True Grit/No Grit - A Review of Westerns on Blu-ray - High-Def Digest Forums
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Old 05-31-2011, 04:53 PM
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Default True Grit/No Grit - A Review of Westerns on Blu-ray

True Grit/No Grit - A Review of Westerns on Blu-ray

http://www.highdefdigest.com/news/sh...n_Blu-ray/6983
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Old 05-31-2011, 05:20 PM
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"Films that feel real in the worlds they present and in the lives at stake." Based on this criteria, I would argue that "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid" falls into the "True Grit" category. Sure the movie has a light tone in places, but I think the ending alone, is enough to put it in the "True Grit" category.

Also, I'd say that "Lonesome Dove" deserves a spot in the "True Grit" category. It's about as real feeling as a made for T.V. Western is going to feel. Lots of lives in serious danger in that movie. Robert Duvall is a real bad ass in the movie, and Robert Urich and Diane Lane's characters are imperfect.
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Old 05-31-2011, 05:26 PM
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I picked up "Once Upon a time in the West" today. I would say it has "True Grit".
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Old 05-31-2011, 06:08 PM
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Django is one missing from the list of True Grit, any man who drags around a coffin containing a Gatling gun has nothing but grit and spades of it.

The Magnificent 7 is another I'm surprised isn't in there, I would say it starts off pretty tame but it takes a gritty twist in the final act enough to earn it a True Grit status

One thing I will take a stand against is claiming A Fistful Of Dollars looks great on BD. The MGM releases outside of Italy are pretty grim, the print at times is messy and the cropping is genuinely distracting. So many shots that were well framed on film have people's feet and the tops of their hats lobbed off.

If we are talking about Westerns I would generally say there are 3 different types.

Classic Westerns - John Ford types, the bulk of John Wayne and Henry Fonda starred in. You have goodies and baddies and little in between, people are shot and fall over and at the end everyone gets around the camp fire and has a good old sing along. The myth of the old west.

Revisionist Westerns - Spaghetti Westerns and efforts like The Wild Bunch fall in here. Westerns that show killers and killers, the goodies aren't that good and the baddies aren't much worse than the goodies. However, when people are shot they still just fall down dead and people go about their business. A debunking of the old Lone Ranger myth of the old west being white knights and evil men.

Post-Revisionist Westerns - generally films after Unforgiven. Films where the difference between the good guys and the bad guys is still quite slight, but characters have to live with the consequences of their actions. When someone dies you see it and you feel it, and so do the other characters. Gone is the comic book killing of the classic westerns and the Spaghetti westerns.

Is a review of Once Upon A Time In The West forthcoming? Probably the greatest western even made, and nothing but True Grit.
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Old 05-31-2011, 06:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Spader View Post
Is a review of Once Upon A Time In The West forthcoming? Probably the greatest western even made, and nothing but True Grit.
Yes, it is. Unfortunately, some shipping issues ensued, delaying review just a bit. But everything's been rectified and it should be available soon.
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Old 05-31-2011, 06:14 PM
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Great thoughts, Spader. Thanks for reading and commenting!

Just as a note...the isn't supposed to be The definitive list of westerns. It's the beginning of a list. Whether a movie is on or off this article's list isn't a judgement one way or another.

I would say to everyone, please feel free to add more titles and what you think their ranking should be to the forums here -- both iconic westerns with True Grit, as well as ones that have No Grit. Both would be fun to discuss, I think.

Hopefully, in the not too distant future, I'll collect everything mentioned and put together more of a Master True Grit / No Grit List.

Cheers!
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Old 05-31-2011, 06:14 PM
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What's your take on "The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford" and "There will be Blood"? Those are two modern westerns that I would tend to say to have "True Grit".
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Old 05-31-2011, 06:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scarabaeus View Post
What's your take on "The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford" and "There will be Blood"? Those are two modern westerns that I would tend to say to have "True Grit".
Personally, I've never really been drawn into 'Assasination' I found it a little slow for my liking (albeit, gorgeous-looking), and since I've never finished it, I'll leave it up to you guys and girls for its official ranking.

Similarly, 'Blood' took me a few sittings to get through, but that I have come to enjoy more and more on repeat viewings. Definitely True Grit.
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Old 05-31-2011, 06:49 PM
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Originally Posted by Spader View Post
Classic Westerns - John Ford types, the bulk of John Wayne and Henry Fonda starred in. You have goodies and baddies and little in between, people are shot and fall over and at the end everyone gets around the camp fire and has a good old sing along. The myth of the old west.

Revisionist Westerns - Spaghetti Westerns and efforts like The Wild Bunch fall in here. Westerns that show killers and killers, the goodies aren't that good and the baddies aren't much worse than the goodies. However, when people are shot they still just fall down dead and people go about their business. A debunking of the old Lone Ranger myth of the old west being white knights and evil men.

Post-Revisionist Westerns - generally films after Unforgiven. Films where the difference between the good guys and the bad guys is still quite slight, but characters have to live with the consequences of their actions. When someone dies you see it and you feel it, and so do the other characters. Gone is the comic book killing of the classic westerns and the Spaghetti westerns.
You could probably populate these categories with multiple versions of Tombstone.
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Old 05-31-2011, 07:08 PM
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Quote:
True Grit/No Grit - A Review of Westerns on Blu-ray
Great critique, Michael. Westerns is my very favorite genre and I think you really nailed it. My only disagreement is with Brokeback Mountain, and we only half disagree - yes, most Ang Lee films are boring, but he nailed it with Brokeback Mountain, and Heath Ledger nailed his role with True Grit. And kudos for knowing about The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada, my favorite Contemporary Western. I have the excellent German Blu-ray, it is a shame there is no US Blu-ray release. Avoid the mediocre quality UK release, Dvdbeaver has an excellent comparison between the 2 European releases.

Last edited by Cochise; 05-31-2011 at 09:10 PM.
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