Wednesday, August 05, 2015

A Million Ways to Spoof the West

Had a fairly early work session this morning. It was pretty much the same as it has been since before the 4th of July - on and off quiet for most of the day. It did pick up a little bit around 2:30-3 PM, but by that time, I was almost done. My relief was actually a little bit early. I got out with time to spare.

When I got home, I spent the next hour and a half working on Scott White and the Seven Actors. Hilary, Jeff, and Mackie find Scott passed out on the floor of Wennton's Town Hall. Hilary sends Jeff for a doctor as Betty, Doug, and the others arrive. Betty is able to give Scott mouth-to-mouth and revive him. Scott was able to overhear Pruitt's plans for the town and his ranch before he lost consciousness. Now he and the others have to come up with a way to thwart Pruitt, before he destroys the whole town!

I got hungry around 6. Had leftovers (including the last of the fruit salad) for dinner while watching A Million Ways to Die In the West. Albert (Seth MacFarlane) is no one's Clint Eastwood. He's a sheep rancher in a tough, dirty Arizona town where people die every day, from ways ranging from gun shots to blocks of ice falling on their heads. He's been feeling even worse ever since his gold-digging girlfriend Louise (Amanda Seyfried) left him for Foy, the owner of the local mustache care shop (Neil Patrick Harris). Foy wants a duel with him, but Albert's better at shooting off his mouth. He gets help from beautiful blond homesteader Anne (Charlize Theron) who's an expert markswoman. Though the fight with Foy winds up being a win (with some help from Anne), Albert discovers he has worse problems. Anne's husband (Liam Neeson) is a genuine evil gunslinger who wants gold. Can Albert find a way to beat him and win back Anne, without becoming his next victim?

First of all, I'm not a fan of Family Guy (and I haven't seen Ted), so I will say I'm probably not the appropriate audience for this. Second, I can understand why this was one of the bigger flops from last summer. While not as flat-out horrible as my last excursion into modern Westerns (The Lone Ranger), MacFarlane's gross-out style is more annoying than funny. His loser character is a colorless wimp and not really that interesting. The supporting cast is far more fun, especially Theron as Anne, Neeson as her husband, and Giovanni Risbi as Albert's shy best friend, who insists on saving himself for his girlfriend (Sarah Silverman)...despite his girlfriend working in a brothel.

Some of the references to recent westerns are pretty funny, and there are some gags that really work, like Albert's encounter with the Indians towards the end and him and Anne at the dance. Others either go on too long or are just disgusting. (The fight between Albert and Foy is a good example of both.)

This is mainly for fans of the cast, MacFarlane's brand of humor, or those who like their west more dusty and less glamorous. All others would be advised to save this for a rainy-day rental at best.

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