Showing posts with label western. Show all posts
Showing posts with label western. Show all posts

Saturday, October 12, 2019

Blu-ray Review - Fort Yuma Gold & Damned Hot Day of Fire (Western Double Feature)

*This is a sponsored review. All opinions are 100% mine.

Mill Creek Entertainment; Amazon
I need to kick my own butt into gear as I have several books and DVDs/Blu-rays piled up on my desk that need to reviewed, such as the Western Double Feature Blu-ray which was sent to me by Mill Creek Entertainment way back in the spring. The two movies on the single-disc Blu-ray (Not Rated; 3 hrs 21 mins; $14.98) are Fort Yuma Gold and Damned Hot Day of Fire. These are films are two of Quentin Tarantino's favorite spaghetti westerns. There are no special features or bonus extras. 

Fort Yuma Gold (also known as For a Few Extra Dollars) was originally released in 1966. It's technically the second installment in a trilogy that started with One Silver Dollar and ended with Wanted. Directed by Calvin J. Padget, the film stars Montgomery Wood (a.k.a. Giuliano Gemma) as Gary Diamond, a captured Confederate solider who agrees to lead  Union soldiers against Major Sanders, a leader of Southern followers who want to attack Fort Yuma. The cast also includes Dan Vadis, Jacques Sernas, and Sophie Daumier. The film's score is by Ennio Morricone and Gianni Ferrio.

Damned Hot Day of Fire (also known as Machine Gun Killers and Gatling Gun) was originally released in 1968. Directed by Paolo Bianchini, the film stars Robert Woods as Chris Tanner, a Union Captain who must clear his name after bandits kidnap the Gatling gun inventor, Richard Gatling, for a million dollar ransom. To make things worse, the bandits also stole Gatling's new gun with the intention of selling it to the Confederates. The movie also stars John Ireland and Evelyn Stewart. The film's score is by Perio Piccioni.

Final Thoughts

Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Blu-ray Review: Lonesome Dove Steelbook

*This is a sponsored review. All opinions are 100% mine.

Mill Creek Entertainment; Amazon
I know for a fact there are many fans of Larry McMurtry's novels, especially the Lonesome Dove series. For those of you don't already know, the 1989 miniseries adaptation of Lonesome Dove was recently released on a Blu-ray Steelbook (Not Rated; 6 hrs 13 mins; $34.98) from Mill Creek Entertainment. Additionally, it comes with a movieSPREE digital code.

Directed by Simon Wincer, the miniseries featured a star-studded cast including Robert Duvall, Tommy Lee Jones, Diane Lane, Danny Glover, Anjelica Huston, Robert Urich, Steve Buscemi, D.B. Sweeney, Rick Schroder, and Chris Cooper.

Told in four parts, Lonesome Dove centers around two former Texas Rangers and lifelong friends, Gus McCrae and Woodrow Call (played by Robert Duvall and Tommy Lee Jones), going on one last adventure together - a cattle drive from Texas to Montana.

Bonus Features include:
  • The Making of an Epic
  • Cast Interviews
  • Original Sketches and Concept Drawings
  • On Location with Director Simon Wincer
  • Interview with Pulitzer Prize-Winning Author Larry McMurtry

Final Thoughts

Friday, May 3, 2019

DVD Review: Outlaws & Con Men: 4 Movie Collection

Mill Creek Entertainment; Amazon

Here's a little fact about me: I'm a big of fan of Italian spaghetti westerns, especially the Man with No Name Trilogy starting Clint Eastwood, as well as The Call Me Trinity and Trinity Is Still My Name starring Terence Hill and Bud Spencer.

Over the past month, I've been watching the Outlaws & Con Men: 4 Movie Collection ($9.98; 5 hours 46 minutes), which was recently released on DVD + Digital by Mill Creek Entertainment. There are no special features or bonus extras on the DVD. The digital code can only be redeemed and streamed on the Mill Creek Entertainment's website.

