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A Certain AICNer takes a look at the rerelease Director's Cut of the Coen Brothers' BLOOD SIMPLE

Hey folks, Harry here with news about the Coen Brothers' BLOOD SIMPLE Special Edition. It seems that at long last this is going to get a release back into theaters. It's still one of my top 4 Coen Flicks, and when I saw this cut a couple of years back when it debuted here in Austin... Well, I was amazed how... unlike all these other director's cut it's actually shorter... not only that, it feels tauter and a bit meaner. The new sound design is awesomely cool, and the pre-film intro that the Coens created to make fun of the whole SPECIAL EDITION process that has spread across the country like a politician in the final months of a Presidential election. Well, round up the folks and check the rerelease out... The movie is quite something... (and it was shot in and around Austin, Texas.)


I had just got back from seeing the re-release of "Blood Simple", the Coen Brothers first film that launched not only their careers but what we now know as independent film, yesterday. So I did what only a self titled film geek would do, I went to your site to see what you or one of your AICNers thought of this remastered print. And to my surprise there was nothing. So here I am with my review...

It is summed up in two words - KICK ASS!!! For those of you who have seen Blood Simple or have not, I highly recomend you get on a plane and get your ass to LA or NY and see this digitally remastered, re-edited, Lucas enhanced Ultra, Ultra sound (those who see this print will know what I mean) and view this amazing piece of Cinema. Scenes have been tightened up and the "boring parts" thrown out. And there is even a little introduction to this new print which is in it self a Coen Brothers masterpiece. The film is perfect in every sense of the word, it is tense, funny, and beautiful to look at. The acting is top notch, M. Emmet Walsh has never been more diabolical. The film has not aged at all, it is still the Fantastic Neo-noir that it was in '84.

So again if you've seen the original then you still need, need, need to see this version or you'll miss out and if you've never seen "Blood Simple" then don't think that you can just go down and rent the original on video for $3.50, you have got to view this amazing slice of Americana especially those living in LA or NY, you have no excuse.


Readers Talkback
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  • July 11, 2000, 1:28 a.m. CST

    This is one of the greatest films of our time

    by GravyAkira

    NO doubt about it

  • July 11, 2000, 1:37 a.m. CST

    One question...

    by Syd Mead

    Are they going to cut out the parts where everybody drives to the end of the cul-de-sac and has to turn around? I love that quirkey shit that made it such an original break through film for me. I hope to see this on DVD. --Syd.

  • July 11, 2000, 2:33 a.m. CST

    Best Coen Movie (even better than Fargo)

    by berserker37

    Not to take anything away from Fargo, which was the best movie of it's year (1985?), but Blood Simple is FANTASTIC! The subtle twists and turns in the plot are incredible, and I had to watch it several times to pick up on all the nuances. And, of course, M. Emmet Walsh is PERFECT in this, the role he was born to play. Seriously, anyone who is a fan of noir films, black comedy, and the Coen Brothers, DO NOT MISS THIS FILM. I've watched it at least 10 times, and I can't wait to see it on the big screen for the first time. Then, bring on the DVD (with commentary, please!)!

  • July 11, 2000, 6:42 a.m. CST

    The best Coen movie is kind of difficult to name

    by Meat Takeshi

    As they are all masterpieces (Even Huduscker which i adore) and are very dependant on mood as to which i enjoy more. A directors cut of this seems hardly relevant, surely they had final say even on their debut, this smells like surefire Coen mischeviousness to me.

  • July 11, 2000, 6:59 a.m. CST

    Barton Fink is the Greatest Coen Movie Ever...

    by iAmGladiator

    Just remember seeing John Goodman staring directly at the camera and the seeing that hallway burning in the background still sends chills down my spine.....Wait a sec, I change my mind......Raising Arizona and Fargo are bothing fucking great......Never mind....Roger Ebert sucks again, because he gave Raising Arizona thumbs down...Fuck YOu Roger Ebert...

  • July 11, 2000, 7:07 a.m. CST

    I love the Coens--except for Barton Fink

    by CRM-114

    I've never talked back before, but relatively few people have said something so far, so I'll contribute. I love the Coen Brothers' movies...Miller's Crossing, Fargo, Blood Simple, Raising Arizona, and The Hudsucker Proxy especially. Heh, that's most of them, I suppose. But in response to the claim that Barton Fink is their best, I just have to shake my head. It's plenty entertaining, but I think the Coen's were just showing off. It really never went anywhere, and it was just a bunch of quirky scenes.

