Sunday, July 17, 2005

If Latigo Flint Had Been There

Latigo Flint likes to sit around and think about how much different famous books, movies, songs, scientific journals, PowerPoint presentations etc. would have been if Latigo Flint had been there.

It has become something of a reoccurring theme over the months.

If Latigo Flint Had Been There:
The book Watership Down - by Richard Adams (March 2005)
The song American Pie - by Don McLean (March 2005)
The book Charlotte's Web - by E.B. White (November 2004)
The movie Cliffhanger - directed by Renny Harlin (November 2004)

But today's installment swerves a bit: For if Latigo Flint had been there in Kevin Costner's fine documentary film, Open Range, it wouldn't have been even slightly different. It would have all gone down exactly that way.

The list of reasons Open Range is one of the finer cinema presentations in the history of the medium is prohibitively long; you'd be reading all night. But I'll tell you this -- you could throw them all away except for the following two and the film would still be well worth the price of admission.

Two reasons alone make Open Range worth a rent:

Around the middle of the film, a barkeep rudely refuses to serve Robert Duvall and Costner on account of them being free-grazers. He leans back down to continue his conversation with a bar regular and when he does, Costner slides an empty mug the length of the bar at his head. The impact is violent, shockingly so, despite being bloodless and non-lethal.

But that's not it - here it is: In the cut back to Duvall and Costner we see that for just a moment they are stunned and perhaps even a bit appalled by the force with which the mug struck the bartender's temple. Sure he needed to be taught a lesson, just maybe not quite that hard. Perhaps the bar was a little slicker, the bottom of the mug flatter than Kevin thought and an unexpected hydroplane occurred.

It is an elegant moment -- subtle, glorious and true. It should (but probably won't) give pause to anyone who has ever belittled Kevin Costner.

Is the line: "Men are going to get killed here today Sue, and I'm gonna kill 'em. You understand that?"

The line's timing, inflection and context left me erect, emotionally and physically. I'm not ashamed to admit it.

Okay, that's all. See you later.

(Latigo Flint once tried to get Eve to watch Open Range with him. It could have gone better.)


At 7:53 AM, Blogger Other Brother said...

An all-time favorite of mine as well. You have superb taste, Mr. Flint.

At 9:08 AM, Blogger Craig Hall said...

Yes, a fine movie. Anything that Robert Duvall is in is good, especially if it is a western. Lonesome Dove was a miniseries but the best western ever, in my humble opinion.

At 9:31 AM, Blogger Dave Morris said...

During the smoking of the pre-gunfight cigars, I am usually busted pursing my lips along with Duvall, pretending I am joining them in the intensely dramatic and rife-with-subtle-meaning scene.

As Freud said, "sometimes a cigar is just a cigar."

At 11:58 AM, Blogger Blog ho said...

too bad you weren't there for waterworld.

At 12:09 PM, Blogger OldHorsetailSnake said...

The line that gets you physically erect should be avoided from time to time. It is not good to be standing up all day.

At 3:17 PM, Blogger Trevor Record said...

I think that, were you there, it would have been slightly better just because anything is better with Latigo Flint. The quickest quickdraw in the world is like jello; there's always room.

At 7:27 PM, Blogger Amandarama said...

I understand that things certainly would've remained the same given your affinity for "Open Range", but what about if you'd been there for "Unforgiven", "The Quick and the Dead" or "Young Guns"?

Inquiring minds want to know!

At 8:18 PM, Blogger amandapants said...

Ohhh, Amandarama, I share not only your name but your sentiments as well.
Speaking of Young Guns (and the UBERtalented composer of the YG2 soundtrack), I have long held the belief that "Wanted Dead or Alive" by Bon Jovi is a parallel to the life of our very own Latigo. Except replace the "steel horse" with a Bowflex and the "six-string" with a can of Coors Light.

At 12:48 AM, Blogger Latigo Flint said...

Thank you Older Brother. And I'd say great honor unto you through favorite movie association.

Howdy Craig Hall, nice to hear from you. Buono, il brutto, il cattivo, Il (The Good, The Bad and the Ugly) is the greatest movie ever made, and thus by default would have to also be the greatest western ever made. But Lonesome Dove is nevertheless mighty fine, mighty fine indeed.

Nothing wrong with that Dave - I assure you.

Oh but I was Ho, didn't you see me?

Old Hoss, I only accept advice from sly, cantankerous old coots... So obviously I'm back in my chair now.

This is a very kind thing you have said to me TrevorR. So kind in fact that I think perhaps you could start a business in which people pay you cash money to say kind things about them. If you need any testimonials...

Amandarama, my response to your query could fill tomes. The incredibly short answer: English Bob gets twice the beating, The Lady maybe thinks to mention the clock tick sound to the Kid before he faces Daddy... and I'd change absolutely nothing about Young Guns either.

Hello Amandapants, very good to hear from you again. Is it possible you are actually too clever to be allowed to live? I think perhaps it is so.


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