Best Movie

One of my good friends wanted to see the remake of True Grit, but I threw up a boycott plan because NO ONE is John Wayne, but John Wayne and no one can be Rooster Cogburn but Wayne. I was appalled anyone would even try. Then, my friend told me it was a Coen brothers film with Jeff Bridges. That is not fighting fair. I broke the boycott (instantly (before it actually started)) and saw the flick yesterday.

It’s the best Movie of 2010 with none of those fancy smancy special effects that leave you feeling cheated at the end of the show, as if there’s not enough plot or dialogue to carry the flick, so the director resorts to lights, smoke, and mirrors. This movie is a western, through and through, replete with bad guys, good guys and Rooster Cogburn, who falls somewhere in between, but has a heart of gold. The characters are wonderfully portrayed, and when Tom Chaney decides to murder Mattie, you can actually see the evil wash over him. I have to say Bridges makes a fantastic Cogburn. I feel kind of disloyal to John Wayne. At least he’s dead so I didn’t abandon the Wayne Cogburn ship while he was alive.

Oddly, I thought I remembered from the old Wayne True Grit movie, Rooster Cogburn died in the end, but now as I’m researching the plot on the internet, the summaries say the John Wayne Rooster Cogburn lives. I think in my mind I’ve combined several of those old John Wayne westerns that he stared in during the latter part of his career. True Grit came out in 1969 and he won an Oscar for it. Then, in 1975, he stared in a sequel with Katherine Hepburn called Rooster Cogburn . Though I adore both of these actors/actresses, I remember thinking at the time, there was no chemistry between these 2 individuals, and the film was a disappointment compared to True Grit, or the African Queen, that stared Hepburn and Humphrey Bogart, not Wayne, but illustrated the on screen chemistry Hepburn was capable of with a leading man she actually liked. Sadly (or not) Wayne and Hepburn were only in that one movie together – Rooster Cogburn. It was a passable film but didn’t do well critically or at the box office. In 1976, Wayne stared in The Shootist, and the character he played in that flick was killed. It was the last movie he made before he died from stomach cancer in 1979. A lot of people (including myself) think he was exposed to radioactive fallout during his filming of The Conqueror. I do this was contributory to his cancer, which first manifested itself as lung cancer in 1964. He smoked most of his adult life and even after having part of his lung removed, he picked up the tobacco habit again, but this time chewing tobacco and smoking cigars. I personally think his best film was The Searchers. Over the years, I’ve watched that film a few dozen times. I still miss John Wayne. Though, I don’t think he was a great actor, he was a great performer, and he had a bigger than life persona.

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4 Responses to “Best Movie”

  1. I have read great reviews about Bridges’ role in the movie. Glad you confirmed it. Long post, but lots of great information and thought put into it. I’ll have to wait until it comes out on DVD to see it.

    • Bridges was fantastic. It should be out in DVD pretty soon. It doesn’t take long any more. I doubt I will make it back to the theater. I’ll probably just get the DVD too.

  2. Glad you liked it. I went to see it today and loved it. Very faithful to the novel, and the performances were all great. I loved Kim Darby’s performance in the original, but I thought Hailee Steinfeld did a wonderful job, just the right mixture of child and ballsy woman grown up too fast.

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