Rated: R - Runtime: 187 min (70mm roadshow version)
tesg's Rating: Three stars (out of four)
I saw the 70mm roadshow version on a multiplex screen that had no business whatsoever projecting 70mm film. That was literally a novelty experience.
I'm not exactly an expert on westerns, though my grandmother made sure I saw my share (even if they were edited for television versions). My favorite is "Once Upon a Time in the West". Years ago, I wrote an Amazon review where I said "If Quentin Tarantino made a western, this would be it. Same music, same actors, same shots, same script."
So here we are, and Tarantino has his western, and it's certainly not "Once Upon a Time in the West". But it is a fun and unpredictable watch. There's no clear hero. You really have no idea who will be left standing in the end. The music that sets the tension when the action starts picking up is really well done. And dropping Crystal Gayle's "Ready for the Times to Get Better" onto the intermission trail is classic Tarantino. I'd completely forgotten about that song and wanted to go out and buy a copy immediately.
The movie is not without its flaws, unless Wyoming had assembled a Department of Transportation in that era and plowed stagecoach paths.