I can honestly say, this is first Coen’s movie I didn’t like. But I bet it is pretty popular among their fans.
They are hit or miss for me. Fargo their best, a masterpiece, Raising Arizona their worst, absolute shit
Haven’t seen that one. My favorites are Fargo, True Grit, Big Lebowski, Barton Fink, some are just okay, but I am surprised how I disliked Millers Crossing. It is actually not that bad, but there’s that style of the movie, which didnt impress me at all.
I always like the Coen bros Blood Simple the most. Anyone seen it?
A superb, nasty little neo-noir. I love it, one of my favs.
Naughty tomas, tsk tsk…
I like this one quite a bit, but then again I can understand the way you feel because I’m one of those weird people that don’t get Fargo at all. In this case, it’s pretty much the same thing for me: not that I dislike it, but I don’t find it all that engaging to be honest.
I’m pretty much on the same page here. I really like the movie for what it is rather than what it aspires to.
All the Coen pics I’ve seen, I think:
- True Grit
- The Big Lebowski
- No Country For Old Men
- Barton Fink
- The Hudsucker Proxy
- Raising Arizona
- Burn After Reading
- The Man Who Wasn’t There
- A Serious Man
- Blood Simple
- O Brother, Where Art Thou?
- Intolerable Cruelty
Blood Simple remains my favourite. Not as refined as later works but brilliantly contrives to mislead characters and audience as to what’s happening by very ingenious distribution of information. And it has Emmet Walsh.
I did. Forgot to mention it. Quite good.
My Top 5 of the Coens would probably be as follows
1 - Fargo
2 - The Big Lebowsky
3 - True Grit
4 - Blood Simple
5 - The Man who Wasn’t There
(Would like to see Miller’s Crossing again before giving it a place on the list, will most probably be 3 or 4 if I remember it well enough)
Absolute shit? Lol. You must have a very bad day. One of my favourites. Also one of Nicolas Cage’s better movies.
I haven’t watched Raising Arizona since the 80s, but it was a good film then, like all Coen films. Even the lesser ones are still entertaining, so they haven’t made a bad film. None under 6/10. The exception may be their Ladykillers remake, the only one I haven’t watched.
The best are Barton Fink, Lebowski and the absorbing No Country for Old Men, which is their masterpiece so far
We actually agree for once !
I don’t think they’ve made any ‘BAD’ movies … just a few that don’t live up to the usual high expectations.
‘The Ladykillers’, I found very funny - not to be judged alongside the famous British movie, which I find rather dated and over rated.
‘Raising Arizona’ is still very funny after many repeated viewings … but you need to be in the mood for this surreal zaniness
My Top would be:
- Big Lebowski
- No Country For Old Men
- True Grit
- Barton Fink
- Bro, where art you?
Want to watch: Hudsucker Proxy, Blood Simple, Raising Arizona, Ave Caesar
I have high hopes for their upcmng netflix movie Buster Scruggs, which is western movie anthology or something like that…
When I was a member of a film & arts club, this was the democratic choice of what to watch for our relax day. I didn’t manage to get into it like everybody else. I suppose I’ll end up giving it another watch someday since I do like to revist films just to make sure it wasn’t my mood.
When it comes to Coen brothers films, The Big Lebowski will always be my favourite.
I have a problem with the Coen Brothers, never liked The Big Lebowski that much, Fargo and Miller’s Crossing still my favourite.
The Big Lebowski is now a hipster movie which has spawned too many stupid memes and it’s just annoying.
What stood out to me in No Country For Old Men was that there was no music(non-diegetic) and possibly not even any droning noises, hums, or buzzes in the entire movie, yet the tension remains high throughout.
Ordinarily a scene like this would be scored in some manner but it works well without it.
I rented this movie, copied it (I now own a legal copy ) and watched it 3 times in one week - that’s never happened before or since.
It’s just one of those rare extraordinary films which leaves the rest of the hum drum stuff in the dirt.
I would call this a masterpiece, and that’s not a term I bandy around.
The Hand That Rocks The Cradle (1992) - Director: Curtis Hanson - 7/10 - Another excellent feature film from Hanson. The film recounts the tale of a vengeful wife whose husband, a gynecologist, committed suicide in the aftermath of rape allegations. The woman sets out to avenge her spouse. She assumes a false identity and gets hired as a nanny at the house of a woman who was the first one to report gynecologist’s misconduct, inadvertently prompting other patients to come forward. I like the way Hanson gracefully presents the entire story to the viewer without resorting to extortionately preposterous means of building suspense. The whole narration is on the taut side and the convoluted net of manipulation is painstakingly delineated with considerate attention to detail and realism. While it’s admittedly nothing special, it’s all very satisfactory and entertaining.
By Dawn’s Early Light (1990) - Director: Jack Sholder - 7/10 - Most of the film is incredibly well-paced and executed for a TV movie, but it seems as though screenwriters ran out of ideas towards the end which is a bit of shame. The film captures the volatile atmosphere of doomsday as well as the impeding nuclear Armageddon incredibly well. The whole affair feels fairly realistic and relatively engaging most of the time, however, it all gradually deteriorates into the out-of-focus hokum which attempts to portray POTUS’s actions, the trial of pilots flying a bomber with nuclear missiles on board and a myriad of other stuff simultaneously. Not only is this endeavor to encompass a number of subplots too ambitious for a project like that (or cliched, depending on the way you look at it), but also the plot devolves into this pointless exercise in multilayered narrative that is more successfully explored in bigger blockbuster productions. It is truly a pity. Had it been purely about the moral dilemmas and the despair of pilots ordered to pulverize Russia with nukes, the film would’ve worked much better. It’s still a pretty nifty HBO thriller, but it could’ve been something truly special.
