|ACES 'N' EIGHTS (TV MOVIE) (director: Craig R. Baxley; screenwriters: Ronald M. Cohen/Dennis Shryack; cinematographer: Yaron Levy; editor: Christine Kelley; music: Gary Chang; cast: Casper Van Dien (Luke Rivers), Bruce Boxleitner (D.C. Cracker), Ernest Borgnine (Prescott), Jeff Kober (Tate), Jack Noseworthy (Riley), Jake Thomas (Noah), William Atherton (Howard), Deirdre Quinn (Jo Tanner), Rodney Scott (Monty); Runtime: 87; MPAA Rating: NR; producer: James Wilberger; Grand Army Entertainment,; 2008)|
nothing about this unimaginative Western
to be excited about."
by Dennis Schwartz
It's a cheerless made-for-television western, trying to be a Spaghetti Western. The title refers to a dead man's hand in cards. The hand Wild Bill Hickock had when he was shot in the back at a card game. Craig R. Baxley ("Sudden Fury"/"The Glow"/"Deep Red") directs it flatly and fills it with clichés, relying on the action to do the talking. The script by Ronald M. Cohen and Dennis Shryack is pedestrian.
rural Texas frontier, the Chicago-based railroad is
putting in a railroad line and wants you to believe
it's bringing the area progress. Problems arise when a
number of ranchers refuse to sell their land to the
railroad. In charge of bargaining with the ranchers is
the sinister Mr. Howard (William Atherton).
He hires the ruthless gunslinger Tate (Jeff Kober)
to force the ranchers to sell cheaply or move off
their land or get killed. One of Tate's brooding
gunslingers, Luke Rivers (Casper Van
Dien), quits for a more
sedate life as a ranch worker for Prescott (Ernest
Borgnine). He's the
crusty elderly rancher who refuses to sell. Three
years after leaving Tate, Luke decides to help
Prescott fight the evil railroad.
about this unimaginative Western to be excited
REVIEWED ON 2/20/2016 GRADE: C+
Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"
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