my Movie

Movie Details

Title:   No Country for Old Men
Director:   Joel Coen
Year:   2007
Genre:   Crime
Times Seen:   3
Last Seen:   03.31.14

Other Movies Seen By This Director (10)
- Barton Fink
- The Big Lebowski
- Blood Simple
- Burn After Reading
- Fargo
- Inside Llewyn Davis
- Miller's Crossing
- Raising Arizona
- A Serious Man
- True Grit

Notes History
Date Viewed Venue Note
03.31.14DVD We went to Marfa, TX last weekend to get away for a few days. It's rugged desolate country out there but not without beauty. That and The Counselor put me in a mood to watch this again. What a great movie. Smart people clashing. And a really restrained hand by the Coens. The whole thing screams competence. Fantastic.
11.27.07Alamo Ritz Seeing it again was great. I think the big reason why I like the movie is you see a lot of guys thinking and figuring stuff out. We follow along but we're not spoon fed it or nobody walks up and says "oh, you're examining the room layout to know where the mexicans might be hiding, aren't you?" so you feel like you kinda work it out with them. There's a scene in the first season of The Wire where two detectives analyze a crime scene only communicating with the work "fuck" and it's pretty much the same thing. I really love watching people figure stuff out and figuring it out with them.

So big surprise that I still like it. Wel also got to see the PTA-cut There Will Be Blood trailer which is similar to the others but more intense and creepy and they ran the teaser for The Big Lebowski which made me wonder if the Alamo folks read my note about the opening night. Whyever they did it I'm glad because the teaser's pretty cool.
11.01.07Alamo Ritz First Night at the new Alamo!!!

Since I don't like mushrooms I skipped out on the Matango feast, instead getting downtown at around 8 and aquainting myself with east-of-congress parkiing (not fun). I wanted to get there early enough for there not to be a line though so I could hang out a bit with whoever was there and maybe sneak a peek around. As it turns out, after talking with Tim Doyle a bit and checking out the new Mondo Tees store (along with new T-SHirt designs. I need me a Weird Wednesday and Terror Thursday shirt) and looking for some of the 30 differences between the original "Remember the Alamo" poster and the reprint, i glommed onto Zack and Owen as they were about to have a look around.

The lobby is a lobby I guess. I still don't associate it as much with the old downtown lobby. I don't know the square footage but it seeems smaller. That may be due to the layout. The bar is really nice and Mondo Tees is really nice. I love the exterior with the lights on the ceiling and there's a great ZAAT poster that, as Zack pointed out, looks like it's a fake movie poster in the background of some cheap horror movie set in a theater. The color scheme is lots of browns and golds and oranges - very 70s. I actually got the tiniest bit of Kubrickian Shining-ness. Not in any sort of direct way but just the feeling of the lobby and the stairways to the houses. I dunno.

I hate to say this but it feels like an amazingly comfy old-timey lobby if you're seeing an unpopular show. I'm not sure how comfy it'll be with one or both houses sold out. The lobby was pretty warm tonight with so many people in it and the line situation on the stairs still doesn't seem 100% ideal, but I can imagine if there were only say 50 people it'd be a really great space to hang out in for a while then walk up the stairs to take your seat.

The smaller house is bigger than I thought it would be but still quite intimate. It looks like the first row is gonna be ROUGH as it looks approximately 18 inches from the screen, and behind the last row seems to be a thoroughfare for the waiters and runners to bypass the projection booth. The rows have an old-downtown version of stadium seating; looks to seat about 90.

The big house is really great. There's sort of a Paramounty feel as you go through the door to the mezzanine level because the VIP boxes above create a lower ceiling over the back few rows before opening up into a cavernous space ramping down to the screen (which is HUGE by the way). The stage is also very nice, big, and high enough so everyone can see what's going on up there. The view from the VIP boxes is actually quite good as well. It's kind of a weird feeling at first to be looking slightly down at the screen instead of craning your neck up, but I quickly got used to it and it's really fun to be up in the box above (and therefore better than) everyone else. It is a bit of an ordeal to get up to them though. I'm not sure if they'll be in everyday use just because they're so close to the projection booth and you have to traverse the labrynthine waitstaff stairways to get up there (i bet every waiter and runner loses like 15 pounds from all the stairs. crazy!), but it's a nice view and once they get the big loungy comfortchairs up there it'll be a great spot (for tonight they just had padded folding chairs and the old barstools (that I hate) set up with impromptu tables).

There were still lots of little touches of unfinishness here and there. Judging from the blog updates the past few days, I'd say it's amazing how much work got done this last week to make it ready to be open, but I bet it will REALLY be finished in a month or two.

So that's the theater. Overall I was pretty impressed. Someone also mentioned that a second changeover projector was definitely going in soon, hence ending all worry that the big house wouldn't be able to accomodate BNAT or anything else (from what I understand we have Mike to thank for that so... thanks, Mike!). I'd say job well done to everyone that worked on it.

