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TV show review: CONTINUUM season 4

COWBOYS AND ALIENS Extended Edition Blu-ray/ DVD combo

review by David Blackwell


DETAILS:  119 minutes (theatrical)/ 135 minutes (extended), audio commentary, making-of documentary, Conversations With Jon Favreau featurettes, digital copy, DVD

VIDEO:   2.40:1 (Anamorphic Widescreen)/ 1080p Hi-Definition (Blu-ray)

AUDIO:   English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio (Blu-ray), English 5.1 Dolby Digital (DVD), English 2.0 DVS, French 5.1 DTS Surround (Blu-ray), French 5.1 DD (DVD)

Subtitles:  English SDH, French, Spanish


STUDIO:   Universal Studios/ Dreamwork Pictures/ Reliance Entertainment/ Relativity Media/ Imagine Entertainment/ Farview Entertainment/ Platinum  Studios

Theatrical RELEASE DATE:           7-29-2011

Blu-ray/ DVD RELEASE DATE:   12-2-2011


Jake Lonegren wakes up in the desert with no memory and a weird metal bracelet on his wrist.   He wanders into town and soon finds out about a past he has no memory of.  He is bound to clash with Dollarhyde who wants his gold back (which Jake robbed), but it is all interrupted when aliens (aka demons) start kidnapping people from town.   The two must team together with a  mysterious woman (Olivia Wilde), a young boy, a bar owner, and an Indian (Adam Beach) that Dollarhyde took in years ago.  Their mission is to find the aliens and rescue the people that were taken.    


COWBOYS AND ALIENS has a good opening set up only to move into action that keeps the pace going up high.   We only know a little about the characters from what others say about them.   Jake Lonegren discovers things about himself through fragments of forgotten memories.   Colonel Dollarhyde is a rough and tumble type who tries to be fair to people, but you don't really know much about him.    It isn't the most developed character Harrison Ford has played.   This movie is Daniel Craig's show (Daniel gets bonus points for saying his favorite Harrison Ford is BLADE RUNNER).   Still I felt I knew more about the characters in director Jon Farveau's previous two films, IRON MAN and IRON MAN 2.   COWBOYS AND ALIENS has so many cooks in the writing of this script- look at the number people credited with writing the screenplay (which is adapted from the comic book of the same name).   The end result is a script that lacks complexity or much character development because they decided they wanted an average summer popcorn film.   I like the film better the second time around (I watched the extended cut).  The Extended Cut has addition character moments not seen in the theatrical version.



Feature Audio Commentary with director Jon Favreau


Conversations with Jon Favreau (Blu-ray only) has the director talking with Daniel Craig, Harrison Ford, Olivia Wilde, Steven Spielberg and Ron Howard, writers Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman, and writer Damon Lindelof about the film and various things in their careers.   His conversations with the actors are the ones I enjoyed the most as you find about Daniel Craig as James bond and being in THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO, Harrison Ford's life before Han Solo, and Olivia Wilde's humanitarian efforts in Haiti.    Damon Lindelof sometimes seems uncomfortable by giving too many one word replies.


IGNITING THE SKY is the multi-part documentary on the Making Of COWBOYS & ALIENS (two of the below are only available on Blu-ray):

FINDING THE STORY-  about writing the script of the film

A CALL TO ACTION-  a focus on director Jon Favreau

ABSOLUTION-   the cast, production design, and costumes

OUTER-SPACE ICON-  designing the aliens



I did notice while playing the Extended Edition on the blu-ray drive on my laptop that the Second Screen option (which is best used when connected to the internet) was trying to pop up with the window within the movie during the change between chapters for a brief second or two.   This may be a software issue with the drive or how the disc interacts with the Blu-ray drive.


FINAL ANALYSIS:   COWBOYS AND ALIENS is the action popcorn film that will grow on you with repeat viewings.  It isn't a classic by no means.  The conversations that Jon Favreau has with cast and crew is worth watching over the promo fluff of the making-of documentary.


this review is (c)12-31-2011 David Blackwell and cannot be reprinted without permission.  send all comments to feedback@enterline-media.com