Tag Archives: Alden Ehrenreich

Hail Caesar!

Hail Caesar

The Cohen mixes fact and fiction in their latest movie, with real life Hollywood fixer Eddie Mannix being thrown into a fiction story. But is it worthy of the movie treatment?

Eddie Mannix (Josh Brolin) is having a rough day. While he’s trying to solve the messes and avoid scandals on various film projects he also has to find out what has happened to Baird Witlock (George Clooney), who seeming disappeared while filming his latest movie. All this while avoiding the gossip columnists Thora and Thessaly Tacker (both played by Tilda Swinton).

The third film in the Cohen brothers “Numbskull Trilogy” The film is a diverting and entertaining experience. But the main plot regarding the kidnapping of Baird Witlock (George Clooney) by a group called as The Future is arguably the film’s weakest link. There is much more fun to be had watching Mannix (Josh Brolin) going round his different movie projects and sorting out the actors and directors on his various projects. Each of the different films predicted are enjoyable to watch and features nice set pieces, such as the sailor musical featuring Channing Tatum in an elaborate sing and dance number, which is a joy to watch. I guess the kidnapping is meant to be the strand that ties all these plots and films together but instead it slows the actions and makes you wish you were back on the set of Hollywood already.

There is a struggle within the film regarding old Hollywood. While the Cohen’s lovingly recreate old Hollywood pictures –the biblical epic, the show stopping musical, the old fashioned western- there is also the more sinister side on show. Whether it’s the sexism of the female star who must avoid a baby scandal or Mannix himself-a man not afraid to hit a woman to “shake some sense into her”, you can spend an age arguing over the Cohen’s true feelings on one of the golden ages of Hollywood.
With such a strong and accomplished cast as this, the standout actor is Alden Ehrenreich as Hobie Doyle. Although Ehrenreich is relatively unknown by most audiences I had previously seen him in Beautiful Creature. While the film was by no means a hit, to me Ehrenreich stood out and I’m glad to see the performance was not a fluke.  As the nice but dim Hobie, Ehrenreich is charming and provides much of the film’s comic relief. It now seems that Ehrenreich’s talents have been acknowledged by the Hollywood bigwigs as he’s since been cast to play a young Han Solo.

Rating 3/5 – a fun but slight experience with a memorable performance from Ehrenreich as a singing cowboy actor

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Beautiful Creatures

There are many films trying to carry on where Twilight left off and create box office gold by trying to  find the next young adult fiction series that can be adapted to the big screen. Beautiful Creatures was an attempt earlier this year to capture that lucrative market.

Ethan (Alden Ehrenreich) is an American teenage boy who is desperate to leave his small town home. Then he meets new girl Lena (Alice Englert) who doesn’t fit in with the town’s religious community due to rumours surrounding her weird family and strange things that tend to happen around Lena. He pursues a romance with Lena only to find out that Lena’s life is quite complicated not least by the fact that she is a caster (a witch) and the females in her family are affected by a curse which means her soul will be either claimed by the light or the dark on her 16th birthday.

Beautiful Creatures didn’t exactly set the box office alight when it was released so its unlikely that any further films based on the book series will be coming to the cinema. It’s not hard to see why people didn’t warm to it. The film is way too long. Although it starts well enough the film soon starts to drag and its difficult to care about whether Lena is claimed for the light or the dark. The supporting characters don’t seem to know how they should deal with the source material, Emma Thompson goes big, hamming it up greatly while Jeremy Irons phones in his performance clearly thinking of the money dear boy.

However what the film lacks in some areas it makes up for in its engaging leads.  Ehrenreich and Englert shine as the loved-up teens. The early scenes where the characters are getting to know each other are the best scenes, establishing both of their personalities and its easy to see why they fall for each other. It’s just a shame their romance gets dragged down with the plot about the curse.

It may not be the best young adult fiction adaptation but for viewers who enjoy romantic films and set their expectations low you may be charmed by the young actors of Beautiful Creatures.

Rating 2.5/5-Easy watching as long as you don’t expect too much

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