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Cowboys and Aliens: Film discussion.

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posted on Aug, 26 2012 @ 01:40 PM
I watched Cowboys and Aliens last night.

Not a bad movie really, and a nice concept.

However, afterwards the premise left me somewhat uneasy.

It took an invasion by violent aliens to bring together outlaws, a racist and grumpy cattle baron and his useless jerk of a son (getting kidnapped by aliens was the best thing that ever happened to that boy), hunted and renegade Native Americans, and a good alien in a female's body who forms the love interest of the macho protagonist, but which might actually look like Boy George with tentacles in its true form.

To crown it all the good alien resurrects at the most embarrassing and inopportune moment, when it (she?) walks starkers out of a fire, like some Lady Godiva during a colonial altercation, which might have ended with much scalping without aliens.

In a roundabout way then the aliens are the "good guys" - they bring everyone together (except black people, who conspicuously don't feature in this version of the West).
Afterwards they all seem like better people.
The criminal is forgiven, and the nerdy bartender learnt how to shoot and not to take any crap.
The kid got to stab an alien.
The robber who got his tooth knocked out for no reason is happily sipping whiskey, and the guy who was needlessly tortured by the rancher is probably still being dragged across the prairie by a horse with no name.

The Apaches ... well, it's not explained.
I'm not sure there's a "happy ever after" ending for them.

Clearly aliens can bring people together. That seems to be a message.
Maybe the next installment could be set in the Middle East and titled: Settlers and Aliens.
When the alien arises as a naked woman from the flames they will all walk away disgusted.

That's a bit frivolous, but surely so is the film in any moral sense.
Will we unite under an alien invasion (as President Reagan once suggested), or are we too hopelessly divided already?
Or will such an encounter divide us further?
Are such films perhaps training us subconsciously to unite in collective pacifism in the face of a feigned alien invasion?

edit on 26-8-2012 by halfoldman because: (no reason given)

posted on Aug, 26 2012 @ 01:47 PM
While I personally thought that Cowboys and Aliens really sucked, you have a valid point.

Think about all the "Alien Threat" movies that show humanity coming together in order to fight off the invasion.
They are seeding the idea into our brains, they have been for years!

What do they know? Or maybe the question is what do they want us to believe?

edit on 26-8-2012 by tvtexan because: (no reason given)

posted on Aug, 26 2012 @ 01:49 PM

Originally posted by halfoldman
Are such films perhaps training us subconsciously to unite in collective pacifism in the face of a feigned alien invasion?

No. I think the makers of the movie are jumping on the bandwagon of sci-fi action which involves aliens invading us. I also think that maybe, just maybe there is an underlining message, which you touched on - Showing us that when something alien really does attack us that doesn't separate us by our inferior differences, we can unite as people, not brown, black, white, left wing, right wing people, just people - Humanity. Its a good message, if that is the message.

And i thought the movie was crap, lol. Watchable but only if you haven't seen it and don't have the option to watch Batman, of course.

posted on Aug, 26 2012 @ 02:06 PM
reply to post by halfoldman

LOL I bet you couldnt wait to post this since yesterday you were out of electricity

hahahha but still this is a very good review of C&A you should add it to the IMDB reviews youll probably make a great hit out of t
edit on 26-8-2012 by BacknTime because: (no reason given)

posted on Aug, 26 2012 @ 02:13 PM
Great posts!

I'd just wonder that if people have the opinion that the filmed "sucked" or was "crap" whether they could expand on that a little?

In what sense?
The landscape, the story (plot), the script, the lighting, the special effects, the moral context and so forth, in other words: "I think it sucked because ...".

For me firstly there are unresolved genocidal issues between people that's addressed and not resolved.
That's not unusual for the Western genre, where the action is over a brief period of time and characters meet and part from nowhere, or into nowhere.
However that's not quite how characters are developed here - some have a resolution (or new beginning) at the end and others not.
Their lot is simply ignored.

Similarly I saw a film recently called Purgatory which feature a single Native American whose role it is to look New Age, and schlep bad people to hell.
Seemingly even the afterlife reserves manual labor for non-whites.
edit on 26-8-2012 by halfoldman because: (no reason given)

posted on Aug, 26 2012 @ 02:21 PM
reply to post by BacknTime

Nope I couldn't
The electricity went dead at 08:00 in the morning, and when I woke up on Saturday evening it was back.
Not what I planned with dramatic non-electricity entertainment, but a good option nevertheless.

The movie had a lot of special effects, and it made me wonder about the power source of the armband.

The power of love actually made it fall off, which perhaps explains why it was on his other arm.

edit on 26-8-2012 by halfoldman because: (no reason given)

posted on Aug, 26 2012 @ 02:41 PM
reply to post by halfoldman

I find it funny that the extraterrestrials were portrayed as savage-looking, atavistic, subterraneous dwelling creatures with highly efficient technology.

WHY IS THAT? It's such a common theme for Hollywood to depict extraterrestrials with grotesque traits and features any human would abhor, yet they are SO technologically advance lol

Other than that, are you alluding to Ronald Reagan's quote, "Perhaps we need some outside, universal threat to make us realise this common bond"?

posted on Aug, 26 2012 @ 02:52 PM
reply to post by IEtherianSoul9

Excellent point.

Gets me thinking about a notion that alien bodies are just shells, or armor, and the actual alien intelligence behind the brawn is very tiny.

