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Unforgiven (DVD)

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      11.06.2010 23:22
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      A perfect masterpiece of film making from Clint Eastwood.

      The last best western film. As far as I'm concerned, no one should ever bother with a western again following this, because no one can do any better. This takes every good point from the western genre and turns it into a masterpiece. From the violence, the pace and the flawed heroes that the spaghetti westerns had to offer, to the moral tone that John Wayne's finest films had to offer, this film has it all. It is, arguably, Clint Eastwood's finest film (even if it's not his most popular or even my most favourite). But credit where it is due, this is just so well crafted from start to finish. From the subtle yet ever present directing, to the stunning acting, this film really is a relentless ride. The story, as the title suggests, is about forgiveness and revenge. It's a story that shows the villains as the heroes of the moment, and the lawmen as the villains. And that's what makes this so good. It takes everything and throws it on its head. The film was directed by Eastwood himself, and it stars him, Gene Hackman (in another outstanding role), Morgan Freeman and Richard Harris.

      In the town of Big Whiskey,a prostitute called Deliliah is attacked and disfigured by a client. The attacker gets away, and because the law can't find him, the prostitutes all put up their own reward. This not only upsets the owner of the hotel that they work in, but also Sheriff Bill Daggert, a man who prides himself on the fact that his town is so crime-free and has banned all assassins and guns from the town.

      Meanwhile, an arrogant young man called The Schofield kid (Jamez Woolvett) visits an ageing and reformed criminal called William Munney, who is also a widower and is looking after his children. the Schofield kid informs him of the reward the prostitutes are offering and asks him for assistance. Munney eventually agrees when he realizes that he is in desperate need of the money. He also picks up his old riding partner Ned Logan (Morgan Freeman) along the way.

      Together, the men set off to get their reward. However, Sheriff Daggert is unhappy about their presence, and soon tries to get rid of them. the lawmen become the criminals, and the criminals become the lawmen, leading to one of the finest western climaxes on screen.

      This really is outstanding. I wouldn't say it's quite as good as The Good, The Bad and The Ugly, but it's nearly there.

      Starting with the directing, you can see on screen that Eastwood has pulled out all the stops to make this a stunning visual masterpiece. The atmosphere is built upon quite a few long takes and some beautiful landscape shots, and you feel yourself being drawn into some sort of colourful epic. Then it starts to change as the story does, and you realize that the weather often reflects the mood of the film. Unlike a lot of other westerns that are set in the sun, this is set in cloud, darkness and rain. And the atmosphere becomes more and more claustrophobic for the characters as the neat the town of Big Whiskey. Eastwood racks up the tension throughout, bringing you several mini climaxes before the outstanding final one, where he redeems all the characters in their own way. Clint won his first directing Oscar for this film.

      It also has to be said that the writing is magnificent in this. There is some fabulous and very meaningful dialogue between several characters, with the emphasis on loyalty, forgiveness and revenge. Certainly the characterization is outstanding, most notabley on Bill Daggert. The screenplay by David Webb Peoples was Oscar nominated, but didn't win.

      And then there is the acting. And what is there to say, other than the four men who are billed as stars are some of the finest actors Hollywood has to offer (or had, in the case of the late Richard Harris). Clint Eastwood adds his ever present 'cool' persona to his flawed hero. Morgan Freeman is like the angel on Clint's shoulder, and you can feel the loyalty he has for Clint's character. Richard Harris' character English Bob is an interesting one, as he never meets Munney or Logan. Instead, he is more of a sacrificial lamb used to show up Bill Daggert. He's only in it for ten minutes or so, but it's one hell of a cameo. Finally, there is the man who steals is all. Gene Hackman. The last time he was on this kind of form was way back with The French Connection, and I think the role of Bill Daggert, the violent Sheriff who has become what he wanted to fight, is his best role. He rightfully won an Oscar for his role.

      Unforgiven is a film that was nominated for 9 Oscars in total, and won 4. Pretty much says it all really. An masterpiece, and no one should bother with a western again.

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      13.12.2009 12:43
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      Unforgiven - not bad but a bit slow moving

      I was always a great fan of the old spaghetti westerns that Clint Eastwood appeared in and when this film was released in 1992 I was intruigued just how it would turn out as Clint Eastwood was a fair bit older then.


      William Munny played by Clint Eastwood is a retired gunfighter and widower with two young children. He gave up gunslinging, that way of life and drinking when he got married. However, his wife died in 1878 and two years on he still lives out his life as he believe his wife would have been wanted living on his farm with his children.

      The town where Munny lives is ruled by a shefiff named Bill played by Gene Hackman. Delialah, a prostitute working upstairs in local watering hole, is viciously attacked one day but two men who felt she had insulted them. Wanting justice she calls on the sheriff and the town to take action. It is agreed after a fashion that there will be a reward for anyone willing to hunt down the attackers and kill them in their own form of justice.

      This is where Clint Eastwood's character comes in. A young man visits him, knowing about his past reputation and wanting him to help him in hunting down and killing these two men for a reward. After initially refusing to be any part of it he evenutally reconsiders and agrees.

      What ensues in the film is the man hunt and Clint Eastwood finding his feet and this way of life after so long without it.

      I have to say it is not the greatest film in the world and I found it a bit too slow moving and depressing. Plus Clint Eastwood is a bit old for it now unlike when he made the early films westerns he appeared in.

      A western with a bit of a difference as we find Clint Eastwood battling his demons and trying re-discover his old reputation in the face of adversity

      Worth a watch if you liked his old films but idea is a bit old and worn out now

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      04.08.2009 18:01

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      Clint's last western which i consider to be among his best (i would say as a film probably on par with Josey Wales) and a brilliant film to ride out on. Unforgiven is a film of great beauty but also that of gritty, and dark themes that on first viewing can slip by you. It was praised on release to be of unflinching moral, physical and historical realism containing scenes that display human emotion behind the mindless violence that splatter most westerns. It seems that not all characters in Unforgiven are born without a conscience as is to be expected from the genre. Rather than the anti hero that he was know as for so long Clint portrays images of graying gunmen, gritty day to day life and the ugliness of death.

