Movie Reviews: Hail, Caeser

hail-cesar.jpgHail, Caeser directed by the Coen Brothers

There are good Coen Brothers movies and annoying Coen Brother movies. In a rare feat, some manage to step toes in both categories.

Hail, Caeser has it’s ass squarely in the annoying category.

The previews pretty much sum up the plot. George Clooney is a star actor who is abducted in a convolutedly boring plot that is more a setup for visuals rather than entertainment, humor, or intrigue. In many ways, it reminded me of Burn After Reading and a little of Barton Fink (without the cerebral ending).

Like with many Coen Brother films today, critics and reviewers are too afraid to give their true opinion. Even if utterly confused and bored at spending an entire movie trying to read between hidden meaning and allegorical double takes, they give it a pass.

There a bunch of dancing from Channing Tatum (huge stretch).

A bunch of confused looks from George Clooney (huge stretch).

Francis McDormand speaks fast and is neurotic (huge stretch).

Scarlett Johansson plays it sultry with an accent (huge stretch).

Jonah Hill plays it boring and straight (Huuuuuge stretch).

And Josh Brolin essentially plays the same character that he did in Inherent Vice. (Big Whoop).

The big mystery was seeing how the new Han Solo acted (why oh why would they make a damn original prequel?????) He was ok.

I went into the film with little hopes, and left thankful they haven’t gone back to make a sequel to Fargo, The Big Lebowski, or Raising Arizona, and for that, Hail the Coen Brothers.

Movie Rating: 4 out of 10 Russian Submarines

Movie Reviews: The Big Lebowski

grandelebowski.jpg

The Big Lebowski directed by the Coen Brothers

This is shining example to why most professional film reviewers don’t know shit. They might be able to write about realistic acting, dialogue, and character arcs, but don’t have a clue what will truly resonate with audiences. Some have even revised their reviews in the years after The Big Lebowski after simply getting it wrong.

Box office be damned, The Big Lebowski is a fucking masterpiece.

The movie is about a Dude who is mistaken for another dude with the same name, who in turn has a trophy wife (Tara Reid before she hit full stride with the Sharknado franchise) who will do certain things for a thousand dollars. Then a kidnapping ransom case goes bad, because this is a Coen Brothers movie. Julianne Moore is an artist with the penchant for the exotic.  It all wraps up when the Dude eventually figures out the truth (or the plot kind of unfolds on him).

The story is iconic not because of the plot, but because of the characters. Jeff Bridges plays The Dude. John Goodman plays a crusty Vietnam vet. Steve Buscemi plays the sidekick. John Tuturro plays a child molester nicknamed The Jesus, who has a penchant for washing his bowling ball. Sam Elliot plays a cowboy, who narrates this western. Philip Seymour Hoffman plays another fine character role as the assistant. Then we have the German nihilists, who have the competency of the Dude, but no luck on their side. When these characters intertwine in the plot, it resulted in iconic lines and sequences that are spoken today.

“The Dude abides.”

“Mark it zero!”

“Nobody fucks with the Jesus.”

“Fuck it, Dude, let’s go bowling.”

The film is full of eccentric characters in ludicrous situations and its a movie where I pick up on new small details each time I watch it. It has become a cult classic, something you couldn’t have predicted if you relied on bullshit movie reviews from the professionals who can’t slam movies too hard (Ad revenue for site or newspaper and exclusive interviews/access) and can’t praise it too much (Don’t want to be the one who gives Flubber 4/4 stars out of the gate). Just look at their reviews and see how many are around 2-3/4 stars. To me this is basically having no opinion or passion on anything. They are reactionary creatures who seldom say what they truly think. It’s pretty hard to get invited and flown out to exclusive premiers if you slam one movie from one studio and give a perfect rating to another rival studio and both are competing for box office glory the following weekend. There are only a few major studios left, so the “professional” reviewers have to play nice.

This is why you shouldn’t trust a damn word they say. They are part of the system.

Indie reviewers are free to say whatever they want. Support us. It is far more likely to get an accurate Captain America: Civil War movie review from an indie reviewer who is also a fanboy than those working at newspapers. Click on our reviews over the professionals. We simply love movies and don’t get bribed or showered with gifts. Some movies are complete shit. Some have great special effects but horrible acting and pacing and plot. Some are a masterpiece. This is one of them.

10/10 White Russians

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