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  1. #1

    No Country for Old Men, let's discuss it (spoilers!)

    I've had to tiptoe around with this film, because it's one of those movies that you absolutely don't want to spoil for people that haven't seen it. But because we're beyond the "Academy Awards barrier" where we should assume that most people have seen it, I think it's time.

    Okay, SPOILERS ahead!!!

    Now, discuss the film... or would you rather call a coin toss?

  2. #2
    This is what I had to say about it in the "What Have You Watched Recently?" thread a little more than a month ago:

    Finally got around to watching No Country For Old Men. I thought it was a terrific movie. The actors were incredible. Solid performances from Tommy Lee Jones, Josh Brolin and especially Javier Bardem. Anton Chigurh was a really memorable villain. He really made the movie. The coin toss scene in the gas station was pure class. That guy definitely deserves an Oscar.
    Javier Bardem was rightfully awarded with his Oscar.
    [FONT=Arial Black]"I'M A LEAD FARMER, MOTHERF***ER!!!!!"[/FONT]
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  3. #3
    I watched this last night and feel like I just wasted two hours of my life. What was the point of all that? The bad guy just kills everyone and gets away while Tommy Lee Jones sits and talks about how he feels too old to do anything about it? I don't get it. I'm glad I didn't watch it in the theater becuase I would have been very angry at the lack of an ending to the story.
    "To be concerned about being grown up, to admire the grown up because it is grown up, to blush at the suspicion of being childish; these things are the marks of childhood and adolescence… When I became a man I put away childish things, including the fear of childishness and the desire to be very grown up." - C.S. Lewis

  4. #4
    I think the point is that there really isn't an "end" to the story. It's about the changing face of crime, and how this "old man" is feeling more and more separated from the world, because it's looking less and less like the place he'd grown up knowing. Obviously something that could apply to anyone, in any place at any time, but they chose to pack that thread into the middle of a thriller with all of these creepy, disjointed and detached killers.

    What I find interesting, is how it's Tommy Lee Jones' separation from all of the insanity, that keeps him alive. In the end, when he's in the same room as "the ghost," it's almost as if they aren't entirely in the same world, and Chigurh chooses to let him pass.

  5. #5
    This was an excellent film.

    I have ideas on how to interpet aspects of the film. First off, the Coen Brothers are amazing at playing with the Hero's Journey. They've done that with Fargo and the Big Lebowski. I bring up the Hero's Journey (HJ) since this site has at least a little to do with Star Wars which is modern pop culture's most recognizable use of the HJ. This review will rely on knowledge of the HJ, which as Star Wars fans we pretty much know backwards and forwards so I'll place in parentheses the equivalent Star Wars version of the HJ for those who might not know Joseph Campbell's genius.

    The way the film sets up, the audience naturally thinks that Josh Brolin is the hero (Luke). He isn't. He's more of the outcast (Han) than anything else. It turns out that Tommy Lee Jones is the hero...a hero that harkens back, at least for me, to the prototypical sheriff in old westerns - a genre that is intimately connected to the USA. But what sets him apart from other heroes is that he refuses the call to adventure ("you must come with me to Alderran if you are to learn the ways of the Force). When Jones arrives at the motel after dark, he is at the threshold of adventure (arriving at Mos Eisley). Instead of crossing the threshold and going forward with investigation, he does not. In the scene towards the end when he consults his mentor (Obi Wan), he decides not to pursue the case, leaving Javier Bardem, the shadow (Vader), to continue his onslaught.

    I read the film two ways at least. One is as an allegory to the war on terror, where the bad guys are coming up through an unguarded border and wreaking havok on Main Street, USA while the people in charge (Jones) are refusing to act and regular people are either too dumb (the gas station attendant) or too busy trying to make money (Brolin) to realize this. This is where looking at the Jones character as a representative of the old American western hero archetype really makes the viewer consider what America is doing (regardless of whether rightly or wrongly) in response to terror.

    The other way I look at the film is as an example of the dehumanization of people by war. One line in the film alludes to the major players (Brolin, Bardem, Harrelson) being Vietnam veterans. Now that war is over, they can't easily reenter into "normal" society. Their training was so thorough and amazing that they must put it to use in all they do, seemingly exchanging the battlefields of one conflict with the backstreets of the southwest.

    Hopefully no one takes offense to anything this brief review. I have tremendous gratitude, respect, and admiration for our troops, past and present.

    This is just what I thought about when I watched this film.

  6. #6
    Much like Big B, I was very upset about Bardem's character walking away at the end of the story - but that likely has everything to do with the side of the street I walk on at work every day. Though I appreciate the plight of the world leaving the old man behind, I don't like the idea that there are no new, hungry young cops out there to take up the fight (and yes, I realize the movie never came out and said this - but murderer's get caught in movies, that's just the way it's supposed to go).

    The acting was amazing. Looking back, I'm very, very glad to have watched this movie. It had real tension, maybe the most I've felt since Silence of the Lambs.
    GOLDEN DEUCE AWARD WINNER & MABUCON ATTENDEE 2008

  7. #7
    Good movie although I'm wondering if on the dvd they have an actual 'ending' to the film rather then how it just stops in the theater release.

  8. #8
    It's like the missing reel in Grindhouse.

    Oh and this movie was the balls.

    :Teek-1B:

  9. #9
    It's "The Seventh Seal" mashed up with "The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly," except this time around Angel Eyes is "Death" incarnate and gets away with the gold.

    It isn't for everybody- it's about as bleak and fatalistic as they come ("On the Beach" is the only thing I've seen that's more cold-blooded). It's like a Kubrick film, easy to greatly admire, but difficult to love. If you go for movies that provoke a reaction, "No Country" is full of moments of unbearable tension and will leave you with strong feelings, for better or worse.

    I might watch it one more time, but I doubt I would ever watch it again after that. I'd definitely recommend it to others.

    Quote Originally Posted by Maradona View Post
    One is as an allegory to the war on terror, where the bad guys are coming up through an unguarded border and wreaking havok on Main Street, USA while the people in charge (Jones) are refusing to act and regular people are either too dumb (the gas station attendant) or too busy trying to make money (Brolin) to realize this.

    The other way I look at the film is as an example of the dehumanization of people by war. One line in the film alludes to the major players (Brolin, Bardem, Harrelson) being Vietnam veterans. Now that war is over, they can't easily reenter into "normal" society. Their training was so thorough and amazing that they must put it to use in all they do, seemingly exchanging the battlefields of one conflict with the backstreets of the southwest.
    I took a different view: the movie posits that we are who we are, and we lack the capacity for change. Society cannot change, it never has changed, we are becoming neither better nor worse. Most of us are just self-interested (Brolin), vain (Jones), or downright evil (Bardim). It is our immutable ugly nature that predetermines our lives.

    But that isn't the end- there is also the element of random chance- if we are to be spared/saved, it is as much a function of total freaking luck as it is who we are. Our fates are decided as much by flips of the coin as our relative "goodness".

    That is bleak as Hell, and not likely to sit well with our prejudices & expectations, specifically our innate need to believe in a fundamentally just world. I think you can see some of that in both jjreason's and BigB's posts.

    "Deserves" got nothin' to do with it.
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