True Grit is the first Coen brothers movie that I’ve ever enjoyed. That’s got to count for something right? Unlike most critics, I’ve never been impressed with films like A Serious Man, No Country For Old Men, Burn After Reading etc. For some reason the Coen brothers’ films have just never done much for me, that is until True Grit came along. After playing around with Western elements for so long, the Coens have finally given us their first true picture in the genre.
Remaking a classic film is always a hard thing to do but I think the Coens have succeeded here. I’m not going to bother comparing it to the original. Yes, I’ve seen the original but I feel that the remake should be judged as a stand alone film. That being said, I will answer the question that you’re probably all wondering. Is it better than the original? Yes, it is.
Sticking close to the original, the story follows a young 14 year old girl named Mattie Ross (Hailee Steinfeld). Mattie’s father has just been murdered by Tom Chaney (Josh Brolin) and to say Mattie is determined to get revenge would be an understatement. She’s driven and doesn’t care about anything else.
The problem is, at only 14 years old, she isn’t exactly capable of tracking down Chaney on her own. To assist her, she hires U.S. Marshal Rooster Cogburn (Jeff Bridges). Along the way, they meet up with Texas Ranger La Boeuf (Matt Damon). La Boeuf is also looking for Chaney, to bring him to justice for a murder he committed in Texas. Together, the three set off to find Chaney and bring him to justice.
Click here to continue reading our theatrical True Grit review.
Paramount delivers another fantastic Blu-Ray transfer with True Grit. In fact, it’s just about perfect. Astounding clarity makes for some damn impressive detail. Every shot is incredible to look at and this is easily demo material. Colours are perfectly balanced and black levels are flawless. Contrast is spot on and overall, this one is one hell of a good looking picture.
Strong atmospherics and crystal clear dialogue shine on the audio track. Effects sound natural and the music and score are placed wonderfully. There may not be anything worthy of a speaker workout here, but what we do get is very well done and pretty much perfect.
Special features include:
- Mattie’s True Grit
- From Bustles to Buckskin — Dressing for the 1880s
- Colts, Winchesters & Remingtons: The Guns of a Post-Civil War Western
- Re-Creating Fort Smith
- The Cast
- Charles Portis — The Greatest Writer You’ve Never Heard Of…
- True Grit Theatrical Trailer
- DVD/Digital Copy Hybrid Disc
The special features are really the only downside to what is otherwise, a fantastic package. There’s no use in explaining each one as they’re all fairly self-explanatory. Nothing really stands out and they’re all rather short, aside from the Charles Portis one which runs about half an hour. Personally, the most interesting feature for me was Mattie’s True Grit, which of course focuses on the brilliant Hailee Steinfeld.
Overall, this is a fantastic package. The movie itself is an example of filmmaking at its finest and it’s only enhanced by the flawless transfer. A few more in-depth features would have been nice but I guess you can’t have it all, right? Any film fan owes it to themselves to add True Grit to their collection. It’s a wonderful film and a great looking, and sounding Blu-Ray. Go out and buy this one!
True Grit is entertaining throughout with excellent performances and a fantastic Blu-Ray transfer.