Film Review: SUBURBICON (USA 2017) ***

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Suburbicon Poster
Trailer

A home invasion rattles a quiet family town.

Director:

George Clooney

Writers:

Joel CoenEthan Coen 

 

Written by the Academy Award wining Coen Brothers, Grant Heslov and George Clooney himself, this odd piece of satire on the American dream turning into an uncontrollable monster nightmare has its wicked charm but unfortunately fails.  But better an ambitious failure than a simple minded film with no faults – I always say.

The film is set in the fictitious community of SUBURBICON – of perfectly manicured lawns and white picket fences (as in similar films, FAR FROM HEAVEN, PARENTS), one can tell something is amiss or going to go terribly wrong.  In PARENTS, the boy discovers that his parents barbecue human flesh and in FAR FROM HEAVEN, the husband comes out of the closet.  In SUBURBICON, the father of the family, Gardner Lodge (Matt Damon) hires two killers to do away with his wife in a home invasion scenario so that he can be with her sister, Maggie (both roles played with Julianne Moore with blonde and brunette hair).  They plan to go to Aruba with the collected insurance money.  But things get complicated, particularly with the interference of an enterprising insurance investigator (Oscar Isaac) who ends up being poisoned by Margaret.  Their son, Nicky (Noah Jupe) is totally aware of everything that is going on, as he is always snooping or eavesdropping.  Father has no qualms  with doing away with the meddling son, just as the cannibalistic dad would gladly eat his son in PARENTS.  (The film feels very similar to PARENTS at some points.)  A lot of fun in the movie is observing how Nicky discovers what is going on and tries to save his own life.

SUBURBICON’s humour and writing has the distinct Coen Brothers touch, especially in the way events suddenly occur out of the blue and how violence can also suddenly come into the picture (reference: the Coen’ ARIZONA).  But the humour can be so sly and at times so dead-pan, that the humour can be missed.  Also, the film unfolds at a dead slow snail’s pace.  One would definitely fault the film’s direction and editing, though Clooney has directed a few outstanding films in the past.

The art direction of the 50’s idle housing estate is nothing short of perfect.  As the camera pulls back, one can see how all the houses and streets are interconnected.

The film also intercuts into the main story a side-plot of the first coloured family that moves into SUBURBIA.  From initial surprise to full outrage, the neighbourhood finally riots right outside the coloured family’s house.  Ironically the two boys, the coloured boy and Nicky become the best of friends, playing throw and catch baseball, the typical American sport.  The two kids show how adults should behave.

Despite the film that illustrates Murphy’s Law that if anything that can go wrong will and at the worst possible time, the film does end beautifully on an optimistic note, which almost saves the film. One plus of the movie is French composer Alexandre Desplat’s score that includes some suspense music as heard in a typical Hitchcock film.

SUBURBICON premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival to mixed reviews.  Still, it is an interesting failure, and by no means a dull piece despite its slow pacing.

Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cBezc1S1BAQ

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1997 Movie Review: FROM DUSK TILL DAWN (1997)


FROM DUSK TILL DAWN (1997)
Classic Movie Review
Directed by Robert Rodriguez
Starring George Clooney, Quentin Tarantino, Harvery Keitel, Juliette Lewis
Review by Jared Bratt

SYNOPSIS:

On the run from “Johnny law”, Seth (George Cloony) and Ritchie (Quentin Tarantino) Gecko, two newly escaped convicts, hot off the heels of their most recent bank heist, abduct a family of innocent commuters as they proceed to evade the authorities by fleeing across the U.S. border, into Mexico, so that they can rendezvous with their foreign criminal counterparts at a local dive bar known as the “Titty Twister”. Using their freshly acquired hostages as collateral, so as to ensure the stability of their otherwise expendable lives, the two ruthless brothers force the family’s father, Jacob, a faithless preacher, (Harvey Keitel) and his two kids, his son, Scott, and his daughter, Kate, (Julliette Lewis) to accompany them into the excited bar while they wait to meet up with their Mexican affiliates. Unbeknownst to them, however, is the fact that the seedy establishment actually serves as a well-disguised feeding ground for a bloodthirsty cult of famished vampires lead by their equally ferocious queen, (Salma Hayek) who slyly masquerades as the joint’s main attraction, a seductive stripper who opportunely diverts the club’s clientele from realizing the absurd, horrific horrors that lie ahead.

