Controversial opinion here: The Coen Brothers are very good filmmakers, and their latest movie, “The Ballad of Buster Scruggs,” is also very good.
Still, it’s not hard to see why the movie was made by Netflix, rather than a major Hollywood studio. “Buster Scruggs” is one of the Coens’ less commercially promising films, an anthology of six short stories set in the Wild West — and while there are plenty of familiar faces, they usually belong to talented character actors, rather than bankable stars.
Jordan Crook couldn’t join us for this week’s episode of the Original Content podcast, but Anthony Ha and Brian Heater gamely attempt to cover all the things that make the film a delight, including an opening segment about the deadly singing cowboy Buster Scruggs, who’s played by Tim Blake Nelson. We were also impressed by “Meal Ticket,” a nearly dialogue-free story about the relationship between a young actor and his traveling companion, and “All Gold Canyon,” which features Tom Waits (!) as a grizzled prospector.
As with any anthology film, there were some segments we enjoyed less than others — and we had other quibbles, particularly about the way “Buster Scruggs” depicted Native Americans. Still, this is mostly an episode about the things we liked.
— Brian Heater (@bheater) December 7, 2018
Due to holidays and travel schedules, we’ve taken a couple weeks off from recording, so there was also a lot of news to catch up on: The cancellation of “Daredevil,” the question of whether “Friends” would leave Netflix, MoviePass’ plans to bounce back from a rough 2018 and the first trailer for “Avengers: Endgame.”
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