The Ballad of Buster Scruggs - Coen Brothers Netflix series turned portmanteau movie

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_2PyxzSH1HM

Six different stories, got to be one or two gems in there surely.

Dan Worsley, Friday, 14 September 2018 18:56 (three months ago) Permalink

I'm into it

been in a super-western mood lately, myself

Οὖτις, Friday, 14 September 2018 19:03 (three months ago) Permalink

Very excited for this, don't care if some of them are dumb

change display name (Jordan), Friday, 14 September 2018 19:05 (three months ago) Permalink

excellent cast, as would be expected

Οὖτις, Friday, 14 September 2018 19:08 (three months ago) Permalink

two months pass...

with the exception of the Kazan story, this all felt totally inconsequential

devvvine, Friday, 16 November 2018 21:04 (one month ago) Permalink

that was my inkling

a Mets fan who gave up on everything in the mid '80s (Dr Morbius), Friday, 16 November 2018 22:25 (one month ago) Permalink

much of it looks really ugly as well, really horrible colouring/contrast

devvvine, Friday, 16 November 2018 22:33 (one month ago) Permalink

It’s absolutely terrible. Like a joke they decided to play on Netflix.

Chris L, Saturday, 17 November 2018 02:47 (one month ago) Permalink

I kind of loved it

wayne trotsky (Simon H.), Saturday, 17 November 2018 04:56 (one month ago) Permalink

what does that mean?

brokenshire (jed_), Saturday, 17 November 2018 04:59 (one month ago) Permalink

you're too smart to make a post like that, Simon.

brokenshire (jed_), Saturday, 17 November 2018 05:03 (one month ago) Permalink

I'm through the first three tales right now and will resume later this weekend, but I... love it too?

I'm dumb I guess.

Johnny Fever, Saturday, 17 November 2018 05:10 (one month ago) Permalink

I assure you I'm not too smart for anything!

I found it had a cumulative effect that I don't want to get too deeply into before more people have a chance to watch. I do recommend Adam Nayman's piece for The Ringer, though.

wayne trotsky (Simon H.), Saturday, 17 November 2018 05:20 (one month ago) Permalink

Also, I think the bros made the right move cramming these stories into one 130-minute movie rather than lavishing all of them with 45 to 60 minutes apiece. I have to imagine at least a few would have dragged considerably.

wayne trotsky (Simon H.), Saturday, 17 November 2018 06:10 (one month ago) Permalink

That said, I think this will be the most common reaction for most audiences:

Report: Holy Shit, There Still 50 Minutes Left In Movie https://t.co/yU7eUVHY5N pic.twitter.com/yCwEVJnz5d

— The Onion (@TheOnion) November 17, 2018

wayne trotsky (Simon H.), Saturday, 17 November 2018 06:37 (one month ago) Permalink

I had to go an hour and a half into the suburbs to get to the one cinema showing it here, but it turns out once you get that far, all tickets are $4 (or $5.50 for 3D)

fucking loved it, would definitely recommend taking a break after the third or fourth if you're watching it on Netflix though

much of it looks really ugly as well, really horrible colouring/contrast

yeah, at the very least the four middle pieces would have benefited from being shot on film, even if still graded as intensely (O Brother is fine by me). the bookends each have such a deliberate artificial tone that it's not necessarily a detriment. and the setting of the final piece may have been easier to shoot with what seemed to be smaller crappier camera? idk

Bing The Mighty Seat (sic), Saturday, 17 November 2018 08:54 (one month ago) Permalink

can understand others getting more out of this tone of coens but people saying this is their best looking film is mind boggling

devvvine, Saturday, 17 November 2018 14:28 (one month ago) Permalink

the digital look didn't bug me, it was clear they were going for a "constructed" look rather than the more classical western vibe of say True Grit

wayne trotsky (Simon H.), Saturday, 17 November 2018 15:22 (one month ago) Permalink

Garbage

F# A# (∞), Monday, 19 November 2018 02:09 (four weeks ago) Permalink

I thought this was fun, though I was in and out of the room so I really only watched Ballad, the Tom Waits gold bit, and the last part with the carriage o'doom. I wasnt looking to be all Comic Book Guy about the film stock though, so ... eh.

Stoop Crone (Trayce), Monday, 19 November 2018 05:27 (four weeks ago) Permalink

summary of opinions expressed so far:

  • inconsequential
  • terrible
  • kind of loved it
  • love it?
  • fucking loved it
  • garbage
  • fun
so, one can see a consensus starting to emerge here, if one stands across the room, is drunk, and squints very hard

A is for (Aimless), Monday, 19 November 2018 05:42 (four weeks ago) Permalink

I missed the longest middle drawn out sombre stories so may have had less of a positivwe take if I'd sat thru the whole thing. The whole YOU HAVE DIED OF DYSENTERY oregon trail bit I did tap out on tbrh.