REVIEW:

From Dusk Till Dawn is one of those movies that appear to always be playing on T.V. throughout all hours of the night. Essentially two films for the price of one, the movie accounts for an extremely distinctive blend of the taught “70sesque” crime-caper, exploitation film meets the comically grounded, gratuitous gore fest of an Evil Dead picture. Both these genres are wrapped up even further in, what you could say, accounts for the film’s third genre known as “Tarantinoism”.

Director Robert Rodriguez makes sure to keep that well known brand of Tarantino madness in tact while he still keeps things fresh, bringing to the table, his own unique eye for a quick cut, spaghetti western, John Woo “shoot ‘em up” style of filmic execution. Essentially, Rodriguez applies the same acclaimed style that initially propelled him to become one of the most innovative filmmakers of his generation to the horror genre. Working from a screenplay written by Tarantino himself, Rodriguez creatively retains that “no-holds-barred” sense of horror movie-making aesthetic. Harkening back homage to the great, grotesque gore-fests of the 60s, 70s and 80s, From Dusk Till Dawn’s own 1996, release, unfortunately, didn’t quite generate nearly half as much the buzz as anyone of those eras, yet since then, it undoubtedly has gone on to be hailed as an innovative cult classic.

The film kicks off with a drop kick to the face that sets the viewer in check reminding us to acknowledge the fact that this is indeed a movie based on all things Tarantino. We are immediately introduced to the movie’s abundant amount of “badassery” from the second the actors start to retort Tarantino’s unique brand of unconventionally witty dialogue.

Michael Parks’ first screen incarnation of Texas Ranger Earl McGraw initially warms us up to the film’s crime-caper element while setting us up for the ridiculously cool, deadpan cast that is to follow directly after his own arrival into the picture. He enters a local convenient store, wandering into a classic Tarantino monologue ranting politically incorrect obscenities with his old-fashioned, raspy voice and squinting Dirty Harry mannerisms in the store clerk’s direction. Park’s screen time, here, is brief, nevertheless, he truly owns every second of it. He is magnetically charismatic in a John Wayne type of way while his poised delivery of Tarantino’s “talky” dialogue alone is enough to make you believe the film itself revolves around his character That is until he is shot dead, with a bullet through the head, by the cold-blooded Geckos. The brothers then proceed to shoot up, and burn down, the convenient store, adding more corpses to their rapidly escalating body count, while the film’s tone is deceivingly established as reflecting yet another exercise in post Pulp Fiction crime lore. Nevertheless, midway though what appears to be a predictable ride, Rodriguez brilliantly shifts his movie into Desperado horror movie mode as the film devilishly reveals its true identity; the local “barflys” populating the film’s sleazy bar setting unexpectedly reveal themselves to be well disguised vampires equipped to feast on anyone unlucky enough to be trapped within their horrific, evil domain.

Once this brilliant shift in genres occurs, From Dusk Till Dawn truly alters into something shockingly different. Not only does Cloony’s anti-hero protagonist become the guy the audience is ultimately rooting for but also the movie itself takes on an exceptionally absurd sense of style and filmic execution. Rodriguez uses the action spawned switch, within the story, as a well advised cue to up the stakes as he takes the opportunity to run creatively rampant shooting every type of gratuitous gore gag in the book. Gone is the downcast, moody, angst filled suspense pacing of the film’s first half and, while the tension is indeed still apparent, accompanying it, is a slyly comedic pastiche blend of “in your face” action and squirting blood and guts-carnage. All of this is eccentrically strung together by an underlining sense of campy hilarity that seems to get stronger as the film’s action scenes grow gorier and more graphically excessive in nature.

