How to Watch: ‘Barbershop: The Next Cut’

Barbershop

Step 1: Keep it fresh. For a third installment in a series, Barbershop: The Next Cut feels just as original and relevant as if this were the first one.

Step 2: Meet the players. Some of the familiar faces have returned like shop owner Calvin (Ice Cube) and his mainstay barbers Eddie (Cedric the Entertainer), Terri (Eve) and food truck owner J.D. (Anthony Anderson), who returns after skipping the second Barbershop. There are also many new characters, including barbers Rashad (Common), who is married to Terri, Jerrod (New Girl‘s Lamorne Morris), One-Stop (J.B. Smoove) and Raja (Utkarsh Ambudkar). Plus, Calvin has expanded the barbershop and is now in business with beauty shop owner Angie (Regina Hall), with her hair stylists Bree (Margot Bingham) and Draya (Nicki Minaj).

Step 3: Keep it real. While the same fun Barbershop comedy and shenanigans are still in abundance, this Barbershop also focuses on the very real topic of gang violence on the streets of Southside Chicago, and how the barbershop is one of the last places that is considered a neutral zone, where people can just come in and be themselves. In an effort to take back their community, Calvin, Angie et. al. call for a cease fire for 48 hours, in which anyone can come in for a free cut. The Next Cut also takes a look at family, as Calvin deals with his 14-year-old son (Michael Rainey Jr.) and the peer pressures he faces to join a gang.

Step 4: Recognize the talent. Star Ice Cube, director Malcolm D. Lee and writers Kenya Barris and Tracy Oliver impress on many levels with this third installment. They not only keep in the same vein as the other Barbershop movies, but they allow the film to step up and present a positive message, a story about a community coming together to try and stop the violence on the streets. They don’t pretend they can solve the problem, but Cube’s considerable influence should get people to listen. Cube and the Barbershop gang also have just fun with it. This is a movie after all, and one that follows two films that were successful for outrageous comedy, so Next Cut follows suit, especially with comedians J.B. Smoove, Cedric the Entertainer and Deon Cole. There’s also great back and forth between the men and women that’s all relatable. And props to Nicki Minaj – the singer’s got some comedy chops.

Step 5: The best thing about this third Barbershop is that you don’t have to see the first two to appreciate the humor, the characters and the great positive message it sends out.

How to Podcast: “Hardcore Henry” Is Definitely Hardcore

hardcore henry

It was only a matter of time before they made an entire movie with a Go-Pro type camera — and boy, what a wild ride Hardcore Henry is. Told from the first-person perspective, we meet Henry, a possible former special ops guy who wakes up to discover most of his body has been reconstructed with hi-tech machinery, including his heart being run on battery. Henry also doesn’t remember anything at all. When he opens his eyes, he sees a beautiful woman, a scientist (Haley Bennett), who tells him about his condition — and also that she’s his wife.

Then it all goes to hell in fairly quick fashion. The bad guys break into the facility, take Henry’s “wife,” but Henry escapes and then spends the rest of the movie killing as many men as he possibly can, all with the help of Jimmy (Sharlto Copely), a chameleon of sorts with seemingly endless resources.

Hardcore Henry runs you ragged as one of the most visceral and violent movies to come along in awhile, but it’s just entertaining as hell. I discuss in the ScreenPicks.com movie review podcast below… check it out!

How to Watch: “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice”

batman-v-superman-dawn-of-justice

By now, you’ve probably read that the critics, for the most part, did not like Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice very much. It’s “bloated,” “muddled,” “nothing super,” “dawn of disappointment” etc., which does, in some degree, describe the film. Let’s just say, as much as both Batman AND Superman have issues, so does their titular first movie together. However, there are actually some qualifying good moments in the film, and fans of these two superhero titans should know that they’ll be experiencing a cinematic feat in bringing them together on the big screen. So rather than just rant and blather on, I’m simply going to take a look at the movie’s pros and cons in simplistic chunks.

Step 1: Batman

Pro: Ben Affleck is really quite good as the Dark Knight, I have to admit. He’s even better as Bruce Wayne, though, and thankfully Bruce has more screen time than Batman in BvS. Affleck plays Wayne a little older, maybe a little wiser, with the graying at the temples and the weary “I’m too old for this shit” attitude at times. It would have been nice to see a little more lightheartedness, maybe a wink here or there, something Affleck is very good at doing. But alas, Bruce is just too pissed off to smile. Oh, and the Batmobile rocked!

