Sunday, April 10, 2011

Reviews: The Gold Rush (1925) and True Grit (2010)

One of the reasons I subscribed to Netflix was to see the old classics that are the basis of modern films. I haven't done it as much as I should, but I did finally watch Chaplin's 1925 film, "The Gold Rush". The version I watched is kind of a cross-over between silent film and the talkies - in 1942, the film was re-released with Chaplin doing a narration.

Anyway, the slapstick humor passes the test of time, and I can see a lot of carryover into Jackie Chan and Steven Chow. Worth checking out.

The other random film I saw semi-recently was the Coen brothers' version of True Grit. Reviews last year got it wrong, calling it a genre film and not a true Coen brothers' film. More recent reviews, as Pandagon points out, mistake the female lead as being in line with other hypermasculine action flicks that happen to have a female protagonist acting just like a male would. The Coens aren't really holding out any of their characters as true heroes in recent films, with only partial exceptions, and the ending of True Grit makes it clear that the same dark viewpoint continues in this film. It's definitely a Coen film, if you like that kind of thing.

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