The movies on the one-disc set include:
  • Sting of the West (1974; PG; 92 minutes) - Directed by Enzo G. Castellari, the plot involves a young man named Tedeum (played by Giancarlo Prete) trying to sell the ownership of mine that he just inherited. A lot of things occur, and he eventually teams up with con man Buck Santini (played by Jack Palance) and two con ladies, Betty and Wendy (played by Mabel Karin and Francesca Romana Coluzzi), as they try to outrun the villainous Mr. Grant (played by Eduardo Fajardo). The film also goes by the title Tedeum.

  • Bad Man's River (1971; PG; 87 minutes) - Directed by Eugenio Martín, the film centers around Roy (played by Lee Van Cleef), a leader of a band of outlaws who get suckered into destroying an arsenal owned by the Mexican Army; only to be setup by his ex-wife (played by Gina Lollobrigida). Roy and his pals must plan an elaborate scheme to outsmart the Mexican Army and steal a million dollars. The film also goes by the title El hombre de Río Malo.

  • Django's Cut Price Corpses (1971; Not Rated; 84 minutes) - Directed by Luigi Batzella, the film stars Jeff Cameron as the bounty hunter Django, who heads into Mexico to rescue his fiance who has been kidnapped the Cortez brothers. The film also goes by the title A Pistol for Django.

  • Django Shoots First (1966; Not Rated; 82 minutes) - Directed by Alberto De Martino, the film centers around Django (a.k.a. Ringo, played by Glen Saxon), a bounty hunter who kills the bounty hunter who'd killed his father. Confused yet? Instead of burying his father, Django collects the bounty on his father's deceased body. After learning his father was framed by a former business partner, Django goes on a quest to avenge his father's death and clam his rightful inheritance. The film also goes the title He Who Shoots First!.

Final Thoughts

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

DVD Review: The Roy Rogers: Happy Trails Collection

Mill Creek Entertainment; Amazon
At one point in my life, I would never take the time out to watch westerns from the 1940s and 1950s. Yes, that means I'm not a John Wayne fan; I'm more of a Clint Eastwood fan, which would explain why I own every season of Rawhide on DVD. Besides from John Wayne and Clint Eastwood, one of the biggest (or more recognizable) star of the western genre was Roy Rogers. Yep, the King of Cowboys, who appeared in over 100 movies and starred in his own television series from 1951 to 1957.

Why am I talking about Roy Rogers?

Well, over the last few nights I have been watching The Roy Rogers: Happy Trails Collection DVD Set ($19.98; Not Rated; 21 hrs 2 mins) that was recently released by Mill Creek Entertainment. It's basically a re-release of the Timeless Media DVD set that was released in 2010, but with a new artwork on the DVD jacket.

This release features 20 films from the "Happy Trails Theater" which aired on TNN in the late 1980s and was hosted by Roy Rogers and his wife Dale Cooper. There would be a short segment at the beginning (sometimes with a special guest), followed by a feature film, and then there would be a wrap up segment at the very ending. A few of the western guest stars included Gene Autry, Iron Eyes Cody, Pat Brady, Ruth Terry, Roy "Dusty" Rogers Jr., and Pat Butram. The original running time for the films were shorten to fit within the 90-minute television spot with commercials! All the of the movies on the four-disc set are the edited versions, except for Cowboy and the Senorita, which doesn't have the "Happy Trails Theater" segments.

The film titles are:
  • Sons of the Pioneers (1942; 62 minutes)
  • Trigger, Jr. (1950; 64 minutes)
  • Pals Of The Golden West (1951; 63 minutes)
  • Young Bill Hickok (1940; 62 minutes)
  • Don't Fence Me In (1945; 61 minutes)
  • Down Dakota Way (1949; 62 minutes)
  • The Golden Stallion (1949; 63 minutes)
  • Man From Oklahoma (1945; 62 minutes)
  • Rainbow Over Texas (1946; 62 minutes)
  • Trail of Robin Hood (1950; 64 minutes)
  • Sunset in El Dorado (1945; 63 minutes)
  • North of the Great Divide (1950; 64 minutes)
  • Bells of Coronado (1950; 63 minutes)
  • South of Caliente (1951; 63 minutes) 
  • In Old Amarillo (1951; 64 minutes)
  • Along The Navajo Trail (1945; 61 minutes)
  • Twilight in the Sierras (1950; 64 minutes)
  • Susanna Pass (1949; 63 minutes)
  • Spoilers of The Plains (1951; 62 minutes)
  • Cowboy and the Senorita (1944; 77 minutes)

