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 Post subject: Fargo
PostPosted: Sun Apr 20, 2014 4:10 pm 
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Was really impressed with the first episode. Glad it's taking such a detour from the movie.

[Reveal] Spoiler:
Like killing the wife right away, gruesome as it was.


Billy Bob Thornton, an actor I've admittedly not been bowled over too much before by, is absolutely fascinating, hilarious and frightening all at once, pretty much the whole time.


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 Post subject: Re: Fargo
PostPosted: Mon Apr 21, 2014 3:46 am 
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I really like the phrase "Dumb as a dog's foot."


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 Post subject: Re: Fargo
PostPosted: Mon Apr 21, 2014 8:25 am 
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I feel the only thing holding this show back is the fact that it's titled FARGO and is obligated to pay lip service to the movie. The best things about the pilot had nothing to do with the Coens' film even though I suppose some of the pleasure came from how the story/tone deviated from the more-familiar notes struck early in the episode. This show deserves to become its own entity and I think it will be a good one.


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 Post subject: Re: Fargo
PostPosted: Mon Apr 21, 2014 8:29 am 
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Yes, I can only speak for myself, but I have absolutely zero interest in ever watching this because of the fact that it's trying to capitalize on the success of a film I love. I'd be on board were it not.


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 Post subject: Re: Fargo
PostPosted: Mon Apr 21, 2014 9:29 am 
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Plenty of classic and/or well-respected TV shows were ostensibly based on movies-- Friday Night Lights, M*A*S*H, the Naked City, Parenthood, &c. I don't want to watch this, not because of the title/association but because the clips I've seen in the ads make it look fucking awful


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 Post subject: Re: Fargo
PostPosted: Mon Apr 21, 2014 9:35 am 
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They were based on movies I'm not necessarily as attached to. I completely understand the irrationality of my decision, but where I had no actual feelings for something like Friday Night Lights' film, and it by its very nature is something that is a rich vein to mine from without needing to use the same characters, Fargo just seems like a lazy attempt at using the reputation of the film to prop up a mediocre (at least, like you, from the clips I saw) dramedy. Just calling it Fargo, where at least the creators of Bates Motel are trying to do something somewhat original with canon and don't mind distancing themselves from the Psycho origin, seems like evidence enough to me that this is just an ill-advised cash grab and whether it turns out to be any good or not, something I'll avoid.


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 Post subject: Re: Fargo
PostPosted: Mon Apr 21, 2014 9:40 am 
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You know that the Coens signed off on this and are executive producers, right?


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 Post subject: Re: Fargo
PostPosted: Mon Apr 21, 2014 12:08 pm 
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Yes, but I also know that FOX would have likely done it anyway without their blessing, and it's still not really of interest to me unless the Coens were to have creative involvement (and even that would be somewhat disappointing because of its lack of originality)


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 Post subject: Re: Fargo
PostPosted: Mon Apr 21, 2014 12:44 pm 
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While I can understand your reservations (and shared them prior to seeing the pilot), I feel there were enough strong elements that did not resemble the Coens' film to make me believe this series can become worthwhile.

Note the series synopsis: A drifter named Lorne Malvo arrives in small-town Minnesota and influences the population with his malice and violence, including put-upon insurance salesman Lester Nygaard. Calling this series a "remake" of the film (which some folks are) is misguided. The title, setting and some of the cutesy "Minnesota-nice" mannerisms are carried over, but the pilot quickly stakes out its own ground and proceeds with a plot, character development and a tone that is quite different from the 1996 film.

The second episode, premiering tomorrow night, is based on a story idea by the Coens themselves (the eighth episode is actually scripted by the siblings) which gives me hope that all involved want to do something different with this and that the title and setting were viewed as necessary evils to put the series into production, not unlike how CURSE OF THE CAT PEOPLE became a completely separate entity from CAT PEOPLE.


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 Post subject: Re: Fargo
PostPosted: Mon Apr 21, 2014 2:51 pm 
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I watched the first episode last week and thought it was pretty mediocre. Thornton was great, but the show's efforts to be 'Coen-esque' were painfully labored and artificial (pity poor Martin Freeman). I'll give the series a couple more episodes to see if it's just a case of the show needing to find it's groove, but at this point I'm not expecting a whole lot.


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 Post subject: Re: Fargo
PostPosted: Mon Apr 21, 2014 3:07 pm 

Joined: Wed Jan 20, 2010 12:09 am
kingofthejungle wrote:
the show's efforts to be 'Coen-esque' were painfully labored and artificial.

Yeah, I cringed through the 10minutes I watched, before I changed the channel. I also don't know why they have to rehash the movie's plot. Northern Exposure with criminal intrigue should write itself.


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 Post subject: Re: Fargo
PostPosted: Tue Apr 22, 2014 7:00 am 
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The first couple of minutes had me rolling my eyes too, I must admit but I got over it quickly.


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 Post subject: Re: Fargo
PostPosted: Wed May 14, 2014 12:59 pm 
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Last night's episode was really good.


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 Post subject: Re: Fargo
PostPosted: Thu May 15, 2014 1:17 am 
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I was wondering how long he was going to be able to hide that hand.


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 Post subject: Re: Fargo
PostPosted: Thu May 15, 2014 9:50 am 
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flyonthewall2983 wrote:
Last night's episode was really good.

Agreed. I just caught the episode last night and found it to be the best of the series so far. Clever directorial touches without being too ostentatious and plenty of time for digressions like that parable of the rich man. This is what I was hoping the series would turn into and would like to see it remain at this level of quality for the second half of the season.


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 Post subject: Re: Fargo
PostPosted: Sat Jun 07, 2014 5:16 pm 
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[Reveal] Spoiler:
The way this show has twisted itself into the movie is quite ingenious.