Starring in his first screen role post E.R. fame, George Cloony deserves major “cred” as the brothers’ hard-bitten, yet persistently professional, leader; enthusiastically playing the movie’s anti-hero as if he were the rejected reservoir dog cousin of Snake Plisken. Cloony’s Seth Gecko seems bound to leap off the screen, destined to shove a 357 magnum down the throats of the film’s collective viewers. Indeed Cloony stylishly brings a certain amount of suave charm and charisma to the role; however, he fuses these likable traits with such a towering level of contrasting toughness that his performance truly shines as this constant, indestructible force of brooding male machismo. Almost as equally impressive as Cloony’s unconventional acting is Tarantino’s own subdued portrayal of a sex addicted rapist. Atypically restraining his well-known flamboyantness, Tarantino opts to portray Ritchie Gecko as a disturbingly reserved individual with a clear sense of pent up sexual rage. Essentially, Tarantino makes his role work because he plays it straight while, for the most part, cleverly managing to avoid slipping into just another self-referential caricature of himself.

Also, adding to the list of actors playing against type, the great, and underused, Harvey Keitel is featured, here, as a swift speaking, holy man with a shattered belief in god and himself. Keitel humbly downplays his obvious command until it ‘s tonally time for him to digress the faithless preacher persona into a vampire slaying, scripture citing badass. Keitel plays his role with such prevailing and convincing delivery that even when the movie drastically transforms into a surrealistic horror-action-comedy, his performance, and ultimate unflinching dedication to the role, never once seems false.

From Dusk Till Dawn is a volatile burst of creative oomph. While, admittedly anyone looking for an award friendly crime picture will most likely leave with a bad taste in their mouths, Tarantino enthusiasts, action junkies, and horror freaks alike should rejoice in seeking this flick out … and grab a beer.
from dusk to dawn

 

1997 Movie Review: BATMAN AND ROBIN, 1997 (starring George Clooney)

 

BATMAN AND ROBIN MOVIE POSTER
BATMAN AND ROBIN, 1997
Movie Reviews

Directed by Joel Schumacher
Starring: George Clooney, Chris O’Donnell, Uma Thurman, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Michael Gough, Pat Hingle
Review by Andrew Kosarko

SYNOPSIS:

“Batman” fights Mr. Freeze and Poison Ivy and Bane.

REVIEW:

As you can most likely tell from my synopsis, I’m none too enthused with reviewing this “film”. Please be advised there will be numerous quotations used throughout this review because I openly mock any chance of dignifying the attempts of this scrap heap of a “movie.” It should be noted I’m very upset not only because I love Batman, but because Mr. Freeze and Bane are my favorite villains. And they get pissed on even more than Batman in this “movie”. I tried to watch the “movie”…got literally 30 seconds into it and remembered everything I hated….and turned it off. Here is the result:

The Story:

Mr. Freeze needs diamonds (rocking dat ice yo – get the pun?) to power his massive freezing machine used to hold Gotham ransom for the funds he can use to cure his frozen wife of her disease. Poison Ivy wants to bang Mr. Freeze and take over the world with plants, killing all people. Bane…..uh….breaks stuff. Batman and Robin….well, they run around in rubber bantering about plant/ice puns. Oh, and Alfred is dying of the exact same thing as Mr. Freeze’s wife. Well isn’t that quite a lucky parallel? The script is honestly ¾ of ice puns and homosexual innuendo. The nipples on the suits are the least of this movie’s problems. Everything that happens for pure aesthetic reason. The characters are openly mocked – Batman and Robin as a homosexual couple having their first lovers quarrel, Mr. Freeze as a madman driven by love who wants to joke about his physical deformation, Poison Ivy as the crazed lunatic who wants to enslave the world and Bane…..reduced from a cunning muscle assassin to a Poison Ivy lackey. The plot is trite and boring and really doesn’t take much artistic risks.

Acting: George Clooney had great potential to be a memorable Batman. Instead, for once in his career, he threw his artistic integrity to the wind and decided to play in the sandbox. Arnold….don’t even get me started. Three people really do a good job though – Michael Gough’s Alfred has the best character arc in this film than he does in the first 3. Chris O’Donnell, while still stuck with a shit script, makes a good Robin. But the best, Uma Thurman really takes the Poison Ivy role and makes it fun. It’s actually my favorite part of the entire film – which is shocking because Batman is my all time favorite character, Bane and Mr. Freeze are my two all time favorite villains and most of all – when it comes to comics, Poison Ivy is my least favorite villain. Go figure.

