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Fargo - Limited Edition Steelbook [Blu-ray]
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Offbeat, grisly black comedy from the Coen brothers. Minnesota car salesman Jerry Lundegaard (William H. Macy), deeply in debt, arranges for the kidnapping of his wife in order to obtain a sizeable ransom from her father, to pay off both his henchmen and his debts. However, all does not go according to plan. Frances McDormand won the Best Actress Academy Award for her portrayal of the heavily pregnant Police Officer assigned to the case, while the film also won Best Original Screenplay.
Leave it to the wildly inventive Coen brothers (Joel directs, Ethan produces, they both write) to concoct a fiendishly clever kidnap caper that's simultaneously a comedy of errors, a Midwestern satire, a taut suspense thriller and a violent tale of criminal misfortune. It all begins when a hapless car salesman (played to perfection by William H. Macy) ineptly orchestrates the kidnapping of his own wife. The plan goes horribly awry in the hands of bumbling bad guys Steve Buscemi and Peter Stormare (one of them being described by a local girl as "kinda funny lookin'" and "not circumcised"), and the pregnant sheriff of Brainerd, Minnesota, (played exquisitely by Frances McDormand in an Oscar-winning role) is suddenly faced with a case of multiple murders. Her investigation is laced with offbeat observations about life in the rural hinterland of Minnesota and North Dakota, and Fargo embraces its local yokels with affectionate humour. At times shocking and hilarious, Fargo is utterly unique and distinctly American, bearing the unmistakable stamp of its inspired creators. --Jeff Shannon, Amazon.com --This text refers to an alternate Blu-ray edition.
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The most obvious example of Fargo's subversion of the genre to which it loosely belongs must be the use of Minnesota's stark, snow covered landscape in setting the mood of the piece. Some truly stunning cinematography, combined with a haunting score, produce a backdrop to the film which is undeniably bleak, but also oddly beautiful. The Coen brothers populate this landscape with a host of memorable characters, most noticeably Brainerd's heavily pregnant police chief, Marge Gunderson (played to perfection by Francis McDormand). No hard-boiled copper here, the Coens again toy with convention by imbuing the character of Marge with warmth, humanity and optimism. It is she who must untangle the web of deceit created by desperate car salesman Gerry Lundegaard (the excellant William H Macy) and the incompetent hoods he has hired to do his dirty work (Steve Buscemi and Peter Stromare), and ultimately it is Marge who provides the moral counterpoint to the movies amoral plot.
In conclusion, Fargo was one of the greatest American films of the 1990's, well deserving of it's two Oscars and required viewing for anyone who considers themselves to be a true fan of cinema.
If you're a newcomer to the Coen catalogue put Fargo prettyy close to the top of your wishlist. It's the Coen's doing what they do best, short and sweet excellent story telling. It does bug me that they put 'Based on a true story' at the start, just to get us talking about it. A bit of boy who cried wolf going on...
The blu-ray transfer is very so-so. Most of the time, it's very grainy but the colours are enhanced. I didn't notice anything different with the audio - there's not much for HD audio to work with. Is it better than the DVD? Marginally but given it's such a low price it's just about worth the upgrade.
Languages on disc: English DTS HD master & Stereo; Castillian Spanish 5.1 DTS; Brazillian Portugese 5.1 DTS; French (Parisian) 5.1 DTS; French (Quebecous) 5.1 DTS; German; Italian; Latin Spanish;
Subs on disc: Loads! Castillian text and commentary; Brazillian Portugese, Cantonese; Croatian; Czech; Dutch text and commentary; French (Parisian & Quebecois); German text and commentary; Greek; Hebrew; Hungarian; Italian text and commentary; Korean; Latin Spanish; Mandarin; Polish; Potugese; Thai; Turkish
NOTE: The packaging says that there are Japanese language and subtitles available but they are NOT on the disc.
PLUS the DVD has good extras - a trivia feature that is interesting and funny and an excellent commentary track. Do buy this DVD - you won't be disappointed!
By now everyone is familiar with the magic put on the screen by the Coen Brothers. However, 10 years after having first (and last) seen FARGO it was still utterly entertaining and freshly surprising for me. The blindingly white landscape could now be even more appreciated for the creative way in which the Coens had decided to have the film shot. For me, now, in addition to revisiting the now well known story line it was like visiting a fine art museum to savor the subtle blending of colors and shapes by one of the old masters.
The rest of the cast assembled by the Coens for FARGO have gone on to distinguished acting careers -- nearly all. William H. Macy's hapless, incompetent, and bumbling car saleman Jerry Lundegaard is one of his classic roles. Similarly, Steve Buscemi's weirdo criminal mastermind Carl was essentially replicated in other films such as CONAIR. Sweden's Peter Stormare who played Gaer, Carl's creepy and mostly silent henchman who had committed most but not all of the murders, had also appeared in the films Minority Report and in the 2005 film Constantine.
FARGO is available with subtitling in nine non-English languages -- revealing its global popularity. The digital high quality of the pictures and sound made home viewing of the movie a plasure. It is definitely worthwhile to revisit this now classical 1990s offbeat murder mystery.
Revisiting FARGO or even seeing it for the first time now is very worthwhile for an evening's home entertainment.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Coen brother's one of the best movies - this one and Brother where art y are marvelous. You will enjoy it!Published 7 days ago by Amazon Customer
I must be missing something, because I found this film quite boring. The fact that it's a true story makes it a sad story for those involved, and I'm sure it was quite shocking... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Frostie
Excellent Coen brothers comic-noir character filled crime drama. That's Coen, not Cohen. A simple thing like that yet so many don't get it right. Read morePublished 2 months ago by C. J. Booth
Patience testing bulls*** consisting of cringe worthy attempts at "humour" combined with cartoon violence and pointless murder plot.Published 2 months ago by John Dwice