Film Intel's Fight Club - True Grit vs Open Range

In our review of the Coen Brother's distinctly over-rated True Grit remake, one film that kept coming to mind was the all-but-forgotten Open Range, possibly the best example of a modern 'old-style' Western known to man. With a strong body of support for True Grit though, there's only one way to sort out this titanic disagreement which doesn't involve a face off at high noon, a challengingly placed spittoon or something involving the hind legs of a donkey. The competitors are in the arena. Jeff Bridge's slurred accent ready? Kevin Costner's lovely facial hair ready? Fight!




First Google Image Result (above)

Horrendous start for True Grit (TG) which picks up zero by way of a poor quality image of the DVD box from the original film. Open Range (OR) doesn't provide anything to write home about mind you: a grainy image of the film's bad guys is all it can manage.

TG: 0/10
OR: 3/10

Best Piece Of Parental Guidance On IMDb

The always helpful IMDb parental guidance tells me that, in TG, 'gun toting is a fashion' as well as pointing out that, in some scenes, 'a drunk is present'. OR is tame by comparison but at least I now know that 'two men purchase cigars and smoke them later'.

TG: 5/10
OR: 4/10

Best Character Name

A couple of strong efforts for TG here. A main character called Rooster is always a good start whilst elsewhere, irony wins for Lucky Ned Pepper and LaBoeuf is an incredibly fitting moniker for Matt Damon's pompous oaf. Odus Wharton is another very creative effort. OR has nothing to match the might of the Coens and Bartender Bill pales in comparison.

TG: 8/10
OR: 2/10

Best Quote

OR is full of evocative, sub-grammatical, language, delivered with venom and, just occasionally, wit. If you haven't seen it, imagine Kevin Costner, in full on tough guy mode, spitting out lines like 'men are gonna get killed here today, Sue, and I'm gonna kill 'em' or Robert Duvall telling a law man that his own warrant 'ain't writ by no tin star, bought and paid for, Marshal. It's writ by us, and we aim to enforce it'. Equally, the Coens master the language of the age too and their script is filled with little dark bits of humour. The exchange between Rooster and the lawyer is a highlight but Rooster's dismissal of a man who wanted to be buried ('Ground's too hard. Them men wanted a decent burial, they should have got themselves killed in summer') shows off the script just as well.

TG: 8/10
OR: 8/10

Best Comparison

Someone who liked TG even less than I did described it rather derogatorily as 'like sitting in science class at 2:30, after lunch, before the closing bell'. To be fair, the same criticism is also levelled at OR with one review describing it as 'like trying to run fast through thick knee high mud'. The TG criticism is marginally more original and it takes the win.

TG: 6/10
OR: 5/10

Best Tweet

OR basically has a standard (but entirely accurate) piece of praise as its best, @hollingsworth calling it an 'Epic Western... A beautiful, heartfelt film'. @jason1749 is correct in claiming that, during The Oscars, 'TRUE GRIT shoulda won for the bear suit alone'.

TG: 6/10
OR: 4/10

Best Rotten Tomatoes Review

Feel free to 'boo' at pantomime villains Hollywood Reporter, whose representative, Kirk Honeycutt, describes OR as being full of 'lengthy silences and butt-scratching pauses'. Alice Tynan hits the nail on the head with her review of TG, correctly surmising that 'reviewing a Coen Brothers film is usually an exercise in inventively arranging superlatives', which is exactly what a lot of the other reviews on the site seem to aspire towards.

TG: 6/10
OR: 6/10

Best Piece Of IMDb Trivia

Really cracking effort from TG: Mattie's lawyer (who we only hear in voice form) is intoned by none other than J. K. Simmons, J Jonah Jameson himself! OR's best shout is that Costner turned down Tarrantino's Kill Bill to do this film instead. Wise move that man, wise move.

TG: 9/10
OR: 5/10




True Grit not only takes it with a score of 48/80 to Open Range's disappointing 37/80, but it also takes the overall top spot by one point from It's A Wonderful Life! A magnificent score, especially considering it hit a big fat zero on its first category.

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