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Review

Harry witnesses THE ASSASSINATION OF JESSE JAMES BY THE COWARD ROBERT FORD!

There are few tales told with the somber bittersweet taste of melancholy, like that of THE ASSASSINATION OF JESSE JAMES BY THE COWARD ROBERT FORD. Why submit to a tale of melancholy – a film where you know right from the out start… Jesse James will be shot, in the back, by the coward Robert Ford. Everyone knows that part of the story. It’s widely known that Bob Ford shot Jesse James while he was dusting or adjusting a photograph in his own living room. However, do you know why Robert Ford pulled that trigger? Do you know how well they knew each other, that Bob loved Jesse James more than any other person on the planet – and that there’s a lot more to the story than that eventual act of cowardice – which could be interpretated as an act of mercy, an act of self-defense or just an error in judgment… a mistake. It is a very interesting time we live in where I’ve just seen one of the best Westerns since the death of the Genre with 3:10 TO YUMA – to then be faced by the exact sort of masterful Western that killed the genre altogether. In the late 1960’s and 70’s – a genre of western came about that ignored the Penny Dreadfuls, the myths and the legends – and instead of the John Ford or Howard Hawks Western take – there became a new way of making westerns. They were Westerns that new they were dying. Films like THE WILD BUNCH and THE PROFESSIONALS were the first signs… They were the brutal westerns where your friends died and the good guys and the bad guys started to become… well, less clearly defined. Then came the Westerns that ceased to look like anything we’ve seen before – no – not ZACHARIAH or EL TOPO – though those definitely count. No – I’m talking about films like JEREMIAH JOHNSON, A MAN CALLED HORSE, THE BALLAD OF CABLE HOGUE or PAT GARRETT & BILLY THE KID and THE LONG RIDERS. These were films about the sad reality of legends. It all sort of culminated with UNFORGIVEN – they underlined that the old west was a beautifully ugly world. The whores were no longer Marlene Dietrich, but women that’d gut you as easily as the men. The photography and the scores for the westerns became arty and obscure. They ceased to be about characters you could root for and get behind, and became about how we’re all alone on this world and we’re all going to die badly… oh… and there’s no such thing as a hero. THE ASSASSINATION OF JESSE JAMES BY THE COWARD ROBERT FORD is a brilliant western in that crowd. I love these films – just as I love the mythic westerns. But with this film in particular – it isn’t so much about demystifying the myth of Jesse James – as much as punctuating how tragic and sad the end of that myth was. My favorite all time Jesse James on film is currently Brad Pitt. There’s a wild rabid dog in his eyes – there’s moments when he’s a nightmare and yet you could see why people would like him. Don’t get me wrong – I love James Keach and Tyrone Power. This particular story was done very well by director Samuel Fuller with his I SHOT JESSE JAMES, as Sam’s very first film to direct. Even James Dean played Jesse on Walter Cronkite’s amazing show, “YOU ARE THERE” – and I have to wonder what that was. I’d love to see it – just because James Dean was very definitely an actor – not unlike Brad Pitt in technique and style. But Brad’s Jesse James is a squirrelly character. He observes the room he’s in, studying anyone in it and their every move. And everyone else reacts to him – as if he’s a rattlesnake. They become still and cautious. There’s respect and fear. Nobody wants to get bit, but they all know if they spend too long with him, it’ll be an inevitability. However, as great as Brad is as Jesse James – the actor to watch and marvel at in this film is Casey Affleck. I know – that sounds astonishing, but it is absolutely the god’s own truth. Casey Affleck delivers the single best performance that I’ve seen thus far this year. His Robert Ford is a reprehensible little worm. There’s something about the way he plays this character that makes you want to stand up from your seat and slap the bitch around then hit him with a fucking shovel. He’s vile and disgusting. But on the surface, he’s just a nice unassuming guy. You would never really notice him. It might be that we all know he’s going to shoot Jesse James. And this story is very much about why that act was such a vile betrayal. Casey’s Bob Ford is young. He hero worships Jesse James. The line in the trailer, “Do you want to know me or be me?” is so icky in the film, because Casey is watching. Casey’s smile is so disingenuine as to make my skin crawl. It literally gave me the heebie jeebies. However – this is all distracting the real star of the film… Andrew Dominik. We last saw him with CHOPPER – an utterly brilliant film which birthed Eric Bana on to the scene. The two films are pretty far apart, but essentially a similar tale. Wild Rabid Dogs of the human variety facing betrayal and an end to their reign of terror. But in CHOPPER it was stark reality. Here, it is poetic. There is brutality, but it punctuates the beauty of existence, which you could say is reality. We live in a beautiful world that is punctuated by ugliness. When you watch this film – it’s impossible to not be intoxicated by how beautiful it is. Roger Deakins is a shoo-in for a nomination at least for his work here. Then there’s the melancholic thread punctuated by the beautiful musical work of Nick Cave and Warren Ellis. If you loved Nick’s brilliant work on THE PROPOSITION – he is again at the top of his game here. That score in conjunction with the narration provided by someone named Hugh Ross… well it gives the film a feeling of impending doom. Any smile or laughter you see are momentary hiccups on the tragedy that is inevitable. Any hope is ended by the deliberate nature of the score and Hugh’s deliberate and slightly sad narration. All of this combines to make a masterful tragic film. This is a brilliant film.

