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Movie Review: Once Upon a Time in the Midlands

Story: Writer-director Shane (as in the old Western movie) Meadows completes the third part of his trilogy (twentyfourseven and A Room for Romeo Brass) with a tribute to the spaghetti western film genre. He delivers one part contemporary farce, one part triangle love story and one part western. He throws in a quirky ensemble English cast of characters and some funny western music to complete the homage.

What's good? I liked the characters and found most of them endearing without being cartoonish.

What's not so good? I missed half of the dialogue because of the thick English accents. It probably would have been even funnier if I had heard all of it. Strangely enough, director Meadows subtitled one or two scenes and characters and none of the others. One of the male leads, Robert Carlyle, was virtually unintelligible. If he had not been so animated I wouldn't have understood much of what he was doing.

Acting: A fine ensemble cast including Robert Carlyle, Rhys Ifans, Ricky Tomlinson, Kathy Burke and Shirley Henderson.

Predilection: None

Critters: None

Food: Lots of junk food

Visual Art: Cheap posters, galore.

Blatant Product Placement: Coca Cola

Soundtrack: I liked the broad western theme music.

Opening Titles: Appropriate old west type face.

Theater Audience: It was surprisingly crowded with a very jumpy crowd. I have never seen so many people get up, leave and come back into the theater. There were also lots of folks coming into the theater to sit for ten minutes or so. Pretty annoying, stuff.

Sappy Factor: 3

Quirky Meter: 1

Predictability Level: High

Oscar Worthy: No

Nit Picking: It was too long and it needed subtitles.

Big Screen or Rental: Rental for sure. For some other Robert Carlyle films try renting The Beach, Angela's Ashes, Plunkett and Macleane, The Full Monty and Trainspotting.

Length: 100 minutes.

LOBO HOWLS: (a midland) 5