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Laramie Movie Scope:
Almost Heroes

Almost the worst movie I've ever seen

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by Patrick Ivers, Film Critic
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(1998) Three writers (apparently on a bender) composed this juvenile account of a second expedition in 1804, following Lewis and Clark, to the Pacific, led by Leslie Edwards (Matthew Perry), accompanied by boorish tracker Bartholmew Hunt (Chris Farley).

Christopher Guest directed (what was he thinking?) this sorry excuse for a comedy of the cultured Virginia aristocrat; the fat, loud, crude frontiersman; and Fontenot (Eugene Levy), a French interpreter of native languages (all the savages speak English), who threatens to kill anyone who so much as looks longingly at his Indian woman Shaquina (Lisa Barbuscia).

Finding Edwards watching through a telescope Shaquina bathing, Bartholmew asks if Edwards wants to be alone to "shake hands with Ben Franklin," in other words "polish the pewter." Others engaged in this stupid claptrap include Jonah, Leslie's black servant; Bidwell, who loses an ear (for seeing Shaquina's breast), gets mauled by a bear (after being told not to scratch his nose), and is wounded by a Spaniard's bullet; Pratt, who experiments with Bidwell's severed ear as a possible communications device; Higgins, the teller of a sheep-dung-pudding story and bagpiper of a single tune; a priest; and an old geezer.

After encountering a tribe of Iowa Indians, naming landmarks, and reaching Snakes Bend (offering the men food, drink, and straw women), Edwards's party comes face-to-face with Hidalgo (Kevin Dunn), a Conquistador with a mane of hair in quest of a secret treasure. Barthlomew heroically takes on the Spaniard in a drinking duel; he later saves Edwards's life (threatened by fever) by procuring for Shaquina an eagle's egg.

As Edwards and his men in canoes on the river pass Lewis and Clark's expedition wisely making portage, one offers an apothegm: "White water in the morning." (That's all there is to it.) Continue at your own peril.

Click here for links to places to buy or rent this movie in video and/or DVD format, or to buy the soundtrack, posters, books, even used videos, games, electronics and lots of other stuff. I suggest you shop at least two of these places before buying anything. Prices seem to vary continuously. For more information on this film, click on this link to The Internet Movie Database. Type in the name of the movie in the search box and press enter. You will be able to find background information on the film, the actors, and links to much more information.

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Copyright © 2009 Patrick Ivers. All rights reserved.
Reproduced with the permission of the copyright holder.
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Patrick Ivers can be reached via e-mail at nora's email address at juno. [Mailer button: image of letter and envelope]

(If you e-mail me with a question about this or any other movie or review, please mention the name of the movie you are asking the question about, otherwise I may have no way of knowing which film you are referring to)