Thursday, 11 June 2009

“Fargo” on BLU RAY. A Review of the 1996 Film Now Transferred to BLU RAY in 2009.


“…You Should See The Other Guy!…”

Rewatching 1996's "Fargo" on Blu Ray is an odd experience - a bit like the film itself. It's both better and worse...

First - the Blu Ray print - I'd estimate that about 50% of the time, the picture is much, much better and the close-up shots in police cars in particular are beautifully clear. But unfortunately it's worse in other areas - there's a lot of blocking in the blizzard scenes, fuzziness indoors and the feeling of a low-budget Indie film is now accentuated rather than subdued...and although people will argue that's the nature of this independent movie, I'm not so sure it's such a good thing with the merciless exposure Blu Ray gives film stock.

The Special Features is a lone commentary by cameraman and photographer ROGER DEAKINS and it's funny and informative, but there was surely room for so much more...cast interviews?

Speaking of which...the casting is inspired. Both Steve Buscemi and Peter Stormare (turned up as Satan in Constantine) are fabulous as the hapless and deranged kidnappers - a perfect foil to the bumbling William H Macy character Jerry. Macy is astonishing in Fargo - so brilliant that mere adjectives fail me. But he's matched in subtlety by Frances McDormand who plays the lovely, decent and upbeat highway copper Marge - pottering about in her huge comfy coat saying "Ya" and "Jeez" all the time, threatening to barf and chomping away on burgers and huge meals to keep herself and her advanced pregnancy stoked up... The dialogue is ball-breakingly funny, the slightly oddball characters surely drawn from real life and the violence arbitrary and a lot more ugly than you remember it. You have to love the Coens - you really do!

If you have affection for this grotesque, compelling and strangely human film - then the Blu Ray with it's improved depiction of sheet of paper attached to Steve Buscemi's gunshot cheek - is a good buy. And that look on Marge's face at the end as she tries to comprehend what psycho in the back seat did to his partner in the famous woodchopper scene...is priceless.

A good Blu Ray release then - but docked a star for not putting more extras on here (which will undoubtedly turn up on the "Ultimate" Edition a few years down the line)...

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Spines of Exceptional CD Remasters

Spines of Exceptional CD Remasters

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