Shanghai Knights

  • Directors: David Dobkin
  • Producers: Jackie Chan, Gary Barber, Roger Birnbaum
  • Writers: Alfred Gough, Miles Millar
  • Genres: Action, Adventure, Comedy, Western
  • Actors: Jackie Chan, Owen Wilson, Fann Wong

The film opens in the Forbidden City in 1887, where Chon Lin (Fann Wong) is drinking tea with her father, the Keeper of the Imperial Seal of China. She tells him her brother, Chon Wang (Jackie Chan), is doing well as a sheriff in Carson City, Nevada, United States, but her father replies that her brother is dead to him. At that moment, Lord Nelson Rathbone (Aidan Gillen), leads a band of Boxers into the city, who attack the Keeper. Rathbone stabs him and leaves with the seal. As he lies dying, he gives Lin a puzzle box and a letter to Chon Wang.

Back in the Wild West, Chon Wang is doing well as sheriff, having captured an impressive array of fugitives. His deputy is relaxing with a book called “Roy O’Bannon Vs. The Mummy”, a highly fictionalized account of the events of the first film that now portrays Wang’s “Shanghai Kid” as a cowardly sidekick.

Wang receives a parcel, which contains the puzzle box and Lin’s letter, telling him his father is dead and that she has tracked the murderer to London.

Chon Wang travels to New York City to find his old partner Roy O’Bannon (Owen Wilson), needing his share of the gold left over from the first film to buy his ticket. Roy has left his brief stint in law enforcement, broken off his romance with Falling Leaves, spent most of the gold investing in the Zeppelin, and is now a hotel waiter and part-time gigolo. After they attempt prostitution to pay for a trip to England, the Mayor of New York arrives in search of his daughters, Roy’s latest clients. Chon Wang fights off a number of New York police officers, and he and Roy ship themselves to London in a crate. On the way, Wang tells Roy about his father, and Roy swears an oath to help reclaim the seal.

Roy and Wang are knighted, as is Artie, whose full name is now Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Artie decides to become a writer, his stories revolving around his deductive reasoning technique, and asks Roy if he can use the “Sherlock Holmes” name. Roy and Lin kiss, and Roy proposes that he and Wang go to Hollywood to get in on the ground floor with motion pictures. They roll off in a buggy, with Charlie stowed away. Wang also manages to open the box his father sent him, finding a message inside reminding him of the importance of family.

Johnny Guitar

  • Directors: Nicholas Ray
  • Producers: Herbert J Yates
  • Writers: Philip Yordan, Roy Chanslor
  • Genres: Film-Noir, Western
  • Actors: Joan Crawford, Sterling Hayden, Mercedes McCambridge, Scott Brady

On the outskirts of a wind-swept Arizona cattle town, an aggressive and strong-willed saloonkeeper named Vienna maintains a volatile relationship with the local cattlemen and townsfolk. Not only does she support the railroad being laid nearby (the cattlemen oppose it) but she permits a suspected stage robber called The Dancin’ Kid to share her bed, and his confederates to frequent her saloon.

Vienna’s ex-lover Johnny Guitar, a reformed gunslinger whose real name is Logan, arrives at the saloon, renews his love for Vienna, and offers her needed protection. Life is cozy for the two until one day The Dancin’ Kid and his gang rob the town bank. The townsfolk suspect Vienna has played a part. Led by the vengeful Emma Small, a cattle rancher who has long hated Vienna, the posse descends on Vienna’s saloon and burns it to the ground. Emma persuades the men to hang Vienna, but at the last second she is saved by Johnny Guitar.

Vienna and Johnny escape the posse and find refuge in The Dancin’ Kid’s secret hideaway. The posse tracks them. The Kid and his men are killed. Emma challenges Vienna to a showdown. Vienna is wounded in the duel, but she manages to kill Emma. A halt is called to the bloodbath by the posse’s leader, McIvers. Vienna and Johnny depart, hopeful that better days lie ahead.

