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SAS Movie Review – True Grit

SAS = Short Attention Span – basically if you’re like me, you don’t want to read a 3 page review of a movie that’s filled with dictionary look-up words and talks in-depth about the subtle nuances and how they correlate to post-modern, neo-classical, Machiavellian, or whatever random crap that was probably taught to me in school years ago, but has since been replaced with useless knowledge about things that would only help me in a People magazine crossword puzzle.

The point is, I will only write a simple review, nothing more than a page, and nothing that will ruin any aspect of the movie (I hope). So enjoy…

TRUE GRIT

With only 45 days to go until the Oscars and the nominations to be announced very soon, I’ve made it my civic duty to see every important film that could be/should be nominated and let you know if it’s not only Oscar worthy, but worthy of your time.

First up, is the Coen Brothers re-make of the John Wayne classic True Grit, which is about a one-eyed drunken U.S. Marshall helping a teenage girl find the man that killed her father.  Jeff Bridges plays Rooster Cogburn (already a much better PG-13 name than Damian Cockburn – the name of the director who blows up in Tropic Thunder – and if I just ruined that for you, I’m not sorry, that movie’s been out for two years, Netflix it already.)  Basically I think the Coens told Bridges just to play his The Dude character from The Big Lebowski, but asked him to get fatter, drunker and to wear an eye patch.

The Dude abides

The real true grit of this movie was having to put up with the 14-year old girl who’s alongside The Dude, er, Cogburn, for the majority of the movie.  While I’m sure she’s excited to be nominated for her acting, I couldn’t help but find myself hoping she’d be in one of those scenes in horror movies where she’s crossing a road and then a random bus comes out of nowhwere to hit her.  Which by the way, Maggie and I have agreed that every single movie needs to throw in a scene like that, just to keep the audience guessing.  Think how much better every Keanu Reeves movie would be if he got hit by a bus instead of saving people on a bus.

Matt Damon also co-stars as LeBeouf – pronounced as “LeBeef” – which in turn was mildly amusing everytime someone said his name b/c we often call our dog BIFF, “Beef,” when we pretend he’s a rude french man  (yep, it can get a little too exciting in the Fischer household sometimes). The pairing of Damon with Bridges was a solid choice, although I’m almost surprised the Coens didn’t go with one of their usual standby actors like a Steve Buscemi or John Turturro.  I’m sure John Goodman was first tabbed for the role, but failed the weigh-in.

Fresh off of No Country For Old Men, Josh Brolin plays the man everyone is looking for, re-enacting the role originally played by Robert Duvall.  This is where I may have some beef (or LeBeouf) with the movie.  The backstory of how Brolin killed the girl’s father is rushed over and Brolin’s screentime is severely limited to really appreciate how we’re supposed to perceive his evil wrongdoings, but he does well in the short screen time he has.

"You are not LeBeouf"

While I am surprised that this movie got shut out of the Golden Globes nominations, I don’t forsee it as taking home any Oscars.  Frankly, I don’t think re-makes should qualify, except for maybe the Psycho re-make with Vince Vaughn (come on, it was the only movie he actually acted in instead of just showing up and acting aloof, that’s got to be worth something).  But whether you’ve seen the original or not, this is still a very good way to spend 2 hours watching some talented actors.

GRADE: B
OSCAR PREDICTIONS: Nominations for Best Picture and unfortunately Best Supporting Actress (Hailee Steinfeld). Matt Damon may get a nod, but I think he’ll get overlooked.

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