Latest Entertainment News Headlines

The UnPopular Opinion: Unforgiven

01.01.2015

THE UNPOPULAR OPINION is an ongoing column featuring different takes on films that either the writer HATED, but that the majority of film fans LOVED, or that the writer LOVED, but that most others LOATHED. We're hoping this column will promote constructive and geek fueled discussion. Enjoy!

****SOME SPOILERS ENSUE****

There was a time when people flocked to Westerns the way we do to superhero movies today.  Before a lot of science fiction became reality, we looked to historical fiction about cowboys, Indians, gunslingers, and lawmen as our escape from reality and into a world foreign to most of us.  Over the last few decades, the Western has become less and less prevalent in movie theaters but the genre still thrives.  We continue to get brilliant Westerns each year, even if most don't get wide releases, but they still prove the viability of the tales.  The last historical Western to win Best Picture at the Oscars was 1992's UNFORGIVEN which is considered by many to be one of the genre's best offerings.  I whole-heartedly disagree.

For many, UNFORGIVEN represents a revisionist take on the Western as well as the film that caps off Clint Eastwood's illustrious career in the genre.  Eastwood himself won the Best Director award for the movie, something he would do again over a decade later for MILLION DOLLAR BABY.  There is clearly a correlation between Eastwood as a filmmaker and critical accolades, but it is something I just don't see in a lot of his work. I previously took MILLION DOLLAR BABY to task for being overrated and I am prepared to do the same for UNFORGIVEN.

Guess which feature of this scene is the most wooden (Hint: it isn't the tree)

There is a visual splendor to seeing the unsullied side of America.  UNFORGIVEN definitely displays that, much like DANCES WITH WOLVES a few years earlier.  Seeing the country as if it was over a hundred years ago is a breathtaking feat that becomes more and more difficult as we develop our land.  But, there are certain places movies can be filmed that allow you to travel back in time.  UNFORGIVEN, from a visual standpoint, gives us several of these vistas that just take your breath away.  It is a shame that Eastwood spends so much of the film reveling in how the world is changing.  I understand that he wants to make a film about the end of an era, the end of a genre, and the end of a chapter in his own life as an actor and a filmmaker, but when you dedicate your film to the memory and works of Sergio Leone and Don Siegel, you would think you should at least pay homage to them as well.

UNFORGIVEN is boring.  The film has very high aspirations to tell the tale of William Munny (Clint Eastwood) coming out of a self-imposed retirement for one last ride for vengeance.  Joined by The Schofield Kid (Jaimz Woolvett) and Ned Logan (Morgan Freeman), you expect the film to be a more mature version of THE OUTLAW JOSIE WALES or THE GOOD, THE BAD, AND THE UGLY.  While that is not the film Eastwood desired to make, what we instead are given is an elegaic analysis of what the world is like when they don't need cowboys anymore.  While that is an admirable tale to tell, UNFORGIVEN does a poor job of telling it.  The Coens succeeded in making that movie with NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN, a much different type of Western, but one that tells the story in UNFORGIVEN better than UNFORGIVEN.

This is what happens when a stranger rides into town without a mustache.

There is a lot in UNFORGIVEN that just doesn't work for me. For instance, Richard Harris as English Bob. Harris is brilliant in this supporting role as an aging gunslinger whose path is in the opposite direction to Munny. English Bob is followed by a biographer as he is immortalized in pulp fiction. But, the English Bob character is introduced and dispatched thanks to Gene Hackman as Sheriff Little Bill Daggett before even encountering Eastwood. This feels like a wasted opportunity for two of the best characters to share some screen time. English Bob is designed to develop Hackman's character who we already have seen to be a strong villain in this story. Hackman would play an equally strong villain in Sam Raimi's THE QUICK AND THE DEAD, a film that truly does pay homage to the films of Sergio Leone.

Morgan Freeman's portrayal of Ned Logan is, like his Oscar-winning character in Eastwood's MILLION DOLLAR BABY, the conscience of the film. Here he is the lone voice who speaks the truth about the world these characters inhabit and his ultimate demise is the catalyst for the brutal third act of the film. Still, in a movie that should truly be about Eastwood's character, the supporting cast are all far more interesting and yet none of them gel together at the same time.  Eastwood, as a director, has never ventured far from a formulaic approach to filmmaking.  This means what is on the written page is what you will see on screen, usually with no additional flair or spark.  This leaves UNFORGIVEN as a dull and expressionless film that contains a story that requires quite a bit of expression.

Rare behind the scenes photo of Morgan Freeman explaining wormholes to Clint Eastwood.

