TRUE GRIT (Netflix) – This time it’s the 1969 version with John Wayne and Kim Darby as the leads. I didn’t really like the ending in the recent remake, and I really didn’t like the ending on this one. The film itself is fine, even if I don’t buy Darby’s portrayal of a mourning daughter out for vengeance, and I find Wayne to be at a low point in his career for attitude and … grit. Shallow performances all around in this film.
L’ILLUSIONISTE (Carlton) – It’s a lovely film, even if this isn’t the production Jacques Tati (or his family, apparently) may have wished to see. There are two stories at play on the screen. One is a melancholy story of a man realizing and accepting his own obsolescence with a quiet dignity. Old technology being replaced, thrown away. Whether it’s a sad clown, a stage magician, or a pair of old boots – the world moves unapologetically on. The other story is that of a hopeful, naive young woman seeing wonder and hope at every turn. Tati’s descendants may have other if this letter to Roger Ebert is any indication.
WILD SEVEN – THE KARMIC KUT (DIRECTOR’S EDITION) (iTunes) – Nice try, but I don’t think this film got much past being a loose homage to Quentin Tarantino. What there is of a story just doesn’t get traction for me – it mostly just spins without moving ahead. The opening scene in the bank sets a high bar for what to expect, and nothing really comes close after that; it peaks before the title credits.