Wednesday, February 3, 2016

A Reel Preview: HAIL, CAESAR!

This weekend, one of the best filmmaking teams working today return with their newest film, HAIL, CAESAR!. Here is everything you need to know about this release…

Who is behind this? – HAIL, CAESAR! is written and directed by Joel and Ethan Coen, or as the world simply calls them, The Coen Brothers. The Coen’s impressive list of screen credits include the Best Picture Winner NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN (2007), FARGO (1996), THE BIG LEBOWSKI, (1998), O BROTHER, WHERE ART THOU? (2000), TRUE GRIT (2010), and INSIDE LLEWYN DAVIS (2013).  The Coens also provided the screenplay for Steven Spielberg’s recent thriller BRIDGE OF SPIES.

What is this about? – Taking place in 1950’s Hollywood, Josh Brolin (who starred in the Coen’s NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN), plays a “fixer” who is called in when a famous actor (played by George Clooney) is kidnapped.

Who else is in this? – The brothers have assembled a super-sized cast. In addition to Brolin and Clooney, also appearing will be Ralph Fiennes (THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL), Jonah Hill, Scarlett Johansson, Frances Mcdormand (FARGO), Tilda Swinton, Channing Tatum, Christopher Lambert, David Krumholtz, Clancy Brown, and Dolph Lundgren.

Random Facts – For the 12th time, the Coen Brothers have enlisted the services of master cinematographer Roger Deakins * This is the first film Deakins has shot on 35mm for a Coen film since TRUE GRIT (2010) * This is the 8th time Frances McDormand has appeared in a Coen Bros. film * This is George Clooney’s 4th time out with the Bros. * This is the first time Christopher Lambert and Clancy Brown have appeared in a film together since HIGHLANDER (1996) * Josh Brolin’s character of Eddie Mannix is based on a real person. Mannix was a film studio executive and producer, and Bob Hoskins played a version of the character in HOLLYWOODLAND (2006) * Channing Tatum sings in a musical in a film-within-a-film, and it will appear on the soundtrack release *

What to expect? – Right away, the release date is a minor concern, as nothing great ever comes out of the first two months of the year; it’s Movie Siberia where movies deemed not good enough for Awards Season or the fun Summer months are sent to die. But the Coens don’t seem capable of making a true stinker. Even their lesser films still manage to entertain and are still better than the best from a lot of other filmmakers out there. Outside of that, it’s good to see the them dip back into the land of comedy, as their last two outings, INSIDE LLEWYN DAVIS and TRUE GRIT, were very serious films. The Coens have excelled at playing with different genres, and have proven to be masters at dark comedy (A SERIOUS MAN, 2009), and straight-up yuks (THE BIG LEBOWSKI). We can expect good laughs and a finely crafted film, and the involvement of Deakins promises a great-looking picture. The Coens are also good for recycling a lot of their old ground, in a good way, so we can expect some twists and turns with kidnapping plots gone awry and ransom-drops messed up. To top it off, the Coens always get great performances out of their cast, and this time out they’ve put together a great one. HAIL CAESAR! Looks like something worth hailing.


HAIL, CAESAR! arrives February 5th.




No comments:

Post a Comment

A few rules:
1. Personal attacks not tolerated.
2. Haters welcome, if you can justify it.
3. Swearing is goddamn OK.