May 2008

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I would like to add an entry for ending. Does the movie roll credits with some yammering old retired Sheriff?



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My comment is way late in the game

If Scott went into the movie not expecting a coen brother movie, it could come as a serious unhappy surprise. A lot of people I talked to who hated the movie had a "click" moment when I asked them if they like other serious coen brother movies they had seen.

However, something I am seeing more and more is that people I encounter are finding anything not exceedingly linear, simple, and uncomplicated "incomprehensible."

If the movie contains any symbolism, multiple plot lines, or asks to you infer something they don't get it. To the point that "lord of the rings" is a complicated movie for some of them. I get that the ending of "the prestige" required you to remember stuff that happened earlier in the movie that seemed like a random scene at the time, and so that's somewhat complicated, I guess (I had to explain the ending to someone I was watching it with). But "lord of the rings," the first movie (not even the second one), seriously?



I think No Country is about nihilism. Ultimately that life has no meaning and is disturbing in that it doesn't, finally make sense.

I don't share that view and was very encouraged when the unwashed masses (which I would include myself in) really responded negatively to the ending.

Lots of groans and a loud, well placed, "what the hell?" pretty much captured the feel of the room. A+ for the crowd.

There's hope for us yet.

On an unrelated note, you should consider watching and blogging about the movie Expelled. Would be excellent fodder for us monkeys dying to cha-cha and the blog brain.

I would be interested in your take.

Toward the end, Ben Stein basically gets Richard Dawkins to take off his pants and spank himself.

Hey, with some popcorn, that's a good time.

It was delicious and definitely worth the $8.50.


I totally agree.
In fact, I want to start a new petition to get your money back after watching a sh*t movie...I'm calling it the Campaign Against Sh*t Movies, or GASM for short.
Who's with me?
This way Hollywood will stop making bad movies and we'll all be better off. Also, Cinemas will start giving honest reviews, ever noticed how at Vue or Cineworld all the movies get a good review?


Try a hearing aid and Depends.

Otherwise just RENT the damn things.


Best to go sight unseen
Saw Old Men as I see all the directors' pics
Saw Juno as I had seen the writer on Letterman[as a stripper not a writer]
Saw Run Fat Boy Run as I see all of Pegg's pics and added bonus of Thandie.
Enjoyed all immensely, though Old men did have me going 'wtf?' for a few minutes
And then the next day dig up the review and find out what the hack thought of the flick

works for me almost all the time


I agree with you there. Can't be bothered watching some terrible piece of brutal crap like Hostel, and often wonder at the reason of people who actually paid to see this shit. It's yet another hint that society is crumbling around us when watching torture passes as entertainment.


I like the "Motion Sickness" and "Flesh" categories...makes good sense to know how green I'm going to be at the end of the movie or exactly how much flesh that "R" or "NC17" is really referring to.

I'd also like to suggest another category...the "Drama/Overacting" category - specifically for the those actors/actresses who firmly believe in the "Captain Kirk School of Drama" type of acting.

Even someone with "Star Power" can inadvertently throw in a few overacted lines for dramatic purposes.

Tanya G

Interesting comments - all of them. Here's how I use critics to determine which movies I would really like to see... if Ebert & Roeper give a movie Two Thumbs Up, I know that I will generally give it one thumb down, so I don't go. I realize that two thumbs is not really enough to accurately judge a movie. If they threw a couple of toes in there, maybe I'd reconsider?

Tanya G

Interesting comments - all of them. Here's how I use critics to determine which movies I would really like to see... if Ebert & Roeper give a movie Two Thumbs Up, I know that I will generally give it one thumb down, so I don't go. I realize that two thumbs is not really enough to accurately judge a movie. If they threw a couple of toes in there, maybe I'd reconsider?

Greg M.

Dear Scott--
Oh dear. I don't know if we'd get along. I like being surprised by movies, and I feel like some movies earn their ambiguous/downbeat endings, and "No Country" for me was one of those.
The key word is "tricked." Were you *actually* tricked? Or did you just not do due diligence? I see a lot of movies, and only twice in the past five years have I found myself trapped in a movie I hated (Across the Universe and one of the less-than-stellar Adam Sandler movies), and one of the reasons for that is that I read reviews. (Yeah, yeah, spare me whatever complaints you may have about "the critics"--there's no such thing. Each critic is an individual.) The trick is to find 4-5 critics whose tastes are clear, even if you don't agree with them. Clearly, you need to find a critic who's good at capturing the tone of a movie. Although, if you had known going in that this was a Coen brothers movie, and, more importantly, a Coen brothers non-comedy, you could immediately have placed it with "Blood Simple," "Miller's Crossing," "Barton Fink," "Fargo," and "The Man Who Wasn't There"--all of which could be said to have downbeat endings, many of which are confusing.
The movie didn't fail. You failed to find out who the writer/director was in advance and note their previous work. Do your research & you won't be disappointed.

