Fred Van Lente co-wrote the original Cowboys & Aliens comic for Platinum Studios. Tonight he watched the movie version for the first time. On HBO. He live tweeted it... for a while, anyway.
A little bit of background: Cowboys & Aliens was never a great work of personal art. Platinum Studios head Scott Rosenberg came up with the concept, which was sellable to movie studios (it went through Dreamworks and Sony before ending up at Universal), and which was the comic book equivalent of Samuel Z Arkoff coming up with a movie poster before a movie script. He got some collaborators together and they created the book.
Van Lente was one of those collaborators. You'd think that somebody would have invited Van Lente to see the movie at some point - or sent him a DVD or a Blu, for Christ's sake - but they didn't. His credit on the movie is as a Platinum Studios representative. I'm sure that's a contractual thing, so don't weep for Fred too much, but jeez, they could have had him to a screening.
ANYWAY. Fred watched the movie tonight with the idea that he would live tweet it. This is how it went:
Pre-amble out of the way, Fred hunkered down for some snarking. He obviously knows the movie's no good, so he's ready to dig in.
And then it gets good. Andrew Foley, co-writer of the comic, chimes in.
He's obviously talking about Scott Rosenberg, who is credited as being creator of the property. It seems that the writers feel like Rosenberg had little to nothing to do with the actual making of the book. But this isn't even the good part. Van Lente gets back to snarking:
Then it gets quiet on his feed. He chimes in eventually with:
A follower catches up with what Van Lente is doing:
And then the movie comes to an end.
There's a nice moment of uplift, though!
And then the finale - the only finale you could have expected.
This all strikes me as the right response. Cowboys & Aliens is a horrible, dull movie, so lifeless that you can't even throw quips at it. It's like trying to do running commentary about a featureless concrete slab.