Con: That being said, it’s hard to understand why he is SO angry at Superman. BvS starts off with a very familiar scene in which he sees his parents (The Walking Dead‘s Lauren Cohan and her soon-to-be TWD co-star Jeffrey Dean Morgan) gunned down in the streets, so we get how haunted Bruce is and why he became the winged Bat vigilante. But hating super sweet do-gooder Superman? Why? Sure, Superman’s omnipotent powers destroy buildings, harm innocents and could be used for evil, instead of good, and Batman feels like he is the only one who could keep Superman in check. But the animosity isn’t explored beyond that – besides maybe these out-of-nowhere futuristic “nightmares” Bruce has that lead him down a darker path. It’s all poorly explained and basically undercuts the whole point of the film. The biggest flaw, however, is what happens to make Batman finally see Superman as a friend, not a foe. You’ll probably yell at the screen, “Really?!” It’s sloppy and lazy writing, as if they were in a hurry to wrap it up.

Step 2: Superman

Pro: Henry Cavill certainly looks the part, always has, but still has the unenviable task of trying to instill some personality into the superhero. Superman can be quite boring, but Cavill manages to humanize him, much like his predecessor Christopher Reeve did. And Clark Kent and Lois Lane (Amy Adams) are sweet together, even though they’ve got these giant black clouds hanging over their relationship, including the fact Superman is being blamed for things out of his control. Now, on the flip side, his feelings for Batman are better understood because Superman/Clark Kent mistrusts the Caped Crusader as someone who takes the law into their own hands. That makes sense.

Con: Superman still doesn’t have much oomph. He’s just bland. Period. And no matter what amount of touches Cavill attempts, it doesn’t really work. I’m just curious to see if they give him more levity in the films to come now that we’ve gotten all the expository stuff out of the way.

Step 3: Lex Luthor

Pro: This is definitely a different kind of Lex Luthor than we’ve seen before, and it is quite refreshing. Jesse Eisenberg portrays the master villain as an arrogant, spoiled rich brat with daddy issues but with a very brilliant mind. He knows how to orchestrate what he wants and some of his nefarious actions will make you gasp (at least it did me).

Con: Problem is, Lex goes from somewhat sane to completely insane in nano seconds, and this is where Eisenberg takes the character a little too over the top, with the rapid-fire dialogue and the nervous little laugh. He becomes a caricature of himself.

Step 4: Wonder Woman

Pro: Quite simply, Gal Gadot’s brief appearances as Wonder Woman are the film’s highlights, especially in BvS‘s final climactic battle. When she throws up wrists to ward off a blast, or uses her lasso and sword, you definitely cheer out loud. Let’s hope they keep that fierceness alive in Wonder Woman’s stand alone movie.

Con: The Wonder Woman moments are too brief. As for the other women in the cast, most are terribly underutilized. Adams continues to be one of the better Lois Lanes, but her plucky journalist stills turns into a damsel in distress, and Diane Lane as Clark’s mom adds absolutely nothing. Holly Hunter’s fiery Southern senator is displayed in one solid moment, basically taking down Lex down a peg, but that’s about it. Gadot had to represent.

Step 5: Director Zack Snyder

Pro: As a visionary, Snyder is ambitious and gives BvS a grand scope. The film looks pretty amazing, especially in some of the quieter moments when either Bruce Wayne or Clark Kent/Superman are being contemplative. The action sequences are fairly standard as far as those big, metal-crushing, bone-crunching scenes can be, but you have to appreciate those kinds of sequences when they are not all in your face and confusing. Snyder delivers on that end.

Con: Snyder has a tough time telling the story through his lens. He doesn’t know when and where to cut, and this leaves the film feeling convoluted and overdrawn. It’s almost like when Zack sees it, and all the out-of-place scenes he has throw in, it totally makes sense to him– but to him only. The rest of us are scratching our heads.

Step 6: Conclude. So, yes, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice isn’t in any way a perfect comic book movie, but it has enough going for it that will make fans happy. Plus, it does give a glimpse of how the upcoming Justice League is shaping up, and it’s kind of exciting. Judging from the major critical backlash Snyder is receiving over BvS, however, it may end up he doesn’t direct Justice League — and that’s probably a good thing.

How to Watch: “Midnight Special”

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Step 1: Revel in it. Midnight Special shrouds its sci-fi story in marvelous mystery but tackles the narrative’s complexities with heart and soul.

