Blood Simple
***.2 GM
Starring: Frances McDormand, M. Emmet Walsh, Dan Hedaya, John Getz


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The first Coen Brothers film is an interesting one, and unique in the fact that it may be the first time in the history of the universe that a 'director's cut' is shorter than the original. That's something that should probably be commended.

It's a quiet little thriller about a guy (Hedaya) that finds out his wife (McDormand) is cheating on him with his friend and employee (Getz) and then hires a guy (M. Emmet Walsh) to kill them. But Walsh pulls some shenanigans, and through an odd set of circumstances, mental lapses and backtracking, most everyone involved is thinking something different happened, second-guessing who they are, what their motives are and just what the hell's going on.

It's pretty creepy and tense for how low-key it is, although it's not completely engrossing. It might have been the sound in the theater, but some dialog, particularly Walsh's, was slurred to the point of indistinguishability, which was a bit aggravating, since I like Walsh ever since the whole "suck my toe" thing in "The Jerk." It's a slow-paced and drawn-out film, so I can see why it had to be whittled down a bit, and it is interesting to watch events unfold from everyone's different perspectives. Honestly, though, when it was all said and done, the ending was slightly amusing, but I was left with an overall feeling somewhere near "....oh. All right, then."

The Coens started out well enough, but they definitely got better.

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