Bonus Features include:
  • Roy Rogers Biography
  • "Sidekicks" starring Gabby Hayes, Pat Brady, Pinkie Lee & more!
  • Tour of the Roy Rogers Museum hosted by Roy "Dusty" Rogers Jr. 

Final Thoughts

Saturday, February 9, 2019

DVD Review: Lonesome Dove

Thanks to an ice storm, I had nothing better to do in last two days than to watch the miniseries Lonesome Dove (6 hours 13 minutes; $14.98), which will be re-released on a 2-disc DVD from Mill Creek Entertainment on February 19th.

The 1989 miniseries is based on the novel of the same name by Larry McMurtry, which was inspired by failed movie script McMurtry had co-wrote with Peter Bogdanovich that originally attended to star John Wayne, Henry Fonda, and James Stewart. Of course the "film version" never occurred resulting in McMurtry writing the novel, which was published in 1985. William D. Wittliff adapted the book for television with Simon Wincer in the director's chair.

The miniseries' cast includes Robert Duvall, Tommy Lee Jones, Diane Lane, Danny Glover, Robert Urich, Diane Lane, Anjelica Houston, Steve Buscemi, Tim Scott, D.B. Sweeney, Rick Schroder, Chris Cooper, and Frederic Forrest.

Lonesome Dove centers around two former Texas Rangers, Gus McCrae and Woodrow Call (played by Duvall and Lee), leading a cattle drive from Lonesome Dove, Texas to Montana. Along for the ride with them is Jake Spoon (played by Urich), an ex-Texas Ranger; Lorena Wood (played by Lane), a prostitute trying to escape to a better life; Joshua Deets (played by Glover), a former Texas Ranger scout; Pea Eye Parker (played by Scott), another ex-Texas Ranger; Newt Dobbs (played by Schroder), Call's illegitimate son; and Dishwater Boggett (played by Sweeney), the ramrod of the trail herd.

Final Thoughts

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

DVD Review - Buffalo Girls

Mill Creek Entertainment * Amazon

Do remember when CBS cranked out one Larry McMurtry miniseries after another?

While I do recall the Lonesome Dove miniseries and its sequels/prequels, I have never seen any of them. And I have never read any of the books they are adapted from. The only Larry McMurtry novels I have ever read are the four books in The Berrybender Narratives.

Mill Creek Entertainment recently released Buffalo Girls (NR; 182 minutes; $14.98) to DVD + Digital, which is a 1995 two-part miniseries based on the 1990 novel of the same name by Larry McMurtry. Directed by Rod Hardy, the miniseries starred Anjelica Houston, Melanie Griffith, Sam Elliott, Gabriel Byrne, and Reba McEntire.

Buffalo Girls is the fictionalized story based on the real-life Calamity Jane (played by Anjelica Houston), a woman who dressed, talked, and acted liked a cowboy. She's most famous for being "linked" to Wild Bill Hickok (played by Sam Elliott in the miniseries). In McMurtry's version, Calamity gave birth to a daughter after Hickok was murdered and later gave the child to a British couple.

Part One of the miniseries centers around Calamity, who regrets giving up her daughter, and Dora DuFran (played by Melanie Griffith), a madam of a brothel/hotel in Deadwood, who has an on-again off-again relationship with Ted Blue (played by Gabriel Byrne). Part Two mostly centers around Calamity joining  Buffalo Bill's Wild West show, which takes her, along with her friends Bartle Bone (played by Jack Palance) and Jim Ragg (played by Tracey Walter), to England, where she gets to visit her young daughter.

