• Member Since 2nd Jul, 2012
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Avenging-Hobbits


A nerd who thought it would be cool to, with the help of a few equally insane buddies adapt the entire Marvel Universe (with some DC Comics thrown in for kicks) with My Little Pony...wish me luck

More Blog Posts1733

  • 10 weeks
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    I arise from the grave exclusively to say that the 2021 MLP movie was lit. I’m hyped for G5

    1 comments · 63 views
  • 54 weeks
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    I know it probably looks weird, considering my inactivity, but I figured I'd at least try to motivate myself into writing again by sprinkling in commission work. Also, I'm in a bit of a money pit, and will be moving relatively soon, so I figured I should try to supplement my income.

    There's gold in them thar smut, after all.

    Read More

    0 comments · 308 views
  • 126 weeks
    Area Man Not Dead, Just a Lazy Bastard

    Okay, I feel I should say that no, I am in fact, not dead.

    Sorry to disappointed.

    Life has been busy, chaotic, and generally messy, but the good news is that since MLP is about to enter its final series of episodes, I figure I should just sit it out, and let the series end, before beginning my attempts to reboot any of my projects.

    Read More

    4 comments · 583 views
  • 232 weeks
    Perhaps I should undergo a reincarnation

    Its been tugging at me, but I've been seriously considering of reinventing my account.

    Basically, I'd create a new account, and then focus on that revised version of Harmony's Warriors I mentioned in my last blog post, and post it to that new account.

    Read More

    7 comments · 1,373 views
  • 241 weeks
    Rumors of my demise have been greatly exaggerated.

    First things first, I'm not dead.

    I've just been working on other things, and generally trying to collect my thoughts regarding Harmony's Warriors, since I've hit a horrific dry-spell.

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    Read More

    9 comments · 1,107 views
Nov
6th
2015

Review: The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (1962) · 5:17am Nov 6th, 2015

John Ford's penultimate Western serves as a dark deconstruction of the mythology of the Old West, and a mediation on how the difference between fact and myth is often a thin, blurry line, easily lost to the mists of time.

Ford's direction isn't flashy, nor is attention grabbing, but it is absolutely perfect for this film. Obviously an expert on directing the most American of film genres, Ford doesn't need to wow us with technical wizardry or fancy camera work. Instead, he directs the film in a manner that gives the story room to go at its own pace, and give his actors the space to flex and interact in a near seamless way. His camera is aloof, presenting the imagery matter-of-factly, which means the film doesn't feel pretentious or overblown, or too cynical. In fact, while the story itself is told in a novel way (a memory told by James Stewart's character more then 30 years after the events of the film), Ford makes sure the audience knows exactly what's happening, and even injects well done comic relief in the form of Edmund O'Brien's boozing newspaper man.

Speaking of the acting, as always James Stewart is stellar. Yes, at times the then-53 year old actor might be hard to buy as a young lawyer who just arrived in the West, but Stewart plays the part with such conviction, sincerely and honesty that you allow the suspension of disbelief. His interactions with a swaggering John Wayne are all excellent, and while Wayne is obviously a presence in this film, the story's focus is firmly on Stewart.

John Wayne however, doesn't skimp out either. In many ways, he plays a deconstruction of his standard tough guy, who insists that pacifistic Stewart get a gun and become a tough guy like him. Here, the film doesn't demonize Wayne, but it becomes evident as the story progresses, and the days of the Wild West fade into the beginnings of the modern age, that Wayne's character is truly the last of his unique, always badass yet amiable cowboys. Those lone riders who, while atop a horse with a gun on their hip, carved their own identity out of the raw land of the American West. And while the values of individualism still ring true in the more civilized, populist America that Stewart's lawyer represents, the roughness and impulsiveness that defined the West can't function any more.

Lee Marvin provides an interesting and magnetic contrast to Wayne's character as the titular Liberty Valance, a wild, brutal psychopath who robs, murders and acts as a hired gun for the faceless Cattle Barons, who object to the territory that our heroes call home becoming a proper state. While both Wayne and Marvin's characters live by the gun, Wayne still has a heart and a protective impulse towards the innocent. Marvin meanwhile, gleefully and sadistically uses his freedom as an excuse to strike fear and cause suffering. And Marvin does it brilliantly. As cool as ever, yet with a menacing edge, Marvin lights up every scene he's in.

Veteran character actors Edmund O'Brien and Andy Devine both turn in memorable performances as the town newspaper man and hapless town marshall. O'Brien especially steals the show in almost every scene, giving his broad comic character a likability and humanity rarely seen these days.

Vera Miles is strong yet womanly as the object of Wayne's affections, who eventually falls for Stewart's wholesome all american. Never a damsel, yet avoiding the over done, emotionless "Strong Female Character". Where's a modern film would have tried to strip her of her womanhood, here, her strength comes from that womanhood, and it means she feels like a real person.

Special shout out to John Carradine as the beautifully hammy orator who speaks on behalf of the cattle barons, doing what Carradine did best: taking every piece of scenery, and chewing it for all its worth.

So suffice to say, the film was great. Great acting, a story that makes you think, and a fitting way for Ford to, more or less, say goodbye to the genre he helped define.

5 out of 5.

(Note: Ford went on to direct a segment of How the West Was Won, along with one final Western, Cheyenne Autumn. But it seems, that by all accounts, this was his last opus.)

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