Misery on screen is a delicate balance. Unless the director is insane, it’s a horror movie, a horrible movie, or you happen to be making just about anything modern for HBO or Netflix. Did you know life is a big meat grinder? I mean, you could die, like, right now. Your favorite doggy or kitty is one heartbeat away from Happy Pet Valhalla. HBO and Netflix are happy to remind of this.
Oh Amazon is in on the game too. Did you enjoy the fun, excitement, and adventure of the original Avengers or Guardians? I mean, before superhero films became bloated and impossible to watch noise factories? Well, don’t worry! Amazon is here to help you feel awesome with something called The Boys where everybody is evil and human life is expended faster than Zimbabwean currency.
We’ve discussed this concept before. And we recently rewatched another movie that properly handles misery on screen, and it’s Unforgiven, and it’s a legendary movie.
I haven’t seen the movie in a long time. It’s way better than I remembered it. Hell you can’t go too wrong when you get Eastwood, Freeman, Hackman, and Harris on screen. And with Eastwood behind the camera? Sold. Get these four dudes in a movie where they drunkenly argue over which used couch to buy and I’d still adore it. It totally blows that Harris is gone and that the other three don’t have too many years left. Fuck Clooney and his toolish modern ilk. All these modern leading men are con man actors compared to these four masters.
Eastwood goes full on reproduction of his still awesome and classic Western roles. The tone is a perfect other side of the same coin. And yet, because Eastwood is a master and not a Hollywood tool, the film doesn’t come across as a pathetic, politically based, beat audience over head with a message disaster. You can truly love Dollars I and Dollars II for what they are. And love Unforgiven for what it is. And you truly enjoy, understand, and agree with the messages of all three movies.
Eastwood will one day be missed as a director, in a way we can’t even imagine yet. Even Sully, the most basic of plots that has a running time of 43 minutes, is a decent watch and well worth your time. Eastwood is still directing, he’s gonna die on set. It’s appropriate, a heroic way for him to go. I just hope it’s a long, long time from now.