Readers Talkback
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  • Sept. 4, 2007, 4:49 p.m. CST

    Not exactly "astonishing"...

    by LoneGun

    ...to hear how good Casey Affleck is. He's a pretty solid actor. Nice review. I look forward to seeing this one.

  • Sept. 4, 2007, 4:52 p.m. CST

    I'll see it...

    by TELF

    But I'm much more excited for Yuma.

  • Sept. 4, 2007, 4:54 p.m. CST

    Dad Gummit, the Western is back !

    by Pound Sand

    The title is a bit chewy, though. I hope that at least one talkbacker (besides me) refers to this movie as TAOJJBTCRF, but I suspect it will instead be shortened to "that new Brad Pitt movie."

  • Sept. 4, 2007, 4:56 p.m. CST

    J James

    by Cobbio

    Thanks for the review, Harry. I loved the insanity of "Chopper," so I'm glad "...Jesse James... Robert Ford" delivered some cinematic goodness. I'll probably check it out.

  • Sept. 4, 2007, 4:57 p.m. CST

    This one looks dumb

    by Automation Overlord

    and its so troubled behind the scnes, my money is on 3:10 to yuma as the beter western

  • Sept. 4, 2007, 5:34 p.m. CST

    This was filmed in my home town

    by buffywrestling

    of Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada and I saw a little bit of the shoot. Can't wait to see what it looks like on screen. We are such an obscure, out of the way city. You can literally drive two hours from the city center and end up in the forest. Or a lake.

  • Sept. 4, 2007, 5:37 p.m. CST

    I think Jesse James was still alive

    by Chiziola79

    When Harry last Reviewed a movie but 2 nice short and sweet reviews with no mention of his penis, married life seems to suit him

  • Sept. 4, 2007, 5:38 p.m. CST

    Trailers make it look a bit dull

    by barnaby jones

    but hey, i'll be there.

  • Sept. 4, 2007, 5:50 p.m. CST

    Wonderful review

    by Mattyboy122

    It may not bear your usual traits (introduction to your viewing experience, use of sexual metaphors, etc), but this review is very well written. Kudos. This flick looks excellent, by the way. I can't wait to check it out in a few weeks.

  • Sept. 4, 2007, 6:03 p.m. CST

    Harry's writing reviews again!!!!!!!

    by Turd Furgeson

    Woo hoo!!!! All is right in the world again...... Nice review. I missed the depth of your knowledge of EVERYTHING film....

  • Sept. 4, 2007, 6:06 p.m. CST

    i'm there

    by TheDohDoh

    3:10 doesn't spark me for some reason. But this sounds more up my alley. A long, dark tale about the receding shadows of the west. Nice review there.

  • Sept. 4, 2007, 6:19 p.m. CST

    Didn't realize the director of Chopper directed this.

    by eggbeater

    Count me in. I've been waiting for his next film since....well Chopper.

  • Sept. 4, 2007, 6:20 p.m. CST

    Brad Pitt

    by abner pepper

    Has been trying to win an oscar instead of making good movies for years,i hope this isn't another 'worthy' movie.