      Rather than taking a ride with the usual band of heroes on a quest that will ultimately lead to some kind of good - 3 men set out for the bounty of a supposedly cruel pair of cowboys. We get to see that contrary to popular media believe and the mythology on the old west dashing desperados don't always ride in to praise and reward. We see the petty realism of life on the trail, riding in the rain, sleeping, eating scraps and illness that can riddle such a journey - and overall the discomfort and horror of killing another man. The scene where the 3 bounty hunters find the first cowboy and murder him is incredibly un-nerving, talking to the man as he bleeds to death knowing all to well that he is just a stupid young boy. Though through all this punctuatied grim we also get a vision of the true beauty of nature that has been lost in the conversion to modern society.

      Of course the two performances that stand out are Hackman and Freeman who both deliver stellar performances to almost opposite characters. Freeman acts as the conscience of the team, showing that not all men in these times thought of life as so meaningless. Overall though i think the whole cast rings well throughout, all protraying the grim reality that sometimes is forgotten when westerns are made.

      There is no better example than the conclusion, though rather obvious, the sickening feeling that the best of the three men is the one who takes the punishment sinks all to well with the underlying themes of the film and the ugliness of murder. Eastwood shows true understanding of the genre and shows us something that he believed needed to be seen, and producing a mastercraft of film in the process. His last final grace comes when he dedicates the film to Sergio Leone and Don Siegel, his mentors through the years - it's not hard to say that with Unforgiven he did them both proud.

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      07.07.2009 14:33
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      A western brimming with psychology and tension

      The revisionist Western is a term that eminated from films like Clint Eastwood's Oscar winning masterpiece Unforgiven, a film that usurps the conventions of the genre established by auteurs such as John Ford (The Searchers, Stagecoach, The Man who Shot Liberty Valance) and Howard Hawks (Red River).

      In 1880, in the town of Big Whiskey, cowboy Quick Mike (David Mucci) slashes a prostitute's (Delilah Fitzgerald) (Anna Levine) face for laughing at his small penis. The abrasive local sherrif Little Bill Daggett (Gene Hackman), fines the cowboy, but the other prostitutes, led by their madam Strawberry Alice (Frances Fisher), are furious over the seemingly lax punishments and offer a $1000 reward to anyone who kills the two. Some ways away in Western Kansas, the Schofield Kid (Jaimz Woolvett) approaches a farm owned by William Munny (Clint Eastwood), and asks him if he'd like to aid him in performing the hit. Munny is at first apprehensive, being long retired from a violent life of debauched crime, but considers his financial troubles, and then accepts, recruiting a former associate and neighbor, Ned Logan (Morgan Freeman), to join them.

      Unforgiven has recieved huge amounts of praise for rejecting the typical conventions of the genre - that is, caricature gunslingers that simply kill without any emotional or psychological plausibility. Instead, these are broken down characters that are long past the phase of arrested development that so many Western protagonists and antagonists seem to be stuck in - this is a film of overwhelming complexity that isn't free of violence, but when it appears, it is treated as incredibly destructive, and Eastwood is sure that his characters are forced to deal with the very real implications of taking a life.

      Unforgiven is a slow-moving yet quietly curious revisionist Western, complete with an ambiguous moral relativism that complements the great cast and picturesque direction from Clint Eastwood.

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      23.05.2009 15:12
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      Great modern Western

      1992 saw a sort of revival attempt at the modern Western, with Clint Eastwood taking up the reins in control of this epic and excellent piece of Western cinema. It is one of those films which sees a main plot line that is not the primary focus of the film, and as such it is entirely engrossing. In many ways, the appeal of the film is more the superb acting from the four main top billing actors, rather than anything else.

      Following a vicious attack on a prostitute, a hefty sum is placed on the heads of the two men responsible. Former gun for hire Will Munny (Eastwood) finds himself persuaded to put on his guns one last time to seek the perps and claim the reward, and he enlists his old buddy Ned (Morgan Freeman) to help him. Sheriff Little Bill Doggett (Gene Hackman) is keen to keep peace in his town, but it seems that is unlikely to happen, especially with the arrival of English Bob (Richard Harris), known to Daggett already.

      As events surge towards a dramatic conclusion, the lives of these four veterans of the Wild West converge, and the tension increases with every second, with each trying to outfox the others. And it is in this quartet of acting 'royalty' that we find the main focus of the film. Eastwood himself acknowledges Don Siegel and Sergio Leone as the inspirations for this film, and there really are a few ringing scenes which seem to have taken their cue from classics such as Once Upon A Time In The West and the spaghettis of Eastwood's Man With No Name.

      Hackman's performance is nothing short of superb, and he won a deserved Oscar. His character's quick wit and unfallable charm when faced with all manner of situations is in complete comparison with Eastwood's smooth, cool as a cucumber, slow anti-hero, and the lines of who is the hero and who is the villain are blurred throughout the film, as the story touches on the pasts of these men, revealing them to have been less celebratory than their present selves. Crimes riddle their history, and the pressure of all this being evident, and the apparent need to atone for former sins comes through for all of them, none moreso than Munny.

      Long, sweeping, wide shots are complemented by closeups on people's faces, another salute to the Western of yesteryear, giving the atmosphere a bit of a tweak when faced with the comparison of the regular camera work as regular people go about regular jobs on a regular day. There really is a stark contrast here.

      I found that I had forgotten the main plot, watching the four leads' performances. The convergence of such quality of acting can often go the wrong way and be a bit of a disaster, with each one clamouring for top spot, but it is the humility all four show that wins the film its praiseworthy awards and critiques. I found it enthralling all the way through, and have happily watched it a few times now, each time riveted to the screen. If you're a fan of Westerns, don't miss out on a chance to see this. It has all the magic and atmosphere of the oldies, as well as the more modern feel of a 90s action film, with some excellent dialogue, and top work from those in front of and behind the camera.

