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Monday, March 24, 2008

Movie Report: No Country For Old Men...Sucks!

I don't really do movie reviews here. The reason is, frankly, over the years, I have proven to be a terrible gauge on what regular people I know find entertaining about a flick.

I loved Lost in Translation - my wife thinks it sucked. But, since we seem to agree on this one, I'll go ahead and tell you that at the end of the movie, we were both in total agreement; this is the worst movie I have ever been suckered into purchasing.

Yes, yes, I understand that many awards were given and some guy I don't know was the best actor. Make no mistake - the acting was brilliant. Tommy Lee Jones is always a favorite. You know he just plays himself in every movie - but according to people who have run across him here in San Antonio, he is simply an obnoxious dick in person. I won't hold that against him because after all, he has to face a knowing public who payed good money to see this stupid movie. He probably is upset that the director screwed this flick up and is taking it out on his adoring public.

That other guy with the weird haircut; who came up with that fashion tip anyway? It wasn't that he didn't do a good job of acting, it just seems as though the lines he was reading never seemed to add up to a full storyline. Call me a doofus, but can someone please tell me what was going on?

Yes, I know that the Josh Brolin character found the dead drug dealers, the dope and the money. I get that he wanted to send his wife off to the mother for safety. I can even understand splitting up - send her on the bus and maybe take a different route. But what did I miss that made him want to go to Mexico?

And who did the creepy haircut guy work for? Or did all the dead businessmen work for him? And when did Woody Harrleson get his hand back?

So intertwined in this unneeded chase - after all, who amongst us would find a briefcase full of money and opt to keep it in the same briefcase while we try to avoid detection of the bad guys? And if the guy empties the money into a gym bag or a laundry basket, or if he does like most of the rest of the normal people in Texas would do - bathe nekkid in the pile of found cash and send Polorids of your fat ass covered in Benjamin's in a polite letter of resignation e-mail to your boss, there wouldn't be a chase because the little homing device would have been found from the word go. But I digress.

Underneath this little chase plot, we have Tommy Lee Jones, mostly eating breakfast and drinking other people's milk. He looks like Agustus McCrae has died again and again and it is weighing heavily on his mind. If Robert Duval had only been in this movie, perhaps we could have had some references to Napalm in the Morning and such, and it might have helped me better understand why Tommy Lee's character was so down. For good measure though, he does meet up with Barry Corbin for a little chat, even though the two never actually met up in Lonesome Dove.

So here's the deal - and please, don't misunderstand; the acting was great and there was this incredible photography of Texas and many of the scenes were simply done with such great skill I can understand the desire for people to want to call this "an Instant Classic" (David Ansen, Newsweek). But when the movie ended, my wife and I looked at one another and in near unison with jaws dropped said, "You gotta be shittin' me!"

If you haven't seen the movie, please don't let my little report pique your interest, because then I'd feel bad that you spent the money on a rental or bought the DVD. Though I suspect at our next garage sale, you'll find this one on sale with a Low Mileage sticker on it in the bargain bin. I won't feel bad if you give us a few bucks for it.

17 comments:

andrew said...

LEGAL -Do not attempt to roll around naked in money, these are trained professionals or politicians-
Hope you didn't buy Syriana, that one would really fly over your head(literally after you frisbee it out of your DVD player). I believe Tommy's character was down because... theirs no country for old men. To live your life to realize you didn't fix, change, or do shit. Also if your jaw dropped when the credits roll... then you did what you where suppose to. Ok but honestly I agree with what your saying... But if you change bags/find the device you got no movie. Every movie has that "duhhh" factor. Like white people in scary movies running UP the stairs. (Sorry black people the director had you get eatin in the first scene). It seemed like this entire movie was duhhhhhh. Even the money in the vent was completely retarded. I really don't get that, I know he was hiding it, or baiting it to see if one does come... but come on. Then you walk to the other side of the vent to pull it threw? Congratulations your now 6 feet further. Just get your ass in the truck and drive you moron. I' de be in bum-fuk-Egypt sipping something fruity at the point this jackass was buying tent poles. But for some reason 2-3 days later this movie is still in my head. I've never read blogs about movies let alone typed about one.. I think we're brainwashed. I must conclude, this movie sucks so bad its freakin awesome, now someone come hold me while I watch Night at the Museum. So.....


heads or tails?

andrew said...

neither heads or tails, RUN BIOTCHHHH!!

Dave said...

That scene where he asks the guy in the gas station to call heads or tails and the guy doesn't know why. That scene should simply be a commercial for why Texas has the Castle Doctrine in place.

You play that scene at the Welcome Centers of every interstate in Texas, but as a different ending, the man at the cash register whips out his Glock and puts a nice hole in Haircut Boy's forehead, and now we have what is known as a public service announcement.

Thanks for the comment Andrew.

Anon E. Mouse said...

I haven't watched it yet, but now I'll have to take one of those free codes from insideredbox.com to see it without wasting my hard earned $$. That way I have something else in common with Dave to talk about. :)

Actually, I got it already thru Netflix, but didn't have the time to watch it before the wife returned it, so I guess perhaps I didn't miss too much?

