Hail, Caesar!

caesarWhile I haven’t seen all of the Coen Brothers films, and amongst those are some of their best, something just intrigued me about ‘Hail, Caesar!’. Be it the top flight cast, the premise of the film, of just the overall silliness of the plot, it just pushed all right buttons for me.

Now, sometimes, films like ‘Hail, Caesar!’ take a while to find time to watch, and that is exactly what happened, but I finally found the time last evening, and it was well worth the wait. The Coen Brothers have crafted a film that takes on a satirical look at Hollywood during the 1950’s, from the Red Scare of American Communism, to protecting assets in an era when it was much easier to do so.

Be it big starts, like George Clooney, Scarlett Johansson or Channing Tatum taking on lesser roles that all help move the story along, of Josh Brolin dryly carrying the film, ‘Hail, Caesar’ is able to do all of this built on current Hollywood’s good will that the Coen’s have built up over the years.

Featuring film styles of the time, like Roman epics, dancing and singing musicals and the like, ‘Hail, Caesar’ takes a look into a not so typical 48 hours for main character Eddie Mannix as he fulfills his role of studio “fixer”, moving from set to set and playing both actors and media, doing his best to keep less than savory stories under wraps to ensure only good publicity for the fictional studio’s films and stars.

Loosely based on the real-life studio “fixer” Eddie Mannix, the film relates possible stories that Mannix helped clean up during the 1940’s and 1950’s for MGM. In the film, Mannix spends his days ensuring that fictional Capitol Pictures films proceed in order and on time (and also on budget), and that the actors and actresses in the employ of the Studio stay out of trouble, and failing that, out of the news whenever possible.

Josh Brolin is a very strong, central focal point to the story, and with a whisper of a 1950’s mustache, very much fits what one would expect the character of Eddie Mannix to look like. George Clooney with his Roman-esque short cropped hair, Channing Tatum with his dyed blond hair and Tilda Swinton in the duel roles of twin gossip columnists all fill out the early 1950’s the exact way that you would expect it to work, much to the strength of the film.

An irreverant, light hearted but dry comedy, ‘Hail, Caesar’ pokes fun at Hollywood’s under belly from the 1950’s and should always be viewed as one of the strongest films from the Coen Brothers and a great way to get a glimpse of what the film industry looked like sixty years ago. A definite recommend from myself to anyone out there.

As always, for all this and more, feel free to follow me on Twitter at @kymayer. Looks for more to come soon. Cheers for today.


Gangster Squad

gangsterLast evening I took in my first new release of 2013 in Gangster Squad.  The 1940’s anti-gangster film starring Josh Brolin, Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone.  This movie was originally scheduled for a September of 2012 release, but was sent back for some re-shoots after the Aurora, Colorado theatre shooting.

In the original trailer for the film, there was a scene where the main antagonists come after some mobsters by shooting through a movie screen.  When you consider that this trailer was attached to The Dark Knight Rises, which was the movie playing when the Aurora shooting happened, definitely made the producers anxious.

For the record, I have to state that I love the style of clothing from this time period and I definitely have a soft spot for movies based out of this time period as well.  For me, it is just such a romantic time period.

That being said, at times I feel like the story was a little lacking, but overall, I really enjoyed Gangster Squad.  I find that I am really enjoying Josh Brolin as of late and I believe that Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone are two of the best young actors in Hollywood today.

While it won’t win any awards, and will have a limited box office run, I truly feel that Gangster Squad is a movie worth watching and would recommend it to anyone that enjoys movies based on that time period or about gangsters or the mob as well.

For all this and more, feel free to follow me on Twitter at @kymayer.  Cheers.