      The DVD is currently available from amazon.co.uk for low prices. It's well worth snapping this up and keeping hold of, as it's one of those films you can watch over and over and pick up something new each time.

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        17.02.2009 06:15
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        A must see for western and Eastwood fans

        I personally hold the "Unforgiven" as one of my favorite Clint Eastwood movies. Clint Eastwood has always been a western movie icon and has done exceptionally well directing these movies as well as acting in them.
        In "unforgiven" ; I think we have already established the plot of a man known for his bloody history of killing trying to put that behind him all the while circumstances bringing about an almost noble cause calling him to kill again. Clint portrays this character perfectly and with the support of well known actor Morgan Freeman we see the characters become very believable and enjoyable to watch.
        After the assault on a prostitute by two young cowpokes we see the secondary villain "Gene Hackman" enter into the plot. This brings us a trio of known actors to bring a completely entertaining movie experience.
        Overall I say again that "unforgiven" is one of Clint Eastwoods best movies and one of my favorite western movies as well.

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          30.01.2009 02:38
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          One of his best works.

          Thought I'd crack this film on again today, and I thought; this deserves a review! WE all know that Clint is the king of the west when it comes to films, with absolute classics such as 'The Good the Bad and the Ugly' which remains in my opinion the best western ever made. And now many years on, Clint is an old man, the big question is; can he still make a great western?

          The answer to that of course is yes, but this is a very different kettle of fish to films such as the 'Dollars' trilogy (which were phenomenal films). It is a very dark film, and would be what I'd call an intelligent western, as it deals with more issues behind the killing, rather than just people killing, so it would be difficult to compare to his previous films.

          A brief summary of the story...

          *SPOILERS *

          The story starts with Clint playing an old man Will (would be hard for him to escape that at the ripe old age of 62). He seems a quiet man, a peaceful man just trying to make a living on a farm which he's quite clearly having troubles with, after his wife has passed on. We are told he used to be an alcoholic murderer, but his wife had changed his ways.

          He gets a visit from a young man, the Scofield Kid, who claims to have killed many people, and says there's a bounty out for a couple of cowboys who cut up a prostitutes face, he reluctantly agrees, with the help of his best friend Ned.

          The embark on the journey, but when they arrive at the whorehouse, the Sheriff beats up Will (who is very ill) for coming for the bounty, as he thinks they have paid their dues for their crime by demanding horses from them. They escape and head off to kill the men, after Will has recovered from his illness.

          At the first one, Ned shoots him first, but only hits his leg, he is clearly very disturbed by the yells from the shot man, when asked to fire the killing shot he can't bring himself to doing it, so Will shoots him in the stomach. We then see the man dying a slow death, and it clearly disturbs Ned and Will. Ned then heads home, unable to continue.

          At the second man, the Kid is sent to shoot him while he's on the toilet, which is first pauses, then does it, they once again escape. The Kid then breaks down from his previous macho exterior, and explains that it was his first kill. We then see him brilliantly come to terms which the monstrosity of killing a man, and says he'll never shoot again.

          When collecting the bounty, they find out that Ned has been tortured for information, and eventually killed by the Sheriff. This sends will over the edge, he sends the Kid away with his money, and heads to the town.

          When he goes into the whorehouse/tavern (where Ned is displayed outside with a sign on him), he marches in unexpectedly with a double barrelled shotgun poised. He kills the (unarmed) barman for displaying Ned, and proceeds to kill 3 gunmen and injure 2 without a scratch. While almost dead, he stands over the Sheriff and shoots him in the head, and we see that he is just as ruthless and dangerous as he ever was.

          There is much more to it than this, but you need to watch it for that!

          *SPOILERS END*

          This film brilliant portraits how big it is to kill a man, rather than many films which you see hundreds of people being shot, but think nothing more of it. This film is dark, gritty, graphic and violent, which is justified because of the message it puts across, and shows what happens in real life, as opposed to just on the big screen.

          This film is quite literally unmissable, I'd like to compare it with other westerns right now, but that's not really appropriate, as they are both superb in their own rights, just watch it.

          Word of warning, this film is given a 15 rating, but personally I'd have given it an 18 as it has very adult themes all the way through, so think twice before showing it to minors, as they may be disturbed.

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            24.10.2008 00:45
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            One of Clint's best.

            A classic Eastwood film. Starts out with a couple guys disfiguring a "lady of the night" getting cut up my angry customers. Her friend get some money together and offer it to someone to kill the men who did it. Shows Eastwd's character living but hating the life of a farmer. A young "greenhorn" who has heard of his past as a ruffian tries to talk him into going after them together. Along with an old friend ( Morgan Freeman) they set out. Plenty of action killing and revenge. Despite all of the town Sherriff's efforts to thwart them, they find the men who cut up the girl and although at a price of one of their own lives get revenge for the ladies who hired them.
            If you like action westerns with a great plot that are well made, as all of the Eastwood classics, then this is a film you should rush to see.

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              28.04.2006 18:13
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              Write up of the movie

              The western has always been a curious genre for me. It’s one with little or no historical precedent in this country, what with the events taking place mainly in 19th century mid-America and yet it still captivates when this particular type of movie is done well. I was brought up on a diet of the cheroot chewing, man-with-no-name brand of gunslinger, celebrating the general machismo that went with the whole cowboy thing. I guess it was only a matter of time before revisionism hit the archetypal US western and in 1992, Clint Eastwood did for cowboy movies what Sam Peckinpah had managed with war films years earlier (note “Cross of Iron” in particular).