Step 2: Appreciate writer/director Jeff Nichols. He is truly one of the more fascinating and innovative filmmakers working today because he comes up with such original ideas revolving around big concepts but manages to pare them down to essential and unifying themes of love, family, faith. Mud is Nichols’ stellar film about two boys coming of age while helping a drifter (Matthew McConaughey) reunite with his long-lost love. The excellent Take Shelter focuses on faith, as a man (Michael Shannon) convinced the end of the world is coming, nearly loses his family over his obsession to build a shelter to keep them safe. Now, we have the thoroughly engaging and entertainiing Midnight Special, in which Nichols explores the theme of a parent’s unconditional love for their child, even if that child has special powers and is probably meant for something greater than a normal life in this world.

Step 3: Tell the story. Midnight Special focuses on young Alton (St. Vincent‘s Jaeden Lieberher), who, when we first meet him, is on the run with his father, Roy (Michael Shannon), and Roy’s friend, Lucas (Joel Edgerton). Even though the media is broadcasting that Alton has been abducted, he is in loving hands. You find out Alton and Roy once lived on the Ranch, a commune where an extreme religious sect believes Alton is their Savior and that the Second Coming is happening on specific date quickly approaching. Roy takes Alton because he knows he has to reach a specific place on that date, in order to somehow save his son’s life. Roy doesn’t quite understand what his son’s powers mean, but he will do anything to make sure his son is safe. You see, they can only travel by night because sunlight sends Alton into fits. And when Alton uses his special powers to show people glimpses of something otherworldly (we aren’t sure what), it also weakens him. In fact, Alton is dying and helping him achieve his goal has become paramount.

Step 4: Stay on the run. Needless to say, Roy, Lucas and eventually Alton’s mother, Sarah (Kirsten Dunst) — who had previously left the Ranch and they pick up along the way – know they have to reach the place before its too late. But they continue to run into obstacles, including the Ranch flunkies who try to get Alton back, and also the FBI, who have tracked Alton and believe his powers may be a dangerous nuclear weapon. The race against the clock is harrowing, but what happens at their destination is what makes Midnight Special all the more special.

Step 5: Admire the actors. Shannon, who is now becoming one of Nichols’ go-to actors, brings a certain fierce determination to the father character, trying desperately to save his son’s life, even if he doesn’t completely understand why this is happening to his child. At one point, Alton tells Roy he doesn’t have to worry about him anymore, but Roy says, “That’s what all parents do.” Shannon is quite excellent, as is Dunst, who plays the mother figure so very convincingly. The underrated Edgerton also adds nicely to the mix as Roy’s old childhood friend and now state trooper who immediately helps Roy and Alton once Alton shows him the light in his eyes. Adam Driver, who you can’t take your eyes off every time he is onscreen, stands out as well as an NSA analyst who discovers what Alton’s true purpose might be through codes and signals, but is also eventually drawn into Alton’s universe. Then, we have the young Lieberher, who embodies the whole of Midnight Special with his soulful looks and understated acting. I think the kid’s got the chops to make it past adolescent and blossom into a fine actor, ala Jodie Foster.

Step 6: Again give kudos to Nichols, the true star behind Midnight Special. He carries this narrative without making it a sci-fi spectacle but rather he lets it ride on its heart, focusing on the family and what it means to be a parent. Nichols is quickly becoming a filmmaker on par with indie darlings Wes Anderson and Alexander Payne but who thinks big like Steven Spielberg. Can’t wait to see what he does next.

How to Watch: “10 Cloverfield Lane”

Cloverfield Lane

Step 1: Can you keep a secret? 10 Cloverfield Lane seemingly came out of nowhere, thanks to clever shielding from producer J.J. Abrams, but what Abrams and company did under the cloak of secrecy is produce one of the best psychological thrillers to come along in awhile. It’s a real helluva ride.

Step 2: Don’t call it a sequel. Abrams has referred to 10 Cloverfield Lane as a “blood relative” because it is a completely new story that has ties to Cloverfield but is definitely not a sequel. You might remember that the 2008 surprise hit is a found-footage film about a group of New York friends trying to find safety after an giant alien being attacks the city. 10 Cloverfield Lane revolves around Michelle (Mary Elizabeth Winstead), a woman who gets into a really bad car accident and wakes up to find herself on a mattress on the floor of what looks like a basement, an IV in her arm and her leg chained to a pipe. Not a good sign, she fears, but in walks Howard (John Goodman), who informs her that he saved her life and that they are now safe in a bunker he has built near his farmhouse. He also tells her that the air outside has been contaminated by a widespread chemical attack, and she can’t leave – at least for another two years or so. And make no mistake, this is Howard’s show, and he rules with an iron hand.

