Monday, November 12, 2007

Review: No Country For Old Men

Hello folks, I have yet to see this movie, but, my kind ol roommate managed to make his way downtown to the only theater showing this movie, and offered up his review, here it is.

I only review good movies, or movies so bad I need to warn friends.

This time I'm doing one and just thinking out loud.

I don't need to discuss plot...that's what is for. But basically this is a violent, deep, ridiculously tight thriller that made me feel like I was watching "The Departed" for the first time. (The Departed is better, let's get that out of the way right now.)

People die, people get chased, die some more...we've seen all that. In fact, what I find interesting is people in the news are talking about this film WARNING people about its incredible violence. Guys...there's nothing here you haven't seen before. "Eastern Promises" is a film I consider more violent not due to quantity but quality of its gore. Here there's blood aplenty, but it serves a purpose in the story and the filmmakers do not dwell on the violent images themselves.

Every killing has a consequence. The whole movie is about how random violence is, and how though we all think we're immune to it, that it will never happen...

I always imagine me at a Wendy's when two guys come in, wearing black and sporting pistols. I'm sure you've had these little fantasies. You stay calm, everyone else is going's your own little movie. If you're a bigger guy, maybe someone who's been in a fight or two, the fantasy probably ends with you taking them out and saving the day. We all know the story.

What if one of the crooks is a female?

We have no fantasy for that. If we do, it involves a hot woman in a buffy-like suit with knives and leather, one who, for some reason, locks eyes with us and the fantasy becomes something else entirely. In real-life, hot women do not rob banks. Ever. I'm not being sexist. Fuck. You. Why would a hot woman ever rob a bank? Hm? Why? Meth addicts are not hot, and that's about the only woman crazy enough to try it.

But let's just say one did. Let's say she robbed my Wendy's.

First thing she would do is shoot into the ceiling. She would then shoot the closest guy to her, maybe killing him, and back people away. The clerk would unload the register. She would be sure to keep her eye on all the biggest people in the room. I'm 6'2". If I moved at all I'd be shot. If I tried to reason with her I'd be shot. This is no fantasy of mine. This is life. And it would be no different with the two guys. They come to me like my football coach did... I would get that burn in my stomach like I want to kill him, but then I'd remember the pistols and quite possibly pistol my pants.

I might be kicked or punched...either way, I don't know how to handle this situation. And I'm smart enough to know it. It's the guy who's been in two fights that gets killed now because he thinks he's got experience. Like the gunmen don't.

In one scene in the movie (to get back on track here) a cop says he's got the situation under control. A few moments later he is dead. He obviously didn't have the mastery of the situation that he thought.

After walking out of the theater tonight, I thought of the two little girls in the news this week. The father wasn't home. He left them in the care of his girlfriend. She filled a bathtub with hot water and held the twelve year old down in the water, which scalded her entire body. The nine year old tried to fight her off. She tried to save her sister. The woman knocked the girl unconscious and then proceeded to beat the twelve year old to death with her fists. It only took about 20 minutes.

I feel I live in a bubble. This shit happens everyday and a lot of the time it happens to innocents. The movie is entertaining because it is a thriller, but what makes it more than a thriller is its commentary on our country. This really is no country for old men. Too much shit happens that just didn't used to happen when our parents were young. And as we age and become "old", we will feel just as aghast and out of place as our elders probably do now, reading stories about little girls being burnt and murdered while their kids trade new myspace profiles. And it makes me wonder how I'll handle the worst thing that will ever happen to me.

Late in the movie, a character talks about wanting to punish the man that put him in a wheelchair. "Eventually," he says "you waste more time trying to get back whatcha lost...the best thing to do is just put a tourniquet on it and move along."

My generation has a saying like that, I guess. Just not as poetic.

No Country for Old Men ****1/2 out of *****

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