              William Munny (Clint Eastwood) is a retired gun-fighter. Settling for a life of sobriety on a farmstead with his wife and children, when his wife dies he agrees to take on one last job to secure enough money for a comfortable life for him and his two children. Joining forces with his long-standing friend, Ned Logan (Morgan Freeman) and the myopic Schofield Kid (Jaimz Woolvet), they make their way to the small town of Big Whisky which has been shaken by the recent slashing of a prostitute’s face. The subsequent reward offered by the other women in the brothel for the killing of the two cowboys responsible lures Munny, Logan and the kid to the town to enforce the request and collect the reward. The town itself is run by a sadistic sheriff called “Little Bill” Daggett who enforces the anti-gun code with ruthless efficiency. It’s his encounter with the trio that provides the dynamic for the rest of the plot.

              Directed by Eastwood himself, “Unforgiven” could only have been put together by a small handful of people with any credibility of which Eastwood was almost certainly the best candidate. First of all, the acting is truly top draw. Eastwood himself simmers in the lead role. Gone is the charismatic, poncho-wearing gringo from Leone’s spaghetti westerns to be replaced by a sensitive, yet borderline psychotic man seeking redemption. One minute we learn that Munny won’t sleep with a hooker out of respect for his dead wife, the next we are hit with the revelation that Munny has murdered women and children as well as a long line of men without remorse or pity. It’s clear that the central character is trying to make his peace with life as much as himself and the point is made both at the start and the end of the movie. Of course, the movie's title gives a big clue as to the road that the the audience will take underpinned by the opening reels of text telling us that Mrs Ansonia Feathers had made the arduous journey to Hodgeman County to visit the last resting place of her daughter. This adroit, visual pen-picture sets the rest of the story up beautifully. The screen text goes on to say that there was nothing on the marker to explain to Mrs Feather’s why her only daughter had married a known thief and murderer, a man of vicious and temperate disposition.

              The rest of the cast is both stellar and on top form. Morgan Freeman is, well, Morgan Freeman at his steady, trustworthy best whilst Jaimz Woolvett is utterly convincing as a cowboy with a bravado that masks an underlying naivety about to be sliced apart by the events that unfold. With the dependable Richard Harris playing the wonderful (although immoral and really rather nasty) English Bob, it’s hard to tear your eyes away from the screenplay unfolding. For me, the pick of the bunch is Gene Hackman. I’ve always liked Hackman and found him pretty compelling in most of the movies he’s starred in – from Popeye Doyle in “The French Connection” to Agent Anderson in “Mississippi Burning”. As the house building, psychotic sheriff, there’s a brooding violence that Hackman brings to the screen that is breathtaking in its delivery. His encounter with English Bob as well as what follows with the movie’s leads underlines the message that Eastwood is trying to get across through David Webb Peoples’ story. The line between the good guys and the bad is as blurred as anyone could imagine and the de-glorification of violence never better imagined than through the ultimate fate of the offending cowboys who had scarred the prostitute. We know that Hackman is the sheriff and yet he’s as mean as a rattlesnake; we know that Eastwood is a vicious killer and yet the audience can’t help but empathise with his character. The line between what’s right and wrong becomes as ambiguous as a 19th century, mid-western debate about the rights of prostitutes and Daggett’s dismissal of their plea for justice undermined by the notion that gunslingers can just ride into town and dispense their own version of summary justice.

              Often the movie emphasises just how lonely many of the guilt-ridden characters probably were, trying to make a living by violence but often, ultimately, abhorred by their own actions or at least eventually haunted by events from the past. The concept of the dramatic showdown at high noon is brutally taken apart by the screenplay with dark, storm driven scenes of sadism and cowardice. The vulnerability that maybe we all thought was there all along is depicted through the eyes of pretty much all of the lead characters and none more so that the self-named Schofield Kid. Of course, the greatest irony is that the boundaries between moral right and wrong may have been interpreted differently in a different time and a different world and perhaps the question is being asked as to who are we to judge what may have been right or wrong? For this in microcosm, see the scene in Daggett’s jailhouse featuring English Bob, Beauchamp and the morally flawed sheriff.

              As with any modern western, much of the format and style owes due credit to the Sergio Leone spectacles of the 60’s and 70’s. Rolling, panoramic cinematography is woven into taut face-offs between the main characters at the appropriate times. Shot in Calgary, Canada, the set is about as authentic as it can look and some way removed from the predominantly, Spanish desert-bound sets of the spaghetti westerns of Leone and Don Siegel. The movie spends nearly all of its runtime simmering with the tension of the story but it’s the dismantling of any gloss previously associated with western shoot-outs that sets “Unforgiven” apart from anything else that has gone before. By including Saul Rubinek as W.W. Beauchamp, the be-spectacled biographer who trails around after English Bob initially, there’s almost a feeling of mapping the “winning of the wild west” in much the same way that “Once Upon A Time In the West” did in 1968 (surely one of Henry Fonda’s finest performances?).

              I’ve seen this movie several times now and never tire of its grandeur. Sitting at the very top-table in its genre, “Unforgiven” may even be THE best western ever made. A classic, a masterpiece or just a really great film, whichever label you use this may well be Eastwood’s finest directorial hour and deservedly won four Oscars back in 1993. With a running time of 131 minutes and rated 15, “Unforgiven” is an adult film with adult themes and some of the violence is graphic. Personally, I rate this as one of the best movies I’ve ever seen. Highly recommended.

              Thanks for reading

              Mara

              DVD/VHS available at Amazon from £6.97.

