Intolerable Cruelty

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cbartal
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Intolerable Cruelty

Postby cbartal » Sun Oct 12, 2003 9:21 pm

Sorry to report that the Coen Bros have finally, to a certain extent, let me down (though Lebowski was a bit too disjointed also).

I tried to like this movie. I went in trying to love it. I laughed a reasonable amount also, but in the end I couldn't seem to connect with any of the characters, or themes in the picture.

The Coens, who rarely rely on redundancy to drive home comic skits, seemed to pander to the lowest common denominator of the folks expected to flock to this "Romantic Comedy". I point to the Crying Wrigley scenes as proof of this point.

Clooney was fine, Zeta Douglas Smith Barney Jones was predictably beautiful, Billy Bob was Billy Bob, and was Cedric the entertainer? Who knows? I just hope there are no plans for him to join future ensembles that the may Coens put together.

Like all of their films, it will probably benefit dramatically from repeated viewings, but unlike most others, I didn't rush out of the film yearning to see it again and again... and again

laughingcrow
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Postby laughingcrow » Mon Oct 13, 2003 4:25 am

Im waiting for this to come out here, but have to say when I saw the trailer didn't have a clue it was a Cohens effort until it was announced...I just thought..

''oh, another chick flick, this time JLo and Sandra Bullock aren't in it''

but cos it's them Im gonna give them my hard-stolen money.
Isn't it at all parodying of the genre???
Does it have a good soundtrack??

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bobster
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Postby bobster » Mon Oct 13, 2003 7:26 pm

Haven't seen it yet, but it should be remember that, while romantic comedy has been a fairly repulsive genre in the 90's with a few exceptions, it was once one of the best and most interesting of all genres -- and since we're so found of lists here, here's ten of my favorites.... 2,3 and 4 all directed by Ernst Lubitsch.

1. The Apartment
2. Ninotchka
3. The Shop Around the Corner (remade by Nora Ephron as "You've Got Mail" -- I tremble to see it!)
4. Heaven Can Wait (from the forties -- no relation to the Warren Beatty or Chris Remakes of "Here Comes Mr. Jordan")
5. His Girl Friday
6. Ball of Fire
7. The Lady Eve
8. The Philadelphia Story
9. The Palm Beach Story
10. Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown
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BlueChair
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Postby BlueChair » Mon Oct 13, 2003 9:02 pm

Considering The Big Lebowski is my favourite Coens film, I'm not sure whether or not to take cbartal's review seriously. The prospect of a romantic comedy with Catherine Zeta Jones doesn't particularly excite me, but I'll probably go see Intolerable Cruelty this week anyway. Just to see what I think.
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cbartal
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Postby cbartal » Mon Oct 13, 2003 9:32 pm

By all means Blue, see it. I would never dissuade a true Coenhead.

And my comments are by no means intended to diss TBL, it has many great moments. I'm just a sucker for the brothers' period pieces (Barton, Man Who Wasn't There, O' Brother ,in particular). Somehow, they seem to be able to capture an era better that any American filmmakers I can think of.
Of course, Raging Bull is a direct hit, also. Scorsese's Raging Bull that is. The Coens' colorized remake was weak.

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El Vez
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Postby El Vez » Mon Oct 13, 2003 9:38 pm

The Philadelphia Story, The Shop Around The Corner and The Lady Eve.....three of the greatest Hollywood films ever made. Sadly, I have yet to see Ball of Fire. I think it has to do with the fact that Gary Coopper...I dunno, something about him has always been a hard sell for me. Although Barbra Stanwyck was probably the best actress of her generation. To Be Or Not To Be (the Benny-Lombard version) is another masterpiece in the same vein. Well, maybe a little bit darker.

Nothing Sacred is a cynical romantic comedy that I've always held in high regard. Have you seen that one, Bobster? Not as well remembered as the golden age classics you mentioned, but Fredric March and Carole Lombard were staggeringly great in it and Walter Connelly (a 30's character fave of mine) had a great part as the quintessential barking newspaper editor.

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bobster
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Postby bobster » Mon Oct 13, 2003 10:02 pm

Recently caught up with "Nothing Sacred" -- hard movie to find a decent print of which I'm sure is because it's in that very early (2 strip?) Technicolor. Good, but really didn't leave that big an impression with me. In fact, I can hardly remember most of it.

"To Be or Not to Be" is a favorite, but I would call it more anti-romantic than romantic.

There were several movies I actually liked more than some that were on the list, but I just didn't think they were "romantic" in the way most people think of it. One example was "The Miracle of Morgan's Creek", which I actually find really romantic and touching, but it's just so far from the classic norm it didn't seem right. Maybe it's just that Eddie Bracken was so, well, funny looking. (Which of course is why I love it. It's great when the geek gets the girl, esp. when she's Betty Hutton.)

And try to get over that Cooper aversion. I'm not a particular fan or unfan of his, but acting is only a small part of the equation....My best pal is in the same camp with you, and -- like him or not -- you're both missing an awful lot of truly great movies. "Ball of Fire" is a good place to break yourself of that bad movie habit start because Cooper is very well cast and his stoicism makes a nifty contrast with Barbara Stanwyck in, well, the title role. (You didn't think it was named for Coop, did ya'?).

Other reasons to see it: the writers -- Billy Wilder and Charles Brackett -- wrote it as sort of live action version of "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs" but with college professors. (Played by a bunch of the same expatriot characters who populated "Casablanca" such as S.Z. "Cuddles" Sakall and that "Yvonne, I love you" guy..)

And with a movie about a gun moll, you gotta have her sing a song....There's an ultra-cool appearance by Gene Krupa, who plays a solo with a pair of matches!
http://www.forwardtoyesterday.com -- Where "hopelessly dated" is a compliment!

laughingcrow
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Postby laughingcrow » Tue Oct 14, 2003 1:26 pm

What is a rom-com anyway?

