Hey Harry, don’t know if you guys care but I saw a test screening of “The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford.” I was looking forward to the film because I was a big fan of “Chopper” and was eager to see what Andrew Dominik would do with a studio film, plus I am big fan of Brad Pitt. Anyways, from the time the lights went down to when they came back up, two hours and 50 mins had past. And that was the main reason I was disappointed with the film, just too damn long. The first act of the film does a wonderful job introducing us to Jesse James with voice over, abstract shots, and beautiful scenery, something out of a Terence Malick film. We are introduced to Jesse and his gang as they complete one of their last train robberies, a sequence that works very well. Then the film crawls into the second act and keeps crawling for way too long. The dynamic between James and Ford, played wonderfully by Casey Affleck is interesting and sets up some very nice sequences in the film. But the film strays too much from the identity crisis of Ford and the career crisis of James and meanders through beautiful scenery and locations, picking up bit characters and abstract storylines, as we wait for the main story to get back on track. The assassination is a fantastic sequence, two and half hours leading up to it and works very well. The aftermath sort of drags, but it’s such a relief to actually have some story elements working that the minor flaws of the third act are ignored. The film is very much character driven by James and Ford with the last frame of the film a wonderful portrait of a man who has reached the end of his path still searching for identity and meaning behind it all. This film could have been much stronger if more time was focused on Jesse James, showing us more of him in action and the motivation for why he wanted to walk away from it all plus a little more insight to Ford and what shaped him to become the coward trying to be a hero. The film looks amazing and the performances are there, if they shave a good 50 mins off the film I think the pacing would work much better, the story kept moving. I can’t say I recommend the film as it is, but I hope they cut it down before it is released.
Nov. 8, 2006, 9:39 p.m. CST
Hrm. Personally I like longer films, but I know most people don't. I like seeing the whole story, I don't want to see cuts!
Nov. 8, 2006, 11:10 p.m. CST
by georges garvaren
It usually signifies a hit or a giant stinky fart. And films with long titles always have lots of great people involved with them as was well, which also tends to lead to a hit or a giant stinky fart. Kinda strange, but I'm going to see this one if for no other reason than Casey Affleck's time to play something besides a sidekick (even though he's playing Jesse James's sidekick. Doh!)
Nov. 9, 2006, 4:23 a.m. CST
by Darth Kong
That is all.
Nov. 9, 2006, 5:57 a.m. CST
for a new western!!! theres been such a lack lately...well except for an abundance of crappy indie straight to video westerns...can we resurect Ford and Leone...and ten have them colaborate will Boll on Bloodrayne 2? haha J/k...dont hit me
Nov. 9, 2006, 6 a.m. CST
i REALLY need to start proofreading my posts... <P> *Then <P> **With
Nov. 9, 2006, 6:08 a.m. CST
It would be a first (unless I half-count Unforgiven).
Nov. 9, 2006, 7:02 a.m. CST
Did you see The Proposition?
Nov. 9, 2006, 7:45 a.m. CST
I loved Chopper and Pitt is often good, but this keeps getting delayed, it's got next year's All The King's Men written all over it. Hope I'm wrong.
Nov. 9, 2006, 7:57 a.m. CST
by Barry Egan
the same guy? I was thinking this after catching The Island on HBO.
Nov. 9, 2006, 8:55 a.m. CST
by Spandau Belly
and the "random effects" button on Avid are the same guy?
Nov. 9, 2006, 9:42 a.m. CST
3 hours is verrrry long. The New World anyone? anyone?
Nov. 9, 2006, 11:07 a.m. CST
A great little film, and Bana is astounding in it. Hopefully this will be great; the length doesn't put me off although it;d be nice to have an ice-cream break like in the days of yore. Just realised how much my title for this post sounds like a porn film though...but I ain't changing it!
Nov. 9, 2006, 11:41 a.m. CST
is half as good as a night out at Bojangles we're in for a treat!!!
Nov. 9, 2006, 11:52 a.m. CST
Love the mood set in the trailer. The Shawshank Redemption music is tight.
Nov. 9, 2006, noon CST
Sounds like your mother. She always compliments me on my length. I'm just saying...
Nov. 9, 2006, 12:03 p.m. CST
While I heartily disagree with your assessment that there are no engaging westerns--Seven Men from Now, Unforgiven, The Searchers, etc. stand out to me--I really love your moniker. Great name. I love, love, love Man on Fire. So...good choice, my friend. :)
Nov. 9, 2006, 12:59 p.m. CST
That film disappointed me. It has one of the best 25% of a a film ever, the entire warpath march of Creasy. However, for the rest...well, let's compare it to another film with roughly the same plot - Commando. Man on Fire was like an a hour+ of cloying man/child bonding and then a drawn-out, weepy denouement. Commando accomplished both in its opening minute and closing minute. The remainder of that film was the 25% of Man on Fire. I like the ratio in "Commando" better.
Nov. 9, 2006, 1:12 p.m. CST
by Nate Champion
Get bent, cocksucker.
Nov. 9, 2006, 1:29 p.m. CST
great fucking movie, highly recommended. chopper is rather good too.
Nov. 9, 2006, 2:10 p.m. CST
Nuttin. Save maybeye a dang good creature feature. I like THE PROPOSITION for a gritty alt. western and tried to watch that TNT one with Duvall, but that was frankly embarassing-like a bad Hallmark movie written by some people who watched way too many John Wayne westerns. Hoping that this one rocks.
Nov. 9, 2006, 2:11 p.m. CST
I agree - great movie. But that exploding head shot - euuucchhh!
Nov. 9, 2006, 3:07 p.m. CST
Ditch the pretentious title and just call it JESSE JAMES, edit 45 minutes out and you have a hit. Release the longer version on DVD as a directors cut.
Nov. 9, 2006, 3:24 p.m. CST
Good idea on the cut, but the film is about how and why Ford decieded to kill JJ, not the life and times of JJ. I'd take a shot at calling it just, 'The Coward' or some variation thereof. However, the title is not so much pretencious as it is a stab at the authenticity of the time, as titles like that, as stupid as they sound now, were exactly the kind of titles you found on books and newspapers in the old west, so really its meant to sound like and old west title. But, your average movie goer chick who drags her boyfriend to see a movie with Brad Pitt probably does not know that.
Nov. 9, 2006, 3:55 p.m. CST
This film was sposed to come out in September this year, but Warners were unhappy with the film and have taken it off Dominik and are cutting it themselves, hence the delay.
Nov. 9, 2006, 11:55 p.m. CST
Nick Cave, andrew dominik, casey afleck. This sounds like it will kick ass. Casey afleck is one of the best non a list actors around, beats the shit out of his brother. Chopper was awsome as was the proposition. But why do those afleck boys always have their mouth open in that wide eyed just got a punch in the face stupid look. Even if they are stupid they don't have to do that. I just hope that at the end of the movie ford dosn't take james off to the hospital. That would be silly
Nov. 10, 2006, 6 a.m. CST
The title is the same kind of language they used in those days - books etc, but alas like you said moviegoers these days would find it off-putting - it wouldnt hurt to get Bruce Broughton to do the score either - hes great at westerns