Dennis D. McDonald (ddmcd@outlook.com) is an independent consultant located in Alexandria Virginia. His services are described here. Application areas include project, program, and data management; market assessment, digital strategy, and program planning; change and content management; social media; and, technology adoption. Clients have included HHS CMS, U.S. Dept. of Veterans Affairs, National Academy of Engineering, the World Bank, Catalyst Rx, the National Library of Medicine, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Follow him on LinkedInTwitter, and Google+.

Jon Favreau's COWBOYS AND ALIENS

Review by Dennis D. McDonald

Olivia WildeI loved this film. It’s a perfect demonstration of what I like in a popcorn film: fun, clever, interesting use of cliches, and lots of hats.

In fact, I think this is the best “hat” film I’ve seen since Ed Harris’ Appaloosa.

Daniel CraigIn one scene after Daniel Craig and Olivia Wilde are thrown into a river following a ride on an alien aircraft I just KNEW that, despite the trauma of just having ridden through the air at high speed on a bizarre flying machine and after having been nearly drowned after destroying the device over a river, Daniel Craig would reach out and grab his hat floating nearby and squash it onto his head.

Which he does.

Harrison FordBut seriously, this is one of the best westerns I’ve seen recently.

Just about every cliche imaginable is here — the posse, the ramshackle town, the barroom brawl, the nasty cattle  baron with a heart of gold, the mysterious drifter, the feisty female, the dog, Indians with war-paint — the list goes on.

The only thing missing is a view of tumble weeds blowing down Main Street — maybe in the Director’s Cut?

Review copyright (c) 2011 by Dennis D. McDonald

Peter Greenaway's NIGHTWATCHING

Robert Redford's THE CONSPIRATOR