Author Topic: The Ballad of Buster Scruggs  (Read 3092 times)

DolphinFace

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The Ballad of Buster Scruggs
« on: November 09, 2018, 10:27:26 PM »
What's the deal with this then?

Seemed to get a few rave reviews while being shown at a film festival in August but then nothing. Any idea whether it's being released in UK Cinemas?

Re: The Ballad of Buster Scruggs
« Reply #1 on: November 09, 2018, 10:33:59 PM »
It's coming to Netflix next Friday.

Re: The Ballad of Buster Scruggs
« Reply #2 on: November 10, 2018, 12:19:05 AM »
Saw a review saying that it felt like leftovers from over the years (I believe only one of the six segments was written with this actual piece in mind), but the writer felt he’d maybe enjoy it more in a home binge (he’d seen it at the cinema).

Sounds odd that it was originally going to be a six part series but got boiled down to a feature?

I found their last feature enjoyable but very forgettable and slight.

FerriswheelBueller

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Re: The Ballad of Buster Scruggs
« Reply #3 on: November 16, 2018, 10:32:52 PM »
Got tickets to see this next week. I have no opinion about it really.

Re: The Ballad of Buster Scruggs
« Reply #4 on: November 17, 2018, 08:18:49 AM »
It's on Netflix now and it's super.

Re: The Ballad of Buster Scruggs
« Reply #5 on: November 17, 2018, 05:40:27 PM »
It was very entertaining, 6 or 7 vignettes set in the Wild Wests of America.

The stories are very loose on narrative structure, more like snapshots of certain characters in certain places. They often have little resolution, leaving you kind of shrugging your shoulders and saying "...fair enough"

Another weird thing is the dynamic flow of the stories...they begin ridiculously cartoonish and silly and slowly get more and more slow paced and dialogue-led, the final one seeming a bit anti.climactic as a result. I imagine it must have been a deliberate choice to sequence them in this way.

I feel like Im bitching, as I really enjoyed it overall. Just incredibly well made and plenty of good turns. I just wouldnt take it too seriously or look for much depth and enjoy it for what is; a formless dramtization of the old west. The more outlandish bits feel a bit like RDR2 the movie!

Rev+

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Re: The Ballad of Buster Scruggs
« Reply #6 on: November 17, 2018, 11:20:45 PM »
Another weird thing is the dynamic flow of the stories...they begin ridiculously cartoonish and silly and slowly get more and more slow paced and dialogue-led, the final one seeming a bit anti.climactic as a result. I imagine it must have been a deliberate choice to sequence them in this way.

As they're supposedly stories written by Ethan Coen over a 25 year period, I did wonder if they were presented in the order they were written.  The first story really does feel like the kind of stuff they were doing when they started out.  The Tom Waits segment is a bit of an outlier as it's a very faithful adaptation of a Jack London story, and was definitely the highlight for me.

I really liked this, but would have preferred to see it as a six episode series.  The first three stories don't feel complete, like they had to be compromised a bit to allow the last three to breathe.

Re: The Ballad of Buster Scruggs
« Reply #7 on: November 18, 2018, 06:27:47 AM »
Makes it sound rather like Hail Caesar! to me which I thought was passable(above the Clooney comedies of the 00's IMHO) but not something I'm in a hurry to watch again.

kalowski

  • Sooner or later
Re: The Ballad of Buster Scruggs
« Reply #8 on: November 18, 2018, 01:18:47 PM »
I loved it. The Tom Waits section is delightful, and when he sings I just wished for a new album.
The Liam Neeson one is dark, isn't it?
I think my favourite was The Gal Who Got Rattled and the first one my least favourite, although it was utterly silly and so still enjoyable.

non capisco

  • I'm going through the motions like a champ
Re: The Ballad of Buster Scruggs
« Reply #9 on: November 18, 2018, 08:07:42 PM »
Bit of a curate's egg for me but for the most part a very enjoyable one. 'The Gal Who Got Rattled' and Tom Waits story were exceptional. I could have watched Waits panning for gold and muttering to himself in real time over a whole day, that whole segment looked stunning. Less enamoured with the Liam Neeson story and the final one on the stagecoach which I don't feel really achieved what they were going for, although the former had a sideshow barker advertising a chicken that was supposed to be able to answer maths questions as "The pecking Pythagorean!" which delighted me, pure Coen Brothers.

