Much like [Joel and Ethan Coen's] superb, achingly personal satire A Serious Man, the world of Hail, Caesar! ends with a final image that will leave many perplexed, some annoyed and almost all questioning what it is exactly Joel and Ethan are trying to say. In other words, it’s perfect, and like the best of the duo’s achievements it’s an ending I’m going to be pondering for quite a long time to come.
If things ultimately go off the rails they don’t do so in a way that causes any lasting damage, the film’s final moments packing enough of an emotional, and in some ways spiritual, wallop to more than make up for the overblown complexity of the storytelling tricks Hall eventually opts to revel in.
The last third, in particular, is a model of kinetic efficiency, and even though by then I was pretty certain I had a good grasp on what was going to happen and when because the filmmaking was so strong I sat right there on the edge of my seat all the same anyhow. The Pack is pretty terrific, and I can’t wait to return for a second bite sometime soon.
It’s as silly as it sounds, yet, because Steers plays things so straight, treats things with such dramatic sincerity, gosh darn it if all this mayhem and chaos doesn’t actually work. There are thrills, there are chills and goodness knows there are a number of laughs, the director doing a fine job of balancing things with a straight-laced glee that’s kind of wonderful.
Of all the films Warner Archive could bring to Blu-ray, they chose to give The Ice Pirates – yes, The Ice Pirates – a loving hi-def upgrade. Thankfully, they’ve done their typically wonderful job, picture and audio absolutely top-notch, so fans of this unabashedly silly, visually rambunctious sci-fi comedy will undoubtedly be pleased as far as that goes. Everyone else? Well, everyone else will likely wonder why all the fuss and bother – that’s if they even care to watch the movie in the first place.
Steven Spielberg’s Bridge of Spies holds up remarkably well on subsequent viewing, both Mark Rylance (who is nominated for an Oscar) and Tom Hanks turning in virtuoso performances as the two men central to all the Cold War antics that transpire.
For viewers in the right frame of mind, The Car is a heck of a lot of fun, and I for one can completely understand why it’s developed such a passionate cult following ever since its initial 1977 theatrical release.
The New Girlfriend might not showcase [François Ozon] at his best, but it does feature him continuing to try and tell stories many of his contemporaries would shy away from, this film finally ending up as a courageous saga of friendship, acceptance and identity I was happily captivated by.
[What] is here is enjoyable if taken on its own terms, much of Jane Got a Gun playing out with a 1940s or ‘50s Hollywood élan I found more than satisfying. The movie is a Western made for Western fans, and I have no problem with that whatsoever.