Joel and Ethan Coen are an anomaly among filmmakers. Rarely can a creative team make so many acclaimed films that share so many similar parts but can be so different from one another.

While they have a shortlist of people who seem to be in every one of their movies (John Goodman, Frances McDormand, John Turturro, Steve Buscemi), they’ve also shown that they are adept at switching styles and genres at the blink of an eye, whether it be black comedy (Fargo, Burn After Reading), Crime (Blood Simple, Miller’s Crossing), or Western (No Country For Old Men, True Grit).

Their art is complete yet concise, with all but one of their films clocking in at under two hours (No Country being the exception). Inside Llewyn Davis finds them in a different, somber mindset, however. It’s still unmistakably a Coen Brothers film (Hi, John Goodman), but it’s melancholy, visually striking, and eminently likable and relatable due to its lead.

The movie takes place during a one week period of the life of Llewyn Davis (Oscar Issac), a folk singer in the 1960s Greenwich Village. Judging by that description, it’s easy to imagine what his life is probably like, which is to say, an unfulfilled mess. He drifts from apartment to apartment playing in dimly lit clubs while dealing with the suicide of his partner and unintentionally giving everyone around him new reasons to hate him. His ex-girlfriend Jean (Carey Mulligan) is apparently pregnant with his child, and he’s also stuck with one of his friends cats, since he can never find an opportune time to return it.

In his journey, he collaborates with Jean’s boyfriend Jim (Justin Timberlake) on a song, and joins two musicians (John Goodman and Garrett Hedlund) on their way to Chicago. But the film actually has the supporting cast take a major backseat for a change, with many of them only appearing for a short time. Rightfully so, as it is Llewyn’s story, which is where the strength of the film lies.

Llewyn is relatable to everyone, artist or not, because everyone has at one point felt his struggle. A character like this has the potential to be rather unlikable, but Issac’s performance keeps him within the audience’s sympathy. His life is a constant downward spiral, but apart from a few specific scenes, he keeps himself together in a dark, sardonic way. He’s an artist who is actually in it for the art, and the reason he hasn’t seen success is because he isn’t willing to sell out like his peers have, a fact exemplified by the scene where Llewyn and Jim record the song “Please, Mr. Kennedy,” a protest song about the space program, of all things, meant as just a quick cash for which he sacrifices his integrity just so he can survive.

Visually, the film is striking. Much of the color is taken away to create an almost sepia tone, which fits the bleak, melancholy atmosphere of the movie. It’s a lot like Nebraska, another beautiful, visually striking but hard to read film from 2013. The morals of Nebraska, however, might have been intentional due to the setting and the characters, but Llewyn’s seems slightly more complex due to the subtlety of the visuals, characters, and the ending, which basically accomplishes nothing.

Being a Coen Brothers film, the soundtrack deserves some praise. It finds them collaborating with producer T-Bone Burnett once again, who helped them make one of the most successful soundtracks of all time with O Brother, Where Art Thou? Much like O Brother, folk music is prevalent through the soundtrack, featuring a mix of re-recorded folk classics and original material, including “Please, Mr. Kennedy,” as mentioned above. And of course no modern day folk record would be complete without a dash of Mumford. Marcus Mumford (who happens to married to Carey Mulligan) is featured on a couple songs and is also the singing voice of Llewyn’s deceased partner, adding serious folk credibility to the experience.

Inside Llewyn Davis would be nothing without its lead and atmosphere, which contribute so much to having us feel what Llewyn is going through. The Coens, in their usual sardonic way, tell a tale of how disappointingly bad, and against all odds, things happen to good people.

Quiz: How well do you remember the 2007 Oscars?

3:32 pm EST, January 18, 2017

As the 89th Academy Awards approach, we take a trip back to 2007 to see how memorable the ceremony really was 10 years ago.

Ah, the Oscars. What a night. Glitz and glamour, lots of rich and beautiful people crying and thanking each other. What’s not to like?

Related: 2016 Oscars: Leo finally wins, Mad Max: Fury Road cleans up

Read full article

As the 89th Academy Awards approach, we take a trip back to 2007 to see how memorable the ceremony really was 10 years ago.

Ah, the Oscars. What a night. Glitz and glamour, lots of rich and beautiful people crying and thanking each other. What’s not to like?

Related: 2016 Oscars: Leo finally wins, Mad Max: Fury Road cleans up

In 10 years, will we look back at the 2017 Oscars and remember every detail of Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling awkwardly accepting award after award for La La Land while the other nominees politely clap and try not to grit their teeth? Or will the event fade into distant memory?

Maybe we can get an answer to that question by dialling back the clock to 2007 and see just how clearly we remember the 79th Academy Awards.

How did you do? Tell us how well you remember the 79th Academy Awards in the comments!

The nominations for the 89th Academy Awards will be unveiled Tuesday, January 24.

