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DVD Review: No Country For Old Men

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No Country for Old Men is the adaptation of Cormac McCarthy's novel of the same name. Near the Mexican-American border in southwest Texas in Terrell County Llewelyn Moss (Josh Brolin) stumbles upon a suitcase containing $2 million dollars at the site of drug deal gone bad. After he flees with the money he is stalked by Anton Chigurh (Javier Bardem), who is hired to get the money back.

The two play a deadly game of cat and mouse; and following the combatants is sheriff Ed Tom Bell (Tommy Lee Jones). Bell is hot on the trail of Moss and Chigurh and wants to stop the two before the peace of his little town is shattered.

The movie is disturbing and follows the intertwining paths of the three characters. Brolin does a good job portraying a Vietnam War vet who is down on his luck. Jones expertly plays a familiar role – a law enforcement agent – but in one of the featurettes he mentions that while no actor wants to get typecast, he couldn’t pass up an opportunity to work with the Coen brothers. But stealing the show is Javier Bardem as a sociopathic killer who is indiscriminate in killing whoever gets in the way of tracking Moss. He uses a captive bolt pistol to kill many of his victims and destroys several cylinder locks to open doors. This is something I hadn’t seen before and was both disturbing and cool and I’m sure we’ll see this tool used again in other films or in a parody of this movie.

What’s unfortunate about the movie is that the three characters don’t cross paths, but then again if they did, the movie would be essentially over.

There are three featurettes on this DVD:

“Working with the Coens: Reflections of Cast and Crew" – This featurette talks about the Coens from the point of view of the cast and crew who all love the Coens and have nothing but respect for them; they discuss how they always look forward to working with them.

“The Making of No Country For Old Men” – This details the Coen brothers' process as they prepare to make the film and how they do so as storytellers; quite interesting especially for the aspiring filmmaker.

“Diary of a Country Sheriff” – This brief featurette explores the contrasts of Sheriff Bell's compassion against the brutality of Anton Chigurh.

The only thing I would have like to see added would be commentary by either the Coen brothers, or some of the actors involved. No Country For Old Men is a great suspenseful drama, but definitely not for the squeamish.

Grade B+

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