In a dystopian near future, single people, according to the laws of The City, are taken to The Hotel, where they are obliged to find a romantic partner in forty-five days or are transformed into beasts and sent off into The Woods.
Hail Caesar! Follows a day in the life of Eddie Mannix, a Hollywood fixer for Capitol Pictures in the 1950s, who cleans up and solves problems for big names and stars in the industry. But when studio star Baird Whitlock disappears, Mannix has to deal with more than just the fix. Written by
(In joke) The maid in Malibu is using a hoover vacuum. J. Edgar Hoover was famously the scourge of US Communists. See more »
When Burt Gurney puts a bar rag on the bartender's head, then slides along the bar, the bartender can be seen starting to remove the bar rag. In the next shot, a close-up of the bartender, the bar rag is still on his head, with him not trying to remove it. See more »
Listen closely. We don't have much time because the film snobs will start banging the NOT USEFUL button and this review will disappear into the IMDb ether.
This film almost makes you wonder if the Coen Bros are caught in some sort of Star Trek time paradox and are doing their films backwards. If they had started with this film 32 years ago, the critics would say there were some clever set-pieces and the cinematography was superb but the concept should never have been greenlighted and the script was wretched. From such humble beginnings, in 2016, the Coen Bros would then be able to deliver BLOOD SIMPLE and probably win multiple Oscars for their "growth" as film makers.
But in real time, 32 years after Blood Simple, this film is so bad that people were voting with their feet and leaving the theatre at the 1:00 mark (approximately). The story is awful, the dialog is awful, and the voice-over is bad enough to be used as a "persuasion device" at Gitmo.
George Clooney should get a new agent because there is not enough money on the planet to compensate him for having to wear a costume that makes him look fat and bloated and 20 years older than he actually is. Only Channing Tatum rescues his own dignity in a tribute to Gene Kelly that actually is entertaining and engaging.
The is an awful film. I have never lied to you before and I am not going to start now.
Addendum 2-26: Frankly when I penned the above review right after leaving the theatre, I was not expecting to get involved in a controversy about how flexible the Coen Brothers were "cross-genres," or how clever and eclectic their fans need to be to appreciate the wonderfulness of this specific work. But since the controversy exists, I will add that generally the Coens have produced some of best films I have seen in my lifetime. Inside Llewyn Davis, for example, held my attention like glue, it was a polished gem. Most of their films are polished gems. Unfortunately this is not one of them. If you Google, you will find that, in spite of the sycophantic mainstream critics, this film has generated the Coens' worst box-office numbers ever. And that was the point I was trying to make. Viewers instinctively know the difference between a hit and miss. It's their job -- enjoying films is why they left home, endured the traffic, and found a parking spot in the first place. The actors here try hard, I agree, but the story and the script simply do not connect or resonate or form any empathic bond. The horror is that the "brothers" really should have known better.
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