Ride With the Devil

Ride With the Devil

DVD - 2010
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In 1862, during the Kansas-Missouri border war, Jake and Jack Bull join the Confederate-sympathizing Bushwhackers after Jack's father is killed by marauding members of the abolitionist Jayhawkers. They are aided by unusual ally, Holt, who's fighting for the South despite being a former slave.
Publisher: [United States] : Criterion Collection, [2010], ©2010
Edition: Director-approved special edition
ISBN: 9781604652499
1604652497
Branch Call Number: 7.914 Ri
Description: 1 videodisc (148 min.) : sound, color ; 4 3/4 in. + 1 booklet (28 pages : color illustrations ; 19 cm)

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l
lukasevansherman
May 14, 2018

Is the below comment for real? As an Oregonian, I have no real personal stakes, but we all know the South were pro-slavery traitors, right? This 1999 Civil War film is a curiosity. It's fitfully interesting and takes on a little filmed topic, but it is, ultimately, uneven and flawed. Southern irregulars (Bushwackers) fight Union troops and Kansas Jayhakwers on the Missouri/Kansas border. The film doesn't offer much historical context, nor does it seem to find it problematic that its heroes are all fighting for the South. There is one black character (the always great Jeffrey Wright) and slavery is rarely mentioned. It reminded me of the dreadful "Cold Mountain" in this aspect. One of the main issues I had with film, aside from that, is the central casting: Tobey Maguire, Skeet Ulrich (the poor man's Johnny Depp), Johathan Ryhs Meyers, and Simon "The Mentalist" Baker are all Southern rebels and none of them is convincing. Singer Jewel gives a better performance. There are some good visuals and well-staged fight scenes, especially the ransacking of Lawrence, but the film's intentions and tone are muddled. Ang Lee, who did "The Ice Storm" and "Life of Pi," directs. Look for a young Mark Ruffalo as a Union soldier. Based on a book.

t
trcookIIImddmd
Nov 14, 2017

Kickass Southern warriors taking out filthy primitive vulgar damnyankees! Yes. Toby McGuire and the rest of the cast are just fine.

k
ktatum82
Jul 01, 2014

Great portrayal of the Missouri/Kansas border during the Civil War.

I admit that I picked up this film solely because Jewel was in it then I found out that Ang Lee did this film, Tobey Maguire was in it as well as Mark Ruffalo (all connected to Marvel films). The film was okay, very violent and focussed almost exclusively on the battles and the intrigue - very little in lightness, romance and Jewel's role appears rather late in the film. She's good as a widower though arguably some of the scenes felt "gratuitous" as if they were there largely to exploit her beauty. Jewel's and Tobey's characters are not particularly likable given that they seem to be racist but they become more likable by the end of the film.

r
roystreet
Feb 14, 2014

Timely (in light of Iraq, Syria), absorbing subject, beautiful location photography, but marred by sub-par acting. This material calls out for guts and glory, anguish and release, but a young, inexperienced (in both senses) cast simply can't put it over. A big part of that is their delivery of the often-poetic period southern speech: either too histrionic or too flat, it seldom delves beneath the surface to reveal the character. P.S. Second audio commentary with the director of photography, sound designer and production designer is interesting for attention to historic detail in costumes, props, lighting, and locations, notably the town that stands in for Lawrence, Kansas.

voisjoe1 Oct 13, 2013

The great director Ang Lee (from Taiwan, then Illinois) made this tale of a band of ruffians whose purpose was to kill as many Union soldiers and Union supporters that they could. It seems that some of these guys were just at the wrong time and wrong place because they did not always feel passionate about the cause they were fighting for. The most interesting character is a former black slave who feels allegiance to a quasi-racist Southerner who gave him his freedom, yet kept him as someone who made him coffee and protected him with his sharp-shooting. The weakness of the movie may be that the characters are not sure why they are doing what they are doing and if they don’t care, why should the audience?

r
Ron@Ottawa
Feb 12, 2013

This film was a box office failure and snuffed by many film critics when it first came out. But I find it to be a well-acted and convincing story with the American civil war as the back drop. Plenty of killings and atrocities to depict one of the darkest periods in American. It is a history lesson by director Ang Lee. Well worth my time to sit through it.

m
Monolith
Dec 17, 2012

I agree with other commentary in that it was: 1.) beautifully filmed -- very scenic; and 2.) rather boring. Overlong, with characters that weren't very engaging (alright, Tobey Maguire/Jake Roedel and Jeffrey Wright/Daniel Holt were marginally interesting). Jewel's tag-along character was awkward, and her smarmy relationship with Maguire was unconvincing. The ending was anticlimactic, leaving me with an "Ummm... okay... That's it?" Certainly not what I was expecting from such a celebrated director as Ang Lee.

d
downsman
Jan 22, 2012

A movie which will disappoint those who seek action and unproblematic oppositions between protagonists and antagonists. However, as a beautifully-filmed portrayal of the deep divisions caused by civil war and what it would be like first to be caught up in the murder and violence, and then be a part of it, it's an absorbing piece. And it helps one understand how an ex-slave could fight (as some did) for the Confederacy.

r
Roosbud
Sep 20, 2011

Boring and a snore

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m
Monolith
Dec 17, 2012

Daniel Holt: "You supposed to sleep with the wife, Roedel. Great day in the mornin' -- you got to know that much! You supposed to share her bed! That way, if some other man do that, you shoot him."

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