Discussion of movies and ReelThoughts topics

It is currently Tue Oct 21, 2014 9:56 pm




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 85 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1, 2, 3, 4, 5  Next
Coens. 
Author Message
Post Re: Coens.
1. The Big Lebowski **** (1998)

2. Millers Crossing **** (1990)

3. Fargo **** (1995)

These three films are streets above anything else the Coens have made. They stand up to repeat viewings like no others and each film seems to get better with time. They peaked at Lebowksi in 1998, and have been on a downward spiral since. Although No Country for Old Men (which they adapted from the novel as they were at a loss as to where to go) was a return to form of sorts, it felt very similar to Blood Simple, remade with a bigger budget.

Who can watch Bridges in any other role and not think of him as The Dude? Has there ever been a funnier cameo than John Turturro as Jesus?

Millers Crossing’s opening scene is classical with every shot, every look, every line of dialogue priceless. It doesn’t skip a beat after that either. Each time the final credits roll the viewer can have a different perspective on what Tom’s motives were, but that’s not the point, it’s the journey.

By the time they made Fargo they were so good, the Coens could write lines as simple as, “Where is pancakes house?” With Peter Stormare’s delivery and Steve Buscemi’s reaction it’s hilarious. They simply can’t write and deliver like that anymore. Instead we have Brad Pitt acting like a moron, dancing to music in a car to inspire a laugh. Sad really. Still though, I look forward to each new film hoping they can recapture the magic they once had.

Anywho…

Blood Simple *** Great debut.

Raising Arizona ** The first half hour is spot on but then it loses it’s way.

Millers Crossing **** They’ve hit their stride.

Barton Fink *** Terriffic observations on writing and the film industry.

The Hudsucker Proxy ***.5 Great idea for a film. Jennifer Jason Leigh delivers the razor sharp dialogue brilliantly.

Fargo **** The laughs match the irony in this incredible film. The Coens are flying at this stage.

The Big Lebowski **** Their talent seems peerless. Three classic films in eight years.

O Brother Where Art Though ** Starting to try to hard to be original. Boring at times.

The Man Who Wasn’t There **.5 Well shot, as all their films are, but they’ve already done film noir to death.

Intolerable Cruelty ** Attempt at a high grossing film. They were asked in an interview after Millers Crossing if they could make a film for the masses. This was their mediocre attempt.

The Ladykillers *.5 Pathetic. Boring. Their starting to really lose their way by now.

No Country For Old Men *** Had to adapt a book as they were out of ideas.

Burn After Reading ** Everyone's making films about the CIA so they thought they’d do it their way. Shame their way use to be funnier and obviously more original.


Tue Apr 07, 2009 5:36 pm
Post Re: Coens.
I'm surprised at the relative lack of love for Raising Arizona, which is probably my favorite Coen brothers film. Round is indeed funny. :D

Fargo, No Country, Miller's Crossing, and Big Lebowski are all wonderful, but Raising Arizona is at the top of the list for me. The characters and acting, the humor, the dialogue, the music, all of it is just perfect. Such a good-natured movie, which I could watch over and over (and I have).

I found this essay to be interesting: http://www.regent.edu/acad/schcom/rojc/wright.html


Wed Apr 08, 2009 2:32 pm
Cinematographer
User avatar

Joined: Sun Mar 01, 2009 9:17 pm
Posts: 529
Post Re: Coens.
Oh, the Coens. Apparently I'm the only one here who didn't consider Burn After Reading a disappointment or overrated. I thought it was pretty funny, but the previews were misleading. John Malkovich delivered, and I don't think I've ever seen George Clooney play such a unique role; and Tilda Swinton, doing what she does best, being a cold bitch. And the CIA confusion? Classic. I'm also probably the only one who didn't like The Big Lebowski as much. My favorite Coen movie is Fargo.


Wed Apr 08, 2009 7:48 pm
Profile
Post Re: Coens.
Love these guys. In my opinion they have yet to make a bad film. Intolerable Cruelty and The Ladykillers are on the bottom of my Coens list but they are both better than a typical Hollywood film. They tried to "sell out" and make some money and they have admitted as much. I have no beef with them.

