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Monday Movie Madness: Wild Wild West

Hello Posse,

I hope you are all doing well. I have spent the last two weeks riding a roller coster of stress but with the help of a great spouse, yoga, and some breathing exercises with meditation, I have gotten some of my stress under control.

In keeping with my desire to lower stress, things are going to be brief and simple this week (after this blog, I had a lot to say about this movie). My birthday is coming up next weekend and, I will be honest, I feel like being lazy and indulging myself this week.

If you care to support me for my birthday I have a few thoughts about that. It would be wonderful if everyone who reads this blog leaves a review for one of my books somewhere, Amazon, Goodreads, my Facebook page, or send me it to me in a message so I can add it to the testimonials page in my next book. If you haven't read one of my books yet, why not check out the eBook version of part one of my saga, Into the West: The Orphan Train. It is only 99 cents on Amazon. It has won two awards and is in the running for a third this year. If you are feeling really charitable, I am collecting donations for Shep's Place, A Senior Dog Sanctuary (<-- click here to help senior dogs). This sanctuary tries to find new homes to care for these senior dogs for their end of life but if they cannot place them, they make sure the dogs are all loved and cared for in their final days. If that isn't a great cause, I don't know what is.

Now, on to the movie! I have to admit, today's movie is not one I am a fan of, Wild Wild West. While I loved the TV show, the movie tried to go a bit too far into the "comic" side of the concept and unfortunately for everyone involved, it missed the mark. The script was said to be "loosely" adapted from 1960s TV series, The Wild Wild West. It might have been a bit better if they had tightened that up a bit.

Wild Wild West was released in 1999 and was directed by Barry Sonnenfeld (Men in Black). The script was written by S. S. Wilson, Brent Maddock, Jeffrey Price and Peter S. Seaman and was based on a story by Jim and John Thomas. The movie features A-list stars Will Smith and Kevin Kline and features a supporting cast of amazing actors as well: Kenneth Branagh, Salma Hayek, Ted Levine and M. Emmet Walsh. Wild Wild West had entertainment veteran Elmer Bernstein creating the film's score and Industrial Light & Magic creating the visual effects. You would think with everything it had going for it, this should have been a box office smash, but it just didn't quite make it.

The movie was released by Warner Bros. in the summer or 1999. It had a production budget of $170 million and was the most expensive film ever made at that point, adjusting for inflation. Unfortunately for everyone involved, it only grossed $113.8 million in the U.S. and $108.3 million overseas. While it did finally earn a profit with the worldwide distribution, it was still considered a financial disappointment. Rotten Tomatoes had this to say about the movie, "bizarre misfire in which greater care was lavished upon the special effects than on the script".

The film did get a few award nominations, unfortunately, it was from the Razzies. It was nominated in eight categories and won in five of them including Worst Original Song ( Wild Wild West by Will Smith) and Worst Picture.

Now, I'm sure many of you are wondering, why on earth I would waste time on writing a blog about a movie I think is bad. This one is easy, I think it is important to watch a bad movie once in a while. It makes you notice the nuances of the art of film making. You can develop a greater appreciation of the work and artistry that goes into film making by experiencing a wide variety of work.

It's like developing a palette for wine tasting. You have to taste many varieties to really start to become aware of the different notes in the wine. I think that goes for books, movies, food, music and so much more. Also, I know just because I do not like something does not mean many of you will not have a different view of the work and might actually like this film. So I think it is fair to share a wide variety of work. Besides, sometimes watching a bad movie can just be fun. I still love watching movies like Killer Klowns From Outer Space and Toxic Avenger.

The Wild Wild West follows two U.S. Secret Service agents (Smith, Kline) charged with protecting the president, Ulysses S. Grant (also Kline) and the country. I'm not going to go in depth explaining the plot because it is a bit convoluted. I think the best thing is just to post the trailer and let you see for yourself. I also added in a clip from what I consider to be one of the worst scenes from the movie, so you can see for yourself what I was talking about how they went just a little too far and missed the mark on the comedy.


One of the Worst Scenes:

Today's Movie Snack Recipe:

Today's movie snack recipe is a two-fer. The first recipe is from an Indian food site, Times Food, the Wild Wild West Burger (<-- click here). I thought this one would be a fitting pairing for this movie. Going in to see the Wild Wild West I know many people, like myself, were just expecting a movie version of the old TV show and what we got was nothing close to it. Just like with this burger recipe.

Reading the name and seeing the photo, you might think it is your normal beef patty hamburger but when you read the ingredients . . . surprise, lamb and chicken! By the way, if you are like me and are wondering what the heck chicken ham (one of the ingredients) is, you can check it out here (<-- click here).

The second recipe is from the Drink Kings. I think the best way to watch this movie might just be with a good stiff drink. Why not try the Wild Wild West Cocktail (<-- click here). It tastes great and it is simple to make.

So, now it is time to grab your snacks, a good stiff drink, and settle in for . . . well . . . another movie.




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