Combustible Celluloid
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With: Frances McDormand, M. Emmet Walsh, Dan Hedaya, John Getz, Nicolas Cage, Holly Hunter, John Goodman, William Forsythe, Gabriel Byrne, Marcia Gay Harden, John Turturro, Jon Polito, Albert Finney, Mike Starr, Steve Buscemi, Judy Davis, Michael Lerner, William H. Macy, Peter Stormare, John Carroll Lynch
Written by: Joel Coen, Ethan Coen
Directed by: Joel Coen
MPAA Rating: R, PG-13
Running Time: 500
Date: 18/03/2013

The Coen Brothers Movie Collection (2007)

4 Stars (out of 4)

You Betcha

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

Buy The Coen Brothers Movie Collection on DVD

The recently united Fox and MGM Home Video cull their resources for this excellent box set consisting of five of Joel and Ethan Coen's first six films (minus The Hudsucker Proxy, which, frankly, I don't miss). Blood Simple (1984) is the only anomaly; it was most recently distributed by Universal, and though this new DVD keeps the "director's cut," it omits some of the funny extras (the introduction and the commentary track by "Kenneth Loring"). Blood Simple may not have aged as well as some of the others, but it's still a superb exercise in style and an amazing debut. Raising Arizona (1987) was their first example of offbeat, hilarious dialogue and still one of the funniest movies I've ever seen. Miller's Crossing (1990) was, and may still be, their most mature work, a gangster story that stood proudly beside GoodFellas and The Godfather Part III. I originally saw Barton Fink (1991) at midnight, and it was a perfect way to see this weird, funny, would-be cult film, filled with its strange spaces and dream logic. (Michael Lerner earned an Oscar nomination as a boisterous Hollywood magnate.) Finally, we have the justly celebrated Fargo (1996), which holds up to many viewings and somehow seamlessly melds pathos, humor and suspense. The discs contain various extras, though the Coens routinely do not record commentary tracks. All films are rated R, except Raising Arizona, which has a PG-13.

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