Sunday Notebook: Hail, Caesar! OJ & What We’re Watching

February 7, 2016 — 1 Comment

Tracy and I saw HAIL, CAESAR! Friday afternoon (at our favorite spot to see a movie – Little Rock’s UA Breckenridge 12). The movie’s a great nod to mid-century Hollywood and a treat for anyone interested in that period. At the risk of being that guy, I’d object to anyone saying it’s about “Old Hollywood” — it’s not. HAIL, CAESAR! is clearly about the world that came after Old Hollywood — during the rise of the Red Scare and the last gasp of the studio system. The film manages to work in two wonderfully wrought conversations about Christology and Communism and a bevy of fun performances. I could be wrong about this but it seems to me the Brothers Coen actually have a lot of affection (even sympathy) for their lead characters in this one, which is not always the case. It’s not among their master works but even a lesser film by these guys is worth seeing in a theater. And kudos to whoever was behind this great trailer.

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Snapped while entering the Fox Village Theater for the official premiere of THE PEOPLE V O.J. SIMPSON (Westwood, Los Angeles 01.27.16)

Brad Simpson is scheduled to be on Little Rock’s FM 103.7 The Buzz this coming Tuesday morning to talk about FX’s The People v O.J. Simpson. Brad and Nina Jacobson, his partner at Color Force, are the uber producers that got the ball rolling on the landmark series. When Ryan Murphy (Glee, American Horror Story) read the first two scripts that Brad and Nina had developed with screenwriters Scott Alexander & Larry Karaszerwski (ED WOOD, THE PEOLE VS LARRY FLYNT, MAN ON THE MOON).  Brad has strong Arkansas roots, which I’m sure will come up on his appearance on The Show with No Name (with Tommy Smith, David Bazzel and Roger Scott). Brad was kind enough to invite me to drop by the People v OJ set this past summer during the production on Episode 5 (“The Race Card”). Brad also invited me to the official premiere for the series in Westwood a couple of weeks ago. I was blown away by both of those behind the scenes exposures to the making of the series. The finished product does not disappoint. It’s off to a wildly successful start launching a new anthology series for Murphy (American Crime Story). Set your DVR if you haven’t already – the Bronco chase is this week’s episode. 

Speaking of TV – I spoke with the Arkansas Democrat Gazette’s Karen Martin for a piece she’s writing about what people are watching on television and streaming services. The article is currently scheduled for February 14. I’m looking forward to seeing what others said about the shows they’re currently enjoying. What are you watching these days? Feel free to comment here — I’d love to see your list.

Enjoy the Super Bowl tonight. Have a great week!

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Trackbacks and Pingbacks:

  1. CineFriday: Are You Now Or Have You Ever Been… « - February 12, 2016

    […] shifting ground under the characters’ feet. (I had a few things to say about the film in last Sunday’s Notebook.) The great joke in HAIL, CAESAR! — well, I won’t say it here in case you’re […]

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