Directing: I don’t blame Joel Schumacher. I honestly don’t. I blame the studio for this debacle. Chris O’Donnell is on record saying that production was rushed on this film and toy concepts were created before the script was written. The whole movie is one big toy commercial. Joel has his faults for sticking to the project, but in the end, it’s very obvious of his capabilities as a film maker and what the final product was. Were some of the faults of the film his decision? Most likely, but the opportunity to explore dark territory was all but destroyed after Burton’s Batman Returns.

Cinematography: One of the biggest things that I hate about this movie, is the lighting. Neon colors are very comic booky, yes, but this is a movie. You don’t need bright red, green and blue colored gels to tell this story well. Oh wait, there is no story, we’re selling toys to kids. My mistake. Oh, and for crying out loud, I don’t care what you are doing, FILMING THE LIGHTS AS PART OF THE SCENE IS THE MOST UNPROFESSIONAL THING YOU CAN DO. And you did it on purpose. Congratulations, you’re a horrible cinematographer.

Production Design: Nipples on Bat-suits….do I really even need to go past this?

Editing: Actually……the editing I can deal with. Maybe a few hundred extra cuts to eliminate the puns and I’d nominate that person for an academy award. We could have a decent movie if we could eliminate 90% of the dialogue.

Score: Ok, my 2nd biggest beef with this movie. I can overlook nipples, puns and bad lighting. But 2nd only to the story, this pisses me off the most. It started back in Batman Forever with the trumpets. Now….it just drives me nuts. I love film scores and this…is a mess of a circus fanfare. I mean, since this is a 2-hour commercial, I’d have been happier with a catchy jingle. The studio even felt like this sucked. They used Elfman’s Batman Theme in all the trailers….a very sneaky move. Honestly, if you could replace the score in this film, eliminate the puns, and take the gels out of your Arri kit, you might have a decent once in a while movie on your hands….but you didn’t.

Special Effects: You’d think for a “movie” trying to sell toys, they’d put some more money into the effects and props. Not so much. There’s a moment where a frozen Robin is lifted out of a pool of….water….but he’s frozen……um….anyway…Robin is about as light as a pool raft. There’s CGI that freaking LAGS on the film. It’s jumpy. I mean…come on, here, even little kids know crap CGI when they see it.

In closing: Batman and Robin isn’t a film. It’s not a movie. It’s a 2 hour mocking of characters in an attempt to make them kid friendly and make an audience buy the toys. That’s it. There’s nothing all that fun in the movie to enjoy, no great characterization, plot twists, action scenes. This is even a shit movie to watch drunk….ok, maybe it’s fun to watch drunk but still. Lots of movies are good to watch under any circumstances. If you want to see a loyal interpretation of the Batman comics, this is it. You read correctly, this accurately portrays the Batman comics of the 50’s/60’s – which were also merchandise crazy. Why was it unsuccessful overall? Because people don’t buy things that look cool. We buy things when we can relate to them and feel a personal connection to them. That’s my personal marketing mind at work, but still. Just because you can draw batman and call it batman, and put a batman mask on and call yourself batman…you are not Batman. Batman is the character originally created by Bob Kane and Bill Finger. This is not their Batman. It’s not THE Batman. This is a bastardization of a character simply being exploited for someone’s personal greed and money hungry desires. F*ck this movie…err…commercial.

