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Monday Movie Madness: The Assassination of Jesse James . . .

Hello Posse,

Sorry I am running a little late today, but I did not forget you all. I hope you are all safe and health and have made it through the worst of the arctic freezes in your areas. We are seeing warmer temperatures here and I am pretty happy about that.

Today's movie has a bit of a personal connection for me. I have always been fascinated with stories of Frank and Jesse James. Growing up, I often heard people say that my great, great or great, great, great grandmother on my father's side of the family was one of Frank and Jessy's aunts. Now, to be clear, I have no idea if that is true, but it is interesting if it is.

Frankly, I would not be shocked to find out it is true. Dad's side of the family is also said to have had a family member who ran with Baby Face Nelson. Not to mention, all the relatives who are even closer to me genetically who have had their own run-ins with the law. Out of respect for their privacy, I will keep them anonymous for now (they know where I live), but finding out there were two more professional criminals in the family would not be surprising.

As for today's movie, The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford was released in 2007 and is considered an American "revisionist" Western. It was written and directed by Andrew Dominik and was adapted from a 1983 novel of the same title by Ron Hansen. The cast includes many familiar faces and stars Brad Pitt and Casey Affleck and features Sam Shepard, Jeremy Renner, Sam Rockwell, Paul Schneider, Mary-Lousie Parker, Zooey Deschanel, Garret Dillahunt, Ted Levine and political consultant, James Carville. This movie takes dramatic license with the relationship between Jesse James (Pitt) and Robert Ford (Affleck), focusing on events leading up to Jesse's murder.

Originally, Dominik wanted this film to be "a dark, contemplative examination of fame and infamy." This epic film saw more than one round of edits due in part to its more than three hours of runtime. The studio was against the lengthy runtime and repeatedly requested more edits. The film had been intended to be released in 2006 but was delayed to be re-edited once again and slated for a 2007 release.

The film finally had its world premiere at the 64th Venice International Film Festival in 2007 and was well received by critics. Some even posed that the performances by Pitt and Affleck were the best of their careers. The film received two academy award nominations for Best Supporting Actor (Affleck) and Best Cinematography. The film has an extensive fan base which regularly organizes re-releases of the film as "Jesse James Revival". <--- Click here to go to one of the websites and locate the nearest screenings currently available.

When I was doing research about this movie, I came across a page that talked about outlaws and their favorite foods. They posted that Jesse once refused to rob a bank in a certain Texas town because his favorite chili restaurant was there. That is some serious chili love!

Now, just a plain old bowl of chili does not sound like a good movie snack to me, so I took a little liberty and found a recipe from Tasty for their American Chili Cheese Fries (^--- click to go to recipe). It looks decadent!

So now, you know what time it is, posse! Time to grab your snacks and settle in for another great western movie!




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