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Eleanor Ringel Cater

“Cowboys & Aliens” lives up to its name — dog and all

By Eleanor Ringel Cater

Come on now, just what is one to expect from a movie called “Cowboys & Aliens?”

Cowboys. Check

Aliens. Check

A dusty western town with an apocalyptic name like Absolution. Check.

An alien probe. Check

Well, filmmaker Jon Favreau (“Iron Man” and “Swingers”) has provided all of the above. And I happily stayed until the very end of the movie, watching Harrison Ford do a Gruff Old Harrison Ford, as a crusty rancher, and Daniel Crag as a kind of Young Harrison Ford as a cowboy who’s been, well, for lack pf a better word, probed.

Favreau goes for iconic over smart and if you like any of the things on the above chck list, chances are you’ll have a pretty good time at “Cowboys & Aliens.” Just put Clint Eastwood and John Ford out of your head..

Waayy out.

Oh, and I’ve got a little bet going on with Larry Larsen who talks with me about movies every Friday on WMLB at around 9 am. There’s a very noticeable dog in the picture. and both of us are still puzzled as to why the dog was there (It gets plenty of close-ups).

To save Craig’s Steve McQueen look-alike?

To save Harrison’s “half-breed” son?

To turn into an alien a la the sled dog in John Carpenter’s version of “The Thing?”

We couldn’t figure it out, so if you can, please leave me a comment below, and then I’ll tell Jeff Davis and WMLB.

Eleanor Ringel

Eleanor Ringel, Movie Critic, was the film critic for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution for almost 30 years. She was nominated multiple times for a Pulitzer Prize. She won the Best of Cox Critic, IMAGE Film & Video and Women In Film awards. An Atlanta native, she graduated from Westminster and Brown University. She was the critic on WXIA’s Noonday, a member of Entertainment Weekly's Critics Grid and wrote TV Guide’s movie/DVD. She is member of the National Society of Film Critics and currently talks about movies on WMLB and writes the Time Out column for the Atlanta Business Chronicle.

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3 Comments

  1. MahatmaCoy October 14, 2011 8:27 am

    Who (what) better than a dog to observe man’s peculiarities, from (b)anal probing to film making, than a dog. Jon Favreau’s nod to Garth Stein’s “The Art of Racing in the Rain”Report

    Reply
  2. John V Langston February 19, 2021 5:48 pm

    The dog is the unnamed STARReport

    Reply
  3. Michael Foxworthy April 29, 2021 10:55 pm

    My theory: the dog screen-time- love is because that is Harrison Ford’s personal dog and BFF.
    Fast-forward 6 years from the 2011 cowboys and aliens film and there is what looks-like the same dog, …aged 6 years,…playing Harrison Fords BFF again in Blade Runner 2047(2017).
    Genius?Report

    Reply

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