  • Sept. 4, 2007, 6:49 p.m. CST

    Brad Pitt

    by CherryValance

    I think he's a good actor but being Brad Pitt must be annoying. As I'm sitting here one of the entertainment shows has decided to focus their TAOJJBTCRF coverage on his scene in a bathtub. You act your heart out and are in the process of saving the world and people are stil only interested in looking at your bum. Terrible. As far as the movie goes I was impressed by the trailer, but I can't see myself marveling at Casey Affleck. But I'll be there. Besides, I love gay cowboys. http://tinyurl.com/2zvvp3

  • Sept. 4, 2007, 7:34 p.m. CST

    Casey Affleck

    by vic twenty

    "Jesse you re-tahhhhd! Ahm gonna muhduh your ahhhhhhhhhhhhhsssss!!!"<p> When is he gonna hook up with J-Lo on screen just to step out of his big bro's shadow?

  • Sept. 4, 2007, 7:42 p.m. CST

    Hey Cherry Valence!

    by ButtfuckZydeco

    Hey Cherry, it's me, ya know, Bananafest from the Admiral Twin. Hey Cherry... Hi... Hi. You know, Dally's friend. Shit, I know you heard me. Stay gold.

  • Sept. 4, 2007, 7:44 p.m. CST

    Shut up, greaser!

    by vic twenty

    This is a soch talkback!

  • Sept. 4, 2007, 8:19 p.m. CST

    Dont forgt about

    by grendel69

    No Country For Old Men and There Will Be Blood which are both sort of westerns. Ive been dying to see this and also looking foward to 3:10 To Yuma

  • Sept. 4, 2007, 8:23 p.m. CST

    Nick Cave

    by Biafras Throw Pillow

    Nick Cave's involvement with ANYTHING is reason enough to look into this. Two epic westerns in one year? Almost seems like 1985 again (Pale Rider & Silverado)

  • Sept. 4, 2007, 8:46 p.m. CST

    Gay Cowboys Are As American As Apple Pie

    by georges garvaren

    which is actually English (non?) Anyway, this movie looks real neat. And westerns should be made slowly or by crazy Italians funded by the M O B. Sguardo Fuori! This film was not paid for by Italian mobsters (they were German), so I say "Yay!" to a slow western wound tightly with beautiful boys. Bang Bang Pow

  • Sept. 4, 2007, 9:48 p.m. CST

    Jeremiah Johnson RULES

    by doodler

    It's a different genre than the gunslinging western. It's a movie about Man Vs. Nature (and the outside world). He escapes to the mountain, but finds he can't escape responsibility (the dude he rescues, his wife/kid, the people he tries to rescue - which gets his family killed). Eventually he snaps and kills every injun he can find, but he's really just lashing out at the world that won't leave him alone. It's not some existential BS pic like Seraphim Falls or Dead Man. It's just an awesome character study movie that has minimal dialogue, great music, and expert Pollack direction.

  • Sept. 4, 2007, 9:49 p.m. CST

    wide release?

    by blugel

    someone please tell me this 'limited release' in four cities will eventually expand to a wider release? dying to see this movie and if its only released in four cities then thats bullshit...

  • Sept. 4, 2007, 9:53 p.m. CST

    Brilliant punctuated by Beauty...

    by losder

    punctuated by tragic punctuated by inevitable punctuated by punctuation.

  • Sept. 4, 2007, 9:54 p.m. CST

    No love for Open Range?

    by AlwaysThere

    That was a great recent Western.

  • Sept. 4, 2007, 10:35 p.m. CST

    Yeah but are the cowboys eating pudding?

    by Doc_Strange

    I seriously thought there would've been a scene in Brokeback Mountain that had Ledger and Gyllenhall eating pudding together in a scene. <p> Then there would have been a hilarious impending litigation by Trey Parker and Matt Stone. They probably would have won too.

  • Sept. 4, 2007, 10:55 p.m. CST

    someone forgot Man Who Shot Liberty Valance

    by Holodigm

    that was years before both Professionals and Wild Bunch, and did a much more effective job killing the Western than either of those.

  • Sept. 4, 2007, 10:55 p.m. CST

    Pity Warner Bros have treated the film like total shit

    by Wayne6000

    I'm looking very forward to seeing the film as a western genre lover, but it's unfortunate the film (that was made 2 years ago) has been treated like total shit by Warners, as they've had it on their shelf for over a year took the film off the director and recut it themselves and obviously have no faith in it. The film only cost about $US 40 mill to make and requires specialised treatment, as it's not aimed at the multiplex crowd. It's admirable Warners made the film, but if they had no faith in it, they should've passed on it.

