Ain't It Cool News (
Movie News

A spy has walked THE ROAD and it sounds like good news for Cormac McCarthy and movie fans alike!

Ahoy, squirts! Quint here. We have a spy below calling himself Viper X who got a chance to see an early screening of THE ROAD based on Cormac McCarthy's awesome nut-punch of a book. It sounds like this early screening represented a near final cut and Viper X goes apeshit for it. He loved every minute of it and counts himself a huge fan of the novel. So this is a good indication. I know the instinct is to call plant on such an enthusiastic review, but something tells me this one's real and the enthusiasm is from the heart. I hope I feel the same way about it because I'm itching to see this one... hell, I'd count it extremely high on my priority list for 2009 movies. Enjoy the review, which is mostly spoiler-free and those plot details he does talk about aren't news to anyone who has heard what the film or book is about. Enjoy!

Hi Harry! Caught a screening of 'The Road' a few days ago in NYC and thought I'd write in my thoughts. I'll keep this spoiler-free for the most part. They prefaced to us that the movie was still a 'work in progress.' Apparently some coloring, sound mixing, and effects still had yet to be completed. They must have been very technical because I didn't see any sign of an unfinished movie. I'm an avid Cormac McCarthy fan and 'The Road' is my favorite of his works. It's by far his most poetic book which made me weary of seeing it made into a film, because how can any filmmaker capture his gorgeous prose and put it up on a screen? The Coen Brothers did it to near perfection, but 'The Road' is far more abstract and minimalistic than No Country for Old Men. Well it's been done. Because this movie is incredible. If you've heard anything about this story the word 'post-apocalyptic' has surely come up. Well yes, it is about that, but that acts more as a vessel to tell a story about what's left to do once all hope is lost. There is no hope left in this story. This is not Children of Men where we are wondering if maybe the world can get another kick start. This is what's left of an ant pile after you spray it with a hose for an hour. A few ants still running around with nothing left and waiting to die. Everyone who is familier with the book will be pleased to know that the reason the world is over ramains ambiguous. There is no reason to explain it and the rest of the film follows suit, giving us just what's needed so all that's left is a stripped down account of the relationship between a father and his son in these circumstances. John Hillcoat has taken this dark and brooding story and turned it into something so cinematic yet still maintaining an absolutely faithful adaptation. I had read in an interview with him a while back where he said he was planning on adding a bit more color to this movie because an audience 'doesn't want to look at grey for 2 hours.' Well if he did he made it very very subtle because the color scheme works entirely. It's still very grey and still very dark. The scope of this movie is unbelievable with vast and detailed landscapes representing a dead world. These shots are accompanied by voiceovers spoken by The Man from passages taken directly from the book. As far as the visual aspects go and how much we are allowed to see of this world is niether overdone or underdone. It's not JUST a forest and it's not The Day After Tomorrow. The artistic direction really substitutes for the writing in the book and helped to give me the same feeling I got when I read it. A perfect balance. So we have these seven performances that make up this movie. Robert Duvall, Guy Pearce, Garret Dillahunt and Michael K. Williams all have one scene each of very important characters, all of which give us a very good portrait of every aspect of this society. I could go off on each of them and how they gave each role so much and why it worked so well with the world of the movie but this review would be far too long. They're all just great. The other three that were so important to making this movie successful simply nailed it. Viggo Mortensen, to me, was genius choice of casting from the start. That desparation that we've seen in him (the "we don't kill babies" scene from Eastern Promises to name an example) is flooded throughout this performance. How do you lead your only son through a scorched world in search of nothing? What is the point? Well Viggo finds one and it will tear your heart out. He also finds a few points to make us laugh, which is more than necessary given the nature of this movie. Kodi Smit-McPhee. Is he good? Does he get the job done? Everyone is wondering. The answer is you have nothing to worry about. The kid is one hell of an actor. He's a boy born into this world, knowing nothing of what was. He's heard stories of birds and the sky but they all have to live in his imagination. And they do. Because he has stories from books and his father to teach him what once was a reality. And to a boy that doesn't know more than a destroyed planet, this creates one hell of a ball of light in a dark dark world. This kid's compassion and optimism and love for the remainder of humanity is heightened by the fact that all those attributes are since extinct. It's jolting to others he comes in contact with. Finally we have Charliz Theron who gives her best performance to date. (Even better than her overrated performance in 'Monster' which in my opinion was nothing more than an overglorified impression of Michael Keaton.) She exists only in flashbacks and represents one of the many victims of a person who's soul died with the world. Hoplessness has overtaken her to a point where she only exists as a hollowed out shell of a person, waiting to fall just like the trees in the deceased world. Love has lost its meaning and her steady decline is heartbreaking. The score worked really will by Nick Cave. Lots of strings. It was sort of a giant mix of Jonny Greenwood, Clint Mansell, and Michael Nyman. But it really gave the movie a great tone. The movie sucks you into a completely different world and it's nearly impossible to peel yourself away from it for it's duration. as slow-paced as this movie can be, like in the book, there are riviting moments that will make you jump out of your seat with disgust, excitment, and suspense. These moments are spaced out perfectly and with each one you are pulled in further into the horror being presented. This was a giant screening with a huge movie theatre completely filled. Most people had no knowledge of what they were getting themelves into. The audience was very communal, silent at the right parts and audibly gasping at other parts. The feel I got from reactions on my way out was that they were all on a crazy ride together. People who didn't like depressing movies didn't like it, but people who liked GOOD movies, even if it is depressing, loved it. There was one jump cut in particular that I can remember that reminded me of the famous cut in 2001: A Space Oddesy. A dramatic cut from what was to what is. It's in the beginning and it'll hit you hard. That's about it. I have a feeling that when this movie finally hits it'll be a big deal. I know I praised the hell out of it but I really did like it that much. I couldn't hardly find one thing about it I hope to see changed in the final product. Let's hope they don't change it up too much. Done and done. If you use this call me Viper X.

Readers Talkback
comments powered by Disqus
    + Expand All
  • Feb. 19, 2009, 3:47 p.m. CST


    by Mullah Omar

    Matching up this material with Hillcoat's direction and Nick Cave's music was a golden idea. I'm looking forward to this.

  • Feb. 19, 2009, 3:48 p.m. CST


    by shaft478


  • Feb. 19, 2009, 3:50 p.m. CST

    been meaning to read this book

    by gavdiggity

    I'll definitely be checking this out.

  • Feb. 19, 2009, 3:50 p.m. CST

    What a depressing book

    by theBigE

    I couldn't put it down. As a father with several young sons - it was amazing. And ultimately it didn't leave me depressed - it left me grateful. I'll be seeing this movie alone because the wife won't be able to take it. She couldn't stand the bleakness of Children of Men (which I thought was great!). When's the release date? Doesn't seem like a summer film.

  • Feb. 19, 2009, 3:53 p.m. CST

    can't wait

    by Stormshadow4life

    I was so pissed when the pushed it back

  • Feb. 19, 2009, 3:54 p.m. CST

    So looking forward to this.

    by Therealumlaut

    Read the book it's brilliant. 'We carry the fire.'

  • Feb. 19, 2009, 3:55 p.m. CST

    About goddamn time.

    by Jackie Boy

    I'm sure the score will be great, there's no doubt to it, but THE ROAD, to me at least, seemed like a film much better suited to the lack of any music than NO COUNTRY. I reckon it would have been just a bit too much at that point, though. But hey, it's not up to me, it's up to much more talented folks anyways. Does anyone know why it was delayed so much in the first place?

  • Feb. 19, 2009, 4 p.m. CST

    The Proposition was awesome

    by m_reporter

    By far the best western since 'Unforgiven' in my opinion. Considering that and the fact that I love the post-apocalyptic setting, you can color me very excited.

  • Feb. 19, 2009, 4:02 p.m. CST

    Who the hell is gonna see this?

    by Spider99

    I loved the book, don't get me wrong, but with the way the world is right now, why would anyone besides avid fans watch this? There's nothing but depressing news out there, why would someone want to pay 10 bucks to get more of the same?

  • Feb. 19, 2009, 4:05 p.m. CST

    Every word in 'The Road'...

    by freerangecelt

    seems so well placed, so eloquent, that you really have the feeling that we are reading the eulogy for the planet, and yet, despite the horrors and dangers we still cling to that little bit of hope, that one child that may just be all that was once good in the world, and may be once again. Not many books bring me to tears, but 'The Road' did, and I cannot wait for the movie. Well done!

  • Feb. 19, 2009, 4:06 p.m. CST

    Sounds terrific.

    by Psyclops

    I'm really looking to this one.

  • Feb. 19, 2009, 4:08 p.m. CST

    I stopped reading after "The movie sucks..."

    by all

    haha sounds good though

  • Feb. 19, 2009, 4:09 p.m. CST


    by SpawnofAchilles

    yeah this is the perfect combo of director, lead actor and material, and having Nick Cave is icing on the cake. Can't wait to see it. The book is amazing. Andrew Dominick might have been an interesting choice for director also. Those aussies know what they're doing!

  • Feb. 19, 2009, 4:09 p.m. CST

    I'm the hell going to see this.

    by palimpsest

    I'm not sure the book's better than NO COUNTRY, or even BLOOD MERIDIAN, but it's still a striking piece of work, and Hillcoat's a fine director.

  • Feb. 19, 2009, 4:10 p.m. CST


    by Mr. Nice Gaius

    And yes, it's about time we heard some good news about this film. I was starting to get a little anxious but this review gives me newfound hope.<P>Thank you for the review, Viper X. I'm counting on it to be accurate!

  • Feb. 19, 2009, 4:14 p.m. CST


    by SpawnofAchilles

    It certainly drives home the point that it could be a whole hell of a lot worse. And even though things get bad, love can prevail. *single tear* OOOoooOOoooOhhhh Gooood

  • Feb. 19, 2009, 4:16 p.m. CST


    by Mr. Nice Gaius

    Did that question ever occur to you while you were reading the book?

  • Feb. 19, 2009, 4:16 p.m. CST


    by Cpt. Arnoldo

    hire this guy, harry. What a fantastic review, one of the best I've read on this site.

  • Feb. 19, 2009, 4:17 p.m. CST


    by Drebin

    Waiting for this one. Get pissed when it's not mentioned on sites' "top movies of '09" lists. It is a downer, but a downer done well is still a good experience.

  • Feb. 19, 2009, 4:18 p.m. CST


    by Zandunga

    ...thanks for keeping it spoiler-free, unlike Capone, who can't seem to do the same. You conveyed what you needed to and then wrapped up without giving the whole thing away.

