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Sam Posten

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Inscrutable thinker Tom (Gabriel Byrne) is the consiglieri to mob boss Leo (Albert Finney) as rival gangster Johnny Caspar (Jon Polito) starts flexing his new found muscle.  Despite his brilliance Tom is his own worst enemy, with terrible luck gambling and an ongoing love/hate affair with Leo’s girl Verna (Marcia Gay Harden).  He’s also surrounded by a cast of flunkies and grifters trying to get a piece of the action, including Verna’s brother Bernie (John Turturro) , fast talking Mink (Steve Buscemi), heavy Eddie Dane (J. E. Freeman) and others, but it may be Verna herself who had the biggest grift going, worming her way into Leo’s heart.  As the movie opens one of Leo’s thugs is murdered while watching Verna’s every move, and Tom thinks she may be guilty.  But everyone quickly forgets about that as alliances are made and double crossed as the power behind the city’s powers ebb and flow across gangsters factions.  Tom’s fate is tied to his smarts, but he will need all of them to...

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JohnRice

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Thanks Sam. You probably want to indicate in the thread title that this is the Criterion edition, since it's been on BR for over ten years.

BTW, the disappointment over the "Jesus, Tom" line is because it's one of the best lines in the movie. In Coen tradition, it is the LAST thing you'd ever expect to happen at that moment.
 

Sam Posten

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Thanks Sam. You probably want to indicate in the thread title that this is the Criterion edition, since it's been on BR for over ten years.

BTW, the disappointment over the "Jesus, Tom" line is because it's one of the best lines in the movie. In Coen tradition, it is the LAST thing you'd ever expect to happen at that moment.

I don't think we have a standard for noting Criterion releases in review titles, will look into it.

As for "Jesus, Tom" I can see it both ways. Other posters have noted it makes the guy seem more menacing to storm off without saying anything.
 

JohnRice

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As for "Jesus, Tom" I can see it both ways. Other posters have noted it makes the guy seem more menacing to storm off without saying anything.
Which is the polar opposite of how the scene originally played. That’s the entire point of the scene. He pouts and walks away. The last thing you’d ever expect.
 

Reggie W

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Which is the polar opposite of how the scene originally played. That’s the entire point of the scene. He pouts and walks away. The last thing you’d ever expect.

So, under normal circumstances I would already own this as I think it is one of the great American films that has been released in my lifetime. However, the Coens, as they will do, decided to make some trims to it. As usual the trims appear to be to reduce the humor that was in the film. I do not think this is an improvement and did not like it when they trimmed up Blood Simple. I saw these pictures in cinemas and part of the fun of the Coens' work was the deadpan humor that was there.

At least for this picture I have the first Blu-ray that has the film intact. I will watch this new version but likely when I want to return to the film it will be with the old Blu. Disappointed they did this. I have never enjoyed the cuts they made to Blood Simple and personally I think cutting parts of M. Emmet Walsh's performance, which was epically brilliant, was a giant mistake.

"Jesus, Tom." was very funny and yes, capped that scene. The entire idea was the big guy looks more menacing but the small guy was the one you needed to look out for. Why would you cut that?

It leaves me saying "Jesus, Joel and Ethan."
 

Robert Crawford

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When did they cut that scene? Was it for the first Blu-ray release or before the DVD release?
 

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When did they cut that scene? Was it for the first Blu-ray release or before the DVD release?

If you mean "Jesus, Tom." in Miller's Crossing, that was cut for the Criterion release. There is really only one reason to cut it and that is to reduce the humor in the scene. It is not like cutting one two word line makes the scene play better or faster. Removing it cuts the humor. As the Coens have gone on in their career they have become a bit more dry in their presentation. I kind of think the idea of cutting humor from Blood Simple and Miller's Crossing is to make them play more dry like their later pictures.

I am not a fan of doing this and having watched their films many times when they do this it annoys the hell out of me. If I did not know the pictures well, it would probably not phase me. When I saw the DVD of Blood Simple it was jarring to me and I really was unhappy.

Walsh is fantastic in the film and cutting his scenes was a crime against humanity in my world.

