Guest Review! Cowboys & Aliens!

As y’all know (I may have mentioned it once or thrice) I’m in the process of moving to San Diego and my life is in limbo while I finish up my work in Los Angeles.  Therefore, my BNF (Best Nerd Friend) Hayden and his lovely girlfriend, fellow HNG Melanie, were kind enough to go see Cowboys & Aliens this weekend and write not one but TWO reviews of it as guest bloggers.  H&M…I heart you.


Aliens.  Why’d it have to be Aliens?

Hayden Gilbert:

Let me start by saying there is no way I will be able to fill the shoes – or brazier – of the now legendary Hot Nerd Girl (although my fellow co-guest blogger Melanie definitely has a better shot in both departments).  However, while I don’t consider myself hot (in my own eyes), nor a girl (hopefully in anyone’s eyes), I can certifiably attest to being a nerd.

I can also say without hesitation that I’m quite an avid western lover and a huge fan of anything involving visitors from another world (the cast of Jersey Shore being the exception).  Taking all that into account, I would have been first in line to see any movie with the title “Cowboys & Aliens” trailer unseen.

As my very attractive co-blogger mentions as well, everything about this movie has a simple theme to it.  From the title itself to the premise of good ol’ fashion gunslingers taking on technologically superior creatures, Cowboys & Aliens succeeds in that it doesn’t try to be more than what it is:  A good old fashion shootout at the O.K. Corral with 10 foot tall slimy monsters that make the aliens from the Predator movies look like runway models.  Hell, what’s not to like about aliens who also lasso their victims!  Great stuff I tells ya.


While the acting overall was not quite award caliber, I actually liked the lack of over-the-top dramatics when it dealt with the reactions of humans to their unknown invaders.  Think about it, people during this time didn’t have clue one about space people or flying saucers as this takes place during a time when horses were the main source of transport and showing ankle was considered scantily clad.

Hot girl with a six shooter? Yes please.

Speaking of, seeing Olivia Wilde completely wrapped up in a piece of wallpaper during the whole movie was a waste of her, uh, talents.  The nude scene of her would have made up for it had they actually showed anything of value.  Did I mention I was a male nerd?

As can be imagined, Harrison Ford stole the show in this one.  Be it a quick line or a familiar facial reaction, your attention is always drawn to his screen presence.  Daniel Craig served his purpose of bad ass alien annihilator (say that 10 times fast after 10 shots of whiskey), albeit his character wasn’t given any major Shakespearean dialogue to work with.  I also enjoyed the 2 – maybe more? – nods given to Indian Jones in the flick.  Can you spot them?  (Hint:  It’s 007 that summons the spirit of Indy twice)

Overall, C&A was a fun and unique ride on the combination of two classic genres.  Add a pinch of 007 and a dash of Indy with a kick-ass final scene that would make any western-lover happy and you have a flick that is almost sure to satisfy.  Just remember to check your 6-shooter and expectations at the door.

(P.S. For those Nerdboys like myself that need an additional fixen of Western Sci-Fi, be sure to check out Brisco Country Jr on DVD… best show ‘cancelled-too-soon’ ever!  Has Bruce Campbell ever done anything bad?)

Melanie Critser:

Brace yourself.  There are cowboys AND aliens in this movie!  And a cast of hot men and women that only get hotter when plastered in dirt.  Harrison Ford and Daniel Craig together at last…with Craig getting more ass shots in one movie than JLo has gotten in her entire career.  And don’t worry, men, Olivia Wilde doesn’t disappoint—especially as she emerges from fire…naked.  But this movie isn’t all fun and games—oh wait, yeah it is!

Cowboys & Aliens is everything the title promises.  The story is simple.  Our planet has an element the aliens want.  They are here to scout out the planet and give the “mother-ship” the thumbs up to “come on down.”  It’s all up to the Cowboys and Indians to stop them…seriously, was anyone expecting an Oscar nominee?  It makes no apologies for its campiness!  There were moments that had heart and moments that almost made me cheer.

What? No speedo's in the Old West?

I wasn’t crazy about the aliens themselves, but I suppose that was the point.  They had creepy little extra hands that unfold out of their bellies, all slimy and shaky–yuck!  Also, where was the steamy love scene?  I felt a bit cheated in this area.  I can’t imagine what possessed them to leave that out—in the words of Flight of the Conchords, conditions were perfect for “Business Time.”  To no avail…

Daniel Craig was sporting his 007 seriousness, just substitute a clean shave and tux for dried blood and cowboy gear.  The bad-ass side of Daniel Craig hits the spot, no one wants to watch him skipping through a flower field—bring on the guns!

Harrison Ford’s role was the most intriguing.  Is he a bad guy?  Is he a good guy?  Regardless, he can still deliver those hilarious one liners.  And you may struggle with whether he’s The Good or The Bad..but he’s never The Ugly.  He clearly hasn’t lost his charm on screen and he’s giving Sean Connery a run for his money in the “Better with Age” department.

Overall, I don’t expect this movie to be on any top 10 (or 100) lists, but I truly enjoyed it.  Perhaps my expectations were right where they needed to be–I jumped in my seat and laughed at the cheesiness.  It was just the boost my summer needed!

You can read Hayden’s online dating advice (it worked for him!) at  Melanie doesn’t have a blog so you’ll just have to hope she guest writes for HNG again.  Like what they wrote?  Let them know in the comments!


5 responses to “Guest Review! Cowboys & Aliens!”

  1. Damn, who is that ruggedly handsome fellow that looks like a young Indiana Jones? More importantly, who’s that new Hot Nerd Guest-Girl?!?! Bring her back for some more blogs!

  2. Melanie Avatar

    Nothing stops me in my tracks faster than a Hot Nerd Boy dressed as Indiana Jones! Great blog, Hayden! I had so much fun writing this–perhaps there is a blog topic out there for me. Now to choose one…there’s the rub. Thank you HNG for allowing me to guest blog! H&M heart you back!

  3. Just wanted to say HI. I found your blog a few days ago on Technorati and have been reading it over the past few days.

  4. Nice reviews! I have not yet seen this movie, but it feels so odd yet so exciting :\

  5. If I only see one movie this year (and that will probably be the case, maybe), I guess this will have to be the one!

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