The Ballad of Buster Scruggs
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All Critics (35)
| Top Critics (11)
| Fresh (22)
| Rotten (13)
| DVD (1)
Altman loves to explode movie genres, and his script, co-written with Frank Barhydt, fuses the classic '30s screwball comedy and crime film.
It could never for an instant be mistaken for anything but a Robert Altman film, and that counts for a lot.
Let's just say that if you find it arbitrary and more an expression of Altman's feelings about class than the outcome of his story, then we are in agreement.
Would someone throw a net over Jennifer Jason Leigh? She's at it again.
A sadly ordinary motion picture, and, in less sure hands, it might have been something of an unfortunate mess. Even with Altman at the helm, however, it manages to be singularly unremarkable.
All of the characters act as if somebody might come along someday and make a movie about them. And Altman, who made the movie, gets his chance to sit in at last on one of those cutting sessions.
A minor Altman work that can't bridge the gap between larger issues--inequality, American politics--and intimate narrative about two women, well played by Jennifer Jason Leigh and Miranda Richardson.
Robert Altman brings us an effective, if minor, crime film filled with the jazz sounds of Count Basie and Lester Young.
Altman looks back at his hometown in an unsentimental, hard-nosed way.
Altman gets so caught up in the jazz music that he forgets to concentrate on the story
Robert Altman having fun, and it features a performance by Jennifer Jason Leigh that has to be seen to be believed.
Another spunky film in a series of Robert Altman portraits of the failure of the American Dream.
I pefered this film then Altman's "Thieves Like Us" which was also set in the depression era of the 1930. "Kansas City" doesn't care so much on the plot but rather on the characters but I was particularly more interested in the jazz players, and a "Godfather" type played by Harry Belefonte.
Altman seems to not want to use his usually skilled trademarks. There is seldom use of overlapping dialogue although there is a good sense of closeness between blacks and whites within Kansas City, Altman's authentic detail to the 1930's, and his great use of editing, cutting between the main characters, and the jazz players.
One of the best scenes show two jazz artist going against one another and afterwods respecting each other's craft. Steve Buscemi's character reminds me of one of the characters in "Gangs Of New York" getting all the people to vote. This picture is not Altman's best film but I still enjoyed it thanks to a strong performance from Belefonte, and well, again the period and the music.
"Kansas City" is an extremely slight film in Robert Altman's filmography. I was surprised that Altman forgets the basic ingredients that are so important to making film noir work. The biggest sin "Kansas City" commits is that the film is never nasty. A good film noir should always make you feel uncomfortable. Altman understood this in "The Long Goodbye," but for some reason it's obviously absent from "Kansas City." Moreover, Jennifer Jason Leigh and Miranda Richardson are sorely miscast, making the pedestrian proceedings even more uninteresting. "Kansas City" could have been a great film if Altman had dared to take more interesting choices, something that effects all of his late 90s works. As it stands, this is just aggressively mediocre.
boring, but interesting and decently made... also just my opinion but Jennifer Jason Leigh makes Dane Cook seem oscar worthy (seriously).
This is Belafonte's movie. Someone with so much music in his soul being able to play so chillingly souless a character. Amazing performance.
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