Fargo (20th Anniversary Edition Steelbook)

Featured In Issue 221, November 2017

WSR Score5
Basic Information on new release titles is posted as soon as titles are announced. Once reviewed, additional data is added to the database.
Shout! Factory
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Strong violence, language and sexuality.
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Single Side, Dual Layer (BD-50)
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Joel Coen
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DTS HD Lossless 5.1
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In Fargo, Jerry Lundegaard (Macy) is a Minneapolis car salesman who has gotten himself into debt and is so desperate for money that he hires two thugs (Buscemi and Stormare) to kidnap his own wife. His plan is to collect the ransom from his wealthy father-in-law to pay the thugs and keep the rest to satisfy his debts. The scheme collapses when the kidnappers murder three innocent victims in rural Minnesota, drawing the local Police Chief, Marge Gunderson (McDormand), into her first homicide investigation. Winner of two Academy Awards® for Supporting Actress (Frances McDormand) and Original Screenplay. (Gary Reber)

Special features include commentary with Director of Photography Roger A. Deakins, an interview with the Coen Brothers and Frances McDormand, the Minnesota Nice featurette (HD 27:48), an American Cinematography article, the theatrical trailer, a television spot, and a still photo gallery.

The 1.85:1 1080p AVC picture, reviewed on a Sony Bravia Z9D 4K Ultra HD HDR display, upconverted to 2160p with greater resolution and luminance, was photographed on film using the Arriflex 35 camera. Last reviewed in Issue 187, June 2014, this is the same remastered picture. Photographed on film, while there is apparent grain, it is never objectionable and the picture exhibits imagery that is impressively cinematic. Otherwise, the picture is rock solid, even during the opening white, snow-covered landscape and road. The imagery appears pristine throughout, with no apparent artifacts other than the film grain. Contrast is greatly improved, with deep blacks and revealing shadow delineation throughout. The color palette, especially during interiors, is warmly hued and perfectly natural in appearance. Yet, the wintery, powdered snow remains realistically white in presence. Fleshtones are spot on as well. Resolution is excellent, with fine detail exhibited throughout. This 20th Anniversary Edition is a really dramatic rendering of a classic that is sure to please fans. (Gary Reber)

Originally presented in Dolby Spectral Recording Stereo, the remastered DTS-HD Master Audio™ 5.1-channel soundtrack is perfectly executed, though, the sound focus is still frontal, with at times subtle surround envelopment, primarily from Carter Burwell’s music score and during segments of car engine sounds and gunshots. While frontal focused, atmospherics and sound effects are nicely resolved with excellent fidelity and presence. Dialogue is perfectly intelligible, with effective spatial integration. While the sound mix is reserved in dimension and usually focused around the dialogue, the quality of this remix is notably more dynamic and pleasurable. (Gary Reber)