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The Man Who Wasn't There?

Old 04-15-02, 05:50 PM
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The Man Who Wasn't There?

How is the movie, The Man Who Wasn't There? It comes out on DVD tomorrow and I'm wondering if I should buy it blindly. I've seen and enjoyed a couple of Coen's other films (Fargo and Hudsucker Proxy), would I like this one?

Is the DVD going to be good?
Old 04-15-02, 06:11 PM
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the dvd is going to be good, and this film is classic coen... if you like the strange coen flicks, like barton fink and hudsucker, buy this baby... such a great movie...can't wait until tomorrow...

MATT
Old 04-15-02, 06:11 PM
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the flick is yet another work of genius from the coen brothers.i feel it is there best.i have seen and loved many of there other films (see below for rankings) but this is quite a few notches above what i thought they were capable of.buy this flick now man,you will not regret it.even if the movie itself is not your bag,you still get the 1st ever coen bros commentary.that's worth the price alone.

coen brothers movies (ranked from best to worst)....

1. THE MAN WHO WASN'T THERE
2. RAISING ARIZONA
3. THE BIG LEBOWSKI
4. O BROTHER,WHERE ART THOU?
5. BARTON FINK
6. BLOOD SIMPLE
7. FARGO (the only coen film i didn't like so far)

-i still haven't seen The Hudsucker Proxy or Miller's Crossing-
Old 04-16-02, 04:15 AM
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What is the difference between the region 1 and region 3? I don't think the region 1 has any special features, and it's $30 while the region 3 is $7. Thanks for any input.
Old 04-16-02, 08:25 AM
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Beautiful movie.....

Here's my review
Old 04-16-02, 08:40 AM
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I just watched the movie on the DVD last night (haven't had time to get into the special features). The picture is gorgeous. You'll instantly see why this got a nomination for Best Cinematography.

The film itself is so-so. Better than standard fare, but not up to the Coen's usual standards I'm afraid. It starts out pretty strong, but loses it's way in the last third or so. Also, they keep playing the same piano song over and over and over...I was starting to get annoyed.

Worth picking up for Coen fans. Anybody else might want to rent first.
Old 04-16-02, 08:59 PM
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I just finished watching it and I guess one needs to be a Coen Brothers fan to have the patience to sit this one out. It is so incredibly droll and laconic I couldn't stand it. The Coen's are so inside the milieu and the jokes are so obscure that I just didn't give a fat crap about anyone or anything going on in this toast warmer of a film. The black and white photography is nice and the camera's movement creates a strange kind of intimacy. Too bad the screenplay has the energy and insight of cattle chewing their cud. If I had five stomachs and could ruminate as I watched I might have enjoyed this wonder bread nightmare. Blah blah blah. So very glad I did not buy it. Renting is the only way to build a small collection. Try before you buy!
Old 04-16-02, 11:13 PM
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Originally posted by Smog
I just finished watching it and I guess one needs to be a Coen Brothers fan to have the patience to sit this one out. It is so incredibly droll and laconic I couldn't stand it. The Coen's are so inside the milieu and the jokes are so obscure that I just didn't give a fat crap about anyone or anything going on in this toast warmer of a film. The black and white photography is nice and the camera's movement creates a strange kind of intimacy. Too bad the screenplay has the energy and insight of cattle chewing their cud. If I had five stomachs and could ruminate as I watched I might have enjoyed this wonder bread nightmare. Blah blah blah. So very glad I did not buy it. Renting is the only way to build a small collection. Try before you buy!
the main character of the flick is a barber who doesn't talk much,how could you not expect sparse dialogue??? its a coen brothers movie,how could you not expect obscure jokes??? this movie is genius,these factors only make it better.
Old 04-17-02, 11:12 AM
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Saw this one last night, and I liked it quite a bit. There are some things I'm sort of confused by though that were left unanswered.
Spoiler:
the UFO's, who beat the panzy to death, and how Ed's wife was pregnant
Old 04-17-02, 11:15 AM
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Originally posted by CitizenKaneRBud
Saw this one last night, and I liked it quite a bit. There are some things I'm sort of confused by though that were left unanswered.
Spoiler:
the UFO's, who beat the panzy to death, and how Ed's wife was pregnant
Spoiler:

the UFO's - I chalk that up to Coen weirdness

Who beat the panzy to death
Big Dave - he tells Ed as much during the scene where he is killed.

