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The Assasination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford

with 4 comments


I watched this movie several months ago, but for some reason I started thinking about it while twidling my thumbs on mid-shift tonight.  That’s the kind of movie it is – it’s just haunting.

This isn’t a movie that you watch lightly, and walk away from unaffected.  This is the type of movie you watch while sipping some god-awful single malt scotch, that you idle twirl in its tumber as you muse about the implications of the characters actions.  Turn the lights down low, light a candle, and be prepared to think.

The one thing that really struck me about the movie was how it much it demanded of me.  My old choir instructor (at the Academy) once told us that while a sweeping musical climax was impressive, sometimes a delicate, almost barely audible ending bar was even more powerful.  This movie epitomizes this concept, but using the visual landscape as its medium.  The director wasn’t afraid to have scenes where absolutely no sounds were made.  Perhaps it was just a 30 second clip of the wind blowing through mid-western grain fields.  Or it was as a man changed before our eyes from an awestruck teenager to a poisoned, angst-ridden man.  This movie demanded me to focus on what was happening, because there was nothing else to focus on.  I’ve never seen a movie quite like it in that regard.

The other aspect was simply in the acting.  The two standouts were the people seen on the cover – Casey Affleck and Brad Pitt.  I know not everyone watches movies for the acting, but these two were so good it was almost scary.  Coupled with the fact that both played characters that were scary…  Scary in this case is defined as a person who seems to show moral capacity, yet ruthlessly snuffs out a life.  Scary is watching a young man become poisoned by an idea.

I also found out that Brad Pitt had it written into his contract that he would pull out of the movie if the title was changed.  I also heard that the reason it was delayed for so long (years?) was because no studio thought they could make any money on it.

I give it 2 big thumbs up – but be prepared to watch something that might actually affect you instead of another flavor of the month action movie.


Written by DMN

July 10, 2008 at 7:05 am

Posted in Uncategorized

Tagged with ,

4 Responses

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  1. I wasn’t sure where to post a comment and I found this post of yours to be provocative (hard choice between this post and the Dairyqueen post), so here are my comments: Brad Pitt is an outstanding actor. He may not receive such high accolades because he had initially burst onto the mainstream movie scene with pukish heartthrob flicks. Although, I must admit that “Meet Joe Black” was a tolerable movie due to its unusual approach to romantic stories. The acting in this movie was intriguing. How can you go wrong with Anthony Hopkins, Brad Pitt, and the hot Claire Forlani? This movie also has silent moments that may rival the western bloodshed. It also has a twisted element of darkness.

    I watched you sing your first song written on your Gibson-whatever. I guess Gibson guitars are highly revered in the guitar community. Anyway, your singing was tolerable. Maybe I will become your first stalker if I decide to change my sexual preference and relocate to the Midwest and allow a horse to graze on my front lawn.

    ITK (ianthekorean)

    July 11, 2008 at 5:23 pm

  2. ITK – thanks for commenting, and I look forward to seeing your insightful thoughts about my always provocative posts.

    For some reason I knew you’d comment about Brad Pitt. Something about that man crush you confessed to having on him made it seem fairly likely.

    As for stalking – if you’re going to do it, do it right for God’s sake. This is a good first step, but don’t forget to make the tshirts of me in my apartment that you took with your telephoto lens through my window.

    And the stalker girls name in Flight of the Choncords is Mel.


    July 12, 2008 at 1:10 am

  3. Why can’t I have a stocker? Female, attractive, and competent, of course. Incompetence is such a turn off.

    I’d know that somebody loved me for their mispercieved fantasy of me. I could be someone’s idol. We could play little games, like “do you dare go into the trash compactor to see what I threw out?” and “dodge the hail of bullets when I catch you outside my bedroom door at 3 a.m.”, loving stuff like that. I could wave goodnight out my window and know that somewhere, somehow, she was watching me and waving goodnight back. Sigh…

    – T. Ohhe

    T. Ohhe

    July 12, 2008 at 1:03 pm

  4. T-

    We can all dream, can’t we?

    “We could play little games, like ‘do you dare go into the trash compactor to see what I threw out?'”

    Leave it to you to think of fun ways to mess with your stalker.

    You know, I bet you could make a fun business out of that. Go to Hollywood, and tell all the stars (who have tons of stalkers == tons of business) that instead of filing pansy ass restraining orders, that there’s a much more satisfying alternative!


    July 12, 2008 at 8:23 pm

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