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a) I think this is very reductive and doesn't really get to the heart of what the Coens do.

Sorry, I guess I just don't understand what you mean by "organizing principle" then, at least insofar as something that their past movies have but their recent movies lack.

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Man sounds like I shouldn't drag my wife to Hail Caeser then. I liked True Grit, but I agree, Burn After Reading and on left me cold, and I have dragged my wife to every single release since No Country (somehow missed True Grit in theatres). She liked True Grit, but the others after No Country weren't the most enjoyable watches.

 

Also started Better Call Saul, what is up with this intro that abruptly ends?!

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Sorry, I guess I just don't understand what you mean by "organizing principle" then, at least insofar as something that their past movies have but their recent movies lack.

 

I just wrote a super long post and accidentally hit page back. I am sorry, I wanted to do a good response to this but I can't rewrite it. To really simplify it, genre is what grounds and organizes all of the Coen's digressive writing and without it they have a tendency to get lost in the weeds and make films that are unorganized and unsure of what they're even about. There's more to it, but that's the gist.

 

Man sounds like I shouldn't drag my wife to Hail Caeser then. I liked True Grit, but I agree, Burn After Reading and on left me cold, and I have dragged my wife to every single release since No Country (somehow missed True Grit in theatres). She liked True Grit, but the others after No Country weren't the most enjoyable watches.

 

Also started Better Call Saul, what is up with this intro that abruptly ends?!

 

I was counting to four starting at A Serious Man, Burn After Reading is the best.

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I hope I'm not misinterpreting what you meant by "organizing principle" but I got the feeling that Hail Caesar, does have a what I referred to as a meta-narrative. Like O Brother is the Odyssey, or Lebowski as either history of post-war usa or of global capital, I just don't know exactly what it is. haha. I think the narrator is the key. 

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I just wrote a super long post and accidentally hit page back. I am sorry, I wanted to do a good response to this but I can't rewrite it. To really simplify it, genre is what grounds and organizes all of the Coen's digressive writing and without it they have a tendency to get lost in the weeds and make films that are unorganized and unsure of what they're even about. There's more to it, but that's the gist.

 

 

I was counting to four starting at A Serious Man, Burn After Reading is the best.

I figured, I just meant I am also not impressed with their more recent output.

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I finally watched Season 1 of Friday Night Lights and man, what a great show. 

I could nitpick some parts of it, and personally didn't really care about Jason and Lyla's relationship very much, but it's shockingly refreshing to see a show so full of love and compassion for its characters. 

This show also made me realize how rare it is to see a mature, committed marriage between two people who deeply love one another. I'm really struck by it and I can't wait to keep watching more, (though everyone keeps prepping me for how bad Season 2 is)

 

I don't necessarily remember whether season two was bad or not, but I couldn't agree more about the marriage. Especially in teen dramas like this where a great deal of the show revolves around people making bad relationship decisions and misunderstandings spiralling out of control, it's really cool to see two people genuinely trying to make it work. It's not always perfect, but they actually try and they do so in a mature, believable way. Weirdly, the closest relation I can think of is the marriage between Sandy and Kirsten Cohen in the OC, but that show hasn't aged as well in other ways.

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I don't necessarily remember whether season two was bad or not, but I couldn't agree more about the marriage. Especially in teen dramas like this where a great deal of the show revolves around people making bad relationship decisions and misunderstandings spiralling out of control, it's really cool to see two people genuinely trying to make it work. It's not always perfect, but they actually try and they do so in a mature, believable way. Weirdly, the closest relation I can think of is the marriage between Sandy and Kirsten Cohen in the OC, but that show hasn't aged as well in other ways.

 

Yes to the Coach + Tammy stuff.

 

And yeah, S2 is rough. It focuses on a really dumb Landry plotline that drags the whole thing down. The show picks up again for 3-5 and becomes unmissable once more.

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Wasn't Season 2 of Friday Night Lights the result of the writers strike? Either way I agree it was bad and the Landry stuff was really stupid.

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I saw 35 movies in January. The first third of February has been very slow in comparison, only 4 movies so far, mayhaps due to playing The Witness and Firewatch too much. I've also been watching Archer on Netflix whenever I need a background activity for 15-20 minutes (e.g. breakfast). It's funny most of the time, and brilliant on a few occasions, but I think it sometimes tries a bit hard to be offensive.

 

A couple of days ago I saw Son of Saul. Oh man, this movie is brilliant, and harrowing. I hope it wins the foreign language Oscar. Early in the movie I was already thinking about wanting to throw up, luckily I didn't as I was in a cinema. There are probably many good movies about the holocaust (I've seen only a few), but this one really left me more horrified than I was before at the atrocities that happened in our recent past.