There are, I believe other trims in Miller's Crossing but I don't recall what they are and have not watched the new Criterion cut. If they want to tinker with their films I think that is fine but can we please preserve the original cuts while we are doing this?
 

Reggie W

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My recommendation is buy the old Blu, it is still available for just $9.99 at Amazon, for the film. If you are a big fan of the picture and want the Criterion for the special features only, then purchase that as well.

However, my opinion is the Criterion version is butchered/compromised. I will watch it once to see what they did to it and never again.
 

Robert Crawford

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I just played the scene back on both 2011 and 2022 Blu-rays. No big deal for me on either cut! If you don't like the Criterion Blu-ray for the way the film was re-cut then that's right, but don't expect others to agree with your POV. Furthermore, the filmmakers also have the right to cut their film as they please, whether you like it or not.

By the way, the iTunes HD digital that I purchased for $4.99 back in 2019, has the same cut of the film as the 2011 Blu-ray.
 

Reggie W

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I just played the scene back on both 2011 and 2022 Blu-rays. No big deal for me on either cut! If you don't like the Criterion Blu-ray for the way the film was re-cut then that's right, but don't expect others to agree with your POV. Furthermore, the filmmakers also have the right to cut their film as they please, whether you like it or not.

By the way, the iTunes HD digital that I purchased for $4.99 back in 2019, has the same cut of the film as the 2011 Blu-ray.

Yes, I agree they have the right to recut their picture. It happens all the time. Directors often create a new cut. Walter Hill did a new cut of The Warriors, inserting comic drawings at certain points. I did not like it and thankfully, Imprint finally released a Blu of the theatrical cut which is fantastic.

All I ask is if they want to do a new cut, preserve the theatrical cut as well.

I don't expect everybody to feel the way I do about it. Hell, maybe there are fans that prefer the new cuts of Miller's Crossing and Blood Simple.

Excellent, but I would like to see the film I saw in a theater.

Perhaps there are times when fiddling with a film makes it better but I think you should always preserve the theatrical release version as well.
 
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Robert Crawford

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Yes, I agree they have the right to recut their picture. It happens all the time. Director's often create a new cut. Walter Hill did a new cut of The Warriors, inserting comic drawings at certain points. I did not like it and thankfully, Imprint finally released a Blu of the theatrical cut which is fantastic.

All I ask is if they want to do a new cut, preserve the theatrical cut as well.

I don't expect everybody to feel the way I do about it. Hell, maybe there are fans that prefer the new cuts of Miller's Crossing and Blood Simple.

Excellent, but I would like to see the film I saw in a theater.

Perhaps there are times when fiddling with a film makes it better but I think you should always preserve the theatrical release version as well.
In the case of Miller's Crossing, you do have options to see the film you saw in a theater.
 

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There are 76 trims to the Criterion version, compared with the original theatrical cut. The running time is almost two minutes shorter on the Criterion version.


I've kept the 2011 Fox blu-ray. Not sure what 2K "restoration" has been carried out for the picture, as it looks absolutely identical - even projected onto a 130 inch screen - to the original blu-ray.
 

Robert Crawford

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There are 76 trims to the Criterion version, compared with the original theatrical cut. The running time is almost two minutes shorter on the Criterion version.


I've kept the 2011 Fox blu-ray. Not sure what 2K "restoration" has been carried out for the picture, as it looks absolutely identical - even projected onto a 130 inch screen - to the original blu-ray.
One day I need to sit down and watch both Blu-rays on the same day. That way I can tell if those trims bother me or not.
 

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One day I need to sit down and watch both Blu-rays on the same day. That way I can tell if those trims bother me or not.
Eh, ignorance is bliss if you ask me. I have both discs but I don't know the movie well enough to be bothered by the edits. The way I figure it, I hate enough things already so I don't need to actively try to add any more to the list. :laugh:
 

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Thanks Sam. You probably want to indicate in the thread title that this is the Criterion edition, since it's been on BR for over ten years.

