Something happened to Taylor Hackford’s “Love Ranch” on the way to its release. I’m not exactly sure what it was, seeing how the production was plagued by a number of financial setbacks, but something singular reached in and gutted what the filmmaker was originally intending. “Love Ranch” offers such a promising premise filled with sass, slaps, and sin, but the picture feels edited with a chainsaw, reducing Hackford’s story of desire to crummy Lifetime Movie theatrics, wasting the numerous gifts of Helen Mirren along the way.
This past summer, I had the rare opportunity to view the original “Highlander” on the big screen with a crowd of superfans and the elderly. There I was reminded just how magnificently oddball the 1986 feature is, mixing emotional fantasy escapism with rough acts of swordsmanship and villainy, moving through time and across the Earth to tell a distinctive story of immortality, backed by hyper-stylized direction from Russell Mulcahy and the heavenly sounds of Queen, who breathed romantic life into the picture with their soundtrack. It’s a splendid film filled with a fractured sense of sci-fi poetry, blessed with an ending that delivered refreshing finality.