Archive for December, 2010

A gritty True Grit

Since the weather outside is truly frightful, I have plenty of time to think about why I enjoyed True Grit  so much.  I think the main reason would have to be that it seems much more real than the older film version.
Jeff Bridges makes the character of Rooster Cogburn simultaneously heroic and hilarious.  And man, can he get a mean look in that one eye!  Matt Damon was also fine as LaBoeuf, the duded-up Texas Ranger.  Barry Pepper was almost unrecognizable as the bandit Ned Pepper.  (Was he cast because he’s a Pepper?)  He played the part well, regardless of his last name.  And the girl, Hailee Steinfeld, did a good job of playing the part of Mattie Ross, and not getting overshadowed by her costars.
Since this is a Coen brothers film, one should certainly expect it to be gory, perhaps even graphically so.  There were definitely some moments of gore, but on the whole, I thought it was rather tame, considering the directors.
True Grit was believable, realistic, enjoyable, and humorous.  It tells a story–based of course, on the novel by Charles Portis–of a determined girl who will stop at nothing to find her father’s killer.  There is, of course, more to it than that, and this adaptation does an excellent job of showing that.  It is also a story about survival and trust, and of course grit.

The Coens did a good thing, ya’ll

I’m still digesting the fact that I’ve discovered a Coen brothers movie that I really, really like.  I am, of course, referring to the new True Grit.  I’m still going to write a review of it, but I will say that you all should watch it if you get a chance.  Watch it in the theaters!  Do it now! :)

Tron

I saw most of the original Tron, years ago, so I was curious about the new Tron: Legacy.  I didn’t have any high expectations when I went to watch it, but I was still disappointed.

While Tron makes impressive use of special effects, the entire movie seems driven by the effects and suspense.  It seems like a gimmick to sell an unimaginative story.  What’s unimaginative about someone being trapped in an alternate universe?  Well, there have been a number of movies that have dealt with such issues, not the least of which is the still-popular Back to the Future trilogy.

I guess my point is that Hollywood is consistently letting viewers down.  There really should be more to a movie than pretty effects and cool action sequences.  Perhaps I’m being too hard on Tron.  After all, it’s not the fault of the movie that I saw True Grit first, and was thrilled by it (more later on this).

Monday came quickly

It seems strange having to go back to work after a three-day weekend.  However, the fact that this coming week is only a four-day work week might help…

I hope to have some reviews up later.  I watched both Tron and True Grit over the weekend.  I found it mildly ironic that Jeff Bridges is in both of the movies.

I don’t have to dream

I love snow at Christmas!

I don’t think I’ll have time to do a quote quiz today, so I will simply say:

MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Austen strikes again!

After watching I Have Found It, which is a Bollywood adaptation of Sense & Sensibility, I was reminded of an article in the Wall Street Journal that discussed how Austen is becoming more popular.

In my opinion, Bollywood is uniquely suited to interpret Austen’s stories because modern Indian society tends to have more rules and regulations than modern British society.  The sense of someone having to fight against popular opinion comes across well, even if they movie is subtitled (as I Have Found It is).

I think this also proves what W.H. Auden said in his poem to Byron: Austen said she wrote for the posterity, a bold claim, as Auden says, but “by posterity she’s read.”

Waiting for Grit

I have read the book True Grit more than once, and rather enjoyed the 1969 movie version of it.  However, I have to say I’m quite looking forward to watching the remake with Jeff Bridges as Rooster Cogburn.  It should be awesome!

After all, I believe Bridges is a better actor than Wayne.  Such a statement will win me friends in some circles and lose me some in others, but I believe it is the truth.

“I know kung fu! Again.”

I was talking to one of my friends last night, and we got into a discussion of how much we enjoy kung fu movies.  In my opinion, kung fu movies are kind of the eastern version of westerns.  There are usually honor codes, one person standing up against many, and border-line ridiculous fight sequences.

So now I’m curious.  Do any of you like kung fu movies?  If so, which ones are your favorites and which ones would you recommend?

Colors! Dancing! Singing!

I acquired a Bollywood take on Jane Austen’s Sense & Sensibility.  I’m looking forward to watching it, even though it’s subtitled.  It should be great fun.

After all, Bride & Prejudice, the Bollywood version of Pride & Prejudice is pretty excellent.

Quote Quiz-12.17.10 – ANSWERS

1.  “Fluctuate? You make it sound like I’m retaining water. I’ve gained 45 pounds in a week. Pete, what’s happening to me?” – Scott Calvin, The Santa Clause

2.  “Don’t ever say hickory honey ham again.” – Nora Krank, Christmas with the Kranks

3.  “Can I refill your eggnog for you? Get you something to eat? Drive you out to the middle of nowhere and leave you for dead?” – Clark Griswold, Christmas Vacation

4.  “I’ve had a really lousy Christmas, you’ve just managed to kill my New Year’s, if you come back on Easter- you can burn down my apartment.” – Lucy, While You Were Sleeping

5.  “Three balls, two sticks, one corked nose. Snowman? No. Much, much more. I am the Wizard of Blizzard! Hahahahahaha! Now run you little mountain goats!” – Jack Frost, Jack Frost