Thursday, December 2, 2010

From Now Until New Years

I read a couple of really, really positive reviews of the Coen Brothers version of True Grit today. I'm extremely excited about this film, and the reviews, one by's Drew McWeeney, whom I respect a lot, are only whetting my desire to see this film. Looks like Harry Knowles, over at, just got his usual, hyperbolic take up, as well.

Frankly, everything that's been released about this film is exciting to me. The trailers have been spectacular, that poster you see to the left is pitch-perfect, and the way the official website, I linked to above, is set up is super-cool.

It also helps that I've become a bit of a rabid Jeff Bridges fan. I love, love, love actors, like him, that can make it all seem so easy. Bridges never seems like he's trying, he just IS. Frankly, that's the ultimate state that an actor should aim for. Being, not doing, as the old book said.

I was watching some bonus material on an old Tom Baker/Fourth Doctor era adventure, Genesis of the Daleks, the other night. A comment was made about Baker, and how he seemed to fully inhabit the role because he "didn't care." The actor repeatedly made sure to insist that was a compliment, just so we're all clear.

It is a compliment, and one I understand. Tom Baker just WAS The Doctor, he didn't fret or worry about it, he took on the role, and went from there. I think you could say the same thing about Bridges. There's a lack of vanity and ego in his performances, a brilliance that comes without apparent effort. He just is.

He's certainly a better actor than John Wayne. I'm sorry if that bothers people, but I feel that's just a given. Now, Wayne was certainly far more of a film ICON, yes, I mean that in all caps, and personality, one I absolutely respect and honor, but his Rooster Cogburn isn't even what I would call close to his best performance. That's Ethan Edwards in The Searchers, by the way, and the True Grit Oscar was, a recognition for many years of performances, which I think everyone knew. Cogburn is almost a parody of the John Wayne character, frankly.

If you want my take, they should've waited until The Shootist in 1976, or just given it to him in 1956 for The Searchers, because Edwards was a really amazing creation. Just brilliant work. That, however, is just my opinion.

This is all just background for my feverish anticipation of Christmas weekend, when I'll finally get to see what the Coen's have cooked up from Charles Portis' novel.

It got me looking ahead to what's coming in the next month. So, here's the other films that are enticing to me between now and New Years.

127 Hours
Perhaps too intense to bear? I've been very much enjoying James Franco's recent work, and you cannot overstate the amazing nature of this story. I'm a little freaked by the whole idea, but it sure sounds compelling.

Currently In Limited Release

The Kings Speech
Yeah, it seems a little tony and high-brow, but the cast is great, and the trailer was pretty damn fun to watch. I highly doubt Colin Firth will be taking an Oscar home, but it is possible.

Currently In Limited Release


The Tourist
Johnny Depp, Plus Angelina Jolie and the trailer made me laugh out loud. Looks fairly lightweight, but, y'know, there's no harm in being fun. Paul Bettany being involved is extra points, too.

Opens Friday, December 10th

The Fighter
Christian Bale and Mark Walberg in the true story of half-brothers Mickey Ward and Dickie Eklund, and Ward's attempt to snare a Light Welterweight Boxing title. Bale is reportedly amazing, again.

Limited Release Friday, December 10th

Tron Legacy
Yep, the original is pretty damn awful, if visually unique and interesting. The story is awful. Nothing happens for vast swaths of the running time, and things happen just to display a bit of stone-age CGI. (Net bugs, anyone?) Honestly, this sequel can only be better, and director Joseph Kosinski has already displayed a better sense of story than the original film's Steven Lisberger. The 3-D thing is overdone, but I also get a real sense that this is the kind of film, yes, like Avatar, that can really pull off some compelling tricks with it.

Plus, there's Jeff Bridges, again.

Opens Friday December, 17th

It actually a slim list, I'm surprised to see. I expected far more big, Oscar-bait films to be in the offing. 

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