BATMAN AND ROBIN, 1997

Movie Review: MONEY MONSTER (USA 2016) ****

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moneymonster.jpgMONEY MONSTER (USA 2016) ****
Directed by Jodie Foster

Starring: George Clooney, Julia Roberts, Jack O’Connell, Dominic West, Caitriona Balfe, Giancarlo Esposito

Review by Gilbert Seah

MONEY MONSTER is a star-studded sharp Hollywood satire/drama that is as current as the stock prices on the stock market charts. Financial TV personality Lee Gates (George Clooney), who offers up stock advice on his hit show “Money Monster”, is held hostage by a viewer, Kyle Budwell (Jack O’ Connell). Kyle had lost all of his money, following a bad tip from Lee during his show. Kyle wants answers. As the police surround the TV studio, Lee eventually sympathizes and takes Kyle’s side in discovering the truth about the company’s $800 million loss explained on TV as a glitch in the company’s financial algorithm.

MONEY MONSTER is a odd film in that its middle portion is better than the end. The story is predictable enough once naive Kyle takes Lee hostage. It does not take a genius to figure out that Lee will take Kyle’s side and that the villain of the piece is the CEO of the company (Dominic West) who eventually confesses to his embezzlement. But as they say, the devil is in the details. It is all the little observations and various incidents that make the movie totally watchable thus covering up the predictability complaint of the story.

Directed by Jodie Foster (THE PANIC ROOM), the film contains strong feminine roles. The most obvious is Julia Robert’s Patty Fenn, a more than able producer. She is Lee’s neglected girlfriend who proves she that she is able to control the hostage situation as well as their relationship. The other is that of Molly (Emily Meade), Kyle’s girlfriend. Molly’s speech to Kyle, on the air, on how much a loser he is, is the arguably funniest to be found in a film this year: As in recent ‘female’ films, the males (Lee, Kyle, the show producer, Walt) are all egocentric ‘idiots’. But by putting them up high on the pedestal and making it all funny, Foster gets away with it.

Performances are top notch. Clooney and Roberts work their chemistry but top marks go to Brit actor Jack O’ Connell (STARRED UP) , playing the straight role of the victim/antagonist. He demonstrates how to keep attention from waning even when the limelight shifts to another character. The other supporting roles are well performed by Dominic West as the financial villain, Walt Camby and Caitriona Balfe as Diane Lester, the whistle blower.

The incidents leading to the expected results are however genuinely inventive. The parody on found footage is take up another level with a network camera following the hostage and kidnapper down the elevator and into the street, still shooting. Lee raps on stage and offers stock tips also satirizes the financial world well. The script by Alan Di Fiore, Jim Kouf and Jamie Linden is smart enough to include clips of “The View” as everyone watches the takedown on television. Walt’s defence statement that all these would not have happened if events had worked out with the stock going up instead of down rings so true. When something illegal occurs and everyone benefits, no one says anything.

For a thriller, editing is crucial. The camera shots of the snipers crawling into position, the movement of the target, the shots of the crew behind and in front of the camera and the dance routine (to show just enough but not too much) are close to perfect.

MONEY MONSTER ultimately satisfies as it delivers what it is supposed to – a sharp and witty satire on the financial world that is both funny and smart at the same time. It features Hollywood’s top and upcoming stars at their best. Highly recommended – take this as as a movie tip!

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Happy Birthday: George Clooney

georgeclooney.jpgHappy Birthday actor George Clooney

Born: George Timothy Clooney
May 6, 1961 in Lexington, Kentucky, USA

Married to: Amal Clooney (27 September 2014 – present)

Talia Balsam (15 December 1989 – 17 September 1993) (divorced)

Read reviews and pics of the best of the actor:

BATMAN AND ROBIN MOVIE POSTERBatman & Robin
1997
dir. Joel Schumacher
Starring
Clooney
Uma Thurman
Arnold Schwarzenegger

OUT OF SIGHTOut of Sight
1998
dir. Steven Soderbergh
starring
Clooney
Jennifer Lopez

THREE KINGSThree Kings
1999
dir. David O. Russell
Starring
Clooney
Mark Wahlberg
Ice Cube

O Brother, Where Art Thou?
2000
dir. Joel and Ethan Coen
Starring
Clooney
John Turturro

Ocean's ElevenOcean’s Eleven
2001
dir. Steven Soderbergh
starring
Clooney
Brad Pitt
Matt Damon

Welcome to Collinwood
2002
dir. Anthony, Joe Russo
starring
William H Macy
Clooney