Oddly enough I prefer Burn After Reading to No Country For Old Men. No Country was good but way overhyped. Fargo, Barton Fink and Raising Arizona are my top three Coen Bros. films. The Big Lebowski just misses that cut.


Wed Apr 08, 2009 10:42 pm
Post Re: Coens.
I've yet to see a Coen Bros. film I didn't like. And the only one I haven't seen is Burn After Reading...


Wed Apr 08, 2009 11:14 pm
Post Re: Coens.
I really want to see Barton Fink. No Country for Old Men = way overhyped.


Thu Apr 09, 2009 1:44 am
Post Re: Coens.
I saw The Man Who Wasn't There twice in theaters and still believe that this is where they perfected everything that makes them so damned respected.

They take great big risks so a few misses are going to be in the stew. The Hudsucker Proxy, Barton Fink, Fargo... all great movies. The Big Lebowski, on the heels of Fargo, seemed terrible at the time I saw it and 1 1/2 further viewings later I still flat-out don't understand why so many love it. But they may be the only writer/directors working that make movies like Radiohead does albums -- each one is totally unlike the one before it and, even if I had no idea who was at the helm, I'd still know it was them.


Thu Apr 09, 2009 2:07 am
Post Re: Coens.
Blood Simple: 3.5/4
Raising Arizona: 3.5/4
Miller's Crossing: 3.5/4
Barton Fink: 3/4
Hudsucker Proxy: 3/4
Fargo: 4/4
The Big Lebowski: 3/4 (for me, not one of their best)
O Brother Where Art Though?: 3/4
The Man Who Wasn't There: 3/4
Intolerable Cruelty: 3.5/4 (a very underrated Coen film)
The Ladykillers: 3.5/4 (another very underrated Coen film)
No Country For old Men: 3.5/4
Burn After Reading: 3.5/4


Thu Apr 09, 2009 9:36 am
Post Re: Coens.
Quote:
Intolerable Cruelty: 3.5/4 (a very underrated Coen film)
The Ladykillers: 3.5/4 (another very underrated Coen film)


I thought Intolerable Curelty was the worst Coens film I've seen. I'd give it 2/4. I haven't seen The Ladykillers, and don't have any immediate plans to see it. That said, the Coens continue to be among my favorite film makers. I think No Country For Old Men borders on qualifying as a masterpiece. Ladykillers being the only Coen film I haven't seen, and with Intolerable Cruelty being an exception, I'd give all Coen films between 3 and 4 stars.


Thu Apr 09, 2009 10:00 am
Post Re: Coens.
I don't understand the lack of love for Intolerable Cruelty. I thought it was a lot of fun. I doubt the Cohens expected it to be anything more.

The other underrated one, for me, is The Man Who Wasn't There. I think it's one of their best.

Most overrated in my book is The Big Lebowski. I liked it for sure but definitely not in my top tier of Cohen faves.


Thu Apr 09, 2009 1:14 pm
Post Re: Coens.
wisey wrote:
Although No Country for Old Men (which they adapted from the novel as they were at a loss as to where to go) was a return to form of sorts, it felt very similar to Blood Simple, remade with a bigger budget.


Wow.

Here's a question: are all book adaptations attributable to writer's block or some other lack of creativity (being "at a loss as to where to go")? There have been some excellent films made from books, after all.

If it's not that simple, is it that the film didn't work for you that indicates to you that they turned to that book out of some sort of desperation? I ask because there have been failed films from excellent filmmakers that weren't based on books.

I'm just trying to understand your declarative statement that they were at a loss, which seems a fairly big leap to me. After all, there are many examples throughout the history of cinema where filmmakers have actively fought, over time and whatever degree of hardship, to get a film version of a favorite book made.

If the Coens were all hot and bothered to do this film, even while they had other projects in various stages, does that indicate a loss of direction, or maybe that they just didn't make as good a film as you'd hope?

Incidentally, from where I'm sitting, framing 'No Country for Old Men' as a rehash of 'Blood Simple' is a gross oversimplification, no less so than saying 'Fargo' is basically "Blood Simple Minnesota."

