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Intolerable Cruelty out on Blu Ray

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Intolerable Cruelty out on Blu Ray

Post by Katiedot on Wed 26 Jan 2011, 12:15

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Alongside The Ladykillers (2004), Intolerable Cruelty (2003) stands as the Coen brothers’ most critically reviled film. I find both to be hugely underrated, and perhaps with 6-7 years of retrospection others will too with the release of Intolerable Cruelty on Blu-ray.

George Clooney plays Miles Massey, a teeth and hair obsessed divorce lawyer working in Los Angeles. His opposing number is Catherine Zeta-Jones as Marylin Rexroth, a serial gold digger and skillful (yet intriguingly ambiguous) man eater. Harking back to the days of Cary Grant and Katherine Hepburn, the two prove a sparky, snappy couple.

Despite this, Zeta-Jones is unfortunately the weakest link in the film, seeming unable to work her mouth around the Coen brothers’ trademark dialogue, but Clooney is more than able to hold up the fort. His performance is fantastic: his smooth, dextrous, completely overworked divorce rhetoric tied to Jeff Goldblum-esque hand jitteriness, and an impressive balance of charm and helplessness.

For Coen fans, their comedy tropes are all in place. Fat people, screaming people, ridiculous names and accents (Heinz, the Baron Krauss von Espy and his Pomeranian exemplifying both), repetitive dialogue and so forth. All of it encapsulates what seems to be the Coen’s recurrent central preoccupation; transgressing the fine line between society and the illusion of order, whilst simultaneously realising the absurdity of such things and unveiling the chaos underneath it all.

Intolerable Cruelty's characters fight to take control of conversations, but the disorder of this battle for verbal control is what creates the rhythm. One scene with Billy Bob Thornton highlights this particularly well. He talks endlessly while Clooney desperately attempts to jump in, before eventually subduing his enemy. It is this act of bouncing between the two vocal parties which creates balance, and without the chaos and disruption we wouldn’t have the pleasure of reveling in its musicality.

Intolerable Cruelty’s lukewarm critical response may come down to its anachronistic nature, blending classic Hollywood 'screwball comedy' with a somewhat modern spin. Perhaps, because of a modern audiences’ lack of recent experience in such films, we react badly to an old language exhumed like this. Let's hope that this re-release can change that.

Stephen Glass

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Re: Intolerable Cruelty out on Blu Ray

Post by melbert on Thu 27 Jan 2011, 01:59

I LOVED this film! There wasn't too many places that I thought dragged - it just caught me! I giggled through the whole thing I think!
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Re: Intolerable Cruelty out on Blu Ray

Post by Katiedot on Tue 06 Dec 2011, 10:58

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The dozen funniest death scenes in otherwise serious movies

From accidental headshots to toxic waste-fueled rampages, here's what made us laugh when we weren't expecting to.

Wheezy Joe's Tragic Confusion in "Intolerable Cruelty" (2003)

The Coen Brothers certainly know how to conjure a memorable -- and rather hilarious -- death scene. One of the more subversive moments in the otherwise completely disposable "Intolerable Cruelty" features the lumbering, asthmatic hit man, Wheezy Joe (Irwin Keyes), getting into a confusing scuffle with divorce attorney Miles Massey (George Clooney) in a dimly-lit house -- amidst all of the hurly-burly, poor Joe mistakes his inhaler for a gun, and vice-versa -- causing him to spray air in Clooney's face and, well, you can probably imagine the second part. Nice touch with the broken window, by the way.




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Re: Intolerable Cruelty out on Blu Ray

Post by melbert on Wed 07 Dec 2011, 02:47

I loved the expressions that George had in that scene. I about peed my pants watching it!!
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Re: Intolerable Cruelty out on Blu Ray

Post by Missa on Wed 07 Dec 2011, 03:03

I always loved this movie too. Never got why people seemed to dislike it so much, although I do agree with this critic about CZJ's difficulty with the dialogue. My favorite part is the introduction of Billy Bob Thornton as CZJ's new fiance. The scene with the three of them in George's office and the line, "Aw, honey, you ain't no harlot" makes me giggle every time.
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Re: Intolerable Cruelty out on Blu Ray

Post by Joanna on Fri 18 May 2012, 12:57

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Re: Intolerable Cruelty out on Blu Ray

Post by melbert on Sun 25 Nov 2012, 00:52

The many faces of George!!!

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Re: Intolerable Cruelty out on Blu Ray

Post by amaretti on Sun 25 Nov 2012, 02:40

This film is a real knee slapper !!! Great performances. I have seen this film a billion times and every time I see it I take away a funny line and repeat it ad hoc and laugh like a fool . The last was , ' he is a diamond in the rough and soon she will be taking the diamond and leaving the rough ' , too fun . Ha haha This would make a fabulous Christmas gift , the film could be enjoyed over and over again .

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