Better And Better

If you don't draw yours, I won't draw mine. A police officer, working in the small town that he lives in, focusing on family and shooting and coffee, and occasionally putting some people in jail.

Monday, December 27, 2010

What beer with crow?

I, uh, may need to eat some words, here.

Recall that I thought that it was really dumb to make a re-do of True Grit with The Big Lebowski Jeff Bridges? How I mentioned that the original movie was a stand-alone great? That it didn't need improving on?

Maybe so.

But when I went to see the flick on Christmas afternoon with my mother, we found that the Cohen brothers had done it.

And I know that the poster shows Jeff Bridges (Rooster Cogburn), Matt Damon (Ranger LeBoeuf), and Josh Brolin (Tom Chaney) as the leads, but don't you believe it for a second. Hailee Steinfeld steals the show, in her depiction of the sharp-tongued 14 year old Mattie Ross (from near Dardanell in Yell County).

It's worth seeing at the theatre. Go to one with a good sound system-- the sound is good. When Lucky Ned Pepper sees Rooster through a spy glass fire his pistol to signal that he's crossing a bald spot over a ridge, we see the shot, and second or two later hear the muffled report. When Rooster clambers down the pit to rescue Mattie, and fires off a couple of rounds at rattlesnakes, you hear the distinctive report of a black powder gun, echoing in a rocky, dirty pit. Before Mattie gets to the stream to get water to clean, you hear it as she approaches it. These little things make the movie better.

Damned Cohen brothers. Did it again.

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At Monday, December 27, 2010 5:23:00 PM, Anonymous LabRat said...

I'm very encouraged. I actually read the original novel before I saw any movie because it turned up on my summer reading list; I am more attached to Mattie's voice than I am to John Wayne, by far, and if they nailed that I need to see it.

Good reading for an eleven year old girl. Still wonder which teacher's idea that was.

At Monday, December 27, 2010 5:38:00 PM, Blogger Matt G said...

I've never read the book. I shall order it at once.

At Monday, December 27, 2010 7:15:00 PM, Blogger Comrade Misfit said...

I'm glad you said that, because after sitting through "Burn After Reading," which possibly was The Worst Movie Ever Made, I wasn't about to trust the Cohen Brothers.

At Monday, December 27, 2010 10:39:00 PM, Blogger charlotte g said...

Nor I. Maybe Matt will let me borrow it;)
I hate to say this is grittier, but it is. The people are more real, overall.
I hope someone takes good care of that young girl. She has tremendous talent.
And what a kick. I had never gone to the movies on Christmas.

At Tuesday, December 28, 2010 8:00:00 AM, Blogger JPG said...

Thanks for the informative report on the remake. I ran across the novel by Charles Portis in 1968 or '69, before the original movie was announced. I was entranced by the way he captured the writing patterns. I've read a lot of 1900-period writings and feel this was just the way a precocious 14-year-old would speak and write.

I was pleasantly suprised that the 1969 movie was quite true to the book's dialogue. Yes, John Wayne's acting was a bit over the top, but when was it not? He was still great in his role. And, as a history buff, I could nit pick some of the details, but hey, that movie was made over 40 years ago!
I intend to see the new movie ASAP.

At Tuesday, December 28, 2010 8:46:00 AM, Anonymous Boat Guy said...

"What beer with crow?" LOTS. VERY STRONG.
I've mixed "appreciation" of the Coen Brothers, but this movie is EXCELLENT. The dialogue sounds much less affected than in the original (only the Duke sounded credible to me) and yes, this movie is Mattie's story.
THE star IS Hailee Steinfield. An amazing performance.
The movie even made up for 35 minutes of BS commercials (the Chevy Volt one was both nauseating and enraging).

At Tuesday, December 28, 2010 10:36:00 AM, Anonymous Blackwing1 said...

How about "The Poet", from New Holland? It's got a raven, rather than a crow, but it's a fabulous oatmeal stout, bound to make your own words taste better:

At Tuesday, December 28, 2010 11:07:00 AM, Anonymous Dwight Brown said...

Boat Guy:

"...35 minutes of BS commercials"? At a movie theater? Where you pay for tickets?

I realize it's easy to say "I woulda...", but: I would have walked out and demanded my money back from the management.

Trailers for coming attractions are one thing, a Chevy Volt ad is something else.

At Tuesday, December 28, 2010 6:35:00 PM, Blogger Matt G said...

Huh. Mom and I walked in at the moment of showtime (maybe two minutes late), and sat down and saw two really good movie trailers, and then the movie rolled.

I guess it's when you walk in.

At Wednesday, December 29, 2010 4:58:00 PM, Anonymous Boat Guy said...

I'll borrow a line from Yad Vashem; "Never Again!". I was with a group of folks who'd saved seats etc, so didn't want to be rude ...

At Friday, December 31, 2010 1:01:00 PM, Blogger TOTWTYTR said...

I'll wait for it to come out on Pay Per View. I haven't been to a movie theater in a few years and don't miss it at all.

I was going to give this movie a pass because like you I didn't think they could make a better version.

Since I trust your judgment in general, I'm going to have to add this to the list of movies I want to see.

At Sunday, January 16, 2011 8:22:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Uh, that was Barry Pepper as his great Uncle Ned.


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