I was given the opportunity to attend an advanced screening of A Million Ways To Die In The West, and it was an awesome experience. I took my boyfriend/best friend along because he’s a good partner to analyze films with, which we usually do. I arrived at the AMC Loews Lincoln Square theater at 6:00 p.m and instead of standing in line with everyone else, I was given two tickets to go immediately into the theater. The woman in charge said she wanted the media people to go in first in order to get a seat. I found two seats while my boyfriend went to get me nachos with extra cheese, and two other people from the media sat next to me. We started conversing and I found out that one of them worked for Global Grind, Russell Simmons’ online magazine, and the other one worked behind the scenes for talk shows, like Jerry Springer. When my boyfriend returned with my nachos I didn’t have time to talk anymore. I refused to interrupt my nacho eating until the film started.
I was looking forward to seeing A Million Ways To Die In The West and it was exactly what I thought a Seth Macfarlane movie would be. Filled with raunchy dialogue, farce, physical comedy, and over the top, edgy humor. Basically, it was everything that goes on in Family Guy, put into an actual film. I happen to be a huge fan of the adult cartoon, Family Guy, so I was excited to see what Macfarlane would do with his second feature length film, in which he stars in. (He also did the voice of Ted.) Macfarlane is a man who wears many hats in this satirical flick. As the credits began to roll, his name popped up several times as the writer, director, producer and of course he plays the main character, Albert Stark. Without giving away too much detail, there will be no spoilers here, I’ll sum up the story line.
The film is Macfarlane’s version of a comedic western. A coward named Albert, (who runs from a gunfight), lives in the depressing frontier in the 1800s where death is inescapable. With no excitement in his life, Albert tends to his sheep, poorly might I add, and spends his days trying to please his bored girlfriend, Louise, played by Amanda Seyfried. He later meets Anna, played by the lovely Charlize Theron, and that’s where the action comes into motion.
Theron lights up the screen, even in her drab frontier clothing and minimal makeup. She has great comedic timing, which you usually don’t get to see in her more serious films and she shows off her great gunslinging skills. Liam Neeson is also in the film and plays her abusive husband, Clinch Leatherwood. He is rough and rugged as the villain and uses his Irish brogue, which he rarely does in his other movies.
The scene-stealer of the movie, however, is the talented Neil Patrick Harris. He plays Foy, the man with the menacing mustache, who steals Albert’s girlfriend. I always look forward to seeing him, no matter what character he portrays. He really knows how to capture his audience, and in one scene he takes “poop humor” to a whole new level. He had everyone in the theater exploding with laughter. We couldn’t stop laughing at him, even as the movie went on to the next scene.
The cast is rounded out with Giovanni Ribisi and the very funny, Sarah Silverman. They play Edward (Albert’s best friend), and Ruth, a “religious” couple who are dealing with Ruth’s demanding job…as a prostitute. You can imagine all of the dirty jokes that go along with that story line. There are also a few surprise cameos, which I found exciting along with everyone else, according to the audience’s applause.
Many people don’t know that Macfarlane has a musical background and he ended up adding a musical number called, “If You’ve Only Got A Moustache,” an old civil war song by Stephen Foster, which Macfarlane updated for this movie.
Overall, I did enjoy the film, but sometimes the jokes fell short and it ran a little bit longer than I anticipated. When the movie should have ended, the scenes were stretched and felt out of place at times. Scenes that should have been kept on the cutting room floor ended up in the film. If he would have concluded the movie 30 minutes earlier, I think it would have been a nice little movie wrapped in a bow. The fact that it dragged on made me check the time more than I should have. The bottom line is, if you’re a fan of Macfarlane’s humor, you will definitely have a good time. He puts a cornucopia of Macfarlane jokes into this movie and you will have a blast watching it. The film comes out on Friday, May 30.