While watching tv last night, I saw an ad for the newest Jesse James movie, "The Assassination of Jesse James," starring Brad Pitt. It was released on video already, which surprised me. I hadn't seen it advertised for the theaters that much back when it was first released.
Personally, I plan to give this one a pass. The Jesse James story has been done, and done. I don't see how one more take on it is going to give any more insight. Also, the commercial I saw had Brad Pitt handling snakes, so I'm wondering if they've wandered down some untapped (and strange) paths to try and find a new angle. No thanks.
In my opinion, the best rendering of the James/Younger saga was "The Long Riders," which was released back in 1980, if I'm not mistaken. This movie was the most historically accurate I've seen. They even got the exact number of wounds and placement of bullets right during that final, spectacular shootout on the street in Northfield, Minn. I know because the scene played out in slo-mo, so I counted and then compared the movie to the facts. They got it all exactly right.
One of the other great things about "The Long Riders" was the fact that all the brothers in the movie were portrayed by real brothers. The Jameses were James and Stacy Keach. The Youngers were played by David, Keith, and Robert Carradine. Ed and Clell Miller were Dennis and Randy Quaid. And those cowardly Fords were Christopher and Nicholas Guest. Very cool casting. It's terrific, and if you're interested in seeing a movie about the outlaws that's based mostly on fact, I highly recommend.