5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Basic plot is a guy is part of a ruthless gang of hired hands but has had enough and leaves to turn over new leaf (spot the pun, sorry) and the quiet life. We catch up with him settled down 3 years later where he's working on one of the few plots of lands yet to sell to the rail road and he come across the gang again.
Sounds quite standard fair and while the plot and events are not perfect they are quite creative with it, its quite intertwined; the line between the good and bad characters it not simple.
It suffers a bit with the TV quality film but the directors has done well with what he has and overall the direction is good, with some inventive and interesting camera angles and sometimes I wished it was higher quality film to better show off the framing and cinematography.
The cast is good with some familiar, but not always place-able, faces and the acting ain't bad on the whole. Casper Van Dien does well as brooding leading/action man, not a bad Clint impression, but does less well when he has a few emotional lines to deliver. Jack Noseworthy, Ernest Borgnine and Bruce Boxleitner (I looked them up) all put in good shifts particularly the former and Ernest gets a great line "I'd rather die for something now, than for nothing later".
There a few annoying bits that do grate quiet a lot. Casper relationship with the women seems to come from nowhere and is then pretty predicable. Why is Casper in the gang in the first place? Later on there's a real "No you're not really going to do that, no really, oh no you are, idiot." event.
Late on Casper turns up in a poncho which I still don't know if I like. Is it tongue in check, a homage or cheap and lazy? Made me smile anyway and I'd give them the benefit of the doubt.
Its actually quite a violent film, though not that graphic, there lots of innocents being shot quite brutally which may be why I took it more seriously than I might have. Not sure I'd want my young kid stumbling across it during the day like it was shown. The gun plays fun and the big shoot outs are good though not perfect.
I'm a Western fan and my tastes are more Unforgiven (my favourite film), Clint's other Westerns and the new 3:10 to Yuma rather than Young Guns and Tombstone. Not sure if that really helps but there you go.
Couple of notes: As you may have gathered I'm reviewing this based on seeing it on TV not the specific DVD; it looks like it may be a remake of an old Western, will have to look out for that.
For me not necessarily one to revisit but not a bad one off watch, wasn't sure about 3 or 4 stars but decided to go high as I did enjoyed it overall.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 5 April 2011
I saw this Western on TV and this is what i call a film especially made for television by Larry Levinson, who is a prolific producer of the Western genre and on the whole he does a good job.
The storyline has been well documented by a previous critic and had it been produced really seriously would have
told a very real piece of the history of the railroad across the West(in a non documentary way), which did involve some really ugly characters and events, all in the name of progress.However, there was obviously a limited budget, which in the end made the film just an OK one, when with a just a bit more thought to the development of the characters and some of the action scenes(Some obvious tomato sauce in places), this film could have been in the genre of the remake of '3.10 to Yuma'.
Having said the above, it made interesting watching and Ernest Borgnine gave an excellent cameo role and some of the cinematography was of a high standard. The violence in the film i felt was just in the film to spice it up, rather than to portray the very real ugliness that did happen in the history of the rairoad.
It is a film i would not add to my considerable collection of the 'Western Genre'.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 11 July 2010
Aces & Eights is an action packed gritty western and very violent, though I suppose thats just a reflection of the times. I really enjoyed it, well written and the top notch cast of Casper Van Dein, Bruce Boxleitner and the great Ernest Borgnine make for a most enjoyable western.
on 24 August 2013
Aces & Eights looks great in the trailers you see on youtube, but in actual fact, it's not that great. Best performance here is from the late Ernest Borgnine who plays the stubborn old farmer determined to keep his ranch. The railroad company want to buy the land as the railroad is planned to go straight through his property. Casper Van Dien plays his part well, although I've never liked Bruce Boxleitner as a cowboy, and this movie is no different. And the title? What this story has to do with an historical hand of cards I will never know. For enthusiasts only.