No Country For Old Men

Today I actually organized a bunch of friends to go to the movies with me. I set the time. Told everyone when to get there a half-hour early so we would nab good seats. And I even got there extra early to be safe.  I felt proud for being all organizy and arriving first! Anyway, I had some time to kill while I waited for em, so I took out my Razor phone and started cleaning up my 'Contacts'. Getting all the names straight. Doing the slightly sad action of deleting someone I haven't spoken to in ages (knowing that I could reach them via email if I really wanted but never gonna just call out of the blue). I had some double numbers. Some hazy nicknames that needed to be clarified. Etc. An overdue weeding essentially. It felt good. The whole thing was nice and clean.

After I was done I remembered that there was some way to 'backup' my contacts on the phone itself. I wanted to be smart and do that. I've lost numbers before on this phone from Sim cards frying out or whatever. There's more memory on the phone for backup or something. But that function is hidden underneath the glop of useless/worthless/and/or/confusingly stupid phone functions. But I finally found it and proudly hit 'COPY' all contacts 'TO PHONE'. It asked me if I want to OVERWRITE or MERGE. Merging always seems to create some weird duplicate situation so I went with OVERWRITE. And by clicking 'OK' to that I succeeded in totally obliterating all my contacts from the phone. Boom done. Everybody erased. I don't want to talk about it anymore.*

...but I do want to talk about this movie! I was really psyched up for it going in. It looked all dark, dusty and warped in the previews! It smelled like it had the potential to be something friggin out of this world. And from the second it started through the first hour and a half, I kept finding myself tiptoeing into the area of.... Is this flick the best thing the Coney brothers have ever done? I was digging it so much I felt like I could sit there all day and watch this movie. Like if I suddenly found out it was five hours long... I'd actually be psyched. All the characters (main and side) were friggin excellent. Nothing and nobody and was bothering me. The violence was shockingly special. Plot juicy and bookishly real. Death was all swollen and fly buzzy. And in the background, there was this vague sound of an engine slowly accelerating. I totally buckled up and jammed popcorn in my face absolutely stunned at my complete amusement. From top to bottom, fancy shots, loud noises, characters, plot, gun play, talky talk, awesome action, shadows, closeups, funny, momentum. It all worked for me.

Then at like the 3/4 mark I noticed that I wandered away in my head for a few minutes. Just stepped away from watching closely. Not sure if I was backtracking to try and figure out something lingeringly hazy or if I just needed a downtime from hardcore focus. But instead of jumping back into the flick, I found myself slightly-lost, getting nitpicky about loopholes, and feeling like the whole thing was starting to drift. Unnecessary side characters stumbled onto the screen and added nothing. It practically mumbled a major turning point. The texture got papery. And fell backwards into some kind of art-house jibberjabber. Basically, for an hour and a half it seemed like this movie was speeding toward a cliff. Three characters in three cars-- racing to see who could zoom off the cliff first... and furthest. And just when I was top-notched geared up to see em fly, one car got kinda konked out and a wheel flew off. Another just turned around and went home. And the third... well, I wasn't totally clear about what happened to the third-- but I knew one thing. It sure didn't fly.

Three Good Things About this Movie

- Jeff Brolin is so calm and badass at the same time that he put everything into an instant groove.
- Javier Barnum had so many moments of such deep creep that he put a weird taste in my mouth.
- When that dog started chasing... I thought I was gonna pee myself on purpose out of respect.

Three Bad Things About this Movie

- Although I really dug what they talked about, the folksy Tommy Lou Jonesy "smart/hick" sheriff with the "hick/smart" deputy was a little been there done that.
- There were a couple scenes that could have been straight out lopped off
- In the end, it was a similar feeling to when you walk out of a strip club...

Yadda, I'm sure there will be people who will argue that this "untraditional" ending is what actually makes this movie great. Brave filmmaking choices etc. They might present some blabber about staying faithful to the book and blah blah. But I ain't buying it. And I didn't read the book so I don't care. I admit I may have the American-minded problem of being pre-conditioned to want what I want from a flick-- but all I know is when the credits started rolling I found myself desperately scrambling around in my head to patch together closure for this flick-- while feeling shorted of the deep-breathed satisfaction that goes along with a standard triumph or defeat.


* One more thing, I saw the movie at this place Brooklyn Academy of Music. (BAM) and I was killing time messing with my phone in this back loungey area that was empty. Just a bunch of couches and stuff but nobody was in there but me. This guy and girl come into the room and sit across the way and the guy starts grilling the girl about something to do with her past sex life. She'd be like, 'I just don't see how it matters. I'm with you know. ' And he was all, 'I think I have a right to know who you've been with...' And she was like, 'Does it really matter?' It was like that kind of conversation. But I was totally in the room. Totally in earshot. Sitting there like, 'Am I a ghost or something?' Don't they see me... like right across from them...? It was weird. When it started to get heated I got up and left. Which I felt was polite. Even though they were rude to come into my space and argue in my face...