Screened Out – Hail, Caesar!

By : Stephen Miller
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Josh Brolin, George Clooney, Alden Ehrenreich, Scarlett Johannsson, Jonah Hill, Francis McDormand, Ralph Fiennes, Channing Tatum, Jonah Hill

What a disappointment is Hail, Caesar! Re-imagining the life of famous Hollywood “fixer” Eddie Mannix as a saint is fine. Making a messy movie seems a sin for a man who was known for cleaning up messes. Even with the homage to classic Hollywood, what a shambles!

Joel and Ethan Coen always shoot interesting projects (Fargo, The Big Lebowski, No Country for Old Men). They don’t always do successful ones. Hail, Caesar! is one of their low points. Clunky narration, long tangents, uneven scenes, and a lack of a drive damage this picture’s possibilities as a screwball comedy.

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Screened Out – Bridge of Spies

By : Stephen Miller
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Tom Hanks, Amy Ryan, Mark Rylance, Alan Alda, Billy Magnussen, Austin Stowell, Will Rogers

Steven Spielberg shows that Cold War espionage films can still be entertaining. In Bridge of Spies, Spielberg borrows from a true story, combining a John le Carre thriller with a Frank Capra courtroom drama. What he creates is a slightly imperfect, very American film that still is deeply gratifying.

In 1957, Rudolf Ivanovich Abel (Rylance) was arrested in New York City on charges of conspiracy and spying. A British-born Russian émigré, Abel served in the Soviet military before and during World War II. After the war, Abel began working for the KGB in the US; there is no doubt about this.

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