BLU-RAY/DVD REVIEWS

003650Reviews & Counting
SEARCH BY TITLE # A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
Blood Simple
BLU-RAY disk
10.20.2011 By: Mathew Plale
Blood Simple order
Director:
Joel Coen

Actors:
Dan Hedaya
Frances McDormand
M. Emmett Walsh

Rating:
Movie:
Extras:
Overall:

star Printer-Friendly version
comment
WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
When a man (Hedaya) hires a private investigator (Walsh) to kill his wife (McDormand) and her lover (John Getz), he finds out that such a crime is never that simple.
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
ďNothing comes with a guaranteeÖSomething can always go wrong.Ē

Set in a small, sweaty Texas town, Blood Simple deals with a woman, her lover, her husband, and a hired private investigator. There is Abby (Frances McDormand), who is having an affair with Ray (John Getz), a bartender at her husbandís (Dan Hedaya) dump. First it seems logical enough for Marty to hire a PI to confirm his suspicions. Then he asks the man (M. Emmett Walsh) to do a ďnot strictly legalĒ job: kill the lovers. Five grand per body comes out to $10,000.

There are double crosses, doctored photos and a Zippo left under a pile of dead fish. People slip up; go about their circumstances with wrong information; imagine the dead alive. Thatís all this review is willing to expose--the turns are just too good.

Blood Simple (1985) is the Coen Bros.í first film and, though wood chippers, Nihilists and Anton Chigurh would be in their future, itís one of their most tense efforts. One of many moments that stands out is the one where a man presumed dead lies in a fresh hole. He raises his arm and points a pistol at the head of the man holding a shovel. The camera stays on the barrel for what feels like minutes. No matter how many times I see the scene, Iím sure it will end with that gun going off. There is an earlier scene where a hidden .38 unexpectedly goes off, firing a bullet into a manís chest. Itís one of the first great jokes the Coens ever played on us.

Blood Simple got everyoneís attention. It won big at both Sundance and the Independent Spirit Awards and plucked Joel and Ethan out of obscurity (Joel had worked as an editor on Sam Raimiís Evil Dead, which tracks the inspiration for some of the camerawork and gore). There is a cult for The Big Lebowski and Oscars for No Country for Old Men, but for me, Blood Simple is the best show the Coen Bros. ever put on. Itís like watching a bunch of mosquitoes dance around a bug zapper at dusk and betting on which drops first.
THE EXTRAS
Audio Commentary with Kenneth Loring of Forever Young Films: This faux-track with the fictional Loring takes the place of an actual commentary, which of course would have been much more welcome. Those who donít get that itís one big joke wonít understand whatís happening, but the more informed will find this track quite hilarious.

Theatrical Trailer.
FINAL DIAGNOSIS
At this point, it seems very uncertain when, if ever, Blood Simple will get a definitive home video release. This was MGMís chance to fully redeem themselves and they failed overall. While the video and audio transfers are improvements on any previous release, the lack of worthwhile special features make this disc a disappointment. That said, if you donít yet own Blood Simple and donít want to take your chances on waiting for a better Blu-ray to come along, this is worth picking up.
Strikeback
Not registered? Sign-up!
Or

JoBlo's T-Shirt Shoppe | support our site... Wear Our Gear!