Tomas Liubinas

Still thinking about it, eh?

A keyword for you: Yeats.

Greetings from Lithuania


There should be a rating or warning about meaningless scenes of sex, violence, or song-and-dance. I have nothing against sex and violence that is really part of the story, (the song and dance numbers are pretty sickening regardless), but when the filmmakers toss in a quickie bedroom scene, or slash someone's throat, just to appeal to the teenage male demographic, it's insulting to those of us who might want to follow the plot.

Random pedant

If you think the title of Dario Argento's "Inferno" indicates anything about that movie, then are you going to be in for a surprise.

steve schiwetz

Don't read The Odyssey or go see The Third Man.

U might get depwessed

John Reedy

I like to rate movies on what they make me want to do afterwards...Do I feel like chopping off my arm, saving the world, or doing my girlfriend?


Any films that wins a Oscar should be boycotted.

Diana W

Yes, when No Country for Old Men ended, my immediate reaction was "What the Hell??!!" I wanted to slap everyone who made the film and everyone who voted for it for Best Picture because the ending sucked. Why didn't I see that in any reviews? "Good shoot-em-up story with a sucky ending". The same weekend I rented Atonement. That had a good beginning and end, but a dragged-out, pointless section in the middle. Still, I preferred that to NCfOM.


What are you, 79?


I was not terribly surprised by the way the movie of "No Country for Old Men" turned out, since I'd read another Cormac McCarthy novel "Blood Meridian". I was pretty sure that it wouldn't end in a way that would make me happy.

Considering the strong tradition of a happy ending, it's good to see some movies that disappoint this expectation, particularly if they're this well done.

It's also good sometimes to be totally thrown off by the way a story develops. If I want security going into a movie, I'll watch one that I've seen before.


OHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH, so you are talking about "No Country For Old Men", ehhh?? This is similar to my reaction. I say, YES, it is a great movie, but is it what America needs right now?? I feel more like we need something to help lift us up right lift our spirits. A movie where the good guys win...or something like that. Anyway here is a good article on "No Country For Old Men" and some other movies of a similar tone that have been captivating movie audiences of late:

Jason Wiener

Interesting post, Scott.

I'm not a professional reviewer, but I do watch hundreds of movies--in theaters--every year (and blog about them at, so I think my perspective is closer to the critics than to ordinary filmgoers (not that I agree with the critics, it's just that I understand their perspective).

For the record, I liked "No Country for Old Men" but I understand how most casual moviegoers wouldn't. It's a cruel, cruel movie--cruel to its characters, and cruel to its audience (I think most people's frustration with the ending is not just that it's a downer, but because it doesn't give you anything to grasp as a resolution).

I think critics (and I) liked it because it's not something we've seen before. It's very easy when you watch hundreds of movies to become very jaded and dismiss a solid crowd-pleaser as something you've seen many times before. It's hard for them to remember (or sympathize with) the fact that most people see a movie maybe once a month, once a week if they're fans, and so they haven't seen (or don't remember) the dozens of movies they've seen that make their current movie look bad.

So a suggestion, how about a movie review site where the "critics" can't be professional film critics, they can only submit a review once a month, and they can't watch more that one movie a week. Get professional writers (like yourself) to submit the reviews, since I hate all the poorly written amateur reviews on IMDb. Perhaps critics of other forms (sports writers, food critics, culture critics, etc.) can once a month see a movie and write a review of it. I suspect the reviews will be less jaded and closer to true popular opinion. If nothing else, it could add a valuable extra voice.

BTW, speaking of movies where you know what you'll get just from the title, check out "Zombie Strippers". Like you'd expect, you get a profound philosophical deconstruction of the work of Nietzsche.

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Haha, another funny post here. Bladder...that's really very clever.




I saw the French movie Jean de Florette about 20 years ago. I have never been so depressed by a movie as by that one. I kept waiting for something good to happen, or at least neutral. But no. The drought gets worse. The crops die. The livestock dies. The main character dies. Then the bad guy gets the land. The wife and daughter are driven off to the poor house as the bad guy unplugs the spring that he plugged up at the beginning of the film. Ugh!


"Recently I got tricked into seeing a movie ..."

You stumbled upon the key to it right there. Hollywood has a choice: be more forthcoming in informing viewers what to expect, or have viewers who pay to see their movies. Unfortunately they can't have both anymore.

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