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OMG, Sepia!

 

I love Weegee too, but I am not a photographer so shall defer to you in that area of expertise.

 

I just like his work as an amateur, and my favorite is the the photo of the two dowager queen women who I think are leaving a DAR meeting or something, which has the poor, street woman staring at them as they emerge in their evening wear.

 

I have seen the TZ episode you mention, but mostly because I watch all the marathons even though I own the complete boxed set that I've never opened though I've owned it for five years.

[/quote

 

I had bought the boxed set of TZ 3 or 4 years ago and haven't seem most of them. I was a young child first watching TZ in the early 60's. I had forgotten that great episode with Buster. You are right that the character actors make it even better. I just re-watched many episodes and returned to this one which I really liked.

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Hey, I just wanted to add a little something nearly related to the discussion of The Twilight Zone series. AS a child I really enjoyed the series and around the same time in the early 60's the wonderful One Step Beyond series aired. I recall enjoying many episodes and attempted to purchase the set. Right now only Season 1 of the series is officially released, which I purchased not long ago. It is excellent resolution. Earlier I acquired more episodes in different boxed sets; sometimes duplicating an episode but never getting the coveted episodes from Season 3, the final year of the Series. I finally bought the entire set from a fellow movie lover for $50. So this includes all 96 episodes. It looks pretty good, but the ones I wanted are dark and kind of blurry. Anyway, it was a great series I enjoyed watching with my parents and big sister in the early 60's. These are from real events and the first episode is spine chilling and based on a woman's nightmares and fear of traveling on the Titanic. Others include a schoolteacher suddenly writing in a strange language on the blackboard in front of her adult class one night. One of my favorite episodes revolves around an eleven year old ballerina fearful of entering the ballroom at her home. She is convinced that the gorgeous chandelier will fall on her one day. She is suddenly tormented by dreams of the chandelier crystals colliding and falling.... Her father and ballet teacher convince her that her fears were just nightmarish fancies. Suddenly.. Many years later Lisa remembers the nightmares vividly when suddenly she hears the sound of the crystals loudly colliding with one another...

William Shatner, Joan Fontaine, Robert Redford and Warren Beatty are some of the eminent guest stars of the series.

The host of the series was the great John Newland whose sincerity and magnetic voice enhanced every episode as he introduced them.

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Hey, I just wanted to add a little something nearly related to the discussion of The Twilight Zone series. AS a child I really enjoyed the series and around the same time in the early 60's the wonderful One Step Beyond series aired. I recall enjoying many episodes and attempted to purchase the set. Right now only Season 1 of the series is officially released, which I purchased not long ago. It is excellent resolution. Earlier I acquired more episodes in different boxed sets; sometimes duplicating an episode but never getting the coveted episodes from Season 3, the final year of the Series. I finally bought the entire set from a fellow movie lover for $50. So this includes all 96 episodes. It looks pretty good, but the ones I wanted are dark and kind of blurry. Anyway, it was a great series I enjoyed watching with my parents and big sister in the early 60's. These are from real events and the first episode is spine chilling and based on a woman's nightmares and fear of traveling on the Titanic. Others include a schoolteacher suddenly writing in a strange language on the blackboard in front of her adult class one night. One of my favorite episodes revolves around an eleven year old ballerina fearful of entering the ballroom at her home. She is convinced that the gorgeous chandelier will fall on her one day. She is suddenly tormented by dreams of the chandelier crystals colliding and falling.... Her father and ballet teacher convince her that her fears were just nightmarish fancies. Suddenly.. Many years later Lisa remembers the nightmares vividly when suddenly she hears the sound of the crystals loudly colliding with one another...

William Shatner, Joan Fontaine, Robert Redford and Warren Beatty are some of the eminent guest stars of the series.

The host of the series was the great John Newland whose sincerity and magnetic voice enhanced every episode as he introduced them.

 

I watched One Step Beyond a few times back in the 60's and 70's, but never really followed it as a fan. So, I don't remember any of them.

 

Except one.

 

1959 - I'd just turned 9 years old and I went up to see my grandparents one evening - they lived upstairs in a 2nd floor apartment of our house. They were watching a show and within a few minutes the eeriness of what they were watching started to creep me out. It's the only episode I remember because of that feeling I got. It was about a stain on the wall that everyday began to look more and more like a woman's face - eventually driving the house occupants into hysterics.

