So, I’m a big No Country for Old Men fan. I was a big fan when I wrote my FSR review back in November. I was a big fan when I called a scene from the film the most memorable of the year. I’m a big No Country fan.
Please see those above links for my personal thoughts on the film. You can also listen to the most recent episodes of Strong Words for more No Country debate than you can imagine. Needless to say, I was eagerly anticipating the DVD release.
No Country plays on the small screen just as well as it did on the big screen. The suspense is still there, the atmosphere is still there, and the incredible performances are still riveting. Also, I swear I forgot how goddamn funny this movie is. For first-time viewers or people who were made aware of No Country from the Academy Awards season, you owe it to yourself to go check it out. You may not love it, but give it a chance. It’s a simple story about a bag of money, but like Anton Chigurh (Javier Bardem) says when he flips his first quarter “[this coin's] been traveling 22 years to get here. And now it’s here. And it’s either heads or tails.” The same can be said for the relationship between man’s life and money. The two can both be gambled upon and they can both be inexplicably taken away. The fate is yours, friend-o (couldn’t resist).
As for the DVD, one would expect a grand release for the most recent Best Picture winner, but in that matter one would be wholly disappointed. There isn’t much in the way of special features except for a few short featurettes which basically serve to exclaim how genius has been realized by the Coen Brothers. One featurette about the day in the life of a sheriff is not as neat as you would predict, because it has nothing to do with an actual Texas sheriff or how Tommy Lee Jones got his motivation to play Ed Tom Bell in the film. It’s another documentary short about how the Coens know exactly what they’re doing when they make movies, and why it worked casting Tommy in a role and region he knows well (Tommy Lee Jones is actually from San Saba, Texas where the story takes place), but doesn’t touch upon how a sheriff operates or how an everyday law-man would deal with the unique terrifying nature of an all-or-nothing man like Anton Chigurh.
High-fives: The film’s cinematography still looks wonderful on DVD; hearing Kelly MacDonald go back and forth between her original Scottish accent to her pitch-perfect West Texas drawl in the documentaries is amusing; Josh Brolin and Javier Bardem duking it out; being able to watch the movie as much as I want to continue to glean deeper meaning.
Low-fives: Watching the snarky Coens stumble through interviews; having to defend this movie to your friends who thought it pales in comparison to There Will Be Blood.