Jack Goes Confidential: Seth MacFarlane Takes Uneven Stab @ Raunchy Western

a-million-ways-to-die-in-the-west-posters-sarah-silvermanCan ANYTHING touch 1974’s classic western spoof BLAZING SADDLES?

Probably not.

However, with A MILLION WAYS TO DIE IN THE WEST tv/movie mirth maker Seth MacFarlane gives it a try. And what he’s ended up with is a ‘B Western’ in the truest sense of the word.

That said, take away the films incredibly crude language and storytelling and the comedy would surely have fallen flat. Sure Mel Brooks had his fart jokes but he didn’t need to rely on the language shock factor to have us rolling in the aisles.

The story here has sheep rancher MacFarlane losing his fickle girlfriend Amanda Seyfried to Mustacherie owner Neil Patrick Harris. But taking away the sting is town newcomer Charlize Theron—the wife of gunslinger Clinch Leatherwood played by Liam Neeson.

A shootout in the making?

And so it goes, brutal violence mixed with heavy doses of farts, semen, diarrhea and just about any fluids the body can produce.

Probably the best scenes in the film involve the town whore Sarah Silverman and her shy (virgin) boyfriend Giovanni Ribisi. She’ll service up to 15 men on a slow day in ANY way they want it. But being the good Christian she is, Silverman won’t consumate her love with Ribisi until they’re married.

There are plenty of side gags along the way that’ll keep a smile on your face throughout the spoof’s nearly two hour running time. And that’s just part of the problem with this comedy.

a-million-ways-to-die-in-the-west01Mel Brooks kept his SADDLES down to a tighly edited hour and a half.

MacFarlane wrote and co-produced the film. He also directed and stars in it. My contention is that the project would have been better served had he given up the lead acting role—not one of his stronger assets.

As I sat watching him maneuver through the scenes I was imagining the likes of maybe a Paul Rudd in the role. Now that could REALLY have worked.

A tip of the funny hat to the selection of cameos in the picture—especially one which really brings down the house. But you’ll get no spoilers here from Jack, thank you very much.

a-million-ways-to-die-in-the-west-poster-graphicIt’s MacFarland’s raunchy and raw ode to western cliches.

And even though it’s far from being another TED for Seth, it’s definitely worth your time and movie dollars. That is if you’re not easily offended and can overlook some—or a lot— of the film’s pitfalls.

Oh, almost forgot. There are a couple of quickie funny scenes in the end credits. The second coming at the very tail end, so don’t leave early if you’re interested.

A MILLION WAYS TO DIE IN THE WEST serving up a genre-bending, very R-rated grade of somewhere between a B- and C+.

YOU decide.

JACK GOES TO THE MOVIES Friday mornings at 6:40 a.m. and 8:40 a.m. on NewsRadio KMBZ FM & AM.

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12 Responses to Jack Goes Confidential: Seth MacFarlane Takes Uneven Stab @ Raunchy Western

  1. BG says:

    Jack, The movie sounds like a shameful waste of talent and investment. Too bad you have to spend your time and comments on such a product. But it is 2014 in America.

  2. jack p says:

    Now THAT’S below the chastity belt, Mysterious 🙂

  3. skin don't lie says:

    Sarah Silverman was so disappointing nude on film. You can see why she wears corsets. The boobs are real though so she’s got that goin for her, which is nice.

  4. Guido says:

    I am surprised that you didn’t mention the Kansas City connection, Jack!

    There is a scene (and I am doing this from my 59 year old memory) where Charlize Theron tells Seth MacFarlane that a guy is from Kansas City. He replies “I’ve never been to Kansas”. She then tells him the “actually, it’s in Missouri”.

    The movie was “OK”. Paul Rudd would have “smugged” his way through this, though.

    Granted, MacFarlane is not the greatest actor… but Rudd would not have been a step up in my opinion.

    It was funny, vulgar and well done. Not ‘Blazing Saddles”… but not a waste of time.

    And I like body fluid humor. And cheap laughs. And only Charlize Theron could make Amanda Seyfried look homely.

    Oh, and Giovanni Ribisi is hysterical.

    P.S.
    Sara was NOT nude in the film. Unless I blinked and missed it…

  5. jack p says:

    Hey Guido—I guess I didn’t take the Kansas City, M I S S O U R I line as a connection.
    With’ connection’ I associate more a director, writer, actor or actual (filmed) location—not an off the cuff remark.
    Maybe I should have…..

    • Guido says:

      May be.

      I thought it was a pretty left field remark when I heard it. Some sort of inside joke with someone, perhaps?

      Someone else said “this film has a million jokes. Too bad only 500,000 of them are funny”.

      I’d agree with that!

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