Daily Archives: February 13, 2016

Hail, Caesar – Director, The Coen Brothers

I liked this movie although I will admit it is not the best Coen brother film ever. It is much quieter and more subtle than I had anticipated. Reviews are mostly very positive and congratulate the Coen’s on a tribute and laugh at 1950’s Hollywood but the negative ones are very negative. I think it might be useful to see the film in conjunction with Trumbo and with Women He’s Undressed which also look at the same period. Hail, Caesar does not miss the communist element in Hollywood but does make light of it. The attack on the left wing elements of the creative people in Hollywood of the time was devastating and not funny but I am not sure the Coen’s deserve the antagonism they get for having fun with the whole thing. Certainly it is a comic take but it is so clearly comic and so tongue in cheek that I really enjoyed it notwithstanding the real story. There are some really great scenes mocking the mega dance scenes, the heroic over the top epics, and the mega stars who led the Hollywood of the time. There a number of great cameos and some wonderfully comic scenes but for the most part it is done without going over the top. I enjoyed it but as I note there are much better Coen Bros. films. Their best films are really great so their lesser efforts clearly disappointed some critics but to be fair, not being as great as their best is still pretty darn good.

Shaun the Sheep Movie – Directors, Mark Burton, Richard Starzak

This movie has received rave reviews and very much deserves its nomination as Best Animated Feature although I suspect it will not win. It is aimed very much at a very young audience and since the Academy is not made up of kids it will be smiled at but not garner many votes. The animation is stop action which I also suspect is not everyone’s favourite. I liked it and the animation is great but again it raises several questions for me. Should there not be some recognition of the range, techniques and styles of animation and shouldn’t these be recognized with their own separate awards? Again we have a movie with no dialogue which again creates a style and approach that is not common in live action. Finally this is a kids movie. Is there any problem with having a category for children’s films? Live action or animated. It really doesn’t matter. Just so long as the very talented people who devote themselves to this kind of film get some recognition. Just saying.

Deadpool – Director, Tim Miller

Deadpool was not on my list of films to see until I heard Eli Glasner’s review. It started with him suggesting that the scene he showed during his review was the only one that the CBC’s rules would allow. The film has an R rating for a reason. It is very very funny, violent, full of foul language, nudity and very adult themes. I think that pretty much covers it. We are of course dealing with a Marvel product and it is well done, well written, and not too heavy on the special effects although they do play an important role so those of you who like them will not be disappointed. Oh yeah. It’s a love story too.

I really liked this movie despite making the mistake of attending on opening day. The theatre (and I went to the 2D, non-AVX etc version) was packed. There were people munching on everything you can imagine over and above popcorn, there were Susie seat kickers, Teddy texters, loudmouths talking through the whole film etc etc. It was totally annoying. So wait a week then go. This is a story about a super hero with a foul mouth, a low moral threshold and a red suit. The need for the latter becomes clear early in the film. Assuming you can tolerate violence as a comic element you will really enjoy your just under 2 hours of entertainment. Go for it.