Guest Post: 5 Reasons I’m looking forward to True Grit

True Grit becomes one I really want to check out after seeing the trailer, it’ll be the first film from the Coen brothers I’m actually excited about. But my good friend and frequent FC contributor Ted S. has been anticipating this movie for quite some time. So why not let him share the five main reasons why he can’t wait to see it.


First off I just wanted to say that I’ve never read the book or seen the original film from 1969 starring John Wayne, so I’m going into this movie with not much knowledge about the story. I think most people my age (early 30’s and younger) probably doesn’t even know that this is a remake and based on a novel, I’m just assuming here so if you’re in your 20s or early 30s and have seen the original film and/or have read the novel then good for you.

Anyhoo, here are five reasons why I’m so excited to see this film on the big screen:

  1. The Coen Bros. They’re on my list of great filmmakers working in Hollywood today. In my opinion they haven’t made a “bad” movie yet, some might argue that The Ladykillers is probably their worst film but I really enjoyed it even though it got trashed by most critics and didn’t even make any money at the box office. Blood Simple, Fargo, Miller’s Crossing and No Country For Old Men are my favorite films of theirs.
  2. The Dude and Jason Bourne teamed up in a shoot’em up western, enough said.

  3. It’s Western and Hollywood doesn’t make a lot them these days. When I was very young, I’ve seen those spaghetti western films starry Clint Eastwood many times and since then I’ve always love watching western, even bad ones. My top three favorite westerns are Unforgiven, The Wild Bunch and The Outlaw Josey Whales. Hopefully this new True Grit will be on that list too.
  4. Roger Deakins. He’s the cinematographer on this film and many others, he shot the great looking The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford. I believe he had shot most if not all of The Coen bros. films.
  5. The PG-13 rating, this is I believe it’s the Bros’ only second PG rated film, the other being The Hudsucker Proxy. When I first saw the trailer for True Grit, I thought for sure it was going to be a brutal R rated western and was quite surprise when it got a PG-13 rating. So I’m quite curious to see how tame the violence is in this film. I’m sure most of you who are fans of The Coens bros. know how much they love to shoot violent films.

So, who’s with us? Anyone else excited for this film?

Upcoming Flix Spotlight » TRON: Legacy

I wish I could be in San Diego this week, ComicCon sounds like a lot of fun, and it’s increasingly becoming as much for movie lovers as comic book fans. One of the most buzzed about upcoming movie this year is Disney’s Tron: Legacy. I’ve become increasingly intrigued by this movie, and the new trailer just shot my excitement up through the roof. Check it out:

Vodpod videos no longer available.

As I said in my previous post, this is the sequel to the 1982 sci-fi film Tron, starring a much younger Jeff Bridges. Instead of a dream world a la Inception, this time much of the movie takes place in a digital world created by Bridges character Kevin Flynn, a former premier video-game developer. Flynn’s been missing for 25 years and his estranged son is pulled into the virtual game world as he searches for him, a mesmerizing cyber universe full of neon lights and shiny objects! LOVE that Lightcycle, forget Batpod, I want one of those! According to the Collider, this movie’s broken a record for being present at the conference three years in a row! But this year’s the first time Con-goers are shown actual footage from the film (the previous two years they were presented with only the 2D and 3D test footage, probably to test people’s interest?). The cast and crew were present in the film’s panel Q&A session, including Joseph Kosinski, producer Sean Bailey, TRON creator Steven Lisberger, and stars Garrett Hedlund, Olivia Wilde, Michael Sheen, and the dude himself, Jeff Bridges! I’ve never heard of Kosinski before, but according to this FastCompany article, sounds like he knows what he’s doing despite his lack of filmmaking experience. He apparently has a master in architecture design from Columbia and also founded a Web-design firm where he created short-films made entirely on the computer.

Kosinski directing his cast on set

As for casting, Bridges actually plays the same role twice, well, kind of. When I saw the trailer, there’s a guy who bears an uncanny resemblance to him but looks half his age of 61, and I wondered who the actor is. Well, guess what, Matt Goldberg at Collider is saying that character is actually CGI, “…I don’t want to jump the gun, but from what I saw today, it looks like they’ve cracked the technology to de-age actors digitally.” THR HeatVision also mentioned about the ‘de-aging’ technology, here’s what Bridges himself thought about it: “One of the things that always bothered me as an actor was when you have to play your self at different ages is that you have an other actor playing you. Now that’s no longer the case. You can play yourself at any age. To be in this groundbreaking movie, where it’s done for the first time, is cool.”