  • Feb. 19, 2009, 4:20 p.m. CST

    I doubt anyone will see it

    by Continentalop

    And I don't care. Most of the movies I see anyways barely register on the national conscious, and it is only later that people begin to appreciate them. I mean, nobody wanted to see McCabe and Mrs. Miller and it tanked, but thank BALE they made it.

  • Feb. 19, 2009, 4:22 p.m. CST

    Blood Meridian

    by Continentalop

    Is without a doubt McCarthy's best book. I have read that thing three times and I am still trying to figure it out. It is a riddle wrapped in a maze wrapped in a enigma wrapped in dirt, blood and indian scalps. <p> PS - Quentin, if you want to see how you can use violence to mean something more than just a cheap thrill, read Blood Meridian.

  • Feb. 19, 2009, 4:24 p.m. CST

    please make this work

    by Ray Gamma

    this was my favourite book of the past decade. one of the most powerful books a parent could ever read. I really hope this film doesn't destroy the book.

  • Feb. 19, 2009, 4:25 p.m. CST

    Great review

    by jrb

    I particularly like the fact that he didn't begin it by name dropping the celebrities he "hung out with" on the set or by boring us all with a story about his sex life or when he claims he lost his virginity.

  • Feb. 19, 2009, 4:27 p.m. CST


    by Mr. Nice Gaius

    Well, fear not. Sir Ridley Scott is no longer involved with the film version as Todd Field (IN THE BEDROOM) has taken over as writer and director.<P>BLOOD MERIDIAN reads like goth-horror western. One of the most disturbing and challenging things I've ever read.<P>Not sure what Tarantino has in-store for BASTERDS. But when it comes to BLOOD MERIDIAN, there will be scalps.

  • Feb. 19, 2009, 4:28 p.m. CST

    Remind me to bring a revolver to the theatre.

    by cookylamoo

    So I can blow my brains out after this depress-fest is over.

  • Feb. 19, 2009, 4:29 p.m. CST

    Duvall cinches it for me

    by Hikaru Ichijo

    If he's the dude at the end of the story, I don't see how it could be depressing it could be. I really hope it's as good as he says. This should be an awesome flick

  • Feb. 19, 2009, 4:29 p.m. CST

    hire this guy agreed

    by Bloo

    a great fantastic review, well written, well done<P>I'm really really really curious to see how this movie plays out, even more so now, because I read this KNOWING it was going to be a movie so I tried to picture it as such and yes very poetic and yet cinematic<P>Although in my minds eye version it was directed by Malick

  • Feb. 19, 2009, 4:30 p.m. CST

    Awesome news!

    by 11ZOMBIES

    The book is amazing, I really cannot wait to see what they've done with the film. Mortensen is an awesome choice for the lead, and Duvall always brings his A game. I highly anticipate this!

  • Feb. 19, 2009, 4:32 p.m. CST

    Great review...if it's a plant then I'm becoming a...

    by FlickaPoo

    ...vegetarian. Can't wait for this movie...well on second thought, you look forward to a story like THE ROAD with a mixture of excitement and fear. If it's a great movie then it's going to take you some pretty dark and heavy places.

  • Feb. 19, 2009, 4:40 p.m. CST

    Great book.

    by halfmahalfn

    This was the first book I finally managed to finish after my son was born. He was around six months old at the time. I remember sitting on my couch at three in the morning, flicking over the last page, tears in my eyes, letting out a long held breath. Louis is coming up on his second birthday now, so life goes on. The book is wonderful and haunting. Cormac Mccarthy so beautifully expressed the fear that the boogieman is... us. And that, while life is toil and pain, love will provide when hope cannot. I expect the film to be great. I wish that it will not escalate the fear and panic we are currently experiencing. After all, some sense of community still prevails throughout the bleak story. Sorry to get all emotional on it. Now... back to giant robots exploding. And Giant Squids not exploding.

  • Feb. 19, 2009, 4:45 p.m. CST

    supposed to be out by now!


    this was supposed to come out on my birthday last year- november 27th---but got put off so that the READER would be the oscar nom...i guess that worked. but they said this would be out in february of this year- so what gives? I WANT!

  • Feb. 19, 2009, 4:48 p.m. CST

    Life is a meaningless pile of shit!

    by krull rules

    I think I will enjoy THE ROAD...

  • Feb. 19, 2009, 4:49 p.m. CST


    by Bass Ackwards

    ...aren't really sustainable in a dying, post-apocolyptic world. Loved the book, like everyone else, and have been eagerly awaiting this movie. Great review, has me even more on edge, sounds like they did a pitch perfect job. With this, No Country, and Blood Meridian coming up, I wonder if we'll ever see Billy Bob's 3-4 hour version of All the Pretty Horses, I've always been curious about that.

  • Feb. 19, 2009, 4:52 p.m. CST

    duvall is not the guy at the end.


    he's a guy somewhere in the middle- remember the old guy they talked to for a bit and shared food with? from what i hear, it's guy pearce at the end. that's not really a spoiler though, i think all that is on imdb

  • Feb. 19, 2009, 4:54 p.m. CST

    Can't wait to see this


  • Feb. 19, 2009, 4:54 p.m. CST

    Hikaru Ichijo

    by BackRiverCatfish

    I'm pretty sure Duvall plays the old man they meet on...well...the road.

  • Feb. 19, 2009, 4:56 p.m. CST

    sounds great, not sure if i want to see it though

    by BMacSmith

    hours of misery isn't exactly my cup of tea, but i love the idea

  • Feb. 19, 2009, 4:56 p.m. CST

    Sad book,kinda depressing but...


    It was the first book in years that stuck with me for days-cold,depressing, bleak,gets worse in every chapter-I loved it,looking forward to a good movie based on a book for once

  • Feb. 19, 2009, 4:58 p.m. CST

    Yeah, I think Duvall plays the old man and Guy...

    by Mr. Nice Gaius at the end. I believe Michael K. Williams (aka OMAR LITTLE!!!) plays the thief.

  • Feb. 19, 2009, 5:02 p.m. CST

    So planty that it couldn't possibly be a plant?

    by TroutMaskReplicant

    It kind of goes full circle. Surely no studio film pimp would be so uneducated as to do a press release style review (without mentioning any of the previous bad buzz) give it to AICN and sign himself Viper X? So it's got to be real, right?

  • Feb. 19, 2009, 5:04 p.m. CST

    Great to hear

    by DeckardBladeRunner

    I was looking to see if a trailer ever got released for this or a release date. I was unable to find either, but did find some beautiful still shots of the film, many in the western Pennsylvania mountains, and some great use of the abandoned turn pike tunnels near Blair county. I had also heard this was going to go direct to DVD, but this makes me hopeful that the film doesnt end up that way, and does go into an actual release. Also, for anyone that likes this book- check out "day by day armageddon" it's another excellent page turner for the end of the world- by JL Bourne.

  • Feb. 19, 2009, 5:04 p.m. CST

    Garret Dillahunt probably plays one of the bad guys

    by BackRiverCatfish

    as he normally does, except in NCFOM.

  • Feb. 19, 2009, 5:06 p.m. CST

    So Did They Change Anything From the Earlier Screenings?

    by DKT

    Or is the difference that this dude just read and appreciated the book? Great review. Really glad to hear they nailed this one.

  • Feb. 19, 2009, 5:17 p.m. CST

    Love the book, anticipating the movie

    by LesterGroans

    Man, when they come across the spit-roasted baby it took weeks for me to shake that image in my mind.

  • Feb. 19, 2009, 5:31 p.m. CST

    I hope that don't shoot Blood Meridian though

    by Continentalop

    I love that book and I think any adaptation of it will pale in comparison. Plus who the fuck can you cast as the Judge?

  • Feb. 19, 2009, 5:33 p.m. CST

    You think the Joker was crazy, nihilistic, and evil?

    by Larry of Arabia

    Wait till you meet the Judge.

  • Feb. 19, 2009, 5:36 p.m. CST

    Two best literary villains...

    by Continentalop my humble opinion were the Judge and Dudley Smith. Those two hit me with their evil like no other characters ever had.

  • Feb. 19, 2009, 5:44 p.m. CST

    Um. His most poetic work?...

    by jalfredprufrock

    Blood Meridian? Anyone?

  • Feb. 19, 2009, 5:45 p.m. CST

    must be a plant

    by skredly

    i happen to be in the same screening and i'm not sure what he saw but this movie was not good. even though it had some creepy moments (very intense which was great) it was relentlessly depressing. always gray dirty. btw i like a good gut wrenching movie every once in awhile. if you like this though then you are masochistic. when they did try to make it uplifting it didn't work. my companion said it brilliantly..."it was like a zombie movie without the fun of zombies". i'd rather watch 28 days than this. it was so much more interesting. i know the book had to be so much better. the kid and his voice are irritating as hell and the producers should pay for his future counseling for putting him in such a brutal movie. there are a lot of logic problems as well. after 10 years or more the father leads his kid into danger way to easily. hello! very clean and neat looking house means there are people that may want to eat you!! then leads then into the same thing awhile later. i haven't read the book but the kid's character was a real pussy for being raised in such an environment. oh yeah the music was bad too. i wanted so bad to enjoy it but by the end i couldn't care less if they lived or got eaten. wishing for the latter,

  • Feb. 19, 2009, 5:46 p.m. CST

    What about the book's subtext

    by BobParr

    The boy is a possibly a Christ-like savior in the making.

  • Feb. 19, 2009, 5:51 p.m. CST

    short as well

    by skredly

    it was pretty short as well. at most hour and 40 minutes. its been edited to all hell. i have idea how they will come up with a trailer for it. people will be pissed if they make it seem light. about 10% of the audience left before the end.

  • Feb. 19, 2009, 5:52 p.m. CST

    no chist like subtext either

    by skredly

    nope. he was boring has a character can be.

  • Feb. 19, 2009, 5:56 p.m. CST

    Christ-like savior subtext? Aww, man, fuck it!

    by CreasyBear

    I thought this movie was pure misery and depression, with no shred of light or happiness at all so it would be all awesome and cool and stuff. If it doesn't match my meaningless, hopeless, depressing, materialist view of life as nothing more than random chemical and electrical interactions, then it may as well be fuckin' Transformers, yo, for reals. GIVE ME BLEAK, BABY! I NEED THE BLEAK!

  • Feb. 19, 2009, 6:01 p.m. CST

    Christian overtones

    by wintocha67

    There are some Christian overtones in the book which kind of ruined it for me. It turns out the only "good" people, his father not included somehow, like Obama's parents, are the Christians, while everyone else is very, very animalistic. When I hear "carrying the fire" I think of civilization and non-violence and the light of reason, not the oppression and fear of belief in a supreme being of jealous and judgmental proportions.

