No Country for Old Men 3-Disc DVD Review

Javier Bardem was terrible in No Country for Old MenA little known movie called No Country for Old Men came out a couple years back, raked in a few random awards and then settled into obscurity. With few critics or audiences avidly backing the film, the movie disappeared quickly, taking with it its shoddy acting and direction. Good riddance.

Alas, Miramax believes it can make a few more dollars on the unsuspecting moviegoer, as they are about to release on Tuesday a 3-Disc Collector’s Edition. You can read my full No Country for Old Men movie review, where I fault the picture for a variety of things including its lack of excitement, questionable acting – especially by the awful Javier Bardem – and horrific direction by the Coen brothers, or you can read on for my review of this new DVD collection…

For the small group of people who actually liked this dull picture, this new collector’s edition is packed full of interviews, featurettes and other stuff, though unless you’re a part of the 0.5% who actually care to watch this movie on a three-inch-wide iPod screen, you will be disappointed to find that the third disc is simply a digital copy of the movie.

The first disc comes with a couple of featurettes, highlighted by a 30-minute making-of documentary that does a very good job of exploring the casting, writing and direction of No Country for Old Men. The featurette feels very honest in its approach and avoids coming off as promotional; this is one of the better making-of featurettes I’ve seen recently.

The Diary of a Country Sheriff is a waste of time, but Working With The Coens is one of many interesting featurettes that attempt to dive into the minds of the Coens. They have a unique way to making films, and these featurettes address how the two work together, how they never fight, and why they tend to sleep more than work. It also brings to light their $2 million procedure that allows them to reattach themselves at the hip each night, much to the disapproval of their wives.

The second disc starts off with a bang, offering us the short but inspired Josh Brolin’s Unauthorized Behind-the-Scenes Featurette, a Brolin-helmed documentary that shows how the movie was really made. The highlight here is a silhouette of Bardem explaining how cruel the Coens were to him, always staring him down and telling him just how much he sucks. Priceless.

There are nearly a dozen other interviews, featurettes and TV segments included on the disc, though I could only find half of what was listed on the back of the box. Some are better than others, but they are mapped out on a timeline that depicts the film’s public relations tour. Included here are more interviews with the cast – the best are the ones between Bardem and Brolin, who seem to have a great rapport with one another – and the Coens. A podcast that further drills into the Coens’ work habits is pretty entertaining. Avid TV watchers may recognize segments from ABC, and other stations, as well as NPR and a few others.

As for the other featurettes that I couldn’t find, I’m presuming that since I was using my computer to watch the DVD, the link to the second page wasn’t clickable. Great product design there, Miramax.

As bad as No Country for Old Men is, this is a pretty worthwhile collection, though standard featurettes like an audio commentary or deleted scenes are noticeably missing. And how much do you want to bet that at least one person is going to comment on this post describing how stupid I am for hating the movie, ignoring the overt sarcastic overtones riddled throughout the review.

By Erik Samdahl
Related categories: DVD Releases, Movie Reviews
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