Joel and Ethan Coen (collectively known as the Coen Brothers) are two of the finest living filmmakers working today. Since the 1980s, these auteurs have made their mark on cinema history by supplying audiences with dark comedies and dramas that are not only entertaining but thought-provoking and very smart. Their style is unmatched by any other writer or director and they almost always hit the mark with expert detail and exquisite precision. From 1984’s Blood Simple up until 2013’s Inside Llewyn Davis, they definitely know what they’re doing and each film is brilliant evidence of that. Unfortunately however, their latest effort, the tongue-in-cheek period comedy Hail Caesar! doesn’t live up to the hype and is one of the Coen Brothers’ weaker efforts. It tries hard and does contain very humorous bits of comedy sprinkled throughout but is a lackluster film at best and not one the Coen Brothers’ better entries.
It isn’t very often a quality thriller comes along and blows audiences away. Thrillers are a tricky film genre to tackle but when it’s done right, it’s an absolute pleasure and a treat for the senses. The latest crime thriller Sicario is one such film and with a phenomenal cast, a visionary director a fantastic score, among other elements well in place, it is a movie that only impresses but manages to get viewers on the edge of their seats. It is a film that deals with the conflict that exists on the United States-Mexican border and expands it in a brilliantly dramatic way. Emily Blunt, Benicio del Toro and Josh Brolin headline this taut thriller and the results are downright extraordinary.
Paul Thomas Anderson is something of an enigma. His films explore dark themes and highlight the very worst of human behavior. From Boogie Nights to The Master, he places well known actors in his films which pushes the envelope a bit and they deliver performances that are certainly outside of their comfort zones. The new crime dramedy Inherent Vice continues Anderson’s trend of placing characters in precarious situations and squeezing awkward tension and off kilter humor out of many of the scenes. His latest offering isn’t exactly a classic and it tells a rather confusing film noir-esque story. Serious fans of Anderson and star Joaquin Phoenix should check this film out but even they might be detracted from the picture’s ridiculously complicated plot.
With superhero movies being the annual norm come summertime, many audiences salivate at the very thought of seeing their favorite comic book characters portrayed on screen. The entertainment juggernaut that is Marvel has been riding this wave for over a decade and the results just keep getting better and better. Guardians of the Galaxy continues this popular trend and it is a sci-fi-action film that is as exciting as it is funny. Few films manage to capture that magical spirit but Guardians pulls it off in more ways than one.