Good Night and Good Luck
2005
dir. Clooney
starring
David Strathairn
Jeff Daniels

Michael ClaytonMichael Clayton
2007
dir. by Tony Gilroy
starring
Clooney
Tilda Swinton

Ocean's ThirteenOcean’s Thirteen
2007
dir. Steven Soderbergh
starring
Clooney
Brad Pitt
Matt Damon

Burn After ReadingBurn After Readingv
2008
dir. Joel and Ethan Coen
Starring
Clooney
Brad Pitt

LeatherheadsLeatherheads
2008
dir. Clooney
Starring
Clooney
Renée Zellweger

UP IN THE AIR Movie PosterUp in the Air
dir. Jason Reitman
Stars:
George Clooney
Vera Farmiga
Anna Kendrick

FANTASTIC MR. FOX Movie PosterFantastic Mr. Fox
dir. Wes Anderson
Stars:
George Clooney
Meryl Streep
Bill Murray

The Men Who Stare at Goats Movie PosterThe Men Who Stare at Goatsv
dir. Grant Heslov
Stars:
Ewan McGregor
Clooney
Kevin Spacey

MOVIE POSTERTHE IDES OF MARCH
dir. George Clooney
Stars:
Paul Giamatti
George Clooney

movie posterTHE THIN RED LINE
1998
dir. Terrence Malick
Starring:
Nick Nolte
James Caviezel

THE AMERICANTHE AMERICAN
dir. Anton Corbijn
Stars:
George Clooney
Paolo Bonacelli

GEORGE CLOONEY BATMANGeorge Clooney Batman Column
Batman & Robin (1997)

MOVIE POSTERGRAVITY
2013
dir. Alfonso Cuaron
Stars:
Sandra Bullock
George Clooney

MOVIE POSTERTHE DESCENDANTS
dir. Alexander Payne
Stars:
George Clooney
Judy Greer

MOVIE POSTERTHE GOOD GERMAN
2006
dir. Steven Soderbergh
Stars:
George Clooney
Cate Blanchett

MOVIE POSTERTHE MONUMENTS MEN
2013
dir. George Clooney
Stars:
Cate Blanchett
Matt Damon