 

Thanks to IMDb, I now know that episode was called 'Image of Death'.

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The Public Eye (1992) Sleuthing Shutterbug

 

Thanks for that mention, Joe. Never heard of the movie...but like the subject matter!

 

...along with his greedy partner (Walter Slezak)

 

With a name like that....what other type of role can you give the guy?

 

EricJ said: The Coens' hostility toward...basically everything tends to be a bit more than the average Simpsons episode and almost as subtle

 

Fun-nee.

I too find the Coen Bros movies rather hit-and-miss. Some are WAY too violent while the brothers themselves self-congratulatory & snide.

But I at least appreciate their "try" and catch their movies when they reach the library. At LEAST they're not trying to make epics (like Cameron) or dumb super-hero movies. And despite the content, they do have good filmmaking/story telling skills.

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EricJ said: The Coens' hostility toward...basically everything tends to be a bit more than the average Simpsons episode and almost as subtle

 

Fun-nee.

I too find the Coen Bros movies rather hit-and-miss. Some are WAY too violent while the brothers themselves self-congratulatory & snide.

But I at least appreciate their "try" and catch their movies when they reach the library. At LEAST they're not trying to make epics (like Cameron) or dumb super-hero movies. And despite the content, they do have good filmmaking/story telling skills.

 

In the big comic end of Barton Fink, Fink is in a big fight at some club, says "But I'm a writer!" and immediately gets punched in the mouth.

In the end of Hail Caesar, George Clooney cluelessly spouts all the Hollywood-communism propaganda he heard from the Ten's secret meeting ("And they got this book, it's like our own Capitol Studios, only with a K!"), and the Josh Brolin studio head literally ****-slaps him back to work.

 

Erm, call me interpreting it too much, but I think we're seeing some sort of secret fantasy the Coens harbor toward the days of "vintage studio Hollywood", now that they're Bold Independent Filmmakers.

On that point, J&E, we shall have to agree to disagree, as also to who in the film industry truly deserves to be punched in the mouth and ****-slapped.

Edited by TCMModerator1
Edited for Language

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The Twilight Zone episode that creeped me out the most as a child was the one about Marsha. The woman who goes into a department store and turns back into a store dummy since it was another dummy's turn to go out into the world as a real being.

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The Twilight Zone episode that creeped me out the most as a child was the one about Marsha. The woman who goes into a department store and turns back into a store dummy since it was another dummy's turn to go out into the world as a real being.

 

I believe this episode featured Anne Francis. 

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I believe this episode featured Ann Francis. 

 

"Anne" Francis, James..."Anne" Francis.

 

(...although I suppose yet another case could be made here about superfluous letters being used in the spelling of it, huh) ;)

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The Twilight Zone episode that creeped me out the most as a child was the one about Marsha.

 

My attic is the smoking area during parties and is populated with mannequins. (I was a visual merchandiser early in my career) 

Around the table & chairs are 3 complete females, 1 child, several torsos, 2 sets of legs & at least 8 arms hanging from the rafters above.

 

People ALWAYS mention "Marsha" their first visit.

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I can't really think of ANY TZ episode that "creeped me out".  I only just thought they were "cool".

 

Of course, since first seeing that "mannequin" episode, I never looked at them the same whenever I went into SEARS or HUDSON'S after that! ;)

 

My brother, after the divorce from his first and only wife, and while over my place watching a rerun of that episode one day, said, "My EX was pretty much like a mannequin in bed.  I wonder if THAT'S where Serling got the idea?"  :D

 

 

Sepiatone

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The Twilight Zone episode that creeped me out the most as a child was the one about Marsha.

 

My attic is the smoking area during parties and is populated with mannequins. (I was a visual merchandiser early in my career) 

Around the table & chairs are 3 complete females, 1 child, several torsos, 2 sets of legs & at least 8 arms hanging from the rafters above.

 

People ALWAYS mention "Marsha" their first visit.

 

Tiki, baby, those manniquins must come in handy at Hallowe'en.

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The Twilight Zone episode that creeped me out the most as a child was the one about Marsha.

 

My attic is the smoking area during parties and is populated with mannequins. (I was a visual merchandiser early in my career) 

Around the table & chairs are 3 complete females, 1 child, several torsos, 2 sets of legs & at least 8 arms hanging from the rafters above.

