Open Range

This review was originally written as part of my USA Road Trip series for French Toast Sunday.

A small-time cattle operation, led by Robert Duvall’s Boss Spearman, sets up grazing near the town of Harmonville, with the intention of moving on before they do any major damage to the local vegetation. When one of their number doesn’t return from a supply run to the town, Spearman and his right hand man Charley (Kevin Costner) head to Harmonville in search of their friend, only to find he’s been beaten and locked up by the town marshal (James Russo), at the behest of Harmonville’s ruthless land owner Baxter (Michael Gambon). Baxter, it would seem, isn’t too keen on free-grazers around his land, and he makes it all too clear to Boss and Charley that if they plan to hang around, bad things are going to happen to them and their herd. Unfortunately for everyone, Charley and Boss are more concerned with enacting vengeance for their man than anything else, so needless to say things get a mite violent in town.
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My Own Private Idaho

This post was originally written as part of my Road Trip series over at French Toast Sunday.

Mike (River Phoenix) had a tough upbringing, not helped by being both homosexual and narcoleptic. Teenage and alone amongst the barren fields of Idaho, he moves to Seattle and becomes a street hustler and male prostitute, gaining friends amongst the small group of similarly disadvantaged youths in the same profession. Amongst these is Scott (Keanu Reeves), a Mayor’s son and the heir to his father’s fortune, but who is rebelling and living on the streets instead. When their squatting home is raided by the police, Mike and Scott begin a search for Mike’s mother, taking them on a journey back to Idaho, and eventually to Rome. Continue reading