Final Thoughts

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Popcorn & Coffee: Zane Grey's Western Union DVD Review

Fox Home Entertainment; Not Rated; 95 minutes; Amazon
When it comes to the western genre, Zane Grey is the biggest name out there. Born Pearl Zane Grey in 1872, he started out as a dentist before writing his first novel Betty Zane (published in 1903). He published over 90 western titles (more if you count all the reprints and re-titled novels). 112 films have been adapted from his novels and works.

Now available on DVD from Twentieth Century Cinema Archives is the 1941 Zane Grey's Western Union. Directed by Fritz Lang, the film stars Robert Young, Randolph Scott, Dean Jagger, Virginia Gilmore, John Carradine, Slim Summerville, Chill Wills, and Barton MacLane. There are no special features or bonus extras on the single-disc.

Based on the 1939 novel of the same name, Zane Grey's Western Union centers on Edward Creighton (played by Dean Jagger), a Western Union engineer who is injured while surveying a telegraph line. This is where he first meets the outlaw Vance Shaw (played by Randolph Scott), who attempts to steel his horse. However, Vance isn't exactly the bad guy that he portrays, so eventually helps Edward.

After recovering from his injuries, Edward returns to Omaha, Nebraska, where he develops a plan to construct a telegraph line from Omaha to Salt Lake City. He enlists the help of his sister Sue (played by Virginia Gilmore), an assistant named Kettle (played by Chill Wills), and a foreman named Pat Gorgan (played by Mintor Watson). Later, a scout is hired - Vance Shaw, who is trying his best to turn his life around.

Work begins on the telegraph line, but it's a lot more harder than what Edward ever expected due to threats from Confederate soldiers and Native Americans.

Friday, February 12, 2016

Popcorn & Coffee: Legend: The Complete Series

$14.98; 9 hrs 58 mins; Buy Link: Amazon

I'm sure there are many television series that we liked, but were quickly for canceled. Luckily, many of these titles are now available on DVD.

The short-lived "Legend" that air on the UPN in 1995 and was released on DVD from Mill Creek Entertainment last month, featuring all 12 episodes.

The series started Richard Dean Anderson, who at the time just ended his run as MacGyver, and John de Lance ("Q" from Star Trek: The Next Generation). Anderson played Ernest Pratt, a dime-store novelist who gets dragged to small town, where someone has been impersonating his fictional character, "Nicodemus Legend."

Upon arriving he quickly learns that Janos Bartok, an European scientist/inventor (played by John de Lance), has been using "Nicodemus Legend" to help save the townsfolk of Sheridan, Colorado. Ernest stays around to help, but had all intentions of leaving immediately. However, he had been suffering from writer's block prior to meeting Janos, and decides the best way to come up with new adventures is to actually experience them.

Episodes on the two-disc set are:

Birth of a Legend
Mr. Pratt Goes to Sheridan
Legend on His President's Secret Service
Custer's Next-to-Last Stand
The Life, Death, and Life of Wild Bill Hickok

Saturday, December 26, 2015

DVD Review - Bone Tomahawk

Retail: $29.96; 132 Mins; Not Rated
Arriving on DVD December 29, 2015 from RLJ Entertainment is the horror-western Bone Tomahawk. Directed by S. Craig Zahler, the film stars Kurt Russell, Patrick Wilson, Matthew Fox, and Richard Jenkins.
Special Features include:

The Making of Bone Tomahawk
Deleted Scenes
Image Gallery
Fantastic Fest Q&A with Director and Cast

Set in the 1890s, the film begins with two thieving murders,  Purvis (played by David Arquette) and Buddy (played by Sid Haig), disturbing a burial site, well, that is until they are suddenly ambushed by a group of cannibals. Purvis barely escapes them and makes his way to the small of town of Bright Hope, where he is shot in the leg by Sheriff Franklin Hunt (played by Kurt Russell).

