Yet another year with yet another update.
2012 version can be found here.
2013 version can be found here.
A rich but jealous man hires a private investigator to kill his cheating wife and her new man. But, when blood is involved, nothing is simple.
Blood Simple may very well be the most powerful and confidant debut film of the last 50 years. It's a paranoid stunner: a film full of paranoia as a terrific means of suspense building. But also it's a film that is so good that it seems to have been made by a paranoid director and writer who feared that they would only be able to make only one film, so they made that one film the best representation of their talent imaginable. It's an explosively controlled and terrifically engaging piece of irrepressible intensity; and in the Coen Brother's hands, it's a debut masterpiece.
The film shows a duo of Coens who know exactly what they're doing. If, like most debuts,…
”If you point a gun at someone, you'd better make sure you shoot him, and if you shoot him you'd better make sure he's dead, because if he isn't then he's gonna get up and try to kill you.”
Smart, unpredictable, gripping and at times spine chilling, Blood Simple is the ultimate crime thriller and the marvelous debut of Joel and Ethan Coen, the genius brothers take the simple and even cliched story line of punishment and by adding their favorite elements turn it into an electrifying and fascinating neo-noir which with its dark humor and eye-catching violence never fails to surprise. Like other films from Coens here a simple matter that can be solved easily turns into series of…
As awful as I found The Counselor to be, something good will come of it.
The subsequent discussion/scrum in the comments led to discussions about Cormac McCarthy and then No Country For Old Men. Then I started thinking, "Now there's a film I need to rewatch. Hmm, there are some Coens I haven't seen yet as well. Really need to get round to Barton Fink. And A Serious Man. It's been a few years since I've seen Fargo as well. And The Man Who Wasn't There. I wonder...."
And thus the decision was made to wade through all of the films directed by one or both of the Coens in chronological order,…
As assured a debut as you will ever see. Blood Simple is a twisty, genuinely unpredictable thriller with a pitch black heart. The Coen brothers established themselves instantly as major talents in a mere ninety minutes of Southern noir style and invasive paranoia.
For a first-time viewing the other Coen work it most immediately brings to mind is No Country for Old Men. There is a devilish spirit of chaos at play in Blood Simple. It begins in darkness and rain and never lets up. If the night won't get you the day and its inexorable heat will. Hats waved in front of faces are a common visual beat, and Carter Burwell's oppressive pulsing score is accompanied by the thrum…
It had been years since I'd seen this, luckily after revisiting it remains my 2nd favorite from the Coens. Though they've made many other films, and all but 2 of them absolutely perfect, BLOOD SIMPLE still stands out as:
1. Their best use of soundtrack/sound design. They have put together some of the all-time best scores and soundtracks (my favorite is probably FARGO - goddamn!), but here they incorporate it as another "speaking" character. The sound of a lazily turning ceiling fan is made deeper and louder, becomes the sound of menacing footsteps or a slowly dying heartbeat.
2. Maybe their best "show don't tell", but of course the bits of dialogue pack a serious punch.
3. Their bleakest, and…
"Assured debut" doesn't even begin to describe Coens' Blood Simple. In as few words as possible, all the trademarks to wich the brothers have embraced and made their own are already in place. What I always admire the most, without belittling all the other layers, is the world in wich their stories take place. It's this intriguing mix of realistic and otherworldly. A lot of that of course has to do with the inhabitants in said worlds, the highlight of Blood Simple being M. Emmet Walsh' shady, sweaty P.I.
The story of this neo-noir is laden with distrust and paranoia, and neither us nor the players themselves know for sure what is going on, and who, if any, will make it out alive.
Dark, grim, damp yet cold, with inspired droppings of pitch black humour.
Alternate title: People Entering Crime Scenes And Touching EVERYTHING!!!!!
"He was alive when I buried him."
I came into this movie with preconceived notions of what a Coen Brothers movie was. I was expecting lots of dark humor, indelible characters, cooky, funky dialogue and some goofy elements to the plot. "Blood Simple" is the Co Bros' first movie, so I guess I shouldn't have expected all of the cinematic touches that make them some of the most interesting filmmakers in Hollywood today and ones that they developed once they hit their stride with movies like "Fargo," "O Brother, Where Art Thou?" and "The Big Lebowski."
But, I must say, I enjoyed "Blood Simple" for what it is: A solid crime film full of intrigue and double-crosses. The acting is…
First film by the Coen Brothers and it was already great
A great display of black humor, originality and visual style from the debut movie by the Coens.
It is a credit to the Coen Brother's ability as filmmakers and storytellers that in the final moments of their debut feature, the dying antagonist lays laughing under a dripping sink and you cannot resist but laugh along too. For a debut film the characters, narrative and cinematography are so consistently good that it is no surprise the brothers still continue to make films thirty years on.
Moments before Private Detective Loren Visser (M. Emmet Walsh) is laughing at his unfortunate situation, Abby (Frances McDormand) picks up her gun and prepares herself to shoot her attacker. From the other side of the screen we know that there is only one bullet remaining in the barrel of six chambers as we…
One of the most assured debut features I have ever seen. Masterful balance of style, suspense, and dark comedy. Constructed in such a way that all the characters are making logical decisions based on the information they are presented with, yet the result is chaos. No matter how smart you are, when put up against the cosmic forces of the universe, you are screwed.
"Blood Simple" is a tense, tight, quiet thriller with dark humor sprinkled throughout, brilliantly, in classic Coen Brothers fashion.
Another year, another update. 2012 List can be found here.
The following is a really extensive and great list of…
My six hundred favorite films (1940-2014).