Monday, May 12, 2014

Best Picture: "No Country for Old Men," 2007

Movie Stats:
Released 2007 (France)
American, in English (some mostly non-translated Spanish)
Directors – Joel & Ethan Coen
Stars – Josh Brolin, Javier Bardem, Tommy Lee Jones

Plot Summary:
When Llewelyn Moss (Brolin) stumbles across the aftermath of a major drug deal gone wrong and walks away with the $2 million he finds there, he sets in motion a violent chain of events. Bardem co-stars as Anton Chigurh, the psychopath hired to track Moss down, and Jones as Ed Tom Bell, the sheriff trying to figure out the whole situation.

Extremely graphic violence. If there was any blue language, it was so mild that I didn’t notice it.

Bad Stuff:
The ending is terrible. It didn’t fit with the rest of the film at all. The turn of phrase that comes to mind is “total weaksauce.”

It felt pointless. As you know, I don’t necessarily mind it if films don’t have a grand, important message. The last winner was that way & I loved it. However, the last winner felt like an intense, thrilling ride that kept me on the edge of my seat for nearly three hours. This movie ended and I thought to myself, “Why did I just spend two hours watching that?” It was intense but I wouldn't say that it was entertaining.

Good Stuff:
Where the Coen brothers have always excelled, in my opinion, is in bringing characters to life. Their characters are often interesting, multi-layered, and quirky in fun ways. This movie is no exception to that. Even the most minor of characters was fascinating. Also, I loved all the heavy Texan accents.

Fine performances from everyone, especially Bardem and Brolin. Sometimes, it’s difficult to believe that adult Josh Brolin is the same guy who was a heartthrob that starred in crappy TV shows back in the 1980s and early 90s.

The Verdict:
The Coens are a bit hit and miss for me. I absolutely love some of their movies (“Raising Arizona,” “O Brother, Where Art Thou?”) while feeling “meh” about many of their others (“Fargo,” “The Big Lebowski”). I’d say that this one falls more on the “meh” end of the spectrum. I loved the characters. I loved the actors who played them. However, I felt that the story was lacking. It was great for about the first hour and twenty minutes or so, but then it fell apart, like all the threads didn’t quite weave together right. In the end, I was dissatisfied. 

I give the film 3.5 stars.


Patricia said...

First of all, I haven't even read your review, but this movie was a winner in 2007? It seems like maybe three years ago, maybe. Certainly not seven years ago.

I saw this at the St. John's Twin Cinema on a weeknight, a show that had me waiting for the bus back home at 10:00 pm. I did my read and wait thing, and a guy was waiting with me. I ignored him, as every girl who is smart is taught to do. But then he says to me, "Josh Brolin was amazing, right?" and I have a mini-freak out that he's totally stalking me, before I realize he's the guy at the theater who sold me my ticket and thus, probably not stalking me but taking the bus home just like me. We talked for a bit about the movie and Josh Brolin. Because really, that guy seemed to come out of nowhere and who would have thunk it?

Patricia said...

I'm hit or miss with the Coen brothers too, but I really liked this. It may have been because I saw it in the theater and there was no escaping the movie, or maybe I like the dark things. But I mostly loved all the Texas regulars. And also Javier Bardem's hair. That hair was phenomenal.

balyien said...

It's just kind of difficult to believe in general that 2007 was seven years ago. The song "Paper Planes," by M.I.A, is on the next movie's (Slumdog Millionaire) soundtrack and I was like, "Holy crap, that song came out in 2008? Holy crap, 2008 was SIX years ago?!?!"

Javier Bardem's hair in this movie makes me want to die, lol. But it is pretty amazing.

It's too bad that Josh Brolin is such a great actor but seems to be a jerk in real life (see: domestic violence charges). One of my BFFs in high school totally crushed on him when he was on "The Young Riders."

I loved your bus stop story. :)