No spoilers but the way Buster Scruggs despatched one of his opponents really made me laugh out loud in surprise, the expression on Tim Blake Nelson's face was something else.

Re: The Ballad of Buster Scruggs
« Reply #10 on: November 19, 2018, 04:51:33 PM »
hi is this as good as The Legend of Bagger Vance?

BlodwynPig

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Re: The Ballad of Buster Scruggs
« Reply #11 on: November 19, 2018, 07:33:35 PM »
Got tickets to see this next week. I have no opinion about it really.

*Buster Sparkles high fives out of thread*

FerriswheelBueller

  • Bautista with a drive, deep left-field!
    • I am antsy for baseball in the off-season.
Re: The Ballad of Buster Scruggs
« Reply #12 on: November 19, 2018, 09:09:39 PM »
*Buster Sparkles high fives out of thread*

He wouldn’t like it. Too many Irish guys, am I right? High five!

Re: The Ballad of Buster Scruggs
« Reply #13 on: November 19, 2018, 10:42:25 PM »
I've been confused by Coen Bros films since A Serious Man. Inside Llewyn Davies and Hail, Caesar! are a lot of fun to watch but they go absolutely nowhere. And I love an aimless film more that anyone, but it seems like they're trying to say something deep but it's hard to grasp exactly what.

Do any of these films add up to anything? Buster Scruggs certainly doesn't, and like all their post-Serious Man stuff it's kind of a frustrating experience.

There's a couple of things I'm thinking about, The Timberlake, Adam Driver, Oscar Isaac trio singing the Mr President song in ILD and all the odd little vignettes in Hail, Caesar! they seem like wonderful little precision parodies, but I doubt the majority of the audience (including me) have a clue as to what they're parodying. That said self-indulgence is much more preferable to algorithm-based netflix junk like Bright and Mute.

Neomod

  • Oh my genitals | I'm a janitor
Re: The Ballad of Buster Scruggs
« Reply #14 on: November 20, 2018, 10:49:55 AM »
I enjoyed these little vignettes. The film reminded me a bit of Wisconsin Death Trip (1999) in tone.

Dannyhood91

  • I thought you said KING AAARTHUUUR!
Re: The Ballad of Buster Scruggs
« Reply #15 on: November 22, 2018, 04:06:24 PM »
Im watching this for the second time this week I love it that much

FerriswheelBueller

  • Bautista with a drive, deep left-field!
    • I am antsy for baseball in the off-season.
Re: The Ballad of Buster Scruggs
« Reply #16 on: November 22, 2018, 08:59:50 PM »
Just back from watching this on the big screen. Will post my thoughts when I’ve had more time to digest but first impressions - I really liked it.

Re: The Ballad of Buster Scruggs
« Reply #17 on: November 23, 2018, 08:05:55 AM »
Loved it. I feel especially haunted by ‘Meal Ticket’. The lack of dialogue by between Neeson’s character and his act, the helpless dependence he required of Neeson. The ending of which was bleak but expected. 

Mobius

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Re: The Ballad of Buster Scruggs
« Reply #18 on: November 23, 2018, 12:17:27 PM »
Yeah I really enjoyed all of it. Looks beautiful, great sparse dialogue and intriguing little stories.

Re: The Ballad of Buster Scruggs
« Reply #19 on: November 23, 2018, 01:25:49 PM »
I almost thought that the love story between the cowboy and the stranded sister would have been a sweet The Straight Story-esque ray of light in a series of macabre tales, but no dice.

Liked them all, although I agree that the ending did seem a bit anticlimactic, being as it was already pretty obvious there was a dead body on the roof, and the twist was that there was a dead body on the roof.  Maybe the real twist was that the coachman drove away with all their luggage?

