14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent... gets better with each viewing.
Watching "Barton Fink" will be a torture if you don't like Coen Bros and their unique style of filmmaking: ironic, surrealistic and allegorical. Winner of 3 prizes at Cannes including the Palme D'or in 1991, Barton Fink is no exception at all, even it is the most eccentric and enigmatic work in their filmography. Here, don't expect "Big Lebowski" or "O' Brother Where Art...
Published on 8 Aug 2007 by Serkan Silahsor
3.0 out of 5 stars Barton Fink Blu-ray
So i find this movie ok,good story,great quality picture and sound due to the blu-ray format,the only con about this movie is that is a bit boring.
Published 4 months ago by Nightel
Most Helpful First | Newest First
3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "You're just a tourist with a typewriter..." (4.5 stars),
This review is from: Barton Fink [VHS]  (VHS Tape)I think it'd be safe to say that I think this is by far the Coen Brothers' strangest film. I've seen all of them with the exception of "Blood Simple" as this review is being written. "Barton Fink" is a dark and subtle comedy with some outrageous and shocking moments. It even ends in a way that people may find confusing. Still, I was very entertained all the way through.
The movie focuses around a writer by the name of Barton Fink. He has just finished a play that is getting rave reviews from the critics, but he isn't as impressed with the overall product. He goes to Hollywood when he receives a job offer, but it's an offer unlike any he has taken before. His job is to write a wrestling picture, something that Fink knows very little about. When he gets to the very unimpressive hotel to begin writing the script, he is only able to write a sentence or two... and then he goes blank. He has no idea how the script should go and it's driving him nuts, as he is a perfectionist. His lively and loud neighbor, Charlie, takes a liking to him and offers his friendship and advice. But as Fink tries harder and harder to focus on the script, his life slowly starts to spin out of control and leads him to an unspeakable predicament.
As I said before, this is a very, VERY strange movie. It's strange because it's so subtle and it disguises itself as something so innocent and harmless until you see the plot come full-circle. The Coen Brothers always know how to keep us on our toes when it comes to movies, and they prove that fact clearly in "Barton Fink." Some may be confused by the third act. I admit that I don't even know if I completely get it. I think I have an idea, but that's all it is, an idea. Does that mean that I didn't like the movie? Of course not! In fact, it made me like it more because I kept thinking about it over and over again. I'm even thinking about it right now, hoping I can put all the pieces together.
The acting was fantastic, as usual. John Turturro gives it his all in the lead role. It is clear that he was the right person for the job. John Goodman is also very great and hilarious, and you even get to see some of his dark side. What it all comes down to is that everybody did their roles justice. There are a lot of crazy and interesting characters that Fink encounters during the film that are really worth getting to know. The film was very well-directed and well-written.
I don't think "Barton Fink" is the Coen Brothers' greatest achievement, but it is definitely an enjoyable and entertaining film. It leaves you thinking after it's all said and done. And the dark and very subtle humor is always a joy to experience. This is another one that's not for everybody, but if you feel brave to experience something new and daring, why not give "Barton Fink" a shot? I'm very happy that it is now a part of my video library and it is one I can definitely see myself watching again sometime soon.
3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Seriously Hot!,
This review is from: Barton Fink [VHS]  (VHS Tape)It is a long time since I have seen this film, which I have only now been able to obtain thanks to Amazon.
A dark comedy in parts, it is worth watching for John Goodman walking the walls of fire alone! You'll have to see it to know what I mean! A superb finish to a film that you need to experience rather than have described (though the film synopsis above is as good a guide as any).
For anyone involved in the world of writing and/or publishing, it is a 'must-see'- if you haven't already. A great film for John Goodman fans, whose comic acting I came to admire more from his role in 'Matinee'. Try it!
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Don't fink, buy and enjoy.,
This review is from: Barton Fink [DVD] (DVD)A stunning film by the Coen brothers, beautifully filmed,constructed, scripted and acted.If you do not already own this film you really should buy it. Turturro and Goodman head the cast for two hours of film at its best. What's in the box ?!!
2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Classic,
This review is from: Barton Fink [DVD] (DVD)For a movie that never even made back its budget at the box office, Barton Fink still remains one of the greats for me (its probably made it back in DVD sales by now hopefully). It was received well by critics and was the last film to win 3 awards at the Cannes movie festival-rightfully so.
