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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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2 hours ago, Creeker, SASS #43022 said:

If you found this review of any value - let me know.

I have a few other recent western films to review as well if there is any interest.

Oh, we'll let you know.   :ph34r:

 

I'm actually still on the fence with this movie. I like most of the actors, but I'm just a bit social preached out and haven't decided to watch this yet.

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32 minutes ago, Hendo said:

Oh, we'll let you know.   :ph34r:

 

I'm actually still on the fence with this movie. I like most of the actors, but I'm just a bit social preached out and haven't decided to watch this yet.

Its a cool yarn with cowboy guns. 

I did not find it socially preaching at all.

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22 minutes ago, Creeker, SASS #43022 said:

Its a cool yarn with cowboy guns. 

I did not find it socially preaching at all.

I got some downtime tomorrow, the dog and I will hang on the couch and give it a chance.

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Good review.  I watched it twice already.  I'm aligned with your rating. Not horrible, good action.  There are many worse Netflix westerns I’ve turned off because the acting was just painful to watch.

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Okay. I just finished it. 

I'll somewhat go along with the review, but maybe not rate it as high.

It really fits more into the Blaxploitation style more than a wannabe Tarantino film. 

I'm still on the fence. It plainly states that the story is fictional. It also points out that These. People. Existed. Are we to take that to mean that the writers just looked up a list of black cowboys, pulled the names and wrote a random story? Or merely that black folk existed in general? 

I don't see why the need to take the names they did and use them in this story. Bill Pickett's influence in western culture is still very much a part of our life today, but he was a bit player in this flick and I think people will be mighty confused if they look him up. (Just for an example.)

 

The action was good, the editing could have tightened things up a bit more. The Samuel Jackson script writing could've been dialed back, but all in all, not bad.

 

 

 

See? I got through all of that without screaming about empty shells hitting the floor in the train scene or Maysville (a white town).

:ph34r:

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I just finished watching watching it .

Didn't like the Music. Thought some of the dialog could of been better.

Some of the Saddles didn't fit the Period. 

Do i need to say, anything about the Gold Platted Revolvers.

I would give it a 4.

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2 hours ago, Hendo said:

Okay. I just finished it. 

I'll somewhat go along with the review, but maybe not rate it as high.

It really fits more into the Blaxploitation style more than a wannabe Tarantino film. 

I'm still on the fence. It plainly states that the story is fictional. It also points out that These. People. Existed. Are we to take that to mean that the writers just looked up a list of black cowboys, pulled the names and wrote a random story? Or merely that black folk existed in general? 

I don't see why the need to take the names they did and use them in this story. Bill Pickett's influence in western culture is still very much a part of our life today, but he was a bit player in this flick and I think people will be mighty confused if they look him up. (Just for an example.)

 

The action was good, the editing could have tightened things up a bit more. The Samuel Jackson script writing could've been dialed back, but all in all, not bad.

 

 

 

See? I got through all of that without screaming about empty shells hitting the floor in the train scene or Maysville (a white town).

:ph34r:

The only upside to the use of real names is MAYBE some will look these folks up and realize the old west was filled with diverse faces and fantastic stories. 

Some like the tales of Bass Reeves life that would put most westerns to shame.

 

I agree the Maysville town was ham fisted but I laughed.

And the train scene is one where my gummi bears were in mortal danger of flying across the room.

 

It is a popcorn flick and I have watched much worse. 

Eternals anyone?

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1 hour ago, Creeker, SASS #43022 said:

The only upside to the use of real names is MAYBE some will look these folks up and realize the old west was filled with diverse faces and fantastic stories. 

Some like the tales of Bass Reeves life that would put most westerns to shame.

 

I agree the Maysville town was ham fisted but I laughed.

And the train scene is one where my gummi bears were in mortal danger of flying across the room.

 

It is a popcorn flick and I have watched much worse. 

Eternals anyone?

I would hope it sparks an interest in history and not create a slant towards revisionism. 

And yeah, I laughed at Maysville, too.

 

You ever seen a movie that was so bad that you actually fondly remember it?

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1 hour ago, Creeker, SASS #43022 said:

And the train scene is one where my gummi bears were in mortal danger of flying across the room.

You mean to tell me that SAA revolvers don't drop ejected shells onto the floor like Glocks, or Sigs or Berettas.  Who knew? 

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1 hour ago, Capt. R. Hugh Kidnme said:

You mean to tell me that SAA revolvers don't drop ejected shells onto the floor like Glocks, or Sigs or Berettas.  Who knew? 

Really fast cylinder clearing?

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20 minutes ago, Michigan Slim said:

I'm out! Rap.... No! 

Go into it with an open mind.

It is not classic western and as such is not classically scored.

But the music is not the main draw of a film and should not cause a knee jerk yay or nay reaction.

And the score - I think some have an ill informed idea of what rap actually sounds like.

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On 11/12/2021 at 6:05 AM, Badlands Bob #61228 said:

I'm sorry but rap music doesn't belong in a Western.  Maybe I turned it off before it got good, but I wasn't impressed with the first 5 minutes.  

This, for me. Couldn't get through it.

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