This is a plot and dialogue that perhaps only the Coen Brothers could have devised. I’m thinking less of their clarity in “Fargo” and “No Country for Old Men” than of the almost hallucinatory logic of “Raising Arizona” and “The Hudsucker Proxy.” Only a steady hand in the midst of madness allows them to hold it all together–that, and the delirious richness of their visual approach.
The inspiration for the supporting characters can perhaps be found in the novels of Raymond Chandler. The Southern California setting, the millionaire, the kidnapped wife, the bohemian daughter, the enforcers, the cops who know the hero by name, can all be found in Chandler. The Dude is in a sense Philip Marlowe — not in his energy or focus, but in the code he lives by. Down these mean streets walks a man who won’t allow his rug to be pissed on. “That will not stand,” he says, perhaps unconsciously quoting George H.W. Bush about Saddam’s invasion of Kuwait. The Dude does not lie, steal or cheat. He does swear. He wants what is right. With the earliest flags of the republic, he insists, “Don’t tread on me.”
and all the joys within you dies
don’t you want somebody to love” – Jefferson Airplane
This scene sets up the movie and the story of Larry, who might be descended from this (cursed?) couple.
Larry Gopnik is a physics professor and he is first shown at the board explaining Scrodinger’s Paradox to his students, which says there is a state in which a cat can be both alive and dead, according to the laws of physics.
Larry thinks he has good life going but things are about to fall apart. He also has a student who is failing his class because he can’t do the math. Larry is worried about a neighbor who might be encroaching on his property. His wife has decided that she wants a divorce; she would rather be with their neighbor Sy. The kids are going through the typical, trials and tribulations of the teenage years. Uncle Arthur, who lives with him, is making a probability map of the universe.
Larry moves out to a motel. As his world comes crashing down his son complains because F Troop is still fuzzy on the TV. Larry’s tenure committee is getting negative letters about Larry. When Sy dies in a car crash, Larry’s wife is really broken up. Uncle Arthur gets picked up on a morals charge and the police are after him for gambling. The failing student’s father shows up and threatens to sue Larry. He tells him to “Please. Accept the mystery.” Larry says to a friend “Everything that I thought was one way turns out to be another.”
Some movies get better with each viewing and this is one of them. After I first saw it I wanted to see it again right away. It is a movie about ideas, about life, about spirituality, about what we believe. A really good black comedy from the Coen brothers.
Fargo is a movie that defies a good description. You have to see it to believe it and enjoy it. One of my favorites.
Tom isn’t happy because Leo’s world is going to come crumbling down because of Verna. Tom knows Verna is just using Leo to help her brother.
Johnny tries to have some of his guys knock off Leo, but in a great scene, with Danny Boy playing loudly, Leo guns them off. Tom comes clean with Leo about Verna hoping he will give her up and Leo cuts him and Vera loose.
Tom goes to Caspar and makes believe he has switched sides. Tom tells Caspar where Bernie is and they bring him out to the woods at Miller’s Crossing to kill him. They want Tom to do it. Bernie is begging for his life but Tom can’t do it. Tom pretends to shoot him and tells Bernie to disappear.
Divorce lawyer Miles (George Clooney) is ruthless in the courtroom. Marilyn (Catherine Zeta-Jones) has discovered(and has video evidence) that her very rich husband, Rex Rexroth, is cheating on her. Miles takes on Rex as a client.
Miles comes up with a witness who testifies that Marilyn has married Rex just so she could get his money. She loses the divorce settlement case and sets out on the prowl for a new victim.
Marilyn shows up at Miles office with oilman Howard Doyle (Billy Bob Thorton). She wants an iron clad prenup before they get married that she says will protect Doyle. Miles can’t figure her out. At the wedding Howard tears up the prenup. Marilyn stays married for a while and then makes a killing.
Miles is fascinated by Marilyn. She works her wiles on him and they are married after he signs the iron clad prenup and then she tears it up.
Loves changes Miles and he decides to turn over a new leaf but then he sees Howard on TV – he is an actor. He realizes that he has been played, Marilyn has no money and there is no prenup.
Miles decides to hire a hit man to knock off Marilyn. Then Rex dies and his old will gives everything to Marilyn. Miles tries to call off the hit. The turns continue till the end.
Typical Coen’s Brothers with a twist at every turn. The turns weren’t as funny in this one. The movie was just OK, mostly because it’s hard to really care about any of the characters.
It’s 1941 and Barton Fink (John Turturro) is a New York playwright who goes to Hollywood to write a screenplay . He feels it is important to stay in touch with the common man and he meets on in Charlie Meadows (John Goodman). He is supposed to write a wrestling picture for Wallace Beery but is having writer’s block. Barton meets a William Faulkner like character named W.P. Mayhew.
Barton sleeps with Mayhew’s assistant, but she is dead when he wakes up. Bart then has to go tell studio mogul Jack Lipnick what story line he has come up with so far. He tells Lipnick that he is done but doesn’t like to reveal his stories before he is finished writing. Lipnick goes for it.
Charlie takes care of the body for Barton, but then he has to go on a little trip. The police interview Bart about the serial killer who lived next door to him – Charlie! His real name is Mad Man Mundt. Bart doesn’t tell the police anything. Bart is then able to really start writing. He goes out dancing to celebrate his writing, but gets beat up by a sailor.
When he gets back to the hotel the two detectives are there. Mayhew has been found dead. The detectives hand cuff Bart to the bed and go out in the hall where Charlie is surrounded by flames. Charlie starts firing and kills the detectives as the flames follow him.
Lipnick doesn’t like Bart’s screenplay. He tells him he isn’t a writer. He tells him to get lost, there’s a war on.
Barton Fink is a very strange, very surreal and very entertaining movie. Definitely, not for all tastes though.
One day Professor Goldthwaite H. Dorr (Tom Hanks) answers an ad for an empty room in the home of Mrs. Marva Munson, an elderly, religious woman. he explains to her that her cellar would be perfect for his group of classical musicians to practice.
The musicians, are really want to be criminals and are made up of Lump, a really dumb football player, who is to be the muscle, the General, a Vietnamese baker who is an expert in tunneling, Garth Pancake, a moustached animal trainer for TV commercials, with expertise in explosives and Gawain, their “inside man”, a young janitor who works on a riverboat casino whose money counting house they are targeting.
The last one left is the Professor. He sees a raven which lands on a statue, and being a fan of Edgar Allen Poe he takes it as a good sign. When the raven flies off the head comes off the statue and hits the professor. This is not very clever stuff.
It’s also shame they had to have the Gawaine (Marlon Wayans) character with his goofy ways and his ghetto manners be the comic relief. He can’t utter one sentence without swearing or saying things like “You may have your PHD, I got my GED”, and “The man brought his bitch to the Waffle Hut” (he said that 4 times).
Otherwise it was a decent movie, nowhere near as good as the original, but OK nonetheless.