Saturday, July 02, 2011

Me and the Coen Brothers

The other night Biff and I settled in for the evening with a good meal and a movie, something we only occasionally do, which is a shame because it's enjoyable and it actually makes having Netflix make sense.

Paying for something you don't use is rather foolish, is what we're thinking, so now we're doing the movie nights. Being lazy and watching 2+ hours of TV of an evening is so much more rationalizable when you look at that not-an-activity through the lens of fiduciary responsibility, wouldn't you agree?

Using the Netflix, we're had some hits and misses of late. A few days ago we re-watched 'Batman, The Dark Knight,' and my opinion of it remained the same as the first time I saw it: Heath Ledger is the very best thing about that movie, and Christian Bale's voice work for the Batman should have been overdubbed by someone with actual acting talent. Also, Maggie Gyllenhaal can flip between cute and shockingly unattractive in the blink of an eye. Overall, I'd give the flick a B, based only on the late HL's performance. It's a real shame he didn't live longer.

A couple of nights ago we took in 'Burn After Reading,' a film by the Coen Bros starring lots of pretty men and Frances McDormond. And John Malkovich, who is not pretty but does a fair bit of scenery chewing quite entertainingly.

After watching the movie, my reaction was the following: 'erm, what just happened?'

Often, after watching a Coen Bro film, I have that reaction. Admittedly, I've only seen a few of them, and have heard great things about some that I've not seen, but Fargo, The Big Lebowski, and Burn After Reading have all been head-scratchers for me, like I totally missed the point about why the movie was even made. On the flip side, I loved Raising Arizona, was captivated by Barton Fink, and would watch O Brother, Where Art Thou over and over again, so a 1:1 win ration isn't all that bad, but still, I think I'm missing something fundamental about their genre.

Black comedy is tough, that much is clear. How do you produce a story that is humorous and edgy without stepping over some taste lines that might turn people off? Blending suspense, intrigue, pathos, and comedy sounds counterintuitive, doesn't it? It might well be that that co-mixing of aims is what throws me off, confusing my emotional response until all that comes out at the end is 'erm, what just happened?'

I'll keep trying though. It's possible I'm simply not witty or clever enough to understand all the driving forces behind each plot twist and unfortunate endings, but if Brad Pitt and George Clooney continue to appear in Coen Brothers films, it's worth pretending I get it, just to watch them.

Hey - I might be old (and so are they), but a girl only ever gets so much eye candy in her life and so even old ladies must grasp each opportunity and enjoy it while it's happening, ne? Those 2 pretty boys are totally worth sitting through 2 hours of 'huh?' Esp when they're acting goofy. A pretty boy acting the fool = extra delicious eye candy, and you know I'm right about that.

Do you have a fave Coen Bro movie we should bring up on the Netflix queue? A fave actor you'd watch in anything, no matter how terrible? Take a few moments to dish in the comments, if you would, and then have a great day.

Tiff out.

PS - I have it on good authority (mine) that liking the eye candy does not mean you like your LOML any less. Within a LOML relationship it is permissible and perhaps beneficial to have eye candy. Eye candy is just that - candy. Living on candy is inadviseable, so making a life out of nothing but eye candy would be dangerous to your health. Far better to feast on LOML, as that's real and nourishing, and make sparing use of the eye candy. The food pyramid and the Relationship Pyramid say so! And aren't you totally gobsmacked that there even IS a relationship pyramid? There are! Lots of them! The internet is amazing!

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