Hey Harry, don’t know if you guys care but I saw a test screening of “The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford.” I was looking forward to the film because I was a big fan of “Chopper” and was eager to see what Andrew Dominik would do with a studio film, plus I am big fan of Brad Pitt. Anyways, from the time the lights went down to when they came back up, two hours and 50 mins had past. And that was the main reason I was disappointed with the film, just too damn long. The first act of the film does a wonderful job introducing us to Jesse James with voice over, abstract shots, and beautiful scenery, something out of a Terence Malick film. We are introduced to Jesse and his gang as they complete one of their last train robberies, a sequence that works very well. Then the film crawls into the second act and keeps crawling for way too long. The dynamic between James and Ford, played wonderfully by Casey Affleck is interesting and sets up some very nice sequences in the film. But the film strays too much from the identity crisis of Ford and the career crisis of James and meanders through beautiful scenery and locations, picking up bit characters and abstract storylines, as we wait for the main story to get back on track. The assassination is a fantastic sequence, two and half hours leading up to it and works very well. The aftermath sort of drags, but it’s such a relief to actually have some story elements working that the minor flaws of the third act are ignored. The film is very much character driven by James and Ford with the last frame of the film a wonderful portrait of a man who has reached the end of his path still searching for identity and meaning behind it all. This film could have been much stronger if more time was focused on Jesse James, showing us more of him in action and the motivation for why he wanted to walk away from it all plus a little more insight to Ford and what shaped him to become the coward trying to be a hero. The film looks amazing and the performances are there, if they shave a good 50 mins off the film I think the pacing would work much better, the story kept moving. I can’t say I recommend the film as it is, but I hope they cut it down before it is released.