Monday, June 11, 2012

My moviegoing: 2004

Joel & Ethan Coen's The Ladykillers (2004)
The only Coen Brothers film I have a hard time finding some kind words for, The Ladykillers seemed like evidence of a creative decline at the time of its release. This chronically lazy remake full of superior smirks and obvious jokes about Bob Jones University and irritable bowel syndrome appeared just months after the enjoyable but very slight Intolerable Cruelty, which had a couple of glaringly tone-deaf scenes of its own. I thought the tombstone was already engraved: COENS 1985-2004 THEY USED TO BE GOOD. More proof that I don't know much. They followed The Ladykillers with four films that I think are among their best: the Cormac McCarthy adaptation No Country for Old Men, the massively underrated Burn After Reading, A Serious Man, and the Charles Portis adaptation True Grit. A few months ago, I saw part of The Ladykillers on network television as I ate my hungover Sunday afternoon breakfast, and it wasn't nearly as bad as I remembered.

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