Stoop Crone (Trayce), Monday, 19 November 2018 05:49 (four weeks ago) Permalink

Plenny a good westerns

This aint one ovvum yahear

F# A# (∞), Monday, 19 November 2018 05:54 (four weeks ago) Permalink

but was it good enough to be entertaining?

A is for (Aimless), Monday, 19 November 2018 05:58 (four weeks ago) Permalink

it's ~entertaining~, but it's six longish short films that are all about death, and how everything we do on earth is striving pointlessly to fill our time and find some diversion and fulfillment during the eyeblink of time that we spend here. a couple of them are comedies.

Bing The Mighty Seat (sic), Monday, 19 November 2018 06:28 (four weeks ago) Permalink

this is brilliant. get fucked, ilx

. (Michael B), Monday, 19 November 2018 09:46 (four weeks ago) Permalink

I'm not sure I like the Coen bros very much, but liked this quite a lot. The short story format means everything has to get to the point, means there's a lot of things to think about. I'm not sure it adds up to anything more than some fairly boring points about life and death and frontier existence.

Frederik B, Monday, 19 November 2018 13:00 (four weeks ago) Permalink

this made me realize I want to see a movie with Tom Waits and Nick Nolte as long-retired PIs chasing down one last case.

wayne trotsky (Simon H.), Monday, 19 November 2018 14:19 (four weeks ago) Permalink

This thread has not yet dampened my anticipation for existential Coen westernisms in the comfort of my home.

change display name (Jordan), Monday, 19 November 2018 14:23 (four weeks ago) Permalink

The Western tropes and the goofiness of the opening/titular segment disguise the fact that this has much more in common tonally and thematically with A Serious Man than with any of their other Westerns or comedies, imo

wayne trotsky (Simon H.), Monday, 19 November 2018 14:26 (four weeks ago) Permalink

Will watch Tom Waits part and then remove from list.

Yerac, Monday, 19 November 2018 14:34 (four weeks ago) Permalink

Stick around for the following episode, you will not regret it.

I enjoyed all of these, except for Meal Ticket, which took its sweet time getting to a very obvious point.

oder doch?, Monday, 19 November 2018 14:55 (four weeks ago) Permalink

I guess I took it as less "obvious" than "inevitable," the natural result of the simple, ruthless everyday calculus. But I found it affecting nonetheless.

wayne trotsky (Simon H.), Monday, 19 November 2018 14:58 (four weeks ago) Permalink

the bookends each have such a deliberate artificial tone that it's not necessarily a detriment

rewatched most of it on TV and the day-for-"night" section of the last story looks like dogshit

Bing The Mighty Seat (sic), Tuesday, 20 November 2018 07:07 (three weeks ago) Permalink

I've had the Surly Joe song stuck in my head for the last two days :(

paolo, Tuesday, 20 November 2018 09:43 (three weeks ago) Permalink

I thought the first story was some brilliant genre satire, and the last one an unnerving meta-commentary on the whole thing, and the four stories in between varying degrees of good to very good. The digital photography bothered me until it didn't, and the Waits story was beautifully shot (the day-for-night stuff in the finale looked phoney, sure, but in a silent movie way that I kind of admired). I didn't even recognize Waits, but I'd get behind a Best Supporting Actor campaign if he's eligible (still not sure how the whole Netflix thing works re: awards). Also, James Franco's best performance either since Freaks and Geeks or ever, for whatever that's worth.

Timothée Charalambides (cryptosicko), Thursday, 22 November 2018 17:45 (three weeks ago) Permalink

I didn't even recognize Franco or a full minute or two because he didn't look like an underfed stringbean. Dude should keep some meat on his bones.

Johnny Fever, Thursday, 22 November 2018 20:37 (three weeks ago) Permalink

I'm sure I've said this somewhere before, but as much as everyone hates to admit it, Franco is a pretty consistently strong actor

wayne trotsky (Simon H.), Thursday, 22 November 2018 20:43 (three weeks ago) Permalink

i didn't quite bust my scruggs to this but it was a diverting 2 hours and change.

( ͡☉ ͜ʖ ͡☉) (jim in vancouver), Thursday, 22 November 2018 20:58 (three weeks ago) Permalink

I liked Franco's bit. "First time?" made me lol.