 

People ALWAYS mention "Marsha" their first visit.

I'm surprised they don't mention Stanley Kubrick's Killer's Kiss

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I'm surprised they don't mention Stanley Kubrick's Killer's Kiss

 

Right ! I love that movie-- one of two ventures into noir that Kubrick did (the other being The Killing.) Love 'em both.

And that mannequin scene in Killer's Kiss is just fantastic.

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Have to admit, between this, The Misfits and Don't Bother to Knock, I prefer the roles where Marilyn was trying to stretch and play against type, for more downtrodden/bad girls.  She really couldn't quite yet, but she makes a good effort of trying, and most of movie fans' support for her consists of sticking up for her ambitions.

 

-----

As for my Just Watched--probably too new to be in the category, but still TCM-related--I happened to be wandering through the public library while the monthly film-screening was showing the Coen Bros. Hail Caesar (2016), the pseudo-sequel to "Barton Fink" where the Bros. try to impress us with how much more 30's-40's Hollywood lore they "know" and we don't (they think).  Okay, maybe third in the trilogy if you count "O Brother Where Art Thou" as "We've seen Sullivan's Travels, get it, get it?"   :rolleyes:

As you can tell, I don't particularly worship the Coens just because they had one movie that got an Oscar, one that should've, and one that parodied stoners too stoned to know they were being made fun of, and I tend to think of them more as obnoxious jackasses too much in love with their own cleverness by half--But it was free, I serendipically happened to be there in time, and I always try to support the local library.

 

The movie was supposed to be parodies of 40's Hollywood studios, but when we see "wacky" parodies of the movies being made--a Gene Kelly sailor-suit musical (and it looks ambiguously homoerotic, get it, get it?), an Esther-Williams-dives-into-the-pool musical, and the main plot about crass George Clooney as the Roman soldier in a biblical epic--I was sitting there thinking "Who even TELLS these jokes anymore in 2016?  It's not 1975, and this isn't the Carol Burnett Show!"  (And I apologize to Ms. Burnett and her writers, who actually did know their movies.)

Between the other thirdhand Hollywood myth/anachronisms being thrown about--so Republic did singing-cowboy westerns in widescreen Technicolor in 1946?...That's enlightening--I sat there realizing, these are exactly the sort of deconstructive "mythologizing" we used to do of Old Hollywood forty years ago, back when we didn't have the same intimacy of knowing one old movie apart from another, nobody watched them to begin with, and we sneered shame and abuse on them for not being cynical enough in the 70's of Watergate and Taxi Driver.  The Coens' hostility toward...basically everything tends to be a bit more than the average Simpsons episode and almost as subtle, but listening to Joel & Ethan talk about 40's movies, the Hollywood Ten communist screenwriters, or the 30's depression in general is like listening to an atheist preaching to the choir:  Loud, uninformed, and chuckling over his own jokes we've heard twenty times just because he thought he was the first.

 

I was tempted to do an entire guest Movie Morlocks blog post on the issue ("Why should we watch somebody else's badly-remembered thirdhand gag about 'old movies', when I was on the same library floor as the DVD shelf, and could take home a real copy of Anchors Aweigh, Million Dollar Mermaid or Ben-Hur to watch instead?"), but figured someone else had done a blog post on the Bros.' "bold genius" by now, and the idea of changing movie-literacy between then and now seemed more like the stuff for my own blog.

Had to vent, though.

 

I wish I had more time to address all the points in the above post, but I don't right now, so all I'll say is, every time I read a criticism here of the Coen brothers I feel compelled to leap to their defence. I love them, I think they're amongst a small handful of intelligent movie makers alive today, and I've never understood people's dislike for them.

You should be happy that there are films made today that allude to these old movies, that there are smart creative funny filmmakers who know and love those old movies as we do. And that they assume there are people like us out there who will get those references.

 

If you watch their movies carefully, I think you'll find that they're not "snide", really. They are funny and often compassionate (but not in an obvious sentimental way.)

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293, I though Marilyn's voice artificially low in RONR, as if quite deliberately trying to shed the higher girlish note that was a part of that persona she felt she needed to shed; the ditzy, sexy, blonde with a breathy voice. That would not have been appropriate for the movie but I still found her voice distracting.

