No Country for Old Men

[Amazon Link] [4.5
stars] [IMDb Link]

I wound up my last night in Dallas with a trip to the mall where this new movie was playing. All signs were good: I liked most of the Coen brothers' past movies; I think Tommy Lee Jones is a great actor. And the IMDB has it as the #91 in their top 250 movie list of all time. This last one is probably an overstatement, but I wasn't disappointed.

It's pretty easy to compare No Country for Old Men with Fargo: lots of people talking in their regional accents, including the law. An initial crime puts inexorable life-destroying forces in motion. Tommy Lee Jones plays the Marge Gunderson role here, much smarter than anyone gives him credit for, and the moral center of the movie. Much of the movie was filmed in Texas: according to the IMDB, Marfa and Eagle Pass. The Texans in the audience seemed to enjoy the localisms and the regional dialogue. So did I.

There's quite a bit of violence, and a lot more violence takes place offscreen. And the ending might seem a little ususual to many. Nevertheless, it's good.

Last Modified 2012-10-16 5:56 AM EDT

Shark River

[Amazon Link]

This is entry number 8 in Randy Wayne White's Doc Ford series. As usual, it's excellent. It begins with Doc and his friend Tomlinson taking a working vacation at a rich-person resort. But in a very few pages, Doc has met a Bahamian woman who claims to be his sister and has gotten grazed by a bullet while foiling a kidnapping attempt by Columbian drug gangsters.

Also, Tomlinson has wiener problems.

Doc spends the rest of the book attempting to recover from these complications. As always, he's more than a little irritated at being called away from his actual marine biologist job.

Randy Wayne White is a very good writer, although at times he seems to be trying to imitate John D. MacDonald a little too much. (On the other hand, who better to imitate?)

Last Modified 2012-10-16 5:56 AM EDT