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post #1 of 72 Old 05-31-2011, 12:09 PM - Thread Starter
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attachment.php?attachmentid=213562&d=1306867380
The Review at a Glance: (max score: 5 )

Film: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373699

Extras: attachment.php?attachmentid=109944&d=1210373699

Audio/Video total rating:

( Max score: 100 )

89






Studio and Year: Paramount - 2010
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Feature running time: 110 minutes
Genre: Western

Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: AVC (MPEG-4)
Video Aspect: 2.35:1
Resolution: 1080p/24


Audio Format(s): English DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio, French/Spanish/Portuguese Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles: English, English SDH, French, Spanish, Portuguese
Starring: Jeff Bridges, Matt Damon, Hailee Steinfeld, Josh Brolin, Barry Pepper
Written & Directed by: Joel & Ethan Coen based on the novel by Charles Portis
Music by: Carter Burwell
Region Code: 1

Blu-ray Disc release Date: June 7, 2011







"Punishment comes one way or another"



Film Synopsis:

True Grit is a powerful story of vengeance and valor set in an unforgiving and unpredictable frontier where justice is simple and mercy is rare. Mattie Ross (Hailee Steinfeld), is determined to avenge her father's blood by capturing Tom Chaney (Josh Brolin), the man who shot and killed him for two pieces of gold. Just fourteen, she enlists the help of Rooster Cogburn (Academy Award® Winner Jeff Bridges), a one-eyed, trigger-happy U.S. Marshall with an affinity for drinking and hardened Texas Ranger LaBoeuf (Academy Award® Winner Matt Damon) to track the fleeing Chaney. Despite their differences, their ruthless determination leads them on a perilous adventure that can only have one outcome: retribution.



My Take:

I went to see True grit during its theatrical run. As a fan of the original film which starred John Wayne, Kim Darby and Glen Campbell I looked forward to seeing Joel and Ethan Coen’s screen adaptation of Charles Portis’ novel. Like the original it features a subtle moral flavor, light air of levity and well integrated action that is rarely ostentatious as it adds to the film’s dramatic elements. This is a character driven film that establishes a rewarding connection that is enriched over the course of the story. Many times westerns employ long winded shootouts and dramatic standoffs that seem to define them as a genre. That isn’t the case with Portis’ story. Rooster’s showdown with Ned Pepper and his gang notwithstanding, we are treated to a superbly crafted narrative filled with subtle moments that effectively engage via wonderfully composed dialogue and pitch perfect interplay. The characters and story evolve while the plot’s focus remains constant. Tom Chaney is going to pay for what he did come hell or high water. As with the original, this film doesn’t work without a credible Mattie Ross. As good as Kim Darby was in the role, Hailee Steinfeld is better. Her performance is the connective tissue that links all of the others. I find it incredible that someone so young can be so well spoken, composed, and mature. She never faltered in her authentic portrayal of the passion and unflinching resolve that Mattie would need to persevere under such conditions.

My other reason for seeing this film in the theater was Jeff Bridges. I have been a fan for years and was anxious to see his interpretation of Rooster Cogburn. I enjoyed his performance, gravelly voice and all, but not quite as much as John Wayne’s. I think I would give the slightest edge in terms of chemistry to Darby/Wayne as well. On the other hand I prefer the Bridges/Damon match over Wayne/Campbell. I think that is due in part to Campbell’s ineffectiveness as an actor but also due to the Coen’s script which places deeper emphasis on the banter/interplay between Cogburn/LaBoeuf. The cast as an ensemble is equally deserving of praise as everyone adds a credible element that enriches the film. The Coen Brothers are proven filmmakers and their efforts here serve to reinforce that. True Grit is a frontier fable that successfully blends action/adventure with evocative themes that have a timeless appeal. I thoroughly enjoyed this big screen adaptation and if pressed would have to give it the slightest edge over the original film.

Parental Guide:

The rating is for some intense sequences of western violence including disturbing images.






AUDIO/VIDEO - By The Numbers:
REFERENCE = 92-100 / EXCELLENT = 83-91 / GOOD = 74-82 / AVERAGE = 65-73 / BELOW AVERAGE = under 65

**My audio/video ratings are based upon a comparative made against other high definition media/blu-ray disc.**


(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)

Audio: 88



  • Dynamics: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373692

  • Low frequency extension: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373692

  • Surround Sound presentation: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373692

  • Clarity/Detail: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373692

  • Dialogue Reproduction: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373692



Video: 90


(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)


  • Resolution/Clarity: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373699

  • Black level/Shadow detail: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373699

  • Color reproduction: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373699

  • Fleshtones: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373699

  • Compression: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373699

True Grit comes to Blu-ray Disc from Paramount Home Entertainment featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 31 Mbps and lossless DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio sound that has an average bitrate of 4 Mbps.

