on 5 March 2012
I live in the UK, which is categorised as 'Region B' if Blu Ray encoding is applied to a disc.
I thought that it might be useful to advise other potential purchasers of this Blu Ray collection that (despite what the packaging might tell you, or indeed any other advice that you might receive),
I can reliably inform you that all of the discs are 'Region-free' EXCEPT FOR Blood Simple which uniquely has 'Region A' encoding.
The other Blu Ray titles are of course excellent and quirky and probably familiar to Coen fans.
Unfortunately, I cannot comment on Blood Simple, as I must either purchase a hardware mod for my Sony BDP-S780 to make it 'Region-free' for Blu Ray, or (for much the same price), purchase a USA Blu Ray player...
So please bear this in mind if considering purchasing this item.
The Coen brothers have a distinctive style: petty schemes and evil motives, leavened with humor and then sudden violence, about characters that you would never want to know. Yet at their best, they are utterly riveting as stories, to the point that you cannot quite stop watching them. The acting is also consistently excellent, often by stellar if less known talents.
The individual films is this package divide themselves into excellent and good, though I admit that I didn't really get Raising Arizona, though many people do. Blood Simple is a fun neo-Noire, with a caper, a bad guy, and a pretty heroine. It is good, but not particularly memorable.
Fargo, on the other hand, is an absolutely first-rate film, one of my all-time favorites in fact. You have Macy, who is a hapless guy locked into an extended family that assigns him an awful role, that of the bumbler who must be tolerated. His father-in-law is a perfectly awful man, with his condescension and the over-reaching arrogance that comes from success in business. He uses people, is blatantly insensitive to anyone else's feelings, and thinks he is the center of the universe. Macy's wife is as ineffectual as her husband, feeding into his rage with her soulless cheeriness and outwardly good intentions. So Macy hatches what can only be called a harebrained scheme, which brings a pair of stupid and funny criminals into the mix and then McDormand, an extremely competent and very pregnant sheriff. The mix is as calamitous as it is hilarious.
Miller's Crossing is a gangster flick, but of a superior quality and humor, with first rate acting in comparison with similar films. Byrne, an advisor to a capo, has a serious gambling problem and is being chased by enforcers at the same time that he is involved in a violent intrigue. While the gangsters are a bit stereotypical, the peripheral characters are original and full of surprises, many of them unpleasant. It is a great viewing experience and like Fargo, can be viewed many times for subtlety and humor.
I can't say that I think the blu-ray adds much more than good dvd quality would be, but the films are fairly old and so there is not as much detail as films shot with HD in mind. THus, I would not recommend replacing dvd's with these.
on 22 August 2014
Great collection at a top price, will keep for ever,
Not sure as to why Fargo wasn't included,so it cost me more to pay for the two sets,one has 3 and then this has 6
Great all very violent,and very clever thought out films