Well this one was a bit special! Its announcement came from nowhere at the back end of last year, a horror-western starring Kurt Russell.....shut up and take all my money! This was a blind buy of the region A locked US edition from last year that I was really looking forward to......and I was not disappointed in the slightest.
After a fantastic start - more films need the double act of David Arquette and Sid Haig! - the plot kicks in at a nice, leisurely pace. Its the late 1800's and cave dwelling trogolodytes steal into the small town of Bright Hope and kidnap a number of citizens, forcing the mightily mustacheod Russell and his posse to head into the wilds after them.
First off, the dialogue all the way through this is simply brilliant. There's banter between the whole cast that is simply a joy to listen to - it establishes the characters fantastically, all of whom are played to aplomb. Russell is his usual self (he could be playing Snake's great, great grandfather!), but he's joined wonderfully by Richard Jenkins (unrecognisable as his slightly doddery deputy) and even better, Mathew Fox (probably the cast MVP for me, even as much as I love Kurt) as the dandiest, meanest fop you ever did meet. Together with stoic Patrick Wilson, bringing another dimension to the posse, these four head off into the wilds and probably 75 minutes of the film is them journeying across the west - no trogolodytes, just 4 men riding, bantering and bickering. But its that dialogue and these characters that make this time spent an absolute pleasure. The film could have been trimmed a little here for pacing (its a 2hr 10 min run time), but I just enjoyed these characters and their interactions so much I almost didn't care.
Then when they eventually come across the trogolodytes, well.......lets just say there is some pretty rum stuff going on here. Gore hounds will not be disappointed. Is it a horror-western? Not really - its a western, all be it a good one, with horror elements. But don't let that put you off at all - its still an intriguing genre mash up, as its also part 'men-on-a-mission' movie too. The film takes great delight in also messing with expectations too - no spoilers at all here, but characters don't always turn out who you think they are, again these moments enhanced by some utterly wonderful little character beats - cue the flicker on Matthew Fox's face just before a key moment, or Kurt Russell's final line. In all, this was a really great film and I simply enjoyed the hell out of it.
The transfer is pretty good too - image quality is really good. Huge amounts of detail are on show - you can see small dust clouds float across the scene, every hair on Russell's face - and the colours look perfect (contrast not too hot at all). Its a lovely image - its a modern one mind, with nary a pinch of grain anywhere in sight, but I didn't mind that at all. The lossless 5.1 track was a little underwhelming, only in so much as the sound mix just wasn't active enough for me - the surrounds were used very sparingly and for a film with, lets say a final act as this, there was plenty of opportunity for a fantasticly enveloping soundfield that just wasn't taken. What is here is fine though -dialogue is always clear and gun shots sound suitably realistic (no LFE canon blasts here!!). I've only tucked into the 10 min making of so far and while its a standard EPK, it does look a little more interesting, just because its got Richard Jenkins reciting his lines and saying how great the dialogue was!!! Hopefully will tuck into the rest later, but it doesn't look stacked. Don't know how this compares to the UK release but wouldn't expect it to be too different.
Summary - a great little movie. Its a tad over long in the middle section, but with the great characters and dialogue, I didn't mind this at all. A pretty good transfer as well and anyone thinking of blind buying this I'm confident will not be disappointed.
Bone Tomahawk User Review
The 'Tache VS Cannibals.....whoever loses, we win!Review of Bone Tomahawk blu-ray by Coz22998, May 18, 2016.This item was purchased for $14.99 from Amazon.com (US edition) in 2015. The reviewer still owns this product.
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