Thursday, March 17, 2016

Et Tu, Coen Brothers?

When "Hail Caesar!" first opened a few weeks back, I had five friends report on Facebook that this was one of the worst movies they had ever seen.   Okay, I am good with those money saving reviews.   But, then, my pastor saw it and told me it was great.   She even went as far as saying that I would absolutely love this satire on 1950s Hollywood.

Okay, I went the religion route.   And now I have another dilemma.

How can the woman I call my spiritual leader be so wrong about what I would like or dislike?

Yep, "Hail Caesar!" is that bad.   And one more validation that Joel and Ethan Coen just might be the most overrated filmmakers in Hollywood.   In all seriousness, I look back and think that "Fargo" was really the only other movie that I liked.

And this one should have been great.   I mean, the subject matter is ripe for comedy.   Eddie Mannix was a real studio guy back when and he was entrusted in keeping his stars out of trouble.  This story is loosely based on a day in his life at the fictitious Capitol Studios.   Indeed, everything here is loosely based. 

And loosely written.

There's a loosely based version of Charlton Heston starring in a loosely based version of "Ben-Hur" and that role is played with a ham glaze by George Clooney.  There is a loosely based Esther Williams, a loosely based Louella Parsons and Hedda Hopper, a loosely based Gene Kelly, and a loosely based bunch of Hollywood Communists.  You get the loosely based picture>

Oh sure, the film is stylishly filmed.   But, somewhere the Coen brothers forgot to put any humor or feeling into the script.   You ping pong from one story to another and you get zero investment in anything on the screen.  This is essentially a SNL sketch that has gone horribly wrong.   And, let's face it, most SNL sketches go horribly wrong all by themselves.

In the cast are the likes of Josh Brolin, Tilda Swinton, Ralph Fiennes, Scarlet Johansson, Channing Tatum, and Frances McDormand.   Tons of star power, for sure.   And it all goes terribly to waste as the film misfires more often than a jitney on the back roads of Mexico.

"Hail Caesar" is one of those movies that is so disappointing that you want to immediately block it from your memory.   No, I really didn't see it.   

Then you go to church the following Sunday and have to explain it all to your pastor who really needs to get to know me better.

LEN'S RATING:  One half star.

Dinner last night:  First night in the new apartment with the great new kitchen...I went to McDonald's!

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