Thursday, May 31, 2012

The Return of the Western

                   For years it seemed as though the western was slowly dying out, maybe getting one to premier in theaters once a year, if we're lucky.  It wasn't until about two years ago when the western became popular again with the release of the remake True Grit (2010).  The movie grossed over 170 million dollars domestically, the second highest grossing western behind Dances with Wolves (1990).  There haven't been to many memorable westerns in the last twenty years besides a select few such as Tombstone (1993), Open Range (2002), and the remake to 3:10 to Yuma (2007).  To many, the western is the last romantic period, its the American version of Shakespeare if you will. 
                  The 1800's were a time of simplicity, but as simple as some might think it was probably one of the hardest centuries to live through.  Law was scarce in some areas of the new nation, giving many the freedom to kill and take as they please.  It wasn't all about the unlawful though, it was also a time when the word family and love meant more then it does now.  Blood was thicker than water and family was always there for you when they were needed.  Today we as a whole seem to have lost some sense of this, and its something that I'm reminded of after watching a truly great western.
                 This past Monday was the premier of, in my opinion, one of the greatest mini-series to air on television.  Hatfields and McCoys was a three night event that aired on the History channel, the series broke records in most watched non-sport show on basic cable with an average of 14 million  viewers a night.  The show is based on the true story of the two families who feuded for more than 20 years.  A total of thirteen family members died before the feud ended and went down in western folklore as a metaphor for any bitterly rivaling parties.  Kevin Costner and Bill Paxton play the patriarchs of the bitter families.  The miniseries will be released on dvd and blue-ray in July of this year if anyone has missed it.  Below I is a preview of the mini-series.

                I do believe that the western has come back to stay for awhile, and hopefully we get to see more epic stories told that will show us that simpler time when cowboys roamed the countryside and family was more than just a word. 

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