Infamy! Infamy! They've all got it in for me!
- Hail, Caesar! review by Count Otto Black
I used to like the Coen brothers. I really, truly did. But increasingly they're coasting on a wave of their past glories before splattering messily on the polluted beach of shameless self-indulgence. It's true that Hollywood movies made over 60 years ago look dated today. That's kind of inevitable, and not in itself funny. It's also true that some of them starred actors who weren't terribly good, but were massively hyped at the time for commercial reasons. Portraying movies from this period as terribly dated and their stars as talentless idiots who are literally at least borderline retarded is a cheap trick just about good enough to carry a five-minute sketch aimed at people old enough to remember where it's coming from. This is a feature-length comedy containing maybe three halfway decent jokes, the best and most relevant of which you won't get unless you remember John Wayne's 10-second cameo in "The Greatest Story Ever Told". Which, since it wasn't meant to be funny, ended up being a lot funnier than this entire movie (catch it on YouTube - it'll take you about as long to find it and watch it as it will to load this disk).
Is it hilarious that sailors in a spoof fifties musical sing about their yearning for women while dancing with each other, and it ends up looking more than a bit unintentionally gay? Perhaps, but if you think that's funny, you might as well watch the "Nothing Like a Dame" sequence from "South Pacific" this scene is directly based on, which has been mercilessly parodied for that very reason since long before most of you were born. Is it hilarious that big stars such as George Clooney play unlikeable characters with the IQ of live yoghurt? No, unless they actually get funny lines (which they don't), instead of plodding through the same tired schtick their buddies the Coens resort to every time they run out of ideas.
This film has almost no plot, and coasts along on the notions that the past was automatically funny because the people in it were more primitive than you, and deliberate bad acting is an adequate substitute for actual comedy. I'm not saying those Coens aren't talented, because they obviously used to be. I'm just saying that, on their recent form, this looks like the beginning of the end. Or possibly the middle of it. Seriously, Joel & Ethan, one more film like this and your careers are in trouble. Two, maybe three at the most, and your careers are over. And maybe it's about time.
3 out of 6 members found this review helpful.
Funny, amusing, enjoyable, don't take it too seriously
- Hail, Caesar! review by JR
I have seen some of the other reviews on CP on this film, and they are entirely reasonable. For me it depends on the mood you are in when you want the film and what you hope to achieve by watching it.
It was silly, but very amusing and beautifully made and filmed with good performances. Certainly not as likeable, or as throughtful as other Coen Brother's film, as say Inside Lleweyn Davis. But that said, I watched this on a Sunday afternoon, and it was indeed the perfect Sunday afternoon film. You didn't need to engage your mind too much, but neither did the humour in the film negate being thoughtful about it.
As I mentioned, it's a film beautifully shot, with the set pieces impeccably designed. The dialogue is amusing and the characters great.
Just don't expect too much from it, enjoy it for what it is, and view it as the Coen Brothers having fun and poking fun at Hollywood and you won't be disappointed. It's well worth watching it, and definitely better (way better) than a two star film.
3 out of 3 members found this review helpful.
- Hail, Caesar! review by MD
I could not decide whether to give this film the thumbs up or thumbs down its title suggested, hence my own review title. The central idea of focusing on a big Hollywood "fixer" around which to build a movie that is both a homage to Hollywood's past and a critical spoof of some of its more famous productions seemed reasonable enough, but what resulted was a very mixed bag.
The script was far too variable, sometimes witty and enlightening, sometimes plain daft, and a stupid plot about communists in the system just never clicked, but individual performances and scenes were pretty good. Josh Brolin appeared as if out of nowhere to give a solid performance in the lead role, and Alden Ehrenreich looks a real find - it's damn difficult to give a convincing portrayal of bad acting, but he did it with charm and aplomb.
Some individual set pieces, such as the sailors in the bar dance routine were clever and entertaining, and it gave you a bit of an insight into how Hollywood worked in its "heyday", so all in all it was worth watching, even if not one of the Coen brothers more memorable efforts.
1 out of 1 members found this review helpful.
They forgot the first rule of comedy
- Hail, Caesar! review by RT
Eventually got around to watching this, after it came to the cinemas to good reviews.
Well, for me it was just a hollywood movie about hollywood. Meh. Do the movie makers really think that the inside workings of hollywood (daft as they might be) are really of interest to the rest of us? OK, it's meant to be a satire, but it's really not very satirical. Some actors are thick! Some can't act! Hiarious! No, not really.
Yes, there were some good performances in this, but it was really a waste of time. I found myself having lost interest after the first half hour or so. Stuck it to the end, but all that did for me was to convince me that the Coens had forgotten the first rule of comedy: it has to be funny. This wasn't.
Two stars only because the quality of some of the actors dragged it up from 1.
0 out of 0 members found this review helpful.