  • Feb. 19, 2009, 6:06 p.m. CST

    pointless story

    by skynetbauxi

    reading THE ROAD, I kinda couldn't stop. but when I had finished it and turned the page and read the page with "other books by Cormac McCarthy" and realized that I had just wasted several hours of my life reading a book by the guy who also stole 2 hours of my life with the super-pointless movie NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MAN, it suddenly all made sense. THE ROAD, just like NCFOM, kinda pulls you in, but at the end you just wish it hadn't, because there's no POINT whatsoever at the end. McCarthy is certainly good at creating atmospheres (especially depressing ones), but the guy NEEDS to learn to tell a STORY!

  • Feb. 19, 2009, 6:13 p.m. CST

    christian overtones

    by skynetbauxi

    right, that sucked, too. as much as the book pulled me in at times, at other times I was close to putting it away because it felt like I was reading something written by some religious guy, which I wouldn't like to do. also, I would have liked to find out what the hell happened to the world. as "intellectual" as that may seem to an author, I don't like it when things are not explained at some point. I read a book to find out what happened, not to NOT find out. oh yeah, and some kind of TWIST or just a mildly unexpected or surprising ending would have been nice, too. but I guess McCarthy thinks is super-unexpected to end a story with NO ending. *yawn*

  • Feb. 19, 2009, 6:34 p.m. CST


    by Continentalop

    I am not going to say, "Oh, you just didn't get it" because that is such an insulting phrase. Everyone has a different reaction to a work of art because art is so subjective. So "The Road" and "No Country For Old Men" didn't work for you, and I respect that. <p> But I will say why those books worked for me. Many of McCarthy’s character seem to fit a more symbolic nature, representing and personifying certain beliefs and ideas: Anton Chigurl representing a kind of Darwinian Evil; the Judge representing the evil nature of humankind; the Kid from Blood Meridian representing a young America with a moral code but still very violent; Sheriff Ed Bell representing a nostalgia and a belief in a code that never existed; the boy and his father representing the civilized family unit; etc. <p> Because of this, McCarthy’s endings are not so much based on plot as they are about the eternal nature of those personifications. Anton Chigurl lives because the evil he represents is still with us and will always be with us; Ed Bell never captures Chigurl because civilization cannot destroy his type of evil, and it is an illusion to think that it can; the father dies but his son lives on because despite everyone’s worse fears there still is a little civilization and compassion left in the world; and Judge Holden kills the kid in the outhouse and goes back to dancing, because the dance of violence will always continue. These characters and the books represent larger themes than just “bad guy looking for money” or “western white men versus Indians” in my opinion. <p> And if you want to read dark and depressing, read “The Outer Dark” and “Child of God.”

  • Feb. 19, 2009, 6:35 p.m. CST

    This was a great book

    by robotdevil

    I hope the movie does it justice.

  • Feb. 19, 2009, 6:36 p.m. CST


    by Schiney

    I can appreciate ambiguous endings, but I can't stand religious undertones...but this does sound like an interesting flick

  • Feb. 19, 2009, 6:38 p.m. CST


    by Melvin_Pelvis

    This is a movie based on a book

  • Feb. 19, 2009, 6:38 p.m. CST

    that's some mighty subtle trolling, skynet. but trollling...

    by Cameron1

    nonetheless. It was the twist ending remark that gave it away. better luck next time.

  • Feb. 19, 2009, 6:39 p.m. CST

    And what the hell is wrong with religious undertaones

    by Cameron1

  • Feb. 19, 2009, 6:40 p.m. CST


    by Cameron1

    I mean religious undertones don't mean something is automatically bad. I'm an agnostic and I can recognise there's very good parts about religion as well as very bad. The Road is about the good parts, so relax about it.

  • Feb. 19, 2009, 6:50 p.m. CST

    They filmed the final beach scenes in my hometown

    by theredtoad

    I grew up in this dreary stormy Great Lakes city and I can't wait to see my favorite place in the world, the beach in my town, as the setting for the final scene in the film adaptation of one of my favorite books ever. Everything about this film makes me excited. I love Viggo, Duvall, Pearce, Dillahunt, Theron and Williams. All geat actors. Plus, Clint Mansell is contributing to the score? BONUS! This is the one movie I CAN NOT WAIT FOR...not Watchmen. That is #2. I am 100% confident The Road will be an unforgettable film.

  • Feb. 19, 2009, 6:53 p.m. CST

    Also I always saw Daniel Day-Lewis as The Judge.

    by theredtoad

    And once I saw There Will Be Blood, it only solidified that idea.

  • Feb. 19, 2009, 6:59 p.m. CST

    I admired, but didn't really like, the book...(spoilers)

    by CountryBoy

    It was beautifully written but very repetitive and without any kind of structure. They run out of food, they find food, they meet scary people, over and over again. When the dad was on the boat I realized "Gee, this has happened several times already..." I really felt let down. I can't imagine this being an engaging movie, unless they create a plot for it, which it sounds as if they didn't do...

  • Feb. 19, 2009, 7:20 p.m. CST

    Religious overtones?

    by Mr. Nice Gaius

    Not once did I ever think the boy was some sort of Christ-figure. In fact, when you read the book's final coda, it pretty much tells you that there ain't no going back. The world is over.

  • Feb. 19, 2009, 7:23 p.m. CST

    " a zombie movie without the fun of zombies"

    by Mr. Nice Gaius

    Ha! Welcome to the all-to-real world of Cormac McCarthy!

  • Feb. 19, 2009, 7:23 p.m. CST

    Country Boy

    by InActionMan

    I was going to post but you pretty much summed up my feelings on the "The Road". Ditto

  • Feb. 19, 2009, 7:25 p.m. CST

    Its A PHENOMENAL Book, Really Amazing

    by LaserPants

    I hope the film does it justice. I'm really looking forward to seeing it.

  • Feb. 19, 2009, 7:29 p.m. CST

    The Road begins and ends

    by skellngtn

    In regards to the unexplained apocalypse in the book, i loved that for once something ISN'T explained so everyone will know what's going on. In the book the man tells how the end "began" for his family. McCarthy explains what happens...the reader can draw his or her own conclusions. The man doesn't know what it was, so why should the reader since we're in his head for most of the book. Whatever it was, the world goes to shit fast. The ending of the book is anything but abrupt or meaningless. The seeds are planted early on and when it hits, it's inevitability still shook me up. If they capture 1 tenth of the books feel, it'll be amazing. and bleak.

  • Feb. 19, 2009, 7:41 p.m. CST

    Weary/Wary - not the same thing

    by aversiontherapy2

    Just saying...

  • Feb. 19, 2009, 7:48 p.m. CST

    Anybody have an idea when this is suppossed to come out?

    by Xiphos_2

    If somebody already mentioned it sorry. I didn't read through the TB yet.

  • Feb. 19, 2009, 7:55 p.m. CST

    Continentalop / Cameron1

    by skynetbauxi

    I think you have the right to say "you just didn't get it" ;-) I also think I GOT movies that many other people didn't get, and I do think there is such a thing. not everything is relative, and when you GOT a movie, it's so obvious to you when someone else didn't get it because you can just hear from their every word that they... well... just didn't get it :-) anyway, I really hadn't ever considered the kind of symbolism you described in McCarthy's works. but now that you brought it to my attention, I totally GET why I never liked them. it's because most of those personified ideas and beliefs are things that I find highly unreasonable and harmful. it's one of the most damaging and restricting beliefs of mankind today that there's an evil nature to humankind... that there is such a thing as EVIL to begin with... and that this "evil" will always be with us. it's BULLSHIT! the kind of bullshit that's keeping mankind back so much these days. most of it is coming directly from religion, telling people that they are born with sin... I want to vomit when I hear such crap! and nowadays EVERYONE seems to believe it, even the non-religious types. what the FUCK?!? I have NEVER in my life seen a baby that had any kind of "evil" or "sin" about it. but then they get sucked into this profoundly sick society, this system which is ruled by a totally fictional need for MONEY and an equally unreasonable trust in RELIGION, and they are told every day for 20 years that they NEED religion and they NEED money, and then they walk out into the world believing all the bullshit and teaching it to their own children, never realizing that their precious money is turning them into slaves, as they can NEVER win in a monetary system (either they end up poor or they end up causing other people's poverty), and also never realizing that their precious religion is doing SO MUCH MORE damage in the world than it does good (sure, it gives people (false) hope for what happens after death, but what about the thousands of people who die every year because of religiously motivated wars, or because religion doesn't allow stem-cell research, or what about the countless islamic women whose clitorises are mutilated every day, the millions of islamic women who have to walk around like ninja-nuns every fucking day, believing that it's OKAY what their men and their religion is forcing them into?). and then I have to read comments like "there's very good parts about religion as well as very bad". yeah, ever heard about a certain Dr. Mengele? I bet his "research" could have helped many people. but does that justify the pain and suffering he caused? I don't think so. so many people accept religion because it does no immediate harm to them. well, grow the fuck up! religion does SO MUCH damage to the development and well-being of mankind that it's a CRIME TO HUMANITY to even condone it, let alone join it! and please, please don't believe its bullshit! WE ARE NOT EVIL! we have the resources to create and maintain a society in which EVERYBODY has more than they need, and then there would no longer be any "evil" in the world. yes, there will still be psychopaths. but without religion and money in the way of genetic and stem-cell research, who can tell what mental illnesses will be curable in the future? and yes, there will STILL be other reasons why someone will bash in someone else's head, things like jealousy. but you know, if I could choose between a system that's SICK to its deepest core and a world in which now and then a guy kicks another guy's ass about some girl... I wouldn't have to think very hard about that.

  • Feb. 19, 2009, 8:06 p.m. CST


    by WhinyNegativeBitch

    Times being what they are, thats a reason why people will go watch it. I'm not comparing the two, or saying the road will be successful on that same scale at all (but I think it will be a hit at the art house level) but its like The Dark Knight. Its a rather sour and gloomy film, but these are sour and gloomy times.

  • Feb. 19, 2009, 8:09 p.m. CST


    by skredly

    it seems they have taken out most of the religious stuff out. there's a reference or two and a scene in a church that doesn't work. the book has to be better

  • Feb. 19, 2009, 8:11 p.m. CST

    Everything Skredly says...

    by WhinyNegativeBitch

    ...Except for the kids voice and the music (its nick cave, so I'm assuming skredly just has shit taste) backs up the first review. One mans brutal, grimy, depressing hike through a ruined post apocalyptic world is anothers mans brutal, grimy, depressing hike through a ruined post apocalyptic world. It's like people complaining about the end of NCFOM. Thats how the film had to end, and it worked beautifully. For me. Everything people hated about it, I liked.

