Cowboys and Aliens                                

Printed in the Warsaw Times Union, August 6, 2011

"Reviewing Reviews"


Dear Editor,

This is not a review of a movie, but a review of reviews, like my prior letter on Avatar). The new movie "Cowboys and Aliens" looks like a real winner – great cast and way out special effects. But some reviews describe the film as "something new," "unlike anything you’ve ever seen," or "wickedly original," and that simply is not true. I remember the first time I saw cowboys taking on aliens was in the Marvel Western comic, "Kid Colt, Outlaw" #107 Nov 1962 "Giant Monster of Midnight Valley." Cowboys and aliens clashed again on the TV show "Time Tunnel" in an episode titled "Visitors from Beyond the Stars" (Jan 13, 1967). The time travellers Doug and Tony stopped them sidewindin’ alien owlhoots from rustlin’ our cattle in a uniquely sci-fi way. I do not know why film makers have to pretend their ideas are absolutely unique and original. That is as silly as Spielberg pretending that no one ever made a dinosaur movie before "Jurrasic Park." Doing a movie idea better is more important that doing it the first time. Even Shakespeare based many of his plays on someone else’s previous works.




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