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 (five months ago) Permalink

I'm into it

been in a super-western mood lately, myself

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

excellent cast, as would be expected

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

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

devvvine, Friday, 16 November 2018 22:33 (three months ago) Permalink

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

Chris L, Saturday, 17 November 2018 02:47 (three months ago) Permalink

I kind of loved it

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

what does that mean?

brokenshire (jed_), Saturday, 17 November 2018 04:59 (three months ago) Permalink

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

brokenshire (jed_), Saturday, 17 November 2018 05:03 (three months 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 (three months 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 (three months 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 (three months 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 (three months 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 (three months 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 (three months 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 (three months ago) Permalink

Garbage

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

Plenny a good westerns

This aint one ovvum yahear

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

but was it good enough to be entertaining?

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

this is brilliant. get fucked, ilx

. (Michael B), Monday, 19 November 2018 09:46 (three months 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 (three months 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 (three months 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 (three months 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 (three months ago) Permalink

Will watch Tom Waits part and then remove from list.

Yerac, Monday, 19 November 2018 14:34 (three months 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 (three months 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 (three months 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 months 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 months 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 (two months 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 (two months 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 (two months 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 (two months ago) Permalink

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

Stoop Crone (Trayce), Friday, 23 November 2018 00:29 (two months ago) Permalink

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

Stoop Crone (Trayce), Friday, 23 November 2018 00:29 (two months 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 (two months ago) Permalink

this was so good

iatee, Saturday, 24 November 2018 04:41 (two months 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 (two months 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 (two months 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 (two months ago) Permalink

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

Number None, Saturday, 24 November 2018 15:25 (two months 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 (two months ago) Permalink

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

mh, Saturday, 24 November 2018 19:42 (two months 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 (two months ago) Permalink

impeccable timing

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

HAHAHA

Johnny Fever, Wednesday, 12 December 2018 01:03 (two months ago) Permalink

excellent

Sufjan Grafton, Wednesday, 12 December 2018 01:20 (two months 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 (two months ago) Permalink

Leprechauns? That's where the Coens are Vikings!

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

Leprechaun Returns out today fyi

Οὖτις, Wednesday, 12 December 2018 02:52 (two months 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 (two months 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 (two months 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 (two months ago) Permalink

did anyone imply the claim jumper was ever in the right

mh, Wednesday, 12 December 2018 04:12 (two months ago) Permalink

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

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

so mythical beings have property rights now? pshaw

mh, Wednesday, 12 December 2018 04:19 (two months ago) Permalink

ersatz pshaw. I'm not buying it.

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

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

Οὖτις, Wednesday, 12 December 2018 05:22 (two months 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 (two months 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 (two months ago) Permalink

hmmm, you eat lucky charms from a cereal bowl

Sufjan Grafton, Wednesday, 12 December 2018 07:15 (two months 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 months ago) Permalink

I generally liked this! No outright bad episodes -- though the most promising, with Zoe Kazan and Bill Heck, is where I overdosed on the cruelty -- and several ace ones, including the Tom Waits prospector and "The Meal Ticket."

I am familiar with counting chickens in sideshows.

a Mets fan who gave up on everything in the mid '80s (Dr Morbius), Thursday, 20 December 2018 05:36 (two months ago) Permalink

Yeah, “Meal Ticket” and “The Prospector” are def the two that have stayed with me the most, I still think about them a lot.

also where do you stand on ‘claimjumper is a leprechaun’

Squeaky Fromage (VegemiteGrrl), Thursday, 20 December 2018 05:48 (two months ago) Permalink

hadn't occurred to me, sure n' begorrah

a Mets fan who gave up on everything in the mid '80s (Dr Morbius), Thursday, 20 December 2018 11:37 (two months ago) Permalink

I'm willing to accept the guy as a leprechaun because it's not the only, or even the most, unrealistic thing in the episode. The prospector gets shot in the back and just carries on like nbd? They're both supernatural beings!

WmC, Thursday, 20 December 2018 13:46 (two months ago) Permalink

I honestly thought that happens all the time in the US tbh.

calzino, Thursday, 20 December 2018 13:52 (two months ago) Permalink

"Hyper-resilient old prospector" makes more sense to me in the context of a Western homage than "gun-wielding, smoking, human-sized leprechaun stopping by from Celtic myths to protect a pocket of gold".

Locked in silent monologue, in silent scream (Sund4r), Thursday, 20 December 2018 14:31 (two months ago) Permalink

Tbf I never said he WAS a leprechaun, I said he LOOKED like a leprechaun

Οὖτις, Thursday, 20 December 2018 15:30 (two months 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

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

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

Evan, Thursday, 20 December 2018 15:51 (two months ago) Permalink

"Hyper-resilient old prospector" makes more sense to me in the context of a Western homage than "gun-wielding, smoking, human-sized leprechaun stopping by from Celtic myths to protect a pocket of gold".

