Archive - Mar 24, 2004

Tom Hanks And The Coen Brothers

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Memo to Tom Hanks and the Coen Brothers: YOU ARE DUMB.

It pains me to say it, at least about the Coens, who made "Oh Brother, Where Art Thou", which was not dumb, and Fargo, which is not dumb either even if it's not as good as you all said it was.

But I have now seen a movie trailer, a half-dozen commercials, and one talk show clip from The Ladykillers, and I can only stare, mouth agape, and wonder what the fuck you were thinking.

In every single commercial I have seen, Tom Hanks is doing that. All of them. Not once, in any of the commercials or trailers, is he NOT doing that. From this I must assume that, for all hundred and four minutes of the actual movie, Tom Hanks is doing that.

The specific "that" to which I refer, of course, is that freakish Southern stammery 'charm' thing. What the fuck is that? It's like Colonel Sanders squatted in the shallows of the Mississippi River and ever-so-gently released an egg from his sac, burying it in the fecund mud along with his special blend of herbs and spices.

And then, in a miraculous freak of nature the Discovery Channel was lucky to catch on film, Forrest Gump, Snidely Whiplash, and Matlock swum by, and from three different directions, simultaneously squirted their sperm, producing a freakish hybrid not unlike that two-headed, six-legged frog they found last month. Only, you know. Annoying.

Did Hanks have "redefine unctuous" on his career goals? Has the Coens' entire oeuvre been merely an attempt to build the Ultimate Bionic Affectation? What, precisely, was the thought process that led to reframing a 1955 British caper comedy as the definitive showdown between Orville Redenbacher and the mom from Good Times?

I humbly beg America: JUST SAY NO. Go see Dawn of the Dead or something. Or stay home. That's it. Stay home this weekend. 'Cause you can't see Ladykillers for reasons detailed above; you can't see Scooby Doo 2 for reasons that should be obvious; you can't go see Jersey Girl because if you do, you run the serious risk of finally realizing that Kevin Smith is NOT THAT DAMN GOOD; and you can't go see Never Die Alone 'cause it's got David Arquette in it.

Keep your eight-fifty. Spend it on something not DUMB.