Monte Walsh
R1 - America - Warner Home Video
Review written by and copyright: Pat Pilon (12th June 2008).
The Film

Set at the end of the cowboy era, in Wyoming in 1892, the movie follows the idyllic life of Monte Walsh (Tom Selleck), a man either so bored he likes to get on people's nerves, or a man with a fun sense of humour, so he likes to get on people's nerves. He's tied to Isabella Rossellini and has steady work to keep him busy. His life isn't all that complicated, and that's just how he likes it.

After a rough summer where jobs are getting scarce, he and his friends are hired to move horses from one spot to another. The movie spends a nice amount of time with Monte Walsh and his buddies before they actually get to this point. It's somewhat of a chick-guy-flick. Then the running and rustling begins. However, when they get to where they're supposed to be, trouble starts. The horses scatter and the gang has to go out and find them.

This has later repercussions, but for now, the men laugh and enjoy themselves. As the times get harder, things get more complicated, and jobs are harder and harder to find, and keep. Desperation finds some of the men, and they do desperate things. They separate and go on their separate lives.

The thing that bothers Monte most is that things change, and he doesn't want them to. Upon getting a job with a circus, he wants to keep his name, his clothes, his identity. He's the last cowboy, in a world where cowboying isn't needed anymore. Whether he wants to or not, Monte has to accept change or die.

The first half is almost like a chick-flick with horses, while the second half is much better, and is about friendship in hard times. The movie is essentially a character study about a man reluctant to change during times where people have to change. It's a rewarding movie in the end, but you just have to stick with it. Sometimes, it takes a while in life before something good happens, and I suppose movies are the same.

Video

1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen. The transfer is for the most part very nice, with colours being accurate, though they don't pop as much as they could. The contrast is good, with skin tones appearing accurate. The lush green fields come through very well and show off the great cinematography pretty well. There’s very little noise and no edge enhancement to speak of. Overall, it's a very nice transfer for this film.

Audio

The only audio track is an English Dolby Digital 2.0 track. It's a good track with nice range for a stereo track. The train sequence and the gunshots have a very nice oomph, adding to the importance of the events. The dialogue is always clear and clean. The score comes out very well, also, without blocking anything else out. It's a simple track, but a good one.
English, French and Spanish subtitles are here.

Extras

Cast & Crew lists the main cast with actors Tom Selleck, Isabella Rossellini, Keith Carradine and William Devane having brief filmographies.

Overall

The Film: B Video: B- Audio: B- Extras: F Overall: C

 


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