135 years ago, Robert Ford put a bullet in the back of Jesse James’ head. 34 years ago, Ron Hansen put pen to paper for a literary retelling of this slaying, calling it The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford. 10 years ago, Australian writer-director Andrew Dominik put to film his version of this novel. What gets lost over time and through multiple translations? What aspects of the legend become amplified, and what diminished? These are appropriately heady questions, as Dominik’s film tackles the very concepts of celebrity, idolatry, memory, and myth. The movie, met with decent reviews and zero fanfare upon release, seems like a classic in 2017. Paul and Arlo rave about the film, including Roger Deakins’ once-in-a-lifetime stellar cinematography, the spellbinding score by Nick Cave and Warren Ellis, and the haunting performances from Casey Affleck and Brad Pitt. They also discuss who’s the real coward, who really killed whom, and what the film has to say about masculinity and the Old West. Plus, that new Spider-Man game for the PS4 looks baller.
Next: the boys’ year-long Four-Color Flashback exploration of Brian K. Vaughan and Pia Guerra’s Y: The Last Man continues with Vol. 6: Girl on Girl.