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movie reviewmovie review out of 4 Movie Review: Tombstone

Starring: Kurt Russell, Val Kilmer
Director: George P. Cosmatos
Rated: R
RunTime: 135 Minutes
Release Date: December 1993
Genres: Action, Drama, Western

*Also starring: Michael Biehn, Powers Boothe, Robert Burke, Dana Delany, Sam Elliott, Stephen Lang, Bill Paxton, Jason Priestley, Billy Zane, Charlton Heston

Review by Steve Rhodes
2½ stars out of 4

TOMBSTONE is an interesting movie with fascinating characterizations and a true story. It is about what happens before, during, and mainly after the gun fight at the O. K. Coral. Detracting with this is that the director (George P. Cosmatos), cinematographer (William A. Fraker), writers (John Fusano and Kevin Jarre), and editors (Harvey Rosenstock, Roberto Silvi, and Frank J. Urioste) made it like a New Age Western or a modern Western opera without singing.

First, the good news. Wyatt Earp as played by Kurt Russell and Doc. Holiday by Val Kilmer were wonderful. Everything they said and even just their facial expressions were interesting. Unless you are a real Western history buff, you probably do not know the story, and it is fascinating. The short version is that this is about a Wyatt Earp who wants to be a business entrepreneur with his brothers and get rich. He gets sidetracked.

Now for the bad news. How about dialog like "are you going to just stand there and bleed or you going to do something?" Nothing however could beat the scene when two tough guys with guns get real angry and end up trading five rounds of insults in Latin! Many of the shooting scenes were at night with more lightning that I have seen in my entire life. It had a constant strobe effect. And boy, did this movie ever have music (Bruce Broughton, Frederic Chopin, and Camille Saint-Saens). Dramatic violins were everywhere as were kettle drums, hence my claim that this was an opera without singing.

TOMBSTONE runs overly long at 2:10. Being a typical bloody Western it gets an R rating. The movie would be fine for teenagers. I had a nice evening at the movies, so I give this flick ** 1/2 and a thumbs up.

Copyright 1994 Steve Rhodes

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