Release Date: Oct 14, 2013
In Hollywood they say “the only bad actor is one who isn’t working.”
And when somebody new takes the stage, you can bet somebody else just got shoved out the door.
Your Star can fall fast … and hard.
And we’ve seen many fine actors, who have done some excellent work in their careers, just disappear.
Or end up involved in some dubious projects.
But you gotta work.
(and they still probably make a lot more money than we do)
Now .. I’m not saying that Sweetwater or (Sweet Vengeance or Sherif Jackson) is bad movie – I haven’t seen it.
But when they can’t even make up their mind what to call it …
They spelled Sheriff incorrectly too. Unless you’re an Arab.
Nor have I seen any reviews. (Though I put very little stock in a lot of reviews)
On the surface, Sweetwater (?) appears to be yet another one of those vacuous stylized things that have been coming out in recent times …
Tarantino Clones, I call ‘em.
I like style … if there’s half an ounce of substance to go along with it.
But if it’s just and excuse for mindless, incessant, sadistic gore and bloodshed …
And when I leave the theatre I also like to feel that something has been added to me – not taken away.
Mainly my humanity.
So … Ed Harris.
Love most of his stuff. He has justly won awards and been nominated many times.
And was very good in another Western called Appaloosa (2008) (with Viggo Mortensen, Renee Zellweger and Jeremy Irons) …
His role in Sweetwater seems reminiscent of Marlon Brando’s role in Missouri Breaks - as some kind of eccentric bounty hunter … Marshall … or ?
Fact is, if Ed Harris wasn’t in this movie, it might not even be worth noticing.
Review: Sweetwater (Sundance 2013)
REVIEW: Well, they can’t all be winners, can they? Even a great festival like Sundance is not immune from a flop or two, especially late in the festival. Last year, it was probably LAY THE FAVORITE, while this year, that questionable “honor” goes to SWEETWATER.
Usually a good, pulpy revenge tale set in the Old West would be right up my alley, but right from the get go it’s obvious Logan and Noah Miller, the writers and directors of the film, are way out of their depth. The story is old hat, having been likely lifted from an old Raquel Welch western called HANNIE CAULDER, with a little KILL BILL thrown in for good measure. The west, which should be a character of it’s own, has never been filmed so haphazardly, not even in the dozens of TV westerns my Dad used to grow up watching on TV. Compared to this, BONANZA is like UNFORGIVEN.
Matters aren’t helped much by the cast. January Jones is a stunningly attractive woman. No one can argue that. But as an actress? I don’t want to be mean, but this performance isn’t only wooden, it’s downright petrified. Jones is wonderful on MAD MEN, but she doesn’t at all suit the part of a tough-as-nails former old west prostitute turned dirt farmer, with nary a hair out of place throughout. And despite the fact that in the first half-hour of the film, she loses a husband, a baby, and gets raped, her expression never goes beyond a pout. She does get topless later though- so there’s that.
As if to make up for Jones’ lack of enthusiasm, Ed Harris and Jason Isaacs go way, way, WAY over the top as respectively, a wacky sheriff, and the fanatical Mormon villain. Harris seems to be having fun howling at the moon like a wolf, and pirouetting and dancing around the desert, while trying to solve a double murder (with the Miller Bros., giving themselves a cameo). Isaacs plays your typical, wide-eyed, maniacal preacher, with a haircut and facial hair that makes him look like Gary Oldman‘s Dracula. He’s absolutely ridiculous, but then again- I guess that suits the film.
Despite only running ninety minutes, SWEETWATER feels absolutely endless. Once the pulpy payback scenes kick in towards the end, even the most patient audience members will be way beyond caring, and eager for the credits to roll so they can bolt for the exit. Truly, SWEETWATER is one of the very worst films I’ve ever seen at a film festival- comparable to something like PASSION PLAY. Inevitably, given the cast- this will come out, but trust me, this is absolutely atrocious.