Wednesday, December 14, 2016

12 Days of Christmas Catch Up, day 1: Hail Caeser and retooling the list

First things first. I went to the Malco website this morning to assess the situation with "Nocturnal Animals" and "La La Land," and neither will be in Oxford. (Seriously, what is going on here?!) But both will be in Memphis. As much as I would like to do a double feature on Saturday, it's probably not going to happen. I'm thinking Saturday will be "La La Land" and next week, probably Tuesday, I'll go back to see "Nocturnal Animals."

I also looked at the upcoming releases to see if "Jackie" was coming my way by the end of the year, and I was hit was a triple punch. I had assumed that "Silence" and "20th Century Women" were going wide on their release dates, but it appears I was wrong. And yes, same with "Jackie." Am I still going to publish my Top 10 at the end of the year? Yes. Those films will have to settle for Top Performances of the year, if that. And if they blow my mind they will join the ranks of "A Separation" and "A Prophet" as films that might have topped my list had I been able to see them.  One day I plan to have a Top 10 Also-Ran's for this very purpose.  But who knows, there seems to be a pattern. It's not called "A Silence," after all!

So where does that leave me with my list? Here is an update. It seems that "Lion" will come out before Christmas, but the only day I could see it would be the 22nd, and I'm just not going to Memphis. But, who knows, it might come to Oxford, so, let's leave it for now.  I'm moving up "The Red Turtle" because I think it would be a good thing to watch on Christmas Day if I manage to watch something that day with the family. If not, I can always sneak something in on my laptop after all the kiddies go to bed. "Jackie" "20th Centruy Women" and "Silence" move to "probably not happening." I'm moving up "Maggie's Plan" as well, but I simply can't bring myself to fill in the last slot. Here's hoping that a surprise screener comes in.

Must sees (12 Days of Christmas Catch Up)

Closet Monster

Hail Caeser
The Lobster
Toni Erdmann 

Hell or High Water 
Nocturnal Animals
The Witch
Rogue One
La La Land
The Red Turtle
Maggie's Plan

2nd tier
American Honey
The Eagle Huntress
Miss You Already
Knight of Cups
Other People

Probably ot happening....
20th Century Women
Land of Mine
Finding Dory 
X Men Apocalypse
Suicide Squad
Batman v/s Superman
The Meddler
Miles Ahead
The Hollars
Don't Think Twice
Captain Fantastic

NOW..."Hail Caeser." I have to say that I did not like this movie. At all. I'm utterly baffled by the positive reviews that I purused after watching it last night. I didn't think it was funny or campy or had anything to say. It was pretty boring and nothing really happened. The only saving grace was Alden Ehrenreich. Even the Channing Tatum's sailor number wasn't good. It was like the life had been sucked out of the entire picture. But somehow Ehrenreich survived. (Tilda Swinton, Frances McDormand, Veronica Osorio and Ralph Fiennes managed alright as well), which is a bit ironic considering his character, Hobie was the one who couldn't take direction. He might have seemed to be in his own picture, one with actual humor and fun, but it was worth it to have something good on screen. 

I have never really been a fan of the Coen Brothers when it comes to the comedies I've seen. I thought "Burn After Reading" was terrible as well, and I couldn't finish "O Brother, Where Art Thou." (Something I have wanted to revisit, but after this, not anytime soon.)

I'm a much bigger fan of the likes of "Inside Llewn Davis," "A Serious Man," and "Fargo"--cautionary tales that find humor in the tragedy and beautifully drawn/realistic characters. And there is no denying the greatness of "No Country For Old Men." But "Hail Caeser" doesn't belong in the same breath. I thought it was odd that it was released in February, but now I get it. I'm clearly not the only one who knew that this was a dud. No matter the Coen brothers spell some critics were clearly under. 


  1. I enjoyed Hail Caesar more than you did, but I remember getting bored with it by the end. I think the Coens are more successful when they allow the nods to genre to be more subtle and less on-the-nose. Usually I love Coen comedies, though. Raising Arizona and Intolerable Cruelty are two of my favorite comedies of all time.
    I'll be very curious to see what you think of Maggie's Plan. And The Lobster. And all the rest. :)

  2. I wonder what I would've thought about it at a different time of year. And not right after being blown away by "Elle." Maybe I'll give it a whirl another time. I totally forgot about "Intolerable Cruelty!" I liked that one!! And I, shamefully, have not seen "Raising Arizona." Perhaps my generalization isn't quite as founded as it could be. :)


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