Friday, May 17, 2013


Here we are at another Blogfest and as usual I'm a day late and a dollar short. I didn't post on Wednesday (my normal posting day) because I've been crazy busy and I knew I would post today and YET...

Anyway...I've given a whole lot of thought to this Best and Worst Movie Remake Blogfest. There are definitely some stinkers out there and a few pretty good ones too. In the end I decided on ONE movie. Yeah, that's right one movie gets my award for both the the Best and Worst Movie Remake.

Guess I better tell ya and get it over with, but promise you'll read the WHOLE POST and let me explain.

The movie 'TRUE GRIT'

First, the BEST part. The Coen's did a pretty good job on this one and Jeff Bridges (I have always liked him) well what more can I say. This guy has matured into a pretty darn good actor and I love that voice - sounds like it's run over a  ole dry river bed of gravel. I did prefer Kim Darby as Mattie Ross. When you compare the acting chops of Matt Damon and Glen Campbell - well there is no comparison, but I liked Campbell better, he seemed more down to earth and a better naive comparison to Cogburn. Anyway...this remake, even though I resisted seeing it, and didn't want to like it, was definitely a well done film and a pretty darn good remake.

The WORST part was that NOBODY quite compares to John Wayne no matter who he's playing. Some how it seemed a travesty to me that they would remake such an iconic movie and replace such a great character. As I said earlier, I liked Darby and Campbell better in there parts and I found the ending to the original much more satisfying that in the remake. I DID NOT want to know that Rooster Cogburn died in a run down 'Wild West Show'. I did not want to see Mattie Ross as this one armed, old maid (looking a lot like Miss Gooch(was that her name- you know the spinster on the bike in the Wizard of Oz who hates Toto - she later becomes the WWoftheW) tracking him down.

That shoot out scene where Rooster has the reins in his mouth, a rifle in one hand and a pistol in the other. I tell ya, nobody, but nobody could pull that off like Mr. Wayne. Yeah, I like Jeff Bridges alright and he was good, but he's not JOHN WAYNE!

So in my opinion 'True Grit the remake was one fine movie and yet the worst remake I've seen to date. Does that make sense? Oh well, you know me.

As for songs there are a lot of lousy covers/remakes but just recently someone assaulted my ears with Avril Lavigne's version of 'Knocking on Heavens Door'. You have got to be kidding me. It was awful.

I almost forgot ( actually I had to pull this back and add). TO LEARN MORE AND READ OTHER CHOICES GO HERE


  1. True Grit has been on several lists today, in both categories, although more in the best. I dig the Coen Brothers' movies and thought Bridges was great in the role. For me, it's like they are two separate films.
    Thanks for participating in our blogfest!

  2. I know you have been very busy but I'm glad you participated. I have to agree with you, NO ONE compares to John Wayne.

    Never heard that cover by Avril Lavigne. And I'm glad.

  3. It does make sense and for the reasons you named. The ending of the remake totally ruined it for me.

  4. The versions of True Grit are almost like two different movies and I not sure bear proper comparison. The remake was grittier and more real--I liked that aspect. I've heard it's also more like the original source material.

    Every version that I've heard of "Knocking on Heaven's Door" is terrible because I think it's a very boring song in the first place. Not sure why any artist would waste time remaking it.

    A Faraway View
    An A to Z Co-host blog

  5. Yep, True Grit was pretty darn good though I have to admit I never saw the original (I never was a John Wayne fan, sorry).

  6. Never saw the original either at my sea, at least that I can recall, but I enjoyed the remake, and yeah can see how it would go in both.

  7. NITRO ~
    I noticed you didn't post anything on Wednesday and I wondered why through my disappointment.

    Wish I'd known about this Blogfest as it's one I might have participated in.

    I never saw the remake of 'TRUE GRIT' out of protest. You don't take a classic movie for which the lead actor won an Academy Award and remake it. Period! Just the thought of that pissed me off.

