Fargo (1996)

A car salesman, Jerry Lundegaard (William H. Macy) is in a place where he is extremely desperate for money. What does he do? Hire two thug criminals by the names of Carl and Gaear (Steve Buscemi and Peter Stormare) to kidnap his wife for ransom and then collect the money from his extremely wealthy father-in-law, Wade Gustafson (Harve Presnell). Paying the thugs a small portion and keeping the rest in order to satisfy his debts. Everything seems to be going according to plan until deaths start occurring from this. This is when pregnant police officer, Marge (Frances McDormand) shows up and is trying to figure out exactly what is going on.

After flipping through channels I noticed that this was on and decided to write a review about it. Fargo is the type of movie that has an enormous following from people. It’s essentially a cult classic from the 90’s. Fargo is not only funny, but it is all around a nearly perfect movie. Even though the movie is as gruesome as it is, the Coen brothers keep you laughing throughout the entire film. You would think this movie would be a comedy, but it’s actually a crime-thriller that works both ways. Fargo is the type of movie where as soon as you turn it on, it’s nearly impossible to not get sucked in and be stuck watching it. A good thing about that though is that it not only means it’s a great movie, but the film is also relatively short, so it’s an easy watch.

The Coen brothers have a great way of displaying the Minnesota world for us, and they do it by adding humor that not only works, but excels with how dark this movie actually is. This is without-a-doubt the best work I have personally seen from the Coen’s and it was deserving of every award it has won. The writing, the scenery, and not to mention the acting is just nothing short of pure excellence. Frances McDormand has given the role of her lifetime in Fargo and she was without-a-doubt deserving of the Oscar she won. The character development that the Coen bros. give us as well as the climax just fall into a perfect balance that exceeds any type of expectation one would have. Fargo just somehow gets better every time you watch it. This black comedy is like no other and will probably go down as one of my favorite films of all time.

Joel and Ethan Coen have this mentality with movies where they like to throw everything out there and hope that things start to stick together. Fargo is a movie where this not only worked for them, but worked wonders for them as directors. It seems like from this point forward their careers really started taking off and they’ve made movies that are memorable just like this one. Another thing that makes Fargo so exciting and enjoyable is that it has scenes that are so tense and suspenseful. I promise you are going to laugh throughout the entire film, but you will also be on the edge of your seat while watching this. What the Coen bros. crafted here is a beautiful piece of dialogue with acting and writing that will instantly make you fall in love with it. Now it is understood why we have seen great films from them after the release of Fargo.

Overall, Fargo is the masterpiece that is arguably one of the best films of all time. It’s strange, suspenseful, humorous, and incredibly dark at times, but it all comes together and works incredibly well. With outstanding writing, directing, acting, and dialogue, Fargo is a movie that has to be on the list of movies to see.

Grade: A

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The Shawshank Redemption (1994)

Here’s a movie that is undoubtably my favorite movie of all time. We meet Andy Dufresne (Tim Robbins), a young and successful banker who is sent to prison for life for the murder of his wife and her lover. When Andy is sent to Shawshank Prison, he isn’t very well liked by the other inmates at first, but they eventually come around to him when they realize he is a good guy. Andy makes a very good friend at Shawshank named Red (Morgan Freeman). Andy is very smart when it comes to money and the Warden and the guards take a real liking to Andy when they realize he can help them out. They start looking out for Andy because the Warden has him laundering money. Andy spends nearly two decades in Shawshank Prison until something happens. He becomes a very influential person at Shawshank Prison.

The Shawshank Redemption is definitely the greatest movie ever made. I love everything about this movie. It is damn – near – perfect. The acting in this was incredible. Tim Robbins and Morgan Freeman were absolutely superb in this. This movie is known to be a film of “Hope.” A saying from the movie is, “Fear can hold you prisoner, but hope can set you free.” This was the first movie that Frank Darabont directed. That is absolutely insane. This was the best movie he has ever made and he has his fair share of awesome ones.

I have probably seen this movie more than anyone else has seen it. Whenever this is on I can’t help but find myself watching the whole thing from start to finish. It is always a nice treat to watch this movie. If you have not seen this movie, you need to watch it ASAP. My dad and I have had countless viewings of this together. Frank Darabont gave us a movie that is absolutely awesome. I can’t begin to explain how incredible this movie actually is. The Shawshank Redemption is an absolute masterpiece.

If you are hesitant about seeing this movie, you need to change that attitude now. This is a movie that is so great that it demands multiple viewings. The whole entire story was excellent. Not only do we see how a man gets by in prison, but we see two people develop a great friendship over the course of twenty years. It has a message that is meant to inspire everyone who watches it. The acting, directing, and writing are all phenomenal. I can’t say one thing negative about this movie because there is nothing wrong with it.

Overall, The Shawshank Redemption is a movie that you will absolutely fall in love with. If you haven’t seen it before, go On Demand right now and watch it. I promise you it will not disappoint.

Grade= A (Excellent! A Must See!)