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Posts Tagged ‘Jesse James

The Assasination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford

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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.

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Written by DMN

July 10, 2008 at 7:05 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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