The Big Pictures
Hail Caesar
Review by Ross Anthony

I'm a Coen Bros fan. And while this film has the characteristic quirky humor, it lacks the weight and impact of earlier pictures. I really enjoyed it while watching, but walked away feeling unsatisfied.

What an odd paradox, I remember all the well earned funny moments, and the smashingly entertaining reinventions of old-time movie moments, splendidly and lovingly presented; yet at the same time I simply feel fulfilled. It's mostly because the film fails emotionally. There is a glimmer of it, a wonderful start where the cowboy actor has a night out with the glamour queen, but not only is that moment truncated, but it's never revisited. The second impressive moment of connecting emotionally with the audience is also truncated for an unfortunately predictable laugh. I suspect the brothers were torn about whether to ride it out or not … trying to do the brave thing, I think they made the less brave choice.

*SPOILER: here's how I would have written that moment…

"Clooney delivers the speech to the end. It's awesome and the brothers let that moment ride, let all of us in the audience feel it as those on the fake set feel it. It's such an awesome achievement for Clooney anyway … he's got to over act for the period piece, but somehow steal the hearts of modern audiences despite. Then after the moment is secured, emotions fulfilled, now come in for the laugh. Someone reminds him that he used the old version of the speech, he says "Son of a bitch" as he did, but this time he catches himself and looks up at the actor on the cross, "Not you, I didn't mean you."

-- Books by Ross Anthony, Author/Illustrator --

  • Hail Caesar. Copyright © 2016.
  • Starring Josh Brolin, George Clooney. Directed by Coen Bros.

Grade..........................B+ (2.5/4)

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Copyright © 1998-2023 Ross Anthony, Author - Speaker - Solo World Circumnavigator In addition to reviewing films and interviewing celebs at, traveling the world, composing great music, motivational speaking, Mr. Anthony also runs his own publishing company in the Los Angeles area. While traversing the circumference of the planet writing books and shooting documentaries, Mr. Anthony has taught, presented for, worked &/or played with locals in over 30 countries & 100 cities (Nairobi to Nagasaki). He's bungee-jumped from a bridge near Victoria Falls, wrestled with lions in Zimbabwe, crashed a Vespa off a high mountain road in Taiwan, and ridden a dirt bike across the States (Washington State to Washington DC). To get signed books ("Rodney Appleseed" to "Jinshirou") or schedule Ross to speak check out: or call 1-800-767-7186. Go into the world and inspire the people you meet with your love, kindness, and whatever it is you're really good at. Check out books by Ross Anthony. Rand() functions, Pho chicken soup, rollerblading, and frozen yogurt (w/ blueberries) also rock! (Btw, rand is short for random. It can also stand for "Really Awkward Nutty Dinosaurs" -- which is quite rand, isn't it?) Being alive is the miracle. Special thanks to Ken Kocanda, HAL, Jodie Keszek, Don Haderlein, Mom and Pops, my family, R. Foss, and many others by Ross Anthony. Galati-FE also deserves a shout out. And thanks to all of you for your interest and optimism. Enjoy great films, read stirring novels, grow.

Last Modified: Thursday, 21-Apr-2016 15:31:02 PDT