How Ed's wife was pregnant
I assumed Big Dave, though I don't think it's ever spelled out exactly


Old 04-17-02, 01:03 PM
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If you're a big Coen bros fan, I would pick it up no questions asked. If you're a casual fan, I would advise a rental first.

Myself, I enjoyed the film quite a bit but I would place it somewhere in the middle of the pack of the Coens' work... It's a film that is still better than 98% of what was released last year but I was a tad dissapointed with it. Perhaps my expectations were too high (I consider the Coens the best in the business at this point). I'll be watching it again though and then again with the commentary. The cinematography is indeed, as always with Deakins, quite beautiful.

The DVD is OK... Nothing special, save for the commentary. I watched the film and went through what little extras (minus the commentary) there were in one quick sitting last night. The transfer is very nice and the DD 5.1 track fits the film well, nothing aggressive, most of the activity is in the center channel and spread across the front.

Anyone notice the DTS logo on the back of the case? Well, there's no DTS track on the disc...
Old 04-17-02, 02:52 PM
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bluntman86

the main character of the flick is a barber who doesn't talk much,how could you not expect sparse dialogue??? its a coen brothers movie,how could you not expect obscure jokes??? this movie is genius,these factors only make it better.
That is hilarious. How would I know these things without seeing the film (flick)?My opinion is mine alone and rather than pointing to my subjective statements you might try elucidating your own opinion with more than these ten words: "this movie is genius,these factors only make it better."

I didn't find a single instance of genius in The Man Who Wasn't There. I did find it to be over stated and self indulgent. But these are my opinions and mine alone and cast no light or shadow on bluntman86's opinion of this Film (flick).
Old 04-17-02, 05:19 PM
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man who wasn't there

Hi, I'm new to this board and from the UK. I got my
copy of the film on Friday and have watched it a couple
of times new. The Coen Brothers really are building an
impressive body of work and they're the best in the business
right now. Roger Deakins prefers to work in black and white
and he makes the most of his opportunity in this great movie.
If you haven't listened to the commentary track yet check
out the closing credit sequence. That has got to be the
funniest five minutes I've had in a long time.
Old 04-18-02, 05:19 AM
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I thought the film was very good, and can't wait to give it a thorough viewing. I was surprised that the "interview with Roger Deakins" extra is over 45 minutes long! Can't wait to watch that. The making of was enjoyable, and the first-ever Coen commentary (with Billy Bob) made it a must-buy for me. I played some of it with the commentary on and enjoyed it very much... especially the Coen's on their initial description of the film to Billy Bob:

"It's about a barber who wants to be a dry cleaner."

Sure, it's not REALLY what the movie is about, but it's a damn funny description of it. Try convincing some J6P's to watch it with that synopsis!
Old 04-20-02, 01:29 PM
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An odd laconic throwback of a movie, that seems to languish in its details and lush NOIR B/W cinematography. There are ingenious moments and expositional dry spots, punctuated by terrific (if small) performances by the entire cast.
Ultimately it seems as if the brothers C were content to make a picture that essentially takes all the time in the world to get nowhere, but it is a strange, haunting and stronly visual ride.
The cinematography struck a chord especially having just watched Citizen Kane. Sound and picture are terric there is French and Spanich subs but no English subs only CC.
Most of the diaogue is mumbled throughout this picture so turn the volume up. I also wish the music had a litle more to it but it does fit the spooky dream state that this film exists in. Great set of extras best on a Coen Bros DVD yet.
Worth a purchase for FILM buffs and COEN Bros. fans, everyone else might wanna rent first.

