If you're not sure what to get your husband or dad for a gift, pick up the Blu-ray version of a movie he's probably watched a dozen times on television. Here's a quick review of one of my favorites: Outlaw Josey Wales [Blu-ray]
The Outlaw Josey Wales (1976)
Audience: Adult Males. Lots of gun violence and a rape scene make it something to avoid with the whole family.
For a fun, extra-violent, guy flick, you have a few actors’ vehicles to choose from, but none of them do it quite like Clint. Sure, there are better Westerns with John Wayne or Glenn Ford, and violence is just as fun in Stallone, Schwarzenegger, Van Damme, or Segal films. However, Josey Wales is much more of a round character than is found in most of the violent films, and I’ve always liked Eastwood as a cowboy more than the other options.
Josey Wales is an outlaw because of circumstances that would make any of us outlaws—he fought for the wrong side in the Civil War and tried to save his friends from a cold-blooded massacre by the Union soldiers (who had also killed his family). Wales is a very sympathetic character because of the circumstances, but he is also a perfect killing machine, always spitting his chewing tobacco just before a gunfight. Again, the one-liners in this film add humor to a seemingly horrible situation:
Josey Wales: Yeah, well, I always heard there were three kinds of suns in Kansas, sunshine, sunflowers, and sons-of-bitches.
Captain Terrell: Not a hard man to track. Leaves dead men wherever he goes.
Josey Wales: When I get to likin' someone, they ain't around long.
Lone Watie: I notice when you get to DISlikin' someone they ain't around for long neither.
Lone Watie: I didn't surrender, but they took my horse and made him surrender. They have him pulling a wagon up in Kansas I bet.
Jamie: I wish we had time to bury them fellas.
Josey Wales: To hell with them fellas. Buzzards gotta eat, same as worms.
Bounty hunter #1: A man's got to do something for a living these days.
Josey Wales: Dyin' ain't much of a living, boy.
We also learn a bit about how to win a gunfight…
Lone Watie: How did you know which one was goin' to shoot first?
Josie Wales: Well, that one in the center: he had a flap holster and he was in no itchin' hurry. And the one second from the left: he had scared eyes, he wasn't gonna do nothin'. But that one on the far left: he had crazy eyes. Figured him to make the first move.
Lone Watie: How 'bout the one on the right?
Josie Wales: Never paid him no mind; you were there.
Lone Watie: I could have missed.
Josey keeps on trying to avoid people, but he is a good person who is forced to help people along the way, and take on a crew of people who may fear him at first, but learn to respect and even understand him. This film demonstrates how revenge and war can destroy lives, and how we all need to forgive eventually, but we have to be ready to stand up for what we believe in.