SunSpotBaby said...

Here is my take on the movie. Actually not my own idea - I read this on the IMdb and it really made a lot of sense to me. I had the same reaction as you did when the last scene rolled - like WTF???????? So, I cranked up IMdb and read the comments section and this one guy says this:
This movie is a story about good and evil. But, it is shown metaphorically by splitting the "good" and "evil" into two different men, when in REALITY, they are one and the same. Anton Chigurh and Ed Tom Bell are ONE AND THE SAME PERSON. Just look at the names: Anton/Ed Tom. They even sound alike. That is why Ed Tom didn't need to go out and view the killing sites because he had already been there - he did the killing. That is why when he went into the motel "we" could see Anton, but when Ed Tom checked, he was "gone." That is why, when Llewelyn's wife walked in the room and saw him sitting there she didn't jump out of her skin to see a "stranger." It wasn't a stranger - it was the evil persona of Ed Tom. She had it figured out. And she knew he was there to kill her - probably because she HAD figured out it was him all along. This may sound far-fetched, but it made a whole hell of a lot more sense to me to look at it this way!!

Dave said...

That has Fight Club written all over it. I can buy that explanation - it surely closes a lot of the gaps, or at least a few of them.

I still thought it was a well acted, shitty movie. Sometimes, the director needs to just have a little thing following the end of movie credits that says, "If you didn't get the point of the movie, here is what I failed to convey:" Then, they tell you what it was and you shake your head and say, "Oh..., now I get it."

SunSpotBaby said...

So, I have been anxiously looking foward to the release of Cormack McCarthy's "The Road," but after this movie, I'm having a bad feeling, because if "Hollywood" tweaks the ending, it will be another "No Country..." I KNOW the artsy movie people claim its NOT about the ending, its about the story, the message, blah, blah, blah, but please! I want to walk out of the theater (or turn on my DVD player) and say "Damn that was a good movie!" and not have to search around to see what the whole meaning of it was. There should be one more level on the Ratings scale, along with P and PG called "Needs Interpretation."

Anonymous said...

OK, here is the TRUE EXPLANATION of the ending of the movie: Chiguhr is the one who got the money. Llewelyn was shot by the Mexicans, but they had to flee the scene, and had no clue that Llewelyn had hidden the money in the vent. Later, Chiguhr went to the room and used the dime to open the vent and get the money. When Ed Tom enters the hotel room, he sees that the vent has been unscrewed with the dime. Unbeknownst to him, Chiguhr is hiding in the hotel room the entire time. Some people are overanalyzing things, saying the space behind the door is too small, etc.-- Chiguhr IS in there. Regardless, Ed Tom doesn't see him and leaves, upset. TIME ELAPSES- Ed Tom decides to retire, and Llewelyn's mother-in-law dies of cancer. Chiguhr comes to her house to finish his business. He obviously kills Llewelyn's wife; he checks his boots for blood as he leaves the house. At this point in the film, the case holding the money no longer exists. REMEMBER-- time has gone by, and although Chiguhr has the money, he does not need to carry it all around in the case. He carries SOME of it, using $100 to pay the boy for his shirt. Being the badass character that he is, he has already shown earlier in the film that injuries mean little to him (he simply fixes the wounds himself, as he did with his leg). He shows no pain; it is a mere inconvenience to him. At the end of the film, Ed Tom relates his dreams, which show that he is discouraged by all the evil in the world, which he can do little to stop.

Dave said...

Okay - fair enough. I'll buy that for a dollar, no less.

I submit that if a regular movie watcher like me who certainly appreciates quirky and even movies that you have to think about can't follow what happened without you explaining those specific details to me, then the filmmakers did a really shitty job at making the film.

So I go back to my original premise: This film sucks.

Ron said...

I agree with you Dave. This movie was entertaining for the most part, but in the end, it didn't add up to a good story.

It's a real shame on the academy that this movie could capture so many awards. The acting was good, the scenes and camera were good. But, the story sucks! It seems that nobody cares about the storyline in movies anymore (just like nobody cares about the lyrics in music).

I agree with andrew (above) about why the sheriff (Tommy Lee Jones) was down - it was suggested (maybe not explained) in the movie. The sheriff felt like the sum of his career didn't actually make a difference in society, and now he was too old to do much about it.

The speech that he made at the end of the movie was the only substantial glimpse that we saw into the mind of ANY character in the movie. But they didn't build on that. Instead, they chose to end the film like that. Disappointing!

Bobby said...

I agree with your assessment of the film Dave. My brother & I watched the film on a flight last week and for the next two days discussed how the film had potential but they either ran out of money or time. They really screwed up what could have been a very good film.

Potential...unrealized

Anonymous said...

Yeah, this movie blows. And what really made it bad was all of the hyping people did. "Tommy Lee Jones this" and "Coen Brothers that." I was excited to watch what turned into a whole lot of no plot, no interest, no development of character. Just one gigantic WTF? I mean, drug deal gone bad...okay I get that. But some guy randomly feels bad for another guy looking for water...so much so that he can't sleep so he goes out to give him water? I mean, are ya kidding me? Did he expect Senor "Agua" to still be alive?