TAKE A LOOK AT 100 PHOTOS OF GEORGE CLOONEY

SEE – 2010 PHOTO

SEE – 2011 PHOTO

SEE – ABS PHOTO

SEE – ANIMATION PHOTO

SEE – AS BATMAN PHOTO

SEE – AUTOGRAPH PHOTO

SEE – AWARDS SHOW PHOTO

SEE – BALD PHOTO

SEE – BEACH PHOTO

SEE – BEARD PHOTO

SEE – BEFORE AND AFTER PHOTO

SEE – BLACK AND WHITE PHOTO

SEE – BODY PHOTO

SEE – BOOTS PHOTO

SEE – BRAD PITT PHOTO

SEE – BUTT PHOTO

SEE – BUTTERFLY TATTOO PHOTO

SEE – CALENDAR PHOTO

SEE – CAR ACCIDENT PHOTO

SEE – CAR AD PHOTO

SEE – CARICATURE PHOTO

SEE – CATHERINE ZETA JONES PHOTO</a

SEE – CHEST PHOTO

SEE – CHILD PHOTO</a

SEE – CHIN PHOTO</a

SEE – CLOSE UP PHOTO

SEE – DOCTOR PHOTO

SEE – ESQUIRE PHOTO

SEE – EW PHOTO

SEE – EXO WIFE PHOTO

SEE – EYEBROWS PHOTO

SEE – EYES PHOTO

SEE – FACE PHOTO

SEE – FACTS OF LIFE PHOTO

SEE – FAMILY PHOTO

SEE – FASHION PHOTO

SEE – FEET PHOTO

SEE – FROM BEHIND PHOTO

SEE – GIRFRIEND PHOTO

SEE – GOATEE PHOTO</a

SEE – GQ PHOTO

SEE – GUN PHOTO

SEE – HANDSOME PHOTO

SEE – HEADSHOT PHOTO

SEE – HOT PHOTO

SEE – JEANS PHOTO

SEE – JULIA ROBERTS PHOTO

SEE – LEGS PHOTO

SEE – LONG HAIR PHOTO

SEE – MARIE CLAIRE PHOTO

SEE – MOM AND DAD PHOTO

SEE – MOTORCYCLE PHOTO

SEE – MOUTH PHOTO

SEE – MOVIE POSTER PHOTO

SEE – MULLET PHOTO

SEE – MUSCLES PHOTO

SEE – NAKED PHOTO

SEE – NICOLE KIDMAN PHOTO

SEE – NOSE PHOTO

SEE – OBAMA PHOTO

SEE – ON THE STREET PHOTO

SEE – OSCARS PHOTO

SEE – PAPARAZZI PHOTO

SEE – PEOPLE PHOTO

SEE – POSE PHOTO

SEE – POSTER PHOTO

SEE – PREMIERE PHOTO

SEE – PROFILE PHOTO

SEE – RED CARPET PHOTO

SEE – SARAH LARSON PHOTO

SEE – SEX PHOTO

SEE – SHOES PHOTO

SEE – SHORTS PHOTO

SEE – SIGNATURE PHOTO

SEE – SMILE PHOTO

SEE – STOMACH PHOTO

SEE – STYLE PHOTO

SEE – SUIT PHOTO

SEE – SUNGLASSES PHOTO

SEE – SWIMSUIT PHOTO

SEE – TALIA BALSAM PHOTO

SEE – TARANTINO PHOTO

SEE – TATTOO PHOTO

SEE – TEENAGER PHOTO

SEE – TEETH PHOTO

SEE – THE OTHER GUY PHOTO

SEE – TILDA SWINTON PHOTO

SEE – TIME PHOTO

SEE – TUXEDO PHOTO

SEE – TIME PHOTO

SEE – UNDERWEAR PHOTO

SEE – VANITY FAIR PHOTO

SEE – VOGUE PHOTO

SEE – WALK OF FAME PHOTO

SEE – WALLPAPER PHOTO

SEE – WATCH PHOTO

SEE – WOMEN PHOTO

SEE – YEARBOOK PHOTO

SEE – YOUNG PHOTO

WATCH TOP GEORGE CLOONEY MOVIE SCENES

OUT OF SIGHT SEX SCENE – Watch classic movie scene starring Clooney and Jennifer Lopez

THE AMERICAN – Watch while on a motorcycle, Jack (Clooney) chases down a moving target. From the 2010 movie

KISSING SCENE – Watch kissing moment with George Clooney and Catherine Zeta-Jones from the Coen Brothers film INTOLERABLE CRUELTY

CLOONEY PITT OPRAH – Watch funny OCEAN’S THIRTEEN scene with Clooney and Brad Pitt crying during Oprah.

TRAVELLING SCENE – Watch Ryan (Clooney) goes through his comfortable routine of a typical airport check-in. From the Oscar nominated 2009 film UP IN THE AIR

JAIL BREAK SCENE – Watch Jack Foley (Clooney) breaks out of prison disguised as a guard and takes Karen Sisco (Jennifer Lopez) hostage in her own trunk. From the 1990s film OUT OF SIGHT

DOWN WITH THE SHIP – Watch Billy (Clooney) suggests Bobby (Mark Wahlberg) swim to the surface, but then stays with his ship to die. From THE PERFECT STORM (2000)

OSCAR SCENES – Watch the silent taxi ride in the Greek ending of the 2007 movie starring Clooney

DOUG AND CAROL ER – Watch the best of Doug (Clooney) and Carol (Julianna Margulies) from the hit show ER. One of TV’s great couples

INTERVIEW – Watch interview with Clooney on the David Letterman show as he promotes a movie

Movie Review: HAIL CAESAR! (2016)

Deadlines to Submit your Screenplay, Novel, Story, or Poem to the festival: http://www.wildsound.ca

hail_caesar_poster.jpgHAIL, CAESAR! (USA 2016) ****
Directed by Joel and Ethan Coen