  • Feb. 19, 2009, 8:13 p.m. CST


    by Xiphos_2

    you're in now way serious with all that, right? Because if you were congradulations on living in the safest ivory tower ever in the history of the world.

  • Feb. 19, 2009, 8:19 p.m. CST


    by Continentalop

    Read the Lucifer Principle by Howard Bloom. Bloom draws on a dozen years of research into a jungle of scholarly fields to explain the nature of evil amongst humans. It explores the intricate relationships among genetics, human behavior, and culture and argues that evil is a by-product of nature's strategies for creation and that it is woven into our most basic biological fabric. It sees violence as central to the creation of the 'superorganism' of society and the inevitable 'pecking orders' and hierarchies inherent in human social groups. <p> Maybe children are not born inherently evil, but put them out in the real world were they have to compete with other people and you'll find many of them will resort to evil tactics to get ahead. That is human nature. Remember sjynetbauxi, without evil there can be no good. And while I am not supporting evil or saying we should be indifferent to it, I am saying that you have to be very naive that someday we will wipe out all the evils of the world and make a utopia.

  • Feb. 19, 2009, 8:23 p.m. CST


    by skynetbauxi

    IVORY TOWER??? other than most poeple these days, I at least see and acknowledge the problems we have, so how am I living in an ivory tower? I'm not the one acting like religion is "OKAY" and money and wars and politics are "NECESSARY". I FACE THE PROBLEMS. so I'm in no kind of ivory tower, dude. okay, I'm optimistic about what a future without money and religion would be like. but do you seriously want to tell me you think such a future would be WORSE than today's world? you think in a world without organized religion and without organized economic slavery, there would be MORE "evil" (= selfish, non-altruistic behaviour) in the world? well, if you seriously do, then I can't tell you where you live, but I can tell you where you SHOULD be living... hint: the walls are padded...

  • Feb. 19, 2009, 8:24 p.m. CST

    I can't believe I'm agreeing with Laserpants, but...

    by Droid

    it's a fucking great book. McCarthy is a brilliant writer. <p>The Proposition kicked ass, and was very similar in tone to what an adaptation of The Road should be. Looking forward to this one. <p>And as great an actor as Day Lewis is, he is not The Judge. That's an almost impossible role to cast. I thought about it a lot as I read Blood Meridian, and I couldn't think of one actor that could pull it off. <p>Daniel Day Lewis for Dick Dastardly!

  • Feb. 19, 2009, 8:30 p.m. CST

    Depressing book will make for a depressing movie...

    by Smythee

    but I like depressing. Bring it on. Wonder if the "Book of Eli" will rip it off?

  • Feb. 19, 2009, 8:31 p.m. CST

    From Vanity Fair...

    by Kid Z

    Cooking with Cormac McCarthy Pasta. Plain. But Good. INGREDIENTS: Pasta. And salt. And water. And Fire. DIRECTIONS: Place the pasta in the water and the salt in the water and the water in the pot and the pot on the fire. In the pot? The fire in the pot? No. The water in the pot. The pot on the fire. The pasta in the water? Yes, in the water. And the salt in the fire? No. The salt in the water. And the water on the fire? No. The water in the pot and the pot on the fire. Not the water on the fire. For then the fire will die and dying be dead. Nor will the water boil and the pasta will drain dry and not cooked and hard to the teeth. The salt falls nor does it cease to fall. The water boils. So be it. Cease from placing your hand in the boiling water. Place your hand in the boiling water and it will cause you pain. Much pain? Very much pain. In the pot the bubbles bubble up and bubble some more. The bubbles are bubbly. Never more bubbly bubbles bubbling bubbliest. And having bubbled the bubbles still bubbly. Or bubblier? Or bubblier. Across the kitchen a board intended for chopping. Here. Take it. Chop. What will I chop? There are no ingredients to chop. Just chop. Don't cease from chopping. To chop is to become a man. After 10 minutes. The pasta stiff and dry and upright no more. The pasta lank and wet and soft. In the eternal damp of water. Pour water free like some ancient anointing. The pasta left alone in the pot. Alone and naked. The salt? Where's the salt? The salt is gone. Lost to the water and gone forever. I grieve for the salt. It is the salt for which I grieve. Tip the pasta out. The pasta? Yes. Tip it out. Onto. A plate? Yes. And stop. Finishing your sentences? Yes. Why? Because it's so. Irritating? Nothing in your memory anywhere of anything so good. Now the pasta is eaten. Disappeared. The pasta disappeared as everything disappeared. As the comma disappears and the semicolon disappears and the inverted comma disappears and the apostrophe disappears and the adjectives and the pronouns all disappear. Leaving just full stops and And. And And? And And. And And.

  • Feb. 19, 2009, 8:33 p.m. CST

    Also, I can't see Blood Meridian getting made as written

    by Droid

    It's just too brutal and nihilistic. And a compromised adaptation of McCarthy only leads to the theatrical cut of All The Pretty Horses. <p>Billy Bob, mend that bridge with Lanois and get your version out there! <p>Fuck the Weinsteins.

  • Feb. 19, 2009, 8:34 p.m. CST


    by WhinyNegativeBitch

    ...Take away money and religion and people will simply use chains and clubs to get one group of people to do stuff that benefits their group of people. I know your an upbeat fellow, but were all animals here, and unfortunately someone has to be the gazelle and someone has to be the lion. Thats the way this shit works.

  • Feb. 19, 2009, 8:42 p.m. CST

    The closest I got to The Judge was...

    by Droid

    Russell Crowe, Brendan Gleeson or Ray Winstone. <p>The actor has to be physically imposing plus charismatic as fuck. Not to mention completely hairless! <p>Brando's Kurtz would be the model for the role. <p>Anyone got a time machine?

  • Feb. 19, 2009, 8:42 p.m. CST

    Jesus, that was hillarious KidZ

    by blindambition238

  • Feb. 19, 2009, 8:43 p.m. CST


    by skynetbauxi

    well, you are pretty much saying the same things I said, only you don't seem to GET the system quite as well. you said: "put them [the children] out in the real world were they have to compete with other people and you'll find many of them will resort to evil tactics". yes, that's exactly what I said. only I wouldn't call it "human nature". yes, it's definitely a natural human reaction, but the SYSTEM we're reacting TO is in NO WAY natural! there's no religion or politics or media mis-information in nature! yes, sure there's competition in nature. but we WANT to be more than animals, don't we? so why do people like you DEFEND such animal-like behaviour? you can read books, but you're not capable of simply saying to yourself "I will not behave evil anymore" and acting on that? well, from where I'm standing, you (and so many out there) just don't WANT to be better than animals. but the REALLY sad thing is: it's not in your nature to think that way, but those kinds of thoughts and behavioral patterns have been imprinted on you by society, by the system you grew up in. you were all born GOOD and selfless, but the system has corrupted you. and now, like every devout follower, you have become your system's self-appointed guardians. you defend your evil nature, because your system can only survive as long as you ARE evil. and that's why I choose to be optimistic, to be altruistic as good as I can, to be reasonable as good as I can, and not to support the system. because I have understood that an evil system lives exactly as long as its followers keep being evil. I take the responsibility into my own hands, instead of saying "it's in my nature, I can't help it that I'm evil". you need only stop believing the bullshit, and evil will not be in your nature anymore.

  • Feb. 19, 2009, 8:45 p.m. CST


    by skynetbauxi

    sure, as long as you all BELIEVE that that's the way this shit works, and as long as you all ACT accordingly, it WILL be the way shit works. it's in your hands.

  • Feb. 19, 2009, 8:45 p.m. CST

    human evil

    by johnnyangelheart

    is a necessary consequence of human evolution. We're evil because it's a survival strategy that works.

  • Feb. 19, 2009, 8:47 p.m. CST

    Liked the pasta recipe, kid z!

    by theBigE

    The Road is the only McCarthy book I've read. Do they all read like that?

  • Feb. 19, 2009, 8:55 p.m. CST


    by skynetbauxi

    oh really? wow, that's revolutionary ;-) sorry about the sarcasm, but yes, of course it is. but what I'm saying all this time is that we only NEED such a survival strategy because we're all born into a society of competition, a system of (artificial) scarcity. but that competition is IN NO WAY necessary anymore! the world's resources are EASILY enough for EVERYBODY to have more than they need! and as soon as you don't have to be BETTER than other people anymore in order to earn your food and your home and your car and your PS3, you will no longer feel any sort of competitive urge in you anymore.

  • Feb. 19, 2009, 8:58 p.m. CST


    by Continentalop

    A - we are born evil. A child might not be evil to begin with, but it is his nature to become evil. Why? It is called nature. All creatures compete against each other, even creatures of the same species. The Alpha Male gorilla does not worry that he is not giving the other gorilla's a fare share - he is on top of the pecking order and that is all he cares about. You take a bunch of human babies, put them on a island and by the time they can run around they'll bash each other's heads if for control of the limited amount of resources. A Jean-Paul Sarte said, "The undeniable rule of the universe is scarcity: there is to little time and resources for everyone." <p> B – It is only through a SYSTEM that you can hope to defeat the evil nature of man. Civilization is the cure, not human nature. You take away the laws and rules of a society, good or bad, and we are back in the caves cooking bison meat over a fire. <p> No matter how bad a system or government was, it is usually a progression towards a better society. Tribes got us to stop fighting amongst ourselves and band together in small groups; the nation state bound one ethnic group together so at least they weren’t killing each other; religion gave us rules to live by and while they may be dated they helped people live in semi-harmony compared to the savagery of early man without such rules. Sure each system of religion and politics excluded someone – these rules only apply to members of the same religion/tribe/race/nation and we compete against any other religion/tribe/race/nation – but each progression through history become more inclusion and less exclusive. Now in the United States you can be a citizen of this country and receive all of the benefits of our rights no matter what your race, religion, gender or creed is. Imagine a tribe of fucking cavemen not bashing the head of another tribesmen and you can see how far we have progressed. <p> The thing is to at first except the fact that human beings are “evil” because we are animals at heart, and the only way you can contain that animal nature is through a better SYSTEM. Hopefully someday we will come up with such a system that includes everyone in the world.