  • Sept. 5, 2007, midnight CST

    "Should I watch that show Deadwood?"

    by Al Swearengen

    You're goddamn right you should be watching fucking Deadwood. You do not want to be the one hoopleheaded cocksucker left holding his soft prick in the wind when it comes to that fucking show. And Ashok0, if I find that you've chosen not to take the advice of one Al Swearengen of Deadwood, I'll beat you from my present vantage.

  • Sept. 5, 2007, 12:38 a.m. CST

    DAYS OF HEAVEN Criterion

    by nopix

    http://tinyurl.com/2xc98f Tears of joy my friends.

  • Sept. 5, 2007, 12:40 a.m. CST

    Ashoko, and is this Dominik's cut in the end?

    by half vader

    Ashoko, hell yes. I'm not generally a fan of westerns (as opposed to the 'anti-western') as if I wanna watch a 'classic' western I'd rather watch Kurosawa. In other words I'm not a John Wayne fan and don't like that revisionist propaganda but do love things like Unforgiven. <p> So what I'm trying to say is hell yes watch Deadwood. Apart from anything to do with genre it's just really well written and the characters are great. It was axed after 3 seasons but supposedly HBO promised to wrap things up in a couple or several telemovies, although I doubt the cocksuckers (in-joke) will keep their end as nothing has been announced so far. <p> Does anyone know if this is Dominik's cut? Harry? Wayne? I hope seeing as they let it languish for so long at least they let him have final cut considering they obviously treat it as a lost cause.

  • Sept. 5, 2007, 1:26 a.m. CST

    I've heard it's bad because it's longer than 90 minutes

    by DerLanghaarige

  • Sept. 5, 2007, 1:36 a.m. CST

    Swedgen!

    by half vader

    You cock-SUCKAHHHHH! ;)

  • Sept. 5, 2007, 1:38 a.m. CST

    longer than 90 minutes

    by half vader

    David Lean would fuckin' shoot himself if he wasn't dead already!

  • Sept. 5, 2007, 2:15 a.m. CST

    Welcome back Redhead

    by 300spartansinhell

    About time there is a review from Harry again.

  • Sept. 5, 2007, 3:09 a.m. CST

    nice revieW

    by couP

  • Sept. 5, 2007, 5:20 a.m. CST

    AlwaysThere - I agree, Open Range is the best of...

    by theycallmemrglass

    Recent Westerns. Thoroughly enjoyable with great build up to an exciting climax.

  • Sept. 5, 2007, 5:22 a.m. CST

    Best wester thats not a Western

    by theycallmemrglass

    Road to Perdition. i know its set in in prohibibition days but it felt like a great sombre western.

  • Sept. 5, 2007, 5:49 a.m. CST

    When Harry said

    by theycallmemrglass

    "...then came the Westerns that ceased to look like anything we’ve seen before..." I thought he was going to mention the Sergio Leone films. Instead he mentions ZACHARIAH and EL TOPO which I have not seen. Sounds way too Film buffy. I hope Harry did like those Sergio films too.

  • Sept. 5, 2007, 5:53 a.m. CST

    They Call Me Trinity - does anyone have this film?

    by theycallmemrglass

    The Terence Hill/Bud Spencer films were my favourite but I canoot find their films anywhere. There is also the sequel They Still Call Me Trinity. I only have on Terence Hill film and thats My name is Nobody. These were great comedy Spaghetti westerns.

  • Sept. 5, 2007, 5:58 a.m. CST

    Great fresh (re)start, Harry!

    by Lord_Soth

    Could be a little longer, but one should accomodate to being married. Movie looks nice and promising!

  • Sept. 5, 2007, 6:04 a.m. CST

    Since Harry Claims the Western Films died...

    by theycallmemrglass

    Culminating with Unforgiven which I would agree with. Lets think what we have had since I can think of: Open Range Dances with Wolves Geronimo The Quick and the Dead ?? (Not sure which came first) Some Woody Harrelson film! And now 3:10 to Yuma THE ASSASSINATION OF JESSE JAMES BY THE COWARD ROBERT FORD (I think the tilte of this film will kill any hopes of a revival! What a ridiculous title - I first thought Mel brooks is back with a new comedy) There are definitely more but how many and which ones should have deserved a western revival?