Stoop Crone (Trayce), Friday, 23 November 2018 00:29 (three weeks ago) Permalink

He's good at doing that bewildered "wtf is going on" thing.

Stoop Crone (Trayce), Friday, 23 November 2018 00:29 (three weeks ago) Permalink

I’m sure Franco’s been in loads of rubbish, but he’s capable to v good in the things I’ve seen him in

the next film I saw in the cinema after Scruggs was Addams Family Values (for the first time), lol at the range of unexpected Krumholtzery in the pair

Bing The Mighty Seat (sic), Friday, 23 November 2018 08:58 (three weeks ago) Permalink

this was so good

iatee, Saturday, 24 November 2018 04:41 (three weeks ago) Permalink

I also loved it. Giving owl looks to the haters.

Tom: I do all the bills. (Sufjan Grafton), Saturday, 24 November 2018 07:25 (three weeks ago) Permalink

This is excellent. My fave Cohens since "A Serious Man".

An Uphill Battle For Legumes (Capitaine Jay Vee), Saturday, 24 November 2018 13:55 (three weeks ago) Permalink

The Kazan one kind of dragged for me. And there was a missed opportunity not showing the Arthur character attempt to deliver the bad news without making it seem like HE did it to keep Billy as an employee... and yes that may or may not be the “obvious” consequence teased in the closing scene but I imagine most people assume it is just meant to imply “Arthur is dreading giving his buddy the sad news”.

Everything leading up to that moment felt a little slow watching them think through how she will negotiate her financial issue, and then the proposal conversation... Maybe I just wasn’t detecting enough chemistry? idk

Evan, Saturday, 24 November 2018 15:09 (three weeks ago) Permalink

I kind of liked the anti-romantic nature of their courtship

Number None, Saturday, 24 November 2018 15:25 (three weeks ago) Permalink

I don't think the possible consequence Evn mentions is supported by what we know about those characters.

For me that segment works for the ambiguity of Arthur's level of engagement with the situation (until the climax), the herky-jerky rhythms of Billy and Alice's courtship, and of course the Coens' facility for building a little nested comic tragedy of tiny errors and massive consequences out of not much of anything.

resident hack (Simon H.), Saturday, 24 November 2018 15:49 (three weeks ago) Permalink

buster being a live action looney tunes character was unexpected and ridiculous

mh, Saturday, 24 November 2018 19:42 (three weeks ago) Permalink

I've had the Surly Joe song stuck in my head for the last two days :(

― paolo, Tuesday, November 20, 2018 4:43 AM (five days ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

Likewise. The soundtrack is on Spotify, but I just found that "Surly Joe" doesn't play nearly as well out of context. Carter Burwell's score is (typically) beautiful, though.

Timothée Charalambides (cryptosicko), Sunday, 25 November 2018 19:58 (three weeks ago) Permalink

were you guys also bothered by how buster scruggs managed to be such an amazing shot, and how the chicken could do math

i think the chicken did math w/ the bell they'd ring it probably when it was near the right number or something like that - counting animals are all over vaudeville + side show history

Mordy, Thursday, 6 December 2018 04:25 (one week ago) Permalink

1. the gal who got rattled
2. meal ticket
3. the ballad of buster scruggs
4. all gold canyon
5. near algodones
6. the mortal remains

overall thought this was ok. it looked really nice and had some good acting but it didn't really hit me.

na (NA), Thursday, 6 December 2018 13:06 (one week ago) Permalink

this felt so thin and nothingy. some of the photography and scenery was really beautiful, but the stories were really inconsequential

single bed mentality (||||||||), Thursday, 6 December 2018 13:08 (one week ago) Permalink

i agree - a few got by on pathos or novelty but the rest felt thin

na (NA), Thursday, 6 December 2018 13:22 (one week ago) Permalink

near algodones felt like they came up with the "first time?" line and worked backwards (though stephen root was funny)

na (NA), Thursday, 6 December 2018 13:24 (one week ago) Permalink

I don't think these were "nothingy" at all. Felt maybe similarly during watching like "just ending with that huh" and then you're right on to the next one, but they sit well in memory and have more meat on their bones than might be immediately apparent.

circa1916, Thursday, 6 December 2018 13:34 (one week ago) Permalink

That guy sure looked like a leprechaun to me

Οὖτις, Saturday, 8 December 2018 18:30 (one week ago) Permalink

1. Leprechauns are little men. It's kind of their defining characteristic
2. Leprechauns do not wield guns
3. Leprechauns are creatures of Irish myth. Why would you put one in a film dealing with classic Western tropes?

