Worth A Look: 14.2%
Just Average: 4.32%
Pretty Crappy: 1.23%
2 reviews, 150 user ratings
|Good, the Bad, and the Ugly, The
by Chef ADogg
But this is not a Western.I mean, it is, technically--but in spirit? This, in the words of 2Pac Shakur, "ain't nothin' but a gangsta party." It's a masterful blend of elegant history lesson AND pure, emphatic loogie.
"Westerns are for old men."
Hocked upon the unsuspecting world by Sergio Leone, seemingly filmed in nothing but varying shades of red, and bringing together a mind boggling array of disparate plot threads, this movie is all about satisfaction.
The feeling one gets from this movie, the raw coldcock Leone was legendary for delivering, is heightened by the fact that this is the third in a series--not only does it work and build on its predecessors, it all but eliminates memories of their greatness.
Lesser films have a habit of dissipitating in the face of "The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly."
Now, hey, I'm not one to fawn (Exception: Spike Lee or early Scorsese...I am simply helpless when it comes to whizzy pretension, and I won't even deny it), but this film (and the rest of Leone's body of work, for that matter) works best on the level of critical piss extractor.
I really can say nothing bad. Perfection.
This and "Once Upon a Time in the West" are the first Westerns that ever really did it for me--they WORK, like the best movies do. Most directors seem content to let each shot build on the last, culminating in a minor climax.
"The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly" goes for the eye rolling super-orgasm, sweat oozing from every frame. How does it hit the cinematic G spot so forcefully?
Simple--let each scene play out, slowly and artfully. If you have an attention span, you WILL be rewarded. This is the kind of movie you need to stick around for, pay attention to. Don't move--don't go to refill your cup with premium ale, do not pause to light another blunt, and, unless your bladder is ready to bust its bolts in a frenzied blast of urine, do not get up to piss.
Just relax. Calm down. Enjoy true pop art.
The best thing about Leone is that he doesn't go for the simple payoff--he keeps the revelations coming at a steady clip, but always saves just a knick here and a knack there up his sleeve. Even in the end, everything is not exactly clear--you feel dazed, light headed.
The feeling is so much more pure than that which you get from most movies. Most of it adds up, but there's a little bit of ambiguity to keep your soul movin' to the groove these cats are bustin'.
The whole plot summary deal doesn't work so well for this movie, since the film's success is based upon vibe and delivery. Here's a touch: Three enemies have to find a way to fuck each other over while maintaining a front of working together in search of some gold. Sounds simple, right?
Well, yeah, but Civil War overtones and an all around shades-of-gray emotional approach keep the madness popping and save this from being just an above average oater.
That, and the attitude. None of the characters give a fuck for anything but the moolah, and there's no pretense of morals or integrity. That's why I like this movie best--honor, the old fashioned sense, is not really something I can relate to or even look up to.
There's no honor in real life. Westerns like to pretend there is.But, y'know, this is not like most Westerns.
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originally posted: 10/18/99 00:50:47