  • Sept. 5, 2007, 9:08 a.m. CST

    I don't understand this stupid Hollywood assumption

    by K|LLDOZER

    "The death of the western." Who the hell declared that? The second stupid assumption is that 3:10 and Jesse James are reviving the genre.

  • Sept. 5, 2007, 9:09 a.m. CST

    Tombstone

    by TheGunslinger

    All this talk about The Assassination of Jesse James, and 3:10 to Yuma, an no one that I have seen has mentioned Tombstone? I thought this was one of the best movies in the genre!

  • Sept. 5, 2007, 10:15 a.m. CST

    Tombstone was very 'Studio'

    by Saluki

    Violent and fun? You bet. However, it was more polished than Unforgiven, so it isn't mentioned in THIS context of films as much. Wow. I really like Westerns now that I think about it. Harry got it on the money by calling them our Samurai flicks.

  • Sept. 5, 2007, 11:15 a.m. CST

    Jesse James was a runny cunt psychopath

    by HypeEndsHere

    not to be sensationalized. Robert Ford did good. shame he's labeled a "coward". read a book.

  • Sept. 5, 2007, 11:44 a.m. CST

    My wife and I would pick up the DEADWOOD dvds if...

    by JDanielP

    ...HBO would drop the price (or whomever owns the rights to it). My wife and I don't have HBO but DEADWOOD is a series that we both have interest in, even though we've never seen a single episode. If only they would (at least) drop the price on Season One, then perhaps we would give it a try. We don't rent. We buy. But we won't pay outrageous prices for dvd, either. (And by the way, I'm glad to see that quality westerns are back.)

  • Sept. 5, 2007, 12:02 p.m. CST

    dead man

    by ironic_name

    "I'll tell you one thing for sure... I wouldn't trust no words written down on no piece of paper, especially from no Dickinson out in the town of.. MAH - SHEEN... you're just as likely to find your own grave."

  • Sept. 5, 2007, 12:04 p.m. CST

    So what your saying is

    by Rat Fink

    that Jesse James was shot by Robert Ford. SHIT. that just ruined the whole god damn movie for me. I thought JJ died from the flu. son of a bitch

  • Sept. 5, 2007, 12:10 p.m. CST

    blind man

    by ironic_name

    a blind man searches for fifty girls he is contracted to escort to a mining town. fifty naked women running though the desert, a crazy general and ringo starr as the bad guy's crazier brother. allow me to reiterate, a blind cowboy kills about 20 guys, including ringo, while searching the desert looking for 50 women. he was mcgyver AND bauer's spiritual ancestor.

  • Sept. 5, 2007, 12:17 p.m. CST

    blind man link

    by ironic_name

    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0066844/ "you wouldn't kill a friend would you?" - "Every night I kneel down and I say my prayers. And every night I ask the good lord 'lord-who are my friends?', and you know something? Every night he doesn't answer." - dynamite explodes building where the bad guys were hiding.

  • Sept. 5, 2007, 12:38 p.m. CST

    this is dominik's cut

    by welbrick

    a bunch of bigshots came in to edit the picture, but ultimately, dominik's version tested the highest.

  • Sept. 5, 2007, 12:43 p.m. CST

    Sure as hell beats "American Outlaws"

    by Mister Man

    That lame-ass Jesse James-90210 piece of crap that filmed outside Austin. Yeah, I worked on it, with everyone-wanted-to-shoot-him director Les Mayfield. One film Colin Farrell won't admit to, and a damn waste of Timothy Dalton and Kathy Bates.

  • Sept. 5, 2007, 1:04 p.m. CST

    HBO continues to kill DEADWOOD by charging 100 bucks

    by Spacesheik

    per 12 episodes. Dont they know DEADWOOD is a brilliant fucking show, a shakespeare on the prairie with blood, guts and tears on an epic fucking scale - with the best fucking cast of supporting characters ive ever seen in any miniseries. they cancelled season 4 which is abominable, they could have kept actors on salaries while david milch did JOHN FROM CINCINNATI (which also got cancelled). Watch how anticlimactic season 3 is, the story just stops DEAD, no resolution to all those characters. HBO used to be the thinking mans television (SOPRANOS, ROME etc) and now they wanna focus on young demographic and romance and comedy. Back to square one in the early 90s with shit they used to have like DREAM ON and that sports agent series. The golden era of HBO with sopranos, rome and deadwood has ended.

