Monday, February 25, 2008

Criminal Profiling Topic of the Day: No Country is, quite simply, No Good

Everyone is raving today and claiming the Oscars have finally got it right because No Country for Old Men nailed the awards. I, however, am not thrilled. This means I am either out of tune with what people today think has merit or I am that little boy who says "But the emperor is naked!" Why No Country for Old Men won four Oscars and why almost every critic and filmgoer thinks this film is a masterpiece is totally beyond me. I hated the film. I really hated it.

Let me qualify my film tastes because if I only think movies like Mary Poppins are good, then one could understand I have limited scope and No Country would just be too far outside my mindset. This is not the case, however. I love "Reservoir Dogs" which would eliminate the idea I cannot handle a movie with blood, violence, and sick psychopathy. I also have always put the Coen brothers at the top of my favorite directors list: Blood Simple (clever mystery and great film noir styling), Fargo (gotta love the characters), The Great Lebowski (quirky issues), and even, O' Brother...because it was an amazingly feel good film that had one smiling when you came out of the theatre (quite the opposite of how I felt after No Country).

So, I saw No Country the minute it hit the theatres, before there was a buzz or any expections one way or the other. I went alone as well, so I had no one to worry about liking a Coen flick. I had popcorn and my soda and a good seat. Nothing helped me like this film. I hated it from first killing scene to the bitter grueling end. I thought it was gratuitously violent, pointless and terribly boring. It was nothing, in my opinion, but a teenage boy style gore film that dragged on and on. I found it offensive, to my sense of decency, my intelligence and my use of time. I was most offended that directors I respected had fallen so far from good film making that they jumped on the gore film obsession train out there and put together such a vile, useless film. I guessed maybe they were in a dual midlife crisis and desired to be cool "young" dudes again. I dunno.

I figured I was not going to be alone. A lot of people don't like the Coen's movies anyway, so I figured they would be trashed over this film. I figured many would be offended by the sickness of the film and the gore freaks, even if they like the killing scenes, would be bored by the tediousness of the rest of the film. I figured the film would bomb.

But, then I kept hearing the Oscar buzz, about how great No Country was and critic after critic rang out its praises. I thought, wtf? Did we see the same film? I googled all the way to the end of the search results and I googled the blogs searching for someone else out there in the vast universe who thought the film stunk. I found a few folks who felt as I did about the film, but, only a few.

I can't figure it out. If you hated this movie, please, give me a holler. In a year where the only other movie getting constant rave reviews was Superbad, No Country seems to seal the fate of the direction the American movie industry is going...straight into the crapper. No Country for Old Men may indicate this will become No Country for Decent Movie Going and the award for sending us to join the French goes to ::drumroll:: Joel and Ethan Coen::applause::.

Criminal Profiler Pat Brown


Inspector Winship said...


You aren't alone. NCfOM didn't have the broad appeal of the average person. In fact of all the nominees for best flick, only two were in the top 50 for earnings. In fact in the top 10, seven were films PG-13 or lower . I am disturbed the woefully aweful and testosterone drenched "300" did so well since that was terrible on so many levels. But hell, if "Titanic" can beat "As Good as it Gets" for best flick, maybe we are all headed to Hell in a hoola-hoop.

Vanessa Leggett said...

The ending ruined it for me, but not completely, once I considered the title, No Country for Old Men. A friend who read Cormac McCarthy's story (from which the film was adapted) before seeing the movie seemed to have a greater appreciation of it. Beautifully shot, though. The film, that is, not the hero. The character the film had led me to believe was the (anti)hero was in fact shot. And that's not a spoiler, since he wasn't the hero. But after I'd been rooting for him to get the bad guy, his death was a cheap shot. And we had to assume he'd been killed, though it happened off screen. Perhaps, while watching, I missed other things that had happened off screen. . . . I'm still a huge Coen brothers fan, and I'm glad they received recognition for their work. They can keep playing in their corner of the sandbox, and I'll always show up to see what they've created.

Ronni said...

I don't like the Cohen Brothers, except for an occasional chuckle amidst the discomfort.

I haven't seen this movie. My taste runs to witty or subtly psychological.

Turner Classic Movies is my refuge.

sonias said...

I never watch oscar nominated movies, theyr'e all a pile of crap...the only reason these films get oscars is because it has 'one of the boys' in it

sonias said...

oh....and for the maddy watchers, eddie and keela the dogs that discovered the death scent, the same dogs that were dismissed as not been very good, well they discovered parts of a body in a jersey orphanage, then located another 6 hotspots!!!

Preraphazon said...

Interesting about the scent dogs. I need to update myself on that story.

Well, thanks for the warning about No Country for Old Men. I probably would have rented it -- and been really sorry. I just read a total spoiler for it and knew it wasn't for me once someone shot a dog.

Ronni said...

I do not know why the film industry has to keep pushing the discomfort envelope.