Also, other than 'O Brother Where Art Thou' (which I really liked) and 'Intolerable Cruelty' (which I find amusing, if subpar on the Coen scale), your star ratings for the Coen films match mine, so I'm not meaning to take potshots. I just think you're being incredibly cynical in your view of 'No Country for Old Men.'


Thu Apr 09, 2009 3:35 pm
Post Re: Coens.
Quote:
Also, other than 'O Brother Where Art Thou' (which I really liked) and 'Intolerable Cruelty' (which I find amusing, if subpar on the Coen scale), your star ratings for the Coen films match mine . . .


Actually, looking back at your post, I don't think I'd give 'Fargo' the same love as 'Miller's Crossing' and 'The Big Lebowski.' I still think it's an excellent film, but I think the other two are better. I'd rate 'Fargo' with 'Blood Simple' just below those two.

Quibbling, really . . .


Thu Apr 09, 2009 3:44 pm
Post Re: Coens.
HomerJ wrote:
I'm surprised at the relative lack of love for Raising Arizona, which is probably my favorite Coen brothers film.


Most of my local film buddies feel the same way, and they're always trying to convert me.

My main problem with it is Nicholas Cage, who drives me crazy. It's a personal thing, although I know I'm not alone.

'Moonstruck' managed to make his, um, acting style and (to me) conspicuous diction an asset rather than a red flag, at least enough that he didn't really bother me. I'm sure others will see it differently, but everything else he's done has been ruined for me by the mere fact of his speaking.

I s'pose 'Valley Girl' is an exception too. Guilty pleasure flick, that . . .


Thu Apr 09, 2009 3:55 pm
Post Re: Coens.
I've never seen a Coen brothers film I haven't liked. The Big Lebowski is far and away my favorite movie, and Miller's Crossing, Fargo, and No Country are near-perfect. Ladykillers and Intolerable Cruelty were a bit underwhelming but they still each had some great dialogue at times. All of their movies have amazing attention to detail and their editing and sound mixing are flawless.

And Tuco, I agree - "adapting a book" does not equal "running out of ideas".

Anyways, I'm really looking forward to A Serious Man this fall. A Coen brothers black comedy? Yes please. As for their upcoming remake of True Grit, it'll be interesting...


Thu Apr 09, 2009 5:03 pm
Post Re: Coens.
Tuco, I agree that Nic Cage isn't for everybody. I just feel that his diction and acting style worked as an asset in Raising Arizona: his offbeat, uneducated, trailer park style fit perfectly with the character of H.I. What doesn't always work in his action movies seemed to fit right in with all of the weirdness of Raising Arizona.

And I have to agree: just because a movie is based on a book, doesn't mean someone was out of ideas. I loved McCarthy's No Country For Old Men, and was glad it was made into a movie, ecstatic that it was done by the Coen bros. But I don't think that is any indication that a director is grabbing at straws. Was Ridley Scott out of ideas to make Blade Runner? Or Spielberg with Catch Me If You Can? I'm sure you guys can come up with better examples, but you get the idea...


Thu Apr 09, 2009 5:49 pm
Post Re: Coens.
HomerJ wrote:
Tuco, I agree that Nic Cage isn't for everybody. I just feel that his diction and acting style worked as an asset in Raising Arizona: his offbeat, uneducated, trailer park style fit perfectly with the character of H.I. What doesn't always work in his action movies seemed to fit right in with all of the weirdness of Raising Arizona.


Yeah, that makes sense, and I can't say I disagree, except . . . I just can't get past it. It's my loss because it's a fun flick otherwise, but he's like fingernails on a chalkboard for me.


Thu Apr 09, 2009 7:56 pm
Post Re: Coens.
HomerJ wrote:

And I have to agree: just because a movie is based on a book, doesn't mean someone was out of ideas. I loved McCarthy's No Country For Old Men, and was glad it was made into a movie, ecstatic that it was done by the Coen bros. But I don't think that is any indication that a director is grabbing at straws. Was Ridley Scott out of ideas to make Blade Runner? Or Spielberg with Catch Me If You Can? I'm sure you guys can come up with better examples, but you get the idea...


