Things go awry in the films of Joel and Ethan Coen. Perfect murders are foiled by crumbling contingency plans, kidnappings are bested by cruel Minnesotan winters or the rigors of child-rearing, and perfectly good rugs are peed upon by a porn baron’s thugs. The Coens tell each pear-shaped tale with the language of cinematic experience: Blood Simple, their first feature from 1985, for example, revives the pragmatic shadow dwelling of ‘40s film noir, while Raising Arizona (1987) reimagines screwball comedy in a post-modern junk culture consciousness. Those two films are collected with three other stone-cold Coen classics (Miller’s Crossing, Barton Fink, and Fargo) in this new five-DVD gift set perfect for the film buff in your family who loves a good story gone bad, told with an absurd twist on an otherwise classical form.
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