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  1. Netflix "The Harder They Fall" 2 hours 15 minutes I finally got around to watching "The Harder They Fall" - Writer and Director Jeymes Samuel. A (completely) fictionalized tall tale of actual people who never met in real life - but in this stories universe; join forces and form alliances to wage battle one old west gang to another. First - the elephant in the room. My opinion. Unless the story is documenting actual events or turning actual events into legend (via creative story telling) ala Tombstone; I personally am not a big fan of using actual persons to tell a completely fictionalized story. Now while the film does, within the opening credits, stress that the story is fiction - it also adamantly informs us these people existed. But having done some reading on my own - I firmly believe the stories and lives of Rufus Buck, Nat Love and Bass Reeves stand on their own and provide for some incredible entertainment and to create a false narrative could diminish their real stories from being heard. That aside; the movie itself is an entertaining western action tale - combining an obvious affinity for Tarantino in everything from title cards and dialogue to explosive blood spurts. An affinity for Tarantino tho, does not make it a film of his caliber (see what I did there?) - The vistas , the camera work and the dialogue are close; but not quite up to the master they emulate. But since we do not get nearly enough western films; a junior varsity version of Quentin is far better than yet another superhero movie. Movie Goer Nit Picks: The movie at 2 hours and 15 minutes would have benefited from a little editing as there are moments that drag on longer than necessary. And the deletion of few "main" characters that never get a full fleshing out would have helped the story along as well. The movie does tend to waver throughout the movie; unsure if its an action flick, a drama, a musical (at times) or a comedic combination of all these - but I guess real life tends to wander lane to lane as well sometimes. Cowboy Nit Picks: There are a lot - A LOT of anachronisms in the film that casual (non cowboy) viewers will never pick up on - but lead us to shout at our TVs and spill our gummi bears. These are in addition to (once again Tarantinoesque) musical choices of using modern music in period pieces. But once I got past the fiction of using real people and the issues (that I will not spoil); I had a good time. Cowboy High Points: It's a western - a real rootin' tootin' shoot 'em up cowboy western. Multiple shootouts, explosions, blood sprays and lost limbs. A variety of firearms beyond the standard Colt SAA and 66 rifles. From hammered double shotguns to full size Smith & Wesson break actions to hideaway pocket pistols to a Lemat to a Winchester 1886 rifle to Remington pistols along with the expected collection of 73's {Colt and Winchester} - the main cast carries a variety of wildly embellished pistols from gold plated to two toned. While the film has been played up in media as an important "Black" cowboy movie - after viewing it; I think this was a mistake in marketing and allowing the outside media to create the narrative. Of course, the plot in some ways involves the use of race; but at its core - It is a COWBOY movie that happens to have a primarily black cast. Is it High Noon or Shane? No. But it is not intended to be. But it is fun cowboy adventure story of conflict, friendship, love, retribution and revenge. Pop some popcorn, pour yourself a Coke; fire up the NETFLIX and enjoy. I give it 3.5 cartridges out of 5.
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