Buster Scruggs review: Coens' western homage pretty slow on the draw

CNET | 11/16/2018 | Richard Trenholm
elio25 (Posted by) Level 3
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Howdy, pardners! It's been a long day's ride, so knock that dust off your chaps and take a pew right here by the campfire for The Ballad of Buster Scruggs.

Tim Blake Nelson saddles up as Buster Scruggs in the new film from Joel and Ethan Coen.

Netflix - Friday - Rootin - Tootin - Movie

This here hoedown, streaming on Netflix starting Friday, is a rootin' tootin' new movie from those Coen boys, wanted up and down the frontier for spinning yarns like True Grit, No Country for Old Men and The Big Lebowski.

This new wagon train of theirs was originally slated to be a fancy-dan TV show taking the form of an anthology of standalone Western stories. The finished film recounts six campfire tales, gothic spine-tinglers and shaggy-dog stories.

Chapter - Camera - Pages - Storybook - Tone

Each chapter opens with the camera diving into the pages of a Western storybook, which sure does set the old-fashioned tone for the series of tall tales and mood pieces. ****, one story is even based on a Jack London tale, if that don't beat all!

But this movie doesn't just draw inspiration from the pages of old books. It's a goldarned love letter to the western genre.

Trail - Return - Pieces - Movie - Singing

The trail begins with an affectionate return for one of the most old-fashioned pieces of movie lore you can imagine: a singing cowboy. Coen Brothers regular Tim Blake Nelson opens the film riding onto the screen grinning cheerily and harmonising with the echoing canyons in milk white duds. Garrulous and chatty, his character Buster Scruggs is the antithesis to the squinting, scowling Man With No Name of modern westerns -- right up until someone questions whether his shootin' irons work, at which point he proves himself as deadly as Clint Eastwood at his orneriest.

Complete with Tex Avery-style cartoon dust cloud and elaborately twirling pistols, this opening chapter is as stylised as all get-out....
(Excerpt) Read more at: CNET
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