Movie Reviews: Winter Break

(Continued from previous post)

I watched the mediocre sequel, Texasville, to the fantastic film The Last Picture Show (both starring Jeff Bridges) the night before I saw True Grit.  It was totally a coincidence; my friend and I were trying to see Blue Valentine (the only thing I knew about that movie is that it was almost rated NC-17) but we were a day early. Bridges is always pretty great, but True Grit is weak.

I haven’t heard anyone say they didn’t like it, which surprises me, because everyone knows that you can expect a lot from a Coen Brothers film and usually come away with more. True Grit never pans out. It’s all build-up. Maybe the few occasions of gore are there to hold me upright, but I was underwhelmed.

I’ve never seen the original this movie remade or read the novel it was based on, but I’ve seen a few westerns, and this one lacked what I like about the genre. Bridges plays a gravelly drunk who talks too much, and this might be funny if I didn’t have to actually listen to his stories, and perhaps if another character could balance out the dialogue by adhering to a strong silent stereotype. Instead Matt Damon is a goofy chatterbox, too, and the girl, Hailee Steinfeld talks maybe more than anyone. After a while I noticed that everyone, even very minor characters talk more than I’d expect them to in a Western. I don’t see the function of this decision. Besides that, everything falls into place too easily, I don’t care about the protagonist, and we’re left with kind of a non-ending. The endeavor just seems unambitious and a waste of time. Plus, the snakes looked pretty cyber-y. Gross.


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