Monday, July 27, 2009

No Country For Old Men : A Review

(The fourth row: right right up right left up down down. )

This is not a timely review, just a review...mainly because, I feel like I have to say something!

Okay, if you haven't seen this movie yet, and you still think you want to, I am going to spoil the plot, but not the movie...that has been done for you already. I watched this film, mostly because of all the Oscar nominations, and found it...Unworthy!

Here is a partial write up by By Ilari Valbonesi on January 17th, 2008:

The story begins when Llewelyn Moss (BROLIN) finds a pickup truck surrounded by a sentry of dead men. A load of heroin and two million dollars in cash are still in the back.
When Moss takes the money, he sets off a chain reaction of catastrophic violence that not even the law – in the person of aging, disillusioned Sheriff Bell (JONES) – can contain. As Moss tries to evade his pursuers – in particular a mysterious mastermind who flips coins for human lives (BARDEM) – the film simultaneously strips down the American crime drama and broadens its concerns to encompass themes as ancient as the Bible, and as bloodily contemporary as this morning’s headlines."

Well, maybe Ilari and I didn't watch the same movie. The money wasn't still in the back, it was really kinda far away from the whole mess of dead men, dogs and pick-ups.
The mysterious "mastermind" is a smart but awkward bad guy, often lugging around a giant cylinder of compressed air, who remains eerily calm during the whole thing, talking, killing, performing surgeory on emotion, no acting really, unless you count acting bored out of your skull like you're standing in line at the DMV, acting.

I must've blinked when the biblical themes came up, unless it related to how you're not supposed to kill...what's that one...?

The worst part was about three quarters of the way through the movie, the hero, gets killed. Maybe I like my movies too formulaic, but for me, when the hero dies, the story's over. But the movie went on. The sheriff discussed growing old, and the wife of the hero was killed, because the "mastermind" told the dead guy he'd do it, and didn't want to break his promise, I guess. Then the killer was in a car crash with someone who ran a red light, but paid a kid for his shirt, which he used to support his arm, and limped away before the police got there.
At the end the sheriff is telling his (I'm guessing here) wife, that he dreamt about his dad last night, he talked about the dreams...the end.

We are left not knowing what happened to the money. Wondering why the movie didn't end when it ended, only to go on to this disconnected stopping point. It almost felt like, they didn't really know how to end it, and someone working on a different movie walked by the room, and dropped some notes on the floor. Someone courteously retrieved them, but the rushing figure was already around the corner, out of sight, so they used what was there as the ending.

Maybe it was supposed to be more like real life then your typical movie, but I live in real life, and that's not why I watch movies.


Baino said...

Yeh but it was good no? It's rare that you see an American film with an ambiguous ending. They screen test and the audience defines the final edit. I actually loved this because it was so unpredictable. Nice to see you back! I agree though. Movies for me are fantasy which is probably why I like Transformers. I know, I know, don't hate me!

RED MOJO said...

Baino, I really didn't think it was good, I enjoyed the first half, kind of and the second, not at all. The opening scene was our "hero" failing at hunting by injuring some poor animal, then a badly wounded bleeding dog shortly after...already, I don't really like the guy, or the movie...much.

As far as the ending, there might as well have been a scene with aliens in it. It didn't seem to fit, or tie things up. I'm not saying the good guy has to win, but once he loses, and its done, its done. I don't need to watch the sheriff go to the grocery store and buy milk.

I'd have enjoyed transformers more!

TheWeyrd1 said...

I totally DON'T want to see this movie. In fact, it's been in rotation on Showtime recently and I have studiously avoided any temptation...not that hard to do. Frankly, a movie has to involved hot women, a really good story, and possibly something a bit gay or if not gay than fantastical, like Harry Potter, or I don't have the time.

RED MOJO said...

Theweyrd1, yeah, you make a lucid argument for not wasting time!