Tuesday, November 27, 2007

New Mexico

This last weekend I went to the movies No Country for Old Men, Superbad, and 3:10 to Yuma. I enjoyed each of them on their own terms. My favorite of the three was the first.

No Country for Old Men is an adaptation of the book by Cormac McCarthy. I've only read a bit of McCarthy in a 20th Century Writers literature class and wasn't that excited about him (then again I wasn't that excited about any school work at that stage in my studies). According to Ebert's review and an interview with the Coen brothers, directors, the book has Tommy Lee Jones' character, the sheriff, providing monologues every other chapter. The movie uses him effectively as a chorus while including him in its fabric. If you're familiar with the Coen Brothers' work, you'll be used to exemplary work from the character actors and this film is no exception. One nice touch I noticed was that there was a pharmacy in the film named Mike Zoss Pharmacy. Which just so happens to be the name of one of the producers.

is a fun character based teen comedy.

3:10 to Yuma is a solid Western. It is a remake, of which I haven't seen the original. Most interesting to me was comparing the acting ability of Russell Crowe and Christian Bale (how do two non-Americans get cast in this Western? see Colin Farrell as Jesse James). I've been impressed by both previously, but Crowe wins the head to head matchup. Each has taken on challenging roles, physically (see Gladiator, The Insider; American Psycho, The Machinist) and emotionally (see Romper Stomper; Empire of the Sun), but the Aussie seems to have more arrows in his quiver compared to the Welshman.

The reason for this post's title is because No Country for Old Men takes place in Texas and 3:10 to Yuma is in Arizona, but they were both filmed in New Mexico. I think the NM film board is doing a bang up job of getting people to film there.

Mary Zophres is the costume designer for No Country for Old Men.

Ruaidhri Conroy
is an actor in the movie Moondance (any hints on pronouncing his first name would be appreciated).

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