As a whole film, UNFORGIVEN fails.  The sum of the parts do not work here.  You can take the individual performances and, on their own, they warrant the acclaim lauded upon them.  You can take the widescreen exteriors here, framed beautifully for our visual enjoyment, and they deserve every award they were given.  The screenplay itself by David Webb Peoples (12 MONKEYS, BLADE RUNNER) is a masterpiece about the end of an era.  Had this movie been directed by Sergio Leone or Don Siegel, it may have been the movie everyone wants to see in Eastwood's film.  Instead, UNFORGIVEN is a movie that people want to see as a masterpiece rather than what it is: a missed opportunity at a great film.

Oh, and if you have any suggestions for The UnPopular Opinion I’m always happy to hear them. You can send along an email to alexmaidy@joblo.com, spell it out below, slap it up on my wall in Movie Fan Central, or send me a private message via Movie Fan Central. Provide me with as many movie suggestions as you like, with any reasoning you'd care to share, and if I agree then you may one day see it featured in this very column!

CLICK IMAGE TO OPEN GALLERY & SEE MORE PICS...

Source: JoBlo.com

RECOMMENDED MOVIE NEWS

MORE FUN FROM AROUND THE WEB

Strikeback
Not registered? Sign-up!
Or

+1
8:07PM on 01/03/2015

Come on

Is it really necessary to spew such hateful, hurtful, and obnoxious comments over one man's opinion of a movie? I love Unforgiven myself but I can't imagine losing my shit over a movie opinion. We pay nothing to enjoy and participate in this site. How about showing some fucking respect and civility to its writers.
Is it really necessary to spew such hateful, hurtful, and obnoxious comments over one man's opinion of a movie? I love Unforgiven myself but I can't imagine losing my shit over a movie opinion. We pay nothing to enjoy and participate in this site. How about showing some fucking respect and civility to its writers.
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
5:08AM on 01/04/2015
I don't think anyone is being that hateful or hurtful.

I don't think anyone is being that hateful or hurtful.

+0
5:10PM on 01/03/2015

so totally wrong

It's a 20 year old pretentious child that writes this article correct? What made me laugh the most when he compared this to "The Quick and the Dead" and "The Quick and the the Dead" was better?!? WTF give your head a shake son then pull it out of your keester.
It's a 20 year old pretentious child that writes this article correct? What made me laugh the most when he compared this to "The Quick and the Dead" and "The Quick and the the Dead" was better?!? WTF give your head a shake son then pull it out of your keester.
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
+1
12:41PM on 01/03/2015

Don't waste your time...

...reading this journalist-wanna-be's piece of crap.
...reading this journalist-wanna-be's piece of crap.
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
10:58PM on 01/02/2015
oh shut up.
oh shut up.
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
+2
8:03PM on 01/02/2015

What!!!???

A film that turns the Hollywood western on it's head. One of the great shootouts in film history. Eastwood and Hackman at the top of their game. But it's a bad movie?…yeah..right.
The film is a fantastic deconstruction of the western genre and one that will rise in stature year after year.
A film that turns the Hollywood western on it's head. One of the great shootouts in film history. Eastwood and Hackman at the top of their game. But it's a bad movie?…yeah..right.
The film is a fantastic deconstruction of the western genre and one that will rise in stature year after year.
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
12:47PM on 01/02/2015
"UNFORGIVEN is boring."

No, it really isn't.
"UNFORGIVEN is boring."

No, it really isn't.
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
11:27AM on 01/02/2015
I honestly dont think little alex has watched the movie. its like someone read a bunch of reviews on it and the movie summary, pieced what they thought it was about together, and then used their hatred of Eastwood to write a hit piece exactly counter to what the movie actually is... weird, i think we're losing this site. Maybe this column should stick to bad movies that someone might think is good, because this article reeks of politics and i can get that anywhere..
I honestly dont think little alex has watched the movie. its like someone read a bunch of reviews on it and the movie summary, pieced what they thought it was about together, and then used their hatred of Eastwood to write a hit piece exactly counter to what the movie actually is... weird, i think we're losing this site. Maybe this column should stick to bad movies that someone might think is good, because this article reeks of politics and i can get that anywhere..
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
+1
10:48AM on 01/02/2015