FerriswheelBueller

  • Bautista with a drive, deep left-field!
    • I am antsy for baseball in the off-season.
Re: The Ballad of Buster Scruggs
« Reply #20 on: November 23, 2018, 07:45:08 PM »
Anyone else catch the outrageous cameo from Finchy in the second story? Just remembered that. Laughed out loud at the audacity of it.

kalowski

  • Sooner or later
Re: The Ballad of Buster Scruggs
« Reply #21 on: November 23, 2018, 07:48:56 PM »
Anyone else catch the outrageous cameo from Finchy in the second story? Just remembered that. Laughed out loud at the audacity of it.
I had to blink a few times to see it was really him. I liked what happened to him, too.

QDRPHNC

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Re: The Ballad of Buster Scruggs
« Reply #22 on: November 23, 2018, 08:12:12 PM »
I've been confused by Coen Bros films since A Serious Man. Inside Llewyn Davies and Hail, Caesar! are a lot of fun to watch but they go absolutely nowhere. And I love an aimless film more that anyone, but it seems like they're trying to say something deep but it's hard to grasp exactly what.

I'd agree with you to an extent with ILD, but I adore both ASM and HC, but I don't think either of them are saying anything particularly deep (something along the lines of, take a stand and be yourself respectively). But as Roger Ebert says, it's not what they're about, it's how they are about it.

There's definitely more to unpack in A Serious Man, but Hail Caesar I thought I very very entertaining.

Re: The Ballad of Buster Scruggs
« Reply #23 on: November 23, 2018, 09:49:17 PM »
I liked it more than anything the Coens have done since A Serious Man for pure entertainment value, but the stories aren’t especially good in and of themselves for the most part and pretty much consist of “there was this person, then all of this, then they got killed”.  The James Franco one felt especially pointless in this regard.  But there are enough good scenes and characters to make that insubstantiality forgivable.

Re: The Ballad of Buster Scruggs
« Reply #24 on: November 24, 2018, 09:41:11 PM »
This is basically Jam in the wild West.

Re: The Ballad of Buster Scruggs
« Reply #25 on: November 24, 2018, 09:50:25 PM »
Liked them all, although I agree that the ending did seem a bit anticlimactic, being as it was already pretty obvious there was a dead body on the roof, and the twist was that there was a dead body on the roof.

I don't think that was the twist...

Blinder Data

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Re: The Ballad of Buster Scruggs
« Reply #26 on: November 25, 2018, 12:36:00 AM »
IMO 'the gal who got rattled' dragged, and overall I think it could've done with some trimming. Likewise the last one with Derren Brown/Dom from the Bungalow didn't seem to go anywhere.

But the Tom Waits one was stellar, with the Liam Neeson segment second best.

First Coens bros film to done on digital and you could tell. I found the colouristaion and bad CGI pretty distracting. Also it would've been nice to include Native Americans in a way that wasn't "traditional western" and therefore racist.

6.7/10

neveragain

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Re: The Ballad of Buster Scruggs
« Reply #27 on: November 25, 2018, 01:07:10 AM »
I don't think that was the twist...

I thought it was going to be a clever double bluff but then what they were implying would happen happened... and it was a bit limp. Also, if they were all heading to the afterlife (which - spoiler - is what I think was happening, and maybe I'm completely wrong) how does the dead body make sense? Everyone else is still seemingly alive. Before being dead.

FerriswheelBueller

  • Bautista with a drive, deep left-field!
    • I am antsy for baseball in the off-season.
Re: The Ballad of Buster Scruggs
« Reply #28 on: November 25, 2018, 01:14:17 AM »
I thought it was going to be a clever double bluff but then what they were implying would happen happened... and it was a bit limp. Also, if they were all heading to the afterlife (which - spoiler - is what I think was happening, and maybe I'm completely wrong) how does the dead body make sense? Everyone else is still seemingly alive. Before being dead.

They realize they are all dead and the corpse literally hanging over them sort of... hangs over them. It’s more of a allegory than anything else, and very well acted in close quarters. I liked it anyway.

Re: The Ballad of Buster Scruggs
« Reply #29 on: November 25, 2018, 01:15:41 AM »
Genuinely one of the most boring things I’ve ever seen. I actually paused it to check how long was left. That was at 50 minutes, eith 1hr20mins remaining. Unbearable. Fast forwarded through the rest and read the plot details on Wikipedia.

Edit: the last one is an allegory for dying. The English guy pretty much spells it out with huis spiel about «watching them try to make sense of the passage». Also, «the driver never stops» (death).