True Grit — a remake of the 1969 classic — is somewhat uncharacteristic of the Coen Brothers in that it is a relatively straightforward work when compared to their traditional visual fare. The result of their efforts on True Grit is a well crafted traditional Western — sans the trademark nihilism present within their other films including No Country For Old Men. Some hardcore Coen fans might be disappointed by this, but the style and tone adopted for True Grit has certainly widened potential audience appeal.
The lead role of “Rooster” in the 1969 original was played by — of course — John Wayne, and this time around Jeff Bridges steps into Wayne’s lofty boots. Many critics contend that Bridges’ performance outshines that of Wayne’s, and that the current remake depicts a far more vivid story. The True Grit story takes place in the rugged West of the 1870’s, and it tells the tale of little Mattie Ross (played by Hailee Steinfeld) who convinces Rooster to track down her father’s killer. This quest leads Rooster — accompanied by a Texas Ranger (well played by Matt Damon) — deep into Indian Country.
The film’s cinematographer, Roger Deakins, creates dream-like landscapes within the finest Western traditions, and supporting cast including Josh Brolin and Barry Pepper add to the strong performances rendered by Bridges and Damon. Don’t worry, you won’t have to tolerate hearing Damon singing — as Glen Campbell did when playing this part in the 1969 original. HardyMag rates True Grit as a must see which is sure not to disappoint — whether or not you typically like Westerns.
Many of you probably noticed that this movie involves ballet — and quickly dismissed it as a boring chick flick. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Black Swan is a jarring and surreal experience more akin to a horror film of the most disturbing variety. Opposite as you’d expect, you might emerge from the theater loving this film while your girl hated it. Black Swan entails a barrage of visualizations, themes and personalities which evoke reactions within the audience ranging from bewilderment to revulsion.
Some films are quickly forgotten, but you can be assured that imagery from Black Swan will still be swirling through your head long after you leave the theater. If you were under the mistaken impression that this is a good romantic data movie, think again. It depends upon the girl obviously, but the odds are high that Black Swan will tend more to freak her out as opposed to make her hot.
This is despite the fact that the movie is replete with sexuality — often of the most raw and lascivious sort. Consequently, Black Swan is probably not a good idea for a first date movie. If you’re looking for a wild ride and to see Natalie Portman in ways you never dreamed — then check out Black Swan this weekend. You won’t be disappointed.