I've written in other posts about how much respect I have for Joel and Ethan Coen as filmmakers, I've also voiced my disdain for a certain old time "screen legend," a term a use very loosely.
Looser than his definition of acting
Of course I was aware that the Coen Brothers were remaking a John Wayne classic in the form of True Grit, I read Entertainment Weekly after all, and I was also aware from the uneducated masses that I call friends that this was one of the great John Wayne movies. Feeling like Alex at the Ludovico center whenever I watched any movie with the "actor," there are going to be a lot of quotes in this article, I can feel it, above mentioned, I chose to ignore the original film and wait to see the quality of the remake.
Me during a John Wayne marathon on TBS
Let me be the first to tell you, oh my brother's, that the Coen brothers blew me out of the water with this film. It was a tight, beautifully shot, amazingly acted story that still survived the acting ability of Matt Damon. I can't see an actor other than Jeff Bridges who could have pulled off the grizzled, broken Rooster Cogburn. I really liked The King's Speech, but the academy really missed the mark this year.
It happens more often than you think.
It was at this point that I felt it would be remiss of me not to at least try to watch the original and compare the two. Well the first thing I noticed is that the stories are pretty much the same. Mattie hires Rooster to hunt down Tom Chaney. There's a Texas Ranger also after Tom who is hanging out with Lucky Ned Pepper. Even most of the dialog is the same.
Fill your hand you son-of-a-bitch!
Even the glowing reviews of the actress' who played Mattie seem quite consistent, one because she's a good actress, the other because the juxtaposition of her costar. So why would a movie that I rave over being so good, come from a film that I will never watch again?
Oh yeah, that's right
Just another hearty example that John Wayne is the worst actor to ever be captured on celluloid, and I've seen "The Room." He is especially bad in this film, having to take deep breaths in the middle of lines of dialog, due to his lung cancer. It's got a really bad "Shatner" vibe to it, and unlike with Marion, we can all agree that Shatner ranges somewhere above Keanu Reeves on the acting scale.
All that this really is is a big fuck you to John Wayne and all those misinformed bastards who still think he's a great actor. It takes innovators like the Coen brothers to remake what the misinformed think is classic cinema and show it's meant to be done. John Wayne became famous because all of our other actors were off fighting in WW2, his level of stardom could be attained by Frankie Muniz if Daniel Day Lewis, Philip Seymour Hoffman, and that guy from the Old Spice ads all got drafted and sent to Afghanistan.
Yeah, I can play a cowboy!
What I'm getting at here is that we need to take all of these old John Wayne "classics," there I go with the parentheses again, and remake them with the ability to put a decent actor in the main role. The story is sound, we just need to tweak the leading man part and viola, box office gold.
I'm glad you're dead, you undeservedly smug son
of a bitch. I really am.