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 Post subject: Re: Fargo
PostPosted: Mon Jun 23, 2014 8:51 am 
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Roger Ryan wrote:
...The second episode, premiering tomorrow night, is based on a story idea by the Coens themselves (the eighth episode is actually scripted by the siblings) which gives me hope that all involved want to do something different with this and that the title and setting were viewed as necessary evils to put the series into production, not unlike how CURSE OF THE CAT PEOPLE became a completely separate entity from CAT PEOPLE.

The story idea/scripting involvement by the Coen brothers was apparently erroneous information that ended up on IMDb (and has since been revised). All the scripts are credited to creator Noah Hawley.

However, despite the scant involvement of the Coens I thought this 10-episode season was a really good one. At its best, the show took the time for pleasant non-plot related digressions and satisfyingly devoted equal screen-time to both antagonists and protagonists. At its worst, the show simply borrowed from better sources (multiple Coens' films and a very blatant lift from MAGNOLIA). The fact that each episode began with the "This is a true story..." conceit from the '96 film set my teeth on edge, but I have little complaint for the content of each episode.

Some of the most delightful surprises included...
[Reveal] Spoiler:
- The bravura single take shootout showpiece as Malvo eliminates the mob guys responsible for setting up a hit on him.
- The stunt casting of comedy team Key & Peele as FBI agents who play their roles almost entirely straight.
- The long digressive scene where Bob Odenkirk's character tells the tale of finding his adopted son.
- The sudden time shift at the end of Episode 8 to one year after the events shown in the first seven episodes and how this offers a fresh setting for the final two episodes.
- The morally ambiguous way "good guy" Grimly administers justice against Malvo.


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 Post subject: Re: Fargo
PostPosted: Mon Jun 23, 2014 9:07 am 
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I liked the references to other Coen Bros. stuff. For me it wasn't anything more than a little nod to their genius and didn't distract too much from what was going on. It may just be awhile since I've seen the movie but I missed the Magnolia reference.

[Reveal] Spoiler:
One scene I liked from the 8th episode is Kate Walsh basically treating her sons like hired muscle and overall showing no parental instincts whatsoever.


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 Post subject: Re: Fargo
PostPosted: Mon Jun 23, 2014 10:55 am 
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An interesting take on the first season at Vulture by Matt Zoller Seitz, probing at what the series is and isn't.

It's partially along the lines of my big question with the show: Why Fargo?

I thoroughly enjoyed the season, especially the performances--excellent work from the entire cast--but still can't quite suss out Hawley and company's reasoning in adapting and expanding Fargo other than adding some Coen tropes and winking Easter eggs to tie it into the larger Coen universe.

As good as it is, it doesn't enrich the film much, if at all. We're not being treated to some new or compelling take on a familiar text. It's just more, and longer. The show is original (or at least unique), and very good, but somehow still derivative, a paradox which I apparently cannot reconcile.

He's probably detailed it in interviews, but as far as what's present in the text of the show, it's either unclear or I missed it entirely.

I know, I know: shut up and enjoy it, but...


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 Post subject: Re: Fargo
PostPosted: Mon Jun 23, 2014 12:13 pm 
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flyonthewall2983 wrote:
...It may just be awhile since I've seen the movie but I missed the Magnolia reference.

[Reveal] Spoiler:
The sudden onslaught of fish falling from the sky which causes the fatal car wreck is nearly identical to the onslaught of frogs falling from the sky in MAGNOLIA. Both P.T. Anderson's film and the FARGO TV series use the event to represent a modern-day plague of biblical proportions. In a following episode, the event is explained by a storm pattern that lifted the fish from a nearby lake. No explanation is offered in MAGNOLIA, but one presumes some kind of storm phenomena was responsible. What I did like about the FARGO version was how that particular episode began with the scene of fish being prepared as an entree in the Japanese restaurant, so the "fish attack" that closed the episode could be seen as a kind of retribution.


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 Post subject: Re: Fargo
PostPosted: Mon Jun 23, 2014 12:28 pm 
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But couldn't you argue that both are lifts from the weird history of reality itself, at least as documented in the complete works of Charles Fort.


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 Post subject: Re: Fargo
PostPosted: Mon Jun 23, 2014 1:01 pm 
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warren oates wrote:
But couldn't you argue that both are lifts from the weird history of reality itself, at least as documented in the complete works of Charles Fort.

[Reveal] Spoiler:
Sure, but I think the fact that Anderson showed the event specifically as a biblical plague allusion is why it was used in FARGO, which incorporated other plague allusions as part of the Oliver Platt storyline. I don't want to make too big a deal about original authorship; as it is, Anderson's "frog plague" is pretty much a stand-in for the earthquake climax in SHORT CUTS!


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 Post subject: Re: Fargo
PostPosted: Mon Jun 23, 2014 6:49 pm 
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Roger Ryan wrote:
[Reveal] Spoiler:
The morally ambiguous way "good guy" Grimly administers justice against Malvo.
[Reveal] Spoiler:
Which was something of a role reverse replay of their initial encounter. I missed that initially but when I read someone pointing it out online, I realized that it's clear and undeniable.


That, and all of the others you mention, were solid gold.


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 Post subject: Re: Fargo
PostPosted: Mon Jul 21, 2014 8:56 pm 
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Fargo has been renewed for another 10-episode run due in the fall of 2015. None of the original cast will be returning, as it will be set in 1979, recounting the "Sioux Falls Incident" that Keith Carradine's Lou alluded to.

Carradine's character would be mid-30s during this story. I vote for Joel Kinnaman.


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 Post subject: Re: Fargo
PostPosted: Wed Dec 10, 2014 5:20 pm 
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Kirsten Dunst and Jesse Plemons join S2.


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