You may know that one of those dogs-are-so-great-and-warm-our-hearts movies, A Dog’s Purpose, is hitting theaters very soon. Unfortunately, it’s now embroiled in controversy.

TMZ has released a video from the film’s Canadian set depicting a German Shepherd being forced into a fast-moving stream of water. As you can tell, the dog clearly does not want to go in it.

The most upsetting part of the video comes at the very end when we see the dog finally in the fake river but having trouble staying above water. The crew calls cut to rescue him/her.

Read full article

You may know that one of those dogs-are-so-great-and-warm-our-hearts movies, A Dog’s Purpose, is hitting theaters very soon. Unfortunately, it’s now embroiled in controversy.

TMZ has released a video from the film’s Canadian set depicting a German Shepherd being forced into a fast-moving stream of water. As you can tell, the dog clearly does not want to go in it.

The most upsetting part of the video comes at the very end when we see the dog finally in the fake river but having trouble staying above water. The crew calls cut to rescue him/her.

“Sources connected to production tell us eight outboard motors were used to churn the water and recreate a rushing river,” says TMZ. “The dog eventually got in the water — or was forced in — but was quickly submerged.”

At 1:28 in the below trailer you can see a scene that looks similar to what was being filmed in TMZ’s video:

Universal and their partners at Amblin told TMZ in a statement, “Fostering a safe environment and ensuring the ethical treatment of our animal actors was of the utmost importance to those involved in making this film and we will look into the circumstances surrounding this video.”

A Dog’s Purpose stars Dennis Quaid and Britt Robertson. It opens next Friday, January 27.

Update: Josh Gad, who voices a dog in the movie, issued the following statement on Instagram. He speaks highly of the film but says he finds the leaked video “disturbing.”

“While I do not know all of the details and cannot speak to the level of care and caution that went into this moment (as I was never on set for the marking of this film), I am shaken and sad to see any animal put in a situation against its will.”

Since apparently some of you did not see the statement I issued last night, here it is again.

A photo posted by Josh Gad (@joshgad) on

We’re suddenly way less interested in seeing this.

Moviegoers may be getting the Spidey we’ve all been hoping for! A new report reveals that Sony’s animated Spider-Man movie, set to hit theaters in 2018, will focus on the Miles Morales Spidey.

Update (January 18, 2017): Sony Animation confirmed on Wednesday, January 18 that their animated Spider-Man movie will star Miles Morales!

Read full article

Moviegoers may be getting the Spidey we’ve all been hoping for! A new report reveals that Sony’s animated Spider-Man movie, set to hit theaters in 2018, will focus on the Miles Morales Spidey.

Update (January 18, 2017): Sony Animation confirmed on Wednesday, January 18 that their animated Spider-Man movie will star Miles Morales!

Original story (May 2016): Heroic Hollywood, who has a good record of breaking superhero news, is the source behind the exciting development. As was previously announced, the animated Spider-Man movie will be produced by LEGO Movie helmers Phil Lord and Chris Miller. The duo are also set to direct the Star Wars Han Solo spinoff for Lucasfilm.

Who is Miles Morales? As we wrote in a lengthy tell-all about the character last year:

Miles Morales is the current Spider-Man in Marvel’s Ultimate Comics series. Introduced in 2011, Miles is a black-hispanic young man who, like Peter Parker, is a talented scientist and self-proclaimed nerd. However, unlike his predecessor, Morales steps into the superhero’s shoes at the surprisingly young age of 13.

Raised in Brooklyn, Miles was born into a family plagued by criminal activity. Before settling down with his wife Rio, Miles’s father Jefferson used to be crime partners with his brother Aaron (Miles’s uncle). However, where Jefferson tried to shrink away from the lifestyle, Aaron continues to embrace it — assuming the role of classic Marvel villain the Prowler. After pulling off a heist on Oscorp, Aaron unknowingly takes a genetically modified spider home with him. It is at Aaron’s house that Miles is bit by the spider and starts the transformation into Spider-Man.

Where Peter Parker relished the opportunity to become spidey, Miles is reluctant to enter the world of vigilantism. What’s more, his family’s criminal history causes him to question whether or not he can ever be a hero, or if evil is hardwired into him.

Oh, and one other cool thing about him: The guy is immortal, unlike the Peter Parker version of Spider-Man.

Related: Who is Miles Morales? We explain everything

The rumor mill was alive with chatter about the MCU’s Spidey being the Miles Morales version last year, but obviously those reports never panned out. The Peter Parker version of Spider-Man was introduced in Captain America: Civil War, played by Tom Holland. He’s getting his own spinoff film, Spider-Man: Homecoming, next year.

Telling the Miles Morales story on screen may be just the thing the animated Spider-Man movie needs in order for it to draw people into the theaters in December 2018. We’ve had enough Peter Parker stories!

2018 will be a great year for super hero diversity: Marvel’s Black Panther starring Chadwick Boseman will be released a few months earlier.