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  • Western Collection: 4 Film Favorites

    Type: Event | Date: Tuesday, Jan 12, 2010

    Includes:Young Guns II (1990), MPAA Rating: PG-13 Maverick (1994), MPAA Rating: PG Wild Wild West (1999), MPAA Rating: PG-13 American Outlaws (2001), MPAA Rating: PG-13 Young Guns II Only three of the original five "young guns" -- Billy the Kid (Emilio Estevez), Jose Chavez y Chavez (Lou Diamond Phillips), and Doc Scurlock (Kiefer Sutherland) -- return in Young Guns, Part 2, which is the story of Billy the Kid and his race to safety in Old Mexico while being trailed by a group of government agents led by Pat Garrett (William Petersen). Along the way, Billy's crew gains three new recruits: Arkansas Dave Rudabaugh (Christian Slater), Tom O'Folliard (Balthazar Getty), and Hendry French (Alan Ruck). Though the film suffers from an uneven script, many performances -- particularly Slater's -- are surprisingly strong, and the movie looks great. The theme song, "Blaze of Glory", is performed by Jon Bon Jovi in his first solo appearance; the rocker also has a cameo in the film. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine, All Movie Guide Maverick A gunslinging con man develops a tricky scheme to make a killing at a major poker tournament in this comic Western inspired by the popular television show. Mel Gibson assumes the role of Bret Maverick, the handsome rogue who hopes to cheat his way to success. In need of a large stake to enter a major card competition on a Louisiana steamboat, Maverick decides to take advantage of a few small-town poker players. These include the seemingly sweet Annabelle Bransford (Jodie Foster) and the intimidating Angel (Alfred Molina), neither of whom is too happy about their loss. Things become even more complicated for Maverick when the law gets involved, with Marshal Zane Cooper (James Garner, who played the role of Maverick in the original television series) giving chase. A series of stagecoach chases, complicated cons, and gun battles ensues, with Annabelle and Maverick finding time for plenty of flirtation along the way. ~ Judd Blaise, All Movie Guide Wild Wild West Yet another TV series is revived for the big screen, as Will Smith and Kevin Kline join forces as James T. West and Artemus Gordon, the most sophisticated government agents of the 1860's, in the film adaptation of The Wild Wild West. West and Gordon represent two opposite ends of the personality scale: West is a smooth-talking charmer and man of action who prefers to shoot first and ask questions much, much later; while Gordon is intensely methodical and cerebral, with a genius for gadgets and mechanical innovations. They're brought together by no less an authority than the President of the United States to track down an evil genius named Dr. Arliss Loveless (Kenneth Branagh). Loveless was once an honored military leader and inventor until one of his schemes went awry and left him paralyzed from the waist down. Driven mad by the experience, Loveless is determined to get revenge on the United States by assassinating the President, using a 60-foot tall mechanical spider. Assisting Loveless is a team of beautiful female criminals, Miss East (Bai Ling), Amazonia (Frederique Van Der Wal), Munitia (Musetta Vander) and Miss Lippenreider (Sofia Eng). As the initially suspicious West and Gordon learn to work together, they also find themselves helped by an attractive woman, Rita Escobar (Salma Hayek), who has her own bone to pick with Loveless. Wild Wild West reunites star Will Smith with director Barry Sonnenfeld, who previously worked together on the hit Men In Black (1997). Wild Wild West features a hip-hop theme song from one-time Fresh Prince Smith, along with a more traditional Western score from composer Elmer Bernstein. ~ Mark Deming, All Movie Guide American Outlaws This loosely fact-based oater attempts to mimic the youthful heartthrobs in Western garb formula of Young Guns (1988), as well as the cheeky humor and some plot elements of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969). Colin Farrell stars as Jesse James, who returns home from the Civil War to his small hometown to find that a crooked railroad baron (Harris Yulin) has been illegally forcing the residents from the homesteads to make way for a new rail line. Enraged, James leads a band of outlaws including his brother Frank (Gabriel Macht), Cole Younger (Scott Caan), and Younger's brothers Bob (Will McCormack) and Jim (Gregory Smith) on a criminal spree of bank robbing. Although their Robin Hood-style tactics soon make them local heroes, the James-Younger gang members find themselves pursued by the dogged Allan Pinkerton (Timothy Dalton), the world's first "private eye." Along the way, Jesse also finds romance with Zee Mimms (Ali Larter), the daughter of a local doctor (Ronny Cox). ~ Karl Williams, All Movie Guide
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    'The Artist's' Michel Hazanavicus wins the 2012 DGA Award for film

    Type: Post | Date: Sunday, Jan 29, 2012

    'Project Nim,' 'Curb Your Enthusiasm,' Tony Awards helmers also honored
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    Nora Ephron's Broadway hit 'Lucky Guy' with Tom Hanks is a profound, poignant swan song

    Type: Post | Date: Wednesday, Mar 13, 2013

    As a film, it could enter the pantheon of great celluloid depictions of journalism
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    'Spider-Man: Turn off the Dark' producers slam Julie Taymor in countersuit

    Type: Article | Date: Tuesday, Jan 17, 2012

    Allege she relegated the webslinging superhero 'to a supporting role' in his own show
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    Golden Globes review: Ricky Gervais a timid host, broadcast tedious

    Type: Post | Date: Monday, Jan 16, 2012

    A few funny speeches, but a tough three hours to sit through
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    Pioneering film critic Judith Crist dies

    Type: Article | Date: Tuesday, Aug 7, 2012

    New York Herald-Tribune reviewer became notorious for her blunt criticisms
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    'Game of Thrones,' Fred Savage lead Directors Guild TV nods

    Type: Article | Date: Tuesday, Jan 10, 2012

    'Modern Family' and 'Curb Your Enthusiasm' each receive two nominations
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    Take Me To The Pilots '12: FOX's 'The Mob Doctor'

    Type: Post | Date: Sunday, Aug 5, 2012

    Jordana Spiro is trapped in two generic genre shows at once
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    Tech Support: 'Life of Pi' has a strong crafts showing at the Oscars

    Type: Post | Date: Monday, Feb 25, 2013

    But seven films were awarded across the 10 categories
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    Review: Seth MacFarlane emcees a conflicted, bloated, song-heavy Oscar-cast

    Type: Post | Date: Monday, Feb 25, 2013

    'Family Guy' creator sings, dances and occasionally offends at Academy Awards