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Blood Simple
SPECIFICATIONS
  • 1.85:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
  • English DTS-HD 2.0 Surround
  • English subtitles
  • Spanish subtitles
  • 1 Disc
FEATURES
  • Introduction by Kenneth Loring of Forever Young Films
  • Audio Commentary by Kenneth Loring
  • Theatrical Trailer

Blood Simple

Blu-ray
Reviewed by: Chris Galloway

Directed By: Joel Coen
Starring: John Getz, Frances McDormand, Dan Hedaya, M. Emmet Walsh
1985 | 95 Minutes

Release Information
Blu-ray | MSRP: $19.99 | Series: MGM
Fox Home Entertainment

Release Date: August 30, 2011
Review Date: August 30, 2011

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SYNOPSIS

From the celebrated filmmaking team of Joel Coen and Ethan Coen (Fargo, Raising Arizona), comes this visually stunning tale of a double-cross-and murder-in a small town. When the owner of a backwoods bar hires a man to kill his cheating wife and her boyfriend, he opens a door into the criminal world that he'll never be able to shut. Blood Simple hurtles forward with the speed and intensity of a fired bullet...and delivers as devastating an impact as has ever been felt from a noir film!


PICTURE

The Coen brotherís first film, Blood Simple, comes to Blu-ray from MGM and Fox in its original aspect ratio of about 1.85:1 on this dual-layer disc in a new 1080p/24hz transfer.

After putting up with Universalís less-then-par DVD (a single-layer disc with a splotchy, artifact laced transfer) this is quite a revelation. Though there can be a little bit of a haze over medium and long shots the image overall is fairly sharp and close-ups present some significant details in the actorsí faces and clothes, and the filmís grain structure appears to remain intact, getting a little heavier in places. Blacks are pretty strong with some minor crushing apparent in a few sequences, and colours pop nicely. But while it may be a little brighter than what Iíve been used to previously on home video it still retains the filmís darker, grittier look.

The print is in excellent condition with only a few minor specs here and there. In all we get a fairly filmic presentation and itís the best Iíve yet seen it.

7/10

All Blu-ray screen captures come from the source disc and have been shrunk from 1920x1080 to 900x506 and slightly compressed to conserve space. While they are not exact representations they should offer a general idea of overall video quality.

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AUDIO

The lossless DTS-HD 2.0 track is sharp and effective. Itís not an overly loud film but the sound design can be very creative in subtle ways and the track represents it well. Dialogue is sharp and clear and music fills out the environment nicely. Nothing comes off muffled, mild sound effects coming off quite sharp themselves, and there isnít any discernable noise in the background.

7/10

SUPPLEMENTS

MGM carries over the supplements from the Universal DVD, though theyíre unfortunately all gags pulled off by, I would assume, the Coen brothers.

The film begins with an Introduction by Forever Young Films founder Kenneth Loring, who informs the viewer that this is the directorís cut of the film, cutting out all the ďboring parts.Ē Itís a gag (which you can skip) that sort of leads up to the audio commentary by Loring. Forever Young Films isnít real and I can only assume Loring is also not for real. The commentary track is a spoof track, taking aim at stuffy scholarly tracks. When I first listened to it on the DVD I felt something was off about it and this was confirmed when Loring goes on to state that the opening sequence was shot in reverse and upside down. As we go on he makes wild claims about the production, including that Rosemary Clooney was to be cast in either the Dan Hedaya or M. Emmet Walsh role (Iím not entirely sure which), how the original cut of the film played out (which goes on and on) and how it was cut up because of Bulgarian studio heads (or something.) He also refers to the characters with wild names or simply calling them something like ďthe grumpy manĒ, seems to get entire plot points wrong, and at times I swear heís talking about another film. He has plenty of stuffy things to say (he has a fetish about faces and wishes for us to admire them) and shares bizarre anecdotes, and goes on weird personal tangents that have nothing to with this film, instead having to do with, as far as I can figure, commentaries he did that were deemed unacceptable for Merchant/Ivory films (and it concludes with him getting his ass handed to him by Nick Nolte.) Itís amusing at first but gets old really fast. Worth listening to but once you get sick of it itís probably best to turn it off.

The disc then closes with the theatrical trailer.

In all itís a bit of a waste for me, and they might as well not have included the commentary since Iíve never been truly fond of it. But Iím sure there will be those that will be happy itís still here.

3/10

CLOSING

The idea for the commentary is ďcuteĒ but it gets tiring and I wish there were some actual supplements on here. Still, the presentation is sharp and makes the disc an easy recommendation.




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