William H. Macy, Frances McDormand
The Coen Brothers
Originally released 1996
Fox Home Entertainment 2009
If you have the kick-ass TV for it, do not already own the DVD, and are a bit of a cinephile the Blu-ray version of Fargo is worth the extra buckage. This Coen Brothers black comedy set in Minnesota features a lot of whites, blacks, and ice blues that come out better in high definition. Unfortunately, there is a scene on the Fargo Blu-ray that strobe for 2-3 seconds and this is really going to annoy those who paid extra for this version.
Winner of two Oscars and nominated for five more including best picture, Fargo is the story of a kidnapping gone wrong and when things go wrong in a Coen Brothers comedy they really, really go wrong.
William H. Macy plays a car salesman who needs a few dollars. He hires to inept crooks (Steve Buscemi, Peter Stormare) to kidnap his wife with the intention of paying them half the ransom money his father-in-law will fork out. Things go wrong and Brainerd police chief Marge Gunderson starts investigating the many deaths all this causes.
Fargo is an exquisitely written movie. The story is strong, the characters and secondary characters solid, but what makes this such an excellent movie is the little details. For example police chief Marge asks two hookers to describe the criminals: “’He was funny looking.’ / ‘Can you be more specific?’ / ‘He wasn’t circumcised?’” The scene where Jean Lundergaard tries to run away from the kidnappers is especially funny.
The pacing here is kind of interesting as the finale is much quicker paced than anything else before it.
It also features the Coen Brothers trademark rather explicit scene of violence or two but if you are a fan you already know that.
Special features on Fargo Blu-ray include Minnesota Nice, a 30-minute short on this Coen Brothers movie with most of the stars of the film. It is quite interesting and explains how the Marge character and her world made this movie more audience friendly than most of the Brothers’ films.
Other special features are a commentary track by the director of photography, and a trivia track. The trivia track is kind of cool but quickly gets annoying as there is too much stuff.
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