Hail Caesar

(Welcome to The Quarantine Stream, a new series where the /Film team shares what they’ve been watching while social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic.)

The Movie: Hail, Caesar!

Where You Can Stream It: Netflix

The Pitch: In 1950s Hollywood, a studio fixer named Eddie Mannix must solve several crises around the lot, including the fact that a big star is kidnapped, a starlet finds herself pregnant, and a British director is furious that his comedy of manners has been saddled with a Western star who can’t shake his twangy accent to save his life.

Why It’s Essential Viewing: I remember lots of my colleagues being mixed about Hail, Caesar! when it was first released in 2016, but four years later, I still think this belongs in the top tier of the Coen Brothers’ storied filmography. That’s something of a controversial statement considering just how incredible the top tier of their work is (Fargo, No Country for Old Men, Raising Arizona, Inside Llewyn Davis, etc), but now is the perfect time to join me on the “Hail, Caesar! is great” side of the fence. Read More »

Best Movies Streaming Right Now The Lighthouse

(Welcome to Now Stream This, a column dedicated to the best movies streaming on Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, and every other streaming service out there.)

Gather round, friends, and I shall tell you the tale of streaming movies! Once upon a time, we were all stuck inside, and we badly needed entertainment to fill our days. The problem: there was just too much entertainment to choose from. How could we even begin? Thankfully, Now Stream This came to our rescue, and told us exactly what to watch, and where to watch it.

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hail caesar review

With Hail, Caesar!, Joel and Ethan Coen have crafted a movie that’s amusing but baffling, challenging but easygoing, and frivolous but about everything. It’s a film that wears its frustration on its sleeve like a badge of honor, inviting you to engage with it even as it tries to hard to keep you at a distance. It’s funny and sad, silly and serious. In other words, it’s a Coen brothers movie. We’re all probably going to like it a lot more in five years if we’re unsure about it now.

Now that Hail, Caesar! has been out for an entire weekend and you’ve had a chance to see it (because you definitely went out and saw the new Coen brothers film on its opening weekend, right?), let’s take this opportunity to explore how this Hollywood farce fits into the larger Coen canon. Like all of their films, this film reflects their larger worldview and shares ideas with some of their best work. Hail, Caesar!, halfway between Barton Fink and A Serious Man, a cousin of Inside Llewyn Davis and Miller’s Crossing, feels like it fills a specific gap in their overall filmography.

Naturally, spoilers lurk ahead.

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best coen brothers scenes

The filmography of Joel and Ethan Coen is untouchable. Of their 17 films, at least a dozen of them are arguably great films and more than a few of them are genuine masterpieces. Ranking them is a fool’s errand. I know this because I have tried. Within a year, I wanted to erase the whole thing. Their work sticks with you, attaches itself to your mind and grows with you. Minor films become masterpieces over time. Little moments reveal their layers, their profundity, upon repeat viewings. The Coen brothers filmography feels alive – it’s always growing, always changing. Even their newest film Hail, Caesar (out today) threw me for a loop. I literally have no idea how I’ll feel about it tomorrow or six months from now.

So I’ve assembled a list of ten perfect scenes from the Coen canon. They are unranked, presented in chronological order, because I do not want to impose rigid form on something that I know will shift and change within a year or two. But right now, these scenes sum up why they’re special and their work should be celebrated. Few modern artists have showcased such range and fewer have dabbled in so many different genres and forms while maintaining their voice at every moment. These scenes represent a sublime partnership and the best modern cinema has to offer.

Spoilers follow, of course.

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big lebowski

When did The Big Lebowski 2 become a thing we talk about? Not only that, but a thing we ask the Coen Brothers about? 2009 is about as far back as I could go to find the filmmaking duo shooting down the idea of a sequel to The Big Lebowski. With their latest film opening in theaters this Friday, Hail, Caesar!, once again they’ve been asked about the imaginary project.

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HailCaesar-Final

Not only are Joel and Ethan Coen brilliant artists, they’re artists who have a way of inspiring other artists. In celebration of their new film Hail, Caesar!, the Hero Complex Gallery is unveiling a series of works by various artists. Today, we’re excited to reveal a new piece by Tracie Ching, which doubles down on the Roman theme suggested by the title. Check out her unique artwork after the jump.  Read More »

Ethan Anderton’s 10 Most Anticipated Movies of 2016

Most Anticipated 2016 Movies

Now that 2015 is over, we’re in a bit of a dead zone for movies with a lot of junk being dumped in January. Usually this period of disappointing options on the big screen lasts through February and into March, but for me, next month brings three of my 10 Most Anticipated Movies of 2016. But what about the rest of the year? Find out what other movies I’m looking forward to with the full list after the jump! Read More »

Jack Giroux’s Most Anticipated Movies of 2016

George Clooney in Hail Caesar

As Jacob noted the other day, this is the time of year we get to rest comfortably in our bubbles of excitement. We rarely feel any disappointment this early in the year with what’s hitting theaters (unless you were one of the few really pumped about The Forest), so we’ve yet to reach the point of skepticism about our most anticipated films of the year.

After the jump, help me countdown my most anticipated movies of 2016.

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Hail Caesar Trailer

If you’re a Coen Brothers fan, then you’re probably already excited about the directing and writing duo’s new film coming next month, the comedy Hail, Caesar! starring a cavalcade of great talent. We’ve already seen one trailer showing off the quirky story that takes place in the Golden Age of Hollywood, and now a new trailer shows us even more. But rather than taking the traditional trailer route, they basically use an entire, hilarious scene to sell the movie with a brief montage at the end. And it’s just as fantastic as you’d hope. Read More »

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Angie Han’s 10 Most Anticipated Films of 2016

Captain America Civil War

There’s so much about the process of putting together a “most anticipated” list that just isn’t fair. Films that have already put out trailers have a distinct advantage over those that haven’t. New installments of familiar franchises are easier to get hyped for than completely unknown quantities. And in any given year, some of the very best films are the ones that come out of seemingly nowhere, crafted by filmmakers and stars we haven’t even heard of yet.

So I’m not going to pretend there’s anything close to an even playing field here. This isn’t a merit-based competition, because by definition I don’t know what merits any of these films have yet. It’s simply an excited look ahead at the year to come. Here are the films that make me glad, even in the freezing doldrums of January, that we’ve finally arrived at 2016.  Read More »