Westerns

October 1, 2013

Simplistic Reviews Presents: Cinema and Suds, Unforgiven and The Wild Bunch/Ranger Creek Mesquite Smoked Porter

Who hasn’t dreamed of being a cowboy at some point in their lives?  Riding the open plains, looking for outlaws, or even being a outlaw.  Upholding or breaking the law.  Getting drunk in bars, enjoying the company of a young lady on the 2nd floor of a saloon, or even shooting the gun at the feet of someone yelling at them to “Dance!”

In the case of cowboy/western films, there are three eras of great westerns.  In the 1950s and 60s you had the John Ford and John Wayne epics.  The late 1960s and 70s ushered in “The Man with No Name” trilogy and the cowboy anti-heroes in “The Wild Bunch” with it’s ultra-violence being the trademark.  After the late 1970s, the western genre was dead, until the early 1990s with a little film called “Unforgiven,” a modern classic that dissected westerns from the 60s and 70s and re-ignited people’s love for classic Westerns.

Now, it’s no mystery that drinking is a huge part of Westerns, case in point, William Munny from “Unforgiven.”  It’s not until he goes back to the bottle during the climax of “Unforgiven” that you see the “real” William Munny.

So in this edition of Cinema and Suds we have the modern classic Western, “Unforgiven” and the classic classic Western “The Wild Bunch.” and a big bottle of Ranger Creek Mesquite Smoked Porter, which is plenty for this double feature.

Enveloped with Texas Mesquite, this smoked porter, which clocks in at 6.8% ABV, is bold beer with an old school taste perfect for a former-gunslinger.

Check out the video companion above for a more fun and cowboy-like hijinks!

July 19, 2012

The Good The Bad And The Ugly

MYTHICAL

There are some people that don’t see the appeal of Westerns…(cough! cough!)…mostly women…(cough!) There are some that think them to be boring art pieces where nothing ever happens….(cough! cough!)…women mostly…(cough!)…studies show it…(cough! cough!) And that is…(ahem)…okay. On paper its just movies about cowpunchers or farmers during post Civil War America living their lives. But Westerns, to me, are American fairy tales. You know the girly ones with the knight rescuing the damsel in the tower from the two headed dragon. Those stories are European based and don’t hold the same relatable appeal. (Not that many castles in the states) Cowboys are our knights in shining armor. But their armor is a little less shining. They rescue damsels. But there had better be a payday involved. They deal with the occasional monster. But its usually either a corrupt sheriff or a gang of bandits.

Grandfather of the Western, Sergio Leone, understood this concept and thrived in bringing those tales to the big screen. From Fist Full Of Dollars to Once Upon A Time In The West. He saw the American frontier as a place to take regular cowboys and make them into MYTHICAL heroes or antiheroes as the case may be. The Good The Bad And The Ugly was perhaps the best one of his films that personified that concept. And to be in on it gag. You have a hero with no name that all but winks at the camera before a gun fight. A villain that, for as evil as he is, still has a code. And a lovable scoundrel you shouldn’t be rooting for but do anyway.(There wouldn’t be a Jack Sparrow without a Tuco to pave the way)

You ever wonder which character began the worship of Clint Eastwood? You want to see where the term ‘Mexican Standoff’ comes from? You want to watch….SPOILER ALERT…probably the best prequel ever made? You remember that awesome opening scene in Inglourious Basterds? You want to see where Tarantino got the idea from?  You want to hear one of the greatest movie scores of all time?  It is all in The Good The Bad And The Ugly. If you want to show someone who doesn’t like Westerns a film that might sway their opinion…THIS is the movie. Watch it….then tell me I’m wrong.

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