Todd Alcott
26 March 2012 @ 03:58 pm



Will it change anything?  Maybe not.
 
 
 
 
 
Todd Alcott
30 July 2011 @ 11:35 pm


Here.


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Todd Alcott
19 June 2011 @ 04:45 pm


Why did Green Lantern underperform at the box-office?  My thought here.



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Todd Alcott
02 March 2011 @ 03:12 am







So here we are.  Mattie has set out to avenge the death of her father, to achieve “retribution,” and this is where it has gotten her: pinned down atop a rocky outcropping with a knife to her throat held by the very man who killed her father.  She is surely done for.

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Todd Alcott
28 February 2011 @ 03:43 am







At the beginning of Act III of True Grit, Mattie Ross is all alone.  She has hired a bad man to track a bad man, thinking that the rightness of her cause makes up the difference between Tom Chaney and Rooster Cogburn.  Mattie’s sense of rightness, or of righteousness, is, in a way, the only thing she has going for her.  If she passionately loved her father, she has never shown that.  If she is truly religious, she has a funny way of expressing it.  It seems to me that she is the sort of person who believes herself to be right because God is on her side, and that God is on her side because she believes it to be so.  (And she has money.)  And even though she is a Presbyterian, she sees no problem with bringing Old Testament-style “retribution” down upon her enemies.  She’s seen men murdered from a sniper’s nest and has seen one man shot in the face and another stabbed through the heart (after having his fingers chopped off), and none of it has affected her.  She’s placed her faith in a man who is a killer, a drunk and a cheat, and he has failed her, leaving them both lost in a savage, lawless world.  But at no time has she ever doubted the rightness of her course.

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Todd Alcott
03 February 2011 @ 05:26 pm







So, Rooster has planned an ambush at the cabin, and now LaBoeuf, who we’ve been seeing so far as a threat to Mattie’s goal of retribution, returns not as a threat but as a witless buffoon.
 
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Todd Alcott
02 February 2011 @ 06:08 am







Mattie and Rooster arrive at The Original Greaser Bob’s cabin, wedged in the notch of a valley to find it already occupied.  Rooster puts Mattie to work stopping the cabin’s chimney, to smoke the men out.  Rooster tells the men inside that he is with Columbus Potter and five other men. 

(In the novel, Columbus Potter was Rooster’s only friend, and Rooster’s decrepit condition could be said to be a reflection of his grief over the loss of his friend.)

 
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Todd Alcott
31 January 2011 @ 07:18 am






Faithful reader Bob Glouberman writes:

 

It seems to me that LaBoeuf isn't auditioning for the role of father but for the role of suitor, and spurned suitor at that. He is constantly trying to impress her so he can steal a kiss from her. When he showed her his star on their first meeting he was trying to impress her as a suitor not as a father. And when he spanked her, he did so more as a peer and spurned lover. When he leaves Mattie later in the movie, it's a scene of lovers leaving each other for the last time. If he's auditioning for the role of father, it's a creepy molesting kind of father

I see what Mr. Glouberman is getting at here, although if LaBoeuf wishes to be lover to a 14-year-old girl, and demonstrates his love by whipping her with a stick, he’s got a whole other set of problems.
 
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Todd Alcott
29 January 2011 @ 08:26 am






Every serious Western, from Stagecoach to Unforgiven, asks the question “What kind of a nation are we?”  The genre is, of course, ideally suited to this.  It’s the first genre to be invented in the US, and it speaks most purely to the “soul,” as it were, of America.  In the Western, the nation is still new, the frontier is open, it’s all up for grabs, and things aren’t yet settled.  The genre can, and does, say many different things about the US.  A Western can laud American ideals, it can mourn the closing of the frontier, it can stand up for law and order, it can protest against tyranny, it can champion the little guy, it can indict mob mentality, it can celebrity individuality, it can condemn genocide, it can explore race relations.  Americans watch Westerns, I think, in order to learn about who they are.  The Old West is a land where everything is still possible.

(What the Western says depends, of course, on who is doing the telling and what they’re trying to say about the time in which they’re making their movie.  High Noon isn’t about the Old West, it’s about McCarthyism.)
 
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