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Any fans of the Coen Bros.?


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Hey there, Movieman -- I can't say I am a particular fan of the Coen Brothers. Some

of what I know of their work isn't quite my cup of tea.

 

Say what?! Call it. :)

 

I did stumble across "No Country For Old Men" last week and found it strangely

compelling and just strange, which I guess might be standard for them.

 

It's now my favorite Coen film. I just love it.

 

First rate casting. I'll give them that. From Tommy Lee Jones to the overly creepy

Javier Bardem to a wonderful little cameo from Barry Corbin it is a great list of actors.

 

You are right about that. Most Coen films are cast well and this is one of their best.

 

A simple enough story well flsehed out but along the way some things fall too easily. This

was primarily in Harrelson's part.

 

How do mean? Are you saying Carson Wells (Woody Harrelson) is too slick and much

too wise?

 

And the ending is a little weird for my taste but an interesting film.

 

NO COUNTRY FOR SPOILERS

 

Are you speaking of what happens to Chigurh (Javier Bardem) or are you talking about Sheriff

Bell's (Tommy Lee Jones) dream about death and the fade to black?

 

nocountryforoldmen2.jpg

 

nocountryforoldmen1.jpg

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Funny this subject was brought up....my siblings & Mom watched the Big Lebowski over Mother's Day weekend. My Mom loves Fargo and we wanted to show her another Coen Bros film.

 

I warned my Mom the language was going to be just awful, but pay attention to what the charactors say (otherwise) and their demeaner, not so much the plot. I realized this is typical for the Bros....they definitely concentrate on creating interesting, off beat charactors as well as clever cinematography for visual appeal.

 

When my brother & I started listing Coen Bros films, the list was surprisingly long for "new young" filmmakers. And I've seen every one of them at the theater, then repeated DVD viewings later.

Their story lines seem to be very similar (crime or caper gone wrong) with more emphasis on "style", "setting" and "people" than tight story telling.

 

And you know what? I kind of like that. I like that they have stories they want to tell and they tell it in their own way. Confusing? Always. Too much to digest in one viewing? Yes, for me but I'm not always the sharpest tack.

I really object to the violence and language, but they offer several strengths as well. They almost always pay strong homage to classic films, you just know they have a strong knowledge and love of film.

 

I didn't like Miller's Crossing, (too violent) but boy, I'm sure glad they made it. I know several people who just love the few Coen Bros films I don't, and there are several I love that others don't. It's great when a film creates discussion, wide opinions and points of view.

 

The Coen brothers just seem to be an island of creative artistry in a sea of testosterone laden cash grabs for the latest remake/series blockbuster.

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> {quote:title=TikiSoo wrote:}{quote}

> Funny this subject was brought up....my siblings & Mom watched the Big Lebowski over Mother's Day weekend. My Mom loves Fargo and we wanted to show her another Coen Bros film.

 

To me the funny thing is that I've never really gotten why The Big Lebowski became such a cult hit. I enjoy it about as much as most Coen Bros. movies, but to me it doesn't stand out above the rest. If The Hudsucker Proxy had become the one big cult hit, it would be easier for me to understand.

 

> And you know what? I kind of like that. I like that they have stories they want to tell and they tell it in their own way. Confusing? Always. Too much to digest in one viewing? Yes, for me but I'm not always the sharpest tack.

> I really object to the violence and language, but they offer several strengths as well. They almost always pay strong homage to classic films, you just know they have a strong knowledge and love of film.

 

That's one good way to put it. I like it very much when I catch (or think I am catching) references to classic films in their movies.

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Good day Sir Francis:

 

Here I am again. I'm tired of typing this and I'm sure I will forget some of what I was trying to say on Wednesday, but here goes. (I saved it and it didn't save all of it.)

 

*SPOILERS*

 

In Harrelson's part of the film things just seemed to fall into place a little too easy. Mostly the part on seeing exactly where the case was thrown. And it seemed easy for for Bardem to find Harrelson. I'm sure I missed something.

 

The end part had to do with a couple of things. The Mexican gang showed up out of nowhere. Brolin's quick exit. Bardem's visit with the wife (Macdonald) was odd since it seems he had no reason to see her. As far as Jones goes he came to the right decision in retiring but I'm not sure his heart was in it.

 

As long as it has taken me to get this on here I should have been able to watch it again but life gets in the way. It is OnDemand so I will be seeing it again soon. Not much of a discussion but like I said I have forgotten some of what I wanted to say.

 

We'll come back to this.

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> {quote:title=HollywoodGolightly wrote:}{quote}

> To me the funny thing is that I've never really gotten why The Big Lebowski became such a cult hit.

