The Sleepless Movie Review
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BLOOD SIMPLE.
1984
Written by Joel and Ethan Coen and directed by Joen Coen
94 Minutes
Rated R

It's funny because I'm writing this review fresh off of reading my best friend's "review" of the J.J. Abrams vehicle (because it's not like the actual director is getting any credit for it) Cloverfield. One of us got to watch a good movie tonight. The other did not.

Blood Simple is the movie that put the Coen brothers on the map, and after watching it, it's pretty clear why. I'm not a huge film noir fan, but credit where credit is due: I can't think of any other writer or director that came out of the gate firing on all cylinders the way these two did with this film.

There are movies I've seen that I suggest are very close to being a "perfect film": a film that's virtually impossible to improve, a film that is maximally successful in what it sets out to accomplish, a film that raises the bar for its peers. Prior to this film, my best example was Jacob's Ladder, an incredible film that I still don't think ever got its due. Blood Simple may be a perfect film.

The jaded filmgoer will be in for a rude awakening watching this film. The film noir vet will spend most of the film making predictions. And they're both gonna feel really stupid when the movie winds to its close, because even though the film is actually totally logical and meticulously detailed, it's also so slick that it's virtually impossible to keep a grip on. I don't think I've ever been so happy to feel like such an idiot as I did when this movie was over.

This is a film that has been thoroughly considered and carefully constructed by its creators. There isn't so much as a hair out of place, and the film's devils are buried in its details. The level of interconnection and care is nothing short of remarkable.

I'm not gonna lie, I really wanted to write a negative review. The majority of the films I've watched for these reviews so far have been somehow redeemable, and as someone who feels really hit and miss with the Coen brothers, I was expecting to be bored to tears. But fortunately for me - and in some ways for you - Blood Simple successfully outsmarted me. It GOT me.

Blood Simple is anything but. The filmmaking is so meticulous Kubrick would have to give pause (I cite Kubrick not because I'm a fan of his work - the opposite actually - but because he was a notoriously picky director). It's the perfect cinematic meal: it's easily digested - everything does tie together quite nicely and completely in the end - yet is rich with intelligence and quality. You will be a better film fan for having seen this movie.

I hate raving this much about a film and indeed, Blood Simple isn't the kind of movie I'd buy for myself. But credit where credit is due: it's masterfully done and any film buff owes it to themselves to see it.

- Dustin Sklavos

All written content and colored rating system copyright Dustin Sklavos 2009. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.