  • Feb. 19, 2009, 9:01 p.m. CST


    by skynetbauxi

    good night guys, it's 4am over here in Austria, so I gotta sleep, though it's been a great discussion. ;-) wouldn't it be great if we could feel compassionate and empathic about people half-way round the world as easily as we can chat with them online? if the well-being of "some guy in a village in the middle east" or "some woman in china" mattered to you just as much as the well-being of your own friends and family, things would change pretty quick. well, you guys matter to me and I hope you'll sleep well tonight. cya

  • Feb. 19, 2009, 9:02 p.m. CST


    by WhinyNegativeBitch

    Believeing or not doesn't change the facts. Thats the way ALL animals behave. Its the way mankind has behaved from inception. Your arguing against reality. It wont change because it cant. You keep saying we are born into this system and society that forces as to behave in an evil manner. You've got it ass backwards. We have this society and system because we ARE "evil". Its the same whereever you go on the planet, in any time in history. From fucking Mayans through to grass skirt wearing freaks on Easter Island up to victorian england. The only solution I'm afraid is to disengage from your species if you hate them so much. "and as soon as you don't have to be BETTER than other people anymore in order to earn your food and your home and your car and your PS3, you will no longer feel any sort of competitive urge in you anymore." Yeah, because we wont find another reason, like women. Or the fact that click-click has more coconuts or a nicer house than us. Or you got a fever and your kids got a fever and they died and you couldn't harvest your crops and you never liked click-click to begin with...So why not just club his ass and put him in chains and get him to do the work for you.

  • Feb. 19, 2009, 9:03 p.m. CST

    Skynetbauxi, re=Johnnyangel

    by Continentalop

    Sorry, but competing is hardwired into the human brain. You are taking about 100,000 of years of evolution. People will always compete along the pecking order. Why? For pussy. <p> No, seriously. Pretty much any endeavor of man can be traced to his desire to mate. And what do woman find most desirable. Men of higher status. They are evolutionary designed to do so (sorry to bust everyones bubble about humans being above that). <p> Don't believe me? Read the Selfish Gene, The Red Queen, Sperm Wars, Why Beautiful People Have More Babies or about a dozen other books on evolutionary psychology.

  • Feb. 19, 2009, 9:04 p.m. CST


    by Mullah Omar

    If he gained some weight and waxed all his body hair, the guy would be great as the Judge. <br> <br> Robert Duvall or Brian Cox would have probably made a great Judge 20 years ago. (Duvall was probably closest to the guy I envisioned while reading the book.) <br> <br> I think Gleeson is too old now, but he would have been great 10 years ago.

  • Feb. 19, 2009, 9:08 p.m. CST

    OK, forget the Judges appearance

    by Continentalop

    In the book he is listed as 7' tall and huge, with baby fat and completely hairless. Who could play him emotionally? I mean, who could convey such evil? <p> Daniel Day Lewis is a good choice except he has already played characters like that in Gangs of New York and Let There Be Blood. I think if he was the Judge people would just say "Oh, it is Daniel Day Lewis playing another evil person."

  • Feb. 19, 2009, 9:12 p.m. CST


    by skynetbauxi

    I agree with most of what you say, except that scarcity is definitely NOT a universal law. at least within the system of the planet Earth, there is no longer any reason for scarcity of energy, food or whatever else humans require. we have the technology, we're just not using it. I would expect someone like you, who obviously knows some things, to know that. also, you describe perfectly well the way humanity has been progressing through various systems to the point we are at. and yet you seem to fail to draw the simple conclusions that A) right now we can only keep progressing if we leave outdated systems such as religion and money behind us, and B) it is VERY unlikely that our current system is anywhere NEAR perfect, so you really shouldn't act like we can sit back on our asses and enjoy the great system we have achieved, because this system may be way more sophisticated than cavemen, but compared to what's POSSIBLE, we're still in the very, very early stages of civilization. but I'm sure you realize that ;-) good night

  • Feb. 19, 2009, 9:15 p.m. CST


    by skynetbauxi

    seriously, you keep repeating what I already said and make it sound like you're contradicting me ;-) of course we'll always compete about "pussy", and I said so way up. but TODAY we're competing about SO MANY other things that are completely unnecessary, and THAT'S what we need to rise above!

  • Feb. 19, 2009, 9:16 p.m. CST


    by skynetbauxi

    I have read THE SELFISH GENE as well as most other Dawkins books.

  • Feb. 19, 2009, 9:20 p.m. CST


    by skynetbauxi

    it's sad how all you do is look back

  • Feb. 19, 2009, 9:37 p.m. CST

    Agree with Mr. Nice Gaius

    by gotilk

    There were religious "tones" in the book, (over? under? ??) but it was so far away from being anything that felt forced or judgemental on the part of the writer. ( can I just call him "the writer"? lol ) I think he was ALLOWING his characters to be influenced by their pasts and for "the man", this past included some memory of religion bringing good things to the world. Now, my opinion is that it's brought almost nothing but suffering, satiation of people's almost built-in desire to destroy "the other" in the form of witch-hunt like behaviour (i.e. the Jerry Springer show and now reality TV of all kinds) and intellectual darkness. BUT for me to accuse an ENTIRE WORK of being filled with Christian overtones because one character happened to be reaching for something in his past while living in an empty, finished world is intellectually dishonest. Good example: <br> <br> They say there are no atheists in foxholes? BUNK. There are, I have spoken to one and read the stories of others. But there are also religious people in foxholes. If I'm writing about war and I mention both, would you accuse me of "christian overtones" if I included one simply because the most interesting person I wrote about happened to be religious?<br> <br> Besides, I never got that whole "he's the saviour of mankind" vibe at all. I think it was a fantasy that allowed the man to be the best father he could be in the face of absolute desolation and hopelessness. I think the ambiguity at the end was a good indication of "the author's" recognition of this as a delusion. Because it IS speculative fiction after all. He could have taken in in a King direction (giant hand of god, choirs of angels, etc etc) just as easily as he left it for what it was. Up to you.

  • Feb. 19, 2009, 9:50 p.m. CST

    Most depressing book I've ever read

    by kafka07

    and one of the finest too. I look forward to the film.

  • Feb. 19, 2009, 9:53 p.m. CST

    Michael K. Williams a.k.a. Omar Little

    by mr dark

    Yes He is the Thief ...What perfect casting.. His performance on The Wire started out to be a couple of episodes for the first season only and then he was supposed to get whacked..But the man was so damn good they stretched his arc all the way through the fifth and last season..I look forward to this film even though I'm not a huge McCarthy fan, though I like his writing style..I think the rest of the cast is steller and even though very depressing in tone I think this film has found its time for release..

  • Feb. 19, 2009, 9:54 p.m. CST

    Why Beautiful People Have More Babies

    by gotilk

    LOL. I've always loved that title. Come to my town some time. I am witness to this being a temporary state. I mean, once they start popping them out.

  • Feb. 19, 2009, 10:13 p.m. CST

    gotlik, actually I fucked up the title...

    by Continentalop

    It's "Why Do Beautiful People Have More Daughters."

  • Feb. 19, 2009, 11:06 p.m. CST


    by skredly

    is only in it for 5 minutes and doesn't really say much. don't feed into the hype...its not the book.

  • Feb. 19, 2009, 11:16 p.m. CST


    by Mr. Nice Gaius

    What hype?<P>And didn't you say you have not yet read the book? If you're claiming to have attending the screening, what are you comparing it to?

  • Feb. 19, 2009, 11:17 p.m. CST

    That's "attended".

    by Mr. Nice Gaius

  • Feb. 19, 2009, 11:20 p.m. CST

    Hillcoat, Duvall, Mortensen, NICK CAVE...

    by quintana007

    take on McCarthy. I'm in fucking movie heaven!! The Proposition was great, but this will be awesome!

  • Feb. 20, 2009, 12:11 a.m. CST

    The problem is human conditioning

    by dogstardude

    The human brain has proven to remarkably flexible and can often run counter to what it's genes say it ought to be or do depending on their upbringing. So yeah, by and large the problem is within ourselves, it's not something we're going to be able to ever totally overcome without some kind of genetic manipulation, but you can make a huge difference in the manner in which we bring up our kids and the systems within which we operate. It is possible people, there have been successes in the past, but unfortunately they have always always been crushed by external forces. The difficulty is in both affecting change and then defending it without losing what you were fighting for in the first place.

  • Feb. 20, 2009, 12:52 a.m. CST

    Cormac McCarthy: he will punch you in the nuts

    by drturing

    Unlike the literature of James Joyce or Flann O' Brien, McCarthy punches you in the nuts like no one else can or ever has.

  • Feb. 20, 2009, 1 a.m. CST

    Christian overtones? Don't make me laugh

    by drturing

    McCarthy is genius enough to actually sprinkle references to biblical passages throughout his work (the room number that Brolin's character is gunned down in, the time on the clock when the world ends in The Road) but also the entirety of particle physics is represented in Chigurgh, who if nothing else represents a sort of stochastic entropy; all his talk about the coin being on its way to you is a representation of a 12 dimensional superstring universe where we are living in the universe where a coin toss came up like so, thus determining your life and death. the dude is fucking deep; there are literary scholars who are still picking apart all the allusions and references in his earlier works. and yes his book is suffused with christianity, inasmuch as the bible is one of the most influential books ever written and a cornerstone of probably 50% of all the narratives we obsessively take in today. if you don't like his books, then go watch stargate or some shit.

  • Feb. 20, 2009, 1:02 a.m. CST

    Religious Over/Under Tones

    by redfist

    Ok, I know that this has been beat to death but I want to comment on it still. The boy, retains an instinctive human nature to do right for people that they meet on the Road (no examples, spoiler free) he and his father to a lesser extent are “carrying the fire”. For me, that means bringing light to the darkness with hope, love and compassion. <P> I don’t see this as religious as much as humanistic and given the actions of some of the people in the book, remaining human and not becoming an animal is as noble as a person can be. <P> Also, the comparison of holding a hose on an ant hill for an hour and this is all that is left, the remaining ants just roaming and waiting to die is perhaps the best definition of the world of the book, since the catastrophe is never revealed.

  • Feb. 20, 2009, 1:05 a.m. CST

    And for Those Disrespecting NCFOM

    by redfist

    Sorry, but if you need your art wrapped in retarded, well Rush Hour 3 is available on DVD and Blu-Ray. FUCKING ASS.

  • Feb. 20, 2009, 1:07 a.m. CST

    Religion in Cormac McCarthy

    by Continentalop

    I was going to say a few things about the Christian (especially gnostic) allusions in McCarthy's work, but drturing beat me to it and pretty much did a better job of describing the use of religion than I ever could. <p> I will add though that, like the good drturing said, the bible and religion is one of the most influential things out there and a cornerstone of our civilization. If you don't want Christian symbolisms and allusions, you better not watch any Scorsese movies, or the Bad Lieutenant, the Matrix, The Terminator, Superman, Children of Men, and about a 1,000 other movies.