We have this repeated here too.
When the beastly alien body is very threatened or livid, a tiny pair of hands comes from the chest, which opens.

It's almost like an alien has merged into or colonized the bigger alien body, almost like a parasite.
There's an alien inside the alien, or or at least for me there was a suggestion that the smaller intelligence in the bigger alien had the brains.

In a movie metaphor sense that also goes for the humans.
Many had a badness inside that could be erased through the "blue light".

Perhaps the big aliens were ridden, like cowboys control and ride horses.
Or indeed, like the "good alien" controlled a female human body.
edit on 26-8-2012 by halfoldman because: (no reason given)

posted on Aug, 26 2012 @ 02:56 PM
Being an avid alien invasion movie fan I was excited for this movie. I am not a fan of cowboys in any scenario but when they added aliens I thought it would be good. Well I have tried to watch that movie a dozen times and I can never get through it. I always wind up falling asleep or losing interest.

I don't know why I couldn't get through it. I have heard mixed reviews about how people felt about the movie. Some people i know loved it and others disliked it.

posted on Aug, 26 2012 @ 05:00 PM
Did anyone understand the Hummingbird symbolism?

It is rather forced and unclear.

Only appearing during a trance quite late into the movie, it also appears at the end.

It kind of mirrors the bird-like alien crafts, but in a very organic, earthy way.

Is it a symbol for the woman who turned to dust, and a spiritual guide?

Is it like the dove that brought news of dry land to Noah?

Is it saying that being small does not mean being powerless?
edit on 26-8-2012 by halfoldman because: (no reason given)

posted on Aug, 26 2012 @ 06:44 PM
I saw the movie and I liked it. Aliens, cowboys, Indians. What's not to like?

posted on Aug, 26 2012 @ 07:07 PM
reply to post by sonofonehunlo

Fair enough to that.
A bit vague for a discussion, but well said.

posted on Aug, 26 2012 @ 09:17 PM
I can't believe you label yourself as "writer" and then say that was a decent movie.

It was atrocious in my opinion (as a writer), but I can't dissect it from my viewpoint since it has been many moons since the viewing. The most ridiculous aspect was--oh, god, there were several to chose from--was the alien love bab. You noticed it didn't last long in the theaters even after all of that hoopla?

posted on Aug, 26 2012 @ 09:31 PM
reply to post by Aliensun

I didn't label myself a "writer", that label on ATS was bestowed on me after my efforts in the writing forums.

I was very critical of the movie (to say the least), and nowhere said it was fantastic.

I do respect different viewpoints and tastes however, and another poster thought it was great entertainment.

I think it's possible to have a strong opinion without attacking the integrity of another person on aspects that are not relevant.

I didn't really know it existed until very recently, so no I don't know how it performed in cinemas, especially in other countries.

I'd just say for the genre it delivered reasonably well.
But there's so much crap and repeats that seeing a "new" film for a change was a treat enough in itself.

edit on 26-8-2012 by halfoldman because: (no reason given)

posted on Aug, 27 2012 @ 02:21 PM
reply to post by halfoldman

I was a background/extra in C&A. I thought it was typical Hollywood CGI entertainment, designed to appeal to
adolescents and young adults, make a return for the production company by selling millions of DVDs worldwide.

Here's a thought for all those that didn't like the film; criticism is oh so easy but...

Write your own screen play/script [I use]

If you think you can do something other than up and quit complaining about the sorry state of film and Hollywood. The indy world is vibrant, exciting, is making full use of digital technology and ready to embrace the bold, the innovative, the creative and you can make some serious coin if you click and sell your project.

Join me in the cruel, dog eat dog world of entertainment if you got the huevos.

edit on 27-8-2012 by olaru12 because: (no reason given)

posted on Aug, 28 2012 @ 10:33 AM
reply to post by olaru12

Thanks for that, and some of the career hints regarding screen-writing, and I hope some on ATS struggling with career choices can benefit from your advice.

This is the forum for film discussions however, and there's no proviso that one must be involved in the industry as a writer (rather than a valued consumer) to discuss films.
Without an audience I suppose the writers (three for this film alone) also have no value whatsoever.
(Although I guess some would argue that some studios are so powerful that an audience has no choice but to consume their films, but I wouldn't entirely agree.)
So screen-writers are not the only people with value in film.
Similarly one doesn't have to be an athlete to discuss sports, or a commercial musician to discus music and so forth.

The industry around film is very broad in any case, and nowadays it includes academic courses, where film is offered as a subject similar to the way literature is offered.
It is not limited to people who actually produce film.
Reading film is a part of a cultural discussion these days.

From a post-colonial reading I think this film is relevant, although some might consider it "low-brow" entertainment.
There's a huge discussion on how American films have repeated the red peril, the yellow peril and the Arab peril, especially in so-called "vacuous" action material (which can be read as propaganda).
There's also a focus on traditional white male heroics and gender issues.
In that sense the film is interesting, because it subverts but also repeats certain post-colonial tropes regarding race and gender.
There are also clear references to conspiracy theories and aliens.

However, if people don't actually want to discuss the film, or they are unable to do so apart from a one-liner, then that's also OK (although that applies more to some of the more insulting posts rather than your own, which did offer some useful advice).
edit on 28-8-2012 by halfoldman because: (no reason given)

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