The Mask of Zorro

  • Directors: Martin Campbell
  • Producers: David Foster, Doug Claybourne, Executive Producers, Steven Spielberg, Walter F Parkes
  • Writers: Screenplay, John Eskow, Ted Elliott, Terry Rossio, Story, Ted Elliott, Terry Rossio, Randall Jahnson, Characters, Johnston McCulley
  • Genres: Action, Adventure, Romance, Western
  • Actors: Antonio Banderas, Anthony Hopkins, Catherine Zeta Jones, Stuart Wilson, Matt Letscher

In 1821, the Mexican Army is on the verge of liberating its country from Spanish colonial rule. In Las Californias the ruthless Spanish Governor, Don Rafael Montero, is about to be overthrown. In a final effort to trap his nemesis, the masked swordsman Zorro (Anthony Hopkins), Montero prepares to execute three innocent townspeople. With assistance from two orphan brothers, Joaquin and Alejandro Murrieta, Zorro releases the prisoners. Zorro rewards the Murrieta brothers with a medallion he wears, and escapes on his horse, Toronado, after cutting a “Z” into Montero’s neck as a warning.

Montero deduces that Zorro is really Don Diego de la Vega, a Spanish nobleman married to Esperanza, the woman Montero loved. Attempting to arrest Diego, a fight ensues. Esperanza is killed while trying to protect Diego. Diego’s house is burned and his infant daughter, Eléna, is taken by Montero to be raised as his own. Diego is imprisoned.

Twenty years later Montero returns to California, looking for Diego in the old prison. Although de La Vega is there, Montero does not recognize him, while several prisoners claim to be Zorro. Diego escapes, intent on killing Montero at a public ceremony for Montero’s return. Diego restrains himself when he sees Eléna (Catherine Zeta-Jones), now a beautiful young lady. Eléna is presented with a bouquet of flowers – Romagnas, native to California – the scent of which she recognizes, although she believes she has never been to California.

The one moment that captured all the advertising and viewer’s attention: When Eléna (Catherine Zeta-Jones) is undressed by the slashing sword of Mexican thief Alejandro Murrieta/Zorro (Antonio Banderas); the view of her opened dress caused his sword blade to pop up, followed by his taking her for a sensuous kiss.[1][2] The scene has been called one of the most erotic film moments of the 1990s.[3][4] In fact, both Catherine Zeta-Jones and Antonio Banderas have admitted to sexual arousal during the filming of this scene,[5] Banderas being aroused by Zeta-Jones’s beauty,[5] and Zeta-Jones being aroused by the very fact that Banderas could strip her by using only his sword and not his hands.[5]

Tin Man

  • Directors: Nick Willing
  • Producers: Robert Halmi Jr, Robert Halmi Sr, Steven Long Mitchell, Matthew O Connor, Michael O Connor
  • Writers: Steven Long Mitchell, Craig Van Sickle
  • Genres: Adventure, Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Western
  • Actors: Zooey Deschanel, Neal McDonough, Alan Cumming, Raoul Trujillo, Kathleen Robertson, Richard Dreyfuss

DG (Zooey Deschanel) is a small-town waitress who feels that she does not fit into her Kansas farm life and has visions of a lavender-eyed woman (Anna Galvin) warning her that a storm is coming. Her visions are realized when the sorceress Azkadellia (Kathleen Robertson), tyrannical ruler of the O.Z. (Outer Zone), sends her Longcoat soldiers through a “travel storm” to kill DG. DG escapes through the storm into the O.Z. and befriends several of its inhabitants: Glitch (Alan Cumming), who had half of his brain removed by Azkadellia; Wyatt Cain (Neal McDonough), a former “Tin Man” law enforcer who was locked in an iron suit for years as punishment for opposing Azkadellia; and Raw (Raoul Trujillo), a “viewer” whose people have been enslaved by Azkadellia. DG receives a magical symbol on her palm and learns that her Kansan parents are androids and that her real mother is the lavender-eyed woman of her visions. Visiting the Mystic Man (Richard Dreyfuss) in Central City and continuing on to the Northern Island, the group learns that Glitch was once the advisor to the Queen of the O.Z. and that DG and Azkadellia are actutally sisters and the daughters of the Queen. DG remembers that Azkadellia killed her using dark magic when they were children, but their mother revived her by light magic and gave her secret instructions on how to find the Emerald of the Eclipse, which Azkadellia now seeks. Azkadellia confronts the group with her Longcoats and mobats, capturing DG and Raw. Cain fights the Longcoat captain Zero (Callum Keith Rennie) and learns that his wife and son, whom he thought Zero had killed, are still alive. Zero shoots Cain, sending him falling into a lake of ice.

