Summer Film Series – Vol. 2, No. 5: THE ALAMO
July 7th at Movies Seven in Sherman, TX (ticket price: $1.00)
I had high hopes for this film during pre-production, and with Ron Howard and Russell Crowe attached, I was really looking forward to it. When it changed hands, I didn’t view it as the end of the line, but I wasn’t nearly as excited as before. But then names were mentioned — Dennis Quaid, Jason Patric, Billy Bob Thornton — and some of my anticipation returned. Had it been released on schedule in the winter of 2003, I probably would’ve thought it terrific. As it happened, when the release came in April 2004, I just kept putting it off until suddenly it was out of theaters. It took two more months before I finally got to it. And then I found that I really did enjoy it after all!
There were several things that appealed to me in The Alamo, but I think it was mostly appealing because I knew the basics of the story. Texas History 101. And being a native Texan, this story holds much more interest than it might for other audiences. Still, with all that I knew, there were many points that I was surprised to learn. Were they accurate? That will take a little research on my part. Did it distract me from the film? Not in the least. I found the film highly entertaining, captivating even. But that was a credit to the cast (see Patrick Wilson) more than anything else. But the story did not stall for me, either, and featured just enough background on characters to enhance their roles in the battles and surrounding events. And that’s the kind of movie I enjoy.
I’ve heard some complaints that the movie did not define the individual characters enough to follow them throughout the story. I had no trouble with the major players, but had I not known their real-life personas, I might have easily been lost in the shifts. With supporting players, however, I have to agree. Unless it was Sam Houston, Davy Crockett, Jim Bowie, William Travis or Santa Anna, I can’t begin to tell you who else was featured in the film. Although Juan Seguin was a standout. Other than those, everyone else was lost on me. And more than anyone, I hated seeing Marc Blucas relegated to two single shots and only one line. Still, I could accept the film as it was released and truly say I enjoyed it from start to finish.
I do look forward to a better film on DVD, though.