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                31.10.2003 02:55
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                WWE Unforgiven 2002 15, 176 Mins (DVD), Mins (VHS), Silvervision, 2003, Commentators: Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler, and Tazz and Michael Cole 8 Man Tag Kane, Booker T, Goldust & Bubba Ray Dudley vs. Christian, Test, William Regal and Lance Storm. This typical USA vs. The world bout starts with Goldust and Christian, but the tags are quick right from the get go and so they aren?t in for long. The bout isn?t anything special for the talented individuals (namely Booker T, Christian & William Regal). Kane is hardly noticeable in the match at all through out the opening half of the match, but as expected, when the match dissolves into a wild brawl Kane goes around throwing his weight around. This is a so-so match that is a little disappointing. Not a fab start for the PPV. Intercontinental Title Chris Jericho vs. Ric Flair In their re-match from Summerslam, Flair once again gets an opponent who deserves much better than the broken down old man. The match, however, does begin well with Jericho creating some fast paced action, but soon the match does slow down to Flair?s pace (lots of long holds). Jericho uses some excellent ring psychology to carry the match and the ending is one that has been used soooo many times and yet Jericho makes it seem fresher than the morning dew, as he plays possum to a blown knee after spooning a lion sault. Jericho deserves to be facing better opponents for better titles. Edge vs. Eddie Guerrero After a very annoying long winded chase the match finally starts. At first the match appears to be dull and both of the entrants seem to be holding themselves back. However the bout does improve towards the end of the match, as the pace quickens and near-falls are added to the formula. The ending itself is also really outstanding, and makes the bout fun to watch. A slow starting bout, that?s full of potential that?s not released till the end. Interpromotional Match Billy & Chuck (Sma
                ckdown) vs. 3 Minute Warning w/ Rico (Raw) The stipulation for this match is simple. If Billy and Chuck win Eric Bischoff (Raw GM) must kiss Stephanie McMahon?s (Smackdown GM) bare bottom but if 3 Minute Warning win Stephanie McMahon must engage in HLA (Hot Lesbian Action). This match is shocking! And not that good kind of shocking either. Rosey and Jamal (3 Minute Warning) are some of the most talentless wrestlers ever to grace the squared circle. Rosey?s moonsaults looks more like a stumble off the middle rope and Billy Gunn (who was never anything special) and Chuck Pulumbo (Still a rookie) don?t help. Thankfully the bout doesn?t last long. This is bad, very bad. Eric Bischoff Interview World Title (Raw) Triple H vs. Rob Van Dam This bout starts not so well with lots of long pauses and show boating added to poor action and the occasional spot from RVD. The action for the most time is very forgettable, with Hunter showing huge limitations of being the size he is. This bout is very frustrating; especially with a crappy finish in which Flair turns heel. This is another rubbish match, which could have been something exciting 3 years ago when Triple H was performing well. Women?s Title Trish Stratus vs. Molly Holly The bout starts with lots of dull combination moves, but after a few minutes the action lightens up and get slightly better. The action doesn?t seem to go anywhere, and crowd definitely aren?t behind the match in the slightest, as even the finish of the bout doesn?t get much of a reaction! Disappointing at the least. Kurt Angle vs. Chris Benoit This match starts just as you might imagine, a technical showcase. However the action soon becomes very similar, very quickly and even though it is a impressive display it soon appears dull due to lack of variety (familiarness breeds contempt, and this must be their 1,000th match together). Angle soon heats the match up as he introduces a new range
                of moves. The suplex display at the end of this bout makes the match very tense indeed. This is an excellent bout, which again doesn?t heat up till the last 5 minutes. Stephanie McMahon & Eric Bischoff HLA segment Brock Lesnar Interview WWE Title Brock Lesnar vs. The Undertaker This super heated feud starts with lots of ring psychology, the solid action apart, mind games is the main emphasis on the beginning of this match. Undertaker peforms surprisingly well for a 41 year old and Brock Lesnar is starting to show he is no longer a rookie, as he punishes taker with a mixture of submissive, and power manevours. Soon the Undertaker is wearing the crimson mask of blood after Lesnar gives him soon chair shots (which taker afterwards of course returns much more brutally) and the two have a good brawl out of the ring. The only major downsides to this match is that the finish is a piss poor DQ (Undertaker had told Vince that he wouldn?t job to the champion!) and the amount of ref bumps, 3, in this match are really stupid. The ending aside, this is a good solid bout, that gives you a little bit more than what you?d expect from the Undertaker. DVD Extras: Post Match Interviews The Kurt Angle interview is really disappointing, but Jericho?s, Goldust?s and Booker T?s are ok. Undertaker Desire Video, Chris Benoit promo video, RVD video. These little extras aren?t much but they?ll be cool to look back on in a few years. Sunday Night Heat: Un-Americans Interview Ric Flair Interview Rey Mysterio vs. Chavo Guerrero Why this match isn?t on the actual PPV goodness knows! The match features more talent than Billy & Chuck, & 3 Minute Warning put together. The match is a good Cruiserweight bout, with Rey shining as normal. As usual both men take some stiff bumps and throw each other around a lot. Even though their chemistry isn?t perfect the match is still entertaining. This is a
                good bout, not as amazing as Mysterio?s Summerslam outing but still really enjoyable.

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                  13.01.2003 01:55
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                  The western is a forgotten genre that once in a while gets a ressurection, the early nineties was the last time and this year both The Alamo and a Kevin Costner effort are in production. At the peak is Clint Eastwood's Unforgiven, a masterpiece of film-making that won Clint oscars for Best Picture and Best Director. Clint plays William Munny, a retired gunslinger who was once a real badass who left many people dead and raised a lot of hell. But then he was tamed by a woman and went to raise a family. Some hookers in a local town raise a bounty for the lives of two cowboys when they brutally scar one of the group and get away with little punishment. A young guy named The Schofiled Kid comes and asks for Munny's assistance in grabbing the bounty. Reluctantly Munny eventually accepts but brings along his old friend Ned Logan (Morgan Freeman). However they haven't counted on running into the town sherrif Bill Daggett (Gene Hackman) and he doesn't kindly to those who interfere in his towns matters. Unforgiven is a classic purely because it's an old fashioned story and can be taken in many different ways. It's like a ressurection for all the cowboys Clint has played in the previous decades. This is the story of what happened to them when they got older. The acting is class throughout with Hackman taking an Oscar for his performance as the fearsome Daggett. The reliable Freeman also helps matters and there's great performances from the likes of Richard Harris as well. Ultimately it's Clint's movie and come the climax you'll be thrilled as he packs a gun and cleans up on his own. If you haven't seen it then it's one you have to for the great scenery and story. The dvd was one of the first releases in the UK on the format, it certainly shows. The film is presented in 2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen. The transfer doesn't do justice to the film's cinematography. The colours are washed out
                  and there's a lot of grain throughout. Generally it's a transfer that isn't that far removed from it's VHS counterpart. The sound is Dolby Digital 5.1 and it makes the film more enjoyable. There's some good punch in the action scenes while a general ambience is maintained through the rears. It isn't the kind of soundtrack that will blow you away but it does it's job well. As for extras you'll have to make do with some production notes and biographies. There's nothing very interesting at all. However there is a special edition due in the next few weeks that corrects the transfer and adds a stack of interesting extras. My advice would be to wait for that version although this version can be picked up for around £7 online if you take a look around. It's a five star film but the disk is only a three.

