Friday, December 24, 2010

True Grit: A Christmas Story

My family has some Christmas traditions. Most families do, I would assume. My friend Kate goes to Denny's every Christmas Eve. Your family has some sort of Christmas tradition, doesn't it? Of course it does. Well, for years, I've spent Christmas Eve with my dad. Some times ago...I don't know when, but probably close to 15 years ago, we started to go see a movie on Christmas Eve. The first one I remember was the Jean Claude Van Damme masterpiece Sudden Death. Star Trek:First Contact was another one. There have been many movies over many years. And, it started that the 6 of us went as a family to the same movie. Myself, my dad, my step mom, my brother, my half brother and my half sister. Over the years, this changed. We still go to the movies, but, like this year, we see different ones. My half brother went to see the new Tron, my step mom and half sister went to see the new Chronicles of Narnia movie, and my dad and I went to see True Grit.

It's worth noting a few things. 1) I don't generally care for westerns. No real reason other than they aren't my proverbial cup of tea. 2) I never saw the original True Grit. And it's likely that I never will. I don't care for John Wayne. The idea of sitting through one of his movies make me long for the dentist's chair. To the many John Wayne fans in the world: Sorry. That's just the way I feel. 3) My dad does like westerns, and he does like John Wayne. And while he would have been happy seeing Tron or something else, he was definitely excited when I mentioned that I'd like to see True Grit. It's more his kind of movie that mine.

In the end though, I kind of got the impression that I liked True Grit a bit more than he did. And while I can't speak for him, I can tell you a bit of what I thought about it.

I liked Jeff Bridges in it. I found his portrayal of Rooster to be gruff while still somewhat charming. I didn't particularly care for Matt Damon as Le Beouf. I just found him strangely unnatural as a Texas Ranger. Hailee Steinfeld, however, I found to be excellent as Mattie. My biggest problem with the movie, really, was the dialogue. It just felt so unnatural to me. I can't remember a single contraction. No 'didn't', no 'could've', it was 'did not' and 'could have', and people just don't talk that way. Outside of Data in Star Trek: The Next Generation everyone uses contractions. And I found this jarring at times. If that's my biggest complaint though, then I hardly have a complaint at all.

I know this isn't much of a review, and it isn't really meant to be. If you want a review, Alex over at Film Forager did a great job, and I'd recommend you read that. My intention was more to talk about my family's Christmas tradition. And on that note, Merry Christmas everyone!