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pretend genius
a review of movies we have not seen:

The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert
Ford directed by Andrew Dominik
Reviewed by Tomas Zelenka

The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert
Ford was a very interesting movie that I didn’t see.  I
bought the soundtrack after I saw a commercial for the
movie between House episodes during a  Memorial Day
House marathon on TV.  Since I’ve listened to the
soundtrack I have a difficult time bringing myself to actually
watching the movie.  The music evokes something more
majestic than a silly shoot-em-up Western starring Brad
Pitt.  In the movie Brad Pitt plays Jesse James who gets
assassinated by Robert Ford.  The term that is used in the
title of the movie (‘assassination’) is usually reserved for
public figures.  I’m not sure if Jesse James was a public
figure.  He probably was.  The old days were filled with public figures. 
I’ve never heard of Robert Ford though.  You’d think that we’d never forget the name of the person who shot Jesse James since Jesse James was so famous.  But I’d never heard of Robert Ford, although that name reminded me of someone I used to work with.  Actually, I didn’t know Jesse James was “assassinated” either. 

Not remembering who shot Jesse James bothered me at first.  After all, I remember the name of the person who shot Lincoln.  I even remember the name of the person who shot Alexander Hamilton in a duel (Aaron Burr).  But Robert Ford?  Never heard of him. That’s no argument, however, against his historical importance.  The fact is I can’t remember the name of too many assassins.  I do question why the person who assassinated Jesse James is given top billing along with Jesse James in the title of the movie.  Sure, the title says that Robert Ford was a coward—somewhat diminishing his stature—but for some reason the title isn’t convincing.  The fact that they’re both mentioned seems to mean something else.  Hopefully the movie touches on this.

One of the still-shots from the movie shows Brad Pitt wearing a fur coat.  Or it looks like a fur coat to me.  I’m sure people wore fur coats back then because varmints and other bigger animals that could be skinned for their fur were probably abundant but it just looks funny in a western.


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