True Grit (2010) – Coen Brothers at work…

Hey there…

From time to time, it’s come up that I’m not a huge fan of classic Western movies. Growing up, my Dad and Grandfather both watched them and after Star Wars I was never really attracted to them.

There have been a few, like Unforgiven and 3:10 to Yuma (2007), but for the most part I tend to avoid Westerns all together.

That said, I may have to go see True Grit simply because the Coen brothers are doing it and the cast rocks – Jeff Bridges, Josh Brolin, Matt Damon, and newcomer Heilee Steinfeld. This isn’t a remake of the first movie starring John Wayne either. The Coens went back to the source material, taking a fresh look at Charles Portis‘ 1968 novel – True Grit.

Will it be good? How could it not? With the Coens and this cast, I think it highly unlikely…

Here’s the trailer:

Here’s the synopsis:

Fourteen-year-old Mattie Ross’s (Hailee Steinfeld) father has been shot in cold blood by the coward Tom Chaney (Josh Brolin), and she is determined to bring him to justice. Enlisting the help of a trigger-happy, drunken U.S. Marshal, Rooster Cogburn (Jeff Bridges), she sets out with him — over his objections — to hunt down Chaney. Her father’s blood demands that she pursue the criminal into Indian territory and find him before a Texas Ranger named LeBoeuf (Matt Damon) catches him and brings him back to Texas for the murder of another man.

What do you think? It comes to theaters on Christmas Day, 2010.

–Fitz

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DVD Review: Burn After Reading

Hi all…

Usually I have a pretty open mind about the comedy of the absurd, and the Coen’s have courted the absurd on a regular basis in their movies. I’ve missed a few movies along the way, but the ones I’ve seen have normally engaged my imagination, my funny bone, or something.

Rating: ★☆☆☆

Barton Fink was the first bizarre Coen production that really made me sit up and take notice. And then Fargo and O Brother, Where Art Thou piqued my interest again over the following years. Last year (2007) we had No Country for Old Men which gained worldwide interest for the Coens again…

So when I say that I was actually looking forward to seeing Burn After Reading, you know I’m telling you the truth. The Coens’ have a track record. A proven ability to create unique cinematic experiences that I could get behind.

Well, let’s just say I’m confused by Burn After Reading. This is a movie with an amazing cast that did absolutely nothing for me (or my wife). The first 30 minutes were tough enough to get through, but even at the end I was wondering what the heck was going on and why we were watching these strange, lost people go through the motions.

The movie revolves around a mysterious CD that shows up on the locker room floor in a gym. Two employees, Chad (Brad Pitt) and Linda (Frances McDormand), try to ransom it back to the owner, angry ex-CIA man Osbourne (“Oz”) Cox (John Malkovich). Add that a few other bizarre, selfish characters such as Katie (Tilda Swinton), the conniving wife of Osbourne Cox, and Harry Pfarrer (George Clooney) and his wife Sandy (Elizabeth Marvel), and you have a mess of self-involved, money hungry, power mad characters who are really tough to watch on screen.

Brad Pitt was one of the high points, simply because he seemed to take so much joy in playing the vacuous and child-like Chad from the gym.

This movie received a ton of great press when it was in the theater and many people seemed to love it. I’m left scratching my head and wondering why.

The DVD includes a few extras as well.

“Finding the Burn” has the Coen’s and the cast talking about how the movie came to be and what it’s about. A group of middle-aged people dealing with failing careers, failing relationships, and what happens when the CIA meets the world of the gym.

“DC Insiders Run Amuck” talks about how the Coen’s brought together this all star cast for their movie — all of these stars playing middle-aged, less than bright people with such weird lives is quite entertaining.

“Welcome Back George” focuses on George Clooney in his third time working with the Coen brothers. You can tell that George, Ethan, and Joel all have tremendous respect for each other.

The Coens didn’t do it for me this time, but if you’re a Coen Brothers fan and want to check out Burn After Reading it will be released on DVD and Blu-Ray on December 21, 2008.

We give this one 1 out of 4 simply because we didn’t enjoy it and didn’t think it was well done. Hopefully the next Coen affair will be better!

–Fitz

p.s. Check it out at Amazon:

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Hollywood Went to the Dogs Over the Weekend

Hi all…

Yes, can you believe it?

Estimates are putting Beverly Hills Chihuaua earned $28 million dollars at the box office this weekend. Some sources are saying this is the 8th biggest October weekend of all time. This Disney movie is expected to earn as much as $90 to $100 million overall. Not bad for a movie about a bunch of half pint puppies. :)

Sign marking the Beverly Hills city limits

Image via Wikipedia

In second place was Eagle Eye with $17 million. This movie has already made $54.6 million dollars with a budget of maybe $80 million, so it should cruise to a profit sooner than later.

Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist picked up $12 million in its opening weekend.

Nights in Rodanthe picked up $7.3 million, bumping it to $25 million in its second week.

And Appaloosa in its first week of broad distribution earned $5 million.

To round out the rest of the top 12, you have:

  • Lakeview Terrace, earning $4.5 million, bringing it to a total of $32 million in its third week
  • Burn After Reading, earned another $4 million for a total of $51.6 million for the Coen Brothers film in its fourth week
  • Fireproof earned $4 million in its second week, bringing its total to $12.5 milliion in its second week
  • At the bottom of the top 10 you have An American Carol ($3.8 million), Religulous ($3.5 million), Flash of Genius ($2.3 million) and Blindness ($2 million)

All in all, not a bad weekend. The Top 12 movies earned almost an estimated $100 million for the weekend.

I’m still in shock that a chihuahua earned $29 million over the weekend. My daughters still want to see this flick. [Shudder]

This coming weekend we have Body of Lies, which I think will earn beaucoup bucks. You also have City of Ember, The Express, and Quarantine. So you have a spy/action flick, a kid action flick, a sports flick, and a horror. A little bit for everybody.

I’m hoping to get to see Body of Lies on Friday, but that remains to be seen.

Did anyone see any the rich chihuahua this weekend??

–Fitz

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