THE ALAMO

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Jonny is starting to dislike history…

If nothing else, The Alamo falsifies the theory that Dennis Quaid will only appear in movies with “good” scripts. Man, was this movie bad. I guess I need to get into the tediousness, the mendacity, how belabored the whole project was, but what I find stupefying is that supposedly this film was going to be controversial in Texas and to Mexicans because it showed the Mexican Soldiers as humans and the Alamo heroes as flawed, er, human. Why exactly the idea of drunk white guys leading the state of Texas is shocking in the 2004 is anybody’s guess, but man, those Mexicans look like characters out of Blood Meridian. That was supposed to be a flattering portrayal? The part where the giant swarthy men with fucking axes butchered all the women and children, or the part where an unarmed man is executed by being run through with bayonets? Either way, the Mexicans came off either as Nazi-cruel or as unwashed dogs. And as Quaid says early on in the film, “Texas: wasted on the Texians.”

Uh… Oh man, I guess I have to keep writing, huh? OK, Quaid stars as General Sam Houston. He likes to drink and he sure loves Texas. That is all we learn about him until the end of the movie when we learn that he studied some military history at some point. Oh yeah, he likes to purse his lips and stare angrily. He’s actually only in the movie for about fifteen minutes. So, um, Jason Patric stars as knife-fighter extraordinaire Jim Bowie of “bowie knife” fame. He too likes to drink and loves Texas. He pulls his knife out three times and uses it zero. He gets killed in bed at the end of the film, and spends most of the rest of it dying from consumption. So… The Alamo stars Billy Bob Thornton as Senator David Crockett of Tennessee, known to the most of the world (including General Santa Anna) as Davey Crockett, king of the wild frontier. Turns out he’s a fiddle playing pacifist who doesn’t really love Texas all that much. He’s stuck inside the Alamo waiting to die for no very good reason whatsoever. Oh, and there is this guy named Patrick Wilson who plays William Travis, the Colonel in charge of defending the Alamo. Jason Patric totally hates him, but then he stops hating him and likes Travis by the time the film is over.

And then there is this really mean dude playing General Santa Anna who likes when his own troops die and he really hates all the pirate Americans (except for Davey Crockett) who have bivouacked themselves inside the Alamo. He is going to get them cause he is so damn mean. Grrr. Oh, and he thinks he is the west’s answer to Napoleon, some knowledge that proves useful as Santa Anna makes the EXACT same mistakes that Napoleon does. Uncanny, really. But more on that in a bit. So, for about an hour there are a few hundred dudes sitting around the Alamo questioning Travis’s ability to lead. But then after a little while they all accept him unconditionally as their leader cause he does this one sort of brave thing. Man, this movie is so fucking amateur… OK, so there is ONE guy in the entire Alamo who has a wife and kids. They make a big stink about that fact in one part. Then, during the big battle, he gets killed by a low down stinking Mexican and even though his wife is on the other side of the compound she starts wailing and crying… Get it man, she knows? Note to Hollywood: Stop humanizing history! For the most part, you fucking suck at it. Anyhow, everyone gets killed except for Billy Bob Thornton. And, if you think about the likelihood of that guy leaving Lauren Dern for Angelina Jolie, you will realize that is exactly what will happen when al Queda attacks LA.

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There is one good part in The Alamo. After the battle, the above-mentioned Billy Bob is that last man alive. General Santa Anna tells him to beg for his life. Instead Davey Crockett tells the mean old general that he is willing to discuss the terms of surrender and that he can guarantee most of his soldiers lives. If I ever find myself in front of a firing squad, that’s exactly what I am going to say. And actually, that would have been a pretty good spot to end The Alamo. Everybody is dead; roll credits. But, in the worst tradition of Pearl Harbor, apparently films about losing battles in American history can’t go out on a sour note. As if the audience demands that we “win” or something. Quite insulting. The film hangs around for an unnecessary twenty extra minutes as Quaid uses the military tactics of General Waterloo to defeat Santa Anna and take Texas away from Mexico. The cool part is, as soon as I am done typing this sentence, I will never have to think about The Alamo again.

Special Ruthless Ratings:

  • So, can you think of any questions: No. I just got done reviewing a shitty movie and my brain is dead.
  • Well, one of us needs to think of some questions: Why?
  • Uh, a promise was made to some dude on the forum: So what?
  • Well, he was saying that he likes the “Special Ruthless Ratings” and wishes that we would do them for all reviews: Oh, boo-fucking-hoo… I wish I was better looking, thinner and that my back wasn’t so hairy. You’re such a pussy to cave in like that.
  • Yeah, well… um, like, how shitty was the music: OK, that’s a good question. Dude, The Alamo has the worst score I have ever heard. Remember the part in Braveheart where Mel is with the chick and they play that strange Celtic/John Williams tune? The entirety of this film is scored exactly like that. Nauseating.
  • Anything else: Stop talking to those creatures who troll the forum. They will only cause you harm.
About Jonny Lieberman

Jonny was the site’s co-founder and helped carry the place in the early years. There was a falling out with Erich and he left the site for good, but a lot of his reviews live on. He has moved on to a successful career writing about cars. Look him up.