Hail Caesar! Follows a day in the life of Eddie Mannix, a Hollywood fixer for Capitol Pictures in the 1950s, who cleans up and solves problems for big names and stars in the industry. But when studio star Baird Whitlock disappears, Mannix has to deal with more than just the fix.Written by
When the communists' phone call to Eddie Mannix is disconnected on the first attempt we hear a burst of "precise dial tone," the same as today. This was not used until more than 10 years later. At that time the standard dial tone was 600 Hz modulated at 120 Hz. See more »
This movie got an A rating in the Cleveland Plain Dealer from a film reviewer I have long respected, so I took advantage of a free late afternoon to go see it on the day it opened.
It's a shame the review was so positive, because it made my disappointment that much greater.
There is very little in this movie that is funny. (The audience I saw it with almost never laughed.) Most of the parodies are simplistic and flat and don't say anything clever about the subjects they are lampooning.
Take the extended water ballet sequence that is meant as a send-up of Esther Williams movies. The sequence itself looks like a poor man's version of one of the numbers in *Jupiter's Daughter*. Scarlett Johannson looks frightened all the while she's up in the air in that little basket, but not frightened enough to be funny. And then? Nothing. The number ends as it would in an Esther Williams movie, and there is unfunny dialogue with the swimming character concerning her pregnancy.
And so it goes throughout the movie. Things happen, but there is no followup. There are parodies of different types of movies popular in the 1940s and 50s, but the parodies aren't clever or insightful. George Clooney's character gets kidnapped by left-wing script writers, but those scenes don't tell us anything about the black-listed screenwriters of the era.
Some of the reviews on here say the movie is terrible, some think this movie is the best thing since sliced cheese. It's neither extreme. It's just a largely flat comedy, with too few laughs.
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