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January 14, 2012

Movie Review: Blackthorn (2011, Blu-ray)

Much of actor/writer Sam Shepard's career has been back and forth between writing plays, screenwriting and occasionally getting in front of the camera for a wide variety of independent and big budget films. In Mateo Gil's Blackthorn the talented actor takes on the role of the iconic bank robber, Butch Cassidy.

Buy Blackthorn on Blu-ray or DVD

Magnolia Pictures (and Magnet) have been on a roll as of late with the excellent releases of Hobo with a Shotgun, The Last Circus and I Saw the Devil - now they tackle a western that puts a new spin on the continuation of Cassidy's life. Thought to be dead by many, in this story, Cassidy has taken on the name of James Blackthorn, started a new life with his young love in a secluded Bolivian forest and began to live a life of simplicity and peace. Blackthorn decides it's time to head back to America to see is long lost son. The journey proves to be complicated as Blackthorn has to deal with a violent posse out for his head and a young robber, Eduardo (Eduardo Noriega) who he meets along the way.

Shepard's effort as Blackthorn is very good, as are the performances by Stephen Rea and Eduardo Noriega. There's a fair amount of action and gunfights to please admirers of classic western cinema. The best part is definitely the cinematography that showcases the amazing detail of the Bolivian backdrop in stunning hi-definition. Blackthorn's a solid recent entry in the often ignored western genre that should not be missed. Recommended.

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