Number None, Saturday, 8 December 2018 18:34 (one week ago) Permalink

Gold

Οὖτις, Saturday, 8 December 2018 18:36 (one week ago) Permalink

That guy sure looked like a leprechaun to me

THANK YOU

Johnny Fever, Saturday, 8 December 2018 18:41 (one week ago) Permalink

Yeah I'm down with the leprechaun notion.

WmC, Saturday, 8 December 2018 18:52 (one week ago) Permalink

Yeah, I can't tell who's serious anymore but I'm with VG and Number None on this one.

Locked in silent monologue, in silent scream (Sund4r), Saturday, 8 December 2018 19:11 (one week ago) Permalink

Loved Conrad Hilton’s tedious speechifying in the final segment

Οὖτις, Sunday, 9 December 2018 16:32 (one week ago) Permalink

It's too long ago to remember it exactly but there's a pause in his speech and then someone asks him a question and the looks on everyone's faces really got me.

ryan, Sunday, 9 December 2018 16:55 (one week ago) Permalink

Loved Conrad Hilton’s tedious speechifying in the final segment

I was too distracted/delighted by the presence of Saul Rubinek to notice that this was that guy!

resident hack (Simon H.), Sunday, 9 December 2018 17:12 (one week ago) Permalink

he was great

Squeaky Fromage (VegemiteGrrl), Sunday, 9 December 2018 18:41 (one week ago) Permalink

The more i think about this overall, the more I like it

Οὖτις, Sunday, 9 December 2018 19:01 (one week ago) Permalink

I like the final segment a lot. It's funny and it's nice to have one that's all dialogue, since the others are filled with characters who either don't talk much or are having one-sided conversations.

change display name (Jordan), Sunday, 9 December 2018 19:22 (one week ago) Permalink

this was a lot better than i had expected. still somewhat half-assed in execution and obviously "a minor work" as you'd expect for a netflix orig, but imo the episodic structure is a good venue for that. the violence was fun

flopson, Monday, 10 December 2018 03:00 (one week ago) Permalink

I just read the Jack London story that the Tom Waits segment is based on. Nothing about a leprechaun in there (although we can't dismiss the possibility of the Coens taking some artistic license)

Number None, Tuesday, 11 December 2018 21:39 (six days ago) Permalink

each segment should've ended in a freeze frame that morphs into a comic book page. then the crypt keeper comes on and makes some wacky macabre pun about the ordeal.

andrew m., Tuesday, 11 December 2018 22:35 (six days ago) Permalink

plus cackling

andrew m., Tuesday, 11 December 2018 22:37 (six days ago) Permalink

although we can't dismiss the possibility of the Coens taking some artistic license

That's my thinking. I mean, why wouldn't they?

Johnny Fever, Tuesday, 11 December 2018 23:13 (six days ago) Permalink

I shared the leprechaun theory with a colleague at my department Christmas party last night, and he laughed for a solid minute.

Timothée Charalambides (cryptosicko), Tuesday, 11 December 2018 23:22 (six days ago) Permalink

I'ma die on this hill I guess.

Johnny Fever, Tuesday, 11 December 2018 23:25 (six days ago) Permalink

the funny thing is it's the kind of detail that's open to interpretation (imo) and also totally inconsequential to the general tenor of the story

Οὖτις, Tuesday, 11 December 2018 23:26 (six days ago) Permalink

Yeah. It's in no way important to the story itself. It's completely a creation of the costume designer and maybe/maybe not the Coens being silly.

Johnny Fever, Tuesday, 11 December 2018 23:28 (six days ago) Permalink

there is a supernatural air to this passage from the story tbf

He did not spring up nor look around. He did not move. He was considering the nature of the premonition he had received, trying to locate the source of the mysterious force that had warned him, striving to sense the imperative presence of the unseen thing that threatened him. There is an aura of things hostile, made manifest by messengers refined for the senses to know; and this aura he felt, but knew not how he felt it. His was the feeling as when a cloud passes over the sun. It seemed that between him and life had passed something dark and smothering and menacing; a gloom, as it were, that swallowed up life and made for death—his death.

Every force of his being impelled him to spring up and confront the unseen danger, but his soul dominated the panic, and he remained squatting on his heels, in his hands a chunk of gold. He did not dare to look around, but he knew by now that there was something behind him and above him. He made believe to be interested in the gold in his hand. He examined it critically, turned it over and over, and rubbed the dirt from it. And all the time he knew that something behind him was looking at the gold over his shoulder. Still feigning interest in the chunk of gold in his hand, he listened intently and he heard the breathing of the thing behind him. Possibly it was a leprechaun of some kind.