I’m not sure the story will be a compelling one, but visually speaking I’m hooked. I was practically ooh-aah-ing as I’m watching this trailer, like a fly mesmerized by bright lights 😀 Now this is one that’s meant to be seen in 3D come December 17th.

How about you, is this one in your must-see list?

Everyone’s a Critic: Reviews from FlixChatter Readers

Welcome to another edition of Everyone’s a Critic series. Today we’ve got an Oscar nominated flick and two sports movies from a golf and soccer enthusiast. Special thanks to Becky, Scot and Alan for taking the time to contribute to FlixChatter!

Crazy Heart (2009)
by Becky Kurk

My sister from California was visiting a few weeks ago, and we both wanted to see the The Blind Side, but it vanished from the theater one day before we planned to see it. Crazy Heart was her second choice, and since she was from the “away” team, I let her win the coin toss.

Turns out Jeff Bridges (Bad Blake) performance is certainly Oscar-worthy. He plays drunk and down-and-out so well it hurts to keep watching him. In fact, I think his role was over-written. I mean how many times do you need to see him vomit or pass out before you get the hint that he’s got a problem? Not as much as we have to watch. So that leaves little left for the rest of the characters. I have no idea why his love interest (Maggie Gyllenhaal) is the least bit interested in him, and there’s nothing in the story that even hints at it. I really think Maggie is a good actor, but her performance here is not Oscar-worthy. That’s not her fault, it’s because of the weakly-written character she has to play. And I don’t know why one minute Colin Farrell (Tommy Sweet) is his musical rival, and then suddenly Bad is his opening act. Sweet then strongly encourages him to write original songs for his band to finally start making some money again. Strangely, Bad turns him down, and again, we have no way of knowing why. Colin, however, gave a subtle but surprisingly good performance.

There’s very little in this film to get you to care about any of the other characters. On the plus side, however, even though I’m not a country music fan, I was surprised I didn’t totally hate the music. And the beautiful panoramas of the Southwest are worth seeing. The story line has been compared to Tender Mercies, The Wrestler and Walk the Line – I haven’t seen the first two, but Walk the Line hits it out of the park compared to Crazy Heart, which barely gets to second base.

….

The Damned United (2009)
by Scot Mattison

Michael Sheen takes on the role of one of England’s all-time great and controversial football managers, Brian Clough. The movie looks at Clough’s 44-day reign as the coach of Leeds United and the events that lead up to the doomed Leeds side.

Colm Meaney plays Don Revie, Clough’s nemesis and predecessor at Leeds. Clough’s sets out to change the playing style of the existing Leeds team, players loyal to Don Revie, and a team Clough has openly criticized for playing dirty. Clough attempts to endear the team to him by telling them “You can all throw your medals in the bin because they were not won fairly”… surprisingly, this doesn’t produce the desired endearing effect.

An ok script filled with very rich characters. I can’t say the movie captured the whole that was Brian Clough though. Lacking is a charming, working-class, boozer quality…  which leads to a “campy” feel to some of the scenes. The movie does do a good job of creating many uneasy moments, and Sheen does a great job of portraying the over-confident and egocentric manager, delivering his lines with a “nasally-condescending-Cloughie” quality. A good watch for football lovers and anyone that enjoys seeing off-center historical characters.

….

The Greatest Game Ever Played (2005)
by Alan Markham

The Greatest Game Ever Played
is not the “greatest movie ever made,” but it is pretty decent as far as golf flicks go. The movie is based on a book written by Mark Frost (well known golf writer), and even if you’re not a huge golf fan, I think those who like sports movies would appreciate this story.

The basic premise of the movie is the story of Francis Ouimet’s (played by Shia LaBeouf) rise to golfing fame in the early 1900’s. The movie begins with Ouimet’s life as a caddy, and as a relative unknown in the golfing world, and follows along with his growth and ultimate success when he wins the 1913 U.S. Open at age 20. The key moment is when Ouimet takes on Harry Vardon (Tiger Woods of the day) in a head to head match. The outcome seems predictable, but the fact that it actually did happen makes it more entertaining. No fire hydrants or smashed Escalades here, just good clean fun.

As I mentioned, the storyline is expected, but I feel it still has enough interest to hold your attention throughout the entire movie. The acting is decent, cinematography is great (from a golfers’ perspective), and the story is entertaining. If the movie were a golf score, I’d give it a par.

Edit: This movie was Bill Paxton’s directing debut. As a teen, Bill caddied for golf great Ben Hogan in Fort Worth, which might’ve explained his enthusiasm for the sport.