Matthew Kerwin: C +
Released in 1985, Blood Simple is the debut film for writing/directing duo, Joel and Ethan Coen. A rich honky tonk owner, Dan Hedaya, hires a hitman to kill his cheating wife, Frances McDormand, and her new love interest, John Getz. Things get complicated when the hit man, M. Emmet Walsh, decides a different course of events.
Given that this was the first film from the Coen’s some leeway has been given here. The whole movie feels like a bad 80’s Lifetime movie, lets say lighting wasn’t a strong suit. The title cards too had 80’s written all over them (If you couldn’t tell from the cover). For the most part, acting was sub par as well, especially from M. Emmet Walsh who plays an over weight chain-smoking hit man who can’t seem to stop laughing.
Francis McDormand does surprisingly well in her first acting nod, showing signs of her later Oscar caliber credentials. As you would expect from the Coen’s the writing was strong and actually made the film worth watching. There were also lots of cool shots that you would see repeated later in movies like Fargo and No Country for Old Men.
What most of this film felt like was a trial run for later films. Wading through most of the sub par minutia there are glimpses of brilliance that the brothers would later bring in for later films. Also, this movie gets better as it goes along, which shows that the duo are quick learners.
I wouldn’t go into this film expecting the traditional Coen brothers experience. This film is best summed up as a trial run, a movie worth watching for perspective on the Coen’s.
In un-related news, I came across a blog from a friend of mine that everyone should check out: duhleah.livejournal.com . She offers her thoughts on all sorts of things, so when you’re done here check it out!
This also reminds me, we want to know what your favorite movies are! Comment on this post or really anywhere on our sight or on facebook and let us know what your favorite movie is!