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Blu-Ray Review: ‘No Country For Old Men’ Riveting in HD

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HollywoodChicago.com Blu-Ray Rating: 4.5/5.0
Blu-Ray Rating: 4.5/5.0

CHICAGO – Like most truly great films, “No Country For Old Men” gets better every time I see it. My most recent viewing, in pristine HD with the new Blu-Ray release, made me appreciate this dark masterpiece even more than the last time I saw it and I have a feeling it’s one of those films that will change a bit every time I press play. Films like that, ones that get deeper with time, are what we call “must-owns”.

Perhaps it was the flawless HD transfer but what truly struck me this time around was Roger Deakins’ amazing cinematography. The man is at the top of his field (shooting this, “The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford,” and “In the Valley of Elah” in one year). Even if you forget everything else, “No Country” is an amazing film just to look at, the kind of gorgeous filmmaking that is perfect for 1080P and the video transfer is flawless.

No Country For Old Men was released on Blu-Ray on April 7th, 2009.
No Country For Old Men was released on Blu-Ray on April 7th, 2009.
Photo credit: Buena Vista

About now is when a Blu-Ray review usually gets into the plot but how does one even describe “No Country For Old Men”? One of the film’s strengths is its refusal to play by standard genre rules. It’s a western, a noir, a chase movie, an action adventure, features more bloody death than most horror movies, and even has elements of comedy, all in one.

This is a movie with three leads who never meet and what some viewers thought was a non-ending. It is as ambitious a film as the super-talented Coen brothers have ever made and the daring choices they took with it resulted in four Academy awards, including Supporting Actor, Director, Adapted Screenplay, and the Best Picture of 2007.

Essentially, “No Country For Old Men” is about a good guy chasing a bad guy and the average guy caught in the middle. The good guy is an aging police officer played by Tommy Lee Jones. The bad guy is a nearly mythical evil named Anton Chigurh, played by Javier Bardem in his Oscar-winning performance. And the average guy is Llewelyn Moss, played by Josh Brolin in a performance that didn’t get nearly the credit it deserved.

Moss stumbles across a drug deal gone bad. He takes the money he finds and runs, but not before the truly evil Chigurh gets his scent. “No Country For Old Men” is about the title of the film. Times are changing. Life is getting harder, rougher, more impossible to predict. We’re all riding on the flip of a coin and evil can’t be stopped. It’s dark, depressing, and brilliant.

The Blu-Ray release of “No Country For Old Men” finally gives the film the home treatment it deserves after a lackluster first release on standard DVD. The most impressive and extensive series on the Blu-Ray release of “No Country” chronicles a large variety of the press around the film from its release through the film’s Oscar wins.

Viewers can randomly watch an interview (although some are just audio clips) or the entire collection is presented in chronological order. Various interviews with the Coen brothers, Bardem, Brolin, and more sources as diverse as NPR, Charlie Rose, and David Poland provide a great chronicle of the film’s publicity.

As for non-interview bonus features, the collection is still a little light and don’t expect any deleted scenes or commentary tracks. The biggest piece on disc 1 is “The Making of No Country For Old Men,” a 24-minute look at the production. The other featurettes - “Working with the Coens,” “The Diary of a Country Sheriff,” and “Josh Brolin’s Unauthorized Behind-the-Scenes” are all pretty brief.

The lack of a commentary track is disappointing, but “No Country For Old Men” is truly a film that speaks for itself. One of the best films of the last few years has been given the Blu-Ray treatment it deserves with striking video quality and a very intriguing collection of interviews. It would make an excellent addition to anyone’s collection.

‘No Country For Old Men’ is released by Miramax/Buena Vista Home Entertainment and stars Josh Brolin, Javier Bardem, Tommy Lee Jones, Woody Harrelson, Stephen Root, Garret Dillahunt, and Kelly MacDonald. It was written and directed by Joel and Ethan Coen. It was released on April 7th, 2009. It is rated R.

HollywoodChicago.com content director Brian Tallerico

By BRIAN TALLERICO
Content Director
HollywoodChicago.com
brian@hollywoodchicago.com

introspective's picture

Great Movie

This movie is the best that I watched recently. The plot is very original and intriguing. I was surprised by the fact that Tommy Lee Jones did nothing during whole movie, he was just appearing here and there, but he didn’t affected development of story at all.

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