 

I think it has to do with the idea the Dude is a stoner & slacker, yet reacts coolly with wit to everything thrown his way. (it really tied the room together) He is the most logical and reasonable of all the charactors, yet on the surface appears to be a loser.

All us underachievers wish we could be so cool.

 

And by making "confusing" films, repeated viewings bring to light little gems in the dialogue missed the first time around, like "the Dude abides". Very much along the same lines as Terry Gilliam and his gerbil wheel.

 

And the bright colorful setting of the bowling alley and fanciful "dream sequences" that balance out the brown untidyness & squalor of the Dude's clothing and lifestyle is quite appealing.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hola, Movieman -- I apologize for my tardy reply but, uh, well, you know. :)

 

NO COUNTRY FOR SPOILERS

 

Before I attempt to provide you with some opinions for your comments about

No Country for Old Men, I want to say what I think the film is about. I believe the

"moral of the story" is:

 

For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have

wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.

 

Wherever there is money, there is going to be trouble. And the dirtier the money, the dirtier the

game.

 

It takes young men to fight this battle, for they have less to lose in this world. The older you

get, the more you think about your own mortality.

 

nocountryforoldmen4.jpg

 

nocountryforoldmen3.jpg

 

nocountryforoldmen5.jpg

 

In Harrelson's part of the film things just seemed to fall into place a little too easy. Mostly

the part on seeing exactly where the case was thrown. And it seemed easy for for Bardem

to find Harrelson. I'm sure I missed something.

 

I take Carson Wells' (Woody Harrelson) scenes as an example of shady weakness. He

may be smart enough to track someone like Chigurh (Javier Bardem), but he's nowhere near

as smart enough or tough enough to take him out. He's a fool. There are many

"Carson Wells" in this world, and many meet his fate.

 

The end part had to do with a couple of things. The Mexican gang showed up out of

nowhere.

 

They had the tracking device.

 

Brolin's quick exit.

 

I loved that. It wasn't dramatized, making it feel all the more real to me. His life and death

ended up being meaningless and senseless, like so many others who choose his path.

 

Bardem's visit with the wife (Macdonald) was odd since it seems he had no reason to

see her.

 

He was keeping a promise. But I believe the true reason why she is killed is to show us

that not only do those who choose to get their hands dirty risk a horrible end, but those

they love may also meet the same senseless fate. When you do something horrible, you

also harm those you love the most. Your dirt will land on them.

 

As far as Jones goes he came to the right decision in retiring but I'm not sure his heart

was in it.

 

He was definitely hurting. It's tough for a proud, strong man to "hang it up." There's more to

be done, but time is catching up.

 

I like the "nooses" in the background in this shot:

 

nocountryforoldmen7.jpg

 

nocountryforoldmen8.jpg

 

Those with the money will often be looking over their shoulder. "Tag. You're it."

 

nocountryforoldmen6.jpg

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Wow thanks for your "take" on NCFOM Frank. It makes me want to see it now.

 

Amazing just how many films the Brothers have made in 25+ years. And even though they are kind of hit & miss, they always seem to have something interesting to say and do it in a unique way. And because their films are so detailed, they almost demand repeated viewings.

 

Even though I dislike bloody violence and potty mouth language in film, I put up with it to see the otherwise unusual films of the Coen Brothers. I'm glad they're there and not making comic book or TV sitcom remakes like the rest of Hollywood.

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Thanks for the input.

 

_SPOILERS_

 

I knew there had been a device earlier but I missed that the Mexicans picked it up. I thought it had been disposed of.

 

Thanks for the caps with Barry Corbin. I have always enjoyed his work and here he gets one scene and he gets to play the wise old sage.

 

It needs another viewing.

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  • 8 months later...

Just a reminder, the Coen Bros.' latest, A Serious Man, is now out on DVD and blu-ray. Set in the Minnesota's Jewish community circa 1967, it may be in many ways one of their most personal films.

 

Obviously, a little bit of familiarity with Judaism and Yiddish will come in handy! ;)

 

Really worth watching.

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  • 1 month later...

Well, I'm 61, and I think they make great films. I like most everything they have done. They are very versatile - from neo-noir like *Blood Simple* to outrageous comedy like *Raising Arizona*. Haven't seen *A Serious Man* yet, but I will..

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> {quote:title=HollywoodGolightly wrote:}{quote}

> Just a reminder, the Coen Bros.' latest, A Serious Man, is now out on DVD and blu-ray. Set in the Minnesota's Jewish community circa 1967, it may be in many ways one of their most personal films.

>

> Obviously, a little bit of familiarity with Judaism and Yiddish will come in handy! ;)

>

> Really worth watching.