Number None, Tuesday, 11 December 2018 23:33 (six days ago) Permalink

lol

change display name (Jordan), Tuesday, 11 December 2018 23:42 (six days ago) Permalink

impeccable timing

A is for (Aimless), Tuesday, 11 December 2018 23:44 (six days ago) Permalink

HAHAHA

Johnny Fever, Wednesday, 12 December 2018 01:03 (five days ago) Permalink

excellent

Sufjan Grafton, Wednesday, 12 December 2018 01:20 (five days ago) Permalink

I need to rewatch, but I totally think it's possible the Coens saw the Leprechaun parallels and played into it a bit without literally trying to say the dude was a Leprechaun.

circa1916, Wednesday, 12 December 2018 01:28 (five days ago) Permalink

Leprechauns? That's where the Coens are Vikings!

A is for (Aimless), Wednesday, 12 December 2018 02:23 (five days ago) Permalink

Leprechaun Returns out today fyi

Οὖτις, Wednesday, 12 December 2018 02:52 (five days ago) Permalink

n 'All Gold Canyon,' the stranger/claim jumper who shot Tom Waits' prospector in the back was actually a leprechaun protecting his "pot o' gold," y/n?

He's wearing all green, he's appears out of nowhere, and he doesn't act with any urgency to collect the gold Waits found. He, instead, smokes a cigarette calmly and sits down like "got another one."

When I first read this, I thought you were literally saying that the character is a leprechaun and this is a salient part of the plot, which seemed far-fetched. If the idea is more that the costume designer was drawing on leprechaun-like archetypes in the character's outfit, as a sort of joke, without it necessarily making the character a leprechaun in any substantive way that would matter to the story, that does seem more plausible.

Locked in silent monologue, in silent scream (Sund4r), Wednesday, 12 December 2018 03:51 (five days ago) Permalink

what if leprechauns were just a mythical representation of claim jumpers the whole time? always hoarding gold, just out of our reach

mh, Wednesday, 12 December 2018 03:53 (five days ago) Permalink

In the original Jack London story, the fact that the gold does NOT belong to the claim jumper is absolutely essential to the story. Even hinting that this was in some way a legitimate act, protecting the murderer's legitimate rights to the gold turns the entire story on its head.

But such a reversal of roles makes zero sense. The deeper moral outrage of the story is predicated on the idea that, not only does the stranger murder the prospector for the gold, but he purposely waits around before killing him, so the prospector would do all the hard physical work for him. He not just greedy and violent, he's lazy, too.

A is for (Aimless), Wednesday, 12 December 2018 04:01 (five days ago) Permalink

did anyone imply the claim jumper was ever in the right

mh, Wednesday, 12 December 2018 04:12 (five days ago) Permalink

I mean, it would be implied if he was a leprechaun...

change display name (Jordan), Wednesday, 12 December 2018 04:13 (five days ago) Permalink

so mythical beings have property rights now? pshaw

mh, Wednesday, 12 December 2018 04:19 (five days ago) Permalink

ersatz pshaw. I'm not buying it.

A is for (Aimless), Wednesday, 12 December 2018 04:32 (five days ago) Permalink

I need to rewatch, but I totally think it's possible the Coens saw the Leprechaun parallels and played into it a bit without literally trying to say the dude was a Leprechaun.

― circa1916, Tuesday, December 11, 2018 8:28 PM (three hours ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

Thank you! Seriously...

Evan, Wednesday, 12 December 2018 04:47 (five days ago) Permalink

Just what are the property rights of leprechauns, this needs to be sorted out

Οὖτις, Wednesday, 12 December 2018 05:22 (five days ago) Permalink

They own this shit over here, ok?

https://media.fromthegrapevine.com/assets/images/2017/2/rainbow-israel-0208.jpg.480x0_q71_crop-scale.jpg

Evan, Wednesday, 12 December 2018 05:42 (five days ago) Permalink

Aimless otm

“claim jumper is a leprechaun” makes the whole story so on the nose as to be pointless. leave Johnny Fever to his lucky charms fanfic, i beg you all

Squeaky Fromage (VegemiteGrrl), Wednesday, 12 December 2018 06:31 (five days ago) Permalink

hmmm, you eat lucky charms from a cereal bowl

Sufjan Grafton, Wednesday, 12 December 2018 07:15 (five days ago) Permalink

I started watching this. First 2 segments are solid gold. 3rd is weird but kind of interesting. 4th is kinda boring so far.

o. nate, Saturday, 15 December 2018 03:47 (two days ago) Permalink


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