The party heads farther south in search of DG’s father Ahamo (Ted Whittall). Tutor’s treachery is discovered but he is allowed to stay with the group in his canine form. In the Realm of the Unwanted they are led into a trap: Glitch, Raw, and Cain are captured by Zero, but are freed by resistance fighters led by Cain’s son Jeb (Andrew Francis). Zero reveals the scope of Azkadellia’s plan, which is to use the Emerald of the Eclipse in combination with a machine called the Sun Seeder to lock the O.Z.’s two suns in place behind the moon during an upcoming eclipse, covering the land in permanent darkness. The Sun Seeder had been designed by Glitch during his time as the Queen’s advisor, and the removed portion of his brain is being used to control it. Meanwhile, DG meets Ahamo and the two travel by hot air balloon to the hidden mausoleum of the O.Z.’s royal line. DG learns that the Gray Gale is Dorothy Gale, her “greatest great-grandmother” and “the first slipper” to travel to the O.Z. from Earth. She enters Dorothy’s tomb, finding herself in a black-and-white representation of her Kansas farm and receiving the Emerald from Dorothy. Azkadellia arrives, capturing both Ahamo and the Emerald and leaving DG trapped in a sarcophagus. DG escapes using magic and is reunited with her friends, and together they infiltrate Azkadellia’s fortress as she locks the suns in place. DG clasps hands with Azkadellia, freeing her from the witch’s possession just as her companions reverse the Sun Seeder’s pulse, destroying the witch. DG and Azkadellia are reunited with their parents as the suns emerge from behind the moon, shedding their light on the O.Z.

True Grit

  • Directors: Henry Hathaway
  • Producers: Hal B Wallis
  • Writers: Marguerite Roberts, Charles Portis
  • Genres: Adventure, Western, Drama
  • Actors: John Wayne, Glen Campbell, Kim Darby

After her father is killed, Mattie Ross (Kim Darby) arrives in Fort Smith, Arkansas looking for a marshal or deputy marshal who will help her search for Chaney. She soon learns about a deputy marshal called Reuben J. “Rooster” Cogburn, and upon hearing about Cogburn’s legendary grit, Ross decides that he may be the man to help her. Unable to meet with Cogburn straight away she goes to the Monarch boardinghouse, where she meets Texas Ranger Le Boeuf.

Le Boeuf has recently come from Mattie’s home in Dardanelle, Arkansas, in Yell County, and advises Mattie that he too is searching for Chaney who killed a Texas Senator on his porch some time past. Mattie refuses Le Boeuf’s assistance.

The following day she meets Cogburn and his roommates; a tiny Chinese man, Chen Lee (H.W. Gim), and the ginger-colored cat, General Sterling Price. Agreeing to a price of $100, Ross and Cogburn set out to capture and return Chaney, who has taken up with a known criminal “Lucky” Ned Pepper (Robert Duvall) (whom Rooster shot in the lip in a gunfight) and his gang. Ross goes to see a local horse dealer (Strother Martin), from whom her father had bought four ponies, uncollected at the time of his death.

Weeks later, Mattie and Cogburn are at Mattie’s home, and Mattie shows him her family plot. She tells Rooster that she wants him to be buried beside her in the family plot, which surprises him, but he accepts, so long as she doesn’t mind if he doesn’t “…try to move in too soon!”. He then rides away, jumping a four-rail fence as the film ends….

Silverado

  • Directors: Lawrence Kasdan
  • Producers: Lawrence Kasdan
  • Writers: Lawrence Kasdan, Mark Kasdan
  • Genres: Action, Western
  • Actors: Kevin Kline, Scott Glenn, Kevin Costner, Danny Glover, Brian Dennehy

Four men—Paden (Kevin Kline), Emmett (Scott Glenn), Jake (Kevin Costner) and Mal (Danny Glover)—meet by chance and travel to the town of Silverado, where they thwart a corrupt rancher and the ruthless sheriff who is on the rancher’s payroll.

The film opens with a gunfight in which Emmett kills three men who ambush him at a deserted shack. Unbeknownst to him, these men worked for a man named Ethan McKendrick (Ray Baker) whose father Emmett had killed. Emmett had just been released from prison after serving five years for the killing. As he travels to the town of Silverado, he finds a man, Paden, lying near death in the desert. The men with whom Paden had been riding had robbed him and left him to die.

Emmett and Paden ride to the town of Turley to meet Emmett’s brother, Jake, who has been jailed, and is awaiting hanging, for killing a man in self-defense. Paden is also jailed when he finds one of the men who robbed him and kills him. Emmett breaks the two of them out of jail and the three escape with the help of Malachi Johnson, a black sharpshooter who was run out of town by Turley’s overzealous sheriff, expatriate Englishman Langston (John Cleese).

