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Category:    Home > Reviews > Western > Telefilm > Cable TV > The Tom Selleck Western Collection (Crossfire Trail/Last Stand At Sabre River/Monte Walsh (2002)/Warner DVD)

The Tom Selleck Western Collection (Crossfire Trail/Last Stand At Sabre River/Monte Walsh (2002)/Warner DVD)


Picture: C/C+/C+     Sound: C+     Extras: D     Telefilm: C+/C/C-



In one of his smart moves in putting his company on the map, Ted Turner signed Tom Selleck for a series of TV movies in the Western genre that did enough ratings that they were high profile events in their time.  Of course, each would have a little less money in them, but it made for an interesting cycle of product and Warner Bros. has issued three of them in The Tom Selleck Western Collection including the 1997 Last Stand At Sabre River, 2000 Crossfire Trail, and an ill-advised revisiting of Monte Walsh in 2002.


River is based on an Elmore Leonard work is done with The Civil War, which is over, so he thinks it will be peacetime with his family until new complication ensue.  In his absence, two Union squatters (David and Keith Carradine) have taken over his land, so there will be one more battle after all.  Suzy Amis, David Duke, Tracy Needham and Haley Joel Osment also star.


Trail has Selleck as a stranger who seems determined, for unknown reasons, to protect a widow no matter what.  This is challenged when a land thief (Mark Harmon in one of his few bad guy roles) and his murderous gang arrive to cash in what they perceived as a defenseless woman, until they find out how wrong they are.  Some potential is missed and Wilford Brimley does not help matters with his odd performance and casting.


Selleck plays the “last cowboy” Monte Walsh in this flat, dull look at the man’s life nowhere as good as the 1970 Lee Marvin genre classic.  Instead it does what all bad TV movies do by repackaging something better into something much worse and trying to pass it off as the better product.  Simon Wincer directed the latter two films and it shows.


Sadly, the 1.33 X 1 image on River is the poorest here and needs an HD upgrade, no matter the aspect ratio.  This is nicely shot, but this disc does not do it credit.  The anamorphically enhanced 1.78 X 1 image on the later telefilms are better performance wise, but flat and dull in their own right for the worst.  The Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo on the first two films are simple and possess no palpable Pro Logic surrounds, despite what he packages say, while the Dolby 5.1 on Walsh is weak and actually has less character than the monophonic 1970 film, which had better music too.  There are no extras, but fans of Selleck or big fans of Westerns should be satisfied enough.



-   Nicholas Sheffo


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