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This week:
No Country for Old Men

Filthy says:
"It's a clusterfuck, Texas style!"

No Country for Old Men has more blood than the Harelip's pillow the morning after unemployment checks are issued. This movie is as gruesome and violent as my cousin's 14th birthday party, when my uncle gave him a pellet gun, and my aunt screamed at him that he was adopted and unloved. This is also every bit as fucking good, and you don't have to hide behind the sofa to avoid getting shot in the ass.

The movie is based on a Cormac McCarthy novel, who has made a pretty damn good living writing neowesterns about big open spaces and heartless bastards who terrorize them. Well, he has ever since his little-known debut novel, The Pretty Pony Princess' Kissing Party. But even that one ends up with 37 dead horses, even if they are pink and have rainbow manes.

In No Country for Old Men, a man (Josh Brolin) hunting pronghorn antelope near the Rio Grande stumbles upon the scene of a clusterfuck of a drug deal. Four trucks, everyone but one man dead. And that guy's hanging on to life as loosely as Worm does to his claims he is a wrongly-convicted sex offender. The dope is still at the scene, but the money's gone. Brolin follows a trail across the dry landscape to a dead Mexican who bled to death after taking the two million bucks.

After Brolin takes the dough back to his trailer-home, his conscience hits him. He is generally a decent, honest guy. That's established when he picks up the shells after firing his rifle at the antelope. Now he is so consumed with guilt over not helping the one near-dead man at the clusterfuck that he returns with a jug of water for him. That's when the bad guys show up, find him and he has his first narrow escape.

The problem is that now Javier Bardem knows who he is, and Bardem is one seriously bad ass. I don't mean bad ass in the sense of one full of chili and artichokes. I mean bad ass in the sense of humorless, remorseless, amoral killer. He doesn't flinch at killing a gas station attendant for kicks. His every scene is drenched in dread because you have no idea who he'll kill or how much blood will pool. He carries a high-pressure air tank and a pneumatic gun that shoots a rod out. He puts that through the forehead of his victims and also for blowing out stubborn doorlocks.

No matter where Brolin goes, Bardem isn't far behind, almost like a ghost, or maybe a conscience, or may be a collective black cloud over our society. Brolin tries to move his newfound wealth across the state and Bardem is always right behind him. When Brolin shacks up in a motel, the bastard shows up in the night and kills three men. When Brolin checks into another hotel in another city, Bardem is at his door, and puts a towel at the bottom so Brolin can't tell when someone is outside.

What's most shocking about No Country for Old Men is that Brolin gets exactly what's coming to him for getting in over his head with some fucked up bad guys. Now this is where someone is going to bitch that I "spoiled" the story. First, boo-fucking-hoo. If your life is so empty that having a plot point revealed to you ruins your day, go fuck yourself. Then go eat a whole box of Girl Scout cookies by yourself; that'll make you feel better. Second, it's not the point of the movie, so if you're all worked up about it, then you missed the bigger fucking picture.

Of course, some asshole is still going to write to me and be all uppity and self-righteous. That's because some people are like that. And as I said, they can go fuck themselves.

When Brolin dies, it throws a huge monkey wrench into the machinery. All the sudden, the movie goes from being a pretty fucking good cat-and-mouse story with a seriously scary villain, to something way more meditative and profound. Really, Javier Bardem's omniscient and omnipresent bad guy is as terrifying as Mrs. Filthy was the time she ate that warm shellfish. Bardem's not quite as gassy or swollen, but he kills more people. So, it's a pretty equal tradeoff.

Speaking of tradeoffs, Tommy Lee Jones plays the same fucking taciturn sheriff he always plays. The only difference is that he seems a bit more disinterested in the bad guy this time. He goes through the motions, follows along, but he's never ahead of the criminals and he makes a pretty concerted effort to stay out of the way. He retires with Bardem still loose and blowing big holes through foreheads. He made a conscientious choice to not get involved and it's gonna haunt him the rest of his life.

Anyway, after Brolin dies, there's still another half-hour of movie and it gives you time to think about what Bardem's character represents, and what the title of the movie actually means. The inference is that there is evil out there that can't be stopped and is omnipresent. Some may disagree with that, but they usually haven't met the Harelip.

No Country for Old Men looks pretty fucking great. It captures how brown, flat and sad most of Texas is almost as well as Win Wenders' Paris, Texas. It's a product of the Coen Brothers, who really have made a lot of loosey, goosey mediocre movies of late. But this one is damn tight and focused, even though it's languid and built on men who speak little. There is economy in every landscape and a real sense of the outlaw sensibility of the hillbillies living there.

I already said it, but it's worth repeating: Bardem is fucking scary as shit. He makes his scenes uncomfortable and tense before he says a word. And he shows how unconflicted he is by murder through small actions, like a coin-flip, or the way he checks his boots for blood after leaving a house.

It's a pretty fucking good movie. But anyone who spends any time in Olde Town Arvada is used to that. Four Fingers for No Country for Old Men.

NaNoWriMo (is Over), Fuckers

Anyone who bothered to check in during November knows that I and many others took the NaNoWriMo challenge to write a novel in one month. So, let's just check in and see who actually made it. The goal was 50,000 words or more in a month. The winners among the Filthy family are listed below.

Congratulations to all of you. You're fucking rad. Seriously. Way to put out in November. I respect you (way more than the pussies who didn't try). Twenty-three winners, more than 1/3 of the starters. That's damn amazing, and combined we cranked out well over 1,000,000 words. 1,000,000 words that are no now longer available for assholes to use up.

Now you've got a good foundation to write the best novel of all time . Well, except for me. no matter how I pretty mine up, it'll still be apiece of crap. Oh well. At least I made it and it kept me from getting real drunk until after eleven p.m. most nights. For those that didn't even try, welcome to another year of being afraid of your own shadow.

Here are the awesome winners from the Filthy Family:

Final Word Count: November 2007
User Name
Word Count
Leperboy (that's me)
mrsweather (that's Mrs. Filthy)




Want to tell Filthy Something?



Mark S. Allen of CBS/CW

Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium is "The perfect Holiday Film!"

August Rush is "The feel-good movie of the season! Your heart will be singing and your spirit will soar!"

Filthy's Reading
Colin Woodard - The Ox-bow Incident

Listening to
Professor Longhair- Rock and Roll Gumbo


The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie