Well, I finally went to see “No Country for Old Men” this weekend. Yeah, yeah, I know what you all are thinking “Well it’s about time!”
And you’re absolutely right! But it’s not my fault okay, when I went to see it a few weeks back I was shocked to find that it was already gone from my friendly neighborhood movie theater-the price you pay for living in the boonies I guess.
But thankfully, it was brought back, probably due to all the buzz surrounding it.
SideNote: As of 1/22/08, the Oscar nominees have been announced and “No Country for Old Men” is up for Best Picture. Woot! Woot!
Anyway, NCFOM (as I will refer to it from here on out) is a movie by Joel and Ethan Coen from (not based on- from) the best- selling novel by the Pulitzer Prize-winning writer Cormac McCarthy. Y’know, most movies made from books usually keep unnecessary stuff in and leave important stuff out but not NCFOM; much of the film's action is taken word for word from the novel and occurs in the same order of events.
The Coen brothers have been known to put violence in their movies before, lots of it, but not like this. Not anything like this.
It is dark, intense, extremely violent, scared the bejesus out of me, and I loved every minute of it!
Take the title literally
Picture it, 1980, West Texas.
If I had to summarize it really quickly for ya it would go a little something like this...one ordinary day an ordinary guy named Lewellen Moss (played by Josh Brolin) living in a trailer park comes across a bunch of murdered bodies out in the desert.
Let’s just say, it's a massacre from a drug deal gone wrong. He also finds a briefcase with 2 million dollars in it, and makes off it (wouldn’t you), hits the road and is chased by a psychotic hitman with a weird Dutch-boy haircut (a kind of Prince Valiant bob-thingy, minus the fringe, played by Javier Bardem) who will do the most brutal things to get it back for the rest of the movie.
You see he has this little game that he plays. Chigurh flips a coin to determine if he kills you or not. Go ahead your choice, heads or tails.
And oh before I forget, his weapon of choice is a compressed air cattle gun that you will just have to see to believe.
Lewellen Moss actually has many men on his trail: the hitman, a bunch of Mexicans, a bounty hunter named Wells (Woody Harrelson) and Sheriff Bell (Tommy Lee Jones) who's trying to find Moss before the other guys get to him. As you probably guessed by now, they really, really want their money!
It's a cat and mouse sorta story where the hitman is always just one step behind the good guy. Sounds pretty simple eh? Well it's a heck of a lot more interesting than that, a lot more!
The chase takes the men across Texas, in and out of seedy motels and across the Mexican border.
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You’ll soon realize that you’ve entered a cruel, heartless world and if you didn't get that message within the first 10 minutes, don't worry, you'll have plenty of other chances to catch up. This quote from the sheriff’s deputy sums it all up perfectly- “It's a mess, ain't it, Sheriff?" and the sheriff answers, "If it ain't, it'll do till the mess gets here." And that's all you'll hear from me about the plot. In other words, he found a bundle of money and now there’s hell to pay!
Let’s just say it’s all amazing. Am I gushing? You betcha!
Great acting, check.
Offbeat characters, check.
Suspenseful; edge of your seat experience, check
It’s been awhile since a movie got inside my head so deeply and stayed there for days afterward- “mesmerized” is probably the best word for it. Heck I’m still thinking about it!
- The title “No Country for Old Men", is taken from the W.B. Yeats' poem, "Sailing to Byzantium."
-Heath Ledger had been set to play Llewelyn Moss, but withdrew to take "some time off" instead.
-Everyone will agree that Anton Chigurh's hair style is weird to say the very least. In fact looking at it after getting the hair cut, Javier Bardem said "Oh no, now I won't get laid for the next two months".
- The Coen brothers purchased specially made fake blood that they had shipped from London to their location for $800 a gallon! This was done so the extras that were lying in the sand for hours wouldn't be attacked by bugs and animals that would otherwise be attracted to the sugar of ordinary fake blood used in other movies. Nice.
- The Coen brothers refused to give Josh Brolin an audition for the movie, so he asked director Robert Rodriguez to help him shoot an audition tape. Rodriguez shot and Quentin Tarantino directed the tape, which was shot in a $950,000 digital camera.