Blood Simple - 2.0 surround only, but the commentary is hilarious!

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Jon Robertson, Sep 12, 2001.

  1. Jon Robertson

    Jon Robertson Screenwriter

    Joined:
    May 19, 2001
    Messages:
    1,568
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I wholeheartedly recommend the new DVD of Blood Simple - not least because of its terrific 1.85:1 anamorphic transfer, with the expected number of nicks and scars only slightly letting it down (but no means covered - far from it, but more intermittent than more recent films), the full-bodied 2.0 soundtrack (not 5.1 as many European versions are) but the hysterically funny commentary track by "Kenneth Loring".
    Another great thing about the disc is that the fake "introduction" to the director's cut has been preserved (I certainly laughed out loud), but isn't on the same title as the film (it's on Title 6, while the film is Title 1), so it's not compulsory when you settle down to the film. The fact it's 4:3 non-anamorphic is bit irksome, but not too bad (as is the trailer).
    The spoof scholarly commentary by "Kenneth Loring", whoever he may be in real life, begins the way it means to go on. Over the opening montage of long shots:
    "Here we have some plate shots. These are, in fact, shots used to put titles over, but...there aren't any titles, so you might call them...shots and...Ooh! Now we're driving!.."
    It's all very silly and had me chuckling (occasionally guffawing) right the way through the film. One of the funniest commentary tracks I've heard for a long time, and I disagree with http://www.dvdtalk.com/dvdsavant/s314blood.html
    *******
    Edited for clarity.
    [Edited last by Jon Robertson on September 13, 2001 at 11:52 AM]
     
  2. Roger Mathus

    Roger Mathus Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 1997
    Messages:
    549
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    110
    Location:
    Central Oregon
    Real Name:
    Roger Mathus
    Strange. The Japanese release of the new Director's cut released earlier this year has excellent re-mastered DD 5.1
    soundtract and very informative interview with the Cohen Brothers explaining the new Director's cut. Why is this missing from the U.S. version?
     
  3. Fred Galpern

    Fred Galpern Agent

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 1999
    Messages:
    28
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    anybody know where to get this japanese release?
     
  4. Fred Galpern

    Fred Galpern Agent

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 1999
    Messages:
    28
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Also any details on the Japanese release would be greatly appreciated.
     
  5. Kevin M

    Kevin M Producer

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2000
    Messages:
    5,172
    Likes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Well I could just say "if it isn't 16:9 enhanced then I'm not buying" but the truth is I have not joined the widescreen TV crowd and can't afford to for the foreseeable future and I will buy a non-16:9 DVD if the film is one that I want but the truth is that the two minutes that the Coen's cut from the film seem as long as two hours to an "old school" fan of this movie, I and many others want the original film that we fell in love with in 1985 not this (I'm sure) otherwise fine looking version....my LD will do until that day, however long off it may be.
    I feel that strongly about this "editing of my fond memories" that seem so wide spread in todays film/home video market...I never would have thought the Coen's would buy into this rethinking attitude.
    I'll say this once more.....(sigh)...The men who made the film back in 1985 are not the same men who "improved" it in 98/99, I want the movie I fell in love with.
    Two minutes or two seconds it doesn't matter to this fan.
    Sorry for that rant now go back to saying it's a good DVD and I'm sure it is, you guys enjoy it.
    ------------------
    -Kevin M.
    "Have a good time all the time........that's my philosophy, Marty."
    [Edited last by Kevin M on September 13, 2001 at 09:17 AM]
     
  6. Ken_McAlinden

    Ken_McAlinden Producer
    Reviewer

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2001
    Messages:
    6,191
    Likes Received:
    79
    Trophy Points:
    9,110
    Location:
    Livonia, MI USA
    Real Name:
    Kenneth McAlinden
    Kevin,
    The film is in 16:9. Jon's review was pointing out that the filmmakers' introduction is presented in 4:3 non-anamorphic video, not the feature itself.
    Regards,
    ------------------
    Ken McAlinden
    Livonia, MI USA
    [Edited last by Ken_McAlinden on September 13, 2001 at 09:17 AM]
     
  7. Kevin M

    Kevin M Producer

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2000
    Messages:
    5,172
    Likes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Ah, I see this now that I re-read the post.
    Well, notheless, those of you who don't give a damn about this old topic of re-editing will have a fine disc I'm sure.
    ------------------
    -Kevin M.
    "Have a good time all the time........that's my philosophy, Marty."
     
