Slow West Review, a Slow Western Movie to Watch in 2015

Slow West is an all Western Cowboy movie directed by the debutante director John Maclean and starring Michael Fassbender and Kodi Smit-McPhee. The movie revolves around two different characters, who cross their ways and later accompany each other for their own purposes. Michael Fassbender plays the character of a lonely bounty hunter, who is also a bad-ass gunslinger, not shy of using lethal force if it suits him. On the other hand, Kodi Smit-McPhee is a young naïve boy, who has come miles to the wild Wild West in search of his lost love. Is it a good movie to watch? Well, coming from a genre where there already have been some really good movies like The Searchers, The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly, True Grit, The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, and Django Unchained, Slow West does a decent job.

It is quite commendable that even though John Maclean has a Scottish background and this is his debut movie as a director, he has done a good job. Of course, there are some small-tiny mistakes and points that are sore to some people’s eyes, especially those who have watched good Western movies and have pretty good knowledge about the genre as well as the history of America. But, for a regular movie buff, who loves watching just good movies, Slow West certainly scores. Django Unchained is the recent last Western movie that I watched and felt was good, and I have to admit that Slow West pretty much gives a good competition to the movie. Though, it is unfair to compare them as both of them are quite different and have a unique intriguing element to them.

Both the lead characters are interesting. Kodi Smit-McPhee played the role of a young Scottish man, Jay, who is in love with a girl who is now “Wanted” in America. Well, it’s partly his fault that the girl is wanted. He does a decent job portraying the character. On the other hand, Michael Fassbender (many will recognize him as Erik Lehnsherr/Magneto from X-Men series) is more convincing and justifies his character as Silas Selleck. The remaining cast is also good; however, they don’t share much screen space. Ben Mendelsohn, is worth mentioning. He played the role of Payne, the leader of the bounty hunter group Michael Fassbender was a part of. His screen time is short, but he is quite convincing, especially, the scene where he checks on Fassbender and teases Kodi Smit-McPhee of his young love.

The movie is slow, like most of the Western movies, which pretty much justifies the movie title. The story is decent; it does an average job. The cinematography is excellent, probably the strongest point about the movie. The movie does portray the rustic harsh feel, which is the attribute of every Western movie. Particularly, the part where people kill others for their own good without knowing the outcome, and later, filling them with nothing but just guilt is quite sad and convincing. The actions are good, especially the last fight. The ending is quite interesting as well; many would have expected it coming as it is a Western movie, but for many it will be a shock.

In all, Slow West is a good movie and does a fair job in doing justice to the genre. No doubt, it has some weak spots, but it is not a bad movie at all. I would love to watch it again.

What’s It Really Like to Live With the Amish – A Book Review

Several years ago I went to Lancaster Pennsylvania, and spent some time visiting the Amish country. It was incredible and such an interesting way of life considering our modern era. It was like a scene out of the old West where everything was perfect, quaint, well-manicured, and people on their best behavior. It wasn’t like normal everyday life in America, there was something unique, interesting, intriguing, and almost magic about it all. What would it be like to live in such a way?

In many regards it would be like living in the past, in a different era, in a time when our ancestors lived, worked, and ran their farms. Have you ever wonder what it would be like? Perhaps you have wondered, but you don’t actually want to go and live there for a year to find out. Yes, I understand that, it would be hard to give up your iPhone, computer, Internet, and go work the land and live the simple life. Therefore chances are you never will, most people won’t, and yes a few do and they write about it later.

If you’d like to find out what it’s like to live with the Amish, out in the country, almost as if you’re living a scene at of a Hollywood Western movie back in the day, and there is a very good book that I own which I would like to recommend to you. The name of the book is;

“Amish Country,” by Ruth Hoover Seitz and Photographer Blair Seitz, Crescent Books – Random House, Avenel, NJ, 1995, 100 pages, ISBN: 0-517-62365-X.

In this book you will look at pictures of farm houses, horse-drawn buggies, and how children are brought up “living without the exposure to influences that would cause confusion or contradiction to their beliefs,” and how they work the land, recognize their religion, and how they get by with no TV, radio, VCR, computer, smart phone, or any of the other things that we consider a normal part of everyday life. Imagine not having a microwave, modern-day refrigerator, or even a car?

Indeed, I was so fascinated by the book, the pictures, the simplicity and hard work ethic. If you want to learn more about living with the Amish in the countryside, learn about their lifestyle and such, you should probably buy this book and have it on your bookshelf. I think you’ll be impressed and you will learn a lot about the Amish people. Please consider all this and think on it.

Book Review for: "Texas True"

Book Review for: Texas True

Written by: Celia Yeary

Desert Breeze Publishing

ISBN: 978-1-61252-028-5

Avail as: eBook only

4.5 Stars

Yeary pens a suspense-filled character driven western romance with “Texas True.” True Cameron longs for a loving husband, a big family, and to live on a ranch, but to make these dreams come true, her patience, courage, and inner strength will be tested like never before.

Set in Texas just after the turn of the 20th Century, True Cameron is a young lady making her debut. Handsome Sam Deleon makes her acquaintance and quickly intrigues her. Sam sets about to win her heart and True is primed to fall.

While True’s feelings are genuine and sincere, Sam’s motives are more complex. He must marry and get an heir so he can come into his family’s inheritance and trust. While he goes about sweeping True off her feet, he does not allow his heart the luxury of love.

True and Sam marry and True quickly determines that the man she married would rather be at the oil fields than with her. True is forced to take in Sam’s niece and nephew once their mother dies, and she realizes she has to live a fuller life than what she is doing. She moves back into her old house, but has erected a stone battlement around her heart, one that won’t be easy for Sam to dismantle now.

True goes to the oil fields to make her marriage to Sam work. The days are long and hard and while the couple share a physical intimacy, they lack the foundation of an emotional one. True, however, has proven to Sam she’s made of sterner stuff and cracks the amour around his heart. Will the news that she’s expecting a baby shatter Sam’s amour or will he draw back and focus on fulfilling duty so he can come into his inheritance?

The story opens with a grand ball, immediately capturing the reader’s attention. The novel flows well and just when the reader lulls into a comfortable pace, Yeary throws in a surprise, building and heightening the suspense.

Yeary’s dialogue rings true, bringing out a rich authenticity to the characters. Her descriptions paint a vivid picture of the beauty which belongs to the Texas range.

The most satisfying part is the rich characterization and Sam’s journey. True lives up to her name. She’s true to her heart, loyal, honest, and courageous. True is also steadfast and it’s that quality that allows Sam to spread his wings emotionally. Sam’s had a hard life and knows only a certain way. His journey will warm the reader’s heart.

The novel is sophisticated for romance readers and Yeary’s love scenes smolder. A pulse-pounding ending will leave the reader on the edge of their seat. “Texas True” will sweep one off their feet and transport them to a time where the west offered an exciting adventure and a chance at finding that rare love of a lifetime.

Reviewed by: S. Burkhart