Wednesday, February 17, 2016

3 Thoughts on Hail, Caesar!

1. For the love of movies - I feel like this movie was specifically made for movie lovers; People who have studied film, worked on film sets, screenplay writers & readers, or just self-taught cinephiles. I don't know if an average moviegoer audience will fully embrace the old-school film techniques, or the silliness of the dialogue, or the abrupt but classic Hollywood dance sequence. I think it's just perfect. I love the optimism, along with the combination of black humor, subtle humor, and laugh out loud humor. It all works incredibly well, and had me smiling through the whole thing. I wouldn't be surprised if it ended up on my Top 10 list of 2016 (and it's technically the first movie I've seen so far this year, so hopefully this is a fantastic start to a great year for movies).

2. The Coen brothers - I don't know if I've ever really discussed my thoughts on Coen brother films on this blog before, so here it is: I have mixed feelings. Some of their films I absolutely adore - Hudsucker Proxy, Fargo, No Country for Old Men, and, Burn After Reading. Some of their films I find mediocre (and the dreaded word in film criticism, "overrated") - The Big Lebowski, O' Brother, Where Art Thou?, and, Inside Llewyn Davis. And then, there are some of their films that are so bad, I try to forget about them - Intolerable Cruelty and The Ladykillers. This one falls between "adore" and "mediocre", even though it was closer in theme and tone with the "so bad" ones. I love that they have a signature style and approach to film-making, and they have a knack for those "small moments" that I refer to as "pure Coen Brothers genius".

3. The star - In watching the trailer, or just looking at the cast list, one would assume that the "star" of the movie is George Clooney, right? Well, it's not. Also, the other bigger names, like Scarlett Johansson, Channing Tatum, and Jonah Hill are in two or three very small scenes. The "star" in my opinion is Josh Brolin, but even more important, the scene-stealer is absolutely Alden Ehrenreich. He's fantastic. Every scene he is in, is a highlight of the movie. I think it must be a difficult thing for an actor to pretend to be a bad actor...I mean, it goes against every natural instinct. He's definitely the memorable character of the movie, which is a huge compliment considering the A-list actors involved. Tatum was also a stand-out, mostly because he nailed that dance sequence and the comedic ending of the movie (two things he excels at: dancing and comedy. Please stop giving him action movies).

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