I wandered onto the following trailer late last night…

Cormac McCarthy is one of this country’s greatest living authors, and the Coen Brothers are an excellent choice to direct his recent work, No Country for Old Men (2005). The Coens should deftly capture the book’s surreal touches (as in Barton Fink), matter-of-fact morbid humor (Blood Simple), brutal iconography (Miller’s Crossing), and Southwestern swagger, especially the laconic twang and slackjaw poetry of a pointedly lax drawl (Raising Arizona).
Like many of his books, No Country is set in Texas, but in the more contemporary ’80s, spinning a border drug-thriller yarn with Mexican narcos and booted bandidos. Whereas in one of his earlier novels you read slowly, underlining so many notable passages and incredibly crafted lines that read like a classic, in No Country you breeze through with the storytelling as prime mover.
While out game hunting, trailer-dweller Lewelyn Moss wanders onto the remains of a drug deal gone bad and manages to make off with the loot and hoof it on the run, but not before various factions sniff out his trail, including a psychotic, relentless, and impassively creepy assassin who will wipe out anything and everything in his way to bring down Moss like a trophy.
As usual, McCarthy’s deep, thoroughgoing, and lyrical appraisal of the landscape underscores the only truly impassive and heartless player in the story — the earth itself — that bears bloodshed and atrocity as it has over the centuries with unflinching equanimity, showing up man’s primal bloodlust and inclination toward total annihilation.
McCarthy likewise loads his story with gun symbology, his “old men” carrying old-faithful rifles and shotguns in their pick-up trucks, versus the new-and-improved bad guys who can run down any good old boy with automatic submachine guns and SUVs. Even so, the earth watches deadpan as every man’s bones crumble underfoot into the pulverized fossils of futile human ambit.
This book is not as profound as Blood Meridian (1985), McCarthy’s masterpiece, but it’s more a straight page-turner dipping into the well of McCarthy’s dark worldview. Native Texan and McCarthy fan Tommy Lee Jones stars as Sheriff Ed Tom Bell, a sometime narrator and “old man” who won’t be around this country much longer. Great lines abound for Sheriff Bell, a true peace officer who reads the demise of his own kind in the trail of bullet shells and shattered bones left by the narcos on Moss’s trail. His voice, sewing together the narrative, is the story’s moral center, but one that cannot hold and will not last.
The show comes out in November and also stars Josh Brolin and Woody Harrelson. Also shot on location in Marfa, Texas, it should be a good movie based on a solid book by a great American author.

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