Monday, October 22, 2007

October 21, 2007
Worked all morning on scenes for The Top Secret Project. Did a whole gaggle of black and white thumbnails. Got ready to go down into the Beast to see a movie, and counted up the sketches. Did 21, which puts me at 4,999 sketches. Not a bad place to stop. I'll post number 5,000 tomorrow.

At 2:30 Kathy and I drove down to the Harkins at 101 to see The Assassination of Jesse James By The Coward Robert Ford ($14 for two, popcorn $5.50, left a .50 cent tip). About 100 people in the theatre. I really enjoyed the whole experience (the time flew by), although I have to agree with Jason Strykowski that it seemed more like a History Channel documentary with a bigger budget. But I say that not as a knock, because I love those History Channel docs. Some of my friends have knocked the narration, but I really enjoyed it. And, this is a movie I want to own. It is the most honest retelling of the Jesse James story I have ever seen. Now I'm sure the Ted Yeatmans of the world will nitpick it to death, but it created an accurate world for me. Not one cowboy (although one of the only dings I would give it is in the Kansas City scenes they had too many saddle horses, but at least they were dressed as businessmen and not cowboys!). The acting is superb. Brad has never been more nuanced and menacing (he said in a recent interview he hates most of the scripts he gets sent because it's all the same guy. In this film, I can assure you, it ain't that guy). Casey Affleck (as Robert Ford) is brilliant and so is Sam Rockwell (as Charley Ford). Sam Shepard as Frank James was dead on, I only wish he could have been in the film more. Even the police officer from the TV show Monk was brilliant in his small part (Sheriff Timberlake?). And, here's the kicker: At the end I felt genuine empathy for Robert Ford! No Jesse movie has ever attempted or achieved that. Congrats to all. It is a work of art. I'd give it five stars and a good solid nine, on a scale of ten.

"It is true that no one can harm the person who wears armor. But no one can help him, either."
—Kristin Hunter

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