In the final scene Emmett and Jake leave for California, their long stated goal, Mal and his sister reunite and decide to rebuild their father’s homestead, and the audience learns that Paden is now the sheriff.

The Burrowers

  • Directors: JT Petty
  • Producers: Peter Block, Alex Franklin, Robert Hall, Lauren Kisilevsky, William Sherak, Jason Shuman, Alton Walpole
  • Writers: JT Petty
  • Genres: Horror, Thriller, Western
  • Actors: Clancy Brown, William Mapother, Laura Leighton, Sean Patrick Thomas, Robert Ri chard

When a family of Dakota Territory pioneers is violently abducted and a posse is assembled to venture into the badlands and rescue them, the frightening truth they discover in the hills leads them to believe man may not be the only hunter stalking the Old West. The year is 1879, and beyond the fringes of civilization a handful of courageous pioneers maintain settlements while exploring the unknown territories. One night, under the shimmering Western stars, a family from one of these settlements is brutally dragged into darkness by a group of unknown invaders. At first the kidnappers are thought to be hostile Native Americans, and a posse forms to bring the family back home safely. Venturing out into the unmapped territories is an Irish immigrant desperate to find his lost love, a naïve teen eager to prove his worth, a former slave seeking his fortune after gaining his freedom, and a hardened pair of battle-weary Indian fighters. But nature’s wrath and the tomahawks of hostile tribes aren’t the only threats that this group will be forced to contend with, because as the bodies begin to multiply and the truth about the abductors gradually emerges, these rescuers will find out that there are forces in this world that can’t be described in human terms — and that seem to have motivations beyond our comprehension.

A species, called “Burrowers” by the Natives, used to subsist on buffalo. When white settlers depleted the Buffalo the species began to survive on human meat – first hunting nearby Indians and later the settlers. One tribe in particular, the Ute, have experience in combating the hunter-species. The “Burrowers” first lace their victims by cutting them and drugging them with a toxin. The victim is then buried alive and eaten only after decomposition has begun. By the time the film’s protagonists meet up with the Ute their number is severely depleted, but the Ute method of drugging someone already infected with “Burrower” toxin proves effective. When the “Burrowers” go to eat the twice drugged victim they themselves fall asleep and are vulnerable, especially to the rays of the sun. However, the surviving member of the posse, the Irishman Coffey, is unable to discover exactly what the Ute used to drug the “Burrowers”. The film ends with the suggestion that the “Burrower” attacks will continue. In addition to the environmental message about changing ecosystems the film assesses prevailing attitudes towards Blacks and Natives amongst the settlers in the West, with especial focus on the brutality of the US cavalry.

The Missing

  • Directors: Ron Howard
  • Producers: Brian Grazer, Ron Howard, Daniel Ostroff
  • Writers: Thomas Eidson, Ken Kaufman
  • Genres: Adventure, Thriller, Western
  • Actors: Tommy Lee Jones, Cate Blanchett, Eric Schweig, Evan Rachel Wood, Jenna Boyd, Ray McKinnon, Val Kilmer, and Aaron Eckhart

Set in the late 19th-century New Mexico, Samuel Jones (Jones) reappears hoping to reconcile with his adult daughter Maggie Gilkeson (Blanchett). She is unable to forgive him for abandoning the family and leaving her mother to a hard life and early death. This situation changes when an Apache medicine man (Eric Schweig) and a dozen of his followers who have left the reservation pass through the area, ritualistically killing settlers and taking their daughters to be sold into prostitution south of the American border. Among those captured is the elder daughter of the family, Lily.

The U.S. Cavalry refuses to help retrieve the captive women as its resources are tied up conducting forced relocation of captive Native Americans. This leaves Maggie, her father, and the younger daughter alone in tracking the attackers. The group meets up with Kayitah, a Chiricahua, and an old friend of Jones, who also happens to be tracking the attackers with his son Honesco, because among the captives is a young Chiricahua woman who is engaged to Honesco. After the two agree to join the group, and Maggie treats Honesco’s injuries, Kayitah informs Maggie that Jones had been a member of their Chiricahua band where he gained the name Chaa-duu-ba-its-iidan (translates as “shit for luck”) during his wanderings.

