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5 items from 2016

Directors' Trademarks: The Coen Brothers

23 February 2016 3:26 PM, PST | Cinelinx | See recent Cinelinx news »

Directors’ trademarks is a series of articles that examines the “signatures” that filmmakers leave behind in their work. This month, with the release of Hail, Caesar!, we’re examining the trademark style and calling signs of Joel and Ethan Coen as director.

Joel and Ethan Coen, known collectively as the Coen brothers, are a filmmaking duo who have been active making feature films since the 1980’s. Together they share many production-related roles on their films, including writing, directing, editing, and producing. Although they are typically both equal contributors in many of these roles, they often trade off as lead billing. For editor, they typically use the pseudonym “Roderick Jaynes”, and for director Joel was listed on all films up until The Ladykillers even though both of them shared directing responsibilities. On later films, they are both listed as director.

Their first feature film was Blood Simple (1984) which was not a »

- (G.S. Perno)

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Hail, Caesar! review: “Very enjoyable, beautifully shot, and well performed.”

22 February 2016 3:25 AM, PST | The Hollywood News | See recent The Hollywood News news »

Hail Caesar review: The Coen Brothers bring to the screen their love letter to the studio films of the 1950s.

Hail Caesar review by Luke Ryan Baldock. The Coen brothers Ethan Coen and Joel Coen are two of the finest filmmakers ever. They have produced classics throughout their career cementing them as genuine talent. However, every now and again they like to dabble in farcical screwball comedies that always meet a mixed response. Their misguided remake of the classic Ealing comedy The Ladykillers left many feeling a bit dry, Intolerable Cruelty had its fans and haters (I’m one of the former), and Burn After Reading once again split critics. It’s great to see that The Coen’s never give up on something they obviously feel passionate about, and also that they won’t be bullied into a corner of making the same type of film over and over again. »

- Luke Ryan Baldock

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No one can agree on the top 5 greatest Coen Brothers films

4 February 2016 9:00 AM, PST | Hitfix | See recent Hitfix news »

As we began talking about editorial content we could publish to celebrate the release of Hail, Caesar!, the latest film from Joel and Ethan Coen, we realized that none of us had the same top five lists, and that it seems unusual for that to be the case. The Coens have had such a rich and varied career that it is impossible to pin them down to one style or one theme or one type of storytelling. Some people love their comedies. Some people love it when they get dark. Some people love the underdogs, the least-liked of their films. But what's clear is that every film they've made has its fans, and even their worst films are beloved by someone. There are few artists like the Coen Brothers, and we were delighted to get lists from each of our special guest contributors this time. The diversity of the replies »

- HitFix Staff

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How the Coen Brothers Survived Hollywood and Lived to Make ‘Hail, Caesar!’

3 February 2016 10:00 AM, PST | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

The Coen brothers are just as quirky as the characters from their movies. Just ask Josh Brolin, who has collaborated three times with the writer-directors, including on the upcoming “Hail, Caesar!” He recalls meeting the brothers on his “No Country for Old Men” audition, and not knowing what to do with the awkward silences. “Joel was intimidating,” Brolin says. “He didn’t say anything.” Months later, he was having dinner with Ethan, and noticed his friend continually glancing at his lap. “I looked down,” Brolin says. “He had been reading a book under the table. I was like, ‘Come on!’ ”

Photographed in New York City by François Dischinger for Variety

In this age of Twitter and Instagram, the directors of such beloved classics as “The Big Lebowski,” “Blood Simple” and “Raising Arizona” are still fairly private — and awkward with press interviews. Although they grew up together making films on their Super 8 cameras in Minnesota, »

- Ramin Setoodeh

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Toh! Ranks the Films of the Coen Brothers from Worst to Best

3 February 2016 9:56 AM, PST | Thompson on Hollywood | See recent Thompson on Hollywood news »

There are no really bad films from the Coen brothers. Where does "Hail, Caesar!" (February 5) fall in our overall ranking? See below, as Toh! ranks all 17 films by the Coens from worst to best. 17. “The Ladykillers” (2004). Painful remake of the 1955 Alexander Mackendrick comedy starring Alec Guinness and a dare-we-say masterpiece was misbegotten for a multitude of reasons, among them the fact that the Ealing comedies of post-war Britain were frothy, elegant, and understated, and the Coen Brothers are anything but. Tom Hanks, reprising the Guinness role —as the cockeyed mastermind of a nitwit band of robbers who decide they have to kill their landlady after she discovers their plans —is far less funny than he thinks he is, prosthetic teeth or no; the jokes are telegraphed from a mile away, everyone tries too hard and the whole thing lands with a thud. Perhaps the worst of the brothers outings, it has its fans, »

- TOH!

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