Under the Radar

'Fargo' Remastered & Reissued

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Fargo, Joel & Ethan Coen's classic Minnesota crime picture, has just been remastered for Blu-ray as part of MGM's 90th anniversary. Never mind that the Coen Brothers made the movie for the PolyGram back in 1996, MGM bought the rights at some point and they get to take the credit now.

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Fans of the movie will want to know that the new version here corrects the color from the previous Blu-ray release and everything's just a little bit less blue, something that makes a big difference in all the outdoor snow scenes. The Coens (and cinematographer Roger A. Deakins) have created sort of a reverse noir effect, with vast expanses of white replacing the shadows that usually define the crime genre. This has been reissued at a budget price and includes all the bonus features from the DVD (including a making-of feature from 2003 called "Minnesota Nice" and a commentary from Deakins).

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Anyone who cares about crime movies should have already seen this one, but here's the plot: car salesman Jerry Lundegaard (William H. Macy) is desperate for some cash and enlists to thugs (Steve Buscemi and Peter Stormare) to kidnap his wife so he can arrange for his father-in-law to pay a huge ransom that he'll skim before he delivers a sliver to the kidnappers. Things go wrong and then get progressively worse. Frances McDormand won an Oscar for Best Actress as the Brainerd, MN police chief who unravels the case.

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Fargo the movie inspired Fargo the TV series which debuted this week on the FX network. The TV show keeps the Minnesota setting and introduces a new set of criminals and a new woman cop to track the crime and has a one-season plot arc similar to HBO's True Detective.

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