It is finally with the combined efforts of the two families that they are able to free the women at the cost of Kayitah’s life and immediately flee to the mountains with the kidnappers behind them. Knowing they have no other choice but to stand their ground, the group fights off the remaining kidnappers and during the battle, Jones fights El Brujo, the one responsible for kidnapping his granddaughter, Lily. When Brujo attempts to kill Maggie, Jones sacrifices his life to save his daughter as both he and Brujo fall to their deaths. Maggie realizes her father’s love for her and finally forgives him at his death.

Dances with Wolves

  • Directors: Kevin Costner
  • Producers: Jim Wilson, Kevin Costner
  • Writers: Michael Blake
  • Genres: Adventure, Drama, Western
  • Actors: Kevin Costner, Mary McDonnell, Graham Greene, Rodney A Grant

The film opens during the American Civil War. In a United States Army field hospital, First Lieutenant John J. Dunbar (Kevin Costner) learns that his injured leg is to be amputated. Seeing the plight of fellow soldiers with amputated legs, Dunbar leaves the hospital, steals a cavalry horse, and attempts suicide by riding across the no man’s land between the opposing Union and Confederate positions. His action unexpectedly rallies the Union soldiers, who storm the distracted Confederate defenses to win the battle. Impressed by Dunbar’s actions, the commanding general of the Union forces, Lieutenant General Tide (Donald Hotton), summons his personal surgeon to save Dunbar’s leg. Tide declares Dunbar to be a hero and awards him Cisco, the horse who carried him in battle as well as offering Dunbar his choice of posting. Dunbar requests a transfer to the western frontier and soon after his leg heals he arrives at a fort which is a gateway to the west. This is where he begins to record his frontier experiences in a journal read in voice over.

Dunbar meets Major Fambrough (Maury Chaykin). The Major has slipped into alcohol-fueled delusions of grandeur (apparently believing he is a king and Dunbar a medieval knight). Fambrough scribbles out Dunbar’s orders to report to Captain Cargill at Fort Sedgwick and pairs him off with an uncouth drayage teamster named Timmons (Robert Pastorelli), who is to convey him to his post. After they depart, Fambrough shoots himself in the head.

As Dances With Wolves and Stands With A Fist leave the camp, Wind In His Hair cries out that Dances With Wolves will always be his friend. Soon after, a column of US Cavalry and Pawnee army scouts arrive to find the former Sioux camp site empty. Before the end credits, a note explains that a few years later the last remnants of free Sioux were subjugated to the U.S. Government, ending the conquest of the Western frontier states.

Once Upon a Time in Mexico

  • Directors: Robert Rodriguez
  • Producers: Robert Rodriguez, Elizabeth Avellan, Carlos Gallardo
  • Writers: Robert Rodriguez
  • Genres: Action, Comedy, Drama, Thriller, Western
  • Actors: Antonio Banderas, Salma Hayek, Johnny Depp, Mickey Rourke, Eva Mendes, Danny Trejo, Enrique Iglesias, Marco Leonardi, Cheech Marin, Julio Oscar Mechoso, Tito Larriva, and Willem Dafoe

The plot centers on El Mariachi (Banderas), who is recruited by CIA Agent Sands (Depp) to kill General Marquez. Marquez had murdered El Mariachi’s wife Carolina (Hayek) and child and has been hired by Mexican drug lord Armando Barillo to assassinate the Mexican President. Sands wants El Mariachi to kill Marquez after Marquez has killed the President. Sands recruits retired FBI Agent Jorge Ramirez to kill Barillo, as Barillo had been responsible for the death of Ramirez’s partner, Agent Archuleta. Sands also hires AFN Agent Ajedrez to tail Barillo.

As the plot unfolds, Cucuy and informants begin to turn on El Mariachi and Sands. On the day of the coup against the President, Sands is captured, tortured, and blinded; his eyes having been drilled out by his captors after Ajedrez reveals herself to be Barillo’s daughter. With the help of a young gum-selling boy, however, he manages to exact his revenge. Meanwhile, El Mariachi recruits his two friends, Lorenzo and Fideo, to assist him in rescuing the President. Much like Quino and Campa from Desperado, Lorenzo and Fideo also wield weapon guitar cases; in this case, Lorenzo wields a flame thrower, while Fideo has an RC Remote Bomb, which are able to destroy heavy armored vehicles. El Mariachi kills Marquez by shooting both his kneecaps and then shooting him in the head, avenging his lost wife and daughter, and goes on to assist Ramirez in killing Barillo – who falls off a balcony when El Mariachi shoots him with a lupara.

The movie ends with El Mariachi walking on a desert road into the sunset.