A few of us met up at the Alamo Drafthouse to watch Hail, Caesar! in style. The movie is a comedy loosely based on the real-life character of Eddie Mannix, the Hollywood fixer. The movie is a self-reflexive study of 40's/early 50's genre movies (Western, Esther Williams, Detective, Latin-obsession, Musical, Bible Epic, Commie scare, Parlor Drama) that came across as campy and a bit too contrived but was colorful and had moments of depth. The musical numbers were particularly fun to watch but don't take themselves too seriously, which I wish they would have.
In terms of fashion, this movie is a costume designer's dream! There are cameos from various famous actors, like Tilda Swinton as a Hedda Hopper-esque reporter in colorful 40's style hats and suits. The movie's costume designer, Mary Zophres, gained access to the entire MGM archives photo library and you can tell many period-authentic details in the 1948-49 styling. Look for sculptural technicolor gowns inspired by Charles James in the ballroom scenes and a mermaid costume shot in the original Esther Williams pool at MGM Studios. And I wasn't familiar with actor Alden Ehrenreich, but his cowboy curls and crooning were crush-worthy!
For most of us, it was our first time at the newly renovated theater which apparently has a complicated history. Notwithstanding, it is a gorgeous Art Deco movie palace with table service! The food and drink was excellent, and the built in tables to every 2 seats meant that there is plenty of leg room. Best of all, rather than the annoying "pre-previews" that are shown in modern theaters, this one showed clips from classic films that were actually relevant to the film we were about to watch.