  • Feb. 20, 2009, 1:14 a.m. CST

    religious overtones?

    by Dollar Bird

    I read this book partly in a hammock in northern Wisconsin and partly on a plane ride to Eastern Europe. Odd places to read such a bleak book for several reasons. But that's not what I came her to write about. <p>I really didn't see any religious overtones in the book at all. It's not like this was frickin "Gilead" or something. The Man does project a messiah/God on Earth image onto his son in one or two scenes, but that has nothing to do with religion and everything to do with him putting all of his hope on the Boy and the immeasurable amount of love he has for the kid. Even when they have the "prayer" in the story, the Man and the Boy don't pray to God, but to the people whose food they're eating. (Or does that count? Is it religion to be thankful to people who aren't there to hear you?) I can't think of anything else that might seem covertly religious, unless you think that someone objecting to eating newborn babies is the same as condoning religion.

  • Feb. 20, 2009, 1:49 a.m. CST

    Religion in the Road specifically

    by Continentalop

    You could argue that there is some of the story of Abraham and Isaac in the movie, with the Father feeling obligated to kill his son but reluctant to do so. <p> The son is somewhat a messiah figure, the one true innocent person without sin in all the world. The fact that he helps the old man could be seen as comparable to Jesus helping the poor and his charity to the needy. And while he might not be the savior of the world, he is a person who will help continue the human race by being a survivor with morals. <p> The old man Ely might also be a reference to Elijah, the prophet and the herald of the messiah, who will show up on Judgment day. And whatever it is that is going on in the Road, it just might be Judgment Day.

  • Feb. 20, 2009, 1:58 a.m. CST

    Is the Coca Cola scene in there?

    by BenBraddock

    Thanks for your review, Viper X. Want to try using spell-check for your next one? ;-)

  • Feb. 20, 2009, 2:07 a.m. CST


    by gotilk

    You said it best there. Bring on the age of reasoned idealists(who are not afraid to fight anyone who tries to import their dark ages nonsense).

  • Feb. 20, 2009, 2:07 a.m. CST

    Can't wait!

    by The_Skook

    The book is a masterpiece of prose and understatement. Poetic and hypnotising. I for one saw no religious allusions in the book, but found it very spiritual none the less. We see what we wish to see and take away our own version. That is the sign of a good writer; because he doesn't preach...

  • Feb. 20, 2009, 2:13 a.m. CST

    Yes! My most anticipated of 09!!!

    by TheWaqman

    minus Avatar of course

  • Feb. 20, 2009, 2:50 a.m. CST

    Anyone dissapointed by the movie version Chigurh?

    by Prossor

    After viewing NCFOM i was so warped up by how plain ol badass Anton Chigurh was, a hitman that never fails, what a character. Then i read the book and then saw how much more pussyfied the Coens made him, to the point where he's now the weakspot in that movie.. During the night shootout scene he gets shot in the leg by Moss and dissapears, In the book he gets shot in the leg... but some Mexican hitmen drive up and start firing up the place allowing Moss to escape in this distraction, leaving Chigurh this mess, so does he run? Fuck no! He ties up his leg and then gimps his way annihilating every one of the hitmen methodically and it was because of this distraction Moss even lived, not that pussy shit in the movie. Another thing was Bardem played him like a creepy psycho who walks around like a robot with a droll voice. that was Elementary, the Coens might as well made him twirl his mustache and say "I'll get you my pretty!" In the book he is never actually physically strange or intimidating, described as average in everything, not standing out of a crowd, dark complexion, except for his weird blue eyes ("like wet stones") repeated on several times in the book. He also walked and spoke like a regular person, and then the next second could move like a panther when needed and able to watch a person's eye dilation and heartbeat through veins. There was also a really gory scene which the Coens could have done but didn't for some reason, when he kicks open the door in the hotel and nails the guy lying in bed with his silenced shotgun, just peppers him in the stomach and that's it, in the book he chugs off 3 rounds quickly and and left his "upper body spread across the wall." fucken ass!!!

  • Feb. 20, 2009, 2:55 a.m. CST

    I wasn't disappointed Prossor because:

    by Continentalop

    A - I think the Coen's had to take some liberties with the character because the audience reading the book can sense that he is otherworldly from Cormac McCarthy's description of events, while they Coen's had to coney his otherworldly-ness through his appearance. <p> B - You really should be in the BALEBACK anyways. I am getting tired of posting all by my lonesome. Fuckin' amateur.

  • Feb. 20, 2009, 3:12 a.m. CST


    by Mullah Omar

    Bardem is a great actor, but he more or less hammed up what should have been more of a calm, collected blank of a dude. Based on the book, I expected him to be totally stonefaced and talk in a monotone. I think it would have been scarier if Bardem played it like that.

  • Feb. 20, 2009, 4:02 a.m. CST

    the proposition and the book were amazing

    by Potatino

    oh i can not wait for this film!

  • Feb. 20, 2009, 4:15 a.m. CST

    as an atheist

    by drturing

    if you don't read the bible, you don't understand the foundational bedrock for a vast majority of culture and politics and the collective uncosciousness on the planet today. even a non literal read is illuminating.

  • Feb. 20, 2009, 7:06 a.m. CST

    I am nervouse about Charlize Theron's character...

    by Fart_Master_Flex

    In the book that character is seriously in it for like two pages during a flashback. I am worried that they will get creative and will try to give her more screen time.

  • Feb. 20, 2009, 7:36 a.m. CST

    dogstardude / gotilk

    by skynetbauxi

    thank you! glad to see there are SOME people out there who got it. to be honest, it clicked in me on the way home yesterday... yes, in a way, we are all born "evil", but we are born "good" just as well! because good and evil are determined by our behavior, our actions. and once you realize that there really ARE no ACTIONS, but only REACTIONS, the whole good/evil discussion becomes pretty transparent. when a person acts in an "evil" manner, they ALWAYS do so as a REACTION to their situation, their society. and it's generally the same with "good" actions. except for mentally ill people, no-one does an "evil" thing without a cause, without a reason. and the reasons for people doing "evil" things are mainly religion, money/poverty, power, politics/military (being ordered to kill an "enemy") and sex/love/jealousy. yes, without a doubt, the sex/love/jealousy part will be around for a long time (I hope ;-)). but we CAN do something about the other parts! don't be religious or condone religion. don't join the military or condone it. get all the information you can about the monetary system (watch THE MONEY MASTERS or ZEITGEIST: ADDENDUM). we humans may not be able to act against our genetic programming. but we ARE able to change the world around us in such a way that we will no longer have to REACT in "evil" ways to a lot of things. I mean, the proof is all around you. if you're a reasonable guy with a well-paid, fun job, who has a nice and pretty girlfriend, a cool car, a nice house, and anything else you could wish for, you most certainly won't get into a lot of fights or criminal behavior in your life... why would you? but if you're poor and starving, you WILL steal or even kill. and if you are religious and someone attacks your beliefs, you WILL fight him back. so YES, "evil" is human nature, just as much as "good" is. it all depends on the world we live in. and today we can change the world into a place where we won't be forced into "evil" behavior anymore. yes... except for pussy ;-)

  • Feb. 20, 2009, 7:37 a.m. CST

    I cried like a baby at the end of the book

    by c4andmore

    seriously. Never had that happen to me with a book before, and I read alot. Can't wait for the film.

  • Feb. 20, 2009, 7:40 a.m. CST


    by skynetbauxi

    what made you cry? yes, I felt like crying too, because there was no satisfying ending (in my opinion) ;-) but what made you cry?

  • Feb. 20, 2009, 8:10 a.m. CST

    Plant. The novel blows.

    by criticalbliss

    Miserablist, didactic, navel-gazing tripe. I suppose emo-kids love the woe-is-me aesthetic and awkward prose. People who cried at the end of the book are easy marks. McCarthy is the most overrated writer of our time. Incredible.

  • Feb. 20, 2009, 8:52 a.m. CST

    The book.

    by HoboCode

    Jesus. I tore through it in a day except for the last 50 pages. I had to put it down. I was AFRAID to finish the book becasue I sense what was coming. Finally I cowboyed up and sat down to finish it after a week. Yes I fucking cried, criticalbliss, you fucking heartless asshole, but hope was not entirely lost at the end and I was glad I finished it. this movie has the potential to be something great. I hope this reviewer is right.

  • Feb. 20, 2009, 8:55 a.m. CST


    by HoboCode

    Thank shit the movie doesn't try to explain it. If I see any ICBM's or a fucking meteor I'm out.

  • Feb. 20, 2009, 8:55 a.m. CST

    been waiting for this & time travelers wife

    by thinboyslim.

    been waiting long time to see both movies, at least the road may actually be a 2009 release, time travelers wife has been pushed to 2010!

  • Feb. 20, 2009, 9:14 a.m. CST

    criticalbliss -- please list what you consider "good" writing

    by AdrianVeidt

    I'm highly curious as to what books made the cut to sit with you in your ivory tower, because having read and taught numerous novels to students over the years, The Road is quite possibly one of the most engaging and visceral texts of modern literature.

  • Feb. 20, 2009, 9:31 a.m. CST


    by c4andmore

    I don't think there was any way to have a satisfying ending to that story, the world is over. Period. I think what got me was the fact that the man accomplished what he wanted to do, to get his son safe. Or as safe as can be in that world. But he wasn't around to see it happen. Also the fact that they were alone for the whole story, alone as in no one able to help them, and when finally the veteran appears it turns out he was shadowing then for quite some time and the father never knew it. Now the kid is probably safer than he ever could have been with him.

  • Feb. 20, 2009, 9:42 a.m. CST

    Cooking with Cormac from Vanity Fair.

    by Kid Z

    December 2008 issue. Kate Winslet of cover On cover? Yes cover. Authors name long forgotten as all is soon forgotten and lost. But could be looked up. Looked up? Yes. Online? Yes online. Laughed until stomach ached as the world aches. Choked on beer. Beer ran out of nose. Funny.

  • Feb. 20, 2009, 9:45 a.m. CST

    Won't be watching this

    by filmcoyote

    love the book, no interest in seeing what Hollywood does to it, it can't possibly capture the lyrical beauty of McCarthy's best work.

  • Feb. 20, 2009, 9:45 a.m. CST

    Im looking forward to this

    by Col. Tigh-Fighter


  • Feb. 20, 2009, 10:22 a.m. CST

    Barbecue baby anyone?

    by HoboCode

    Sorry. That scene better be in the movie though.

  • Feb. 20, 2009, 10:24 a.m. CST

    Fantastic book...

    by beatleMatt

    ...but man it was a depressing read. I hope this movie is good...

  • Feb. 20, 2009, 10:43 a.m. CST

    Nice review!

    by Olsen Twins_Fan

    I especially like the anthill analogy.

