Posts Tagged ‘Miller's Crossing’

Media Update 11/26/20

November 26, 2020

Blood Simple

This is the Coen Brothers’ first movie which they were able to both direct and write. It is a simmering crime movie with a small cast. John Getz plays a quiet but reckless bartender who gets into trouble for sleeping with the wrong woman. Dan Madaya plays the paranoid bar owner, a rich man who thinks he can buy anything. Frances McDormand plays a somewhat mousy but extremely likable woman who gets mixed up in things. Finally, M. Emmet Walsh plays the corrupt and silly private detective who acts as comic relief and to move the plot along. The movie is an interesting character study about what happens when a single act of violence eventually drives everybody crazy. It is a brilliant movie especially with its use of silence. There is a 14 minute sequence without any dialogue and it is the best. The movie is amazing for a first attempt and really just a good movie period. You can see how Frances McDormand was going to become a superstar actress even then. I recommend this movie.

Miller’s Crossing

This is a straight up neo-noir film about a clash between the Italian and Irish mobs during prohibition. Gabriel Byrne plays a straight shooter and strategist behind the throne of the largest mobster in town who gets mixed up in a lot of intrigue. John Turturro plays the Jewish gangster who sparks the whole conflict and he is so likable and weaselly. Albert Finney plays the big shot Irish mob boss. Jon Polito steals every scene he was in as the hot-headed Italian gangster with a bit of a Napoleon complex. Finally, Marcia Gay Harden plays the fickle love interest, a classic femme fatale in a noir story. The movie is a classic gangster story with that layered story that the Coen Brothers do so well. I would liken it to movies like No Country For Old Men, Burn After Reading, and a little of The Big Lebowski. The story has a lot of good twists and turns that I was not expecting. Nobody comes off as a hero but you meet a lot of interesting characters. I definitely recommend this movie.

The Man Who Wasn’t There

This is definitely a weird movie and the Coen brothers like to ocassionally make this kind of movie. It is similar to Barton Fink and A Simple Man in that we follow one character as he tries to navigate increasingly chaotic events. Billy Bob Thornton plays the main character, a very low key and taciturn barber who wants to get ahead in life. Frances McDormand plays his spitfire wife who is a social climber. James Gandolfini plays her boss, a gruff but nice man. John Polito plays a travelling salesman who has the gift for gab. Tony Shalhoub plays an eccentric defense attorney who has a motormouth. A pretty young Scarlett Johansson plays a naïve young girl. The story moves pretty slowly but at some point it gains momentum and kicks into a higher gear. I really loved Thornton’s monotone performance as it was an interesting choice and he also narrates the movie like a film noir piece. The movie is also in black and white and feels like a throwback to earlier cinema. I recommend this movie with the caveat that it is weird and moves slowly at first.

Music of the Week:


Qveen Herby – ALL THESE HOES

Surfaces – Bloom

French 79 – Hometown

Killer Mike – Reagan

Weekly Update:
This week’s theme is “The Coen Brothers Period Pieces”
I watched more Watcher videos
I watched more Doctor Who Season 11
I watched a lot of Twitch and YouTube
I watched more Young Justice Season 3
I watched more EVIL Season 1
I watched more The Haunting of Bly Manor
I watched more Agents of Shield Season 7
I watched more Cults and Extreme Belief Season 1

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