruthless, wealthy rancher who owns the town (played by Harrison Ford) and the honest sheriff who has to walk a fine line (played by Keith Carradine).
The best part of the film is that there aren't any obvious dumb plot devices. The aliens are tough SOBs and the relatively primitive technology of the humans is no match for them. The only effective weapons the humans have are the aliens' own arrogance and a bit of stolen alien technology.
Also, since the aliens land in the American southwest, you know they didn't come for the water. Go see it. You won't be disappointed, unless you need a Michael Bay or Roland Emmerich special-effects explosion to feel truly alive.
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