New On Netflix: Wild Wild West

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It’s very easy to dismiss director Barry Sonnenfeld’s big, bloated and oddly bigoted Wild Wild West (1999) as a complete disaster, but it’s ultimately not that bad — especially now, almost 12 years later, when we can look back and just kind of laugh at it. Will Smith is cool and charming as James West, ditto Kevin Kline as both Artemus Gordon and President Ulysses S. Grant; Salma Hayek looks a little lost and confused but is so smokin’ hot, it doesn’t really matter… and then there’s Kenneth Branagh as the villainous Dr. Arliss Loveless, a performance that’s alternately rather amusing and mind-boggingly awful, depending on what particular frame you’re watching at the time. A bit of trivia: producer Jon Peters wanted the Man of Steel to fight a huge arachnid at the end of the Tim Burton/Kevin Smith Superman project that was scrapped in the mid-’90s… well, it looks like he ended up getting his giant spider before the century’s end.