About fifty years ago, a short story by Elmore Leonard was made into a film. Today director James Mangold (*
Mangold has a knack for directing stories in such a way that you become riveted to every moment, no matter how mundane. Part of his ability comes from wielding actors that can equally rise to the task of engaging the audience. Always the consummate actor, Bale transforms into the decent hard-working rancher with an inner fire. Bale boils with a desire to be respected. His guarantor, Hollander, dismisses him; Wade misjudges him, and even his own son balks at his orders. Evans’s curious yearning draws an interesting contrast to Wade. Like a classic Henry Fonda outlaw, Crowe plays Wade as a man with some culture and knowledge, a man with enough smarts to believe that killing a man is no more difficult than putting on your boots.
Speaking of Fonda, Henry’s son Peter (Ghost Rider) takes on a supporting role as Wade’s surly, grizzled nemesis Byron McElroy. Another supporting actor worth his salt is Alan Tudyk (*Serenity) who plays Doc Potter, another hand enlisted in Wade’s escort. One last up-and-coming actor that’s been on my radar and should be on yours is Ben Foster (Hostage), who plays Wade’s right-hand man, Charlie Prince, who drives the gang to rescue their callous leader. These three actors work in chorus with the stars to create an emotionally stirring film with western grit.Dirty Undies
No western can hold water without shoot-outs and death. While there is no undertaker measuring up the gunmen before their stand-offs, “
The Money Shot
Carefully crafted and excellently executed, “ to