After watching and reviewing Captain America last week, domestic partners Niki and Esther could have taken this week to do some much-needed laundry or whack the unruly weeds in their front yard. Instead, they decided to catch another midnight movie premiere, this time Cowboys & Aliens, opening nationwide Friday, July 29.
The film stars Daniel Craig (James Bond in Quantum Solace and Casino Royale) as a tough outlaw cowboy who wakes up with a strange bracelet on his arm and no memory of what's happened to him. Eventually, he must team up with Harrison Ford, a beautiful woman, and an army of Apache Indians to defeat a nasty extraterrestrial menace.
So let's do this without giving away any spoilers. That means we can't really talk about the hot chick in the movie at all, except to say there's a sexy woman in this film.
Esther: I thought the beginning of the film was like part Terminator, part Spaghetti Western.
Niki: I have to say, I was really happy to see Clancy Brown in this film. And he wasn't playing a prison guard, which he's done so many times before.
Esther: A prison guard, or what else has he done? A soldier...it was funny seeing him play a good priest. He looked the oldest I've ever seen him in a film. It was hard to tell it was him, at first.
Niki: I thought Daniel Craig was great. Is he British?
Esther: I believe he is. (Googles it) Yep, England. He's a Brit.
Niki: Well, he made a great American cowboy!
Sci-fi movies are usually dark and monochromatic, having just blues and everything. This was pretty darn vivid for a film with aliens in it. The film was very bright. That's not a complaint; I was just amazed it was so colorful.
Niki: I get worried when I see Steven Spielberg's name tied to a film with aliens in it. When I think of Spielberg and aliens, I think of E.T., who looks like a Tootsie Roll. But the aliens in this film were actually pretty bad ass.
Esther: Yeah. Their "inner hands" were the creepiest. That's all I have to say about that, without giving too much away. Hey, when you were watching the movie, did you think of Arizona?
Niki: Yeah, I did. Was it filmed here?
Esther: (Googling again) Well, the plot summary on IMDB says it's set in Arizona territory, but it was filmed in New Mexico, Nevada, and California. But it mentioned it's supposed to be set in Arizona. But it didn't really remind me of Arizona. Maybe vaguely.
Niki: Okay, since Jon Favreau directed two of your favorite movies, Iron Man and Iron Man 2, what's your verdict on his job with this film?
Esther: Not bad, but I was expecting a bit more explosions and stuff.
Niki: I was expecting to hate Harrison Ford in this film...
Esther: And he accomplished playing a righteous bastard.
Niki: Yeah, like Han Solo, but old and cranky and wearing a cowboy hat.
Esther: They actually did a run-through-the-corridor scene, which is a sci-fi cliché. Harrison Ford, Stars Wars, running through a corridor. And they had a scene that was a Western cliché. Oh, and this is the second time Harrison Ford's been in a movie with an actor that played James Bond. He was in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade with Sean Connery.
Niki: I was disappointed in the film score. I thought they could have done a lot more with that.
Esther: It was kind of generic.
Niki: The movie totally lent itself to some crazy sci-fi/country music crossover, but they didn't do that.
Esther: And there was really only one good liner.
Niki: Yeah, when Clancy Brown's character is trying to show the bar owner how to shoot a gun, and tells him, "Don't yank, it's not your pecker." They could have used some more zingers. What do you think of the idea of them making a sequel?
Esther: I honestly can't see how they can, unless there's a viable reason for the aliens to come back.
Niki: Well, they did forget to do anal probes.
Esther: Oh god.
Niki: My overall impression is that it's a typical big blockbuster summer movie, but to be honest, I was disappointed.
Esther: It was all right. Just all right. It's the type of movie I would have on mute at a party.
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Niki D'Andrea has covered subjects including drug culture, women's basketball, pirate radio stations, Scottsdale staycations, and fine wine. She has worked at both New Times and PHOENIX magazine, and is now a full-time freelancer.