Lots of Fetchland readers already subscribe to services like Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu Plus, or even Marvel Unlimited.
… Which begs the question: When you have access to an almost limitless plethora of entertainment options, which ones should you pick?
“What’s Free Wednesday” is a weekly Fetchland feature spotlighting something great to read or watch available on one or more entertainment services. “Free” once you’ve paid for it, if you grok 🙂
- Hulu Plus
Blood Simple A bar owner in Texas is certain his wife is cheating on him and hires a private detective. This is just the beginning of a complex plot, full of misunderstandings and deceit. Ethan and Joel Cohen’s first feature film.
We at Fetchland are aware that it’s not Wednesday but figure you’d appreciate this if you’re looking for a free bit of entertainment and the Super Bowl isn’t your bag. Did we mention that this one’s free if you’re a Hulu Plus subscriber? Rather than shell out beaucoup dinero to see the new Cohen brothers movie, “Hail Caesar” you can stay home, snuggle up on the couch with your boo, and watch their first film for freezies. Given that this 1984 gem, “Blood Simple” has a 94% fresh rating on Rottentomatoes.com and “Hail Caesar” currently looms around 79% for critics and a mere 41% among audience fresh rating, watching this might be the best decision you make all week. But let’s not leave your decision entirely up to Rottentomatoes.com. We here at Fetchland have thoroughly vetted this flick for you and we’re here to tell you that it’s not all hot tomato air. This dark comedy noir thriller with violence and sex and all that good stuff truly earns the “thriller” part – it’s thrilling with a tightly constructed story, witty dialogue, mischievous characters, and clever directing. Also, it’s cool to see the first in a series of twenty five films these director brothers have made together thus far in their thirty year careers. They traversed so many genres and styles, it’s interesting to note that these so-called “genre breakers” started, with a noir comedy thriller.
There’s a sublime perfection in all the things that go terribly wrong in the diabolical storyline of “Blood Simple”. Deaths are misidentified along with culprits and mistaken identities. All information’s delivered with such elegant simplicity that the only entity with a clear understanding of what’s happening is us, the audience, and even we get a bit hazy at times. Essentially, this is a thriller with themes of trust and double-dealing. Every character has an agenda and these are intense characters. Even the seemingly indifferent Ray, a bartender with the aloof monotone of a Texas Instruments calculator (Texas because that’s the location) cares deeply and acts rashly just like the rest of them. But the best is definitely M. Emmett Walsh who plays the private detective with such devilish glee that we find ourselves cheering for him even as he breaks every moral code we’ve ever believed and not even in a nice way.
Most of the crucial story elements are told in a wholly visual way, so there’s not a lot of dialogue and you really must pay attention or you’ll miss critical plot points. You won’t want to take your eyes away from the screen anyway because this is a beautiful movie. From the striking young Frances McDormand to the stunning cinematography… it’s visually gripping. The story also won’t let go and you’ll get caught up in all the misunderstandings and stakes. The characters don’t have a clue what’s going on and the audience gets treated with lots of surprises too. Many people die and it’s always unexpected. There’s not a predictable turn of events in the pack here, other than some adulterous sex you’ll see coming. But the whole thing is so masterfully done that you’ll be gasping and wincing and loving every minute.
This unique kind of brilliance happens when artists have complete control over their work and it’s an inspiring experience for any would-be screenwriters and filmmakers out there to watch. The Cohen brothers wrote, directed, and produced “Blood Simple” for only 1.5 million and it still holds up now, thirty years later, as one of their best. In fact, it stands as one of the best movies of its genre, managing to balance the gruesome storyline with hilarious visual and dialogue wisecracks. We can’t help but have a good time even as character after character bites the dust in a bloody mess right before our delighted eyes.