  • July 11, 2000, 8:29 a.m. CST

    You know - for kids!

    by Seepgood

    Why is that the talkback to every article on a Coen brothers film leads to a string of posters talking about which is their favourite among the brothers' films, which ones they don't like, even their exact order of preference for all of them? It's not something you see for anyone else: talkbacks on Bringing out the Dead or Gangs of New York haven't spawned discussions of the relative merits of Taxi Driver as against Raging Bull as against Goodfellas as against whatever. What instills this need to assign a ranking, and to express it? Is it the combination of uniformly superb achievement with a relatively small output that most fans will have been able to consume in its entirety? Is it the diversity of their output that results in widely differing attitudes, so that one person's favourite is always another's pet hate and makes a generally accepted, "canonical" hierarchy impossible to achieve? Is it the sheer oddness and unique spirit of their films that leaves conventional criticism impotent and makes viewing them a profoundly personal, subjective experience? Any thoughts? For the record, I love all of them with the exception, funnily enough, of Blood Simple, which I've only seen once and may simply not have got.

  • July 11, 2000, 8:42 a.m. CST


    by graniteman

    Does anyone out there know when Miller's Crossing is going to be released on dvd? I realize its a bit off the subject but I am curious.

  • July 11, 2000, 11:01 a.m. CST

    To say this is 'better than Fargo' is NOT a complement

    by vondoom

    Fargo, the MOST over-rated movie of the 1990's...and there is some stiff competetion for that honor. Fargo was a boring, pointless movie.

  • July 11, 2000, 11:08 a.m. CST


    by Seabird

    For those of you that don't want to travel to the East or Left Coasts, this film is getting a Houston release. I just saw it in Sunday's paper.

  • July 11, 2000, 12:11 p.m. CST

    O Brother Is The Best Coen Bros Films

    by Hopkirk

    Take it from someone who's seen it, although I also think Fargo is one of their weakest, so make of my opinion what you will. And WHEN IS MILLER'S CROSSING coming out on DVD - and they better not dare try and fob me off with another minimal package with nary a trailer.

  • July 11, 2000, 1:27 p.m. CST


    by Miracleman

    It's being released in Houston? Which theater(s)? I gots ta chech it out! Who could forget this brilliant piece of work, with that fool Vergil and his noocytes... whoops, I'm thinking of Blood Music! Nevermind. Anyhoo, I liked Blood Simple. Dan Hedaya was great in this film, and he was absolutely hilarious in "Dick." So anyw- (Hello) Huh? Whozzat? (greetings) who said that? (We who live inside of you) what are you? (sentient amino acid based organisms) Get out of my body! (That is not possible) What am I to you? (Father/Mother/Universe; World-Challenge; Source of all; Ancient, slow; *mountain-galaxy*) Get out of me! (join us) No! (There is no pain) What? (Eternal life, no pain) Really? (yes) What will happen to my body? (you will not need it) Wow. Alright. (integrate with us, MIRACLEMAN) yes. ********************************************************

  • July 11, 2000, 1:30 p.m. CST

    Good to see

    by Pomona88

    some other people think FARGO was boring. It's a 2 joke movie (funny accents, pregnant sheriff) that goes on way beyond its 15 minute potential.

  • July 11, 2000, 2:08 p.m. CST

    THEY'RE ALL the best.

    by The Grin

    Most and biggest laughs: Raising Arizona - - - - Best drama: Miller's Crossing - - - -Best nostalgic Capra-esque film: The Hudsucker Proxy - - - -Best Guilty Pleasure, Meandering, Just-for-Fun Movie: The Big Lebowski- - - - Best Art Film: Barton Fink - - -Best Noir: Blood Simple - - - -Best Character Sketch: Fargo - The Coens are the only directors whose complete works I will maintain in my video library. They've never made a loser. If there's a film of theirs you can't enjoy, that says more about you than about the Coens. They can do anything. I wonder what genres they will conquer in the next decade...... Sincerely The Grin, who grins hugely before a Coen film

  • July 11, 2000, 3:32 p.m. CST


    by Robertblood

    My understanding is that the Coen's secured their own financing for the miniscule budget and then it was shown at festivals and later independently released. How then, did the Coen brothers not have a final cut? My bet is that this is one of those Star Wars SE-like 'wished I thought of that 20 years ago'-cuts.