  8. Jon Robertson

    Jon Robertson Screenwriter

    Joined:
    May 19, 2001
    Messages:
    1,568
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Well, Kevin, you should also remember that the original cut on home video DOESN'T have the music the Coens wanted. "The Same Old Song" by the Four Tops is in its rightful place on the new R1 disc, and has never been seen on home video before.
    And the Coens have hardly pulled a Lucas. They genuinely wanted the film tightened up, having learned so much about editing and pacing in the 15 years since the film (oddly, the introduction and new version copyright is 1998).
    I did find some scenes extraneous (I only saw it the once at the cinema a few months ago, and it was the original cut) and the first half dragging somewhat, and they've trimmed the tiniest, weeniest bits from scenes here and there.
    No-one seemed to complain when Peter Weir did the same thing for Criterion's Picnic at Hanging Rock, and he removed entire chunks of the film!
    A day later, and my opinion of the disc hasn't changed a bit. A first-rate job all round.
     
  9. Kevin M

    Kevin M Producer

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2000
    Messages:
    5,172
    Likes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Hey, like I said the men who "improved" & "tightened it up" are not the same men who made the film back in 85. I want the flawed classic that these young filmmakers made not the re-thinking of time worn "artists" of today.....the film didn't need these trims IMO and I am not alone in feeling this way. I miss the opening Maurice "great big taaall buildings" scene. They don't have to "do a Lucas" the mere fact that they did this at all has spoiled the way I view these two guys. I hate this shit.
    Leave the flaws, leave the film alone god dammit, at this rate none of my favorite film memories will survive the trip to DVD.
    Cut the last minute out of Hey Jude you really won't miss it and after all it was rather repetitive what with all that "nah nah nah nah....nah nah nah nah, Hey Jude" stuff. It will essentially be the same song you remember and loved for all these years, just a little......tighter. No thank you.
    You get the disc and love it, I won't. I've had enough.
    Two hours, two minutes or two seconds, I'm sick of this stuff.
    ------------------
    -Kevin M.
    "Have a good time all the time........that's my philosophy, Marty."
    [Edited last by Kevin M on September 13, 2001 at 02:47 PM]
     
  10. Jon Robertson

    Jon Robertson Screenwriter

    Joined:
    May 19, 2001
    Messages:
    1,568
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Sorry. Misread post.
    I'm sorry that you'll probably never see Blood Simple how you want it, but this has the Coens' approval. If it's good enough for them...
    I know nostalgia is a big part of any movie, and any new version can be jarring (I still haven't recovered from the shock of the extended versions of The Shining and The Wicker Man, but think they are both infinitely better), but I find the cuts so subtle and beneficial to the film as a whole that I welcome them with open arms.
    Plus the original, far more suiting Four Tops tune has been thankfully restored.
    [Edited last by Jon Robertson on September 13, 2001 at 02:53 PM]
     
  11. Kevin M

    Kevin M Producer

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2000
    Messages:
    5,172
    Likes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    0
    (Before he edited his post Jon asked me if I had seen the newer version and said that the changes would more than likely be hard to pinpoint)
    Yes I have, twice & I did pinpoint the main cut. There are a few more trims (I believe at the end of the first scene between Walsh & Dan H.) that are subtle but...well I have said this already.
    ------------------
    -Kevin M.
    "Have a good time all the time........that's my philosophy, Marty."
    [Edited last by Kevin M on September 13, 2001 at 03:01 PM]
     
  12. Alan Markow

    Alan Markow Agent

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 1997
    Messages:
    36
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Somebody needs a hug.
     
  13. Kevin M

    Kevin M Producer

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2000
    Messages:
    5,172
    Likes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    0
    No Alan my butt cheeks aren't clenched (I.E. I'm not that anal) [​IMG] and I'm not trying to tell anyone how to think (I get the feeling sometimes that when people around the forum express an opinion many assume that they are trying to sway folks into "thinking like I do"), I just expessed my opinion and hoped everyone loves the disc.
    Me personaly I'll wait.
    By the way, didn't they even offer the cut "Maurice" scene as an outtake? I mean even Spielberg did that for Encounters.
    ------------------
    -Kevin M.
    "Have a good time all the time........that's my philosophy, Marty."
     