    I love, Love, LOVE the original 'TRUE GRIT' for many reasons including the mix of action and comedy: John Wayne deserved a lot more credit for his ability to convey comedy. Wayne saved his finest acting for his last movie, 'THE SHOOTIST', which I also love, but overall my favorite of his movies is 'TRUE GRIT' and I'm crazy about the freeze-frame ending of it. (The ending you described for the remake sounds awful.)

    A lot of people did not like Kim Darby's "obnoxious" performance in the original, but I agree with you... she was supposed to be annoying and precocious and that personality played perfectly against Wayne's 'Rooster Cogburn' role.

    In closing, I feel I can state confidently that anyone who didn't like the original 'TRUE GRIT' is a communist.

    I think Bob Dylan's original 'KNOCKIN' ON HEAVEN'S DOOR' is fantastic. I never heard the rerecording you mentioned.

    I'm not sure what "remade" song would top my Hate List, but another Dylan one does come immediately to mind:

    PJ Harvey's ultra-heavy-handed version of 'HIGHWAY 61 REVISITED' was absolutely atrocious! Now there is one dour chick who is in SERIOUS need of a sense of humor and ought to acquire one ASAP, even if she has to pay full price for it. (She completely missed all the things that made Dylan's original version fun to listen to, and turned it instead into some kind of over-amped dirge.)

    This was a fun read, Nitro, and I even watched the trailers.

    Yak Tonight...

    ~ D-FensDogg
    'Loyal American Underground'

  8. Cool!

    There's no replacing John Wayne, as I said. And the two versions kept the ornate dialog intact, which is great.

    But they really do feel like two completely separate films. They share plot and characters, but the remake's feel and overall mood is quite different.

  9. Avril Levigne singing "Knocking on Heaven's Door" - that's just wrong.
    Loved your take on this fest!

  10. I can certainly understand your reasoning. Still, I think True Grit turned out to be a pretty good movie. We can't get John Wayne back, so filmmakers must do the best they can.

  11. What an interesting analysis of True Grit. I never saw the original so had no hang ups about the remake. But I showed it to my father and he really liked it.

  12. Thank you! My thoughts exactly. Even if the Jeff Bridges version was good, why make it? Why mess with a classic. There is only one Duke.

  13. Great answer. I didn't know about this blogfest.

  14. That cover by Avril Lavigne! I just can't hear that ever again, I'm sorry.

  15. Neat, you're the first person to do this. lol

  16. And also forgot to comment. Why on earth did Avril cover that? Won't be listening to that any time soon.

  17. wow. The best and the worst remake in one movie. Now i really have to check this film out.

  18. Yes, it makes sense. At least to me, hahaha. Many think it is very good. Thanks for participating!

  19. I did like the remake of True Grit, but the original is definitely better.

  20. I'm back and forth with True Grit too. Have a lovely weekend!

  21. You make good points on both sides -- I like the way you tackled this blogfest.

  22. I posted this and had to run out the door this Morning. Thanks for all the great comments. Glad to see so many of you are 'with me' on this crazy way of thinking.

    Now I'm off to read your posts and see what you liked and didn't.

    I will admit to those of you who said you didn't see the remake on principle alone, I resisted for quite some time and then gave in. I hate to see some of these 'classics' redone, even if the remake is pretty good.

  23. I haven't seen either version but I do agree, only John Wayne is John Wayne.


  24. I liked the original, but haven't seen the remake. Don't know if I really want to.

    It was Elvira Gulch (in the Wizard of Oz). :)

    M.L. Swift, Writer

  25. Rhonda - You should check them out, especially the original.

    ML - Thanks - Miss Gulch, I'll have to remember that. I felt the same way for a long time and finally gave in. Good for you. Stick to your guns. The remake is good but your truly not missing anything.

  26. There is nobody like John Wayne! Nobody! That being said I didn't consider True Grit one of my Wayne favorites. I did enjoy the remake and give Kudo's to Bridges.

  27. I haven't seen either version, and haven't even read the book yet! But the latter is on my TBR shelf. :)

  28. I liked True Grit, and I really like Jeff Bridges as an actor, but you're right, no one can out-John Wayne John Wayne. It's just not possible.