Laffite, I believe that Marilyn was under the influence of her (nutso) vocal coach at the time of River of No Return and is slightly exaggerating her diction, as the coach wanted. I find this distracting, too.

 

She has a more normal voice in Bus Stop, which makes it clearer that the breathy, little girl voice was just an act. I'll admit that I only like little girl voices from actual little girls.

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You should be happy that there are films made today that allude to these old movies, that there are smart creative funny filmmakers who know and love those old movies as we do. And that they assume there are people like us out there who will get those references.

 

If you watch their movies carefully, I think you'll find that they're not "snide", really. They are funny and often compassionate (but not in an obvious sentimental way.)

 

I really should do the blog post, even on my own--It's not a "love" of old movies, unless it's in whatever gray areas the Coens' have a pretty darned strange way of showing it.

In the old days when we didn't watch old movies (this would have been around the 70's, just before and after "That's Entertainment" and the shutting down of MGM made us more conscious of the "old Late Show movie days", unquote, but after the Nixon-era malaise had started a film trend for movies about 30's Depression hustlers and 40's sentimentality), we were curious about what old movies were like, but we didn't know one from another, and still tried to remain hip about them:  

"Old movies" didn't belong to our modern troubled 70's, since everyone knew all those black-and-white movies were just about tough-talking gangsters who didn't swear, squeaky-clean cowboys in white hats, lots of rich people drinking champagne in NY penthouses, French revolution epics with big wigs, and musicals where Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers danced because they were happy, and then dancers in pools made patterns with their legs.  

And I've just named three or the parodies the Coens gave us.  Nobody ever parodies Esther Williams unless they've got a chip on their shoulder.

 

If you've seen the "Story of Film" on Netflix, Mark Cousins refers to the mid-70's as the Deconstructionist era--Fascinated about what out-of-reach old movie genres would look like today, but trying to put them into cynical 70's sensibilities to prove how socially sophisticated we'd all become since then:  The Humphrey Bogart detective became Jack Nicholson in "Chinatown" and Elliot Gould in an Altman-LA "The Long Goodbye", the Roy Rogers Western would become the historical-grunge western of Robert Altman or Sam Peckinpah, the musical would become Pennies From Heaven or New York, New York.  

It wasn't until we all got VCR's that we were able to start looking at these films on our own terms (and not having to stay up for "the Late Show", or at least taping it when we were) that these movies stopped being symbols of How Naive and Socially Emasculated Our Parents Were, or How Studio-Mogul Hollywood Was the Opiate Of the Masses, and not telling us about the stars' drug problems and bed-hopping.  We started watching the actual movies--And all of a sudden Gene Kelly leaping onto the lamppost and singing in the rain was a movie with a name and a funny story we recognized, and not just some iconic straw-man symbol of force-fed 50's happiness.

 

And if the Coens watched other movies besides their own as much as they tell us they do, they might reach that point too.

But every joke in "Caesar" seems to be some semi-deconstructing Old Hollywood joke a high school or college kid just found out on a TCM documentary, and shows off to distance himself with by pointing out the "bad stuff" rather than admit he's gotten to like.  There's a wacky joke about the Louella Parsons vs. Hedda Hopper feud, a Latin star shows up and the characters joke about how she can "dance with bananas on her head" (well, how many other 40's Latin stars do you know?), there's mention of, oo, blacklisted screenwriters, and plenty of subplots about how the studio chief has to juggle stars' affairs and pregnancies out of the press.

Like showing us "Hey, we know about Clifford Odets and Louis B. Mayer!" in Barton Fink, the Coens want to love the few old movies they have seen, but they also want to prove to us they're 2 Hip 2 Love old movies.

 

(In the end, it's just their style that grates on me:  I must have counted three or four scenes where a character gets bad news, the camera suddenly turns to the character gaping like a deer in the headlights, and we hear a hawk or bird screech in the distance...It's like he squawked, get it?  Even one of those gags in a movie would be officially Snide.)

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I wish I had more time to address all the points in the above post, but I don't right now, so all I'll say is, every time I read a criticism here of the Coen brothers I feel compelled to leap to their defence. I love them, I think they're amongst a small handful of intelligent movie makers alive today, and I've never understood people's dislike for them.

 

Me neither.

