Tuesday, September 2, 2008

No Country for Old Men

Alright, I saw all of the hype and I watched the Academy Awards, so I knew that a lot of people were all about this film. However, for some reason I had an aversion to watching this movie in the theater and it took me ages to finally put it in my blu-ray player. Somehow, I had the notion in my head that this movie was a long, boring, wanna-be action movie that allowed all of the artsy, Cannes crowd to point and say "See, I like shoot em' up movies too".  Imagine my surprise when 1/3 of the way into the movie Javier Bardem kills a man with a compressed air gun with the composure one might witness in the maitre d' of a fine restaurant. At that point, the rest of the movie could have been a bad reenactment of the teletubbies and I would have watched it. Not only is the film expertly shot (there was some of the best attention to detail I have ever seen in a movie with a silenced shotgun) but the Coen bros. managed to turn an extremely simple, cliche of a plot into a twisted, nail- biting thriller. Give me a moment to point out some of the sweet spots that I loved about this film:

 The characters were tops. Tommy Lee Jones delivered one of the best Texas drawl filled performances of his career that included some of the finest cowboy tough guy lines a man can create. For example,
   "I sent a man to the 'lectric chair. He kilt a 14 year old girl. Said that if they turned him out he'd do it again. Said he knew he was going to hell. 'Be there in about fifteen minutes.'"

Plus, our protagonist on the run, Llewelyn Moss was no lolly gagging local yocal. He managed to outsmart the Mexican Mafia and a highly trained assassin several times before they finally got to him. 

Anton Chigurh is one of the sweetest assassins I've come across since they invented the ninja, and he puts down the only character I wasn't wild about (Woody Harrelson, aka Carson Wells) in such a nonchalant, no nonsense manner that I immediately decided it was worth Carson's presence in the movie just for that death scene. I could go on for hours, but instead, I'll let you take a look at this rockstar scene in which Anton forces a local gas station clerk to flip a coin for his life (badass!).

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