The Hudsucker Proxy: World’s Finest Corporate Espionage

THE HUDSUCKER PROXY

The_Hudsucker_Proxy_Movie

DIRECTED BY: Joel Coen

STARRING: Tim Robbins, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Paul Newman

GENRE: Comedy

YEAR: 1994

COUNTRY: United States, United Kingdom

lead_largeWhen Waring Hudsucker, head of hugely successful Hudsucker Industries, commits suicide, his board of directors, led by Sidney Mussberger, comes up with a brilliant plan to make a lot of money: appoint a moron to run the company. When the stock falls low enough, Sidney and friends can buy it up for pennies on the dollar, take over the company, and restore its fortunes. They choose idealistic Norville Barnes, who just started in the mail room. Norville is whacky enough to drive any company to ruin, but soon, tough reporter Amy Archer smells a rat and begins an undercover investigation of Hudsucker Industries.

This leads to frequent, and insightful, hilarity as Norville is named President and sets out on his journey to lead Hudsucker to success. Robbins is simply awesome as Norville, combining his genial, small-town boy charm with the sort of charismatic presence it actually takes to lead a big company. The role allows Robbins to balance straight acting with physical comedy, but also to dish out the ideals of the film with a gleam in his eyes. “The Hudsucker Proxy” skewers big business like few films ever have done successfully. The film is possess with satire, downright nasty satire wrapped in the prettiest of packages like only a Coen could possibly create.

u9fenThe reason for this, in a nutshell, is that The Hudsucker Proxy is not a good movie. I know that it has its defenders. And honestly, having not seen it in many years, I expected it to be, upon re-viewing, a modestly pleasant surprise relative to its poor reputation. It wasn’t. Like all Coens’ films it has notable strengths, most of them technical. But on a fundamental level, the homage/satire of 1930s-era screwball comedies simply doesn’t work. It’s too arch, too hyper-stylized, too one-note, and, as a ’30s-era movie set in the late ’50s, too contextually schizophrenic.

PROS:

  • Solid satire.
  • Main cast performance.

CONS:

  • Strengths are mainly technical.
  • Over hyper-stylized,

SCORE: 5.5 / 10

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The Hateful Eight: A Bloody Stay at a Civil War B&B

Hello everybody! For this week’s “New Movie Show” we have the latest film from Quentin Tarentino, The Hateful Eight.

THE HATEFUL EIGHT

The_Hateful_Eight

DIRECTED BY: Quentin Tarentino

STARRING: Samuel L. Jackson, Kurt Russell, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Walton Goggins, Demián Bichir, Tim Roth, Michael Madsen, Bruce Dern

GENRE: Western, Mystery

YEAR: 2015

COUNTRY: United States 

hateful-eight-samuel-l-jackson_0Some time after the Civil War, a stagecoach hurtles through the wintry Wyoming landscape. Bounty hunter John Ruth and his fugitive captive Daisy Domergue race towards the town of Red Rock, where Ruth will bring Daisy to justice. Along the road, they encounter Major Marquis Warren (an infamous bounty hunter) and Chris Mannix (a man who claims to be Red Rock’s new sheriff). Lost in a blizzard, the bunch seeks refuge at Minnie’s Haberdashery. When they arrive they are greeted by unfamiliar faces: Bob, who claims to be taking care of the place while Minnie is gone; Oswaldo Mobray, the hangman of Red Rock; Joe Gage, a cow puncher; and confederate general Sanford Smithers. As the storm overtakes the mountainside, the eight travelers come to learn that they might not make it to Red Rock after all…

Alright Tarentino, let’s see what you have to offer this time around. I would like to applaud the entire cast (except for one individual) as they performed extravagantly and matched each other beat for beat. For a very character-driven film, I was worried that they wouldn’t bounce off each other as well as they did.  I don’t normally talk about the cinematography of a film over here on Media in Review, but Tarentino made that mountain look amazing and dangerous all at the same time. Beyond that, the dialogue is absolutely perfect. There is a reason Tarentino is known as the “King of Dialogue”. KurtRussellSamuelLJacksonHatefulEight

While the film does take place after the civil war, Tarentino overdoes it just a bit with the racial slurs. While this has become a Tarentino staple in his last few films, this time it actually made me uncomfortable watching it unlike in Django Unchained. Tarentino definitely got his point across about how much racism has changed since the civil war into the modern world. Also Channing Tatum, why were you in this film? You weren’t here very long and I am glad you were disposed of quickly.

PROS:

  • Main cast performance.
  • Supporting cast performance.
  • Cinematography.
  • Well-written dialogue.

CONS:

  • Uncomfortable racism.
  • Channing Tatum…

SCORE: 8.0 / 10

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