 

They've made some great movies: Fargo, The Man Who Wasn't There, The Big Lebowski, True Grit, Raising Arizona.

 

Even their not-so-great movies are at least fun time-wasters. Brad Pitt's performance in 'Burn After Reading' alone is worth the price of admission - what a hoot.

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Eric:

 

Well, I have to grudgingly admire anyone who dislikes anything (like Coen brothers movies) that much and takes the time and effort to articulate why to the extent you just did.

I honestly appreciate your writing and the way you didn't just say "I don't like the Coen brothers, they think they're smart when they're dumb", but went to some length to explain what you regard as the whole background behind the kind of attitude you think the Coens have about movies, theirs' and the classic ones you think they're mocking ( in a superficial smug way.)

 

I still don't agree with you though. And I've read extensively about the Coens. They actually have watched a lot of old movies, and they actually do regard them with affection and respect.  

 

But since we're both fully convinced of our own distinct and individual opinions of this, there doesn't seem much point in continuing the argument.

 

I can't resist asking, though....have you see all their movies?

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There was a thread about Hail, Caesar! when it was released, in which I made a lengthy, positive post about the film, which I loved. I'm in diametric opposition to your opinions about the film, EricJ. The Coens aren't everyone's cup of tea. You're not going to get any sincerity or heart-on-your-sleeve emotions in their films, but you're going to get endless amounts of style, interesting visuals and quirky, often dark humor, which is plenty for me. I said in my previous post that I thought this film would be right up the alley of the typical TCM viewer with its dozens of allusions to stars, genres and history that's frequently discussed on the network. There's not really anything to compare it to, about how such material should be handled. Clearly you think it should be handled differently, but who else is making a film set in '30s-'50s Hollywood? Sorry that the very things I loved about the film were what you hated about it.

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I wish I had more time to address all the points in the above post, but I don't right now, so all I'll say is, every time I read a criticism here of the Coen brothers I feel compelled to leap to their defence. I love them, I think they're amongst a small handful of intelligent movie makers alive today, and I've never understood people's dislike for them.

You should be happy that there are films made today that allude to these old movies, that there are smart creative funny filmmakers who know and love those old movies as we do. And that they assume there are people like us out there who will get those references.

 

If you watch their movies carefully, I think you'll find that they're not "snide", really. They are funny and often compassionate (but not in an obvious sentimental way.)

 

What she said, only more. How's that for a deep response?

 

The Coens are among my favorite filmmakers out there, and I also don't get the negative reaction they illicit in so many people. I've found their movies to be funny, unique, idiosyncratic, well-shot, with great attention to detail, often containing some of the year's best performances, and leagues beyond the typical films released by Hollywood.

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If you've seen the "Story of Film" on Netflix, Mark Cousins refers to the mid-70's as the Deconstructionist era--Fascinated about what out-of-reach old movie genres would look like today, but trying to put them into cynical 70's sensibilities to prove how socially sophisticated we'd all become since then: The Humphrey Bogart detective became Jack Nicholson in "Chinatown" and Elliot Gould in an Altman-LA "The Long Goodbye", the Roy Rogers Western would become the historical-grunge western of Robert Altman or Sam Peckinpah, the musical would become Pennies From Heaven or New York, New York.

Did the guy in that series ever get his cup of coffee?

 

I found Cousins to be terribly pretentious when TCM showed The Story of Film a few years back. It was good to get the movies that accompanied the series, but the series itself wasn't very good. Cousins was doing what you accuse the Coens of doing already in the very first episode when he talked about focusing on the history of Hollywood as being "racist by omission".

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Did the guy in that series ever get his cup of coffee?

 

I found Cousins to be terribly pretentious when TCM showed The Story of Film a few years back. It was good to get the movies that accompanied the series, but the series itself wasn't very good. Cousins was doing what you accuse the Coens of doing already in the very first episode when he talked about focusing on the history of Hollywood as being "racist by omission".

 

 

Not only does Cousins dismiss all of studio Hollywood as "the factory making glamorous dreams"--while the camera shows a tin Christmas ornament hanging off the Hollywood sign, which...shatters! with the arrival of Bold World Filmmakers--and throws his punches by dissing Casablanca straight off the bat for being Too American, you could literally drinking-game the number of times in the entire series he says "While other studios were making Terminators and Hobbits..." (One sip, two sips if it's "Hobbits and Terminators").  And then he turns around in the last episode and praises Avatar for creating "an entire organic digital world".

