TL;DR – Even with all the frustrating production decisions, there were still moments when it landed when it needed to.
Rating: 3 out of 5.
Post-Credit Scene – There is no post-credit scene
Disclosure – I was invited to a press screening of this film
Warning – Some scenes may cause distress
She Said Review –
One of the most important social movements of the early 2000s has to be the ‘Me Too’ movement. This has been a moment in time exploring and exposing the silence around sexual harassment and misconduct in the workplace. Every industry has had its own reckoning, including Hollywood, which is the base for the film we are looking at today.
So to set the scene, we open with a film set on the coast of Ireland as a young woman starts a job on a film set. Hard cut to London, where the same lady is running down a London street alone with tears rolling down her face. In 2016, after an expose about misconduct failed to dent President Trump’s election Rebecca Corbett (Patricia Clarkson) of The New York Times asked her journalists to integrate all the systems that project perpetrators. Two journalists, Megan Twohey (Carey Mulligan) and Jodi Kantor (Zoe Kazan) start on the trail of a whole system supporting the abuse of a high-profile producer in Hollywood because something is rotten in the state of Miramax and Harvey Weinstein.
TL;DR – I have used many adjectives to describe Quentin Tarantino’s films before but dull is a new one here.
Score – 2.5 out of 5 stars
Post-Credit Scene – There is an end-credit scene
Quentin Tarantino is a very specific kind of director and sort of puts him in a
category where I find a lot of people either love or hate his films. I have
found myself falling into both categories in the past with me adoring some of
his films like Django Unchained and
really not liking some of his other works like The
Hateful Eight. However, whatever the case may be, I have always
walked out of his films with strong feelings one way or the other, but not this
time, this time I walked out looking at my watch to see how much time that
So to set the scene, we open in on Rick Dalton (Leonardo DiCaprio) star of the
most popular show on TV Bounty Law as
he gives an interview with his long-time stuntman Cliff Booth (Brad Pitt).
Flash forward to the end of the decade and after a failed swing at movies Rick
has been demoted to playing the bad guy or ‘heavy’ in other people’s shows and
Cliff is still there as his driver and assistant. Well, one day a new
opportunity arises for Rick, a real chance at something, but what neither Rick
nor Cliff knows is that there are people out there that do not have everyone’s
best interests at heart and a friendly smile might hide violent personality.
– While films are here
to entertain, they also have an increased chance of selling you all sorts of
Today one of the biggest films in recent memory Avengers:
Endgame has launched and with it comes reviews, calls for no spoilers,
marketing and PR, but also a similar trend we see with every major movie
release recently and that is comments about product placement. This is
something that is not new for the movie universe, indeed it was being lampooned
all the way back in 1992 in Wayne’s World.
However, it does feel like it is becoming more of an issue these days, or at
the very least it is more in your face.
So why is this important? Well, for many reasons, the first being that companies
are using films to pepper you with ads when your subconscious has lowered its
usual defences that it uses to ignore advertisements. Sometimes these are very obvious
like when on Chuck they would stop to
explain the Subway sandwich they are having, or on Cougar Town when they would stop to explain the Subway sandwich
they are having, or on Community when
they … okay look Subway does this a lot. Fun fact, when writing this article I
double checked I was right about the Subway integration and lo and behold
before the YouTube videos of the shows was a new ad for Subway. While this is
all a bit silly, it is also important because advertisers pay a lot of money to
do it. PQ
Media found a 14% increase in spending on product placement in 2017 alone.
TL;DR – Hail Caesar is an interesting film, with a lot going on, but that is much of the problem, its scattershot nature means the film lacks real substance, but it still has a lot of spectacle to make up for it.
Score – 3 out of 5 stars
This is an interesting film, but it is also a very flawed film and that makes it quite difficult to review, or at least score. There are some really interesting ideas at play here, and there are also some amazingly wonderful set pieces throughout which are a joy to watch. However, it is trying to do so much, that it just can’t do any of the ideas justice, so it just feels like a scattershot of a film, which is a bit a disappointment.