High Noon Review

It’s time to look at an old Wild West film. This one shows us why it’s tough being a sheriff. They tend to take all the blame when a villain shows up and then nobody is ready to defend them once the criminals return. It’s a bit of a depressing film for most of its run, but the fight at the end is definitely solid. It’s also worth pointing out that the movie does a good job of not being too somber the whole time. It hits a good balance that makes the film an engaging watch even if perhaps one that does not have a great amount of replay value.

The film starts off with sheriff Will finally getting married to a lady named Amy. They are getting ready to leave this town once and for all to properly start the next chapter of their lives. As such Will has retired from his position but just as he is heading out we learn that a group of old criminals are returning. They are led by a man named Miller who was notoriously crooked. Everyone tells Will he should just leave. He’s done enough for the town already and someone else will be there by tomorrow to take over the reigns. It’s a tempting offer, but Will simply can’t do it. He decides to stay. This decision may cost him everything from his friends to his wife…and even his life. Was staying the right move?

Yes it was even if the town is filled with ingrates and terrible characters though and through. They’re all cowards and none of them would lift a finger to help Will. It’s definitely good to see where they stand I suppose. It’s how you can differentiate the “friends” from the real friends. By the end of the film we can see that there is no one Will can trust except for Amy. Even the ones who talk a good game ultimately back down when the odds are not stacked in their favor.

Through it all, this is why Will is a solid character. He’s there to help the town even when he ultimately knows that it would be easier to run away. While the various side characters try making the case that Miller wouldn’t actually harm the town if Will left, we know this isn’t actually true. Right from the start they’re introduced as very bad people who would definitely mess up the town regardless. If anything, their vendetta against Will ensures that he would at least serve as a temporary distraction. The people in the town just aren’t ready to accept this yet. Fortunately Will knows how to fight so he’s ready to get in on the action even if he is outnumbered.

Amy has a rough start in comparison. She doesn’t approve of Will staying in town and even uses their marriage to threaten him into leaving. It doesn’t work as he ultimately chooses duty over her. Fortunately with her bluff called out this does allow Amy to start learning more about Will. It’s a pretty small town so everyone knows a few things or two about him. It seems like she was kept in the dark about pretty much everything so she has to learn a lot in a pretty small amount of time. By the end of the film she makes a good decision and definitely helped the film as a whole. It was a good way to end the film.

Then you’ve got Harvey who used to be Will’s right hand man. He’s shown to be a very petty character who only cares about being Sheriff. He was willing to help Will, but not without getting something in return. I also get the feeling that he would duck out of there as soon as the going got tough. I certainly wouldn’t trust him to have my back. Throughout the film you get the feeling that he is about to have some kind of character arc, but then it never happens. It was a good way to subvert my expectations even if it didn’t help the character. He even forces a fight with Will even when the villains are already on the move. It’s definitely not the right time of place.

Then you’ve got Helen who has a prominent social position. She’s probably the wisest character in the film and knows when it’s time to leave before things get too tough. I do think she takes quite a few chances though and the same goes for Amy. They head for a train to leave right in front of the 3 main villains. They very easily could have died right there or been used as hostages. In general there are some odd choices here. I guess it is the Wild West so even when you’re scared of the villains you at least stick around to save face. I don’t know if this is exactly how it woks, but I guess that’s just how it is.

As for the villains, they’re more of a plot element than they are characters. Miller gets a lot of hype for example, but ultimately doesn’t do much of anything. He puts the fear into everyone, but once the actual fighting starts he seems pretty ordinary. Likewise his other minions go down pretty easily once the fighting starts. They do a good job of building up the tension though so they certainly do succeed in that aspect.

This film definitely had some very strong writing. The characters may not have been smart, but they were still written well. It’s supposed to be a film with many annoying characters at every corner and that’s what makes the film pretty solid. Naturally it would have been good if there was at least one person to help Will though. It would also make his 1 v 4 fight a little more believable. It’s just hard to win such a fight no matter how good a shot you are. The ending does address this though.

Overall, This was a pretty solid film. It’s definitely a Wild West title that I can recommend, especially since this time the horses managed to escape. I think that’s always the most dangerous aspect in any Wild West film so when the movie is able to avoid that it’s a good sign. If you are in the mood for a good Wild West title then I would definitely suggest checking this one out. It’ll remind you that being a Sheriff can be a thankless job but someone’s got to do it. I’m sure the new Sheriff won’t be quite prepared for how this town is when he shows up.

Overall 7/10


The Black Castle Review

It’s time for another old film so I’m sure you know what that means right? This one’s another stinker, but at least it doesn’t even try to be all that good so that’s a start. The film is fairly short and so it doesn’t really drag on, but at the same time, you wonder when the characters will stop making bad decisions. They walk into one trap after another and don’t really think anything through. At the very least, they remind you that rich parties typically aren’t that fun. All you do is get drunk and run around a lot.

