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You know Australian director John Hillcoat if you've seen The Road, or preferably The Proposition, a fascinating Western set in the dusty fly-infested Australian outback. Can Hillcoat bring his haunting bleak touch to Red Dead Redemption?
We'll find out Saturday night. Rockstar has purchased a half-hour block of time on Fox starting at midnight. To fill the slot, they've hired Hillcoat to make a short film using Red Dead Redemption's characters and game engine. I'd love to see Hillcoat turned loose to do whatever he wants, but from the synopsis on Fox's schedule, it sounds like we're getting an extended version of a cutscene I've already watched and a mission I've already played.
The year is 1910. The West is dying. The American frontier is undergoing a violent transition from the ways of old to modern times, and Mexico has entered a prolonged period of bloody civil war. Reformed outlaw John Marston is on his way to capture former running buddy Bill Williamson when he comes upon a half dead snake oil merchant named West Dickens. Marston travels under a bleak and unforgiving sun, teaming up with a violent sheriff and a colorful mentally deranged grave robber and together they discover a bloody massacre of homesteaders left in the wake of Williamson. They hatch a plan to break into an abandoned fort where the Williamson Gang is holed up - and a dark, surprising twist ensues.