True Grit

By Mark Ramsey | 2011/01/02

Our story begins with a 14-year-old girl setting out to avenge her father’s death.

“I ‘xpect that’s right likely what Snookie would do,” she explained to the Old West townsfolk, who took her manner and dialogue for that of a much older woman, or maybe even two much older brothers named Coen.

“One day folk will line up for photos to be taken in yonder wardrobe and backdrops in malls and such,” she warned, quite rightly.  “Til then, I must find me a Marshall to track down my dear father’s killer and whilst so occupied also forge the way to another Academy Award for the besotted brothers so kindly wordsmithing my every syllable and the various ‘taints between ‘em.”

“You need John Wayne,” advised the town haberdasher.

“His spirit has flown,” she replied.  “Besides, he blighted his title after sequelizing the original for which this picture is so named in an unwarranted and unwise attempt to remake The African Queen with Katharine Hepburn amidst cowboys rather than slugs.  Ms. Hepburn, I might add, was more stranger to petticoat than to trousers.”

“Perhaps you might consider the right honorable Jeff Bridges, fresh off rounding up a herd of awards, I hear.”

“You mean the man who dallied in a gut-busting manner with the great mechanical ape for Dino De Laurentiis in 1976?”

“The very one, ma’am.”

“You mean the man whose brother, also a thespian of sorts, lay lost and forgotten in Marshall Bridges’ long shadow?”

“The very one, ma’am.”

“You mean the man who once curried the favor of Rachel Ward to the tune of musician Phillip Collins under the direction of Marshall Taylor Hackford?”

“The very one, ma’am.”

“You mean the man who literally entered into a video game and camped there for a spell lasting some thirty years?”

“The very one, ma’am.”

“You mean the man who speaks in mumbles and slurs where, it is said, one out of every twenty words can be understood yet a bare handful are worth understanding?”

“The very one, ma’am.”

“Why, I would sooner hire a burp and sling a pistol to its hip.”

“Not to generalize, ma’am, but burps have proved precious ineffectual at bounty huntin’, releasing more evil than they contain in most regards.”

“Very well, bring me to this Rooster Cogburn, and I pray the designation “Rooster” has no bearing on the magnitude or inclination of his country pecker, as that creates a mental representation which sickens the gut.”

Enter Jeff Bridges, doing his very best Billy Bob Thornton in Sling Blade.

“They tell me you’re a man with true grit,” she says.

“Mumblemumblemumble, girl” he replies.

“Not only did I fail to grasp your meaning, Marshall, but my attention was hijacked by a TXT I just received from another who, like myself, curries favor with cowboy Justin Bieber, whose corset is a might tighter than my own.”

“Mumblemumblemumble, girl” he replies.

“Is your every utterance to be indecipherable, Marshall?  Your vocalizations are less words than outhouse rumbles after overconsumption of whisky and chicken wings.  Does your throat retain an unfortunate tumbleweed?”

“Mumblemumblemumble, girl” he replies.

When Cogburn sleeps at camp, he rests his hat on his penis.

“You would think that would be the part of Jeff Bridges that’s most hankering for rest nowadays,” noted Matt Damon, “what with them awards and all.”

“Tomorrow we shall meet up with a man in a bear suit,” said the girl.

“Will he be manufacturing balloons in a variety of animal shapes?” asked Matt Damon.

“The killer of my poppa and excruciatingly bad teeth, here we come!”

True Grit is the kind of Coen-y Brothers goodness I wait all year for.  With a sharp sense of humor and gobs of well-executed stagecraft, True Grit is easily one of my favorite movies of the year.

See it.


11 Responses to “True Grit”

  1. Colon Fartell says:

    Hi Mark,

    will you do a little fockers review?



  2. Mark Ramsey says:

    I have been trying to avoid that with all my heart and soul. Chances are good that my avoidance will be successful.

  3. Suhaib says:

    Of course Mark, their movies are not to be missed. Yah !

    Better the movie, duller your review and vice versa :D

  4. Mark Ramsey says:

    Sticks and stones! :-)

  5. David says:

    Too theatrical. Somewhere between Shakespearian dialogue and mumbles. And, did you notice how well the costumes survived the various brutalities of the “Old West”?!! even her hat which she “just had” to retrieve the one time it came off.. just to be sure she remained stagecraftily costumed! And exactly why did her speech pattern require such rapidfire delivery with such unerring accuracy? Oh my, I fear I did not like this so much. Maybe this reaction is simply because I’m a sub-intellectual Okie and I just didn’t get it… apologies. And, oh, did I mention that the film gave me no reason to really care about any of the characters.

  6. Mark Ramsey says:

    Ouch! Your points are painfully spot-on, I’m afraid!

    I think what I liked about this was how smart and funny it was. But that doesn’t take the sting out of your criticism!

  7. TommyB says:

    Is that really you Mark?

    I thought you were the guy who would not only take the pain and self degredation of seeing that movie but actually enjoy it in a weird, movie-critic-like way.

    But then, how can one write a funny rant about this depressingly unfunny movie whose main ‘joke’ is the ambiguous (i.e. ‘hilarious’) usage of the word ‘focker’ over and over again.

    You’re right, skip this one. Wasting your time on it would be way too much honor.

  8. Mark Ramsey says:

    There are only so many dips in the Focker pool once can stand. And this is one dip too many for me.

  9. j says:

    I agree with David…undecipherable mumbles…theatrical all the way through. Felt like I was looking at a “set” most of the time and watching the actors, not the characters. The young girl was hard to listen too..seemed like spitting off memorized lines with no emotion…I had high expectations for this one….but was thouroughly bored…I even dozed once, which I have only done previously in cartoon kiddie movies. I left thinking…what was the point? Maybe just not relevant today like back when the original was made…just no connection for me. Sorry…

  10. fist_mommy says:

    you need an enema

  11. Mark Ramsey says:

    Me and your mother, both. :-)

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