Posts Tagged ‘Jeff Bridges’

In a nutshell: A leathery old west tale, happily lacking trademark Coen quirks

Popcorn rating: 4/5

It’s hard to believe the same Minnesota siblings, the Coen Brothers, who made the brilliantly unpredictable No Country for Old Man and the dialogue rich Fargo, also made the dross that was Intolerable Cruelty and The Ladykillers. But they did, and they’re back with enjoyable western True Grit – an adaptation thankfully much closer to the original Charles Portis novel than the previous John Wayne flick of the same name.

The premise of the tale is a manhunt, with plucky teen Mattie Ross (Hailee Steinfield), hard drinking US Marshall Rooster Cogburn (Jeff Bridges) and showy Texas Ranger Le Boeuf (Matt Damon) forming an unlikely trio on the trail of murderer Tom Chaney (Josh Brolin). And that’s it really.

To say that True Grit is a bit slow (and it is) would be doing the movie a disservice. For viewers used to up-close, bloody punch-ups and breathless horse chases, True Grit offers up a few scenes that will set the pulse racing, preferring instead to be a study in western realism than action eye candy.

It is an approach which works well. What it lacks in narrative twists, True Grit delivers in sepia soaked beauty, Roger Deakins’ cinematography offering an old west which is both stark, cold and yet stunning.

It is a world which fits perfectly with its characters. A14-year-old with vengeance on her mind, Mattie does not suffer fools gladly and, while she could easily slip into the realms of annoying – or even cutesy – she never does.  A poised and tough young lady, any qualms that her elders wouldn’t take this slip of a girl seriously are soon dismissed with Steinfield delivering a pitch perfect portrayal from beginning to end. It is  performance which holds its own against gravel voiced Jeff Bridge’s stellar performance as Cogburn. A role he clearly enjoyed playing.

In support, Matt Damon, Josh Brolin and Barry Pepper add to the on-screen quality, giving their characters individuality and flaws, but the stand out scene is Mattie’s unflustered bargaining with sneaky horse trader Stonehill (Dakin Matthews).

Reviewer: Curleyshirles


TRON: Legacy (in 3D)

Posted: December 6, 2010 by curlyshirley in Film
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

In a nutshell: The story is cobbles but check your brain at the door and soak your senses in TRON. Let the games commence.

Popcorn rating: 3/5

TRON: Legacy is not perfect. The first shot of a “young” Jeff Bridges in all his CGI glory is just, well, creepy and the ‘son of the creator’ plot has so many holes you may as well have knitted it yourself out of some leftover wool.

But who cares? Nobody ever really thought the story was going to win awards. No one that heads out on a cold winter’s eve to see TRON: Legacy will be out for something as mundane as a plot.

You are there for the grid. And the grid, my geeky friends, does not disappoint.

After a few meandering set-the-story scenes (and that weird “young” Bridges CGI thing) you are soon in the virtual world of TRON and what a world it is. From its zippy, neon lines to the stylish blue and white glassiness of Flynn’s castle in the mountains to the sheer dexterity of its death games, everything about this computer generated world screams: “I am stylish. Got that? OK? Sty.Lish. Yip. That’s me.”

If you value looks over substance, then lie back and wallow in how gloriously, menacingly chilling it all looks. Enjoy the frantic games, the uber cool unicycles, the spinning discs and the mesmerising, speedy elegance of the unbeatable Tron. Giggle at old Flynn’s 1980s lingo (did he just say “rad?”) and Michael Sheen’s OTT Castor. Drink in the harsh, dystopian cyber beauty of it all.

Then pick up your brain at the door, leave the cinema, grab a beer and talk about how awesome it all was. How you wouldn’t mind seeing the first one now. How it all a got a bit Messiah at one point, which was kinda weird. How you’re glad you saw it in IMAX/3D because TRON: Legacy on DVD just won’t be the same. Even if you have got a 54” 1080p TV in your living room. Which says it all about the plot.

Then you can talk about all that other important stuff. Like war and politics and budgets and stuff. Or, if you were a computer game, what would you be?

Reviewer: curlyshirley