 

But, er...he made a good point about the 70's, so I credit him for that one observation.  I remember wondering why there were so many "throwback" movies back then.  

And if you have HuluPlus, TSoF is also a good overview introduction to almost the entire Criterion Collection catalog, for those who don't know what to watch first.

 

miss wonderly

 

I can't resist asking, though....have you see all their movies?

 

I skip the more navel-gazing Festival ones like "A Serious Man", and stick to the ones where they're reigned in by some illusion of A-B plot.

They'll never get any better in their entire lives than the whole convience-store chase in "Raising Arizona", since that was fueled by an early pre-MIB Barry Sonnenfeld, but again, Barton Fink was more rib-nudging trivia-contempt for show, Blood Simple was back before Arizona when they were trying to impress Sundance with camera work, and if anything, the Gene Kelly parody in Caesar proves they should stick to musicals after O Brother, Where Art Thou.  They have a genius talent for that, at least.

 

It's only Oscar curiosity that put No Country or Fargo on my watch queue, and I've never seen Big Lebowski because, well, I'm sober and don't giggle with conspiratory cultdom at the merest 420 joke.  

(Which the Bros. treated about with about the same warmth and understanding as they treated Funny Minnesota Accents in Fargo, but try telling that to the movie's wishfully-isolated cult audience that quotes the Dude on every web .sig but has never seen any other Coen movie in their life.)

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And then he turns around in the last episode and praises Avatar for creating "an entire organic digital world".

He liked Dances with Smurfs?

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I skip the more navel-gazing Festival ones like "A Serious Man", and stick to the ones where they're reigned in by some illusion of A-B plot.

They'll never get any better in their entire lives than the whole convience-store chase in "Raising Arizona", since that was fueled by an early pre-MIB Barry Sonnenfeld, but again, Barton Fink was more rib-nudging trivia-contempt for show, Blood Simple was back before Arizona when they were trying to impress Sundance with camera work, and if anything, the Gene Kelly parody in Caesar proves they should stick to musicals after O Brother, Where Art Thou.  They have a genius talent for that, at least.

 

It's only Oscar curiosity that put No Country or Fargo on my watch queue, and I've never seen Big Lebowski because, well, I'm sober and don't giggle with conspiratory cultdom at the merest 420 joke.  

(Which the Bros. treated about with about the same warmth and understanding as they treated Funny Minnesota Accents in Fargo, but try telling that to the movie's wishfully-isolated cult audience that quotes the Dude on every web .sig but has never seen any other Coen movie in their life.)

 

Okay, now you're guilty of one my cinematic pet peeves: judging and dismissing films you haven't even seen. How do you "know" what they do in The Big Lebowski if you haven't even seen it? And anyone who thought that film was a string of "4:20" jokes either didn't watch it or fell asleep, because that's not what it is at all. 

 

As far as A Serious Man being a "navel-gazing Festival one", whatever the funk that means, again you're judging a movie you admittedly haven't seen. Are you basing these ideas on what you have read about these movies, instead of actually watching them? Yes, the film was less-multiplex friendly, but is that somehow a bad thing? 

 

If you saw a movie, or movies, by a particular filmmaker and didn't like them, and decide to not see more, that's fine. But passing critical judgment on films you haven't actually watched is silly at best.

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Okay, now you're guilty of one my cinematic pet peeves: judging and dismissing films you haven't even seen. How do you "know" what they do in The Big Lebowski if you haven't even seen it? And anyone who thought that film was a string of "4:20" jokes either didn't watch it or fell asleep, because that's not what it is at all. 

 

As far as A Serious Man being a "navel-gazing Festival one", whatever the funk that means, again you're judging a movie you admittedly haven't seen. Are you basing these ideas on what you have read about these movies, instead of actually watching them? Yes, the film was less-multiplex friendly, but is that somehow a bad thing? 

 

If you saw a movie, or movies, by a particular filmmaker and didn't like them, and decide to not see more, that's fine. But passing critical judgment on films you haven't actually watched is silly at best.

 

Often the people with the most outspoken "opinions" are those without any actual knowledge at all. Just look at Republicans if you don't believe me.

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