This is a near reference quality high definition transfer that looks spectacular. Images are transparent with exquisite detail and a near infinite sense of depth. Close ups and mid level shots are incredibly detailed and revealing of even the subtlest nuance visible within facial features, clothing, and objects/backgrounds within the frame. Fidelity is never in question regardless of the camera’s perspective. At times I found the visuals onscreen to be breath taking. Colors are kept within the scope of the time frame which means lots of browns, grays, and blacks. The stylized color palate deemphasizes primaries but the dusty earth tones have a rewarding quality nonetheless. Skin tones are on the vanilla side but texturally revealing. Blacks are rich, gradationally strong and dynamic which helps them pop during sequences that contained both light and dark elements. Detail in uneven light and darkened environments reveal discerning shapes and structure in backgrounds/objects. Grain is present and maintains a filmic textural essence that presides over the presentation without intrusion. I found this to be an impressive and pristine quality high definition video offering that is on par with the film’s theatrical presentation.

This DTS-HD Master Audio presentation features extended dynamics built around a nicely balanced surround mix that sounds great. This isn’t what I consider to be an aggressive soundtrack. Dialogue and music play more of a role than then the brief western gunfire exchanges but there are several sequences that allow this mix to flex its dynamic muscle. Clarity and detail are exemplary which reveal lots of subtle nuance in the recording. Bass isn’t pulse pounding but it definitively augments the richness and tangibility of small arms and rifle fire. Dialogue was crystalline with excellent intonation and descriptive character. The beautifully crafted music sounds smooth, and airy with a deep, room filling quality that is engaging.



Bonus Features:


  • (HD) Mattie’s True Grit – 5 minute featurette

  • (HD) From bustle to buckskin: Dressing for the 1880’s – 8 minute featurette

  • (HD) Colts, Winchesters, & Remingtons: The guns of a post civil war western – 4 minute featurette

  • (HD) Re-creating Fort Smith – 11 minute featurette

  • (HD) The cast – 5 minute featurette

  • (HD) Charles Portis: The greatest writer you’ve never heard of… - 30 minute documentary

  • (HD) The cinematography of True Grit – 3 minute featurette

  • (HD) Theatrical trailer

  • DVD/Digital Copy of True Grit


Final Thoughts:

Based on the novel of the same name by Charles Portis True Grit is the second big screen adaptation of this frontier fable that successfully blends action/adventure with evocative and timeless themes that revolve around mutually earned respect and redemption. It features a marvelous cast, apt direction and superlative cinematography by Roger Deakins. This marks my second viewing of True Grit and I will admit to enjoying it even more this time. I am a fan of the original film but can’t help but feel that this one is just a bit better. It makes its home video debut on Blu-ray Disc featuring beautiful high definition video, involving lossless sound and a decent supplemental package that is highlighted by a documentary on True Grit novelist Charles Portis. I am pleased to give this excellent Blu-ray offering from Paramount Home Entertainment my highest recommendation. Enjpy!









attachment.php?attachmentid=109949&d=1210373731






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post #2 of 72 Old 05-31-2011, 01:58 PM
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I enjoyed the movie while watching it...but ultimately found it to be emotionally empty. Maybe that was the point...but still, not really my cup of tea.
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post #3 of 72 Old 05-31-2011, 02:25 PM
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I may blind buy this one. Hmmm. I liked No country a lot.

Thanks for the review. A 90 video makes it very tempting to skip the rental...
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post #4 of 72 Old 05-31-2011, 03:16 PM
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Thanks for the review Ralph, very interested in seeing this one especially if you tend to believe it's better than the original.
Question have you been thinking about moving to a scope size screen for your reviews in the future and how much do you get to use that HD-XA2 these days?
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post #5 of 72 Old 05-31-2011, 03:29 PM
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The original is one of favorite movies of all time and favorite western. I wonder if I would have enjoyed this more if I did not know the original so well. This version just felt a bit empty and too compressed for my liking. For expample where Mady follows them over the river on Little Blackie has more impact and insight into the character in the original then in this version which is much shorter.