  • Sept. 5, 2007, 1:20 p.m. CST

    As long as kids like Bobby Brady don't emulate him!

    by Tacom

    We wouldn't want a bunch of impressionable kids like Bobby Brady see this film worship Jesse James as a hero so much his parents actually find some elderly man whose entire family were killed by Jesse when he was a boy to tell him what a real monster he was!

  • Sept. 5, 2007, 2:19 p.m. CST

    I'm in the same boat about buying Deadwood

    by Mattyboy122

    It is too damn expensive. I've never seen the series, so I don't want to buy a season of television for shitload of money if I'm not even sure I'll dig it. So I've decided in the mean time to netflix the first season, and if I dig it, I'll wait for the price on the DVD to drop and pick it up.

  • Sept. 5, 2007, 3:12 p.m. CST

    When it comes to fuckin' HBO...

    by Al Swearengen

    ...a man may find that he's forced to grab ankle and assume a submissive posture.

  • Sept. 5, 2007, 6:12 p.m. CST

    POORLY WRITTEN REVIEW

    by Ray Gamma

    I'm disappointed in you Harry - the writing in that review was poor. </P> <P> ...and there's no such word as "disingenuine".

  • Sept. 5, 2007, 6:13 p.m. CST

    Bobby Fuckin Brady and Jesse James

    by liljuniorbrown

    I'm soo glad somebody mentioned that earlier. That has to be the only episode of the Brady Bunch that I would ever watch again on purpose..." Everbody turn your backs to me... Bang Bang BANG BANG BANG" hysterical shit.

  • Sept. 5, 2007, 6:31 p.m. CST

    literally gave me the heebie jeebies...

    by Alonzo Mosely

    Did it now...

  • Sept. 5, 2007, 7:19 p.m. CST

    Harry killed Jesse James

    by Geekiller

    His ass crack is so wide it literally opened a wormhole to the past and swallowed the poor guy. I think he's still stuck up there.

  • Sept. 5, 2007, 10:18 p.m. CST

    HBO season pricing is fucking insane

    by Osmosis Jones

    I mean, if you watched it on HBO, you've essentially ALREADY PAID FOR IT, so shouldn't they be charging *less* per season? $80 for 12 (or less) episodes for an HBO series, or $40 or less for ANY OTHER TV SHOW PAST AND PRESENT? Fuckers...

  • Sept. 6, 2007, 6:01 a.m. CST

    lol

    by mastes360

    The title of this film still makes me laugh out loud when i read it!.

  • Sept. 6, 2007, 7:37 a.m. CST

    Cave! Ellis!

    by Jakes Nel

    I didn't know that. Even more reason to watch this.

  • Sept. 6, 2007, 9:14 a.m. CST

    The Western Came Back With "TOMBSTONE"

    by PoppaRotzi

    Screw that crappy Kevin Costner "Wyatt Earpp" shit....Kurt Russell owns everyone's arse in TOMBSTONE, one of the greatest westerns of any era.

  • Sept. 6, 2007, 11:08 a.m. CST

    Deadwood at Amazon is about $30 a season (used).

    by SkeletonParty

    I picked up all three seasons on DVD for about $100. They are in perfect shape. <p>So go there and buy them.

  • Sept. 6, 2007, 12:05 p.m. CST

    I actually rather like....

    by seppukudkurosawa

    the title, The Assassination of Jesse James By The Coward Robert Ford, and just saying the words The Assassination of Jesse James By The Coward Robert Ford gets my veins a' pumpin' and my heart a palpitatin'. I'm definitely looking forward to The Assassination of Jesse James By The Coward Robert Ford more than Yumi (that's what I call this year's other big Western for short).<p> </p>Anyway, seeing as how I'm in town, it's time to school y'all in on one of the best, bizarre b-movie Westerns ever made, and that's Terror in a Texas Town, starring Sterling Hayden as the fastest harpooner in the West. Expect a black box comment by Harry any minute verifying what a great movie this is.

