Movie Review: HAIL, CAESAR!

HAIL CAESAR movie poster | ©2016 Universal Pictures

Rating: PG-13 Stars: Josh Brolin, George Clooney, Alden Ehrenreich, Heather Goldenhersh, Ralph Fiennes, Scarlett Johansson, Channing Tatum, Tilda Swinton Writers: Joel Coen & Ethan Coen Directors: Ethan Coen & Joel Coen Distributor: Universal Pictures Release Date: February 5, 2016 The writing/directing team of the Coen Brothers, Ethan & Joel, isn’t known for being especially sentimental. However, just in time for Valentine’s Day, the Coens are bringing forth HAIL, CAESAR! their own idiosyncratic love letter to making movies that does everything but belt out “There’s No Business Like Show Business.” (There are several musical numbers, just not that one.) It turns […]Read On »

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FARGO: Bokeem Woodbine on Season 2 – Exclusive Interview

Brad Mann and Bokeem Woodbine in FARGO - Season 2 - "The Gift of the Magi" | ©2015 FX/Chris Large

In Season 2 of FX’s FARGO, Mondays at 10 PM, a small-town diner massacre in 1979 is compounded by the accidental hit-and-run killing of a dim-bulb son of a local mob family, who are at odds with a bigger mob from Kansas City. Bokeem Woodbine (CROOKLYN, PANTHER, THE ROCK, SAVING GRACE, RIDDICK) plays Kansas City enforcer Mike Milligan, who works with Brad Garrett’s Joe Bulo in trying to muscle in on the Gerhardt clan. Woodbine, a native New Yorker, sounds ecstatic about his current gig. “Mike Milligan is a gift from the actor gods. Any actor could have stepped into […]Read On »

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Movie Review: UNBROKEN

UNBROKEN movie poster | ©2014 Universal Pictures

Rating: PG-13 Stars: Jack O’Connell, Domhnall Gleeson, Miyavi, Garrett Hedlund, Finn Wittrock Writers: Joel Coen & Ethan Coen and Richard LaGravenese and William Nicholson, based on the book by Laura Hillenbrand Director: Angelina Jolie Distributor: Universal Pictures Release Date: December 25, 2014 The late Louis “Louie” Zamperini, who passed away earlier this year, was an authentic American hero. After a bit of a wild youth, he buckled down and became an Olympic running champion in the ‘30s. During WWII, Zamperini (played as an adult by Jack O’Connell) was a bombardier aboard a U.S. war plane that was shot down over […]Read On »

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TV Review: FARGO – Season 1 – “The Crocodile’s Dilemma” – Series Premiere

FARGO key art | ©2014 FX

Stars: Billy Bob Thornton, Martin Freeman, Colin Hanks, Allison Tolman Writer: Noah Hawley, series created by Noah Hawley, based on the feature film FARGO written by Joel & Ethan Coen Director: Adam Bernstein Network: FX, Tuesdays @ 10 PM Original Airdate: April 15, 2014 The 1996 feature film FARGO, a deadpan dark comedy about a bumbling Minnesota businessman and a crime gone terribly wrong, won Oscars for Frances McDormand’s lead performance as a hard to flap small-town sheriff investigating the crime and for the original screenplay by writers/directors Joel and Ethan Coen. FX’s new limited series FARGO, adapted for TV […]Read On »

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Blu-Ray Review: BLOOD SIMPLE

BLOOD SIMPLE | ©2011 MGM Home Entertainment

Cast: John Getz, Frances McDormand, Dan Hedaya, Samm-Art Williams, M. Emmet Walsh Writers: Joel Coen, Ethan Coen Director: Joel Coen Distributor: MGM Home Entertainment Suggested Retail Price: $19.99 As the Coen Brothers have gained popularity over the years with their surprise hits FARGO, OH BROTHER, WHERE ART THOU, NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN and TRUE GRIT, many forget they had humble beginnings in 1984 with their gem of debut BLOOD SIMPLE. A film noir homage mixed with their familiar dark humor, BLOOD SIMPLE shows the brothers Joel and Ethan Coen already firmly in control of their filmmaking identity. There’s crackling […]Read On »

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The X List: Assignment X’s Best of 2010 – Movies

TRUE GRIT poster | ©2010 Paramount Pictures

The best films of 2010, in the opinion of this reviewer (who still has to catch up with THE FIGHTER, WINTER’S BONE and several other acclaimed releases): THE SOCIAL NETWORK Normally, people working with computers is one of the most boring things that can be put on screen. Director David Fincher, writer Aaron Sorkin and an across-the-board brilliant cast headed up by Jesse Eisenberg, Andrew Garfield and Justin Timberlake leave the computers in the background and illustrate the dynamics of friendship and ambition in a way that is remarkably compelling and universal. The fact that the film is about the […]Read On »

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Movie Review: TRUE GRIT

TRUE GRIT poster | ©2010 Paramount Pictures

Sometimes more of a good thing is just great, which is the case with the Coen Brothers’ (Ethan & Joel) remake of TRUE GRIT. The 1969 original, based on Charles Portis’ novel, won an Oscar for John Wayne as Rooster Cogburn, a one-eyed, alcoholic U.S. marshal who reluctantly takes up the quest of tracking down the man who murdered the father of fourteen-year-old Mattie Ross (Kim Darby in that version) – with Mattie doggedly accompanying him.

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