Tag Archives: spoilers

No Country For Old Men

 

The triumph of evil over good.

Good has nothing going for it in this movie. The last violent scene felt like the punch line to the whole movie: Not even random bad luck can stop an evil man. In contrast, Moss (Josh Brolin) refuses to abandon or even mess around on his wife and for this he gets greased by a truck full of Mexican drug dealers.

Sheriff Bell (Tommy Lee Jones) is a good guy, but he can’t stop even a single one of the bad things that happens. The old man with the cats saying he would forgive the person who (presumably) had put him in the chair is good, but his situation is pretty bleak. Hell, Moss would have gotten off scot-free if not for his need to do a good deed.

Chigurh (Javier Bardem), the bad guy with the bad hair (and an unpronounceable name), steals the show. The scene with the coin and the old Texas gas station attendant is more effective at articulating an evil character than anything else from recent memory. And it contains no blood.

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The Bourne Ultimatum

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This is just a great movie.

It’s about redemption, but not just for Jason Bourne, an incredibly likeable assassin who discovered (in previous movies) that he has been turned into a killing machine by the government. Moreover, he has lost his taste for killing. In this movie, we discover his own complicity in the nasty business of turning himself into a killer. The movie doesn’t actually say, but one imagines it was September 11 that drove Bourne to such desperate measures. Now he’s sorry and wants to make up for it, indicting (but not killing!) all of the right wing loonies he’s been in bed with the past few years.

Bourne is an American everyman in a Post-Iraq-Goat-Rope-Brought-To-Us-By-Our-Paranoia world. In this movie, he has finally come around. Good for him.

Good for us.

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Pan’s Labyrinth

This is a dark fairytale about a little girl’s coming-of-age during the Spanish revolution. Ofelia, a young girl who loves fairy tales, is being brought to the country to live with her mother’s new husband, a dark Captain serving with the fascist forces. No sooner is Ofelia in the country, she begins fantasizing she has met a vaguely terrifying faun who sends her on quests.
 
All of the father’s in this movie are evil or weak: the Captain, the faun (I know this is sort of a metaphoric fatherhood role, but I gasped at one point when an imperiled Ofelia nuzzles with the faun, as any child might with a parent), even early on there is a peasant farmer who watches helplessly as the Captain slaughters his son. I found it creepy how Ofelia’s relationship to the faun sort of mirrored her mother’s relationship to the Captain. On one level it seems perfectly normal for Ofelia to imagine a character as dark as the faun, considering how the Captain eagerly risks Carmen’s life.

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Christmas Spoilers

I hate spoilers. I was at a church social right after the last Harry Potter book came out. Everyone knew they had killed off a main character, but nobody knew who it was. I humiliated myself and my family by scowling at one of the church ladies who couldn’t resist spoiling the book. I expect more from church ladies.

Here is my favorite spoiler story: We were taking my daughter, who was 4 years old at the time, to a Christmas play and we had one of her friends in the car. My wife and I had just started attending Catholic church that year and my daughter was enjoying a mild surge of curiosity about Jesus. We played up the idea that Christmas was baby Jesus’ birthday and got a little nativity scene for the house. From the back seat, I heard my daughter start humming a little Christian tune, “Jesus Loves Me.”

Then I heard her little friend say this: “Jesus? He’s dead. They stuck pins in his feet and hands and killed him.”

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