Movie Review: Hail, Ceaser

Josh Brolin opens in a confessional, and is talking about how his wife wants him to quit smoking.
Spin over to a voice over describing Eddie Mannix, a fixer for a major Hollywood Studio.
Mannix comes to a house with a woman having her picture taken churning butter, literally. He gives the cops a little money and slaps the woman around telling her to go home- all to protect her image as the cops recognize her. Yeah, this stuff actually happened.

Wipe to a Roman picture where a legion is marching with one of those massive voiceovers. We are watching what is called the dailies for the picture. George Clooney shows up with Biff from Back to the Future to talk about Rome. Moving over to Saul becoming Paul. Funny as they have a slide that says “Divine Presence to be Shot”

Next day Brolin is scheduling a few meetings. Brolin throws out a few items on the phone with New York that on the second viewing you catch that are important later.
Insert Cowboy Scene.
Insert Roman Scene with Newman as an Extra putting something in a goblet. George Clooney drinks it. Soon he is kidnapped by Newman.

So far this is a disjointed mess. It doesn’t get better, but if you are enjoying the ride, you are in for the duration.

So how is Hail Caesar?

To be perfectly honest, if you enjoy old Hollywood stories, and I do, or enjoy seeing stuff about the Commie Plots of the 50s and 60s, then you will enjoy this movie, if not? Then not so much. Yes, seeing people like Scarlett Johansson act completely out of character is lots of fun, but there is a lot of what seems to be filler on the first viewing, does get a bit long the second time around.

Take the long song and dance sequence with Channing Tatum- While fun, could we do with half the sequence? Easily. Could we do with a third of it? A fourth? Exactly. Could some people be happy with the sequence twice as long? Sure. I’ve not seen Magic Mike, but I’m sure that audience was more than happy with seeing him dance around again. I get the feeling that we were supposed to be looking at a day in the life of Eddie Mannix, and how the studios worked, but we have just way too much crammed into everything here.

Netflix has killed movies like this for me, it’s almost too rich a subject for a couple hours of this, with all the great stuff out there IN REAL LIFE, having this as a 10 episode series would be awesome.

If you watch stuff like Hollywoodland and enjoy it, then I’ll go a 7 here, or if you are a Clooney fan. If not? 3. My wife would HATE this movie if I made her sit down and watch this. Big Budget musicals and Old School Hollywood? She’d be on her phone before the credits rolled.

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