Thursday, March 22, 2007


The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada. Jesus H. Christ, what did Barry Pepper ever do to anyone? I haven't seen an actor put through such an ordeal, physically and psychologically, since The Wages of Fear, and that was made over 50 years ago. This was a more grueling and intense role than Raging Bull or The Passion of the Christ. In fact, it should've been called The Passion of Whatever Barry Pepper's Character's Name Was.

This was hard to watch. It was basically a torture film, with Tommy Lee Jones forcing Pepper to drag his dead friend from Texas into Mexico across terrain that would've chased Lawrence right out of Arabia.

It's possible that this was a satire and/or deconstruction of a traditional Western, like Unforgiven, but it seemed to be played pretty straight. It had a strong forward momentum that made it hard to turn away from. All in all, I liked it, although not nearly as much as Lone Star, which shared a setting and some elements of the plot.

Oh yeah, and Dwight Yoakam was great again, after nearly stealing Sling Blade and Panic Room right out from under some big name, trained Actors. He's a natural.

Stop The War.

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