A new film from Joel and Ethan Coen is always a big deal, and the marketing push for Hail, Caesar! juiced anticipation, at least among the cinephile community. A kidnapping comedy (whatever “comedy” means when the Coens are concerned) set in the studio-centric days of Old Hollywood starring George Clooney, Josh Brolin, Scarlett Johansson, Tilda Swinton, and more seems like the perfect recipe for a great movie.
Pompeii doesn’t get mentioned once in this review – a tragedy
When I started this blog 363 days ago, my first post was my top ten movies of 2013. We’re at the end of another year, and I have seen more movies than ever before (according to my letterboxd summary I’ve watched over 1,000 hours of film – yikes!), so it’s about time for another roundup of the state of cinema.
Lucy, the latest movie from incredibly prolific filmmaker Luc Besson (The Fifth Element, Léon: The Professional) is entirely built upon the false premise that we only use 10% of our brains. It is an annoyingly ubiquitous notion that we as a society have not been able to shake. Your enjoyment of Lucy will probably depend on your ability to suspend your disbelief regarding such fallacies. It would be very easy (too easy, in fact) to sit there and say “[blank] doesn’t work that way” throughout the film, but it wouldn’t be any fun.
It is a rare, multi-comedy weekend, as I follow Neighbors up with Jon Favreau’s latest film, Chef. Favreau stars as the titular character, a gifted artist whose work has drifted into a realm of complacency. Chef Carl Casper (Favreau) struggles to find the inspiration to pull himself out of a creative rut, while rediscovering his family at the same time.
Sundays are just the worst. When you’re a kid it is because the specter of school is looming above your head the entire day (this is still the case for some of us). In this particular situation, however, Sunday is a bummer because it marks the conclusion of Scarlett Johansson Weekend 2014. After Captain America: The Winter Soldier and the trailer for Lucy, my favorite film festival ends in style with co-writer/director Jonathan Glazer’s new movie Under the Skin.
Someofmypreviouspostsshould indicate that I am pretty big fan of Marvel Comics. Have been since the days of the X-Men cartoon. When producer Kevin Feige and Marvel Studios began their grand movie experiment with Iron Man in 2008, I was immediately on board. Sure, there have been some lows (The Incredible Hulk, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.), but highs have been much higher (the aforementioned Iron Man, The Avengers). Marvel Studios is right smack in the middle of what it refers to as “Phase Two” of its project: Captain America: The Winter Soldier follows Iron Man 3 and Thor: The Dark World, and precedes Guardians of the Galaxy and Avengers: Age of Ultron. This new movie featuring Steve Rogers, the soldier out of time, has the responsibility of being both a sequel to Captain America: The First Avenger and a stepping stone for the Marvel Cinematic Universe as a whole. Under the dual directorship of Anthony and Joe Russo, it does a pretty good job.