You can't have a criminal bleed to death, so Sheriff Hunt brings in Samantha O'Dwyer (played by Lili Simmons), a young woman who assists the local doctor (the town's drunk) from the time to time, to remove the bullet from the drifter's leg. The sheriff turns in for the night and leaves his deputy with Samantha who is still tending to the Purvis. The next morning, all three are missing from the sheriff's office and the only thing left behind is a single arrow.

Finding an arrow is a bit odd as there are no Indians in their area, so Sheriff Hunt seeks help from the town's only Native American, "The Professor" (played by Zahn McClarnon), who informs about a group of cannibal cave dwellers, known as the "Troglodytes."

Sheriff Hunt enlists his backup deputy, Chicory (played by Richard Jenkins), the womanizer John Brooder (played by Matthew Fox) and Samantha's husband, Arthur (played by Patrick Wilson), who happens to already have a broken leg, to help locate the caves where the cannibals live, and hopefully be able save the captives.

Saturday, July 4, 2015

DVD Review: Echoes Of War

Echoes Of War
Director: Kane Senes
Starring: James Badge Dale, Ethan Embry, William Forsythe, Maika Monroe
Studio: ARC Entertainment
Release Date: July 7, 2015
Retail: $20.99
Running Time: 99 minutes
Rating: R
Buy Link: Amazon


Arriving on DVD on Tuesday July 7, 2015 is the western-drama Echoes Of War. Co-written and directed by Kane Senes, the film stars James Badge Dale (The Lone Ranger, Iron Man 3), Ethan Embry, William Forsythe (The Rock, Once Upon a Time in America) and Maika Monroe. There are no extras or special features on the single-disc.

Echoes Of War centers on a Confederate veteran Wade (played by James Badge Dale) returning home to the post-Civil War Texas to visit his brother-in-law Seamus Riley (played by Ethan Embry), his niece Abigail (played by Maika Monroe) and nephew (played by Owen Teague), only to learn that the family is still grieving the death of his sister and that they are barely making it on selling animal pelts.

The neighboring Randolph McCluskey (played by William Forsythe) has had his own share of grief with the death of his son, which is drove his wife Doris (played by Beth Broderick) crazy. Plus, he lost most of his cattle during the war.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

DVD Review - The Homesman

The Homesman
Director: Tommy Lee Jones
Starring: Tommy Lee Jones, Hilary Swank
Studio: LionsGate
Release Date: February 17, 2015
Retail: $19.98
Running Time: 123 minutes
Rating: R
Buy Link: Amazon


Arriving on DVD and Blu-ray today is the critically-acclaimed western-drama The Homesman. The film stars Tommy Lee Jones (whom also co-wrote and directs the film), Hilary Swank, Grace Gummer, Miranda Otto, Sonja Richter and Meryl Streep. Special Features include 3 in-depth behind-the-scenes featurettes - Origins, Shooting The Film and Beyond The Western.

Based on the novel of the same name by Glendon Swarthout. The Homesman centers on a 31-year-old spinster, Mary Bee Cuddy (played by Hilary Swank), whom traveled from New York to Loup City, Nebraska Territory. She successfully runs a small ranch, but she has had trouble finding a husband as men rejected her because she is too "plain".

Hilary Swank ("Mary Bee Cuddy") stars in Lionsgate Home Entertainment's THE HOMESMAN. 

The land has been very harsh to the residents, and three women, Arabella Sours (played by Grace Gummer), Theoline Belknapp (played by Miranda Otto), and Gro Svendsen (played by Sonja Richter), have had an extremely hard life and all them have gone insane. One was raped by her husband, one lost her child to diphtheria and one even killed her own child. Reverend Dowd (played by John Lithgow) decides that the women should be sent to a church in Hebron, Iowa that takes in women with mental illnesses. At first he asks for one of the husbands to escort the women, but Mary Bee volunteers to take on the dreadful task.