A lot of people have problems in that the pacing,plot and style aren't 'accesible' as action movie mogul Joel Silver put it. Personally I'm not a huge fan of the Coens work in general(O brother was lame, Fargo overrated,Big lebowski average and No country for old men was like a slow motion train wreck towards the end)But there are aspects of their movies that I really enjoy and this movie seems to tie up all of them into one nice Mundy like Parcel.
John Turturo is excellent here. Watching him in Mr. Deeds you would think he would be incapable as an actor to stretch himself this much but he nailed the frustrated/woe-is-me writer brilliantly. John Goodman is simply endearing as the manic serial killer (strange huh?). His speech towards the end is movie history and that scene with the fire in the hallway is pure magic. The dialogue is razor sharp, some of the intellectual musings and points made are geniunely deep (its funny as most of them seem to be dismissed immediately by the characters!)
There is alot of 1408 in this movie, cinematography wise and atomosphere wise, but Tropic Thunder satire too, especially when it comes to the movie studio head, the plot reads like a thriller/film noir where nothing is as it seems and the movie is shot very artistically, metaphors abound.
Silver is wrong. you don't need to be arthouse, a Cohen cult member or a philosopher to enjoy this(though you may not particualry call it a classic). The rest of the supporting cast are brilliant (the William Faulkner impersonator is 1st class) and for me of all the Coen movies I've seen this is the most complete story wise (they always tend not give emotional closure in their films, I don't know why) 10/10
2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hollywood Babylon meets Faustian Pact,
This review is from: Barton Fink [DVD]  [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC] (DVD)This was released at the peak of the Coen Brothers creativity and followed their almost endless string of classics with Blood Simple, Raising Arizona and Miller's Crossing, before culminating with the sublime genius of the Hudscucker Proxy and the later, Big Lebowski. Unlike the films that came before, with perhaps the exception of their debut work, Blood Simple, Barton Fink uses elements of comedy not as an integral factor within the story, but instead, as a subversive device in order to create a piece of work that is darker and more grotesque than anything they would ever attempt again. As far as I'm concerned, it's the greatest horror film of the 90's hands down... drawing on notions of mental-anguish, loneliness, isolation, paranoia, defeat and despair, though layering these themes in tandem with the usual Coen idiosyncrasies, which creates a film that is, as a result, even more disturbing.
This film sees the Coen brothers plunging headfirst into the kind of territory made-famous by films such as Repulsion, Rosemary's Baby and Eraserhead... don't believe me; take a look at the use of sub-text. The use of the Holocaust as a recurring visual motif, or the Nazi ideology at play within the later parts of the film are straight out of Polanski's psycho-sexual thrillers of the 1960's (of which his later film the Tennant could also be listed), whilst the walls that excrete a seed-like puss, coupled with the orgasmic moans from the other rooms (not to mention John Turturro's Jack Nance hair-do) are all ripped from the films of David Lynch. This creates a brooding and foreboding atmosphere that few films can equate, with the Coen's continually leading us down a maze of dark alleyways and throwing us narrative curve balls at will... so, just when we think we've got the whole thing worked out, it shifts, and we, much like the eponymous hero, are left bemused and utterly bewildered.
The performances from all involved, particularly Turturro as Fink and John Goodman as the seemingly amiable Charlie Meadows are spot on, even finding a degree of pathos in the Coen's deceptive dialog, whilst the supporting players, Judy Davis, John Mahoney, Jon Polito, Michael Learner, Tony Shalhoub and Steve Buscemi, though essentially archetypes, are all on fine form. Meanwhile, the whole look of the film, from the seedy design of the Hotel Earl with it's endless corridor, smoky foyer, hundreds of rooms (though we never see a guest) and billowing fires that rip through the building as if it were the bowels of hell, create a nice contrast to the plush, white art-deco of the Hollywood exec offices, the writer's bungalow or the opulence of the mogul's mansion. The photography too, from soon to become long-time Coen collaborator Roger Deakins, brings out the whites and blacks, with only musty browns, deep reds and shimmering gold allowed to breach the carefully constructed pallet of the film, all coming-together to create possibly the most beautiful American film of the last decade... (alongside Soderbergh's King of the Hill, that is).
