Archives for posts with tag: John Wayne

Whores on horses. Westerns changed a lot after John Wayne died. “Bad Girls” is a 1994 revenge/caper/western with brief glimpses of Drew Barrymore’s boobies. Madeleine Stowe plays a butt-kicking madam with a dark past who shares undertones of homoerotic chemistry with Mary Stuart Masterson (Where is the Skinemax remake when you need it?). Andie MacDowell plays herself. James Russo channels Tom Sizemore playing a psychopathic bandito (which would be a great name for a rock band). Robert Loggia gets whacked (Doesn’t he always?). There are big guns (besides Barrymore). And no, Dermot Mulroney is not the dude from “Grey’s Anatomy.”

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When it comes to World War II movies, there isn’t a lot of new ground to cover. So, purely for novelty’s sake, “The Monuments Men” (2014) is worth watching. The story of an American military unit tasked with saving precious European artwork from the Nazis and/or Soviets isn’t anything John Wayne ever starred in (at least not that I know of). It’s a George Clooney movie. He brings along buddy Matt Damon and fills out the cast with a bunch of other familiar names (Cate Blanchett, John Goodman, Bill Murray, etc.). It’s good, solid, earnest, predictable. Worthy of the genre.

I saw the original “True Grit” when I was a child, many years ago. I do not judge the 2010 version against the 1969 John Wayne version. Each stands well on its own. The newcomer is simply a fine cowboy movie. Colorful characters. Not too long. Doesn’t try to be profound. Two extra things make it great. Hailee Steinfeld plays a confident-beyond-her-years 14-year-old girl that carries the movie by sheer force of will. And the script takes the language of the 1800s and turns it into poetry. It is an exercise in meticulous sentence structuring that brought me great pleasure.