Posts Tagged ‘No Country for Old Men’

A Serious Man: But Seriously …

December 15, 2009

A Serious Man is not a nice movie. Like both No Country for Old Men or Burn After Reading, it’s a film where the pieces don’t quite add up. You could compare it to Michael Haneke’s The White Ribbon, except the Coen Brothers are less interested in sifting through history than grappling with the eternal mysteries. Man depicts a kind of war against God, a war which is always going to be one-sided. As the protagonist Larry Gopnik (Michael Stuhlbarg) puts it at one point, why does God give man so many questions if He’s not going to provide any answers?

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Away We Go … to the Edinburgh Film Festival!

April 15, 2009

Away We Go has a trailer, and the 2009 Edinburgh International Film Festival has an opening film. In a happy coincidence, that opening film is Away We Go.

Sam Mendes‘ follow-up to Revolutionary Road has been attracting plenty of notice because a) it won’t be as heavy going as Revolutionary Road and b) it’s written by husband and wife Dave Eggers and Vendela Vida. The film is a road movie, with couple John Krasinski and Maya Rudolph trying to find some place to raise their first-born, and discovering a little bit of America on the way.

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The Coen Brothers Get Their Grit

March 23, 2009

true-gritThe Coen Brothers‘ career is nothing if not Quixotic. If anyone had mentioned getting them to do a remake of the Ealing comedy classic The Ladykillers, the response would have been “…” In fact, the response was “…” A similar reaction might await the news that they’re remaking a John Wayne film. Undaunted, the odd couple have made another odd pairing. Following their next adaptation, The Yiddish Policemen’s Union, the writer-directors are tackling an adaptation of Charles Portis‘s True Grit, the novel which in 1969 was made into an Oscar-winning film with the Duke.
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Hollywood 1, DVD 0

March 23, 2009

dvdHere’s all the news that fit to print: The DVD market is in the tank. Blockbuster is currently growing at a snails pace. And all the studios hate Netflix. So the New York Times is reporting that the studios are going back to what they think they know best: making films that will actually turn a profit at the box office.

Brooks Barnes aligns the statistics. Ticket sales are up 14% for 2009. (Watchmen not withstanding.) Sales for new-release DVDs, on the other hand, are down 40%. The reasons are myriad: a movie is still considered a cheap night out, there are simply too many DVDs out there (Howard the Duck just hit stores, accompanied by the sound of a barrel being scraped) and most of youse is downloading films from t’Internet. The result: studios have lost that retail safety net, or what one producer calls the “downside protection.”

iron-man1The new strategy is getting bums on seats, which may account for the absolute traffic jam of big tentpoles being released in 2010. Among them are Tim Burton‘s Alice in Wonderland, Jon Favreau‘s Iron Man 2, Christopher Nolan‘s Inception, Prince of Persia: Sands of Time, Toy Story 3, Eclipse, Thor, Green Lantern and a Harry Potter installment. As of this reckoning, we’ll see . Barnes also elegantly sums up the bigger picture:

“In addition to big “tent pole” blockbusters, that means movies that are fun to watch in groups: at least 10 musicals are in full-steam-ahead development, including a remake of “My Fair Lady.” And it means more pictures that are pre-branded: “Monopoly” and “Candy Land,” the movies, are on the way. Most of all, it means a strong return by major studios to middle-of-the-road, genre pictures.”

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