Step 3: Smell something rotten. There is one more person with them, Emmett (John Gallagher Jr.), a young man who helped Howard build the shelter. When the shit goes down outside, he begs Howard to take him in. The feisty Michelle is not at all convinced and really wants to get out of there, but after a particularly harrowing moment, she is finally forced to believe that something is definitely wrong outside, so, she tries to settle in. Now, we kinda already know things are indeed fubar – maybe for totally different reasons – but Michelle doesn’t know the exact reason why she’s stuck with two strangers as her world ends. What she does know is that Howard may not be playing with a full deck, and while she has been getting along with him, she soon believes he may actually be dangerous. Then, the film becomes an escape mission, and you’re just clenching your teeth as she tries to do just that.

Step 4: Watch the character study. Winstead, an underrated actress who has done great work in films like Scott Pilgrim vs. the World and Live Free or Die Hard, easily makes the spunky, intelligent Michelle her own, and you believe 100 percent in her abilities to escape her predicament. Goodman as well just scares the hell out you, turning in one of his best performances in a long time. Because this excellent veteran actor usually plays such goodhearted characters, you forget how menacing he can also be (anyone remember Barton Fink?). Gallagher Jr, probably best known as Jim in the HBO series Newsroom, nicely rounds out the trio of performances as the simple-minded Emmett, who has enough sense to follow Michelle’s lead, rather than stay loyal to Howard.

Step 5: Create the environment. Director Dan Trachtenberg makes his feature film debut with 10 Cloverfield Lane, and it’s clear he listened to producer/mentor Abrams’ advice (you just know Abrams helped him with this). Let’s start with that car crash scene, which is woefully intense. When watching a movie and a car is hit out of nowhere, it makes you jump and your heart starts beating a mile a minute; this one does all that and more. Trachtenberg immediately sets the tone with that scene, and you quickly realize you’re not going to be very comfortable in your seat. Also bolstered by a well-crafted screenplay (one of the writers is Whiplash‘s Damien Chazelle), Cloverfield Lane‘s pacing is impeccable. The movie hums, jumps, flips, slams and provides just about all the thrills you want in a psychological thriller. With all that being said, we then get to the last one-fourth of the movie. Whoa. Let’s just say, Michelle’s survival instincts go into hyper drive.

Step 6: Strong arm it. Make sure to bring someone with you who doesn’t mind if you unexpectedly grab their arm. 10 Cloverfield Lane is definitely that kind of movie and an absolute must-see.

How to Interview: Freida Pinto and Teresa Palmer on “Knight of Cups”

Knight of Cups

Knight of Cups is one of those surreal, existential journeys that only director Terrence Malick can bring to life on the big screen. The film’s narrative mostly meanders, but it’s so filled with stunning imagery, you definitely get wrapped up. Malick is a love it or hate it kind of filmmaker, but there’s no questions this guy feels things, and maybe projects himself a little into Christian Bale’s role as a successful screenwriter who ponders on his past loves. Knight of Cups is also most definitely a love letter to the City of Angels, even while showing the grimier side.

Check out my interviews with stars Freida Pinto and Teresa Palmer that I did for We Got This Covered… they were quite lovely and talk about how they interpret the film and what is was like working with Malick on set.

How to Watch: “Altered Minds”

Altered-Minds

Step 1: Get ready for a trippy ride. The indie drama Altered Minds examines what happens when siblings, who have gathered to spend some time with their dying father, uncover some deep-seated family secrets. It moves almost too slowly through the family dynamics but culminates with a heart-wrenching punch in the gut.

Step 2: Bring a blanket. Altered Minds‘ setting places us in the depths of winter — gray, dreary and very cold – which sets a specific tone for the film. As the Shellner family reunites in their drafty family home, we meet the patriarch, Dr. Nathaniel Shellner (Judd Hirsch), a famed psychiatrist, his wife (Caroline Lagerfelt) and their adult children, including his natural-born son, Leonard (Joseph Lyle Taylor), and his two adopted children, Harry (C.S. Lee) and Julie (Jaime Ray Newman). We find out Nathaniel once worked for the CIA to help try to rehabilitate soldiers suffering from PTSD, and when he traveled to certain war-torn areas, he found his adoptive children, who had witnessed the horrific deaths of their parents at young ages.