It doesn't indicate a lack of ideas but for some viewers, maybe just me and the one they call wisey, it isn't as impressive as an original screenplay being produced and coming off every bit as exceptional. It always struck me that the challenge in adapting a book wasn't as great as penning an original script. There are exceptions and, after all, the movie has to be told in a way far different than the book. But No Country For Old Men is a good example of sticking so close to the original source that the Coens could have done it with their hands behind their backs. This is to say nothing of the quality of the movie but... I don't know, their original work is more impressive.


Fri Apr 10, 2009 12:26 am
Post Re: Coens.
majoraphasia wrote:
HomerJ wrote:

And I have to agree: just because a movie is based on a book, doesn't mean someone was out of ideas. I loved McCarthy's No Country For Old Men, and was glad it was made into a movie, ecstatic that it was done by the Coen bros. But I don't think that is any indication that a director is grabbing at straws. Was Ridley Scott out of ideas to make Blade Runner? Or Spielberg with Catch Me If You Can? I'm sure you guys can come up with better examples, but you get the idea...


It doesn't indicate a lack of ideas but for some viewers, maybe just me and the one they call wisey, it isn't as impressive as an original screenplay being produced and coming off every bit as exceptional. It always struck me that the challenge in adapting a book wasn't as great as penning an original script. There are exceptions and, after all, the movie has to be told in a way far different than the book. But No Country For Old Men is a good example of sticking so close to the original source that the Coens could have done it with their hands behind their backs. This is to say nothing of the quality of the movie but... I don't know, their original work is more impressive.


I disagree on this. Particularly the direction in No Country for Old Men is fantastic, not so much in regard of what is shown on screen but how it is shown on screen.


Fri Apr 10, 2009 5:58 am
Post Re: Coens.
Unke wrote:
majoraphasia wrote:
HomerJ wrote:

And I have to agree: just because a movie is based on a book, doesn't mean someone was out of ideas. I loved McCarthy's No Country For Old Men, and was glad it was made into a movie, ecstatic that it was done by the Coen bros. But I don't think that is any indication that a director is grabbing at straws. Was Ridley Scott out of ideas to make Blade Runner? Or Spielberg with Catch Me If You Can? I'm sure you guys can come up with better examples, but you get the idea...


It doesn't indicate a lack of ideas but for some viewers, maybe just me and the one they call wisey, it isn't as impressive as an original screenplay being produced and coming off every bit as exceptional. It always struck me that the challenge in adapting a book wasn't as great as penning an original script. There are exceptions and, after all, the movie has to be told in a way far different than the book. But No Country For Old Men is a good example of sticking so close to the original source that the Coens could have done it with their hands behind their backs. This is to say nothing of the quality of the movie but... I don't know, their original work is more impressive.


I disagree on this. Particularly the direction in No Country for Old Men is fantastic, not so much in regard of what is shown on screen but how it is shown on screen.


I'm with Unke. They played with how the viewer conventionally watches movies with 'No Country for Old Men'. I think that's why so many people had problems with it. The Coens challenged the viewer to think about what happened and not just have everything spelled out for them. Some people were very confused by this and chalked it up to the Coens making poor choices.

There is a zero percent chance adapting a book means a director is out of ideas. That's just flat out untrue. By that logic a director is also out of ideas when they use a screenplay they didn't write. These things happen all the time and quality movies are still made. Maybe it is more impressive when someone can write and direct, but a great movie is a great movie regardless of whether the director also wrote the script.


Fri Apr 10, 2009 9:39 am
Post Re: Coens.
PeachyPete wrote:
There is a zero percent chance adapting a book means a director is out of ideas. That's just flat out untrue. By that logic a director is also out of ideas when they use a screenplay they didn't write. These things happen all the time and quality movies are still made. Maybe it is more impressive when someone can write and direct, but a great movie is a great movie regardless of whether the director also wrote the script.


Bingo.


Fri Apr 10, 2009 12:23 pm
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 85 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1, 2, 3, 4, 5  Next


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Google Adsense [Bot], MGamesCook, Pedro, Yahoo [Bot] and 7 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group.
Designed by Vjacheslav Trushkin for Free Forum/DivisionCore.
Translated by Xaphos © 2007, 2008, 2009 phpBB.fr