Customer Review

37 of 39 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An elegant and elegiac epic, 15 Nov. 2005
This review is from: The Alamo [DVD] (DVD)
2004's The Alamo is one of the most undeserved flops of recent years (and possibly inflation-adjusted as big a disaster as Heaven's Gate). Bad timing may account or some of it, as America's image went from besieged victims to bloody aggressors (certainly it was barely even released outside the US), but the film's sombre, mournful tone is probably more to blame - beginning with the dead bodies of the defeated defenders, there's a sadness and inevitability to the film that's the complete antithesis of the feelgood destruction-and-revenge of Pearl Harbor. Even Carter Burwell's haunting low-key score is more a lament than the broad action scoring you might expect. The script is well crafted, the characterisation surprisingly strong and the comparative absence of cgi pays dividends with a level of verisimilitude that's been lacking from most recent epics.
It also benefits from an extraordinary performance from Billy Bob Thornton as Davey ("He prefers David") Crockett, a crowd-pleaser faced with having to live up to his own legend, and blessed with the film's best dialogue and it's best scene as he silences the Mexican guns with his fiddle. Thornton owns the film in a way I haven't seen from any actor for a long, long time. He's definitely the heart and soul of the movie.
Thankfully, it's not quite a one-man show. Patrick Wilson does surprisingly well as Travis, Jason Patric's tediously one-note surliness is for once put to effective use as Bowie and the supporting cast is filled with great faces, all caught wonderfully by Dean Semler's superb cinematography. Only Dennis Quaid fares less well as Houston, failing to make much of his admittedly limited opportunities.
True it falters somewhat after the fall of the Alamo, but it's still an impressive, intelligent and sometimes quietly moving epic that didn't deserve its fate at the box-office.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No

[Add comment]
Post a comment
To insert a product link use the format: [[ASIN:ASIN product-title]] (What's this?)
Amazon will display this name with all your submissions, including reviews and discussion posts. (Learn more)
Name:
Badge:
This badge will be assigned to you and will appear along with your name.
There was an error. Please try again.
Please see the full guidelines ">here.

Official Comment

As a representative of this product you can post one Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
The following name and badge will be shown with this comment:
 (edit name)
After clicking on the Post button you will be asked to create your public name, which will be shown with all your contributions.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.  Learn more
Otherwise, you can still post a regular comment on this review.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
 
System timed out

We were unable to verify whether you represent the product. Please try again later, or retry now. Otherwise you can post a regular comment.

Since you previously posted an Official Comment, this comment will appear in the comment section below. You also have the option to edit your Official Comment.   Learn more
The maximum number of Official Comments have been posted. This comment will appear in the comment section below.   Learn more
Prompts for sign-in
 

Comments


Sort: Oldest first | Newest first
Showing 1-1 of 1 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 17 Jun 2011 19:31:08 BDT
Last edited by the author on 17 Jun 2011 19:32:15 BDT
An excellent and erudite interview Mr Willsmer! Couldn't have put it better myself. The whole visual experience is supported by Carter Burwell's musical score. I found the film very moving from beginning to end. Why US audiences shunned it is still a mystery to me; the explanation of it being a victim of the signs of the times probably explains it, or perhaps they just can't deal with the concept of fallible heroes. It'll probably (rightly) be viewed as a classic piece of cinema in about thirty years! Utterly superior to the 1960 John Wayne glossy job.
‹ Previous 1 Next ›

Review Details

Item

Reviewer

Trevor Willsmer
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 100 REVIEWER)   

Location: London, England

Top Reviewer Ranking: 87