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                    25.04.2002 18:52
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                    ...and then sometimes they actually do. When The Unforgiven was given what is probably its umpteenth television showing last night this was one viewer who was determined not to miss it. I can't say I've been an enormous fan of everything Clint Eastwood has ever done, particularly in recent years, but you can't deny that his presence in Westerns is the stuff of cinematic legend and this would be the only one of those which has escaped my viewing so far. As the 'man with no name' in a string of spaghetti westerns Clint Eastwood was superb, but then of course he had a great supporting cast and a superb director in Sergio Leone(not forgetting Ennio Morricone's haunting score of course) to back him up. As director of a more modern movie I wondered how well he would fair, but again, with a superb cast of actors around him and with awards aplenty it didn't look as those this would be a movie to disappoint. And indeed it wasn't. Clint is an old man, so to are those other actors who appear in this movie. If this is to be his last Western(he said at the time it could well be his last ever movie) then its a fitting closure to a career which has seen him appear in some of the best, if not, the very best of them. There is no attempt here to make him look and act young, he is a gunslinger in a West in which many of the old gunslingers have hung up their gunbelt in preference to a much more civilised life. Times change, so do the people, but the West is still a violent place. Clint spends his time on his farm now with his two children, he is a father and no longer a wild and perhaps foolish young man who would shoot first and ask questions later when crossed. "My wife cured me of all that" he explains more than once throughout the movie, cured him of his whiskey drinking, his murderous ways and changed him into the man he is today. Its been over ten years since he picked up a gun in anger and he has no thoughts
                    of anything other than raising his children and growing old on his farm. That is until a young man who calls himself The 'Cisco Kid(Jaimz Woolvett) turns up at his hog farm with a proposition. It seems some unpleasant customers have cut up a whore's face and the whores have clubbed together $1000 from working overtime to offer as reward money for anyone who'll put a bullet or two in the perpetrators. The 'Cisco Kid is one of the many who are looking to pick up on what looks like easy money - but he wants a partner. Since he was a young boy his uncle has been feeding him stories about how William Munny is the meanest son of a snake in the Wild West during his time as a gunslinger and he's the only man he'll trust - if of course Will is interested. Still mourning the loss of his wife from smallpox three years previously, and with a pledge that he is a different man now, Will declines but is told that if he should change his mind, and take up the opportunity to give a better life to his children, he can follow on and pick up the Kid's trail...Naturally its wouldn't be much of a movie without Will having that change of heart and with old partner Ned Logan(Morgan Freeman) in tow he hits the trail to meet up with The Kid to claim the 'whores gold'. Meanwhile in a separate and soon to be linked story, Lil' Bill Dagget(Gene Hackman) is taking his job of Sheriff to extremes in the town of Big Whiskey. "No Guns" is the general message of the crude and none too conspicuous sign leading into the town and he enforces this rule with an iron fist. This is the town where the whore was cut up and none too surprisingly bounty hunters start turning up from all over the place looking for the booty - armed to the teeth and none too happy about being left without their guns. Anyway who crosses Lil' Bill ends up being beaten within an inch of their lives before being run out of town. Such is the fate of English
                    Bob(Richard Harris), a cowardly gunslinger with a skewed view of the truth of events and a love of the Queen. He is travelling with his autobiographer, a man completely out of his depth in the West who decides to stay behind to catalogue the life of Lil' Bill when Bob is run out of town because he find him far more interesting... Naturally, these two stories are on a collision course, as the ageing gunslingers come up against the sadistic sheriff... That is the general premise behind what I would without doubt say is one of the finest westerns ever made. Clint Eastwood both stars in and directs this picture(this being his 20th time in the director's chair out of his then 41 movies) and dedicates it to both Sergio Leonne and Don Seigel who he recognises as the people who brought him into the movie industry. Its a fitting tribute. Most fuss was made about the anti-violence message it delivers, although if you are not tuned into it you'll just notice a lot of beatings and killings of course. However, instead of just blasting away as in other action movies this one has more of a head on its shoulders, making great pains to point out that pulling that trigger isn't as easy as it looks. "Its a hell of a thing to kill a man" proclaims Eastwood's character at one stage, "You take away all he's got, and everything he's ever gonna have" denouncing the casual approach to cold blooded murder for entertainment value which modern action movies have taken. Its almost an anti-movie, its certainly something which turns the Western genre on its head. A later scene has Hackman's sheriff handing a gun to the meek mannered W. W. Beauchamp and taunting him to shoot him with it, another demonstration of the psychological difficulty of actually taking a life. Its a blunt message, but one which in a gun ridden society it might be something for Hollywood to adopt in future rather than its usual 'guns are fun' mess
                    age.. With this theme in mind, The Unforgiven is a much more accessible western than all those which have come before it, appealing not only to fans of the genre but also to a much wider audience who would otherwise tire of the blood, guts and machismo. Don't be fooled however into thinking that this isn't a violent movie, because it certainly is. In the opening scenes a whore's face is cut up by a drunken cowboy, numerous bloody and relentless beatings are handed out by Dagget and of course there are guns a plenty - this is the wild west after all. For once though this isn't the sole focus of the story. Its a deconstruction of the myths of other movies, portraying the west not as a place of glamour, fame and fortune but of drunks, filth and murderers. There is no glory to be had here in the killing of another man, no pristine white suits, big hats and smiling hookers plying their trade with gleeful abandon. Its a mindless cycle of violent revenge killings by drunks in bars and psychopaths enforcing 'the law' where 'the law' is whatever they make it. Men don't just fall over when shot, or flay their arms about after a loud smacking sound when hit, but instead they bleed, they scream, they cry and they die leaving you with no uncertainty that there was no glory in that death or the perpetrator of that. This is a movie with a distinctly sombre overtones, intent on removing the glamour from what is a bloody, violent period in American history. It is also a superbly acted movie as you would expect with a cast such as this. Clint Eastwood is of course perfect, he has certainly had enough practice in this kind of role and studied under the best. Directing himself and knowing his own limitations and strengths better than anyone I suppose it couldn't be any other kind of performance than the very best. Will is a man who was once a murderer and a thief, a notorious outlaw who has now left it all behind in order to pur
                    sue a family life - but now without the woman who changed him. "I ain't like that no more" he proclaims on more than one occasion "my wife cured my of drink and wickedness", words repeated so many times that its as if he is trying to convince himself of that more than anyone else. You watch him grow as the movie progresses, first a man who can not even shoot a gun straight anymore, who falls off his horse at the first sign of trouble, but begins to slide back into old ways. You can change, but once you kill someone you've lost a part of yourself and the 'wickedness' is in you forever. By his side is his partner played by Morgan Freeman who is along for the money as well although he doesn't really care for The Kid. You never really expect anything but the best from Freeman, and again that’s exactly what you get although his character isn't really all that interesting, more someone to act as a foil for Eastwood's words. The Kid too, is another somewhat underdeveloped character, but one who stands again to act as a foil for the anti-violence message. He pretends to be a great killer, a gunfighter extraordinaire, who has killed five men and thinks that there is much glory in the exploits of these two who have killed countless. He has grown up hearing about their gunfights and revelled in the glory of it all but both make sure to either not discuss them or to cut him down when they do. The Kid is as much a representation of society and the youth of today who worship idols who wield guns and kill in spectacular fashion and of course, is told and shown numerous time that it ain't like that in the real world. Another interesting character is that of English Bob played by Richard Harris, an Englishman who finds it most uncouth to kill 'people of status'. His exploits are being documented by his biographer, a man completely out of his depth in the West and who swallows everything he is told. T
                    hese are the exaggerated stories which will be told in the big towns and cities and which will be written down and told to children, and those children's children for generations and The Unforgiven makes sure that these are rubbished as exaggerated nonsense a little later on when Dagget tells it how it is. English Bob represents the myths and legends of the West, and as such has the proverbial kicked out of him and sent packing by the realities represented most harshly by Dagget. Dagget is the epitome of the 'real' West, a cruel, sadistic killer who delights in the beating and mental torture of his victims, but who also holds the position of Sheriff. Hackman's portrayal of this character is perfect, meaner than a rattlesnake in a milk churn and twice as deadly, his cold-blooded persona and the way he switches from friendly to deadly in the blink of an eye are truly unnerving. Its an excellent performance. Forget everything you've ever seen or heard about the Wild West when you sit down to watch this movie because all that is about to be torn apart by what is a truly excellent movie. Prepare for every myth to be shattered and prepare to believe everything you are shown here as being exactly how it was. 40 years after the heyday of the Western genre a movie comes along which does it properly, it might not be as uplifting and heroic, but it certainly makes for a riveting viewing experience. Miss it if you dare.

