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Miller’s Crossing Criterion Blu-ray Review

You can never go wrong with a film by the Coen Brothers.

Written by Joel and Ethan Coen, “Miller’s Crossing” is a neo-noir/gangster film that revolves around Tom Reagan. Tommy (as he is sometimes known) works with a crime boss named Leo who essentially runs the town. To fully explain the plot of this film would be ruining the smart, calculated structure. With that said, expect the story to revolve a feud between Leo and another gangster (Johnny Caspar), Leo’s sweetheart Verna (who is also more than a little friendly with Tom), double-crosses, a duplicitous bookie (Bernie), and a muscle man named The Dane. 

The Joel Coen directed “Miller’s Crossing” is a loving throwback to film noirs and gangster films of yesteryear with the expected Coen touch. From  the opening speech about ethics, “Miller’s Crossing” grabs you with its intelligent and witty dialogue that only the Coens can provide. On top of that, the Brothers simply deliver a riveting crime-drama story filled with twists and turns, shady and quirky characters (whether they’re main or secondary), graphic violence, dark comedy, exquisite cinematography by Barry Sonnenfeld (who we all know went on to become a successful filmmaker in his own right) and a rich story about “ethics,” loyalty, and one’s own moral compass.

To no surprise, the cast is aces but how can it not be with Gabriel Byrne, Albert Finney, John Turturro, Marcia Gay Harden, Steve Buscemi, Jon Polito, and Frances McDormand? Byrne (who has always been underrated) is at his best here as Tom. Finney and Polito give some of their best performances as Leo and Caspar respectively while Turturro shines as the untrustworthy Bernie. 

Video/Audio:

Presentation: 1.85:1 1080p. How does it look? While it’s a shame this one didn’t get a 4K release, the 2K digital restoration on the Blu-ray still offers up a crisp new transfer. This is the best the film has looked on home video without question.

Audio Track: 5.1 DTS-HD MA. How does it sound? The new video quality is perfectly accompanied by a quality 5.1 track that delivers the goods (especially during shootout sequences).

Extras:
* A booklet featuring an essay by Glenn Kenny.
* “The Actors”- New in person interviews with John Turturro and Gabriel Byrne with author Megan Abbott who recount their experiences in making the film.
* “The Music”- New interviews with composer Carter Burell and music editor Todd Kasow.
* “The Look”- A new interview with cinematographer Barry Sonnenfeld.
* “The Design”- A new interview with production designer Dennis Gassner.
* “Hard-Boiled: The Coen Brothers And Megan Abbott”- A new interview between Joel and Ethan Coen and author Megan Abbott. This 28 minute extra covers everything from noir cinema and crime fiction. Easily the best extra here.
* 1990 archival promo interviews with Gabriel Byrne, John Turturro, Jon Polito and Marcia Gay Harden.

February 27, 2022 - Posted by | Blu-Ray review | , , , , ,

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