Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Dean Teaster's Ghost Town|
Actors: Herbert Coward, Bill McKinney, DJ Perry, Princess Lucaj, Rance Howard
Directors: Dean Teaster, Jeff Kennedy
Love, hate, family, forgiveness, redemption and sacrifice rock this small western town. Family honor is defended while the gold rush surges forward.
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Had Low Expectations Going In and I was Still Disappointed
A Reader | Florida | 10/30/2008
(2 out of 5 stars)
"I appreciate that this was a family project and labor of love, so maybe the movie is meant for viewers with some kind of connection to the theme park that this movie is based on. For the rest of us, this really needed more....a LOT more.
The opening was deadly dull, and I was anxious for the focus to come off the old guy in his sick bed with his devoted daughter by his bedside. Imagine my shock when this turned out to be the hero of the story. Since the plot is about a legendary man who took vengeance for his father's death and who still inspires fear in those who wronged him, I simply wasn't convinced when the man in question seemed more like a scruffy prospector than the stuff of legend.
This could have been so much better if cast with someone stronger in the role, a Clint Eastwood type. If it's just that the filmmakers were purposely trying to play against stereotype, I think they could have done that more effectively by letting ol' "Harm" remain a mystery until his return. That build up would have been much more dramatic.
The romantic plot between Will and Harm's daughter Violet also failed because there just wasn't enough capable acting or palpable chemistry between these two players to make me believe that their characters could fall for each other in such a short time. Frankly, I don't think they needed to fall for each other at all. A simple sense of decency would have made Will want to protect Violet.
Charles Matthau (yup, Walter's boy) was kind of fun as the Doc, and I also liked Rance Howard (yup, Opie's dad) as the Sheriff. But Xena-pal Renee O'Connor was totally wasted in the part of Little Jack. I think she had one or two full sentences to say the entire time; the rest of her lines were semi-articulate half phrases. The character she played was so two-dimensional that, despite her Herculean effort (or even Gabriellean effort), there just wasn't enough there for Renee to work with. (Watch "Diamonds and Guns" if you want to see Renee in a really fun and surprisingly good Indy film.)
I'm not saying Ghost Town shouldn't have been made. I love independent movies, and I really like that they can find an audience. But the effort to manufacture an audience by writing obviously biased 5-star reviews that call something like this "Fantastic" just isn't right. Nor is it right to borrow an audience by drawing on O'Connor's popularity with Xena fans.
This is a movie that will appeal almost exclusively to locals. That's about it. For all others, if you must see this, try Netflix."
Ghost Town - The Movie
David E. Milligan | Jacksonville, Fla. | 01/30/2009
(3 out of 5 stars)
"** It isn't a great movie. Not bad, but not great. On first viewing, it was kind of confusing at the beginning, but as I got into the story and the characters, I forgot about that. Some of the dialog could have been smoother, and more realistic, but the story itself was interesting. Most of the characters had enough depth that I was interested enough to wonder how they would end up.
** I admit the only reason I bought the DVD was because Reneé O'Connor (Gabrielle in "Xena: Warrior Princess") was in the movie. I would have liked for her to have had a larger part, but what little she had to do was well done, even the ending, which I won't reveal for those people who hate to read the Spoilers.
** Would I recommend that you buy it? Yes, if you like movies; western movies; movies that aren't your typical shoot 'em up; and if you are a fan of, and want to see more of, the infrequently seen Reneé O'Connor.
An Seemingly Earnest, Yet Ultimately Inept, Attempt
Leif Sheppard | United States | 05/27/2009
(1 out of 5 stars)
"My initial thoughts upon seeing the DVD cover, which is clearly titled DEAN TEASTER'S GHOST TOWN, was to think "Who on earth is Dean Teaster?" I'm an ardent fan of film (big-budget and independent) and I'd never heard of him. But if this is the best work he can produce, it's small wonder! It was my mistake, really, the scant plot description on the back of the DVD case should've been a red flag.
The case simply declares "Love, hate, family, forgiveness, redemption and sacrifice rock this small Western town. Family honor is defended while the gold rush surges forward." You might have noticed that it's simply a mash of random terms that all vaguely apply to the film along with another sentence that succinctly outlines the story (which is as insipid as it sounds).
Oh, where to begin? The opening credits elicited a chuckle at the hackneyed Native American imagery, replete with a woman cooly staring at the camera with the fog machine on overdrive. The old man's western accent is hilarious, as it seems he's affecting his best Walter Brennan impersonation. The opening jailbreak scene is about as exciting as watching a loved one being autopsied. This is because any intensity is derailed by wooden acting and bloody awful fight choreography (watch the jailer being assaulted on the ground, doesn't it seem like the gang is simply dancing a jig around him?). Mind you, these are moments from just the first ten minutes of this movie.
As for the characters, this film hits every cliche firmly on the head, I have to give it points for not missing a single one. The kid being broken out of jail is the archetypal immature violent misfit, a hallmark of westerns since the genre began. The sheriff guy dies a predictably noble and violent end, though the gang very kindly helped him into a coffin before shooting him to death. How sweet of them!
Did I mention the old man's accent is hilarious? Oh well, it bears another mention, I had to rewind a few times to hear his lines again. By the way, I could swear one of those indians at the final shootout has facepaint that resembled a clown. Comedy gold!
If a film can deliver at least half of what's promised, I can meet it halfway, I can forgive quite a bit. With DEAN TEASTER'S GHOST TOWN, you'll only end up asking forgiveness from whomever you asked to watch it with you. Unless you're like me, in which case my friends and I got more (unintentional) laughs out of this film than most Hollywood comedies. So that's something, I guess.
The bottom line is that the best reason to watch this film is to remind yourself just how great a well-crafted western such as UNFORGIVEN can be (which this film desperately wishes it could be)."
G. Coverstone | Edinburg, Virginia United States | 11/21/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Loved this movie! My family and I have been to ghost town many times, and it was really neat and exciting to see the stores and shops that we visited in person while we were there.If you have ever been to ghost town, you will want to own this movie."