(SPOILER WARNING!!! This article does contain spoilers, if you haven’t seen the movie, just see the first paragraph to be informed without spoilers!!!)
Hail, Caesar! is an interesting movie that pays good homage to the old school Hollywood in the 50’s, but the subplots in this movie just made it confusing, and really irrelevant!!!
Rating: 3 Stars
The Cohen Brothers. These guys are pure entertainers as directors and writers. They like to mix a lot of elements in their movies like action, drama, comedy, suspense, music, and even horror. For the most part, it blends in well with the purpose of their movie and gives it a great effect to your mind to enjoy what is going on. What I also like, is that they enhance the culture of their movies that makes it unique. For example, in Fargo, they really brought out the culture of a suburban, Midwestern city. That is what made that movie very unique. (You betcha.) Some of my favorite movies from them are The Big Lebowski, Fargo, and my personal favorite No Country for Old Men. (Javier Bardem makes a bad haircut look scary.) Some of their other movies could be duds, but their writing is always on point. Even for movies they didn’t direct they wrote to successful movies. For example, Unbroken and Bridge of Spies. These guys like to take an angle and run with it in their movies, and you can be entertained, amused, and on the edge of your seat. I appreciate their uniqueness in their films. As for Hail, Caesar!, I knew I was in for a unique watch once again with the culture of the 50’s in Hollywood. I expected to laugh and be entertained, but I didn’t quite get that.
What I Like: this movie really pays homage to films of the 50’s. Showing how film making was during that time and the trouble it brings. Each movie they showed really shows how unique these films are, and the hard work they put into. Some movies required a lot of choreography for their scenes with music, and the Cohen Brothers really put some great effort into it. If you’re a fan of the movies in the 50’s (I’m so so in that genre), you will enjoy this film. The main story of this movie is about a fixer for the studio. Eddie Mannix, played by Josh Brolin, had to handle all the problems that each movie in the studio has. He goes out, and solves the problems with the resources that he has. The main problem in this movie was the kidnapping of actor Baird Whitlock, played by George Clooney. Whitlock is acting for the biggest movie project of the studio, Hail, Caesar!, and the kidnappers are asking for $100,000 to get him back. The point of the kidnapping was a bunch of communist writers looking for equal pay for writers in Hollywood. The twist in the movie was that actor, Burt Gurney played by Channing Tatum, was the leader of the kidnapping. As he tries to leave in a Russian submarine, he accidently drops the money in the ocean which created hilarious irony. The many cameos in this movies were fun to watch, and really added depth to this movie.
The So So: The movie has a lot of subplots which really shows how Mannix really works in solving the studios issues. It created a lot of confusion in this movie. Some subplots I enjoyed like seeing Hobie Doyle, played by Alden Ehrenreich, who is use to doing cowboy movies, but got casted into a drama. He ends up being horrible at it, and creating a funny conversation with the director, Laurence Laurentz played by Ralph Fiennes. I also liked seeing Mannix dealing with two journalists, Thora and Thessaly Thacker played by Tilda Swinton, and how they are identical twins and create a lot of confusion. Some subplots really didn’t make sense either. Like Mannix being offered another job which was really minor. Also the pregnancy of actress DeeAnna Moran, played by Scarlett Johansson, who is unmarried which at the time is taboo, and figure out how to deal with it before it gets public. It really didn’t affect the story one bit, and they could’ve done away with that.
What i Didn’t Like: One of the reasons I was excited for this movie was their great cast. But some of them had really minor roles. Like Scarlett Johansson, and most disappointingly, Jonah Hill, as a surety agent. I wish I saw more of Ralph Fiennes as a director. He would’ve added more depth to this movie. I thought the movie could better intertwine this cast, and not make it confusing as it was. Probably not the best writing from the Cohen Brothers, but you can have some duds now and then. Also, as a comedy, I thought it failed. I was hoping to be laughing in this movie, but all it can muster from me is a chuckle from time to time. That was disappointing for me as well.
Overall: If you’re into movies from the 50’s you will enjoy this movie. Personally, it’s not the best the Cohen Brothers can make, but it does deserve a watch. If you expect to laugh, you may be disappointed. Hopefully you won’t get confused like me in this movie as well with its different subplots. At least their main story was good enough!!!
Rating: 3 Stars
(Sidenote: Vacation- This movie brings back the National Lampoon’s movies, and really pays homage to the first vacation movie. Though I enjoy the homages from that movie. I feel like their comedy was really forced. It had it’s moments, but it wasn’t as creatively fun like the original. It all seemed like they want to slap you upside the head with it, and expect you to laugh. That is disappointing, because it had a great cast of Ed Helms and Christina Applegate. The movie had potential, but failed!!!
Rating: 2.5 Stars)
(Sidenote: Trumbo- This movie was interesting in seeing the life of Hollywood screenwriter, Dalton Trumbo played by Bryan Cranston, who is also a registered communist. It shows the problems he had to endure, and how he handled it. The movie may get a little slow, especially at the end, but seeing Cranston act is different and unique since his Breaking Bad days. Though one rant, I believe Will Smith in Concussion and Johnny Depp in Black Mass was more deserving for an Oscar nomination than Cranston!!!
Rating: 3 Stars)
(Sidenote: The Danish Girl- This movie is really about a married couple whose husband feels like he is really a women and the problems it persists. It also deals with the first attempt of a surgery of changing genders. For this movie I had to ask plenty of times, why should I care. I do give credit for the acting with Eddie Redmayne and Alicia Vikander as the couple, but really, that’s about it. The movie gave me no interest whatsoever!!!
Rating: 2 Stars)