 

Very odd film. When it ended, I looked at my sister and we both said, "Whaaaat? That's the ending?" Then later, after some thought, I remembered my 18 years of Sunday School and the story of Job and suddenly (Ahhh!) the lights came on and I got it. LOL

VERY funny film, especially the stoned Bar Mitzvah (makes me wonder what condidtion the Coens were in for theirs!) and the rabbi sequences. ("Just...look at that parking lot!")

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  • 5 years later...

RAISING ARIZONA

NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN

FARGO

BLOOD SIMPLE

THE BIG LEBOWSKI

THE MAN WHO WASN'T THERE

BARTON FINK

MILLER'S CROSSING

O BROTHER WHERE ART THOU

A SERIOUS MAN

BURN AFTER READING

INSIDE LLEWYN DAVIS

TRUE GRIT

THE HUDSUCKER PROXY

THE LADYKILLERS

INTOLERABLE CRUELTY

 

 

There's my ranking.

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  • 1 month later...
I'm a fan, but I've only seen a handful of their works:

 

Raising Arizona (1987)

The Hudsucker Proxy (1994)

Fargo (1996)

No Country for Old Men (2007) [have only seen about 30 min in the middle]

Darkman (1990) [the brothers did uncredited script work]

 

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I really want to see Hail, Caesar! it looks funny. 

 

I really liked O Brother Where Art Thou? 

 

I was looking through their films and I was surprised how I've apparently missed seeing many of their films.  While perusing the plotlines of each film, I noticed that many pay homage to some aspect of the Golden Age of cinema.  

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I've seen almost none of their films. But the two that I did see, Fargo and No Country for Old Men, both impressed me very much.

 

I enjoyed the quirkiness of Fargo and the film's ability to adroitly mix humour in with some spectacularly dire activities. No Country is simply a great suspense ride even though, once again, the film has violence (but, at least, it doesn't revel in it).

 

The acting in both films seems pretty well flawless to me, but Javier Bardem in the latter film is particularly haunting, repulsively so.

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I love the Coen brothers. There are very few movies they've made that I don't have a have a very high opinion of.  (It's ok to end a sentence with "of".)

The only exception I can think of is the failed attempt at a semi-old-school screwball rom-com, Intolerable Cruelty. 

Everything else I've seen by them (which is most, but not all, of their canon), I think is great - unusual, funny, thought-provoking, beautifully made.

 

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Just returned from seeing HAIL, CAESAR, and yes, I dare say anyone who frequents this website because of their passion for classic film will most definitely appreciate this send-up of the postwar Hollywood studio system, and will probably end up laughing throughout the movie as much as I did.

 

What is especially exceptional is that just as in the movies of old, even every bit part is played to the hilt by the entire ensemble cast.

 

(...Loved it and highly recommended...especially as I said, to you folks around here)

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Just returned from seeing HAIL, CAESAR, and yes, I dare say anyone who frequents this website because of their passion for classic film will most definitely appreciate this send-up of the postwar Hollywood studio system, and will probably end up laughing throughout the movie as much as I did.

 

What is especially exceptional is that just as in the movies of old, even every bit part is played to the hilt by the entire ensemble cast.

 

(...Loved it and highly recommended...especially as I said, to you folks around here)

 

Thanks for the review, Dargo. Sounds like it's fun.

 

But please tell me that Javier Bardem doesn't appear in it, maybe a return appearance as the same character he had played in a previous Cohn Brothers film a few years ago. Could put a damper on the party.

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Thanks for the review, Dargo. Sounds like it's fun.

 

But please tell me that Javier Bardem doesn't appear in it, maybe a return appearance as the same character he had played in a previous Cohn Brothers film a few years ago. Could put a damper on the party.

 

LOL

 

Nope Tom, thankfully for you, Javier isn't in this one. But I gotta say his prey in the earlier Coen Bros' picture you referenced, Josh Brolin, is excellent again as the central character in this film, the studio head. 

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LOL

 

Nope Tom, thankfully for you, Javier isn't in this one. But I gotta say his prey in the earlier Coen Bros' picture you referenced, Josh Brolin, is excellent again as the central character in this film, the studio head. 

 

Yes, Dargo, I read that Brolin's Eddie Mannix is based on the real Eddie Mannix, but this is not an historical portrait of same. The Cohns primarily kept the name because they simply liked it and even though he's a studio "fixer" is their film, too (or is he a studio head who acts like a fixer?), as he was in real life, he's still largely a Cohn invention.

 

Nice to see Josh Brolin reunited with the Cohns once again since he was outstanding in their previous effort together.

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