Trying to Hard

come on man.
come on man.
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
+1
2:16AM on 01/02/2015
I disagree with every statement made in this column. Never found Unforgiven boring, needing flair or that it needed to be more like a Sergio Leone film.
It's a great film that achieves what it sets out to achieve.
I disagree with every statement made in this column. Never found Unforgiven boring, needing flair or that it needed to be more like a Sergio Leone film.
It's a great film that achieves what it sets out to achieve.
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
1:25AM on 01/02/2015
I thought this column was interesting before in a dumb but harmless sort of way. I now see I was wrong. All movies are subject to opinion, but you lost all credibility when you said both "million dollar baby" and unforgiven were horrible. What credibility is this column gonna have in the future? Just end it now.
I thought this column was interesting before in a dumb but harmless sort of way. I now see I was wrong. All movies are subject to opinion, but you lost all credibility when you said both "million dollar baby" and unforgiven were horrible. What credibility is this column gonna have in the future? Just end it now.
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
10:40PM on 01/01/2015
OK...any small shred of credibility this column had left is now gone. There is no way any one person has this horrible of a taste in films this constantly, unless he is maybe 12 years old. And there sure isn't any real film site that would have someone working for it that actually looked at film the way this guy does. This column is just straight up trolling for clicks. I'm done with it.
OK...any small shred of credibility this column had left is now gone. There is no way any one person has this horrible of a taste in films this constantly, unless he is maybe 12 years old. And there sure isn't any real film site that would have someone working for it that actually looked at film the way this guy does. This column is just straight up trolling for clicks. I'm done with it.
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
8:40PM on 01/01/2015

Just Checking...

Just Checking to see if Im still allowed to post...

Earlier today I pointed out that this sort of column did suit Mr. Maidy. I was respectful and didn't curse. My comment has since been deleted...
I guess only certain unpopular opinions can be voiced around here...
Just Checking to see if Im still allowed to post...

Earlier today I pointed out that this sort of column did suit Mr. Maidy. I was respectful and didn't curse. My comment has since been deleted...
I guess only certain unpopular opinions can be voiced around here...
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
8:15PM on 01/01/2015
It is just an opinion, so godspeed, but to say it was a movie that could have been great but failed... is just,.. wow, not sure how it could have been done better.
It is just an opinion, so godspeed, but to say it was a movie that could have been great but failed... is just,.. wow, not sure how it could have been done better.
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
-2
8:06PM on 01/01/2015
Despite my avatar picture, I'm going to agree. The movie is just a bunch of build-up and anti-climaxes, which I know is exactly what they intended. I give credit for the execution of that idea, but it's not an idea I particularly want to watch. It almost feels like Clint Eastwood kicking the audience for enjoying Westerns, and that's unnecessary.

I think the movie got so many accolades just because it's a Western where the most famous badass Western actor is a total loser. I think it was
Despite my avatar picture, I'm going to agree. The movie is just a bunch of build-up and anti-climaxes, which I know is exactly what they intended. I give credit for the execution of that idea, but it's not an idea I particularly want to watch. It almost feels like Clint Eastwood kicking the audience for enjoying Westerns, and that's unnecessary.

I think the movie got so many accolades just because it's a Western where the most famous badass Western actor is a total loser. I think it was more shocking than good, and that's where it's reputation came from.
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
-3
3:53PM on 01/01/2015

Thank you!

I thought I was the only one who felt this movie was way overrated.
I thought I was the only one who felt this movie was way overrated.
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
1:40PM on 01/01/2015
I guess it wasn't FANTASTIC enough FOUR Ya.
I guess it wasn't FANTASTIC enough FOUR Ya.
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
1:04PM on 01/01/2015
"You're William Munny, killer of women and children in Cheyenne."
"Yeah, I'm William Munny. I've killed women, and children. I've killed just about everything that's walked or crawled on this earth at one point or another. And now I'm here to kill you, Little Bill. Because of what you did to Ned."

For the climax alone, this film deserves to be seen. I loved it. And maybe I'd respect this article if you didn't criticize it for being "boring." It's a great character study. It doesn't need
"You're William Munny, killer of women and children in Cheyenne."
"Yeah, I'm William Munny. I've killed women, and children. I've killed just about everything that's walked or crawled on this earth at one point or another. And now I'm here to kill you, Little Bill. Because of what you did to Ned."

For the climax alone, this film deserves to be seen. I loved it. And maybe I'd respect this article if you didn't criticize it for being "boring." It's a great character study. It doesn't need shootouts every ten minutes
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
12:05PM on 01/01/2015

Wow man, unpopular opinion indeed!!

