shooting cornbread out here on the prairie is not getting us closer to the ned pepper gang and other movie musings

so before the snopocalypse hit my humble hometown, i did me some movie watchin’. and along with my movie watchin’ comes the inevitable, PMP movie-hatin’. aaand some reluctant likin’. not loving, but come on, what did you expect from me?

let’s start with the good. after all, i don’t want to mislead you, wise reader, with my post title, which clearly references true grit to start with my favorite whipping boy of black swan.

ahem.

true grit.

ah, true grit. before i go any further, i should say that there were many things i liked about true grit. the subtle biblical references (note a train cart at the beginning that rolls after the opening bible quote with the purposefully numbered 316 wagon), the strong female character, the amazingly high-larious jeff bridges and the perfectly timed matt damon (matt damon, i love you once more. let us never fight again).

true grit was highly entertaining, fast paced, and beautifully shot (no pun intended). it had the delightful pace of a good coen brothers film, and that pleased me. however, i have to say (bring on the shitstorm, coenheads) that it was not my favorite. by a long shot (mwahaha aren’t i clever with my shooting references).

see, the thing about coen bros films that makes them such movie candy is that they will make you believe that anything is possible. the character development is sublime, so you don’t care that the bros are selling you a tall tale: you’ll take it because you are fully engaged, fully in love with, and fully accomplices with the characters. i believe the dude. the dude abides. and miller’s crossing is so deliciously dreary. and fargo! *drool* nothing is as dark and as simultaneously funny as fargo. the whole time, you root for frances mcdormand’s midwestern accented, very pregnant character. you are cracking up at steve buscemi, with his half broken jaw, stuffing a body into a lumber chopper. you watch in horror as william h. macy, extraordinary in his ordinary-ness, plots to kill his wife (oops, spoiler alert).

and see, true grit was lacking that for me. the characters just “were.” maddie was just headstrong, no development or explanation. jeff bridges was just a drunken hilarious mess, matt damon was just a texas ranger with a heart of gold…en fin, it was ok. i would never dare say that it was bad. what it was was not as good as their repertoire (excusing burn after reading, lady killers and some would say, intolerable cruelty). as a coenhead myself, i was expecting more. so what can i say? meh. glad i saw it. not thrilled.

ok now for the hate. black swan.

ugh ugh ugh, black swan. i don’t want to give much time to black swan because i already feel robbed of two hours of my life and don’t want to rob you as well.

black swan was predictable, heavy-handed, and aside from natalie portman’s brilliant performance, not worth my time. then again, why would you expect aronofsky to be subtle? from the pink-everything in every scene that the virginal portman inhabited to the black swan tattooed wings on her sexy rival’s back, this movie was everything that a fake art film should be (bring it on, haters).

to make matters worse, it ends with the line “perfection. i have reached it.” and then the screen fades to white (AHAHAHA TO WHITE HOW SUBVERSIVE) amidst applause and the director’s name comes on screen. and then you barf all over your popcorn. seriously, please stop making movies, darren. now i fully get why your woman left you for james bond.

want more fuel? read this brilliant review by reverse shot. read it even if you’ve already seen it because beautifully written hate is brilliant and it will leave you in stitches.

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~ by nadstina on December 27, 2010.

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