Starring: George Clooney, Josh Brolin, Scarlett Johansson, Alden Ehrenrich, Ralph Fiennes, Tilda Swinton, Frances McDormand, Channing Tatum, Jonah Hill

Review by Gilbert Seah

The Coen Brothers remain in top form.  They etch out a film almost annually, with almost each one a critical hit.  Their films are an annual event many moviegoers now look forward to.  Their best films include TRUE GRIT, FARGO, NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN and BURN AFTER READING, and all their films share the Brother’s keen sense of humour.  HAIL, CAESAR! like BURN AFTER READING is pure comedy and this one is a worthy tribute to the Hollywood dream-making machine.  It has the feel of a farce yet, it total respects the Hollywood studio system, for all its faults and errors.

The lead character is a Hollywood studio fixer by the name of Mannix, subtly portrayed by Josh Brolin, in the kind of role he has mastered.  He is a dead serious character you do not want to mess around with.  Or you will get slapped around like his main star, Baird Whitlock (George Clooney) did, before being told to then go out and act like a star.  The film begins with Mannix in a confessional box, pouring his heart out to the priest.  Mannix is shown to be a decent man, one that respects other human beings, despite their faults and one who loves his wife and kids.  He is the backbone of America and the one that make sense in the Coen film.  Which is required – or all else will go to nought and the film degenerates into nonsense.  Of all the sins confessed, the one that affects him the most is his cigarette smoking.  He has promised his wife (Alison Pill) to cut down and is unable to do so.  The plot generally follows Mannix around while things in the Studio fall apart, while being offered a smoke most of the time.  Mannix fixes things, hilariously yet credibly, and that is the basic premise of HAIL, CAESAR!  While all these are going on, he is wooed for a better paying, better hours job at Lockheed Incorporated.

The things that can go wrong provide most of the satire and entertainment.  A famous actress, DeeAnna Moran (Scarlett Johansson) is pregnant and her image is about to be ruined.  A famous cowboy actor, Hobie Doyle (Alden Ehrenreich) is unable to utter his lines to the satisfaction of his director Laurentz (Ralph Fiennes).  Tabloid columnist sisters (both played by Tilda Swinton wearing different hats) want a scoop trying to dig in dirt about star Whitlock.  The most jarring problem is Whitlock being kidnapped by a groups of disgruntled scriptwriters who want their far share of the dough.  Mannix has to sort them all out.

All these problems provide ample opportunity for hilarity – Coen Brothers style.  And they keep the laughs coming with twists in the story as they know best.  The brains behind kidnapping turns out to be communist Burt Gurney (Channing Tatum).

The Brothers play plenty of homage to old classics.  There is a spectacular swimming Busby Berkley swimming number, Esther Williams style as in MILLION DOLLAR MERMAID, a one-take musical gay-type musical number with no dames to the tune of “No Dames”with nods to ANCHORS AWEIGH and Rogers and Hammerstein’s song “There is Nothing like a Dame” from SOUTH PACIFIC and scenes that could be taken right out of William Wyler’s BEN-HUR, just to name a few.

The Brothers have also assembled quite the impressive all-star cast, though some on the list only appear for a few minutes in a scene or two.  The Jonah Hill character seems present just to utter the line  “It’s all part of the job, Miss.”  Fiennes and Johansson are only present for two scenes while Frances McDormand has only one as a chain-smoking editor who gets chokes by the film reel in the editing room.  For whatever they do, they leave the audience wanting for more.  Relative newcomer Ehrenreich steals the show as the cute cowboy who eventually helps Mannix instead of the other way around.

Great directors have made films about the passion in the making of movies.  Fellini had 81/2, Truffaut LA NUIT AMERICAINE, Almodovar BAD EDUCATION and the Coen Brothers HAIL, CASEAR!.  Everything comes clear as to what the Coens are up to by the end reel.  There are elements that don’t work that well or are overdone, but or the most part HAIL, CAESAR! is quite the movie, especially for the moviebuff.  HAIL, CAESAR is a minor classic but a major delight!  I would see it again.

 

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