  • Sept. 6, 2007, 4:03 p.m. CST

    JESSE JAMES WAS A PSYCHO....

    by football

    ... not a hero!! This sounds about as honest as Redford & Newman's Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid was. This guy was a butcher who'd have given the fictional Hannibal Lecter a run for his money if the latter had ever existed. In your review, Harry, I found not a single reference to his callous butchery. However you state that his character is "sad". This leads me to believe that he's just another misunderstood,tragic figure which I really don't want to buy into. Honestly, does the movie world need another romantisized western that still doesn't show us the "real" psycho bushwacker some of us would like to see? What I fear we get here is yet another emotionally wrought peformance by an average actor in hope of an Oscar nomination. I think I'll go see a better fantasy western called 3.10 to Yuma.

  • Sept. 6, 2007, 4:14 p.m. CST

    "Bring back Deadwood!"

    by Al Swearengen

    Now that's a fuckin' expression I've heard!

  • Sept. 6, 2007, 4:19 p.m. CST

    romanticising a creep

    by Ray Gamma

    this movie is all about romanticising a creep (jesse james) who you wouldn't even want to be in the same room with

  • Sept. 6, 2007, 4:25 p.m. CST

    And Robert Ford got fuckin' set straight alright.

    by Al Swearengen

    And it weren't no cowardly fuckin' shot to the back neither. I believe he caught it full bore in the chest with one of those sawed-off types. Now I prefer to work closer in, ya see? But fortunately for him, Ford never made it to fuckin' Deadwood.

  • Sept. 6, 2007, 10:22 p.m. CST

    RE: JESSE JAMES WAS A PSYCHO....

    by Pappachubby

    In response to 'footballs' comments I'd like to add that I sort of find it odd as well that after all the robberies and killing this guy did -he's somehow revered as a hero. I currently work in Northfield, MN and today actually, is THE DEFEAT OF JESSE JAMES DAYS. Basically, a giant town carnival with rides, balloons, clowns a rodeo etc. all in honor of Mr. James and his notorious deeds. The whole town is laden in Jesse James things matter of fact -pictures of his dead gang members can be found on the walls of the local hot dog shop and I think the bank still stands with bullet holes circled on the walls to be pointed out by repeated tourists. I guess he & his gang tried to rob the Northfield Bank on this very day (Sept 7th)and barely escaped the towns folks gun fire! sure, I think that 'ol timey bank robbers are kind of interesting to read about or see films on. But, as I walk around the town on a daily basis, I keep marveling at how Mr. James was one of the most notorious criminals of his day, wanted by the lw and feared by all for his quick draw -is now celebrated as a sort of American hero. I guess we all love legends and mythic renegade types to some degree or another. The Brad Pitt film does seem interesting though. I hope it lives up to Harry's review as I plan on seeing it myself. HERE'S TO YOU JESSE! BANG! BANG! BANG! WEEEE HAAAAAAAA!!!! * * *

  • Sept. 7, 2007, 12:05 a.m. CST

    A slow, artsy meditative film...

    by Cruel_Kingdom

    sadly, half the country won't understand this at all. "I want someone to get shot, dammit!" Remember The Thin Red Line? "I want explosions, dammit!" Can't wait to watch this movie.

  • Sept. 7, 2007, 6:41 a.m. CST

    Bring back DEADWOOD and lower those dvd prices!!!!

    by JDanielP

    Sure, my wife and I haven't seen a single episode. But if the pricing on those DEADWOOD dvds were adjusted for common folks like us, wouldn't those collections sell like hotcakes?! Just this past weekend, before I originally posted (here), the subject of "westerns" came up at a lunch gathering. We talked of our interest(s) and the subject of DEADWOOD dvd pricing came up, with mention of "greedy" HBO. But what's funny is that there was plenty of interest in DEADWOOD...but nobody was/is going to crank out lots of cash for ANY dvds. So, it stands to reason...that if they lowered the prices, wouldn't they actually MAKE MORE MONEY in return, by selling MANY MORE dvds??? We really want the DEADWOOD dvds. But we've got plenty of entertainment to hold us until that price drop. That is, unless we buy them USED before that happens. And when that happens, HBO loses any potential profit.

