Monday, January 27, 2014
That's A Fact
WYATT EARP) the studio barely put any effort into selling the film beyond the formality of letting people know it was there only to find surprisingly good reviews, healthy business and talk that Val Kilmer might have gotten an Oscar nomination if they had bothered to push him for one. I enjoyed the film too when I caught up with it on New Year’s Day of that holiday season and actually have a recollection of feeling a sudden sense of ease during an early scene as I found myself realizing that this film was going to work. And it does, for the most part anyway. It kinda sorta falters at a certain point in the last stretch but enough of TOMBSTONE holds together that it’s still a rewarding one to return to. It’s a flat out western with a capital W and it’s become such a rarity to find one willing to revel in the sheer pleasure of that quite so much. In that celebration of the genre is a portrayal of family, of friendships, of myth as well as an acknowledgement that this in telling this story again on film it’s part of that myth, right from how the black & white footage in the opening prologue narrated by the legendary Robert Mitchum is capped by the famous final shot from THE GREAT TRAIN ROBBERY. In that sense, TOMBSTONE is saying, little has changed. We still need those legends and every now and then it’s good to find one which embraces that idea the way this film does. article which is surprisingly frank—it wasn’t until a 2006 interview in True West magazine that Kurt Russell basically admitted to essentially ghost-directing the movie himself when Cosmatos was brought in after Jarre was fired. Many scenes were lost in the rush to keep the shoot on schedule and Russell, who claims he made substantial cuts to his own role to get the other actors to trust him, says just enough in the interview to leave me with even more questions—I also wonder about a claim in the Entertainment Weekly article that those revenge montages were a Cosmatos addition, considering they’re my least favorite stuff in the film. Not to mention what Kevin Jarre, let alone anyone else on set, would say about it all.