- Once (2006)
- All the President's Men (1976)
- Being John Malkovich (1999)
- In the Year of the Pig (1968)
- In The Mood For Love (2000)
- Hole, The (1960)
- Tokyo Story (1953)
- Ocean’s Eleven Blu-Ray Review
- Jurassic Park (1993)
- Gilda (1946)
- Rounders (1998)
- Masque of the Red Death, The (1964)
- Django Unchained (2012)
- Fat City (1972)
- Amélie (2001)
- All That Jazz (1979)
- Night of the Hunter, The (1955)
- King of Comedy, The (1983)
- Manhattan (1979)
- Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters (1985)
- Sullivan's Travels (1941)
- Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, The (1994)
- Hecklefest Four-Word Film Reviews! August '12 - Week 4
- Playtime (1967)
- Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000)
- Haunted Castle, The (1921)
- Last Wave, The (1977)
- Naked Lunch (1991) * Weird and Wacky *
- Phantom Carriage, The (1921)
- Lolita (1962)
Assassination of Jesse James By The Coward Robert Ford, The (2007) * Top Pick *
Genre: Biographical Western
Starring: Brad Pitt (Fight Club • Babel), Casey Affleck (Ocean's Eleven • Gerry)
Directed By: Andrew Dominik (Chopper)
Overview: After Robert Ford joins Outlaw Jesse James's gang he grows to resent his idol's fame. This is the story of how Robert Ford would make his mark on history, by assassinating one of America's most infamous men.
Blu-Ray, in the beginning, frankly just pissed me off. Spiderman and Harry Potter were being squozen through the disc manufacturers rather than art-house or classic content. I knew the waiting game would be my only option for getting what I knew would eventually come to me.
That thing is The Assassination Of Jesse James By The Coward Robert Ford. Following the trend of recently hyper-historically accurate (as far as I'd guess), gritty westerns such as The Proposition, we find in The Assassination Of Jesse James By The Coward Robert Ford, something with a mood that is far more Biographical Drama and in-depth character study than Western and to see it so perfectly crisp on a high-definition format, well that takes it to the next level.
And yes you even get a great train robbery
Jesse James is the sort of man that suits his fame. He's a difficult man to get to know, someone almost untouchable, and certainly someone who could be seen as intimidating, even if you hadn't read of his robbery exploits in the dime-store novels. Robert Ford, sadly, is one such man who adores Jesse from what he's read of him since childhood. When he gets the opportunity to work alongside him, he does all he can to insinuate himself into Jesse's life.
But Jesse isn't difficult to know because of his fame, it's because of who he is: a reclusive, often quiet man with a sincere streak of paranoia and need to display his Alpha Male status. Conversely, Robert is a social idjit constantly made fun of by his older brothers. It's easy to see a lesser man grow hateful in the shadow of such a great force of infamy. Knowing that Robert will be the death of Jesse doesn't do anything to detract from the enjoyment of the film. Instead the script shows us in meticulous detail the character arcs taken by Jesse and Robert, until they eventually cross, sending Jesse downwards to the grave while Robert rockets skyward with a newfound fame. How these things unfold and what happens afterwards is a treasure to explore.
DId I mention how beautiful this is? Mood-enhancing cinematography include shots framed by vignetting, emulating the photography of the era, as well as having constantly in the foreground the clothes and buildings of the era. Never have I been so immersed in a Western so completely.
Near the end of the film, we also have a cameo by one of my favorite performers, Nick Cave, as he sings a ballad about the coward Robert Ford. Given that Cave wrote The Proposition, it's nice to see him bridge across to this western like that.
Not to ruin the ending for you or anything...
Performance: 9 Cinematography: 10 Script: 10 Plot: 9 Mood: 10
Overall Rating: 96% (My Baby Shot Me Down)
In the end all I can say is how my words pale in comparison to how profound an impact this film had on me. Blu-Ray crispness, art-house feel, big budget and beautiful dialogue, not to mention an engrossing compelling tale that actually teaches about history... well what else does a man need in life?
Actually if you bought me the disc for Christmas, I'd be pretty happy...