  • July 11, 2000, 3:47 p.m. CST


    by emarche

    Is this you?

  • July 11, 2000, 4:11 p.m. CST

    Also coming to HotLanta

    by Joe Buck

    Poster has been up at the Lefont Garden Hills for several weeks so it should be coming their soon. Coen films are great for inspiring wildly different opinions. Several friends all came up with lists of our favorite Coen films and they were completely different. One might have Fargo as they're favorite, another Fargo as the worst. Out of 4 people nobody had a single movie in the same slot. Blood Simple DVD will probably be out 3-5 months after its theatrical run. Miller's Crossing has had a date announced and then been pulled. It probably won't see the light of day until next year.

  • July 11, 2000, 8:53 p.m. CST


    by matthewcable

    crm, we speak again [last met in talkback on unbreakable] - my personal tastes run towards art films so i must say barton is my favourite of the coens' ouevre. quirky little scenes indeed, but goes nowhere? hell, man, this is the big daddy of all stories - it's a story about storytellers and storytelling [what can be closer to the heart of a writer (and a reader, for that matter)]. barton [the man, i mean] was critically acclaimed. then he sells his soul to hollywood - a wrestling film? that's like nic cage selling out to do bruckheimers, no? [for the record, nic's one of my favourite actors, and i don't share penn's views] he finds no inspiration until he meets the established writer's wife/muse [and, to a different degree, muntz, his everyman]. he covets the woman, for her body, for her head. the mosquito is his conscience, and he kills it, and the girl, with one blow in bed. muntz [as barton's dark mirror] gets for him his muse [nicely packaged in a box], and barton starts writing. when the fascist cops come for him [barton: "sex thing? we're men! we were wrestling!" / cop: "you sick fuck..."], muntz is again the potent alter ego ["i'll show you the life of the mind!!!"] and the hotel carries out its hovering threat of becoming a hell on earth. in the end, barton sees the girl on the beach [which was a picture in his room] and she asks, "are you in pictures?" and he says no, but he's self-deluded because he IS in pictures [literally, he's sold his principles to be a hack writer, and metaphorically or symbolically because he's there with the girl on the beach... IN pictures hung on cheap hotel rooms with peeling wallpaper dripping puslike glue].

  • July 11, 2000, 11:15 p.m. CST

    matthewcable again!

    by CRM-114

    Ha! Nice to see you again. OK, touche. I take back what I said about Barton Fink, as you pointed out, there is a little more to it than I had thought. But, I still don't think it's as good as their other stuff.

  • July 12, 2000, 12:42 a.m. CST

    what in gods name are you talking about?

    by kinch54321

    I love all the Coens' movies (just for my 2 cents: Miller was the weakest, Hudsucker the most underrated, Arizona the most overrated) but I'm sorry: Fargo is a beautiful movie. The music; the landscape; the script. Perfection in convergence. It is not a two-joke movie. If the Coens were making a movie that was mocking the accents or the pregnancy, I could see your point. But at no time did I feel like they were mocking them. Rather there was a sort of intimate fondness for all the "unusualness" of the setting. Similar to Lynch's approach to "The Straight Story." He could of made this dumb old man seem like a real fool and torn him down with irony and sophisticated distaste but he left it at a human fondness. Same thing. Great movie.

  • July 12, 2000, 2:15 p.m. CST

    ranking the movies

    by Skllbns

    Some Coen movies are better or worse than other Coen brother movies, but ALL Coen brother movies are better than all other movies period. There is simply no way to compare their movies to anyone else's, much in the same way that Woody Allen is in a class all by himself ... And anyone who thinks FARGO is boring and pointless is a frickin boring and pointless moron. For me, the fact that the Coen bros get to make their movies (except Hudsucker, which WB meddled with) is one of the few things that is right with Hollywood.

  • July 12, 2000, 5:03 p.m. CST

    Crimewave is the best Cohen Brothers!

    by Bandito

    ..and Sam Raimi film. But allegedly they hate it so much that they will both leave interviews when it is mentioned. Go figure.

  • July 13, 2000, 10:51 a.m. CST


    by llaouydos

    BIg Lebowski is without doubt my favourite Coen brothers movie...Fargo or Millers Crossing are probably the best but Lebowski is so fuckin cool that it wins hands down, why oh why doesnt everyone love this movie, THE JESUS is the funniest character to hit screens and THE DUDE is the coolest...please everyone buy this film NOW