(Like many Netflix customers, I too can get quite lax with the timely watching and returning of my movies, which of course defeats the entire purpose of having a flat-rate rental plan in the first place. To combat that, I am now writing standardized mini-reviews of each and every movie I end up watching through Netflix, both instantly and on DVD. Don't forget, all previous 'Justify My Netflix' reviews can be found on CCLaP's main movie page.)
Why I added it to my queue: Because it's an award-winning adaptation of the notoriously subversive 1968 Western novel (famously first adapted into the 1969 film that won John Wayne the only Oscar of his career), by the wonderful Coen Brothers of whom I am trying to become a completist. (This is now the tenth of their sixteen films I've seen.) Do I need another reason?
The reality: Yeehaw! I gotta say, it's a real treat to live in an age where we're getting to see the Coens go through the most masterful part of their careers; because this one is perhaps a culmination of each and every little thing we associate with these filmmakers, all organically wrapped together into a tight little ball -- there's the intensity of their dramas, the wackiness of their comedies, the gorgeous cinematography, the random moments of extreme violence, the greed and other human weaknesses at the heart of all their stories, even the twangy accents and bizarre outfits we've come to know and love. And although I first became a huge fan of theirs through early experiments like Raising Arizona, I have to confess that I think I like the mature Coens a whole lot better, the ones who transcended beyond quirky indie anomalies into the grand maestros of film they've become. It's movies like these that allow me to still have any kind of faith left in Hollywood whatsoever, and I always look forward to these summer days when all those previous winter Oscar darlings finally come out on DVD. It comes strongly recommended.
Strangest piece of trivia: The two front buckles on the cowboy hat of Matt Damon's character form the letter "B," a sly homage to the Boston Red Sox.
Worth your time? Absolutely