Cowboys & Aliens (BLU RAY)

Cowboys & Aliens

On Blu-Ray: 
Tuesday, December 6, 2011
Bonus Features

Commentary, Making of Featurette, Pocket Blu

Waking up outside with a wound on his side, Jake (played by Daniel Craig) can’t remember who he is or how he got to be laying on the ground with an injury. Attached to his arm is a gauntlet of sorts that won’t come off and is capable of shooting out energy blasts that can kill a man instantly. After making it to the dilapidated town of Absolution, Jake finds himself in the middle of an attack by flying ships from another world that are taking the people. Cattle rancher and ex colonel, Dolarhyde (played by Harrison Ford) gathers his men to lead a ramshackle posse of men that include a boy, the bartender Doc or is also the doctor (played by Sam Rockwell), a preacher, and the mysterious girl Ella (played by Olivia Wilde), to fight these aliens who have their loved ones.

The title should tell you all that you need to know about this movie, Cowboys and Aliens. What a simple concept, one that I’m surprised hasn’t been done before now, and yet it still ended up being one that I just couldn’t fully like. With a cast that includes Harrison Ford, Daniel Craig, Olivia Wilde, and Sam Rockwell I expected this to be a hit or at least a really fun movie to watch with some decent acting. How it turns out though is a movie that lasts over 2 hours that’s not as fun as I was expecting it to be, the acting is mediocre at best, and the actual plot is just all over the place.

It should be a easy movie with a easy plot, aliens have come to the planet for the gold, while mining the gold they abduct humans to find out their weak points, they get the wrong person, good guy teams up with bad guy to fight the aliens, big fight, happy ending. Throw in the normal plot points such as the hero of the story having to lose something or someone of importance, a love interest, and have the heroes being the underdogs. All of which are in Cowboys and Aliens, though it’s not this that’s the problem, what is the problem is how all of it is organized and told.

Olivia Wilde plays the character Ella but I really didn’t see the point of having her in the movie at all, other than being pretty to look at and filling in the obligatory female role. Her character first shows up soon after the main character Jake where she approaches him wanting his help. They try making her character mysterious, alluring, and strong but all they do is create a character that I had no clue who she was or why I should even like. By the time it was told who she was, what she wanted, and how she ended up in the town, I didn’t care that much. As for the other actors, the one I was most disappointed in was Harrison Ford. He is an astounding actor that has very few roles that I haven’t liked and now his role in Cowboys and Aliens has made that short list. His portrayal of the tough guy rancher turned out being a raspy voiced rancher where everything he said would end with an exclamation point. I didn’t know if his character was supposed to be a bad guy, a ex-military man who left cause he didn’t approve of the wrong doings so he is branded a traitor but he’s really not, or just a rough guy who has to be rough to survive. Slowly throughout the movie his character seems to go through all of these different characters. There’s supposed to be information given on his characters back story but that ends up being a waste of time because all it does is try to make his character seem tough. For Daniel Craig, he plays his character as a silent tough guy who is confused the whole time. Which I guess if you don’t have that many lines the say and the few that you do are I don’t know who I am, that would make for a easy character to play. For being the lead actor in this movie, it seems like the only contribution that Daniel Craig gives to the movie is giving a stern look every time he’s on screen.

Also, what was with the aliens? Here are these creatures that are able to fly who knows how many billions of light years to another planet, they have this ray guns that disintegrates anything, yet they are able to be beaten by small bullets and arrows? As unbelievable as it is having these aliens on the planet with cowboys but having them being beat by bow and arrows and guns is just ridiculous. These aliens are huge, they are mean, they have some sort of armor or looks like it, and though they do take out a lot of the human (quite violently), they still are beat. Still, the best part of this movie was the aliens. They look really cool, I really liked how their second set of arms came out, and they are really tough, which is why they should have been used more.

This movie was boring at the beginning because it took too long to try to introduce these characters while leaving mystery surrounding them. It was slow during the middle because here they tried to have the movie be mysterious about the aliens and what they were doing. By the end the action that happened wasn’t enough to have made up for the lack of enjoy for the first hour and 40 minutes that I had to watch to get to the action part. When the movie did end it was a lack luster ending that had me wondering how Jake could have fallen for Ella so quickly after supposedly losing the woman he loved (which was days before meeting Ella) and then him riding off like everything was normal even though the town had just fought aliens and had seen UFO’s.


Boring movie, slow plot progression, a flow that leaves out action yet puts in useless information, and poor acting is what Cowboys & Aliens is but the quality of this Blu Ray is pretty good. Because of getting bored, a lot, during watching this movie, I was trying to look for some flaws in the quality of the picture. I didn’t notice any though. There’s no grain, noise, or flecks that can be seen, at least none that I noticed, and the colors are really vibrant. With the locations being mostly desert and brown, the contrast that the blues have against this brown really stands out and looks good. Listening to this movie was the best portion for the Blu Ray. Audio levels on here are even where I never messed with the volume controls between the dialog and fight scenes. It might not be a great movie but it looks and sounds really good. Sadly though, for a Blu Ray that has some cool bonus features like the Pocket Blu app, the conversations with director Jon Favreau, and the making of featurette, there’s nothing else on the disc. There should have been more bonus features to make up some for the movie not being as good as it could have been, but nope, there’s just enough to appease us bonus features fans and no more.

Lee Roberts
Review by Lee Roberts
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