True Grit reviews

Big Magilla
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Postby Big Magilla » Wed Dec 01, 2010 8:29 pm

I did a little research and found one 5 star rave from Cinema Blend and one mixed review from Cinematical, neither of which I'm familiar with, and this from Wells.

But, OK, I'll remove the ouch!
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Postby Mister Tee » Wed Dec 01, 2010 8:22 pm

Sonic Youth wrote:So Magilla, once this gets the lion's share of excellent reviews - which it has already done in the blogosphere, even though you managed to find and post the one and only negative review - are you going to remove the "Ouch!" subhead or keep it there for posterity?

I thought you were going into an isolation tank for the season. (A really wild experiment, by the way -- like those families that live without TVs)

I'm anxious for some "real" reviews to pop up. You're correct, the blogosphere has been heavily positive, but most of those concerned have been calling the film a sure best picture contender for weeks/months, so I worry they're just expressing confirmation bias. (And Wells, who was taking a negative tone upfront, is equally untrustworthy from the other direction) I assume the film can't be a complete dog, or even partisans would show some negative response, but I'll need more evidence before I conclude the film is all that.

The "embargo" officially lifted at 10AM Eastern today, and bloggers posted like wildfire. I'm puzzled why the trades haven't followed suit. (In fact, when the front page showed this topic and you name, I presumed Variety had finally put a review up)

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Sonic Youth
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Postby Sonic Youth » Wed Dec 01, 2010 8:02 pm

So Magilla, once this gets the lion's share of excellent reviews - which it has already done in the blogosphere, even though you managed to find and post the one and only negative review - are you going to remove the "Ouch!" subhead or keep it there for posterity?
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Big Magilla
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Postby Big Magilla » Wed Dec 01, 2010 7:42 pm

It's only Jeffrey Wells, but still...

There are few if any filmmakers with austere rock-star chops like Joel and Ethan Coen, but you can't call a movie a home run just because it's smartly assembled. Craft only gets you so far. The film has to be about something that matters to many if not most people. And I am telling you that True Grit, while beautifully made with some deliciously formal old-west dialogue (much of it straight from the Charles Portis novel, I gather) and a smart, spunky debut performance from Hallie Steinfeld, is essentially a cold and mannered "art" western that matters not.

Every now and then the Coens, despite their immense talent and heavy-osity, drop the clay jug on the kitchen floor. True Grit has now joined The Ladykillers, The Man Who Wasn't There, The Hudsucker Proxy and (I know this is a minority opinion) O Brother, Where Art Thou? on the list of wrong-turners.

There's one exceptional scene in the beginning -- a bargaining scene about money and stolen horses -- between Steinfeld and Dakin Matthews that's pretty close to superb. For my money Matthews delivers True Grit's best male performance, hands down.

I'd be willing to argue with fans of this film, but not all that passionately. It's indisputably solid and grade-A as far as those attributes go, but all it seems to say is "yep, life in the Old West was harsh and brutal, all right, but people of sand and character stood up and demanded that evil-doers be captured and punished, and 14 year-old Mattie Ross " -- i.e., Steinfeld's character -- "was surely one of these." Yeah....and?

And nothing. People of serious moral fibre sometimes get hurt or even killed in trying to see justice done, and drunks will always be drunks, and the evil-doer sometimes is just a bearded dog-like degenerate, and a whole lotta fellers wind up gettin' shot and maimed and sometimes their bodies aren't even buried -- they just lie there and rot. And the living get older and come back to the scene of the adventure, to so speak, and are told that a guy who was old and fat to begin with has "moved on," so to speak
“‎Life is a shipwreck, but we must not forget to sing in the lifeboats.” - Voltaire


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