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How was Fargo? Review on sound, etc please

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How was Fargo? Review on sound, etc please

Old 08-19-00, 02:37 AM
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Also I've noticed that 800. com is the cheapest for dvd's. Any other sight cheaper?
Old 08-19-00, 08:17 AM
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From www.jmreview.web.com

The Coen brothers have a knack for turning the ordinary, or sub-ordinary, into the extraordinary with plenty of laughs along the way, and Fargo (1996), arguably their best film, is no exception. Fargo is about regular people who are involved in a not so regular situation. It’s one of those situations where we say, “I can’t believe it!” but we really can. It’s not so out of the ordinary as people pretend it to be. Fargo concerns a car salesman who has his wife kidnapped so he can get money from his well-off father in law. Of course, everything goes wrong. How could someone find such tragic and gruesome events funny, you ask? Because they’re portrayed as funny! Of course, they were appalling at the same time, but I must admit that I laughed most of the way through Fargo.

The first scene is classic. Carter Burwell’s music (one of his best scores) starts off like a cold sounding pastoral with harp, glockenspiel, and violin playing a traditional Norwegian folk tune. All we see is snow until headlights are seen in the distance. Suddenly, something disrupts the calm. The music soars with strings, brass, snare drum, kettledrum, bass drum, cymbals, and sleigh bells, and we see…a 1987 Oldsmobile Cutlass Sierra! You can’t help but laugh.

Fargo was originally released on DVD by Polygram with a decent non-anamorphic 1.85:1 transfer and good Dolby Surround. MGM later acquired the rights, and released a new DVD with a new anamorphic transfer and the soundtrack encoded in Dolby Digital (even though the case says Dolby Surround). Comparing the two transfers and audio tracks shows some interesting differences. The MGM transfer is definitely sharper with less grain, but it is decidedly more blue. This is especially noticeable with the many snow scenes: the Polygram release makes the snow look white, while the MGM release makes the snow look blue. It’s difficult to say which transfer is more faithful, as I have seen snow and ice look both white and blue. The MGM transfer also has more film defects than the Polygram transfer does, but this is only slightly distracting. I also noticed that in the second scene of Fargo where we first see Steve Buscemi, on the MGM disc Buscemi’s forehead wrinkles dance a lot, whereas in the Polygram release you can’t make out any wrinkles. So taken as a whole the MGM transfer is superior in my book, but still flawed. When viewed on a 16:9 display, however, the MGM release will look even better than the Polygram version because of the extra resolution the 16:9 enhancements provides. Regarding the audio tracks, MGM’s Dolby Digital soundtrack is more exciting and has more punch, but it has “steering” problems. This distracts and disorients, and leads me to believe that the MGM Dolby Digital soundtrack is not an actual 5.1 re-mix but, rather, the Dolby Surround soundtrack encoded in Dolby Digital. The only extra on both releases is a theatrical trailer.

Fargo is a black comedy, and one of the best films of the 1990’s. However, the movie is filled with some very bloody and violent scenes, so it’s not suitable for squeamish viewers. Buy Fargo and see it when the kiddies are in bed.

Content: *****
Audio: ***
Video: ***
Extras: **
Old 08-19-00, 12:22 PM
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The overall transfer was okay....not top notch but nice to watch. I would give the audio and video a four out of five stars if you had to rate it.
Old 08-20-00, 03:15 AM
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Both the picture and sound have some minor weaknesses, but they generally seem very good. The extras are virtually non-existent, though. Here's a link to my full review:

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