― Locked in silent monologue, in silent scream (Sund4r), Thursday, December 20, 2018 9:31 AM (one hour ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

Coen Brothers, meet Neil Gaiman's American Gods. Gaiman, meet the Coen Brothers.

I Feel Bad About My Butt (j.lu), Thursday, 20 December 2018 15:59 (two months ago) Permalink

The prospector gets shot in the back and just carries on like nbd?

IT DINT HIT NOTHIN' IMPORTANT

a Mets fan who gave up on everything in the mid '80s (Dr Morbius), Thursday, 20 December 2018 17:25 (two months ago) Permalink

Johnny Fever originated the leprechaun theory, and as far as I can tell he did mean a literal leprechaun

Number None, Thursday, 20 December 2018 17:26 (two months ago) Permalink

yeah, well

Οὖτις, Thursday, 20 December 2018 17:28 (two months ago) Permalink

btw Nelson, Kazan and Bill Heck did a Q&A after the screening at MoMA last night. Nelson said he first saw a script or treatment for his segment in 2002, I think?

Kazan said she prepared by re-reading Willa Cather. Not the history ("I'd done a shit-ton of research for Meek's Cutoff" -- which i'd forgotten she was in).

The digitalness of the imagery was distracting at times, like in the opening scene, where I doubt TB Nelson was anywhere near Monument Valley.

a Mets fan who gave up on everything in the mid '80s (Dr Morbius), Thursday, 20 December 2018 17:30 (two months ago) Permalink

The whole YOU HAVE DIED OF DYSENTERY oregon trail bit I did tap out on tbrh

cholera, i'm pretty sure

a Mets fan who gave up on everything in the mid '80s (Dr Morbius), Thursday, 20 December 2018 18:18 (two months ago) Permalink

this was def the hottest i've seen Franco looking in years... but Bill Heck tops him (heh heh)

a Mets fan who gave up on everything in the mid '80s (Dr Morbius), Thursday, 20 December 2018 21:17 (two months ago) Permalink

I not only found Franco attractive in the film (which is rare) but I actually enjoyed his performance (which is even rarer).

Timothée Charalambides (cryptosicko), Thursday, 20 December 2018 21:50 (two months ago) Permalink

I feel like there was some kind of deliberate cross-reference between "PAN SHOT" and "PRAIRIE DOG" or whatever the wagon train guy yelled

sleeve, Thursday, 20 December 2018 21:53 (two months ago) Permalink

the first episode is an extended Singing Cowboy joke... it's hard to believe how many singing cowboys on film there were in the '30s and '40s. Roy Rogers was the only one who endured.

a Mets fan who gave up on everything in the mid '80s (Dr Morbius), Thursday, 20 December 2018 22:22 (two months ago) Permalink

I was trying to think of a name of another one besides Roy while watching it and sadly drew a blank

Οὖτις, Thursday, 20 December 2018 22:26 (two months ago) Permalink

Gene Autry was the only other one I'm really familiar with

Οὖτις, Thursday, 20 December 2018 22:26 (two months ago) Permalink

Yeah gene autry has endured. His Xmas songs get a lot of play

( ͡☉ ͜ʖ ͡☉) (jim in vancouver), Thursday, 20 December 2018 22:28 (two months ago) Permalink

I watched a Ken Maynard one the other night for lols and it was weird as hell.

WmC, Thursday, 20 December 2018 22:29 (two months ago) Permalink

Yes, Autry def #2 (and possibly richer!) but have you ever seen any of his films? My God, there are 97 on Letterboxd; I wonder how many exceed 55 minutes, or weren't serials.

Check out the plot of this one:

https://letterboxd.com/film/the-phantom-empire-1935/

a Mets fan who gave up on everything in the mid '80s (Dr Morbius), Thursday, 20 December 2018 22:33 (two months ago) Permalink

sounds right up my alley

Οὖτις, Thursday, 20 December 2018 22:48 (two months ago) Permalink

Yeah I wasn't responding to circa or Shakey.

Locked in silent monologue, in silent scream (Sund4r), Thursday, 20 December 2018 23:56 (two months ago) Permalink

two months pass...

I'm on team leprechaun, you guys don't deserve JF.

Van Horn Street, Wednesday, 20 February 2019 04:26 (twelve hours ago) Permalink

rmde

Squeaky Fromage (VegemiteGrrl), Wednesday, 20 February 2019 04:27 (twelve hours ago) Permalink

Leprechaun lies in the eyes of the beholder imo

Van Horn Street, Wednesday, 20 February 2019 04:29 (twelve hours ago) Permalink

You can think any damn thing you like. Just don't pester me with your sad delusions.

A is for (Aimless), Wednesday, 20 February 2019 04:34 (eleven hours ago) Permalink

^ not new board description

steven, soda jerk (sic), Wednesday, 20 February 2019 04:45 (eleven hours ago) Permalink


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