Possible ‘Blood Simple’ remake

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blood19 Did the Coen Brothers go back to the remake well one too many times?  Is that why there’s a rumored plan to remake their debut film Blood SimpleMonkey Peaches is reporting that Zhang Yimou has bought the rights to remake the 1984 thriller.  Zhang Yimou of House of Flying Daggers and Hero fame likens the story to a sandwich.  “set in ancient times… a complete story on the outside with a thriller and a comedy on the inside.”  Sounds truly bizarre.  I wonder if it will get a US release.

‘Offices’ Limited Engagement Extended, Already

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Ethan Coen’s latest off-broadway effort Offices original schedule to play through 5/31 has been extended through 6/7 before it even officially opens.  The set of 3 plays started previews on 4/15 and officially opens on 5/7.  Tickets can be obtained at ticketcentral.com.  More info at atlantictheater.org

Cannes Line-up Announced

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The 2009 Cannes line-up has been announced and as suspected the Coen Brothers are missing.  Another Cannes favorite, Tarantino, will probably steal the show with Inglorious Basterds.  Check out the full list over at Empire.

No Country For Old Men Novel vs. Film

~spoilers~ Upon reading No Country For Old Men you’re immediately struck by how faithful the film is to the book.  You don’t get the feeling “oh, the book is so much better than the movie” or vice versa.  It’s nearly a scene for scene representation and much of the dialogue remains unchanged from Cormac McCarthy’s original prose.  There are three major differences as I see it and they aren’t even really that “major”. 

One, the Mexican’s are at the hotel and a big part of the shoot out that ends with Llewelyn and Anton getting shot.  Though Chigurh manages to kill most of them they’re the reason that Moss was able to get away with his life.  The first time I saw the film I wasn’t really clear on how the Mexican’s fit in.  Including this fact in the film may have helped make their role more clear and help set up the eventual demise of Moss.

nocountry_edtombell Two, there is a lot of Ed Tom Bell narration that isn’t in the film.  Every couple of chapters or so you’ll get another page or two of Sheriff Bell’s philosophy.  This stuff is brilliant and if you read the book after seeing the film you can just imagine Tommy Lee Jones rambling on about his personal doubts, his views on the decline of the world around him, and his struggle with his impending retirement.  For a film I think the Coen Brother’s included just enough of Bell’s thoughts, though they do enhance the novel greatly. 

Three, there’s a fifteen year old runaway in the novel.  Llewelyn picks up a hitchhiker, a teenaged girl who he befriends in a way.  He tries to help her out with money and a little advice but unfortunately he winds up getting her killed in the end.  She and Llewellyn are having a beer outside their motel rooms in El Paso when the Mexican’s show up and they both meet their end.  This fact may have a tragic impact on the way Carla Jean sees her dead husband even though the relationship with the runaway was completely innocent. 

In the end, No Country For Old Men the film isn’t there to capitalize on the existing fans of the novel like a Divinci Code or a Harry Potter.  It’s just an opportunity to tell a good story.  I think both McCarthy and the Coens managed something special here.  Two fantastic and equal pieces of story telling in two completely different mediums. 

No Country For Old Men Double Dip Out 4/7

A little over a year since the first DVD and Blu-Ray release of No Country For Old Men comes the new super duper special limited edition.  Now with more DISCS!  If you didn’t buy No Country the first time around now’s your chance.  The DVD edition comes with 3 discs one for the film, one for the special features, and one for a digital copy.  Blu-Ray has 2 discs one for film and special features and a second with a digital copy.  The digital copy allows you to easily put the film on your computer and play it there or on a portable media player.  I did this with my Dark Knight blu-ray and it worked great.  No commentary here but that isn’t terribly surprising.  The Highlights are a 40 minute segment with Brolin and Bardem at an Apple Store event and an hour long Q&A with the Coens and others hosted by Spike Jonze. 

**Update 4/9/09**  Just got my new No Country Blu-ray from Amazon today.  In the “liner notes” is a mail in rebate offer.  It allows you to submit your UPC from the original DVD or Blu-ray release and a UPC from the new Collector’s Edition and get a $10 rebate.  So, they know they’re screwing us but if you’re one of the 10% of people who actually look at the junk they stuff in DVD cases and want to waste 20 minutes filling out the form and gather the needed proof of purchase you can have a fraction of your money back.  Thanks Disney, Miramax, and Paramount Vantage. 

Bonus Material:
The making of No Country for Old Men
ABC "Popcorn" video
Channel 4 News Joel And Ethan Coen appearance
Lunch With David Poland  – IKLIPZ-Javier Bardem And Josh Brolin      interview
WNBC Reel Talk With Lyons & Bailes Josh Brolin
Los Angeles Writers Guild of America Q & A Panel
Six additional audio interviews
Digital Copy: Watch your DVD in the living room and your Digital Copy on the go
Working with the Coens
The Diary of a country sheriff
Josh Brolin’s unauthorized behind-the-scenes featurette
Q & A with Joel And Ethan Coen, Roger Deakins and the sound and production crews
Charlie Rose featuring Joel And Ethan Coen, Josh Brolin And Javier Bardem
EW.com Just A Minute With Javier Bardem
Variety Screening Series Q & A
In-store Appearance With Javier Bardem And Josh Brolin

Gabriel Byrne talks Miller’s Crossing

gabrielbyrne Gabriel Byrne is busy these days playing psychoanalyst Paul Weston on HBO’s In Treatment.  Season two starts on Sunday night.  Here’s a good interview with Gabriel that gets into Miller’s Crossing about half way through.  At one point Gabriel says “I asked the Coens what their inspiration was to write the film, and I forget whether it was Joel or Ethan who said to me: ‘You always see gangsters in the street, but you never see them in a forest.’”  Sounds like Ethan to me.  Check it out at The Hollywood Interview.