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                      13.02.2002 02:03
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                      Unforgiven I am not a huge Western fan. All my Dad ever used to watch on the TV when i was younger was John Wayne this and John Wayne that. However i had nothing better to watch last night so i tried this out. Knowing it was highly accoladed and featured a top cast I sat down switched my brain on and let it rip. I was a little surprised how short and easy to watch the film was. Like i said i switched my brain on thinking there would be a lot of exposition and a wealth of characters to get to know. However it was far more enjoyable than i expected. Great performances from the four principal stars who kept my interest from one scene to another and an engaging storyline from the outset. The main characters are all enjoyable to watch especially Gene Hackman who plays are rather dispicable Sheriff. I've always been a fan of Morgan Freeman and he also should be commended for the excellent performance. My experience of Eastwood are somewhat lacking, the only film i think i've seen him in is Space Cowboys, that's the only one i can remember anyhow. Never the less he was also great in this and i can see where a lot of people imitate him with his slow and husky delivery of dialogue. I think Clint did an excellent job directing on this film. Some of the sweeping vistas looked mighty impressive even on my humble 21" TV. The discs picture come in it's original 2.35:1 widescreen transfer. Some of the interior shot's look straight from the John Ford 'The Searchers' school of directing. I wasn't too impressed with the quality the disc gave out though. Pretty murky and grainy in places. I would think this film would benefit greately from an improved print. The sound also is a little on the mediocre side. This disc is in full Dolbt Digital but i wasn't enveloped in a lot of sound and i was somewhat dissapointed. The extras are a no go on this disc, nothing to write home about. Just a few text based facts a
                      nd accolades. But still this disc can be picked up for little under £8 if you shop around. In some way's it's reassured me that Westerns aren't what i made them out to be when i was younger and that i should make the effort to seek out some earlier works, especially Clint Eastwoods. I think Warners should splash out and make a decent SE of this film though.