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post #6 of 72 Old 05-31-2011, 06:27 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by HiDef Lover View Post

Thanks for the review Ralph, very interested in seeing this one especially if you tend to believe it's better than the original.
Question have you been thinking about moving to a scope size screen for your reviews in the future and how much do you get to use that HD-XA2 these days?

Greetings,

No plans on a scope screen at this point. I still have a number of HD DVD's in my collection. I get to use my XA2 a couple of times a year..


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post #7 of 72 Old 06-01-2011, 05:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tuxedocivic View Post

I may blind buy this one. Hmmm. I liked No country a lot.

Thanks for the review. A 90 video makes it very tempting to skip the rental...

Loved No Country.....VERY different movie.
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post #8 of 72 Old 06-01-2011, 07:33 AM
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I'll be picking this up as soon as it is released here. I read the Portis novel long before it was made into a ( the original ) movie. The Henry Hathaway directed film strayed some from the novel while I understand the Coen brothers actually followed the book closely, even lifting much of Portis' quirky dialogue directly from the novel. If that is the case, then I would probably give the edge to the Coen brother's version. But, as much as I like and admire Jeff Bridges, I have a soft spot for the Duke so it will be darn near impossible for me to give the nod to Bridges. One way or the other, I can't wait to get my hands on this.
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post #9 of 72 Old 06-01-2011, 08:19 AM
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Originally Posted by Stormshadow4life View Post

Loved No Country.....VERY different movie.

Different, but both enjoyable in the same way?
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post #10 of 72 Old 06-01-2011, 09:28 AM
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Day 1 purchase... along with The Kings Speech this was the best film of the year. Hailee Steinfeld was completely robbed at the academy awards IMO.

Thanks for the review Ralph, glad to hear a great movie getting a great transfer!

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post #11 of 72 Old 06-01-2011, 09:29 AM
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I missed this in the theatres, so I am really looking forward to picking it up on release day. The Dukes version is one of my fav. westerns.
Thanks for the great review Ralph!
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post #12 of 72 Old 06-01-2011, 10:37 AM
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I can only sum this movie up in this clip.....!!!

Help me?.....I can do nothing for you son....

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=72Yh67e9lRo

Definitely a collect for me. Thought the cast and character did a great job of playing their parts.
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post #13 of 72 Old 06-01-2011, 05:36 PM
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Great review. I'll be pickin up this movie as I really enjoyed it in the theaters.

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Great review, Ralph! CAn't wait to see this one again...lived up to every bit of expectation I had for it, which was established the very second I saw the preview for the first time. Amazingly well acted and directed, and would have easily been worthy of best picture.
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post #15 of 72 Old 06-01-2011, 07:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ralph Potts View Post

Greetings,

No plans on a scope screen at this point. I still have a number of HD DVD's in my collection. I get to use my XA2 a couple of times a year..


Regards,

I still use mine every week, my Blu-ray players don't compare when watching DVD's.

Good review Ralph, I might buy the Blu-ray.
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post #16 of 72 Old 06-01-2011, 11:58 PM
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I have been waiting for this one! Thanks for the review Ralph! This looks to be like a pretty good buy. I am surprised it took this long for the movie to come out. A full 6 months I think.
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Loved this movie and I LOVE Jeff Bridges but I wish he'd take that darn cookie out of his mouth when he acts lately. Can hardly understand a word the guy says anymore!
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post #18 of 72 Old 06-02-2011, 07:57 AM
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Thanks for the excellent review Ralph!!
looking forward to this flick even more now ..
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post #19 of 72 Old 06-02-2011, 08:46 AM
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I have been waiting for this one! Thanks for the review Ralph! This looks to be like a pretty good buy. I am surprised it took this long for the movie to come out. A full 6 months I think.
It's funny how we've gotten used to DVD/Blu-Ray releases right after the end of the theatrical run. I remember at the dawn of DVD how 6 months to a year before release was more the norm.

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post #20 of 72 Old 06-02-2011, 10:01 AM
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I've been looking forward to this for awhile--a definite pre-order for me. Nice review--should be a fine addition to my collection.

Bob

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post #21 of 72 Old 06-02-2011, 11:09 PM
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Originally Posted by thegage View Post

It's funny how we've gotten used to DVD/Blu-Ray releases right after the end of the theatrical run. I remember at the dawn of DVD how 6 months to a year before release was more the norm.

John K.