I've never been that big of an Eastwood fan, don't like most of his movies and think he's very overrated as a director. Yet even I always thought Unforgiven was fantastic from beginning to end. To each his her own of course, but this is one I truly don't understand.
I've never been that big of an Eastwood fan, don't like most of his movies and think he's very overrated as a director. Yet even I always thought Unforgiven was fantastic from beginning to end. To each his her own of course, but this is one I truly don't understand.
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
11:57AM on 01/01/2015
I'll give you the "boring" aspect. Michael Bay it's certainly not. It's a movie that you have to have some time on your hands, but once it draws you in..it's compelling imo...
I'll give you the "boring" aspect. Michael Bay it's certainly not. It's a movie that you have to have some time on your hands, but once it draws you in..it's compelling imo...
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
11:06AM on 01/01/2015
Alex Maidy needs to have his journalism credentials revoked.
Alex Maidy needs to have his journalism credentials revoked.
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
10:55AM on 01/01/2015
Ahh my favorite movie of all time, so naturally I pretty much disagree with everything in this article. But hey . . . to each their own.
Ahh my favorite movie of all time, so naturally I pretty much disagree with everything in this article. But hey . . . to each their own.
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
10:56AM on 01/01/2015
My all-time favorite as well. Which is pretty obvious from my comment below. Lol.
My all-time favorite as well. Which is pretty obvious from my comment below. Lol.
10:35AM on 01/01/2015
This article is a joke. 'Unforgiven' is a mesmerizing classic, nuff said.
This article is a joke. 'Unforgiven' is a mesmerizing classic, nuff said.
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
10:29AM on 01/01/2015

Not my favorite western...

...but people need to chill.
...but people need to chill.
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
10:23AM on 01/01/2015
Reading this one, I felt like The Dude coming out of the bowling alley and seeing his car in flames: "They did it. They finally killed my fucking car, man."
Reading this one, I felt like The Dude coming out of the bowling alley and seeing his car in flames: "They did it. They finally killed my fucking car, man."
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
10:22AM on 01/01/2015

Get a clue!

It's one thing to have an opinion, it's another to be clueless. This movie is simply a beautiful classic in every way. Acting, script, story, cinematography. All top notch. The writer of this garbage has Eastwood's intentions all wrong. This is NOT a story of a world fazing out cowboys. William Munny is the same character from The Man With No Name trilogy. The first time I saw this movie, at the three quarter mark, I said to myself, great movie, but this Eastwood is a shell of his old self. And
It's one thing to have an opinion, it's another to be clueless. This movie is simply a beautiful classic in every way. Acting, script, story, cinematography. All top notch. The writer of this garbage has Eastwood's intentions all wrong. This is NOT a story of a world fazing out cowboys. William Munny is the same character from The Man With No Name trilogy. The first time I saw this movie, at the three quarter mark, I said to myself, great movie, but this Eastwood is a shell of his old self. And once that empty whiskey bottle hit the mud, while he rode into town, that is when I got goosebumps. And they didn't go away until about 10 minutes after the movie ended. The old Clint came back for one last scene. And it was done to perfection. This was Eastwood's intention, and he nailed it! Shame on this article.
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
-3
9:57AM on 01/01/2015

6/10 (but as a worst good movie).

But you gotta admit it's a masterpiece compared to the awful 2013 Asian remake.
But you gotta admit it's a masterpiece compared to the awful 2013 Asian remake.
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
9:42AM on 01/01/2015
This review seems to mirror my initial feelings about the movie when I first saw it (I was in my teens and expecting something a bit more action than what this offers up). Considering that High Plains Drifter, The Outlaw Josey Wales, and Pale Rider all DID pay homage to Leone (and George Stevens' "Shane" in the case of that last one), I think it was clear Eastwood was trying to do something different. William Munny is the guy that used to be the Man With No Name, but now he's lost his edge.
This review seems to mirror my initial feelings about the movie when I first saw it (I was in my teens and expecting something a bit more action than what this offers up). Considering that High Plains Drifter, The Outlaw Josey Wales, and Pale Rider all DID pay homage to Leone (and George Stevens' "Shane" in the case of that last one), I think it was clear Eastwood was trying to do something different. William Munny is the guy that used to be the Man With No Name, but now he's lost his edge. Maybe Eastwood wasn't the best choice to direct the script, but he's the one who did, and I will say this, Unforgiven beats the hell out of Gran Torino as far as send-off movies go (Gran Torino being his retiring of the Dirty Harry-style persona). Still one of Gene Hackman's best roles. Damn I wish he'd come out of retirement.

