Cowboys & Aliens

Featured In Issue 162, December 2011

WSR Score3.5
Basic Information on new release titles is posted as soon as titles are announced. Once reviewed, additional data is added to the database.
Universal Studios Home Entertainment
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(MPAA Rating):
(Rating Reason):
Intense sequences of western and sci-fi violence, some partial nudity and a bief crude reference
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Single Side, Dual Layer (BD-50)
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(Running Time In Minutes):
119 / 136
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(Regional Coding):
Not Indicated
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(THX® Digitally Mastered):
Jon Favreau
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(Disc Soundtrack):
DTS HD Lossless 5.1, DTS 5.1, PCM 24/96 2.0
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Cowboys & Aliens unfolds in 1873 when gunslinger Jake Lonergan (Craig) awakens in the Arizona desert with no memory of his past and a mysterious metal shackle encircling his wrist. Stumbling into the nearby town of Absolution, Lonergan discovers a tightly closed community that takes its orders from the iron-fisted Colonel Woodrow Dolarhyde (Ford)—and Dolathyde has a bone to pick with Lonergan. But the colonel's influence wanes when the desolate city is attacked by monsters that drop from the sky with blinding force and abduct the helpless townsfolk one by one. As Lonergan's memory slowly returns, he realizes he holds a secret that could give the town a fighting chance against the alien force. With the help of mysterious beauty Ella (Wilde), he assembles a posse comprised of former opponents, townsfolk, Dolathyde and his boys, outlaws, and Apache warriors. United against a common enemy, they prepare for an epic showdown for survival. Based on Platinum Studios' Cowboys And Aliens by Scott Mitchell Rosenberg. (Gary Reber)

The Blu-ray Disc™ provides the option of viewing the theatrical version (01:58:15) or the extended version (02:15:13). Special features include commentary with Director Jon Favreau, conversations with Favreau and cast and crew, the making-of featurette Lighting The Sky (HD 40:12), My Scenes, U-Control, UltraViolet, a pocket Blu App, D-BOX® Motion Code™, BD-Live, up-front previews, and a digital copy.

The 2.40:1 1080p AVC picture is characteristically western in appearance, with a brownish-orange stylized color palette. Hues are generally naturally toned, except for some instances of intense distorted color saturation. Fleshtones are weatherly hued with the brownish-orange cast. Some scenes appear pushed in terms of contrast. Shadow delineation and black levels are nicely rendered. Resolution is generally good with, at times, revealing detail in facial features, hair, clothing, and object texture. The alien creatures are metallic in character but bleed red. As such, the visuals at times are quite intriguing and engaging, and the contrast between the alien presence and the cowboys is dramatic. Overall, while at times the stylization detracts, the imagery is often dark and exciting. (Gary Reber)

The DTS-HD Master Audio™ 5.1-channel soundtrack is effectively dynamic, with a stirring orchestra music score that projects a wide and deep soundstage and aggressive surround presence, with a solid low-frequency foundation. Atmospherics and sound effects are nicely produced and, at times, quite dynamic and powerful, with strong, solid deep .1 LFE sub-25 Hz bass. Dialogue is impressively spatially integrated at times as well. The D-BOX Motion Code effects are appropriately engaging, with excellent motion effects that heighten the action sequences. Overall, this is an engaging, exciting soundtrack experience that is sure to please. (Gary Reber)