Last edited by Apocrypha; 04-20-02 at 01:37 PM.
Old 04-21-02, 08:49 PM
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Good but just good. Not worth owning IMO.......
Old 04-21-02, 09:27 PM
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I had never seen the word Laconic before, and now I've seen it about 4 or 5 times in reference to just this movie...
Old 04-22-02, 01:34 PM
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I thought this was a great movie. At times it seemed a little long, but I was never bored. In fact I found the movie mesmerizing and almost hypnotic. The cinematography is among the best I've seen. I watched it twice in two days. I rarely do that. This is definitely worth buying.
Old 04-23-02, 01:59 PM
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I bought this movie without seeing it because I like most of The Coen Bros. work and missed it in the theatres. I watched it and have to say it was just *ok* and very beautifully shot. I don't think it has a lot of repeat viewing IMHO, and I'm probably going to sell it on eBay after I watch the Coen commentary. I may get flamed for this, but my fave Coen movie is THE BIG LEBOWSKI just because everytime I watch it I laugh my butt off!

My fave Coen Bros. movie, in order:
1. THE BIG LEBOWSKI
2. RAISING ARIZONA
3. BLOOD SIMPLE
4. FARGO
5. O BROTHER, WHERE ART THOU?

BARTON FINK was just *okay*, I haven't seen MILLER'S CROSSING yet, and I rented THE HUDSUCKER PROXY twice and fell asleep twice 20 minutes in both times. I guess the moral of my story is to stick to their comedies, because their "film noir" side is pretty hit or miss with me.
Old 04-25-02, 02:45 PM
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Watched last night with high expectations that were not met. I am a big fan of Thornton and the Coen brothers, but both were not up to their usual standards here. The B&W was great, as was the cinematography and period costuming and sets. The constant smoking was a great way to authenticate the time and period, and the overall evocation of a classic 40's noir film was wonderful. The pacing was too slow for my tastes, and I could have done without some of the tangential plot lines
Spoiler:
UFO and Birdie, although Scarlett Johnson was very good
.

The Coen's should be commended for creating a wonderful tribute to classic noir, but I would recommend this film to Cain fans first, and Coen fans as an afterthought.
Old 04-25-02, 06:37 PM
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Man, this is one of the best Coen Bros. movies by far. I was totally blown away by this movie. This movie shows you how good of an actor Billy Bob Thornton can be.

The only thing I don't get about the movie is the flying saucer that was seen toward the end. What was that all about?
Old 04-26-02, 11:55 AM
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I watched this last night and loved it. I'm a Coen brothers fan, though it's hard to know where to rank this one since it's so different from something like Raising Arizona or O Brother. I certainly did NOT find it "boring" (as some people have referred to it as). True, there are no car chases or big explosions (not that there's anything wrong with either of those at times), but the black & white and the superb acting really made this an enjoyable picture for me. I'd definitely recommend it.
P.S. Anyone else find it odd it got an "R" rating? Sure didn't seem like it deserved that to me...
Old 04-26-02, 08:23 PM
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As has been said elsewhere, the Coen Bros are the movie
equivalent of Gaddis, Coover, Barth and Pynchon. The more
I think about this film the clearer i am in my mind that it is
their best movie.

SPOILER WARNING !

The one jarring moment is when Scarlet offers to give Ed
a b.j. which seemed totally out of her character. Maybe that's
just me, though.
Old 04-27-02, 07:32 AM
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I watched this last night for the first time. I'm a big fan of the Coens, so I knew it would be a movie I would enjoy. I thought that the disc was technically very nice (great picture and great sound). It is really good to hear a Coen commentary, although it seems like they're just goofing around most of the time and it's hard to tell when they're being serious and when they're pulling your leg.

Spoiler:
After thinking about the film overnight, I really think this is in many ways a film revolving around the death penalty. It shows a man sentenced to death for a crime that he didn't commit, but yet he isn't completely guilt-less either because he had killed big dave. The Coens worked very hard to make a character we can be sympathetic for and not want to die, yet also have him seem like the kind of person that you see on the news all the time: "he seemed like a quiet nice guy, never knew in all my years living next to him that he could do such a horrible thing." And in the end, while it isn't clear that if Ed had more money he would've avoided the death penalty, having no more money left to pay a fancy lawyer GUARANTEED that he would be execuited. Talk about dark...


this one, as with all Coen films, will definitely take several views.

Last edited by Eeyore; 04-27-02 at 07:41 AM.
Old 04-27-02, 07:53 PM
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This is such a wonderful movie. I highly recommend it.

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