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Blood Simple (Director's Cut) [DVD]
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The directorial debut from brothers Joel and Ethan Coen, 1984 neo noir thriller, Blood Simple is a masterclass in film making.
Abby (Frances Mcdormand) is cheating on her bar owner husband, Marty (Dan Hedaya) with Ray (John Getz) one of the bartenders. Marty uncovers their sordid affair and is so enraged by their deceit that he hires Visser (M.Emmet Walsh), an unscrupulous detective, to kill both of them. Unbeknown to Marty, Visser has other, more lucrative plans of his own. So begins a calculating round of lies and deceit that build to a chilling, suspense filled climax.
The debut film of director Joel Coen and his brother-producer Ethan Coen, 1983's Blood Simple is grisly comic noir that marries the feverish toughness of pulp thrillers with the ghoulishness of even pulpier horror. (Imagine the novels of Jim Thompson somehow fused with the comic tabloid Weird Tales and you get the idea.) The story concerns a Texas bar owner (Dan Hedaya) who hires a seedy private detective (M Emmett Walsh) to follow his cheating wife (Frances McDormand in her first film appearance) and then kill her and her lover (John Getz). The gumshoe turns the tables on his client, and suddenly a bad situation gets much, much worse, with some violent goings-on that are as elemental as they are shocking. (A scene in which a character who has been buried alive suddenly emerges from his own grave instantly becomes an archetypal nightmare.) Shot by Barry Sonnenfeld before he became an A-list director in Hollywood, Blood Simple established the hyperreal look and feel of the Coens' productions (undoubtedly inspired a bit by filmmaker Sam Raimi, whose The Evil Dead had just been coedited by Joel). Sections of the film have proved to be an endurance test for art-house movie fans, particularly an extended climax that involves one shock after another but ends with a laugh at the absurdity of criminal ambition. This is definitely one of the triumphs of the 1980s and the American independent film scene in general. --Tom Keogh --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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It appears to be the director's cut, on DVD, restored, widescreen and 16x9. It looks great, no complaints.
A lot of talk here regarding the awful Region 2 pan and scan. Mine is also R2 and BBFC 18, so this must be the way to go.
Sat down to listen to the commentary from Kenneth Loring, but all I could take was 10 mins. What I heard was ludicrous and pathetic. Yeah Ken, the opening scene was shot upside down and in reverse, we get the message. Also, you could ' fast forward ' the scene between M. Emmett Walsh and John Getz because it goes on a bit? Good idea, forget the plot.
Great film though and still worth buying.
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