Cowboys & Aliens – Extended Director’s Cut
Jake Lonergan wakes up in the middle of the desert with his memory wiped clean. He doesn’t remember who he is, nor how he got there. After a small intermezzo with a couple of passing by cowboys who think they may have captured an outlaw, he takes their clothes and heads towards the nearest town, Absolution. Once there, he cleans himself up, to little later be taken in by the town’s sheriff as it appears he indeed is a wanted outlaw. Before they can ship him off to the federal court, a bunch of space ships arrive and start kidnapping people from the town.
Lonergan manages to escape from the coach he was put in and finds out the strange bracelet on his arm is actually some sort of weapon that’s powerful enough to shoot down even the space ships. Together with local rancher, Colonel Dolarhyde, Lonergan heads off with a party to track down the aliens and retrieve those taken. And stop the aliens from further executing their invasion of Earth…
Sound and Vision:
Cowboys & Aliens comes with image quality that’s near-reference material. The western genre needs vibrant colors and a high level of saturation and this transfer delivers on that. The level of detail is tremendous and the beautiful panaromic shots are just amazing. The only minor issue we found – but this could be due to the photography and not the transfer – is that interior scenes have sometimes murky blacks where as out in the open, the blacks are rich and deep.
Combining Western and sci-fi genres means we could get the best of both worlds in the sound stage and that’s exactly what happened. Dialogues are crystal clear and perfectly placed, while surrounds are often used for effects like bullets or alien vessels flying by. The subwoofer nicely supports this all with a good portion of bass that makes your living room tremble as soon as exposions start appearing on the screen. An excellent track!
– Audio commentary by Jon Favreau
– Conversations with Jon Favreau
– Igniting the Sky: The Making of Cowboys & Aliens
– DVD version of the movie
Cowboys & Aliens was supposed to bring forth the best of both genres. And up to a certain level, it does. There are hi-tech shootouts, a posse, the “lone cowboy with no name” (at least, for a while), aliens space crafts, abductions, … plenty of things that pass by which are part of the general idea of what each genre contains.
Unfortunately, we also get some of the drawbacks. The story is rather silly with aliens looking for gold and leaves us with plenty of unanswered questions like why humans are being abducting and experimented on. After all, if they’re after our gold and they’re clearly superior to us, then why would they need to kidnap large amounts of humans to do body-probing on? And then I haven’t even talked about the fact that these clearly superior beings seem to rely on their animal instinct and fight more in close combat with their claws than they use their technology to easily get rid of those pesky humans.
Cowboys & Aliens is filled with inconsistencies and logic that doesn’t make sense what so ever. However, it does do one thing right: it delivers on the action part and that for both the western as well as the sci-fi genre. If you can keep your brain activity to a minimum, then Cowboys & Aliens is a fun action movie with some good acting from Daniel Craig and Harrison Ford. I certainly wouldn’t mind seeing more Daniel Craig in a Clint Eastwood-style western!