Blood Simple (1984/2000)

The director's cut of BLOOD SIMPLE (1984) opened in Triangle thea-
ters the other week.  I screened same in Seattle, earlier in Aug-
ust, and was surprised at how dark the photography was.  Is.  Was.
Whatever.  'Tis certainly a *muddier*-looking film than I recall.  
(Barry Sonnenfeld lensed, way back before directing such quirky 
hits as MEN IN BLACK, GET SHORTY, and the ADDAMS FAMILY movies.)  
The second less-than-sterling surprise is the acting.  Nice seeing 
Francis McDormand looking so fresh, like it's her very first film.  
(It was.)  Wish, though, that she and the other actors didn't seem 
so... subdued.  (Polite term for near-wooden.)  Those prickly 
points aside, the first film from sibling writer/director/editors 
Joel and Ethan Coen (FARGO) is a stunning example of show-off  
craftsmanship that *still* beats your average indy effort ten to 

Plus, it's a darn entertaining film in its own right.  The plot?  
Small Texas town bar owner (Dan Hedaya) hires sleazy PI (M. Emmett 
Walsh) to "take care of" adulterous wife (Francis M.) and lover 
(John Getz).  Double- and triple-crosses ensue.  Couldn't spot any 
restored footage, if indeed any was.  The only *glaring* addition 
is a droll, old-white-guy-with-pipe-and-easy-chair intro that's an 
absolute riot.  Don't miss it.  And now, reprinted for your enjoy-
ment, is the opening narration:  "The world is full of complain-
ers.  But the fact is, nothing comes with a guarantee.  I don't 
care if you're the Pope of Rome, President of the United States, 
or Man of the Year, something can all go wrong.  But go ahead, 
complain, tell your problems to your neighbor, ask for help, and 
watch him fly.  Now in Russia, they got it all mapped out so that 
everyone pulls for everyone else.  That's the theory anyway.  But 
what I know about is Texas, and down here... you're on your own."  
Courtesy of the Internet Movie Database.  (Rated "R"/97 min.)

Grade: B

Copyright 2000 by Michael J. Legeros
Movie Hell is a trademark of Michael J. Legeros

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Copyright 2001 by Michael J. Legeros -Movie Hell™ is a trademark of Michael J. Legeros