Sunday, November 26, 2006

Peckinpah part II

The restored longer cut of Major Dundee isn't much better than the old butchered cut... and the new, less-crappy score isn't even that much less crappy.

It's ultimately a movie that starts amazingly, as good as anything Peckinpah ever did, and just falls apart in so many ways, it's almost amazing to watch just to see what a mess it becomes. I don't suppose I have many insights that a million folks haven't had before me.

The Osterman Weekend is strangely more satisfying simply by being a failure in the opposite direction, it starts out slow and dull and picks up more life as it goes along, so even though it certainly never achieves anything close to greatness, by the end the viewer is basically with it.

"Sam's First Cut" is interesting to see. Aside from the beginning and the end, I think his instincts were much better. The beginning and the end try too hard to make the story make less sense. The bonus materials discuss somewhat that Peckinpah apparently looked down on the material and wanted to make it into a completely senseless mind fuck. In the context of the script that was shot, I can't say it works. It doesn't make good sense, but the events themselves make a familiar movie spy thriller kind of sense and placing them out of order doesn't make them senseless, it just makes them less satisfying emotionally. Apparently, Peckinpah wrote a script that was ultimately rejected. I suspect a person could have done something really interesting by stripping the sense away completely from the start.

And I mention Junior Bonner now only because I hadn't before. I only recently noticed that there is a commentary on the new version of the DVD. It's a beautiful, nearly perfect, movie and an insightful commentary.

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