A review by Mike Shea Movie Rating: ( * * * * * ) DVD Rating: ( * * * · · )
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I am not a smart man. I managed to hold a solid C average through my high school and college career and I remember reading some book once about a cyclopse, but that is about all the experience with Homer that I have. I am not proud of this fact and truth be told, I would have enjoyed O Brother Where Art Thou a lot more if I had been able to build the similarities between the book and the movie, but being the mildly retarded man that I am, I had to take the movie on it's own merits. Even with little education about the Odyessy, O Brother is a great great movie.
Todays comedies, like just about every type of mainstream film out there, has been diluted by what the man thinks we, the masses, like instead of just simply writing a funny story. While most of what we consider comedy comes from the world of Nutty Professor II: The Klumps, a movie like O Brother shows us that there really can be comedies that aren't just burp and fart jokes. With a story that was taken from a book written thousands of years ago, we find a surprisingly entertaining story wrapped very nicely into a 1920s period piece, all with enough site gags to make us forget that it will probably spend more time in English classes around the world than in theaters.
ye' olde' style boxing by a complete idiot. As his friends get destroyed by a raging cyclopse, he sits calmly eating some corn and saying "I don't get it". It was as if the writers wanted to poke a little bit of fun at the overly solid persona Clooney normally inflicts in his movies, and George seemed happy to comply. Perhaps all he wanted in exchange was to prove he has one talent no one expected. He can sing.
The story line of O Brother was obviously written around a book written a million years ago, but asside from a couple of random scenes that took a bit of working to stick in a movie set in the 20s, the movie holds together really well. There are a lot of odds and ends, nooks and crannies, that typical movies don't have. A lot of bits of detail are here and there for one to explore from the type of hair gel, Everett's almost physical addiction, to the insane bank robber who loves everything about his profession, even getting caught, as long as they don't call him babyface. The rich details add a lot of color to the movie and give it a life far above the typical crap you might find on the shelf next to it.
The DVD release of O Brother was very solid. It included a 2.35 to 1 16x9 enhanced transfer and both a Dolby Digital 5.1 and DTS soundtrack. There were a bunch of extras but no directors commentary, which would have been nice for a movie like this.
O Brother can be a lot of things to a lot of different people. To the intellectuals out there who remember a hell of a lot about their Greek classics, it will be a fun movie to analyze, pulling out the metaphors in each scene. For the masses like me, it is simply a rich and entertaining movie with some great comedy, some fun cheery period music, and solid acting. Which ever class you are from, I think you will find a lot to enjoy about this movie.