Thursday, September 13, 2007

It's the villain that makes the tale

Everyone remembers Darth Vader. Dr. Hannibal Lecter. The Alien (from the eponymous 'Alien'). Gary Oldman's character, 'DEA Agent Norman Stansfield', from 'The Professional' ('Leon' in some circles). Samara from the more current 'The Ring'.

Jeffrey Skilling. Jeffrey Dahmer...hmmm...2 Jeffs? Coinkydink? I think not.

Where was I...oh yeah. Villains. They seem to be slightly more of a compelling draw to a film. You want to see how bad they can be because eventually you know that they are sooo gonna get their comeuppance. Karma baby. It's gonna get that hand chopped off by your son, Darth! Lecter, you're going to have to hacksaw your hand off. Alien...Signourey's got a grapple gun and an airlock with your screechy name on it.

I could go on, so I will: Norman...there's a big explosion and a very bright light about to bloom in your face in the near future. Samara...get a haircut.
The recent book I read at the recommendation of a friend, presented another memorable villain, who is about to be brought to life on the silver screen. The Coen Brothers (of 'Blood Simple', 'Fargo', 'The Hudsucker Proxy', and 'Miller's Crossing' just to name a few), have recently presented 'No Country for Old Men' at several film festivals this year. The movie is based from a novel penned by Cormac McCarthy. In the words of Troy McClure, you may remember him from such other novels as Blood Meridian and The Road.

'Country' probably wasn't going to be a book I'd pick up on my own venture, but I'm glad I did. Basically it's a hide-and-seek crime-thriller, punctuated by a main character's 'what's in a life/let's reclaim our humanity' interludes. A guy finds dead guys and drug money, who, of course takes it, and has to skedaddle 'for the lawmen and killers track him down.

As you can see from the preview, the villain, Chigurh, is one bad guy. He has no fear, and no compunctions about how he mows through lives. If this dude walks into your Starbucks, it's bad for everyone around. He uses a captive bolt pistol (used to stun cattle) to dispatch folks and disable lock cylinders to gain entry.

I don't want to spoil it for you, in case you see the film or read the book, so I won't say much about what happens. I'll just close this in saying that you'll remember Chigurh as the perfect personification of utter evil and vile human nature.

Then think about the current executive administration in D.C. and know that Chigurh is fiction, and [with no semblance of hyperbole] that the Bush dictatorship (abuse of executive power, lying to taxpayers, and general moral hypocrisy exercised on a daily basis just to name a few highlights) will be remembered as one of the darkest times in American history.

Reclaim our humanity indeed.

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