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I just watched Ryan Gosling's director debut Lost River and it wasn't bad. It's like a combination of some good films I've liked, but it didn't feel like the vision behind it was very strong. Still, I think it's impressive for first film. Also yesterday I saw Tarkovsky's Sacrifice and both of these films feature burning houses, so that made me wonder whether it's a reference. Although of course a house burning may not be THAT uncommon, but probably there are several references in here to other films that I'm not seeing because I am very bad at remembering specifics in any media I consume and also I've not yet seen as many important films as I'd like to have.

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Also I saw Solaris, Stalker and Nostalghia just days after seeing Revenant (and Ivan's Childhood last year) and I did not notice any of the very obvious references in Revenant so I must be pretty bad at making these kind of connections:

 

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A couple of days ago I saw Son of Saul. Oh man, this movie is brilliant, and harrowing. I hope it wins the foreign language Oscar. Early in the movie I was already thinking about wanting to throw up, luckily I didn't as I was in a cinema. There are probably many good movies about the holocaust (I've seen only a few), but this one really left me more horrified than I was before at the atrocities that happened in our recent past.

I'm jealous. I've been dying to see that film.

 

And there aren't a lot of movies that deal with the holocaust properly.  All I can think of is Phoenix, The Pawnbroker, Shoah and Son (even though I haven't seen it, I know it will).

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I saw Deadpool over the weekend.  It's pretty much exactly what you expect if you know anything about the character.  Lots of low brow potty humor, tons of fourth wall breaks (including a fourth wall break within a fourth wall break, a sixteenth wall break as he puts it), gratuitous violence, pointless action, nudity, pop culture jokes, etc.  If you're at all amused by the antics of Deadpool you'll probably get a kick out of the movie.  If not, then I'd stay away.

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I knew next to nothing about Deadpool or what to expect from the movie, hadn't seen a trailer, and I think that was part of why it worked so well for me. I cannot remember laughing so much in the cinema, something just clicked. When I think about it too much, it falls apart in lots of places, but damn I had great time watching it.

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I caught Hail, Caesar over the weekend and it's probably my least favorite coen movie I've seen, by a long shot. It just did nothing for me. There were bits here and there that were good but it never came together for me. It felt overstuffed. I felt like I didn't get it, but I also that there wasn't anything to get really?

I don't know. I'm disappointed.

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I caught Hail, Caesar over the weekend and it's probably my least favorite coen movie I've seen, by a long shot. It just did nothing for me. There were bits here and there that were good but it never came together for me. It felt overstuffed. I felt like I didn't get it, but I also that there wasn't anything to get really?

I don't know. I'm disappointed.

 

It felt like half a movie to me. I actually enjoyed the process of watching it, but I didn't understand what or who I was supposed to pay attention to so the ending felt so out of nowhere, and also really abrupt. 

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I saw Hail, Ceasar yesterday as well. I actually really liked the film, but felt like anything that had to do with the main plot was wasting my time. I just wanted to be in the movie's world, and felt like that's what the movie wanted too. The whole kidnapping thing just felt like someone had kept saying "Yeah, but what's the PLOT?" while they were making the film and they grudgingly threw that in to appease them. They were the weakest part of the movie by far.

 

The slower Coen movies have always taken a few goes for me. I felt really "meh" about Burn After Reading the first time I saw it, and didn't start to love it until a friend convinced me to give it a second viewing. I wonder how Ceasar will hold up to a second go.

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I just watched Andrei Rublev. It's Tarkovsky's epic 3 hour movie about the life and times of the eponymous 15th century Russian icon painter and it seems to have everything in it, except I didn't notice the tricks with light that Tarkovsky plays in his later movies. Maybe they were more subtle here. I really liked it, although it was a bit tiring to watch, even if I split my watch into two chunks. Also I feel like it somehow gave me a better understanding of Orson Welles' Chimes at Midnight, even if I don't fully understand why.

 

Right after watching I went to Wikipedia and realized I saw the short 186 minute version instead of the full 205 minute original version. Bummer :(

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Holy crap Wolf Hall is fantastic. I haven't seen a show this absorbing for so long. I don't think I've seen a show this distinctly great since In The Flesh or earlier episodes of The Borgias.

Part of it might be that I typically only watch shows with my partner and we rarely binge on any. Still this show feels amazing.

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It's a shame Mark Rylance is such a terrible actor...

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We're trying to summon Rylance's greatest fan, but it doesn't seem to be working. It probably works on Candyman rules and needs one more slam.

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