Hail, Caesar!

March 15, 2016


“This is real.”,  the Lockheed representative tells Eddie Mannix (Josh Brolin), the Capital Pictures studio “fixer” while holding a picture of the detonation of the hydrogen bomb in the Bikini Atholl.  It is part of a somewhat ill-conceived headhunting ploy, where the rep tries to hide his contempt for the pointless frivolity of Hollywood and the job Mannix does.  He wants him to leave the studio and work for them, ironically explaining that it’s actually a much easier job with better benefits and more reasonable hours.  Mannix is up at all hours putting out fires for the contracted studio players so as to protect the studio’s image and assets.  Hail, Caesar! follows roughly 24 hours in Mannix’s life in a job that is, quite frankly, glorified babysitting.  An unmarried pregnant star, the bizarre decision by the owner of the studio to promote a B-list Western singer/stuntman into the leading role of an elegant drama, and most pressing of all, the kidnapping of the studio’s biggest star in the midst of filming the titular epic.  Read the rest of this entry »


Inside Llewyn Davis

February 3, 2014


One can approach a Coen Brothers movie in a number of ways, especially when writing about it.  The narrative of their career is interesting and unique, and their recent financial success deserves any number of think piece analyses of the trajectory of commercial and artistic potential.  There’s the way their recent films have more or less exploded the old belief that their films were either darkly comic thriller-dramas or absurd goofball comedies.  There is, perhaps most importantly, the fact that they rival and often exceed the arthouse auteurs from around the globe, not only in the depth and quality but doing so in a decidedly intelligent, unflashy way.  They’re also, in their way, classicists when it comes to their approach to filmmaking – unfussy visuals that pack a hell of a whallop when they need to and an organized, almost clinical in their storytelling.  One can investigate the historical aspects of the 60s Greenwich Village scene depicted in Inside Llewyn Davis, but I won’t because, for one, I know close to nothing about it and for two, I don’t particularly care.  There’s also the fact that ILD is perhaps the most critic-friendly movie they’ve ever made as it’s about a frustrated artist, and let’s be honest, many critics and bloggers are frustrated artists.  Read the rest of this entry »

Far be it from me to throw my two cents in as to what will or won’t win an Oscar next week. I have an educated guess on who will win what, but it’s still guesswork, and I also don’t really care. What this does allow is the opportunity to throw up some quick reviews for the films I haven’t already talked about on the site. I haven’t seen The Blind Side, as it has not been released in the UK yet and while I probably will see it, I’m really not looking forward to the experience (I will not, however, write up a snide review of what I think it will be, because ya never know, it might surprise you…right?). So there are four Best Picture nominees beyond the five already reviewed to get through, and coming up are some quick thoughts.

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