It Takes True Grit to Watch “Gulliver’s Travels”

A new and improved “True Grit?”

Want to know the best reason for a movie like “True Grit?”

It makes you realize what a mediocre flick “Gulliver’s Travels” is. What a contrast!

“Gulliver’s Travels”: A giant disappointment

As per our family Christmas tradition, we saw a movie last Saturday morning. The vote was for “Gulliver’s Travels,” which I went along with, because I figured my sons would enjoy it. And I was right . . . they thought it was great. As for the parental units? Well, the Mister fell asleep about an hour into it. I settled for Timexing it every now and then.

Jason Segel and Emily Blunt lead the pointing brigade.

“Gulliver’s Travels” should have been a lot of fun in a nonsensical, implausible way. But it was a little too boorish and boring. Yes, I know it got raves when it was part of a reward (along with movie food) on this past season’s edition of “Survivor: Nicaragua.” But can you really trust what Naonka (aka the season’s villainess) says?

Probably the most-unbelievable part of the movie was that Amanda Peet’s perk and pretty travel editor character would fall for Jack Black (aka mailroom worker Gulliver). Tiny people on an island seem much more plausible!

Scrat

The best reason to see “Gulliver’s Travels?” There’s a cartoon short starring lovable Scrat from “Ice Age” before the main feature. I love that little guy!

Jeff Bridges plays Rooster Cogburn.

The next morning the Mister and I cleaned the bad movie taste out of our mouths by seeing “True Grit,” a remake by the Coen brothers. We’re not big Coen brother fans, but we figured we’d give this one a try. And we’re glad we did!

“True Grit” is a wonderful western! It tells the story of Mattie Ross (Hailee Steinfield), who wants to avenge her father’s murder at the hands of Tom Chaney (Josh Brolin). She hires U.S. Marshal Rooster Cogburn (Jeff Bridges) to track Chaney down, insisting that she travel with him. Joining the duo is Texas Ranger LaBoeuf (Matt Damon).

Hailee Steinfield is magnificent as Mattie Ross.

The true star among all these wonderful actors? Hailee Steinfield! She’s actually a 14-year-old girl playing a 14-year-old girl, and her maturity and acting skills are terrific. She’s the reason the movie is so good.

If you have to choose between which flick to see, make it “True Grit.” Unless you’re in need of an expensive nap.

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