Fear (1990) - Director: Rockne S. O’Bannon - 3/10 - I’m not sure what to say about this one. It’s a film about a psychic who is capable of telepathically connecting with concurrently occurring murders as well as recreating past phenomena in her mind. She uses her powers to help police with multiple investigations until one day she connects with a killer who is a psychic himself and yearns to share his exaltation at the act of murder, gloating over his victims’ fear. The premise is quite splendid and some ideas are pretty intriguing, notwithstanding, the rendition proves to be utterly atrocious. Many scenes suffer from abominable acting and the direction fails on so many levels that it effectively prostrates the whole effort. The discomfort one may feel while watching this crap is comparable to one’s indigestion or nausea rather than a palpable sense of dread.
Heat (1995) - Director: Michael Mann - 9/10 -> 10/10 - A re-watch.
The Terminator (1984) - Director: James Cameron - 9/10 -> 10/10 - A re-watch.
Kiss Me a Killer (1991) - Director: Marcus DeLeon - 2/10 - I’m not sure what this thing is supposed to be and I’m not certain whether the director fully knows either. It is too superficial in its content or form to be called a fully-fledged neo-noir. Its hopelessly crude premise functions more as a pretext to embark on a streak of semi-sultry scenes rather than constitutes a potential point of departure for some compelling drama. Nonetheless, it is not brazen enough to be categorized as a full-blown skin flick either and it doesn’t work in this regard unless you’re a world champion in this discipline and if you cannot rub the meat under 5 seconds which is how long its softcore sequences last. It is fairly salient the pic was made on a bit of a shoestring, for most of the movie was filmed basically in a handful of locations. Kiss Me a Killer looks incredibly grubby which is not to say that it has a gritty appearance: it simply looks like shit. The budgetary constraints are amplified by film’s drab direction that cannot lift the work from the mire of mediocrity. The opus (if you can call it that) has just about enough plot to be recognized as a motion picture, nevertheless, it feels more like a series of loosely slapped together snapshots portraying the Latino subculture which is embellished with an occasional nip slip. I could make jokes about film’s technical inadequacies all day, but there are more important things to do.
Bat 21 (1988) - Director: Peter Markle - 7/10 - I really like this one. Sure, it’s nothing special, but the thing is that instead of diving into metaphysical meditations over the meaning of violence and whatnot, the movie basically presents its story in a meat-and-potatoes fashion without excessively endeavoring to disclose the meaning of it all and finds exactly the right balance between its social commentary and straight-forward storytelling. It isn’t pretentious, it doesn’t pretend to be more relevant or significant than it is, it is what it is and it doesn’t try to camouflage this fact with some turgid moralism. Its attitude proves to be quite sufficient here: its core structure is dead-on shipshape, the acting is spot-on and the narration flows uninhibitedly.
The Wall (2017) - Director: Doug Liman - 7/10 - I liked this one a lot. Some of it may not be necessarily all that believable, but I appreciate the emphasis that is put on the psychological terror and its minimal setting that pays attention to fine performances and location-bound narration.
Zero Dark Thirty (2012) - Director: Kathryn Bigelow - 5/10 - I fail to connect with this movie on any level, on any plane of reality or perception. It feels like a multitude of other films of this kind and even though Bigelow perhaps brings some additional technical skills to the table, she doesn’t endow her work with adequate emotional resonance for me to give a shit. Is it well made? Yes. Does it make it one of my favorites? No. It’s one of those matter-of-fact pics which are widely acclaimed and called masterpieces or whatever, but that thing alone doesn’t exactly stir my blood if you get the drift of what I’m driving at. Likewise, its characters feel somewhat contrived and incredibly stiff, just like a large portion of personas inhabiting this kind of films: all noble people (or silhouettes of people) fighting this and that and no elbomroom for moral dilemmas or whimsicality. I prefer The Hurt Locker any time of the day or night.
The Hitcher (1986) - Director: Robert Harmon - 9/10 = 9/10 - A re-watch - Pure filmic magic. A movie like many others, yet at the same time it’s one-of-a-kind experience which fails to fade away in my mind like many others do. While Harmon’s direction perhaps isn’t that spectacular, it beautifully corresponds with other factors such as terrific acting, stunningly russet cinematography and ravishingly spacious Mark Isham’s soundtrack. Despite preferring some other eighties’ flicks, I would say this one feels like one of the most emblematic opuses from the era in the sense that it distills an assortment of cliches from a number of neo-noirs and slasher movies and transmutes them into something completely different and enchantingly distinctive: a somewhat surreal, oneiric psychological thriller. It is as bromidic as it is original in the sense that makes use of fairly familiar formulas in a perplexing, sometimes opaque way. The motion picture doesn’t endeavor to drive any message home, it doesn’t explicate its meaning for the audience, focusing on honing its sensory core: watching The Hitcher is like ingesting and experiencing dreams which is what I cherish most about viewing the film. Isham’s pre-digital soundtrack is simply beautiful regardless of whether we’re talking about more dreamy, minatory analog chord washes and drones or more energetic passages that are there to underpin the ferocity of action. Hauer is absolutely remarkable and his performance here might be the best one in his entire career. I seriously need to wean myself from the film, as I’ve seen some scenes from the flick like dozens of times. The film is an endless wellspring of inspiration for me and one of my big favorites.
That is precisely how I felt about Millers Crossing.
And For A Few Dollars More?