NaBloPoMo 2016 #4
Hail Caesar! Is a comedy film by the Coen Brothers (who are apparently a pretty famous duo I’ve never never heard of, whoops) that was released last summer. I’ve recently decided that I want to see more of Tilda Swinton’s films, and this was the one I decided to watch first.
As a Tilda Swinton movie: It really didn’t have enough of her to justify watching it just for her.
As a movie overall: It really didn’t have much of anything.
Thoughts on the Plot
The plot was…. interesting to say the least. Actually, I lied, it really wasn’t. It was interesting in the sense that it was unique and I’ve never seen anything like it, however, not in the sense of “how interesting and captivating I’m going to watch it ever day!” I really don’t know what the plot was, and I’ve watched it twice in the last week in an attempt to understand it. By watching the trailers it appears to be a film about a lot of movie starts banding together after one of them, Baird Whitlock played by George Clooney, however, it is really about Eddie Mannix, a Hollywood executive who has been offered a job in an airline company and has to decide if he is going to stay in Hollywood, in a job he loves, or take the better paying and more prestigious job at Lockheed.
Thoughts on the Characters
The characters were by far the best part of the film, which did, as you can tell by the movie poster, have an all-star cast. They were an insane and colorful group, which by no means belonged together.
Eddie Mannix / Josh Brolin
Eddie was a rather boring main character, I never once doubted what decision he was going to make regarding his job, and I never once doubted that he would ultimately come out the ‘winner’ in all the minor problems he was dealing with.
George Clooney / Baird Whitlock
I’m one of those people, and it might be a generational thing, I’m not sure, who has never sat down and said “I want to watch a George Clooney film.” In fact, I can’t even name a movie I’ve seen in him other than Sharkboy and Lavagirl (and does that even count? Good movie, but very weird!). I have loved him in everything I’ve seen him in.
He plays Baird Whitlock, the man in the Caesar costume who gets kidnapped by the weirdest and most nonsensical villains in movie history.
Alden Ehrenreich / Hobie Doyle
I’ve never, to my knowledge, seen Alden Ehrenreich in a movie before, but Hobie is one of the most charming characters, not just in Hail Caesar, but in all the movies I’ve seen. He’s just a simple, down to earth man who doesn’t quite belong in Hollywood, but who stays because he wants to help everyone in anyway that he can. He made me think of the man who lassoed a bike thief in a Walmart parking lot (funniest new story ever, by the way).
Scarlett Johansson / DeeAnna Moran
Scarlett Johansson is one of my favorite people ever – I mean, she’s the Black Widow! – so I was pretty disappointed by her lack of screen time.
DeAnna is an aquatic dancer and movie star who has just become pregnant out of wedlock, requiring her to either get married or find someone to take in her baby. She’s very blunt and more than a little wild, and one of the movie’s funniest characters.
Tilda Swinton / Thora & Thessaly Thacker
I probably would not have watched this movie if it wasn’t for Tilda Swinton being in it, so I was a bit disappointed by how seldom she actually appeared. She played twins, who never actually appeared on the screen at the same time, unless you count one storming off in the background as one approaches (I don’t think this movie used very much CGI, so every shot with the twins was done through trick shots and look-a-likes).
Thora and Thessaly are both reporters, who are always tripping over each other in order to outdo the other and get the best stories for the newspaper (there is no sibling love here, only rivalry!).
Channing Tatum / Burt Gurney
Channing Tatum is someone I’ve only recently become aware of, because of the rumor that he may be playing Gambit in the upcoming Marvel and Fox Studios X-Men spin off movie. I wasn’t impressed, to be completely honest.
For playing the main(???) villain, he only appeared twice, and the second time he appeared he looked so different from the first time that I didn’t even recognize him as the same man.
It was a good movie, and parts of it were hilariously funny, however, its nothing something I’m dying to watch again. Perhaps if I knew more about Golden Age Hollywood I would have appreciated it more, there are countless posts online listing all the references throughout the film, which I only caught a few of. But as a normal person watching it for laughs and because she likes Scarlett Johansson and Tilda Swinton, it was rather lacking.
The actors were superb, of course, it was the script and the (lack of) plot which frustrated me. They all had a rather unfortunate lack of screen time, which I suppose is a side effect to having that many famous people trying to get in recognizable parts. At the end of the day, I think this movie was exactly what it appears to be: a love letter to Golden Age Hollywood that is not meant to be taken seriously.
When the end credits started rolling, my mom and I both looked at each other and just said, “What did we just watch?”