Ladykillers

Ladykillers

3.8 9
Director: Ethan Coen, Joel Coen

Cast: Ethan Coen, Joel Coen, Tom Hanks, Marlon Wayans

     
 

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The first film to be officially co-credited to Joel Coen and Ethan Coen as directors, The Ladykillers debuts on DVD with a standard full-frame transfer that fails to preserve the original theatrical aspect ratio of the film. The English soundtrack is rendered in Dolby Digital 5.1. A French soundtrack has also been recorded. French and Spanish subtitles areSee more details below

Overview

The first film to be officially co-credited to Joel Coen and Ethan Coen as directors, The Ladykillers debuts on DVD with a standard full-frame transfer that fails to preserve the original theatrical aspect ratio of the film. The English soundtrack is rendered in Dolby Digital 5.1. A French soundtrack has also been recorded. French and Spanish subtitles are accessible. Supplemental materials include a reel consisting of co-star Irma P. Hall slapping around Marlon Wayans, a pair of featurettes about the gospel music heard in the film, and a script reader that allows those with a DVD-ROM drive to read the script -- and allow the viewer to see any scene in the film by clicking on the corresponding line in the script. This disc is fine for what it is, but the same extras are available on a different disc that also boasts a widescreen transfer of the film. That edition is superior to this one.

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Ed Hulse
The classic 1955 British black comedy starring Alec Guinness and Peter Sellers gets a thorough updating and change in location for this droll remake written and directed by Joel and Ethan Coen (Fargo). The Guinness role is reworked for top-billed Tom Hanks, delightfully eccentric as Professor G. H. Dorr, an old-school southern gentleman who poses as a music teacher while secretly masterminding bank robberies. For their latest caper, Dorr and his equally eccentric associates (Marlon Wayans, J. K. Simmons, Tzi Ma, and Ryan Hurst) have chosen a casino; their planned means of access is a tunnel they’re digging from underneath the home of Dorr’s churchgoing landlady (Irma P. Hall). When the old woman begins to suspect the professor’s “students” have something other than music lessons in mind, she becomes an obstacle that must be overcome…or removed. No strangers to black comedy, the Coens manage to make Hanks and company likable even when they’re expressing murderous intent. The secondary characters are limned carefully, with Simmons -- best known as newspaper editor Jonah Jameson in the Spider-Man movies -- a clear standout as an explosives specialist with alarming lapses of judgment. Hanks, the recipient of numerous close-ups, squanders no opportunity to mug for the camera while he rattles off dialogue in a molasses-thick Dixie accent. Irma P. Hall has the toughest assignment, playing straight to these oddballs. But she gets plenty of laughs herself, especially when chastising Marlon Wayans about contemporary music like “hippity-hop.” Although the coming attractions made Ladykillers seem relatively benign, don’t be fooled: This movie has plenty of edge and a denouement that will be especially surprising to anyone who hasn’t seen the original.
All Movie Guide - Perry Seibert
There is something appropriate about Joel and Ethan Coen officially sharing directing credit for the first time with their remake of The Ladykillers. This film uses many tropes and devices familiar to fans of their work -- a big terse dumb guy, an overly loquacious main character, and American roots music, to name just three. While all these familiar elements add up to an entertaining film, The Ladykillers lacks the comic highs of their best work, though the film is well worth seeing for Tom Hanks. Finally playing an all-out bad guy allows Hanks to shred every ounce of movie-star self-consciousness. This is his first film since winning back-to-back Oscars in which he seems free from the need to have the audience like him -- and that sense of freedom comes through in the performance. The brothers have given him some of the most baroque dialogue they have ever devised, and Hanks twists and turns his voice so that he plays every nuance perfectly. His many speeches are certainly the best aspects of The Ladykillers. The final 30 minutes of the film feels like an extended version of the death of Wheezy Joe from their previous film Intolerable Cruelty, but the black humor loses shock value fairly early as if Joel and Ethan do not have the heart to stay wicked for such an extended period of time. While this is most certainly a minor work from Coen brothers, they never just go through the motions. The final joke, about what happens to the score from the heist, provides a scathingly funny final twist. Unlike most of Joel and Ethan's work, the pleasures here are mostly ephemeral. Fun while it lasts, The Ladykillers may be the first Coen brothers film that fails to stay with the viewer.

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Product Details

Release Date:
09/07/2004
UPC:
0786936239492
Original Release:
2004
Rating:
R
Source:
Walt Disney Video
Region Code:
1
Presentation:
[Full Frame]
Time:
1:44:00
Sales rank:
39,901

Special Features

Closed Caption; "The Slap Reel" outtakes; "The Gospel of The Ladykillers" deleted music scenes; "Danny Ferrington: The Man Behind the Band" featurette - the master guitar-maker tells all; The Ladykillers ScriptScanner enhanced computer feature; Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound; Fullscreen (1.33:1) ; French language track; French and Spanish subtitles

Related Subjects

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Tom Hanks Goldthwait Higginson Dorr
Marlon Wayans Gawain MacSam
J.K. Simmons Garth Pancake
Irma P. Hall Marva Munson
Tzi Ma The General
Ryan Hurst Lump Hudson
George Wallace The Sheriff
Diane Delano Mountain Girl
Stephen Root Fernand Gudge
Jason Weaver Weemack Funthes
Greg Grunberg TV Commercial Director

Technical Credits
Ethan Coen Director,Producer,Screenwriter
Joel Coen Director,Producer,Screenwriter
Dawn Brown-Manser Set Decoration/Design
T-Bone Burnett Musical Direction/Supervision
Carter Burwell Score Composer
John Cameron Co-producer
Ellen Chenoweth Casting
Roger Deakins Cinematographer
David Diliberto Associate Producer
Dennis Gassner Production Designer
Robert Graf Associate Producer
Tom Jacobson Producer
Roderick Jaynes Editor
Richard L. Johnson Art Director
Barry Josephson Producer
Noelle King Set Decoration/Design
Peter Kurland Sound/Sound Designer
Betsy Magruder Asst. Director
Barry Sonnenfeld Producer
Rachel Tenner Casting
Mary Zophres Costumes/Costume Designer

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Scene Index

Side #1 --
1. Opening Credits [12:01]
2. Members of the Ensemble [7:17]
3. Shine on Me [9:04]
4. Practicing Music [5:39]
5. The Bandit Queen [8:42]
6. A New Friend [6:47]
7. Bad Timing [6:25]
8. Trouble [9:21]
9. Entertaining the Ladies [9:51]
10. "A Middle Way" [8:19]
11. Dazzling Conversation [14:43]
12. End Credits [5:42]

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