Yeah, I don't think we have had to wait this long for a new release for a very long time. Usually it takes just a couple months.
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post #22 of 72 Old 06-03-2011, 07:35 AM
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I did not like No Country for Old Men- at all. I do like Westerns though and I like Jeff Bridges. I wonder if it's worth a blind buy?

I've heard nothing but good things about it.
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post #23 of 72 Old 06-03-2011, 07:46 AM - Thread Starter
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I did not like No Country for Old Men- at all. I do like Westerns though and I like Jeff Bridges. I wonder if it's worth a blind buy?

I've heard nothing but good things about it.

Greetings,

This isn't like No country for old men. If you enjoy westerns and Jeff Bridges you're safe with this one.

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post #24 of 72 Old 06-04-2011, 07:54 AM
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Ralph,

I love your reviews and actually use them to determine whether or not a purchase a Blu-Ray. Now, I just have an odd observation....shouldn't a 90 Video score and 88 Audio score result in a final score of *89* instead of *90?*
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post #25 of 72 Old 06-04-2011, 09:14 AM - Thread Starter
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Ralph,

I love your reviews and actually use them to determine whether or not a purchase a Blu-Ray. Now, I just have an odd observation....shouldn't a 90 Video score and 88 Audio score result in a final score of *89* instead of *90?*

Greetings,

Absolutely. Thanks for catching that BB..


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post #26 of 72 Old 06-05-2011, 01:07 AM
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Also a video score of 90 being called "reference." I thought it would need to be marked 92 or more?
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post #27 of 72 Old 06-05-2011, 04:05 AM - Thread Starter
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Also a video score of 90 being called "reference." I thought it would need to be marked 92 or more?

Greetings,

"Near" reference..


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post #28 of 72 Old 06-05-2011, 11:31 AM
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Different, but both enjoyable in the same way?

In a way, I guess. But True Grit just kind of left me cold at the end (but it was enjoyable while watching). I realize I'm in the minority...so you'd probably dig it.
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post #29 of 72 Old 06-05-2011, 12:32 PM
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In a way, I guess. But True Grit just kind of left me cold at the end (but it was enjoyable while watching). I realize I'm in the minority...so you'd probably dig it.

Yep, I know what you mean about the end being cold.
In contrast, I watched the 1969 original and it ends on a very positive note; John Wayne on horseback, freeze-framed with that beautiful mountain scenery behind him. This new movie has fantastic dialogue in the beginning, but somewhere around the "snake bite" it started feeling slapped together and rushed to me. The combination of the brutal reality of the aged woman and the death of Cogburn made the ending as you say, cold. No Country for Old Men is another example of this; great movie with a suck ending. But this is what I have come to expect from Joel & Ethan Coen; they are masters of dialogue and sometimes stumble with endings. But overall I always seem to enjoy their movies; I did love this new True Grit movie, and I can't wait to see it again on Blu-Ray. Texas brush popper, LOL!!!
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post #30 of 72 Old 06-05-2011, 01:01 PM
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Quote:
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Yep, I know what you mean about the end being cold.
In contrast, I watched the 1969 original and it ends on a very positive note; John Wayne on horseback, freeze-framed with that beautiful mountain scenery behind him. This new movie has fantastic dialogue in the beginning, but somewhere around the "snake bite" it started feeling slapped together and rushed to me. The combination of the brutal reality of the aged woman and the death of Cogburn made the ending as you say, cold. No Country for Old Men is another example of this; great movie with a suck ending. But this is what I have come to expect from Joel & Ethan Coen; they are masters of dialogue and sometimes stumble with endings. But overall I always seem to enjoy their movies; I did love this new True Grit movie, and I can't wait to see it again on Blu-Ray. Texas brush popper, LOL!!!

I know a lot of people who feel the same way about the ending to No Country. I, on the other hand, love when Directors will from time to time withhold the "blue skies" or "tied up all the loose ends" sort of satisfaction from the viewer. Reason being? Sometimes in life that's just how it is. It's pretty clear from No Country that there was not a set up for some sort of sequel, but having Chigur's character just sort of leave the scene was awesome, IMO. I have seen a few other films recently where they audience didn't get the payoff they were likely hoping for or expecting. A good example of this was "Buried". I don't want to spoil anything, but clearly the ending was probably not what most people expected and I dig that. I don't want every movie I see to have everything just wrapped up with a bow when I leave the theater all the time. I may be in the minority here, but that's just how I feel gosh dang it!
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