The Western as a genre has never recovered from the precipitous decline experienced by the seventies and eighties. I believe that most of the viewing audience has been burnt by films in the genre, which tend to be rote recreations of better titles. Blackthorn, starring Sam Shepard, Stephen Rea, and Eduardo Noreiga, is one of the films that looks to restore the Western to its former glory. The title focuses around Butch Cassidy’s purported later years, which were spent in seclusion in a remote area of Bolivia.
Wanting to go back to the country that eir loved, an early twentieth-century Cassidy attempts to make the trip back to friends and family. However, there are different plans for Cassidy, as an individual calls eir back to eir old life of crime and avoiding capture. The footage is absolutely brilliant, with a strong sticking to the fashion, dialogue, and overall spirit of the period that the film portrays. The crisp capture of the footage on Blackthorn makes this a fully immersive movie, while all actors give it their all to create an alluring film.
Magnolia has included a large amount of featurettes in the Blackthorn Blu-Ray. This means that there is a five-minute description of the title done by HDNet, with nearly thirty minutes (22:24) of deleted scenes. These scenes are integral for fleshing out the story, and should be required viewing for anyone that wants to have a fuller appreciation for the movie. There are two short films presented here by Mateo Gil (Blackthorn’s director). These films, Say Me and Breaking and Entering, showcase a significantly different side of Gil than was shown during Blackthorn. Check out the upcoming features clip (about eight minutes) to see some of the tremendous titles that Magnolia will be releasing in the latter part of 2012.
Blackthorn (Blu-Ray & DVD) / 2012 Magnolia Home Entertainment / 102 Minutes / http://www.magpictures.com