Lucia Aniello’s Rough Night is what happens when you let five raucous friends cut loose during a destination bachelorette party in Miami. All the normal accoutrements are here: beachfront rental property, alcohol-fueled bar crawls, penis-shaped everythings, cocaine, a shredded male stripper, and involuntary manslaughter. Hmm, maybe things got out of hand somewhere . . .
Joel and Ethan Coen have crafted a peculiar ode to old Hollywood in Hail, Caesar! The principal protagonist in the film is Eddie Mannix (Josh Brolin), a producer and “fixer” tasked with making sure that everything runs smoothly at Capitol Pictures. He hops from fire to fire, and along the way gives us a haphazard overview of the Hollywood studio system by visiting the sets of different pictures. While different threads of his life entwine together into a coherent story by the end of the film, particular elements fail or succeed largely on the merits of the superb supporting cast of characters. Regardless, moments of hilarity exist in this mish-mash of tone and style, and the worst sin Hail, Caesar! can be accused of is failing to synthesize its zany parts into a cohesive whole.
One of the biggest surprises of Disney’s D23 convention was the trailer for Jon Favreau’s live-action adaptation of The Jungle Book. Finally, we get to see the official trailer for this film, which is essentially what everyone at D23 already saw (though the trailer shown there was slightly different, based on descriptions from people who saw it at D23). Pay close attention to the tone of this trailer, and especially the multiple fades to black, as it makes the film look far darker than the familiar animated feature from the late ‘60s:
A sensual ennui permeates Sofia Coppola’s Lost in Translation, imploring
spectators from young adulthood through old age to respond to the budding relationship between Bob Harris (Bill Murray) and Charlotte (Scarlett Johansson) as the two navigate a foreign language, city, and feelings. At its heart, this is a film about confronting your insecurities and reveling in the warm feeling of a new romance and friendship. The hustling, neon beehive of Tokyo acts as the perfect setting for such a story, as the hyperactive assault on the senses that we see on the surface belies the quiet torture of that directionless feeling.