The latest film from director David Dobkin (Wedding Crashers, Shanghai Knights) may have the title and billboards of a John Grisham adaptation, but The Judge is more about family drama than backroom legal dealings. And while the movie has many aspects in place that would predict success – the main two being Robert Duvall and Robert Downey Jr. – I will spoil the rest of this review and let you know that it just doesn’t work.
“The Rooster Prince,” Fargo‘s second episode, finds itself in the unenviable position of establishing what the show will be. The show’s pilot was surprisingly self-contained in an emotional sense. What I mean is, I would not surprised if an actual Coen Brothers film ended in fashion similar to the Fargo pilot. Creator/writer Noah Hawley left enough loose ends to pick up in this episode, but several of the characters are in drastically different positions.
Fargo (the movie) is one of the Coen Brothers’ best films. Sometimes funny, sometimes horrifying, sometimes tragic, and always deeply entertaining, it is an excellent example of the misanthropic, biting morality Joel and Ethan Coen are so fond of depicting. (Tasha Robinson wrote an excellent essay about this idea back in January, when Fargo was The Dissolve‘s Movie of the Week.) Fargo (the tv show) is an interesting novelty. On the one hand it is a clear attempt at grabbing the brand recognition of a previously established property, while on the other it is executive produced by the Coens for FX, a cable network that is currently killing it on the original series front. It is hard to say how involved the brothers are in the series, but whoever is in charge has managed to produce something that feels pretty true to their vision of the world.