The Coen Brothers’s latest movie The Ballad Of Buster Scruggs features six different storylines about the American frontier that all centre on a man named Buster Scruggs.
James Franco, Liam Neeson, David Krumholtz, Brendan Gleeson and Zoe Kazan are among the stars…
I can’t say that this trailer has me especially excited since very little happens in it. Nevertheless, it was great seeing Liam Neeson pop up. Overall though, it’s really my love for Ethan and Joel Coen’s previous movies, namely True Grit (2010) and No Country For Old Men (2007) that are the real reasons I’m open to watching this.
Matthew Willig, Tim Blake Nelson, Saul Rubinek and Tom Waits also star.
In new historical thriller Bridge Of Spies, Tom Hanks is American Lawyer James B. Donovan; a man whose job it is to defend an arrested Soviet spy played by Mark Rylance.
Directed by Steven Spielberg, before watching Bridge Of Spies, I had anticipated fighting legal dialogue and courtroom dramatics. In truth, there’s a touch of that but not in the traditional sense. Some of my favourite moments of dialogue happened during the negotiation scenes, plus in the conversations between Donovan and his CIA contact.
In terms of the film’s look and feel, at first it took me a few minutes to get used to the noticeable reduction in colour in reference to the cinematography, however, considering the Cold War setting of Spielberg’s story, I soon understood.
Hanks’ Donovan is very much a hero; one that I adored because he’s determined and focused on what he believes to be the right and reasonable thing to do; a man of conscience. What’s not to love?
Forrest Gump (1993), one of my favourite Tom Hanks movies came to mind upon reflection because though the characters are quite different, Donovan’s gentle disposition and caring nature took me back to what I loved most about Hanks’ portrayal of Gump.
From the lead actors’ well measured performances to the dialogue and story, I enjoyed Bridge Of Spies. Another key highlight for me is the beautiful ending and all it said so perfectly without words.
I’m sad to say that Hail, Caesar! has proven to be quite the bore. Regrettably, I found the trailer far more entertaining than the movie.
The trailer is funny, filled with the glamour, colours and seemingly odd characters of 1950s Hollywood; all good things. I liked the fact that it didn’t give much away in terms of where the story was going or even who the key protagonist might be, and it moved at a more than reasonable pace.
Unfortunately, however, a slow pace and an inadequately intriguing story that never goes anywhere are my biggest issues with Hail, Caesar! Part of the problem might be that there were too many stories trying to happen at the same time.
On the positive side, in addition to the humorous moments (the best of which you see in the trailer) what I do like about Hail, Caesar! is the glamour and colourful attire worn by the film’s main female characters. The characters played far too briefly by Scarlett Johansson, Tilda Swinton and Veronica Osorio. Had it not been for these highlights, I’m not sure I’d have made it through to the end.
Overall, I think I’d have much preferred to see only the funny moments in this movie; something like a Saturday Night Live comedy sketch format. An outrageous suggestion I’m sure, but I really was hoping for more from a Coen brothers written/directed film. I guess I’ll always shave the costumes and glamour.
Needless to say, Hail, Caesar! is not my favourite film by the Coens. That title will probably always belong to the excellent, No Country For Old Men (2007), a movie I continue to recommend.
It’s hard not to pay attention when there’s a new trailer for a Tom Hanks movie. Particularly when said movie is directed by Steven Spielberg…
Should the mention of Hanks and Spielberg not be enough, the Coen brothers, Ethan and Joel Coen make up two thirds of the writing team. Of course this can only mean good things for this ‘based on a true’ story film.
I can’t wait to hear Hanks deliver the fighting dialogue as Lawyer, James Donovan.