So... ok, after waiting in line for a long time, Karen offered us the option to sit up in the VIP section for the show. I couldn't really say no so I felt like I got some special treatment for a while. Did I mention how great it was to see all the original downtown cats back together again? Sure I'd seen most of them at South Lamar or Village over the summer but... yay for them getting their home back! In my opinion, that crew represents the best service team of the three theaters (not to say the other guys are bad, but a lot of the guys in other locations talk way too loud and never remember that yes, I've been here before). So A huge perk of the VIP seating is our own devoted waitperson: Annie! Yay! Couldn't ask for better! So us VIPS also got some smoked Ostrich thingy which was cool and made me feel very important. Also in the box was the architect and a few other random people. I could hear David Strong in the other box.

Before the show, pretty much everyone saw Tarantino walking around to and from the restroom and it was yet another occasion where it seems like all my movie friends are together in one spot so I was on overload with saying hi and catching up with out of towners and feeling good about life. I LOVE that there's a community surrounding the Alamo and the films they show and that it's been so open as to include me in the past couple years.

So OK! The lights finally dim and lights illuminate the stage. Tim hops up (they didn't put in stairs to the stage yet so they had a couple milk crates zip-tied together making it kind of an adventure to get up there, especially with close to 200 people watching you (and judging)) and starts talking. Happy to be here, blah blah blah, history of the theater, blah blah blah, let's watch a montage. Henri had whipped up two little sequences, one a photo-montage of really early Ritz photos following the theater up through the years set to dewey photo-montage sap music until it ends with a video clip of The Dead Kennedys playing (Word is that The Ritz was the premiere Austin venue for punk music in the seminal 81-83 years). Then Tim br4ought up.... Argh I can't recall his name. Anyway, he used to run the space in the 70s or something and did a lot of interesting things with it (similar to the Alamo) but was ahead of his time I guess. He was cool and funny then they showed another montage of the construction they did to convert a tired pool hall to a brand new theater, culminating in a clip from Fantastic Fest where Tim tries to hereby declare the theater awesome with a champagne bottle that refuese to break (He actually puts a whole in the brick before finally shattering the bottle and sending lethal shards of glass all sorts of ways). Then Henri comes up and pre-emptively apologizes to the wait staff for all the messes he's gonna make in the theater before Tim gets us all to yell out that we declare the theater awesome and Henri blasts the theater with one of those confetti guns. I imagine that it was pretty cool to be down in the falling confetti (especially if you'd just gotten a pizza or something for it to fall in) but I must say it was equally cool to see the ribbions shoot out over half the rows and see everything fall down from my high-above VIP vantage point.

So let's see, what next. I guess that's it unless I'm forgetting something. Tim says that this movie is the best one ever and the lights go down!

Finally! the movie! Well, not yet. First comes a series of Coen trailers culminating with the trailer (not the teaser. unfortunately) for The Big Lebowski. This got lots of cheers. It's weird because... well I'm in the mood to watch the movie again after reading this new fan book about it called I'm A Lebowski, You're A Lebowski, but every time I've seen that movie it still feels like an outcast cult movie to me. It still feels like a movie that parents don't get, yet the entire theater was clearly in the fan club. Maybe that's just the Alamo audience but I dunno. At this point there's two books written about it, festivals centered on it, saturated into pop culture, and the source of countless Halloween costumes. It might be time to accept the fact that it's pretty mainstream.

So, after The Big Lebowski trailer, they had a little bit from Odeon theaters with Barton Fink saying that so many words had been written, so many reams of paper had been used, so many hours of work... the least we can do is not talk. I've never seen this before. It's awesome. They should play it more often.

The Movie. Near perfect in my eyes. At this point I can't see the one problem I had with it as criticism but just a difference of opinion because I literally have one issue with the movie and the rest is perfect. Not to dwell on the negative but just to get it out of the way (and this is a spoiler so skip the rest of this paragraph if you haven't seen the movie or read the book!!!!!), I felt there was one scene missing. When Llewellyn gets to the El Paso hotel, I remember much more in the book with him and the girl seen brieflin in the film talking to him from the pool. The one thing the movie didn't have that I wanted was the scene between them where they're sitting there drinking beer at night or whatever and Moss has this speech or conversation with the girl where he basically expresses that he's accepted his role as a badass and likes it. Up till the phone call between him and Chigurgh, he's more or less just been surviving, but at the end of that call he's now actively chosen to continue the game between them two and he expresses his outlook really well to that girl by the pool and it's about as obtuse as the rest of the dialogue in the film but really communicates that his past life is over and he's now comfortable with being an outlaw and gets a bit of confidence and he's not really aware of just how over his head he is anymore and at that moment, you know he's gone. It's like a great farewell speech in the form of him liking what he's doing. Now, I can understand why it's not there (there are like 3 other big speeches right around that time and it might've taken some tweaking to make it work with that pool girl character since all the other stuff with her from the book isn't there and it might even been a tad too conventional to give him a big dramatic speech right before he dies, lessening the shock of the following scene) but I missed it nonetheless.

Anyway, other than that one little thing, I think this movie's perfect. The movie can't be done any better than this. A home run. Amazing. Everything I was hoping it would be. Really fantastic.
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