Caught the early show with my Lovely Wife and I was gritting my teeth (in fear) as we went in. We sat down, watched a ton of commercials aimed at kids (my wife kept asking "What the Heck? Are we in Toy Story?") and the film finally started. We watched it. I neither screamed at the screen nor threw things in disgust.
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The short and sweet? Lovely Wife enjoyed it and wants to see it again. Me? I give it a 6 out of 10 and will probably see it twice more. If you want more details and spoilers, you can check below my favorite picture of Jonah Hex below. It will be safe to read again after the second picture.
* The opening of the film had a nice style with the animation. Wife noted that it was the only way they could present the branding of Hex's face in a PG-13 film.
* The scene with the Gatling guns on the horse actually worked for me. That entire scene and the train explosion scene (as seen in the pre-released clips) were a cinematically beautiful. As a matter of fact the bulk of the film looked really really good. The colors were outstanding and we were treated to some nice vistas and mood pieces.
* The character of Burke was an enjoyable one. Wife asked if the actor was actually Irish. Accent FTW!
* The whole speaking to the dead? To me it seemed as if it were thrown in to save time. Being able to talk to the dead who see everything is a lot quicker that doing actual tracking or searching down facts. There was another twist or two thrown in along with it that made it interesting, but not enough to convince me that it had to be in there. Wife enjoyed it and thought it gave the film a nice quirkiness.
* Megan Fox as Lilah? Was she in the film? I didn't notice. (I'm being sarcastic.) Her performance was standard.
* I think the film suffered from the short running time. It had interesting characters that we didn't get to know very well and I wanted to see more of Lt. Grass, more of Burke. During my interview with the cast, there was some interesting aspects to the characters that we were not even allowed to get a hint of and I think the film was less for the exclusion. I wonder if the cuts were to get it down to a PG-13? Jonah Hex is definitely an R rating character.
* There were some rather abrupt cuts. The love scene between Hex and Lilah, Hex leaving the fort with the aid of his horse, Hex recovering with the aid of the Indians to the scene of him riding his horse. All of these left me thinking "Wow, they cut something there."
* The dog, the crows, the horse. All of these were nice touches that I think did add to the film.
* At times it was difficult to understand Brolin but I don't fault him for that. It must have been hell working with that makeup.
* The weird freak in the fighting ring seemed to be something leftover from a prior shoot to the film. It wasn't explained very well and left Wife scratching her head.
* Now some detail stuff, the relationship between Hex and Turnbull was pretty much turned on its head from the comics. I asked Wife to explain it and she got the movie version 99% correct. Now for a little bit of a rant, I have read more than one review where the reviewer got facts of the movie wrong such as saying that Hex killed Turnbull's brother among other things. That makes me wonder if reviewers are actually watching the damn film? I believe that this film is getting a short end of the stick. Way too often, reviewers want to be 'hip' and 'current' and rather than actually talking about the film, they toss in quick insults about the actors or flippant political remarks (I have seen more than one review making negative comments about the Tea Party movement (Jonah Hex and Prince of Persia come to mind)) So rather than giving an actual review, they pile on Megan Fox, the short run time, and on and on.
* "This country could use a sheriff." Someone actually thought that was a good line? Sheesh.
* Having read the original script and knowing the ending (a fistfight on a field of red clay), I recognized it when it was intermingled throughout the film. It made me think that they shot a lot of the original script and went back for a rewrite and a new ending but realized how well staged and photographed the original ending was and decided to keep it. They did weave it into the film and Wife, not knowing of the original script, thought the whole effect was unique and enjoyed it.
* Watching it at a 10:30 am showing there were about a dozen people in the theater and I noticed four folks leave and not come back. Hmmm, that doesn't bode well. You can't even suffer through a 80 minute film?
* There was actually more sex in the trailer than in the film. Again, hmmmmm.
* When will folks realize that when we see a reflection of someone with a scar on their face, the scar should be on the opposite side of their face?
As I said above, I would give it 6 of 10 stars. I would put it in the middle of the pack regarding comic book movies, better than either Hulk or Men in Black and I might even place it above all of the first boot of Batman movies. Just wish it had been longer. The more I think of it, the more likely that I will be talking more about this film. Please bear with me.
Lovely Wife places it slightly above X-Men, way above Daredevil, a whole heck of a lot better than the first Hulk, much better than Batman Returns and Batman and Robin. She actually said if Jonah Hex had been given more time it would have been just below Spider-Man