  • Sept. 7, 2007, 7:42 p.m. CST

    Just order "Deadwood" elsewhere.

    by HagCeli

    HBO box sets are MUCH lower priced in England, France or Germany. On Amazon Germany, Season 2 and 3 are only about $40, Season 1 is about $30, so you might have a look (www.amazon.de). They all feature the original English language soundtracks, yet the special features are missing and you'd need a code free player to watch them since they're RC2! If you'd order all three seasons as a whole, you'd still save a lot of money despite the added delivery cost. Don't ask me why HBO are only ripping off their American customers while other countries get away cheap (with "Rome", the case is similar), but it's a fact. If you can do without the bonus materials, you should consider it.

  • Sept. 9, 2007, 7:41 p.m. CST

    BRAD AND GEORGE TEAMING UP AGAIN?

    by JOHNRCASHFAN

    I heard on some radio show this week that Brad Pitt and George Clooney are thinking of doing a remake of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. I think that would be great! Anyone else have views on this?

  • Sept. 10, 2007, 3:24 p.m. CST

    theycallmemrglass...

    by Sith Witch

    I can get you a copy of Trinity & Sartana. I thought it was something else until I received it.

  • Sept. 10, 2007, 4:56 p.m. CST

    THE GREAT SILENCE...

    by TheRealSeveren

    now that's a good western.

  • Sept. 11, 2007, 5:44 p.m. CST

    Hey Harry....

    by theJackalope

    Whatever happened to PRINCESS OF MARS?

  • Sept. 11, 2007, 11:09 p.m. CST

    Ray Gamma, Harry makes up words all the time...

    by Bronx Cheer

    or at least creative new ways to spell them. This was a bland and bloated review. Take that boy's tehsaurus away. Feck.

  • Sept. 12, 2007, 8:30 a.m. CST

    Wyatt Earp was better than Tombstone

    by silver screen surfer

    Open Range was better than both.

  • Sept. 16, 2007, 4:43 a.m. CST

    IMport your DEADWOOD/HBO DVDS from the UK

    by palimpsest

    Sounds you might pick up a bargain, my colonial chums.

  • Sept. 16, 2007, 4:44 a.m. CST

    And no love for WILD BILL?

    by palimpsest

    For shame. You can't beat Walter Hill.

  • Sept. 17, 2007, 10:27 p.m. CST

    Harry - what's tragic about this film is

    by Trader Groucho 2

    that it tried to treat with major gravitas a Mark David Chapman/John Hinkley type of guy shooting an avowed unrepentent racist murderous gangster in the back. Affleck was interesting. There were a couple of funny scenes. But man, the director relied on shots through image-distorting Old West glass the way Battlefield:Earth used camera tilting as a crutch. This movie ain't Bonnie & Clyde. And it ain't Scarface. Hell, it ain't even Boyz in da Hood. <p> The Western is back because of 3:10 to Yuma on the big screen, and Broken Trail and Deadwood on via coaxial.

  • Sept. 20, 2007, 2:21 p.m. CST

    Is this the first Brad Pitt film to open limited?

    by jones1899

    Any word on the wider release date? BTW 3:10 was great save for the Doc's dying words of "...did we make it?" Cringe worthy dialog. And Ben Foster did not come close to "stealing the movie". He was trying to hard I think. Crowe and Bale are the bee's knees.

  • Sept. 20, 2007, 2:24 p.m. CST

    Deadwood...

    by jones1899

    The best western ever made. Period. Too bad the films will NEVER happen.

  • Sept. 20, 2007, 2:24 p.m. CST

    The Man Who Shot Liberty Valence...

    by jones1899

    The next best western ever made. Period.

  • Sept. 21, 2007, 3:48 a.m. CST

    James Dean an actor –not unlike Brad in technique/style

    by chien_sale

    bwahahahahahahaha! This has to be a joke!

  • Oct. 20, 2007, 7:28 p.m. CST

    best film of the year

    by Beardman

    i haven't seen one better but I'm pretty excited about No Country for Old Men

  • June 30, 2008, 2:09 p.m. CST

    this was okay...the performances were solid

    by just pillow talk

    to say the least, but it still dragged for me. There was some great scenes (like when Jesse and Charlie are alone or when Robert wants to get the gun on the table in the middle of the night), but it was just a tad too long for me.<p>Still, worth a look for sure. I definitely preferred 3:10 to Yuma.