Step 3: Think deep thoughts. The only one missing is adopted son Tommy (Ryan O’Nan), twin brother to Julie, because he’s currently roaming the neighborhood with a shovel trying to find where his dad buried an urn containing Tommy’s dead dog. Yes, Tommy has major OCD issues, and when he finally does show up to the family home, he is more than a little distraught. Eventually, Tommy jump starts the action when he accuses his father of doing psychological experiments on him when he was little, which basically triggers the other siblings to begin remembering things on their own. Then, Altered Minds becomes a did-he-or-didn’t-he? scenario, in which layers are peeled back on what Nathaniel’s real job was back in the day and truths are exposed. It’s a mind trip, to say the least.

Step 4: Get Judd Hirsch. Clearly, indie filmmaker Michael Z. Wechsler scored a big coup getting Hirsch for the film because the veteran actor adds gravitas to the proceedings and handles the chores with aplomb. As the dying Nathaniel (his cough sounds just awful in this), Hirsch must deliver long monologues about his past, along with trying to show how much he cares for his children. There are shades of the psychologist he played in Ordinary People; Hirsch just has those right soothing tones, except in Altered Minds, they are interrupted by that horrid cough.

Step 5: Try to find the character. Altered Minds keeps the narrative compelling as you try to figure out if Nathaniel is a monster or not, but there are moments when the film loses some of its cohesiveness, mostly with the Tommy character. He’s a little all over the place, and O’Nan tends to overdo it with the wringing of hands and gnashing of teeth. First, he’s manic, asking his father over and over where the urn is. Then he seems to believe Nathaniel that it’s all in his head, but then goes right back to crazy town.  As his siblings, Newman and Taylor aptly react to Tommy’s meltdown, with Newman’s Julie trying to calm her brother down, and Taylor’s Leonard exasperation at his younger brother’s antics. Lee (who is recognizable as Dexter‘s Vince Masuka) also does a nice job with Harry, an orchestra violinist suffering from stage fright. When he starts to put things together, Lee’s descent into depression is effective.

Step 6: Feel it. Wechsler seems to have a handle on the slow-burn technique. Altered Minds looks crisp and well-crafted. There’s a dream-like quality to the film, leaving you to wonder whether some scenes are real or is just being imagined, which, at times, is distracting. At one point, for example, Tommy cuts open his head in the bathroom to look for microchips, comes out with divots in his head, but the rest of the family doesn’t even register it. Although you might be impatient for things to get going, once they do, you’re clenching your teeth. Definitely bundle up if you’re watching Altered Minds on VOD and stay for the psychologically trippy ending.

How to Interview: “Eddie the Eagle” Stars

Eddie the Eagle

I was lucky enough to interview Eddie the Eagle stars Taron Egerton and Hugh Jackman for Rotten Tomatoes — and we had a blast coming up with signature Olympic moves. Check it out!

How to Watch: “Pride and Prejudice and Zombies”

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Step 1: Bring it to life. A big-screen adaptation of Seth Grahame-Smith’s best-selling novel Pride and Prejudice and Zombies took some time to reach theaters, but it was worth the wait. PPZ is rip-roaring, zombie guts-spewin’, conventional Jane Austen  fun.

Step 2: Twist something classic. Grahame-Smith’s whole point in writing this absurd novel is to take Austen’s classic tale of pride and prejudices in the Victorian aristocracy — keeping all the wonderful characterizations, including the independent Elizabeth Bennett navigating her way through the BS of the time – and throw in a twist about a plague of zombies ravaging England. And why not? Most stories are made better with zombies, I’d say. Love those undead brain munchers.