  • Feb. 20, 2009, 10:52 a.m. CST

    NCFOM is the worst McCarthy book I've read.

    by Thunderbolt Ross

    That being said, it's a pretty damn good book. Just not great.

  • Feb. 20, 2009, 11 a.m. CST


    by Thunderbolt Ross

    I think the Coens made a mistake casting him. I actually think the performance was perfect - but making the character so exotic was wrong. He should have been the most bland guy in terms of how he presented himself, how he looked. <p>Well, Bardem almost made up for it by capturing the emptiness of the character perfectly.

  • Feb. 20, 2009, 11:02 a.m. CST

    Blood Meridian

    by Thunderbolt Ross

    Please don't bother making a movie out of it. It would be like making a movie version of Hamlet but rewriting all the dialogue. You can't possibly visually recreate the language of Blood Meridian. Just a waste of time.

  • Feb. 20, 2009, 11:03 a.m. CST


    by Thunderbolt Ross

    It is scary that Theron is playing the wife. It suggests they will expand the flashback, which is too bad. Ironically that was the one weak link in the book, that conversation ... Just a little to flowery to sit right.

  • Feb. 20, 2009, noon CST

    Haven't read the book

    by Hamtaro Hentai

    But that review makes me really want to see this.

  • Feb. 20, 2009, 1:22 p.m. CST

    Christian Bale IS OUR LORD!! JOIN US!!


    As we celebrate this momentous occasion by anal fucking the shit out of 10,000 posts. <p>CONQUER LIFE, AND YOU SHALL CONQUER DEATH.

  • Feb. 20, 2009, 1:46 p.m. CST

    I want my baby back . . . ribs!

    by WickedJacob

  • Feb. 20, 2009, 1:53 p.m. CST


    by Continentalop

    Because I have been trying to post on that mother f'er and I haven't been able to.

  • Feb. 20, 2009, 1:59 p.m. CST

    looking forward to this more than any other film

    by FleshMachine

    the book is genius...fingers crossed.

  • Feb. 20, 2009, 2:13 p.m. CST

    Fuck off DickBlood.....

    by TheWaqman

    this is a Cormac talkback you dumb shit. Go piss off to the Watchmen talkback or something.

  • Feb. 20, 2009, 2:40 p.m. CST

    This is Cormac TB? Oh-- thats why I hear snoring.



  • Feb. 20, 2009, 2:59 p.m. CST

    great book

    by ItsaMadMadMadMaxWorld

    There's a reason the dads in the Talkback seem to love the novel: it's an ode to father-son relationships. The plotless structure and hopeless landscape is just a channel for aiming the narrative at that one thing. A movie done the right way would find the film's optimism and hope inside that relationship (since it's been intentionally stripped from every other aspect of the story). If the film adaptation is no good, all this will be is a confusing, mind-numbingly bleak post-apocalyptic story that doesn't make the slightest bit of sense to science fiction fans.

  • Feb. 20, 2009, 3:40 p.m. CST

    If No Country for Old Men captured McCarthy's prose

    by hst666

    color me not interested.

  • Feb. 20, 2009, 3:49 p.m. CST

    The Propisition

    by Dragon

    sucked actually.... sure visually it looked ok, but story wise, feh. A borefest.

  • Feb. 20, 2009, 4:28 p.m. CST

    The Proposition was great....

    by TheWaqman

    ...much better than 3:10 to Yuma or Appaloosa were. Also Nick Cave's score was really good and Hillcoat is the right man for the job.

  • Feb. 20, 2009, 5:07 p.m. CST


    by Mullah Omar

    ...would be great to see filmed the way it read, because it would make the opening of SAVING PRIVATE RYAN look narcoleptic. Holy fuck what a crazy-ass, end of the world scene. If you have to ask which scene I'm referring to, you didn't read the same book I did, and I don't want to spoil it here for others.

  • Feb. 20, 2009, 6:19 p.m. CST

    Cormac McCarthy (for the lemmings)

    by criticalbliss

    Orson Scott Card: "Every time I hear about how brilliant Cormac McCarthy is, I pick up one of his books and try to slog through the pretentious, self-displaying prose. The problem is that he's so in love with his own writing that he hardly needs a spectator. I give him credit for not being as egregiously dumb as Jonathan Franzen, who writes like a precocious fourteen-year-old -- and who also made their (Entertainment Weekly's) list -- but this is truly, deeply bad writing, folks. It only impresses people who read fiction in order to be impressed. <p> The actual content of The Road is like Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale -- the author moves into territory that science fiction writers have been working with -- brilliantly, I might add -- for two generations, and without any sign that they have bothered to read any of the excellent works that pioneered this kind of subject matter, the author shows off his or her ineptitude with the pride of a Shirley Temple imitator. Look what I thought of! Oh, how cute. But it's already been done, by smarter people and better writers than you. <p> And they showed how easily they're fooled by pretentious tricks… It's a list dominated by ideology and undergraduate tastes. The books they admire are full of trite and easily-imitated tricks and tropes -- but those tricks and tropes are precisely the "experiments" that the academic-literary elite puts forth as "good writing." It isn't; it never was; it never will be. But it will continue to be praised by reviewers whose judgments are shaped by what they think their friends will think of their opinions."

  • Feb. 20, 2009, 6:24 p.m. CST

    The truth about The Road

    by criticalbliss

    It's an awful novel. There is a certain monotonous quality to Cormac's writing--some nice metaphors here and there, but didactic sentences, poor flow and, often, an absence of economy in terms of plot. Everyone speaks in the same clipped voice. A lack of internalization and response often numbs his narrative. Basically, he's a ham, a miserablist writer. For the semi-emo crowd, I can understand the woe-is-me appeal, but after a while it deadens the soul.<p> The Road: <p> "The world was grey; dust and ash everywhere. He looked at the boy.<p> I'm scared, the boy said. <p> I know.<p> The night was black. Oh, God. God. I hate you, God. There was dust and ash everywhere. <p> I dreamed about a penguin, the boy said.<p> I know.<p> I'm scared.<p> Me too. <p> The road was black. <p> THE END." <p> (The above is a parody, but not all that different from the actual novel's content. It's a brutal read. Thank God it's short.)

  • Feb. 20, 2009, 6:27 p.m. CST

    NCFoM (the truth)

    by criticalbliss

    No Country For Old Men was flawed as a film because the book was a structural mess in the third act. To fix the film would have meant fixing the non-resolution of the many dropped character arcs (and probably removing the sheriff altogether or forcing him to make the conscious decision at the motel to "not" enter, to decide to withdraw despite his moral compulsion to intervene). The sheriff was more of a main character in the novel, but one who does absolutely nothing during the narrative's course. It was simply lazy writing masked by minimalist, miserablist prose (prose a lot of misanthropic intellectuals enjoy due to its relentless condemnation of the human condition). Furthermore, NCFoM was cheapened by its stereotypical "literary" random-accident ending that did little to deepen the themes of change planted in the book--or to resolve character arcs. The reason most people are upset (and, unlike Tracy, wish they never saw the film) is because the first 2/3's of the film are brilliant (better than the novel because the performances add so much to pretty one-note characters that all speak and act the same--as in most of McCarthy's writing). This could have been a great film if they had fixed several glaring issues. The most obvious issue is the copout concerning Llewelyn (want to avoid spoilers here). It cheats the film, the theme, the character and even the antagonist, Chigurh. The only defense rabid fans of McCarthy can muster is the weakly bleated "it's literary--it's supposed to be pointless!". <p> Well, it certainly was.

  • Feb. 20, 2009, 6:33 p.m. CST

    Blood Meridian (yep, you know it)

    by criticalbliss

    This one Harry should read since he's a Leninist and this quote is by a proudly Marxist reviewer. This might be the only time I agree with Louise Proyect. <p> Cormac McCarthy’s “muscular prose” <p> In the July/August 2001 Atlantic Monthly, an article titled “A Reader’s Manifesto: An attack on the growing pretentiousness of American literary prose” by B.R. Myers appeared. I was vaguely aware of it at the time but did not make that much of it since I was not familiar with most of the authors he lambasted, including Cormac McCarthy. After picking up McCarthy’s “Blood Meridian” the other day, I decided to have a second look at Myers’s essay. While I agree with his take on McCarthy’s overwrought writing style (he also takes a scalpel to Anne Proulx, Don DeLillo and other trendy writers), there is much more that can be said about “Blood Meridian”, a truly awful novel. And I will. Suffice it to say at this point that I have never read a novel that is so lacking in psychological depth as “Blood Meridian”, a function of the author’s need to represent men in the old west as little more than coyotes. After all, from this perspective neither coyotes nor men think much about their actions. Bloody fights occur with great frequency but you never get a clue about what is inside the combatant’s heads that are as opaque as a cactus. I will have much more to say about this when I am finished with Cormac’s stupid novel that has been compared to the Iliad, Dante and Melville. Talk about the cheapening of standards."

  • Feb. 20, 2009, 7:31 p.m. CST

    Orscon Scott Card

    by ItsaMadMadMadMaxWorld

    is a science fiction writer who makes his money writing the same story over and over and over again. Of course he's jealous of real authors.

  • Feb. 20, 2009, 7:38 p.m. CST


    by criticalbliss

    Yeah, and every single iteration is superior to anything McCarthy has ever written. And Card's sold more, so his money will keep him fine company.

  • Feb. 20, 2009, 8:25 p.m. CST


    by ItsaMadMadMadMaxWorld

    Each to his own. I'd rather read All the Pretty Horses upside down and backwards, skipping all the verbs, than try to read "Xenophobia" again.

  • Feb. 20, 2009, 10:25 p.m. CST

    Hey, I read, 'BLOOD MERIDIAN' and...

    by uberman

    I loved it! Great epic anti-western. Maybeye I should spend my evening posting positive reviews of it, cause there are hundreds. Kind of hard to find the bad ones, though, as the overwhelming literary opinion is that McCarthy is a truly gifted writer. And all the negative posting about his work on this weeny teeny little site will not change that fact.

  • Feb. 20, 2009, 11:57 p.m. CST

    I'm reading The Road atm...

    by Anti-fanboy

    I've also read a lot of apocalyptic science fiction over the years... A Canticle for Leibowitz... a lot of J.G. Ballard stuff, like The Drowned World; The Stand; The Dark Tower series; some Gene Wolfe stuff; Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep... Gather, Darkness... Christ, when you stop and think about it, so much of SF is concerned with our eventual demise. Anyway, I'm still enjoying The Road, despite the fact that better, possibly more enduring works haven't received as much acclaim. It reminds me a lot of my nightmares, actually. They're usually ashen and apocalyptic, and I guess the mean little nihilist in me finds them, and the book, somehow cathartic. Viggo is some of the most perfect casting I could imagine. There are some photos up on IMDB -- they're like moments directly out of the book, only more brightly lit than I've imagined them. Really looking forward to this.