Just bad all around. Except for the scenery. All New Mexico, btw, not a single scene shot in Texas from what I hear...

tripbeetle said...

Agree with pretty much all the above dissing. The biggest turnoff for me was the utterly adolescent glorification of pointless Manson-like madness. That's as far as this hopeless movie goes. There are no redeeming features. There's an indestructible creep who comes out with weird-but-kinda-wise-sounding shit. Oooh! He's crazy - but he's clever, too! How cool and creepy! And that's as far as it goes. Damn, I could have been surfing porn all that time! At least it has a point.

Steve Smull said...

This movie is an absolute classic and probably jumps into my Top 10 favorite movies of all time...

The people responding to Dave's original post, dissing this movie have nothing intelligent to say, they just didn't like the ending because they simply don't have the ability or wherewithal to understand the humor, the incredibly terrific writing and all of the messages conveyed in this film...This movie makes you think, and most people these days don't want to think, they don't want to figure things out, they're too damn lazy to think through and piece together what happened in this movie, they want every little detail spoon-fed to them visually because that is the only way they can understand anything...

People want the "good-guy" to "win" all the time, and that didn't happen here and all the idiots out there were crying for their money back at the theatre because they didn't like the ending...I could explain a lot of things about this movie here, but I am not sure if it would do any good as most people already made up their minds and everyone seems pretty close-minded here...

But the cliff notes version is well, the Coen brothers didn't give you the ending you wanted because in the real world, you don't get what you want neither...Evil cannot be bargained with...Anton Chigurh is Evil, he is Death and he prevails in the end...There are a lot of other metaphors going on, but hey...The only positive response was "Anonymous" explaining some of what happened in the movie, but the one thing he missed in that hotel scene at the end was when he said Ed Tom (Tommy Lee Jones) did not see Chigurh in the hotel room...That is wrong...He COULD NOT see, not, he "didn't" see him...Why?...Because Ed Tom is Anton...They are the same person, so they could not "meet" in that hotel room...They are bipolar opposites of each other: One Good (Ed Tom) and one Evil (Anton)...Names even sound the same...Notice how both characters never met in this movies...Notice how both characters would step over blood in the movie...Anton never wanted blood on the bottom of his boots, and Ed Tom stepped over Moss's blood when he went into the hotel room...

Anyway, I could go on...And I will admit, I just saw this movie on STARZ about a month ago and I have watched it about 6 times and I learn something new every time I watch it...

But Dave, I read your posts and I think deep down, you really want to like the movie, but you were just pissed at the ending...And that ending is simply symbolic, my man...Most people, like you, want good to prevail over evil in real life...But what the Coens are saying here, is that, folks, in real life, that just don't happen...Watch the news or pick up the paper and look at all the shit going on...Drugs, murder, rape, the list goes on...Evil prevails...Sad, but true...

You live in Silver Creek??...I played for an amateur baseball team named Silver Creek for 8 years here where I live (in PA)...

Adios...

Dave said...

Steve, you are correct about one thing - I did very much want to like the movie. I love most of the characterizations and of course, the scene in the store with the clerk is a classic.

I have heard many folks give the same explanation as you - that they are both the same guy - I can certainly buy that. But I just felt like there were far too many other flaws in the movie.

By the way, I loved Lost in Translation. We will never know what the Bill Murry character whispers into the ear of his friend at the end of the movie, and frankly, I enjoyed that little mystery. It isn't that movies have to be perfectly explained, but for every person who thinks that Tom Ed and Antonio are the same guy, there are others who will have a different explanation.

By the way, Our Silver Creek is a neighborhood name in San Antonio, TX.

Anonymous said...

Steve Smull sucks nearly as much as this movie. Ed Tom is a useless character. If I edit him out of the movie, nobody would notice that he's missing. He brings nothing to this story. He doesn't even have a character arc. Audiences are growing savvier each day. We don't crave happy endings. Just watch Layer Cake or The Departed, they both have fabulously unhappy endings that still bring joy to the audience.
As for Anton and Ed Tom being the same person, how could Anton enter the trailer at the exact same time that Ed Tom is riding horses with his partner?
This movie sucks because it is a waste of time. You never learn anything from it and you wish you could have those two hours back!

Anonymous said...

It's not that people (or at least me) were expecting a good ending. The movie actually had no ending at all, like if they had ran out of time or something, I don't know.

This movie reminded me of Miami Vice, 2 movies in which nothing happened. And about the evil and the good, don't give me that crap, you could tag the themes for absolutely EVERY movie, because you'll see what you want to see.

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I love to observe the odd things happening around me as I go about my day. I especially like it when I can get a picture of people being themselves. Here, I attempt to report the various people and events I have encountered in my neighborhood, and my city. I'd also love to hear from you. Feel free to e-mail your experiences and photos of life in San Antonio.

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