Barton Fink is one of the all-time great Coen Brother's mater-works and an easy contender for that 'Greatest Film Ever Made' tag... It's one of those rare works of contemporary cinema that is ably to be both funny and frightening, surreal yet believable, approachable though fiercely intelligent, whilst also acting as a strong reminder of what American Independent cinema used to be. It's the kind of film in which you'd find screaming fat men showing us the life of the mind, corpses in bed, laconic, foul-mouthed policemen, drunken-writers, big-men in tights, and, one of the greatest 'what's in the box' enigma's this side of Seven and Pulp Fiction... Added to that, we also have that gorgeous ending with Barton wandering the beach in the hot Californian sun... the mysterious box... the bathing beauty... that final kiss-off and, of course... that seagull plunging lifelessly into the water as the credits begin to roll. This is, quite simply, cinema at it's finest!!
7 of 13 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars For postmodernists and film critics only.,
This review is from: Barton Fink [DVD] (DVD)Beautifully made, superb acting, great characters, but a real disappointment for anyone who likes a story with an ending. Not a happy ending, but any ending. "Barton Fink" has a beginning and a middle and winds up into a denouement that had me intrigrued: "how *will* they end it?" It's the same feeling I get when watching a great whodunnit - an awe at the writer's ability to untangle the mess that the plot has wound itself up into. The difference is that while Agatha Christie or Arthur Conan Doyle routinely wow their readers and audiences by pulling a brilliant and bold ending out of the hat, the Coen brothers have opted for the postmodern cop-out. Leave us dangling and dissatisfied. As the credits rolled, I was going: Whaaaat???
The critics raved about this film and it picked up some gongs at Cannes etc, but don't get hudsuckered in just because you've seen Fargo and No Country for Old Men. It has appeal - the characters of Charlie, Lipnick, Geisler and, I guess, even Barton are wonderfully drawn and wonderfully played. But you can't build a film on self-referential Hollywood insiderism and a non-ending and really, honestly, expect anyone but film buffs to get it. One to avoid for the rest of us.
1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Utterly Bemused,
This review is from: Barton Fink [DVD] (DVD)Just when you think you might know what this film is about it suddenly isn't - funny and shocking i still don't get it - and i still don't care. After all i enjoy Powell and Pressburger@s Canterbury Tale so I can't talk.
It is as bemusing as Brazil but not as funny - and is it a dream, or is he dead? Or is it just all too strange.
6 of 13 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars So disappointing,
This review is from: Barton Fink [DVD] (DVD)I am a real Coen Brothers fan with Lebowski and Oh Brother in my Top 10 (Fargo only just missed the cut) but this was poor. If you follow a career of Genius then you can be forgiven the odd miss fire and this is one of those. All the usual ingredients but it just didn't work.
2 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Once is enough, twice is sickening,
This review is from: Barton Fink [DVD] (DVD)The anti-Hollywoodish film par excellence. The idea and the concept is simple. A successful playwright on Broadway in New York is bought with a lot of money by some Hollywoodish studio to become a scenario writer. Of course he fails. But these studios want to keep him to be able to use his name. So when such authors fail, the studios enslave them by implementing the very letter of the contracts they had signed without reading the small print. They cannot write for anyone else and then they are paired with some secretary who is going to write what the studios want under the name of the author who does not write anything at all. We cannot even call that humor. It is cynical exploitation and on the side of the Coen Brothers morbid and death carrying sarcasm. The film does not really stand a second viewing. We then see the cables behind the facade and we know the fishmonger of the beginning is nothing but a prop or a vocal stunt from some uncaring stage operator.
Dr Jacques COULARDEAU, University Paris 1 Pantheon Sorbonne, University Versailles Saint Quentin en Yvelines, CEGID
3 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Amusing but slow and no logic,
Amazon Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Barton Fink [DVD] (DVD)This is a movie with no logic and no coherent story. It has some very amusing angles and scenes but also a lot of dark, annoying and strange scenes. Overall there is no real story. Borrow it from a friend. I bought it but I am not sure I will keep it. It's a trash can potentiel.
Most Helpful First | Newest First
Barton Fink [DVD] by Joel Coen (DVD - 2005)