Step 3: Realize killing zombies works for the Bennetts. Instead of just sparring with words, Liz Bennett (Lily James) and her maddeningly pragmatic but ultimately dashing Mr. Darcy (Sam Riley) clash swords as well. In that pivotal moment when Darcy first proclaims his love for Liz, despite his better judgment and her breeding and whatever else he finds wrong with her, she not only looks at him like he’s completely nuts, she also beats the crap out of him. Brilliant. It’s all the repressed frustrations of the era played out in a kick-ass milieu because these Bennett sisters, including Jane (Bella Heathcote), Kitty (Suki Waterhouse), Lydia (Ellie Bamber) and Mary (Millie Brady), have all been expertly trained in the Chinese arts to kill zombies. Their progressive father (Charles Dance) has made sure his girls can take care of themselves, and whenever they all go out, they take plenty of weapons hidden in their garters and undergarments. The Bennett girls’ buffoonish mother (Sally Phillips) naturally still wants to marry them all off. PPZ follows Austen’s novel to the letter in that regard, introducing the lovesick Mr. Bingley (Douglas Booth) as Jane’s paramour; the doofus Parson Collins (Matt Smith) as a potential husband for Liz; caddish soldier George Wickham (Jack Huston), who causes more than a little trouble for the Bennetts; and finally Mr. Darcy, one of the most romantic characters in all of literature. Any love attachments, or lack thereof, are tampered with the fact the undead are most assuredly encroaching, and their little section of English countryside has to be fortified and protected, at least long enough for them all to be married!

Step 4: Cast young, beautiful and mostly British people (Bella Heathcote is Australian). They all handle the Austen speak with aplomb, as is their birthright to do so. These young actors – James, Riley, Smith, Booth, Huston – are quickly becoming the new “It” Brits in film, especially the lovely James, who made a splash in Downton Abbey but hit it big when she starred in Disney’s Cinderella. Her spunky Elizabeth Bennett might not be the best one to date (still partial to the Keira Knightley version), but James fits well into this absurd new Pride and Prejudice, as does Heathcote as Liz’s older, more refined blonde-haired sister, Jane. And they both handle the weaponry like pros. As for the boys, Riley does a fine job as Mr. Darcy but slightly misses the opportunity to be more romantic towards the end because, well, there are zombies to fight. Smith, who is best known as Dr. Who from 2010-2014, is the one who nearly steals the show as the geeky Collins, with his little asides and gestures. He’s flat-out hilarious. Oh, and we have to mention Lena Headey as Darcy’s aunt, Lady Catherine de Bourgh, an eye-patch wearing, once glorious zombie-killing warrior. A real badass take on that character.

Step 5: Reiterate that this Pride and Prejudice remains completely faithful to Austen’s classic. Director Burr Steers (Igby Goes Down) films PPZ as if it’s the BBC production, with lush English countryside vistas, gorgeous period costumes and hair, and with many of the book’s iconic moments intact. But by simply adding the zombie component, the whole feel just lends a fantastical element to the proceedings, and enhances many of the classic novel’s themes. Some of the supernatural plot points go a little over the top (primarily with the “levels” of zombie-hood that could be reached), but PPZ is completely entertaining all the way through. Those young folks into zombies will also get a literary lesson and while they might not rush out to read Austen’s novel, they might check out another, more traditional cinematic version of Pride and Prejudice.

How to Interview: ‘Hail, Caesar’ Cast on the Coen Brothers

Hail-Caesar

Hail, Caesar! is Joel and Ethan Coen’s homage to the old Hollywood studio system. It takes place in 1950s Hollywood and centers on a studio executive and “fixer” by the name of Eddie Mannix (Josh Brolin), who, on any given day, has to put numerous fires and keep the studio’s big stars out of the gossip columns.

But on one particularly bad day, the studio’s big star, the buffoonish Baird Whitlock (George Clooney) goes missing, which is a big deal since he is starring in the studio’s grandest film to date – a sword and sandal epic about a Roman tribune who encounters the power of Jesus Christ. So it’s up to the multitasking Eddie to figure out how to get him back (and it has something do with Trumbo-like writers, all hardcore Communists).

The film also stars Channing Tatum, as Burt Gurney, a Gene Kelley/Donald O’Connor type star who has one helluva a musical number; Scarlett Johansson as DeeAnna Moran, an Esther Williams-type star whose really not all that “sweet”; newcomer Alden Ehrenreich (Beautiful Creatures) as Hobie Doyle, a young Western star ill-fitted to do much else; Tilda Swinton as twin sister gossip columnists (yes, like THOSE gossip columnists of the 1950s); Ralph Fiennes as director Laurence Laurentz who wants to do serious films; and Jonah Hill, as Joseph Silverman, an accountant who’ll do anything for the job, including going to jail or adopting a big star’s baby.

At a recent press conference, some of the boys – specifically Clooney, Brolin, Ehrenreich, Hill and Tatum – chatted with us about working with the very laid back and cool Coen brothers. Continue reading ‘How to Interview: ‘Hail, Caesar’ Cast on the Coen Brothers’