  14. GerardoHP

    GerardoHP Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2001
    Messages:
    704
    Likes Received:
    4
    Trophy Points:
    110
    Location:
    Los Angeles, California
    Real Name:
    Gerardo Paron
     
  15. Jon Robertson

    Jon Robertson Screenwriter

    Joined:
    May 19, 2001
    Messages:
    1,568
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Sorry if I came over slightly aggressive in my defense Kevin. I'm still chuffed to bits with having the film in an anamorphic transfer finally.
    I would be EXTREMELY doubtful that you'll ever see the original '83 cut ever again on home video, and I'm genuinely sorry you won't get this film the way you want it.
     
  16. Alan Markow

    Alan Markow Agent

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 1997
    Messages:
    36
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Kevin -- Just meant it as a joke. But a group hug with Joel and Ethan might be fun.
    Alan
     
  17. Kevin M

    Kevin M Producer

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2000
    Messages:
    5,172
    Likes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Yeah I know, Alan. Hence the "Winky" in my post.
    As far as the "original" version never again appearing on a video format?.....well...funny things can happen given enough time. We'll see.
    And this is a personal protest against this sort of thing, I'm not (again) telling anyone to join me, it's just that I am never again going to buy a film that has been altered from it's original version depending on the individual circumstances of a given film. For instance it isn't like,let's say, Superman or Star Trek the Motion Picture where time constraints and/or studio pressure forced them to rush the film into the theaters before they had time to "fine tune" it, what I don't like is the directors coming back after years & years and second guessing their work and then not offering at least the original version for the many people who through the years made that version the popular (cult or mainstream) version....although I guess the argument could be made that Superman & Star Trek the Motion Picture aren't offering this either.
    Many people really didn't like "The Version You've Never Seen" of The Exorcist and many others prefer the (for lack of a better word) new version to the original but at least they can make a choice....Mr. Lucas would do well to look at WB's and/or Willam Friedkin's take on this. In fact he would do all of the fan's who put him where he is today a BIG service by looking at FOX's & Artisan's approach to this, almost all of James Cameron's "Director's Cut" films on DVD also offer the theatrical version through seamless branching (we all know which one doesn't but I would bet if Aliens had been a newer FOX DVD it would have offered both versions).
     
  18. MatthewLouwrens

    MatthewLouwrens Producer

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2003
    Messages:
    3,034
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I got the DVD of Blood Simple last week, and listened to the commentary. I can honestly that this was the most enjoyable extra I had ever heard. Right from the start, where he discusses the filming of the car sequence backwards and upside down, I couldn't stop laughing. The story where he tried to buy the rights to the Merchant Ivory films and ends up in a fight with Nick Nolte - classic. And the whole deleted Todor Zuvkov plotline in Bulgaria - I want to see that film.

    I honestly do not see how DVD Savant could possibly consider it insulting - if I was faced with a choice of no commentary or the Loring commentary, I would definitely go for the Loring commentary.

    As for the question of which version is better (theatrical or director's cut) - I am not qualified to say as have only seen the original version once on video, and that was a number of years ago. The only video release over here in NZ had one fatal flaw, beyond the whole 'watching 15-year old rental video tape' problem. At the end of the film, when the character is dying and looks at the dripping tap,
    over the final shot, so quiet and still and eerie, we get a voiceover "Stay watching after this movie ends for previews of more great titles from our catalogue". Much as I loved the film, I refused to ever watch that tape ever again due to the destruction of the film. When I got the DVD I was just so glad to see the end in silence, I honestly didn't care about any other cuts to the films, especially since it had been so long since I saw the film that I didn't remember what had been cut.
     
  19. Patrick McCart

    Patrick McCart Lead Actor

    Joined:
    May 16, 2001
    Messages:
    7,585
    Likes Received:
    223
    Trophy Points:
    9,110
    Location:
    Georgia (the state)
    Real Name:
    Patrick McCart
     
  20. Kevin M

    Kevin M Producer

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2000
    Messages:
    5,172
    Likes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    0
     

Share This Page