A Monday morning confession: The cinetrix saw The Ladykillers ten days ago now, on opening night. And every day since then she has sat in front of the computer, fully intending to write about the Coen Brothers' latest flick, to no avail. Part of the problem, perhaps, is that the cinetrix hates Tom Hanks with the white-hot passion of a thousand suns. His work as Professer G.H. Dorr in The Ladykillers did nothing to dissuade me from this stance.
There are some days when the cinetrix feels like the only person on earth who still remembers the early, smarmy work of Mr. Hanks. All this Saint Tom shit makes me want to projectile vomit. The last movie of his I deigned to see in the theatre was Forrest Gump. I was on a first [and last] date with someone really keen to see it, and to my eternal chagrin, I didn't press hard enough to see The Client, our other option, instead, because, c'mon, The Client? It was meagre consolation that I did not have to pay for my ticket, given that I'll never have back the 142 minutes that Republican Party commercial for conformity and unquestioning loyalty [and against promiscuity and casual drug use--bye, bye Jenny!] took from me.
Hanks is just a self-satisfied, bloated showboater. Acting in a Coen Brothers movie doesn't give him any sort of cred, it just serves to remind the audience how much the success of any of the brothers' past pastiche souffles rose and fell on the work of the character actors that popped in and out of the ensemble--Buscemi, Goodman, Turturro, McDormand, Jon Polito.
The Ladykillers feels like a summer stock version of a Coen Brothers movie. Forget asking how well the remake stands up to the original Ealing comedy. There is no joy, no sense of getting away with anything here. Even J.K. Simmons [Garth Pancake] seems like pale simulacra of the late [and more talented] Michael Jeter. The knowing winks and nods of the past have been replaced with a heavy-lidded, flinty-eyed stare that says to the audience, even if you hate this movie, it's still gonna make shitloads of money. Suck it up, true believers.
And T-Bone Burnett's paint-by-numbers soundtrack sucks the uplift right out of church music, to so calculated an enterprise is it attached.
I think Elvis Mitchell put it best on Weekend Edition:
I guess if you can't find Bosom Buddies on Trio on cable this weekend, and you're desperate to see Tom Hanks in something, and Blockbuster is closed in every single location in America--well, certainly, you could do worse.