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                        05.09.2001 03:32
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                        ~ ~ I was totally astounded to discover that this outstanding movie only has one opinion written about it here at dooyoo. Forget your John Wayne’s and your run of the mill Western movies that glamorise the Wild West. If you enjoy cowboy films, then take a look at this offering “Unforgiven” (1992), that shows you what life was really like in the pioneering days in America, warts and all. Directed by veteran Hollywood actor Clint Eastwood, who cut his teeth in westerns such as “Rawhide” on TV (1960’s), and spaghetti westerns like “For a Few Dollars More” and “The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly” from the 1970’s, this movie won no fewer than four Oscars, including Best Film and Best Director. Surprisingly enough for such an acclaimed actor/director, this was in fact the first Oscar of Eastwood’s long and illustrious career. ~ ~ The plot is simple enough. A cowhand takes offence at a prostitute who makes fun of his diminutive manhood, and carves his initials into her face with a bowie knife. (nice fellow!) The saloon girls (naturally enough) complain to the local Sheriff, “Little Bill” Daggett, (Gene Hackman) a psychopath who runs the town of Big Whiskey as his personal kingdom, dispensing his own brand of personal justice with his boots and his fists. He’s obviously not a man who supports women’s lib, as in this instance his only punishment is to make the young cowboy pay the saloon owner compensation for the loss of revenue he will obviously incur from having a girl with a face like a road map. So the “ladies” club their resources to offer a large reward to anyone who will dispense a harsher and more just punishment (kill the basta*d) to the naughty cowboy. ~ ~ Cue the entry of veteran Irish actor Richard Harris, who plays a cold blooded killer called “English Bob”, who arrives in town intent on collecting
                        the ladies bounty. In tow he has a character called W.W. Beuchchamp (Saul Rubinek), an idealistic young writer with stars in his eyes, who is intent on writing English Bob’s biography, and in chronicling the exploits of the many wild and violent characters of the period. Instead he ends up getting nearly kicked to death by Little Bill, and thrown into the local pokey, where Little Bill continues his humiliation by detailing to his biographer Beuchchamp many of the lies and exaggerations he has told of his various exploits. ~ ~ Now Eastwood himself enters the fray, as a Kansas farmer called William Munny. He is a reformed killer of legendary renown, who has changed his wicked ways upon marrying his sweetheart, who has just unfortunately gone to meet her Maker. He is approached by a young, eager to make a name for himself (aren’t they always!) gunslinger by the name of the “Schofield Kid” (Jaimz Woolvetz) who entices him to join him in his venture to claim the reward money offered by the whores. “I’m not like that no more,” Munny tells the Kid, but needs must, and up to his eyes in debt and with two young orphaned children to support, he somewhat reluctantly agrees to lend his support. Along the way he picks up his former partner from the “old days”, a sharpshooter called Ned Logan (Morgan Freeman), to make up the numbers. It later transpires that the Schofield Kid is as blind as a bat, and that Ned Logan has lost all desire to shoot people, not exactly desirable attributes in aspiring bounty hunters! They set off to Big Whiskey and to the inevitable showdown with the sadistic town Sheriff, Little Bill. ~ ~ That gives you the basis of the plot, and it’s not my intention to reveal much more and thus spoil your enjoyment of the movie. What really makes this Western different from many other Westerns is the way in which many of the characters are killed off. <
                        br>Eastwood leaves absolutely nothing to the imagination, and doesn’t try to spare the viewer’s sensibilities. Whereas other Directors of similar films like Sam Peckinpah (The Wild Bunch) and John Ford (too many cowboy films to mention) allow their characters to die gracefully and with some dignity, (and in the case of Peckinpah even in slow motion) Eastwood shows the bloody brutality of the old West in all its “glory”. In one scene, a cowboy is shot at point blank range while he is taking his ease in an outside toilet, and he spews blood at just about the same rate as he vacates his bowels. There is nothing admirable or dramatic about the violence in Unforgiven, and you come away with what I consider a far truer idea of what the West must have really been like. Eastwood has cut through all the crap that has been perpetuated over generations of cowboy films, of dastardly villains and heroic good guys, who ride off into the sunset with the beautiful lady, after dispensing justice to all and sundry. In “Unforgiven” there ARE no heroes, only mortal men (and women) with all the human failings and frailties, and all the human uncertainties, hopes and fears. ~ ~ Eastwood is brilliant as the aging gunslinger Munny, a sort of older and wiser version of the “man with no name” from his spaghetti western days, and is ably supported by the rest of a strong cast. Gene Hackman excels in his role of the sadistic Sheriff “Little Bill”, as does Richard Harris in his cameo role as “English Bob”, while I have yet to see Morgan Freeman play a bad part in ANY film. This is an absolute cracker of a movie, that I thoroughly enjoyed, but one that you will need a strong stomach to watch

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                          21.10.2000 23:00
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                          The film that finally won Eastwood an Oscar, albeit for Best Director was the revisionist western that made the genre fashionable for a time in Hollywood and established Clint as a respectable director. Here, William Munny has retired from his outlaw days but is convinced to take one last job for the money, but trouble along the way ensures he may never return home. Gene Hackman and Morgan Freeman are excellent, as is the music by Lennie Niehaus. Already, the movie feels a little dated, but should be seen as the movie that finally got Eastwood that Oscar. Written by David Webb Peoples who also wrote Blade Runner and 12 Monkeys!

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                          Winner of four Academy Awards, including best picture, director, supporting actor and best editing, Clint Eastwood's 1992 masterpiece stands as one of the greatest and most thematically compelling Westerns ever made. "The movie summarised everything I feel about the Western," said Eastwood at the time of the film's release. "The moral is the concern with gunplay." To illustrate that theme, Eastwood stars as a retired, once-ruthless killer-turned-gentle-widower and hog farmer. He accepts one last bounty-hunter mission--to find the men who brutalised a prostitute--to help support his two motherless children. Joined by his former partner (Morgan Freeman) and a cocky greenhorn (Jaimz Woolvett), he takes on a corrupt sheriff (Oscar winner Gene Hackman) in a showdown that makes the viewer feel the full impact of violence and its corruption of the soul. Dedicated to Eastwood's mentors Sergio Leone and Don Siegel and featuring a colourful role for Richard Harris, Unforgiven is arguably Eastwood's crowning directorial achievement. --Jeff Shannon