Monday, February 25, 2008

Tom's Day at the Movies: No Country For Old Men

Tom takes us on a trip to see the Coens' latest lauded offering, No Country For Old Men. Here's part I of Doctor Jolliffe's pleasant experience.
Not long into 2008, merely weeks, and I decided to go out of my way to a nearby cinema to see No Country For Old Men. Out of my way as such because my two nearest, and favoured multiplexes decided not to show this particular film (though following its box office success, they have since put it in their line up). I knew No Country For Old Men would be good. I’d seen a few good reviews without delving to hard into too many, so as not to give anything away. I also knew it was vintage Coen, and given that I’m a big fan of the brothers C, I was excited to say the least. So off I ventured- a 20 minute bus ride, to the Regal Picture house in Henley On Thames. I got there, whipped out my still valid Student ID (even though it’s been a over a year since I was a dirty tax dodging student!), and got my self a nice little discount. A clean, round fiver for my ticket, a good wedge less money than the bigger multiplexes, even after student concession. A word on the Regal picture house in Henley, well it’s a delight! An old fashioned, very British style cinema. We’re talking 3 screens, not huge, but big enough for that “cinematic” experience, while the sound system is loud, punchy, but not obnoxiously so like the more American styled cinemas I usually go to.
Indeed I watched Sweeney Todd a week or so after No Country, and aside from finding that film watchable, yet highly overrated, it’s wretched songs where played about 100 decibels higher than wretched songs should be. But the Regal was homely, relaxed, tasteful, and impeccably presented. With ticket in hand and a now emptied bladder (in preperation for the 2 hours plus running time that I didn’t want interrupted) I casually strolled into screen number 1. Given that this was a midday showing on a Tuesday, the screen was currently empty- and by the time the film started only two other people entered to watch this sucker. I felt no shame in watching this alone. It was after all a spare of the moment decision, and being as my days off are weekdays, and most of my buds have weekends off, I felt inclined to just go myself rather than wait on when I could rope someone else in to see it too.
The trailers came up, nothing really distracted me from my Coen inspired level of concentration I was building up, that is until There Will Be Blood’s trailer popped up on screen. A cracking trailer and for one main reason, Daniel Day Lewis. Even in this 2-minute trailer, every truncated glimpse and tease of Day Lewis’ performance had me fascinated, intrigued, engrossed and just in awe. The guy’s a great actor, to the point he spews forth immense charisma, immense gravitas into the short preview. Definitely one to mark in my diary. Trailer, over, and now to the main event! Tune in next time as Tom breaks No Country For Old Men wide open!