BTW, the disappointment over the "Jesus, Tom" line is because it's one of the best lines in the movie. In Coen tradition, it is the LAST thing you'd ever expect to happen at that moment.
I'm so glad this got mentoined. Was planning on getting Crit version. Since this has been edited. I'll opt for the older blu ray version. I hate after the fact edits. Thanks!
 

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One day I need to sit down and watch both Blu-rays on the same day. That way I can tell if those trims bother me or not.

It would be an interesting examination of what they did. As I understand it most trims are very short so there is a good chance many will not be something you notice. I think a lot of people noticed the line "Jesus, Tom." because it was a funny and memorable moment in the film. I have not watched the new cut yet, not that excited about seeing it honestly, but cutting that line removes humor from the scene. This was mainly how they approached recutting Blood Simple. They removed lines, moments, I think entire scenes involving M. Emmet Walsh, that added humor to the film so that the new cut plays more like straight noir than having some comic seasoning.

Interestingly, they have now recut Miller's Crossing, a comic noir, and my guess would be to also just tweak the comic stuff right out of the film.

Another comic noir that they made, The Man Who Wasn't There, I think is not as popular as Miller's Crossing or Blood Simple because by the time they get to that picture they are sort of going for this dryer humor where they do not tip the funny bits to the audience at all. You really have to find them yourself.

This becomes a feature of their work as they make more films. Hail, Ceasar! is a wacky comedy but dried out and the humor flattened. It is there, people may have to watch the picture more than once or twice to find it, but this became the Coen style and I don't think people enjoy it as much as the humor in their older pictures.

My guess would be that the Coens might find the comic moments in their older films to be too goofy or going for the laugh too hard. I don't think that's the case and when you get to the humor in later films like Hail, Ceasar!, Burn After Reading, A Serious Man...well...when I saw those in theaters most of the audience did not laugh and I recall people saying they did not really like those pictures.

I think this all goes to their much drier approach to comedy as their careers advanced.

So, it is fine if they want to do new cuts of their pictures. However, it would be best if they allowed the original cuts to be released as well. As someone that has seen all of their pictures in theaters from the start, I just love their work and seeing how they cut in the past versus how they cut later is interesting to watch. Now we have two of their pictures cut to how they prefer to cut now. I'm not interested in that really and I loved the humor in their older films.

With Miller's Crossing I have the old Blu which is fantastic and preserves the theatrical cut. With Blood Simple the film I saw in theaters (several times in fact) is gone.
 

Reggie W

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There are 76 trims to the Criterion version, compared with the original theatrical cut. The running time is almost two minutes shorter on the Criterion version.


I've kept the 2011 Fox blu-ray. Not sure what 2K "restoration" has been carried out for the picture, as it looks absolutely identical - even projected onto a 130 inch screen - to the original blu-ray.

Keeping the old Blu for the film is the way to go. Most reviews seem to say the Criterion is not any advancement on picture quality. 76 plus trims indicates they went through the entire picture looking for stuff to cut. Some of it to slightly speed up a scene (removing a step forward Tom takes during a conversation or a half second of some reaction, or tiny snip of violence) but if the cuts are that tiny, why bother? If people say many of the cuts are imperceptible why bother making them?

I've never enjoyed their recut of Blood Simple. It does not quite reach the level of Walter Hill's recut of The Warriors but it is close in annoyance level.

If you don't know the pictures well, you probably won't know or care about the cuts or changes. Obviously the giant example of this are the original Star Wars trilogy likely because people know the pictures so well and loved them so much.

I mean, I don't care how many time Coppola and Stone want to recut Apocalypse Now and Alexander but they have let us have the original cuts along with the other cuts they have done.

I believe Michael Mann made some trims to Thief for the Criterion version. I love the film but have not seen it enough times to spot the trims he made.

I think the most recent version of Jaws smoothed out some bad editing in the scene where Hooper and Brody are looking at remains in the coroners office. That was just smoothing out a rough edit though and I can see why they would want to do that.

Basically, if there was not a glaring problem, or in the case of Coppola or Stone just feeling they blew the original cuts, then also subsequent cuts, so they can't stop recutting...well, I think much of the time tweaking a picture decades later is not the way to go.
 

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