Does it have to be like Pillow Talk, or do films like 4 weddings and a funeral and High Fidelity count, cos they're excellent. I can't say Im a massive fan of romantic comedies in the whole though... especially if it's got Sandra Bollocks in.

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Postby laughingcrow » Tue Oct 14, 2003 1:28 pm

...or anyone who starred in ...

:evil: :evil: :evil: Friends.... :evil: :evil: :evil: :evil:

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bambooneedle
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Postby bambooneedle » Wed Oct 15, 2003 4:18 pm

laughingcrow wrote:...or anyone who starred in ...

:evil: :evil: :evil: Friends.... :evil: :evil: :evil: :evil:


LC, just saw a movie that had one of those guys from friends in it... Reform School Girls. Anyway, he played a very minor part... but don't let that make you overlook the fact that it had the best lesbian scene I've ever seen!

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BlueChair
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Postby BlueChair » Wed Oct 15, 2003 4:19 pm

Better than Mulholland Drive?
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bambooneedle
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Postby bambooneedle » Wed Oct 15, 2003 4:22 pm

I haven't seen that one, but this one was genuinely very good (can't say the same for the rest of the movie though) and wasn't tawdry at all.

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El Vez
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Postby El Vez » Wed Oct 15, 2003 4:24 pm

Better than Bound?

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bambooneedle
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Postby bambooneedle » Wed Oct 15, 2003 4:29 pm

Haven't seen that either, and I've also heard good things about Frida (Salma Hayek, Ashley Judd), but thanks for the recommendations. You know it's such a sadly neglected area in film.

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lapinsjolis
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Postby lapinsjolis » Wed Oct 15, 2003 4:36 pm

I loved 'Frida' some of it's a bit muddled as far as some the facts go but nothing too serious.

Like Bluechair, I can't stand to watch predictably beautiful women.

Bobster-'You've Got Mail' would put you in a sugar coma but if you liked 'In the Good Old Summertime' you can take it. Niether has the any darkness. Your list is almost perfect.

Anyone trying to bring back screwball comedy must be admired to some degree, even if the results are flawed.
"Be yourself; everyone else is already taken."

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El Vez
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Postby El Vez » Wed Oct 15, 2003 9:38 pm

Better than The Hunger? :lol:

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bobster
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Postby bobster » Thu Oct 16, 2003 1:50 am

Hi, Ms. Lapinsjolie -- figured you'd be showing up when this subject comes up!

Actually saw "In the Good Old Summertime" on TV years BEFORE I ever saw "Shop." I don't remember it well now, but I suspect it wasn't great shakes, esp. compared to the Lubitsch version.

BTW -- That is NOT the only musical version of that story (which is actually based on a book). Sheldon and Harnick, the composers of "Fiddler on the Roof" did "She Loves Me" based on it, which is was more true to the spirit, I suspect. It's never been filmed as far as I know, but they did a very nice version for PBS back in the eighties, I think.
http://www.forwardtoyesterday.com -- Where "hopelessly dated" is a compliment!

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lapinsjolis
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Postby lapinsjolis » Thu Oct 16, 2003 2:00 am

Yes, I've heard some of the original Broadway recording. Barbara Cook strikes again! "He brought me ice cream. . ." I missed the 80's version on PBS.
"Be yourself; everyone else is already taken."

laughingcrow
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Postby laughingcrow » Thu Oct 16, 2003 4:24 pm

Saw IC tonight...thought it was very good. Not really like the trailer, great dialogue, great characters with funny quirks...genuinely funny, good soundtrack.

Reccomend.

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Jackson Doofster
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Postby Jackson Doofster » Fri Oct 17, 2003 6:44 am

JD in 'not impressed with prententious movie shock..'

I hated Barton Fink and I cannot understand the fascination with it. I watched it wanting to love it....I waited and waited and then it finished and I went to bed. I have no no desire to watch it again. Conversely, I loved 'Oh brother...' and ' The Big Lebowski'. No accounting for taste :?
"But they can't hold a candle to the reciprical war crimes which have plagued our policy of foriegn affairs."

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Postby selfmademug » Fri Oct 17, 2003 8:54 am

Oh, my mistake, I came on this thread thinking it was another about the Red Sox...

Re BARTON FINK, it helps to be a self-hating writer to like that film. It's a great story about what sorry, self-concerned assholes writers are. My fave line is when BF and the producer are in the famous restaurant (Bobster will remind me which, as I have never been to LA and they're all the same to me) and BF asks, (I am paraphrasing) "Wow, do you think there are other writers here right now?" and the Producer says "You couldn't throw a plate in here without hitting a writer. And do me a favor, throw it hard..."

I haven't seen the movie in years but a lot of it has stuck with me. Bizarre but great.

selfmademug

Postby selfmademug » Fri Oct 17, 2003 9:14 am

And I'll go on record as saying I actually love YOU'VE GOT MAIL. Yeah, Meg Ryan's annoying as hell, and it's hard to swallow such a sweet story in a contemporary setting, but it's a very funny and well written mainstream movie. The characters and plot lines on the edges are hilarious, especially to anyone who fancies themself a New Yorker-- the multi-divorces and kids, the holier-than-thou leftist upper-west side politics, etc. Jean Stapleton, Dabney Coleman, Parker Posey, Steve Zahn and especially Greg Kinnear are all just hysterically funny. And a paean to the Upper West Side itself, complete with Zabar's, Gray's Papaya, H&H Bagels, Riverside Park, the whole shebang.

laughingcrow
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Postby laughingcrow » Fri Oct 17, 2003 11:23 am

Millers Crossing is coming out on DVD soon in the UK with added bits...one of the Cohens finest IMHO.


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