The Quick and the Dead tries to pay homage to Leone, but it's WAY too over-the-top with quick cuts (something Leone wasn't really known for).
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
9:12AM on 01/01/2015
Though I don't agree with this I can definitely see where he's coming from. Last time I rewatched Unforgiven it went from a 9 to an 8/10. It's a bit too slow and time hasn't been completely... forgiving.
Though, what's most shocking is how many Schmoes turn out to be close-minded, uncivilised douchebags. The man merely voiced his opinion, same shit you all do here on a regular basis, no need to get so disrespectful.
Though I don't agree with this I can definitely see where he's coming from. Last time I rewatched Unforgiven it went from a 9 to an 8/10. It's a bit too slow and time hasn't been completely... forgiving.
Though, what's most shocking is how many Schmoes turn out to be close-minded, uncivilised douchebags. The man merely voiced his opinion, same shit you all do here on a regular basis, no need to get so disrespectful.
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
+4
8:54AM on 01/01/2015
I've seen a lot of dumb shit posted on this site, but this one for sure takes the taco. I know it's just your opinion or whatever, but it's a really stupid one. Boring? It's a western, sorry there's no Avenger cameos and shit isn't blowing up every 5 minutes.
I've seen a lot of dumb shit posted on this site, but this one for sure takes the taco. I know it's just your opinion or whatever, but it's a really stupid one. Boring? It's a western, sorry there's no Avenger cameos and shit isn't blowing up every 5 minutes.
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
8:03AM on 01/01/2015

Uh-huh

Not sure what I expected. This is Alex Maidy. The guy can't even write a news article about a a trailer for an upcoming film (see A Little Chaos) with out spewing his faux intellectual garbage. They should just change article to "Movies Alex Maidy Likes To Shit On To Seem Edgy And Pretend To Be Smart".
Not sure what I expected. This is Alex Maidy. The guy can't even write a news article about a a trailer for an upcoming film (see A Little Chaos) with out spewing his faux intellectual garbage. They should just change article to "Movies Alex Maidy Likes To Shit On To Seem Edgy And Pretend To Be Smart".
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
+5
7:23AM on 01/01/2015

lol

didn't even bother reading the article, i literally laughed when i saw the title.. scrolled down to say how comical this is.
didn't even bother reading the article, i literally laughed when i saw the title.. scrolled down to say how comical this is.
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
7:09AM on 01/01/2015
"UNFORGIVEN is boring" - you lost me there. "As a whole film, UNFORGIVEN fails" - you lost my respect as well. Maybe Western is not a genre for you but, of course, you're entitled to your own opinion.
"UNFORGIVEN is boring" - you lost me there. "As a whole film, UNFORGIVEN fails" - you lost my respect as well. Maybe Western is not a genre for you but, of course, you're entitled to your own opinion.
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
8:20AM on 01/01/2015
My thoughts too, was willing to hear him out but just gave up after that.
My thoughts too, was willing to hear him out but just gave up after that.
8:34AM on 01/01/2015
Thanks, man. I think this will be the article that this writer got bombarded with our comments the most.
Thanks, man. I think this will be the article that this writer got bombarded with our comments the most.
6:46AM on 01/01/2015
Nope. Unpopular does not mean to lie to rile a reaction. Bad smo. Down. Go outside.
Nope. Unpopular does not mean to lie to rile a reaction. Bad smo. Down. Go outside.
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
5:54AM on 01/01/2015

This column is a joke... What next The Godfather?

I have no problem with unpopular opinions.

I do take issue with stupid ones though.
I have no problem with unpopular opinions.

I do take issue with stupid ones though.
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
8:35AM on 01/01/2015
Maybe he'll say The Godfather is too long. Sigh.
Maybe he'll say The Godfather is too long. Sigh.
5:24AM on 01/01/2015

lmao

I am embarrassed for you.
I am embarrassed for you.
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
+5
3:34AM on 01/01/2015
New year = same alex maidy nonsense
New year = same alex maidy nonsense
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
2:19AM on 01/01/2015
This film rocks. Ive watched it countless times. Not as good as Tombstone or Young Guns, but still a great western.

No Country For Old Men, while worthy of a single viewing, is the most overrated "western", imo.
This film rocks. Ive watched it countless times. Not as good as Tombstone or Young Guns, but still a great western.

No Country For Old Men, while worthy of a single viewing, is the most overrated "western", imo.
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
1:30AM on 01/01/2015

Ummm

Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
1:30AM on 01/01/2015
This movie is a classic and deserves all the positive recognition it has gotten.
This movie is a classic and deserves all the positive recognition it has gotten.
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
View All Comments

Latest Entertainment News Headlines


Top
Loading...

Featured Youtube Videos

Views and Counting

Movie Hottie Of The Week

More