Two of Ronald’s friends were mysteriously murdered a while back. Ronald suspects that the Baron (Bruno) assassinated them because his group had exposed Bruno’s mortality to a tribe which ran him out. Ronald wants to prove that Bruno did this so he decides to pay the guy a visit. Bruno never met Ronald in person so Ronald still has the element of surprise. He makes it to the castle under a false guise just in time for a large party that is being held. The situation gets a little more complicated when Ronald finds out that Bruno’s wife is also in a sticky situation so he has to try and save her, but that may tip Bruno off. Can Ronald’s sword skills save the day?

At the very least, I can safely say that Ronald talks a good game. He berates his opponents and likes to keep up the fake formalities. The villains know that they tried to destroy Ronald and he knows it as well, but he pretends not too. He still goes to enjoy their hospitality and Bruno tries to destroy him a few more times until Ronald finally puts an end to that. I can’t say that he’s a very likable main character though. For starters, he does nothing to help the Black Panther since it would put his own life at risk. He also can’t control himself and flirts with Bruno’s wife quite a lot. Naturally, Bruno and Elga don’t get along at all and the marriage was an arranged one, but it should still be kept in mind that at the moment she is married. Ronald still leaves anyway, but is convinced to return to the villain base. Will this end badly for him? Yes…yes it will.

See, let us keep in mind the fact that Ronald knows this is a trap. He knows that everyone is out to destroy him yet Ronald quickly runs forward into the cage without looking behind him. This quickly gets him locked up and beaten up several times. Even after he crosses the trail of Crocodiles, the villains just calmly walk around and one shot him again. It definitely wasn’t Ronald’s day. Despite the bold words, it is actually Bruno who gets the most laughs the whole time. He is in control and reminds Ronald of this at every turn. Even taunting him when Ronald tried to be defiant in walking towards the secret door. It didn’t work of course as this activated a trap, but Ronald tried…

Bruno’s certainly not a likable villain though. He likes committing animal violence and is a womanizer. There’s no redeemable qualities to find in him even if the film tries to show that he can be a decent competitor. It’s really all just an act and he probably bumps off anyone who beats him at an event. It’s just the kind of guy that he is. I can’t say that I cared for Elga much either. There’s nothing that she can really do in her situation, but I would have liked to have seen her try a little more. Even just sneaking out of the house when Ronald first left could have worked. Then she also does a good job of nearly spilling the beans a few times when she is interrogated.

If you’re a supporting character in this film, then you’re probably doomed. Ronald’s best friend tries to hold off an army with a chair. It’s not a bad plan, but then he breaks it on the first guy who approaches so that’s that. There was also a crooked doctor who had some fairly convenient medicine in his pocket, but he made the mistake of using it and then going back to the main villains. They somehow didn’t pick up the clues immediately, but it was only a matter of time. Not to mention the fact that he pulls this off more than once so anyone could figure it out at that point. He still didn’t seem to suspect the shot in the back though.

Either way, this film was doomed right away. Even if you take away the unlikable characters, you’ve still got the animal violence. It seems to be a trait that a lot of these retro villains share. They like to beat on the weak to make themselves feel strong. Real villains don’t need to bother about such lesser things. Seeing the Black Panther starved and then shot was the film’s way of reminding me that it was terrible. I quickly agreed and here we are.

I also found the situation to be a little too unbelievable. So, the government can’t intervene because there is no proof. I can understand that, but Ronald is apparently one of their great war heroes. Shouldn’t they at least send a few guards along with him? It sounds like everyone knows that Bruno is evil and leading a tribe is rather nebulous. He is also forcing everyone in the city to pay him taxes so the guy is an official dictator. Ronald’s allies could have helped him liberate the city, I don’t think Bruno’s clout should have been enough to completely deter them all. Bruno gets too much hype in general. His first big scene is him watching someone get painful medicine and then nullifying a lot of it by injuring the guy’s wound. It’s supposed to be hardcore, but instead it is painful to watch, just like most of the movie.

The Black Castle simply isn’t any fun. It’s a very mean spirited movie that leaves only a bleak outcome for everyone. The fate of the heroes would have been quite sad as well since they were completely paralyzed and nearly got buried alive. If you’re looking for any happy scenes here, then you’re not going to get much at all. The main romance is hard to get behind and the party is basically filled with rather soulless people who don’t seem to care about anything. I guess they all want to be on Bruno’s good side, but that just shows how desperate they are.

Overall, The Black Castle is one of those films where you’ll end up shaking your head quite a lot. What was the point of this movie? Who knows! Why should I be interested in the plot? Nobody knows! Is the ending supposed to be happy because the two main leads can be together now or is it sad because everyone else died? I think it’s supposed to be happy because Ronald seemed to get over the side characters quite quickly. He was also super sloppy and one of the villains found out about him almost immediately because of it. He got lucky with the fact that another villain decided to quickly dust off his license to kill. This is definitely not a film that you will want to check out and I’d recommend going to Burger King and ordering 5 whoppers instead of checking out this film again. It may be a little more pricey, but at least it’ll keep your attention.

Overall 1/10