The Ballad of Buster Scruggs

[4.0 stars] [IMDb Link] [Amazon Link]

A western from the Coen brothers. Why did I wait so long to watch?

It's a collection of six stories, even down to the visual aid of the stories being contained in a old-fashioned book, pages turned to captioned color plates. (I'm old enough to remember those. I guess the Coens are too.) Each yarn involves death, in one way or another. In some the take is darkly humorous. In others, tragic.

And the last one is metaphoric, with five travelers in a stagecoach hurtling toward Fort Morgan. With a corpse up top, it turns out. Their dialog turns contentious, philosophical, generally loopy. And somewhat riveting. And as it turns out… (Oh, yeah, one of the passengers is Mary Beth Lacey herself, Tyne Daly. It's great to see her.)

If you watch it, you might want to brush up on the cast list ahead of time. I didn't recognize Stephen Root, for example, underneath a massive amount of facial hair.

[Consumer note: I usually put up an Amazon link to the DVD or streaming video up there on the right. There's no DVD yet, and Amazon isn't gonna link to a Netflix streamer, of course. The link will take you to a book containing the screenplay.]