Thursday, January 12, 2006

Ladykillers * *

Ok, I think this film has perhaps stopped my Tom Hanks run. This was quite painful. In the past, I have liked some of the Coen brother's films (Fargo, O' Brother Where Art Thou, Raising Arizona), but this one seemed pointless and uninspired. Part of the problem, for me, was that it was based on a previous story so there was little opportunity for the Coen brother's insprired plots. The plot was pretty simple: guy rents room to get access to cellar to dig hole to vault and steal money, and complications arise. What's funny about that? Also there were no inspired comic characters like the lead in Fargo and in O' Brother Where Art Thou. I suppose, Tom Hanks character could have been that, but he came across as a stock comic character in a B-grade Hollywood comedy. What I liked about some of the Coen brothers other characters in other movies is that they were hilarious, but were not acting funny. The whole incongruity of the character was funny without the actor being comic. Oh, there was a good bit in Ladykillers, the music. There is some great gospel music in the movie. Wow, black churches seem like a lot more fun than any white one I've been to.

Hanks' acting: The whole point of seeing these films has been to see how Hanks has changed his acting over time. Well, this was uninspired. His acting is solid; he's good at what he does, but there didn't seem to be anything special, mesmerizing, charismatic, whatever about this performance. He used a few of his characteristic mannerisms, specifically the eyebrow raise and the weak smile that he uses in comic films.