Monday, December 1, 2014

DVD Review - Field of Lost Shoes

Field of Lost Shoes
Director: Sean McNamara
Starring: David Arquette, Keith David, Lauren Holly, Jason Isaacs and Tom Skerritt
Studio: ARC Entertainment
Release Date: December 2, 2014
Retail: $20.99
Running Time: 96 minutes
Rating: PG-13
Buy Link: Amazon


Arriving on DVD tomorrow from ARC Entertainment is the Civil War drama Field of Lost Shoes. The film is directed by Sean McNamara (Soul Surfer) and stars David Arquette, Keith David, Lauren Holly, Jason Isaacs and Tom Skerritt. There are no extras or special features on the DVD.

Winner of the 2014 Best Dramatic Feature from the 8th Annual GI Film Festival, Field of Lost Shoes is based on the true story of the Battle of New Market in 1864. The film centers on seven friends - Sam Atwill, John Wise, Jack Stanard, Robert 'Sir Rat,' Benjamin 'Duck' Colonna Garland Jefferson and Moses Ezekiel, (played by Max Lloyd-Jones, Luke Benward, Zach Roerig, Nolan Gould, Sean Marquette, Parker Croft and Josh Zuckerman), whom are all cadets at the Virginia Military Institute. They are ordered along with 269 other young men to provide support for the Confederate States Army under the command of General John C. Breckenridge (played by Jason Isaacs) during the Battle of New Market.

General John C. Breckenridge had no attention of using the cadets in the battle, but after many attack by the Union Army, the cadet battalion moved forward into the heat of the battle. Out of the seven characters that the movie focuses on, only four survived.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Holiday Gift Guide 2013: The Lone Ranger Blu-Ray

The Lone Ranger
Directed By: Gore Verbinski
Starring: Johnny Depp, Armie Hammer, Tom Wilkinson, William Fichtner, Barry Pepper, 
James Badge Dale and Helena Bonham Carter
Studio: Disney Home Entertainment
Release Date: December 17, 2013
Running Time: 149 minutes
Rating: PG-13

Blu-ray Combo $39.99
DVD $29.99

Purchase Links:

Billy's Review:

Friday, March 5, 2010

Review - Brimstone by Robert B. Parker

BY: Robert B. Parker
ISBN: 978-0-399-15571-0
Pages: 293
Ages: Adult
Reviewed by Billy Burgess

The gunslingers Everett Hitch and Virgil Cole are back in the third and final novel in the series. A year has passed since they were in the town of Resolution. They go out looking for Allie French - the woman who stole & crushed Virgil’s heart in Appaloosa.

Virgil and Everett find her in a small-town brothel. The lifestyle had crushed Allie’s spirit. The three of them head into Brimstone, Texas to start over. The relationship between Virgil and Allie is not the same as it was in Appaloosa. Allie wants to change her ways, and joins a local church lead by Brother Percival.

Meanwhile, Everett and Virgil become the town’s deputies. Brother Percival stirs up trouble in the town which escalates into murder. Virgil struggles to keep the peace of the town and keep Allie from getting hurt.

“Brimstone” is the best written book out of the trilogy. The previous books contained mostly dialogue. The third outing not only has great dialogue, but it has a better plot. The relationship between Virgil and Allie is beautifully written. I won’t give away the ending of the book, but it’s excellent!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Review - Resolution by Robert. B. Paker

BY: Robert B. Parker
ISBN: 978-0-399-15504
Pages: 292
Ages: Adult
Reviewed by Billy Burgess

“Resolution” is the second book in the trilogy and picks up exactly where “Appaloosa” left off. Everett Hitch ends up in the town of Resolution - a town with no law. He is offered and accepts a job as a lookout at Amos Wolfson’s Blackfoot Saloon. He is soon known as the protector of the ladies who work in the saloon.

Everett’s old friend, Virgil Cole, arrives in town. Eamon O’Malley, a mine owner, starts buying up some of the local businesses. This upsets the local ranchers. Everett and Virgil are caught in the middle of the war.

“Resolution” is an amazing western with wonderfully crafted dialogue. It’s a must read for any fans of the later Robert B. Parker.