The Cowboys Blu-ray Review

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It is easy to view The Cowboys as John Wayne’s recognition that he must pass on the reins to a younger generation, but the film allows the actor to go much deeper than that and study what it means to face the end of the line, passing on the knowledge of a lifetime. The ethics of how all this comes to be, and the stance that the film takes in light of the cultural and societal upheaval that America was undergoing at the time, may be ripe for debate, but the simple truth of wild men existing in wild times is told with typical old school relish. For me, the film tends to be a little slow and the cluster of men-children with whom we are forced to empathise and sympathise with, can be irritatingly trite. But, for Wayne fans, The Cowboys valiantly stands his corner and sees the Duke attacking the part with typically cynical-yet-resolute conviction and courage. Ably supported by marvellous turns from Bruce Dern and the inimitable Roscoe Lee Browne, the film is eminently entertaining and provides a great gut-punching thirst for righteous payback. Therefore, this Blu-ray release, with its insightful commentary and big-hearted reunion feature, is well worth picking up. The AV quality is an appreciable upgrade from standard, even if the prints still bears many irksome little blemishes and annoyances.

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