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Two new Westerns are out on big, beautiful Blu-Ray, which is a good thing. They’re both wonderful and important stories, which is better. They both explore something deep in all of us–the quest for justice. And they both have something to say on this National Day of Remembrance.
One is dramatic and painful, the other comedic and satirical. One is somewhat dark and difficult. The other is easy and breezy. But what they both have in common is the focus upon victims, villains and vigilantes while scriptures like “‘Vengeance is Mine,’ sayeth the Lord,” are re-explored.
“The Quick and The Dead” was met with mixed reviews back when it originally debuted on the silver screen back in 1995. While lost in Sharon Stone celebrity tabloid bias, the critics didn’t realize its staying power nor an all-star cast was in the making, going well beyond Stone and Gene Hackman to include Russell Crowe, Leonardo DiCaprio, Gary Sinise and others. And Sam Raimi was a far better director then than he was given credit for.


“Silverado” came out 10 years earlier, directed by a younger Lawrence Kasdan and featuring a deep and great cast including Kevin Kline, Kevin Costner, Danny Glover, Scott Glenn, John Cleese, Brian Dennehy, Jeff Goldblum, Linda Hunt and Joe Seneca.
Both films focus on those who’ve been wronged by those with more power, and their relentless commitment to getting even. The agenda is more pronounced in “The Quick and The Dead,” and easier to swallow in “Silverado,” but both have something to say about our own response to the attacks of September 11, 2001, as to whether we’re protective or vindictive, fair or just, right or wrong. And–unlike some of the commentary shows on the subject, they provide a lively and fun few hours to enjoy the ride.

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