Shootout At High Noon Marathon: Rebuttal: Ravenous (1999)

The Shootout At High Noon Marathon comes to an end, and what a better way for it to come to an end than with Edgar and I facing off one last time!

For a better understanding of what I am replying to make sure to check out Edgar’s review of Ravenous at Between The Seats.

Edgar, it became clear to me as I read your review that while I liked Ravenous you really liked it. Our takes on the film weren’t that different, at least not enough for me to completely grasp why we came away with different levels of quality in our minds about the film. At first I chalked this up to you being Canadian and speaking French, if ever there were a reason for someone being a bit loopy those are two very good reasons. Then I decided not to go that route, because let’s face it, I’ve used the Canada card way too much in our rebuttals, and it probably makes some people think I have a legit problem with Canada or something. Where oh where did our different thoughts on the quality of Ravenous come from then?

It’s not in the comedic realm within the film, on that page you and I appear to be on the same page. Some of the difference may be found in how dark, or grisly, we found Ravenous to be. Beneath the humor you extolled I could tell that you thought Ravenous was particularly dark and, to borrow your word again, grisly. While I do agree with you that Ravenous was dark and grisly, I don’t think it was that dark and grisly, if I’m making any sense. For me the film was only darker in certain moments, and large as those moments were they didn’t quite measure up to the never ending darkness or grisliness of another film we watched for this marathon, The Proposition.

One thing that I thought held the movie back which didn’t seem to affect you at all was the Native American connection. I thought the insertion of the Native American tale took away from a lot of what Robert Carlyle was going for in his performance. It felt to me like Antonia Bird became scared of a character being as loose and crazy as Carlyle was playing Colqhoun. To counter this she, and the writer, tried to tie the film into something solid, to provide a reason for Carlysle’s craziness. It didn’t kill the film for me, but it did bother me in how unnecessary it was, but your review didn’t make it sound like you were affected by the inclusion of the Native American tale in any significant way.

Held to closer scrutiny the biggest difference we have in Ravenous is the character of Captain Boyd as played by Guy Pearce. Your review was enamored with him, giving his character a lot of credit for your enjoyment of Ravenous. I liked Pearce’s performance, but I wasn’t as interested in his character or in the film using his character to play with morals as you were. I was more interested in Robert Carlyle, the setting, the score, and where Miss Bird was going to go with her story than the inner workings of Captain Boyd. Of course, I could be reading your review wrong, that is very much a possibility, but I think the character of Captain Boyd is where the quality divide begins to form between the two of us.

This is it Edgar, all the movie have been watched and all the rebuttals have been written. As we stand here on a dusty plain, the question that begs to be asked is how fast you were with your six shooter. Before you can even answer that you must remember one thing, I’m a member of the old West, and in the old West men like me don’t have time for honor and doing the right thing. That’s why as the bullets fly I will come out on top, I’m the guy who has the cast iron skillet under his shirt and the friend behind the trough with a buckshot. Ah, who the heck am I kidding, we agree more than we disagree and our ability to think the same way can only mean one thing. A duel between the two of us would have a definitive result, two head shots for two dead hombres who thought to shoot at the same exact time. I take no umbrage with this outcome, because pard, if the worst thing I can say is that mky tastes were aligned with yours, well, that’s not a bad thing to say at all.

Read what Edgar had to say at Between The Seats.

Cheers,
Bill

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4 responses to “Shootout At High Noon Marathon: Rebuttal: Ravenous (1999)

  1. Great minds think alike. Instead of shooting each other in the head, we could just go for some beers.

    Yeah, it is indeed with the Guy Pierce character that you and I tend to differ with this movie. Bird handles the character really well because she doesn’t forget where the character started at the beginning. The he ends his journey feels in sync with how it began.

    The Native American folklore worked well for me. In fact, there was not a lot of Native Americana throughout the marathon, so seeing some of it actually play an active role for once was refreshing.

  2. As long as my beer is of the root beer variety, I’m down. 🙂

    I’ll have to pay more attention to Pearce whenever I watch Ravenous again, maybe there’s something there that I didn’t see.

    I would have liked something Native American to have more of a role in one of our North American based films, but I didn’t think Ravenous handled it as well as you did.

    Giddy up my friend, giddy up. 🙂

  3. Pingback: Shootout At High Noon Marathon: The Wild Wild West Need Not Apply Awards | Bill's Movie Emporium

  4. Pingback: Shootout At High Noon Marathon: The Wild Wild West Need Not Apply Awards

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