  • Feb. 21, 2009, 2:13 a.m. CST


    by dogstardude

    I think half the problem here is your method of writing, which is pretty confrontational and has an unerring sense of overenthusiasm/overdramatism, what with your lack of capitalised sentences and reliance on "internet shouting". I realise English isn't your first language, I'm just giving you some personal insight into why people are so dismissive. I've always found debate to be much more worthwhile and rewarding when it is measured and cool. Let your ideas be full of passion and fire, if they're strong enough you don't need to act them out. In other words, Pericles that bitch up, don't get all Cimon on our asses.

  • Feb. 21, 2009, 7:16 a.m. CST

    How many of you automatically award bonus points

    by CreasyBear

    to any movie or book that presents a nihilistic, bleak, meaningless view of existence, regardless of the artistic merit behind the storytelling? Be honest.

  • Feb. 21, 2009, 8:43 a.m. CST

    Hunh? I read THE ROAD; didn't see Christian undertones in it.

    by Orbots Commander

    There *were* themes of retaining hope for humanity under bleak circumstances. The kid is the story's moral center. But Christian subtext? I didn't see it. And I loved the fact that McCarthy didn't need to front-load the exposition how the world got to be the way it is. It's a very minimalist, Hemingway-esque take on Stephen King's The Stand, but with extra bleakness.

  • Feb. 21, 2009, 8:47 a.m. CST

    And even if there were religious undertones, so what?

    by Orbots Commander

    If that bothers some of you guys, then don't bother reading any Dickens, Twain, Dostoevsky, Tolkien or other great writers as Christian themes run rampant through much of their work.

  • Feb. 21, 2009, 9:06 a.m. CST

    Orson Scott Card

    by kadayi

    Seriously? Who honestly cares what that warmongering bigot thinks. I certainly don't believe the Road is a perfect book (there are a couple of trite beats in there), but McCarthy is an emotive writer and albeit it's hard to envisage the world no matter the circumstances collapsing in on itself to the extent or in the manner he describes, it's a compelling tale he tells of people stripped to the very core of their being.

  • Feb. 21, 2009, 3:23 p.m. CST

    Not to rain on the parade

    by drdoom_v

    The book is amazing-- and if this person is really a fan and not a plant from the studio--I seriously doubt the film will remain as good as you say it is--not after the moronic studio exes and test audiences--it will be changed to have much more color and a Happy Happy Fun Fun ending!! and they will probably re-cast it with Dane Cook and Jessica Alba--ya know Punch up the funny! weeeeeee!!!

  • Feb. 21, 2009, 5:25 p.m. CST

    Orson Scott Card?!?!

    by Mr. Nice Gaius

    Give me a break, criticalbliss. Talk about an author with an inferiority complex! If you want to critique McCarthy, have the temerity to do so with your own thoughts and opinion. Don't quote a bunch of hacks.

  • Feb. 21, 2009, 5:39 p.m. CST

    Mr. Nice Gaius can't read

    by criticalbliss

    My own criticism was posted above dealing with The Road including a mimicking of his cheap, "literary" tropes and tricks to illustrate McCarthy's illusory "depth". So, try reading. Furthermore, I brought quotes to show that I'm not the only one left underwhelmed by his writing. I'm not sure if I posted my thoughts on NCFoM, but I can diagnose point-for-point the flagrant structural and character transgressions that undermine the admittedly brilliant setup--the third act is a sloppy abortion by an epileptic Brazilian mall physician. The issues I have with McCarthy have less to do with his self-congratulatory prose than his poor plotting and lack of psychological depth. There are also mechanical flaws in his writing (lack of internalization before response to stimulus). I also mentioned the fact that his characters all speak in the same clipped voice. Shall I go on?

  • Feb. 21, 2009, 7:24 p.m. CST

    criticalbliss - I read just fine, thank you.

    by Mr. Nice Gaius

    But if you call that legit criticism, you need to come up with more valid and insightful points. All I see from you is derision based upon personal taste.<P>Seriously. The "truth" about THE ROAD? The "truth about NCFOM? Cormac McCarthy for "the lemmings"? Please.<P>If you're underwhelmed by his writing, then so be it. That's too bad for you, I guess. I just find your so-called "criticism" to be seriously lacking; especially when you resort to quoting Orson Scott Fucking Card as an attempt to reinforce what already reads like a mirror of someone else's write-up or critique.

  • Feb. 22, 2009, 9:04 a.m. CST

    Ah, the rancid smell of ignorance

    by criticalbliss

    Then you don't even know what valid criticism is, Mr. Nice Gaius. Stay with the other lemmings. I run several critique groups with published authors. The mechanics of prose are not matters of "taste" as you call them. Certain things are not subjective. McCarthy has definitive flaws in his swing. I don't think he's a "poor" writer, but he's not a literary giant by any means. If he worked on his character internalizations, scrubbing out the absurd elements (making small moments into primal struggles between nature and man), and paying attention to plot and resolution, then he could write an incredible novel. Thus far, he's ruined many good setups and written plenty of groan-worthy, self-satisfied diatribes masked as prose. The main question a reader needs to ask him/herself is if they are willing to overlook McCarthy's shortcomings and lazy plotting for the sake of his minimalist prose. THAT is subjective. I have no problem with those who like his books, only with those who remain in denial about obvious holes in his work.

  • Feb. 22, 2009, 10:08 a.m. CST

    Sorry, criticalbliss...

    by Mr. Nice Gaius

    ...but when you resort to calling people who like McCarthy's work "lemmings", you lose. (Especially when discussing subjective matters such as art, poetry, and literature.)<P>And I can't emphasize enough how your so-called criticisms read like matters of taste.<P>Quote: "...he's ruined many good setups and written plenty of groan-worthy, self-satisfied diatribes masked as prose."<P>That's YOUR opinion and not a valid criticism. See what I mean? It's that fucking simple. I hope your critique groups do more than offer these types of personal invective.<P>You're starting to remind me of an old friend of mine's father; an author who has written several novels. This guy pals around with his "author buddies" and blasts away at every writer from Hemingway and Capote to Miller and Lamb. Each and every one of these armchair experts think these guys suck or are highly overrated as authors.<P>The point is that you seem more interested in having McCarthy meet some sort of literary checklist rather than understanding his unique style and often oblique and subversive thematic elements. The guy is NOT a conventional writer by any means. And if he's not your cup of tea, just say so and move on. Calling folks "lemmings" and what-not as an effort to put forth legit criticism will get you no where in my book.<P>Cheers.

  • Feb. 22, 2009, 12:25 p.m. CST

    How is McCarthy unique?

    by criticalbliss

    He wrote a miserablist version of I am Legend. Not very unique. He's a neo-western writer. Furthermore, he's VERY derivative--aping Hemingway and Faulkner most readily among others. NY Times mentions this: <P>By MICHIKO KAKUTANI Published: May 22, 1998 NY Times review CITIES OF THE PLAIN Volume 3, The Border Trilogy By Cormac McCarthy 292 pages. Alfred A. Knopf. $24. Although Mr. McCarthy has been hailed by critics as a great American original and compared to Faulkner, Twain and Melville, he is actually a highly derivative writer. This quality has become increasingly clear as his early, more disjunctive work, like ''Blood Meridian'' and ''Outer Dark,'' has given way to increasingly accessible, straightforward narratives. In fact, ''The Border Trilogy'' gives us two McCarthys. The first one emerges as a direct descendant of Hemingway and gives us some powerful storytelling, delivered in laconic if oddly familiar prose. (''Troy had climbed out of the truck and he walked back and stood smoking quietly and looking at the tire and the tube and the Mexicans.'') The second McCarthy emerges as a ham-handed Faulkner pretender and gives us lots of portentous meditations on time and nature and fate. (''They drift down out of your leprous paradise seeking a thing now extinct among them. A thing for which perhaps they no longer even have a name.'') Happily for the reader, the Hemingway-inspired McCarthy controls the better part of ''Cities of the Plain.'' Although the book occasionally lapses into the pretentious mumbo jumbo that made ''The Crossing'' such a lugubrious read, ''Cities'' showcases Mr. McCarthy's gifts as an old-fashioned storyteller; it is, arguably, his most readable, emotionally engaging novel yet. He seems to have shrugged off the chilly detachment that so often turned his characters into faceless pawns moving (or moved) across an epic chessboard: they may still fall prey to fate and chance and things beyond their control, but they now elicit our sympathy and our concern. <P> Now, I don't blast many writers--certainly fewer "literary" writers than contemporary authors. Most people, I find, when they mention "oblique, subversive elements" have NO idea what those supposed elements are. This is merely an excuse, the: "but you don't understand!" defensiveness that does nothing to illuminate the writer or his work. You are following the crowd who feels they have to wax poetic on how great a writer McCarthy is without due critical diligence. In truth, McCarthy has brilliant moments (he's at his best writing spartan conflicts, violence that does indeed leap off the page) and prose peppered throughout bloated, largely plotless, self-congratulatory works. Furthermore, he's incredibly shallow in terms of characterization and thematic depth. His dialogue IS repetitive and one-note. A cursory read reveals this. He's not the only one to do this, but the literary establishment if afraid to truly criticize anyone anymore. Too many people look over their shoulders and feel obligated to enjoy poorly written novels because of reputation. I have no problem with people who enjoy McCarthy, but I wish people would openly admit his shortcomings. He's not "perfect" or a literary lion by any means. He's an old man muttering by a campfire.

  • Feb. 22, 2009, 6:48 p.m. CST

    you know, hillcoat himself sorta looks like the judge

    by The Mothman They could do worse.

  • Feb. 22, 2009, 6:59 p.m. CST

    as for mccarthy's writing

    by The Mothman

    I can see both sides of the debate. I agree that any artist who produces work that sticks to a certain doctrine can be a slog to get through eg McCarthy, Kubrick. Alas, sometimes the doctrine can produce a string of words or images that will stick in my mind forever, like Glanton's fate in Blood Meridian or Jack Nicholson's bathroom chat with Grady. I find Cormac's books slightly more rewarding than frustrating, which is why I'll pick one up now and then.

  • Feb. 23, 2009, 1:50 a.m. CST

    McCarthy uses economy of words

    by Prossor

    he basically only uses the bare minimum amount of words, but he uses the exact words from a big vocabulary and this basically accentuates whatever he's writing about and you aren't drowned in over wordyness. Anyone can do it! He's an intresting writer but his subjec matter is not my type, neo westerns, booooring.