Hail, Caesar! (2016)

Hail, Caesar!
Director: Ethan Coen, Joel Coen
Writer: Joel Coen, Ethan Coen
Cast: Josh Brolin, George Clooney, Alden Ehrenreich, Ralph Fiennes, Scarlett Johansson, Tilda Swinton, Frances McDormand, Channing Tatum, Jonah Hill, Veronica Osorio, Heather Goldenhersh, Alison Pill, Max Baker, Clancy Brown, David Krumholtz, Robert Picardo, Christopher Lambert, Fred Melamed, Jack Huston, Michael Gambon
Seen on: 21.2.2016

Plot:
Eddie Mannix (Josh Brolin) fixes problems for a big movie studio. And boy, are there ever problems: Baird Whitlock (George Clooney), the biggest star they currently have, is missing, possibly abducted. Star DeeAnna Moran (Scarlett Johansson) is pregnant und unmarried. Director Laurnce Laurentz (Ralph Fiennes) needs a new star for his film and the only guy available is Hobie Doyle (Alden Ehrenreich), talented stunt cowboy but acting is a whole other story. And the twin journalists Thora and Thessaly Thacker (Tilda Swinton and Tilda Swinton) are snooping around for a story, each in her own way and for her own column. And if all of that wasn’t enough, Eddie has an attractive job offer on the table he needs to decide on soon.

After the recent rather serious outings of the Coen brothers, Hail, Caesar! is a return to comedy, and a very successful one at that. The film is a romp through the studio cinema of the 50s, with the only drawback that they’re reproducing the white-maleness of those films as well. Other than that, though, it is simply fun.

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Re-Watch: The ‘Burbs (1989)

The ‘Burbs
Director: Joe Dante
Writer: Dana Olsen
Cast: Tom Hanks, Bruce Dern, Carrie Fisher, Rick Ducommun, Corey Feldman, Wendy Schaal, Henry Gibson, Brother Theodore, Courtney Gains, Gale Gordon, Dick Miller, Robert Picardo
Part of: /slash Filmfestival

Plot:
A typical suburban cul-de-sac is disrupted when a new family moves in. A mysterious family that seems to be only awake at night, making loud noises then, a family that doesn’t take care of its lawn or sticks to any of the usual suburban behavior. Their direct neighbor Ray (Tom Hanks) just got some time off. Time he spends starting to obsess about them and trying to find out more, egged on by the other inhabitants on the street.

I don’t know how many times I saw this film when I was a child. It was my brother’s favorite film for a while and he did a perfect impression of the “sardines” scene and to this day I can’t look at Tom Hanks without thinking of my brother a bit. So seeing this film for the first time in probably a decade, for the first time in English and without my brother present just wasn’t quite the same thing. It was still very entertaining though.

theburbs

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Explorers (1985)

Explorers
Director: Joe Dante
Writer: Eric Luke
Cast: Ethan Hawke, River PhoenixJason Presson, Amanda PetersonJames CromwellDana Ivey, Robert Picardo, Dick Miller
Part of: /slash Filmfestival

Plot:
Ben (Ethan Hawke) dreams of a circuit board. He makes a drawing and gives it to his technologically well-versed friend Wolfgang (River Phoenix). They are joined by Darren (Jason Presson) and discover that Ben actually dreamt up a spaceship which they immediately start building, of course, and then even flying.

I never saw Explorers when I was a child (I wonder why? I saw so many Dante movies…) and I did feel that I was missing a certain nostalgic point of connection to really enjoy it. But it was a supercute adventure film with a sweet cast and I would watch it again.

explorers

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