About the Post

Author Information

I'm not a film critic, but I'll tell you what I think about the movies I watch. I enjoy understanding the history behind the movies we watch, as well as the collaborative effort necessary to produce movies.

Open Range


Open Range 1Open Range (2003)

Directed by Kevin Costner

Based on the novel The Open Range Men by Lauran Paine

Screenplay by Craig Storper

Starring: Kevin Costner, Robert Duvall, Annette Bening, Kim Coates, Michael Gambon, Diego Luna, Abraham Benrubi, Michael Jeter

Boss Spearman (Duvall) and Charley Waite (Costner) are driving their herd across the country with their hired hands (Luna, Benrubi). When they come across a small ranching town they’re forced to confront a corrupt lawman and Denton Baxter, the cattle baron (Gambon) who controls him. After Baxter comes after their hired hands, Waite and Spearman find themselves seeking out justice. With the help of people like Sue Barlow (Bening) and Percy (Jeter), Waite and Spearman hope they can rid the town of the corrupt people in charge.

Open Range 3This film is based on the novel The Open Range Men by Lauran Paine (The Quiet Gun). Paine is a favorite author of Kevin Costner (Bull Durham) who both starred in and directed this film. The screenplay was written by Craig Storper (The Truth About Alex). The cast includes Robert Duvall (Get Low), Annette Bening (The American President), and Michael Gambon (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part II). The film also stars Kim Coates (Black Hawk Down), Diego Luna (Milk), Abraham Benrubi (U Turn), and Michael Jeter (Miller’s Crossing). This was the last film role for Jeter, who passed away prior to the release of the movie.

Open Range 5The story, as it plays out, is nicely written with a modern twist on classic Western themes. The characters all feel like they’re being presented slowly and deliberately. This slow burn allows the focus of the movie to remain on the action and the drama. As the new information comes to light it only serves to accentuate the bigger picture. The writing does a great job weaving the people into the depth of the story, and it is enjoyable from beginning to end. The story also avoids overuse of dialogue that might have slowed down the pace of the film. The screenplay does a wonderful job creating the world of the story and the people within it. The conflict is honest and brutal throughout the movie. Like most good Westerns in recent memory, this one avoids making anyone all bad or all good. Overall, this is a great story.

Open Range 2The acting in this movie is wonderful. Kevin Costner has always been a favorite of mine, but he also misses the mark with his choices of roles. This was not one of those times. His acting in this movie really avoids being overdone or taking over the emotional current of the film. Instead, Costner shares the screen perfectly with Robert Duvall and Annette Bening. Those two also do great work in their roles in this one. Additionally, Coates, Gambon, Luna, Benrubi, and Jeter all do nice work in this movie. Like many good Westerns, the cast in this one comes together with great chemistry. I think the depth of this cast is one of the strong points of the film in general.

Open Range 8This movie was filmed on location on the Stoney Indian Reserve in Alberta, Canada. The natural beauty of the landscape is wonderfully captured with great cinematography. The camera work also benefited from nicely designed sets and costuming as well. The film also boasts an excellent score written by Michael Kamen (Brazil).

Open Range 6Overall, the production of this movie is wonderful, but one sequence really set this apart from most Westerns. The shootout in this movie was filmed in real-time, and done in a way that accentuated the split-second nature of violent encounters. The wide shots used in this sequence add to the ability to understand the reality of the moment. This decision was a departure from the technique being used by many filmmakers at the time. By avoiding the stylistic approach of films like The Matrix, this stands out as a great technical work.

Open Range 4If you like great action with a wonderful story, this is one for you. This is also a good film for fans of Costner, Duvall, or any others in the wonderful cast. This is a great movie for Western movie buffs as well. It has something for almost everyone, including drama, romance, and awesome shootouts. Unfortunately, the violence also makes this one that not everyone should see. I give this one 4.7 out of 5 stars.

Rating: R

Running Time: 139 Minutes

Advertisements

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. The Siege | Did You See That One? - July 27, 2014

    […] Oscar winner Denzel Washington (Safe House) leads a cast including Oscar nominee Annette Bening (Open Range). The cast also includes Golden Globe winners Bruce Willis (Looper) and Tony Shalhoub […]

    Like

  2. Wyatt Earp | Did You See That One? - August 2, 2014

    […] The screenplay for this film was written by Kasdan and Dan Gordon (The Hurricane). Kevin Costner (Open Range) stars in the film alongside Dennis Quaid (The Rookie), and Gene Hackman (Unforgiven). The movie […]

    Like

  3. To Kill a Mockingbird | Did You See That One? - August 5, 2014

    […] The novel To Kill a Mockingbird was immediately successful upon being published in 1960. The talented author Harper Lee wrote the novel, winning the Pulitzer Prize. Two years later, the story was adapted for the big screen by Horton Foote (Tender Mercies). His screenplay earned him an Oscar for Best Writing, Based On Material From Another Medium. The film was directed by Robert Mulligan (The Man in the Moon). This was one of three Oscars won by the film, having been nominated for a total of eight awards. The cast features Gregory Peck (Roman Holiday), Brock Peters (Soylent Green), Mary Badham (This Property is Condemned), and Phillip Alford (Shenandoah). Also featured are John Megna (Hush…Hush, Sweet Charlotte), Frank Overton (12 O’Clock High), and Robert Duvall (Open Range). […]

    Like

  4. The Godfather | Did You See That One? - August 10, 2014

    […] and Al Pacino (Dog Day Afternoon). the cast also features James Caan (El Dorado), Robert Duvall (Open Range), Diane Keaton (Annie Hall), Talia Shire (Rocky), and John Cazale (The […]

    Like

  5. The Fisher King | Did You See That One? - August 15, 2014

    […] Lebowski) and Robin Williams (The World According to Garp). The film also features Michael Jeter (Open Range), Mercedes Ruehl (Big), and Amanda Plummer (Pulp […]

    Like

  6. Brazil | Did You See That One? - September 30, 2014

    […] planned out with a sense of the strange world it’s happening in.The score, by Michael Kamen (Open Range), is also a great part of this […]

    Like

  7. The Godfather: Part II | Did You See That One? - December 8, 2014

    […] Pacino (Donnie Brasco), Robert DeNiro (The Mission), Diane Keaton (Annie Hall), and Robert Duvall (Open Range). The cast also includes John Cazale (Dog Day Afternoon), Talia Shire (Rocky), Bruno Kirby (When […]

    Like

  8. Die Hard | Did You See That One? - February 13, 2015

    […] for Best Sound Effects and Best Sound. With the addition of a great score by Michael Kamen (Open Range), this is a well-rounded and wonderful […]

    Like

  9. Crash | Did You See That One? - March 1, 2015

    […] film is nicely produced, with great visuals thanks to cinematographer James M. Muro (Open Range). In addition, the film has great costume work, and the locations were nicely chosen to highlight […]

    Like

  10. American Beauty | Did You See That One? - March 11, 2015

    […] Original Screenplay. Kevin Spacey (Horrible Bosses) leads the cast that includes Annette Bening (Open Range), and Chris Cooper (The Town). Thora Birch (All I Want for Christmas), Wes Bentley (Interstellar), […]

    Like

  11. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story | Did You See That One? - January 8, 2017

    […] cast for this film includes Felicity Jones (The Theory of Everything), Diego Luna (Open Range), and Forest Whitaker (Platoon). Alan Tudyk (Zootopia), Donnie Yen (Ip Man), and Ben Mendelsohn […]

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: