Jeff's Reviews

Thoughts on every movie I've ever seen.

Dances With Wolves (1990)

Directed by Kevin Costner

Starring Kevin Costner, Mary McDonnell, Graham Greene, Rodney A. Grant


Like Braveheart, a very well-made, cleanly told, self-directed time/place piece, with a beautifully unified score. A nice blend of subtle comedy, romance, action, suspense, and grossness, though if anything, maybe the pacing is a bit off. There are scenes where it feels that things are moving a tad slow.

Great job by Costner. The understated Costner in his prime. He is good-looking, and looks extra cool with that beard and mustache. McDonnell and Smiles A Lot were awesome, too. Spivey was cool. Studi plays his usual hot-headed Indian character. The Indians shouldn’t have spoken such good English, it should have been more broken, especially when they were learning. Same deal as The Beast.

I don’t understand (USC professor) Casper’s claim that people can’t direct themselves. An argument could be made that it is when there is no communication gap between director and actor that a perfect performance from the lead, if not disrupted by ego, can carry a movie. Costner and Gibson were both perfect their first times directing and starring themselves in the same film. Best Pictures for both.

The story is told through journal/letters, like Glory. “Where there’s one, there’s sure to be another” comment from Planet of the Apes. Could have done without Spielberg’s corny shooting star. An Indian fucking in middle of night awakens the white houseguest, as in Black Robe. A bit of a photographer’s nitpick, but cheaper lenses may have been used for some scenes, as 2-3 of the shots suffer from a distracting amount of chromatic aberration.

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