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Old 07-17-2010, 04:25 AM
 
Location: Chicago
38,691 posts, read 84,770,635 times
Reputation: 29261

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Quote:
Originally Posted by FreshFresh View Post
Besides reminding people that they are Jewish?

I dont know what the Coen brothers objective was here but this movie was incredibly boring and unfunny.
It was an obvious re-telling of the Book of Job, except with a slight twist at the end in that the protagonist ultimately fails God's test.

The part I don't get is that this is supposed to be a comedy, albeit a dark one. I've been lead to believe that I don't understand "Jewish" humor and its reference to the historical suffering of Jews (an "if you don't laugh you'll cry" sort of thing), but I don't understand how anyone could laugh at such a mean-spirited movie. There wasn't a single moment or scene that I found funny. If the film's primary purpose was to appeal to Jewish sensibilities, I'm forced to wonder if its secondary purpose wasn't to make gentiles feel Jewish for two hours by way of suffering through this pitiless thing. If that's the case... well done.

Perhaps this will reveal me as a simpleton, but by far my favorite Coen Brothers movie is Raising Arizona.

Last edited by Drover; 07-17-2010 at 04:34 AM..
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Old 07-17-2010, 08:41 AM
 
Location: on an island
13,367 posts, read 39,436,820 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Drover View Post
It was an obvious re-telling of the Book of Job, except with a slight twist at the end in that the protagonist ultimately fails God's test.
Yes, I've read this, and also read that the Coens screwed it up--my own memory of the Book of Job is very murky, but I do get the feeling of an angry, Old Testament-type God in this movie.
The one big thing I took from the film was that the harder Larry tried to find answers to his spiritual questions, the worse things got for him.
Quote:
The part I don't get is that this is supposed to be a comedy, albeit a dark one. I've been lead to believe that I don't understand "Jewish" humor and its reference to the historical suffering of Jews (an "if you don't laugh you'll cry" sort of thing), but I don't understand how anyone could laugh at such a mean-spirited movie. There wasn't a single moment or scene that I found funny. If the film's primary purpose was to appeal to Jewish sensibilities, I'm forced to wonder if its secondary purpose wasn't to make gentiles feel Jewish for two hours by way of suffering through this pitiless thing. If that's the case... well done.
Certainly it was not laugh-out-loud funny.
Jewish humor is often on the wry side.
That's how the Coens tend to be--I've read criticism of Fargo for its apparent mean-spirited attitude toward its characters.
Quote:
Perhaps this will reveal me as a simpleton, but by far my favorite Coen Brothers movie is Raising Arizona.
Why a simpleton? It is a good, funny movie.
I appreciate that the Coens keep on trying new things.
Not all of them will resonate with everyone, but it's better than The Land Before Time IX or Rocky VIII.
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Old 07-19-2010, 03:41 PM
 
Location: Maine
13,999 posts, read 18,778,153 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FreshFresh View Post
Brad' performance in "Burn After Reading" is sidesplitting. I laughed so hard.
He is great in the movie. Most of the actors are great, in fact. It's the script that spoiled it for me. The pacing was all wrong, and the tone inconsistent.

Very funny parts, yes, but those parts did not make a very good whole.
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Old 07-19-2010, 03:59 PM
 
Location: Chicago
38,691 posts, read 84,770,635 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BlueWillowPlate View Post
Why a simpleton? It is a good, funny movie.
Because one of the aggravating conceits of the Coen Brothers fanboi brigades is if you don't like their more cerebral/esoteric films, then somehow it means you didn't "understand" them and you should stick to intellectually vapid Hollywood big-budget fluff. Raising Arizona is one of the Coen Brothers movies that even the mentally deficient such as myself can "get."

And come to think of it I rank The Hudsucker Proxy right up there with Raising Arizona, which only cements my simpleton status, especially since that wasn't even a "real" Coen Brothers movie but actually a Sam Raimi movie disguised as a Coen Brothers movie which I'd clearly know if I "understood" the Coen Brothers, but that's beyond the intellectual grasp of a simpleton like me. Or something.
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Old 07-20-2010, 03:04 AM
 
Location: on an island
13,367 posts, read 39,436,820 times
Reputation: 13149
Quote:
Originally Posted by Drover View Post
Because one of the aggravating conceits of the Coen Brothers fanboi brigades is if you don't like their more cerebral/esoteric films, then somehow it means you didn't "understand" them and you should stick to intellectually vapid Hollywood big-budget fluff.
Yeah.
Sometimes rabid fans claim a sort of *ownership* of those whom they idolize, and it is indeed both silly an aggravating.
I am more of a shallow dilettante and am usually able to shrug off such concerns.
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Old 07-15-2015, 08:59 AM
 
2,502 posts, read 1,287,388 times
Reputation: 5285
I really enjoyed A Serious Man. It's basically a movie about a guy who thinks everything is going well for him, and then realizes that his life is basically completely out of his control:

-His wife reveals she's having an affair & wants to leave him.

-His brother (or brother in law?!) gets in trouble with the law.

-He gets falsely accused of doing something @ his job that he didn't do.

-His son is taking drugs.

One of my favorite scenes is when he goes over to the house of that hot divorcee and she offers him some %#@; the beads and the '60's music really makes you feel like you're back in that time period, i.e. when the country was going through a lot of cultural/social changes. I was born in the '70's, but do appreciate '60's films & films set during that decade.
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Old 07-15-2015, 11:35 AM
 
Location: Henderson, NV, U.S.A.
9,164 posts, read 5,187,395 times
Reputation: 16991
A Serious Man? It's about, oh ★★★★★! .....

.
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Old 02-12-2018, 08:37 AM
 
1,282 posts, read 731,870 times
Reputation: 2419
I watched this on Netflix the other night..
The humor was subtle & dark.. But the scenes where Larry's wife & her boyfriend where basically banishing Larry to the Jolly Roger Motel had me laughing out loud.

The opening & ending(s) were interesting, because it seemed to be left open to audience' interpretation. I'm not really sure what to think, but enjoyed the movie..
I'm curious what City Datites thought the opening tale meant to the overall story (?)
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Old 02-12-2018, 09:39 AM
 
Location: Brooklyn,NY
10,046 posts, read 11,787,952 times
Reputation: 14714
It was a dark, existential drama. Having been raised in a Jewish household I understood much of the family dynamics that was depicted. I liked it and felt it was underrated.

That lead actor has been in a lot of supporting roles lately, he was in Arrival with Amy Adams as a military person and is a great actor.
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