Because I'm so in love with just about everything I write, I figured I'd include a sorta meta-movie review I wrote in response to someone on Facebook who strongly recommended a Coen brothers film to me. Enjoy!
Eh. Really not into the Coen brothers, as they don't really make films. They make exquisite hoaxes masquerading as films. But underneath it all, there's really nothing there. It all hints to a bigger thing, but they never really get around to the thing itself. And while I'm perfectly fine with films that are pure entertainment, I'm not keen on films that act like they've got a purpose but don't.
Their films kind of remind me of Tim Burton films, which are all dressed up with no place to go, as Burton doesn't care about telling stories. But while Burton does it for the thrill of creating a bizarro universe, the Coen brothers are just showing off their expertise in filmmaking and their ability to screw with the audience's head. And while they are quite excellent at it, they still aren't telling stories. It's like you're watching a masterful lesson on various film techniques and cultural cues, but with no intent for the rubber to hit the road.
In the end, I feel they make films for their own delight, not their audience's. And while that's refreshing from an artistic perspective, as an audience member, that doesn't do much for me. And so I tend to avoid their films, except for Hudsucker Proxy, which I've always loved.
Paul Thomas Anderson, on the other hand, knows how to make the hell out of a movie. Even included the word "blood" in the title of his last flick, just to let the audience know he's playing for keeps. Best filmmaker ever. Grabs you by the balls and never lets you go until he's done.