Hello, Old Friend-o!

on April 30, 2009 by Steve Simels


no country for old men DVD.jpg

Better late than never: Meant to bring this up last week, but attention must be paid to the splendid new Miramax three-disc collector's edition of No Country for Old Men, the Coen Brother's black comic adaptation of Cormac McCarthy's rather more somber thriller of the same name.

As for the film itself, although I go hot and cold on the Coens, this one's A-list; it's a stylish, twisty sunbaked noir with amazing performances -- the cat and mouse between dazed vet Josh Brolin (with splendid porn mustache), lawman Tommy Lee Jones (who does a kind of depth-enhanced variation on on his trademark wisecracking characters from Men in Black and The Fugitive) and psycho Javier Bardem (a wonderfully mordant turn as a killing machine with the most unfortunate haircut since Harrison Ford's in Presumed Innocent) is one of the great pleasures of recent American cinema. That said, I must add that the film isn't as deep as the Coens seem to want it to be; as my colleague Maitland McDonagh said in her review at the time, "its insights boil down to 'Whichever way you turn, fate sticks out a foot to trip you,' and Detour (1945) got there first."

The new package, on the other hand, is inarguable. Disc one has the film itself in a remarkably detailed widescreen transfer (you can practically feel the heat bouncing of the desert landscapes) along with a couple of superior making-of documentaries. Disc two has what we used to call a plethora of supplemental stuff, including just about every TV appearance the Coens and their stars made to hype the film, the best of which is Brolin's encounter with the spectacularly dim Jeffrey Lyons. (Brolin, in fact, turns out to be quite a droll fellow, and his own "unauthorized" making-of doc is probably the funniest thing of its kind you'll ever see; it begins with him comparing the experience of the filming to the Hanoi Hilton and pretty much takes off from there.) Disc three is a digital copy so you can watch the thing on your iPod; if you are so moved to do so, I would like to meet you, if not, perhaps to shake your hand.


no country for old men still.jpg


Bottom line: A terrific piece of movie making and an exemplary package; you can -- and if you have a little disposable coin in today's irksome economic climate probably should -- order it here.


Tags: No Country for Old Men, Coen Brother, Cormac McCarthy, Josh Brolin, Tommy Lee Jones, Men in Black, The Fugitive, Presumed Innocent, Javier Bardem

read all Simels »

1 Comment

What do you think?