Excerpt: Most people know True Grit as the 1969 movie by which John Wayne earned his only best actor Oscar, as Rooster Cogburn, a drunken, one-eyed U.S. marshal who agrees to lead a young woman into Indian territory to apprehend her father's killer. This new movie by the Coen brothers, however, is being positioned as a "true" True Grit , closely adapted from the beloved 1968 cult novel by Charles Portis.
Excerpt: "True Grit is a powerful story of vengeance and valor set in an unforgiving and unpredictable frontier where justice is simple and mercy is rare. Mattie Ross (Hailee Steinfeld), is determined to avenge her father's blood by capturing Tom Chaney (Josh Brolin), the man who shot and killed him for two pieces of gold. Just fourteen, she enlists the help of Rooster Cogburn (Academy Award® Winner Jeff Bridges), a one-eyed, trigger-happy U.S.
Excerpt: Remakes are tricky. To begin with, no one bothers to remake bad movies very often for the simple reason that most bad movies aren't memorable enough to stick in someone's imagination, make them wonder about different ways to do it. The natural consequence of this is that most remakes come from good films, leading to unavoidable questions about why redo it and what new insights have been brought to the original material.
Excerpt: After the murder of her father, a young girl named Mattie Rose (Hailee Steinfeld) swears to find and bring his killer Tom Cheney (Josh Brolin) to justice, so she hires the meanest marshall in town, Reuben "Rooster" Cogburn (Jeffrey Bridges), and they're joined by a Texas Ranger known as LaBoeuf (Matt Damon).
Excerpt: Re-making a movie, especially one like “True Grit”, is a tricky thing to do. In one sense there’s no original screenplay to worry about because the material has already been written, shot and produced. In this case, we know that the legendary John Wayne won his first (and only) Oscar for portraying Rooster Cogburn back in 1968. Flash forward just a tad bit over four decades and we’ve got Academy Award winning directors Joel and Ethan Coen remaking a veritable classic.
Conclusion: Though lacking anything which could be considered innovative or ground-breaking, 'True Grit' is the latest drama from the Coen brothers which surprises by being a straightforward, traditional western. With marvelous performances by its cast, the film is exceptionally well-made and structured, captivating viewers with a tight focus and the incredible talent of Hailee Steinfeld.
Excerpt: He needs to have true grit; she needs to have a headstrong spunk. They’re a perfect match. First novelized, then filmed , and now filmed again, True Grit isn’t going anywhere, and why should it as long as the actors are around to keep these roles convincing? Big shoes to fill all around, the type of man that can fill in for John Wayne needs dominance, power, and a presence. Cue Jeff Bridges.
Excerpt: Last December, I reviewed the original 1969 True Grit , starring John Wayne in the iconic performance that finally won him a Best Actor Oscar. At that time, I took some amount of flak for daring to suggest that though Wayne was fun and the movie was entertaining, the then-recently released remake by Joel and Ethan Coen was a superior movie.
Excerpt: Filling the shoes of John Wayne is an impossible task, but Bridges did the best he could do and still doesn't measure up to Wayne's Oscar-winning portrayal of the gruff Cogburn. Having watched the original less than six months ago I couldn't help compare each of the respective roles and other than Bridges impossible undertaking, the other two main characters (Damon and Steinfeld) more than make up the difference.
Conclusion: To my surprise True Grit is rated PG-13, but don’t let that alter your opinion. There are several lovely kills in True Grit that made me flinch, so not all is lost. Even with a PG-13 True Grit retains all of its grit. The Blu-ray presentation is a flawless one. The film is great, the special features not all that great, but my overall recommendation is that its a must buy! Paramount has done great job with True Grit on Blu-ray.