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Blow
DVD disk
Oct 8, 2004 By: Dr. Drew
Blow order
Director:
Ted Demme

Actors:
Johnny Depp
Ray Liotta
Paul Reubens

Rating:
Movie:
Extras:
Overall:

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WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
After having moved out to the West Coast with his best friend, a stoner (Depp) unwillingly becomes a central figure in the California drug scene. He starts off as a small time dealer but quickly moves up the ranks, becoming the biggest importer of cocaine in the US, working under none other than the greatest drug lord of them all, Pablo Escobar.
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
This is a decent flick, one which will keep you entertained for its running time of two hours, but it’s also one which falls extremely short in comparison to other similar vehicles. Movies like BOOGIE NIGHTS, which also offered a “meteoric rise to fame and downfall” story, worked because they had interesting characters, fine direction, great soundtrack and a kick ass script. This one feels like a rehash of the same old formula but without the juicy parts. It feels homogenized and processed. What we do get is a repetitive movie, one which seems to follow a tiring cycle…Depp makes it big, gets busted, serves jail, gets out…then starts over again. This happens like 3 times over the course of Blow, taking away from the pacing and overall flow of the movie. On the plus side, Johnny Depp checks in with yet another solid performance (although his character lacked the charisma of a Tony Montana) but he alone couldn’t save the whole thing by himself. Paul Reubens and Penelope Cruz are basically wasted in their smaller supporting roles, and I really expected much more from them. To sum things up, if you’re looking for a mediocre and middle of the road biopic of one of America’s biggest drug kings, this one should fit that bill.
THE EXTRAS
Commentary: A commentary from director Ted Demme and the real-life George Jung basically cover all the bases in terms of anything you wanted to know about the flick. Demme goes into all kinds of detail, discussing production, script evolution and filming logistics. Jung, while taped separately in prison, doesn’t have quite as much speak time but manages to provide some pretty interesting comments as he basically watches his life unfold on screen.

First up is “Lost Paradise: Cocaine’s Impact on Colombia” which runs a little too long at some 25 minutes. It’s basically a Spanish language documentary that’s subtitled in English which offers interviews from journalists, law enforcement personnel and other people associated with the whole scene. It’s rather bland and for lack of a better term, pretty monotonous. “Addiction: Body and Soul” (6 minutes) is way more entertaining as it presents an actual certified doctor who briefly goes into a pseudo class room style discussion on the dangers of drugs and chemical dependence. It’s cheesy but worth checking out. “Interviews with George Jung” totals some 15 minutes and allows the former drug lord to speak about such topics as the screenplay, the 60’s and his feeling towards Depp’s performance. The interviews are shot on a handicam and watching him talk from prison was kind of…well, sad. The DVD also includes a fact track, basically a subtitle option which presents all kinds of cool information about the culture of the 60’s and 70’s, including figures for drug consumption and sales.

Also included are some 10 deleted scenes (totaling just under a half hour) which are offered with optional commentary from director Demme and they’re all worth a look, if only that they add slightly more depth to the flick. “Production Diary” highlights 12 short clips from director Demme who provides running comments during the movie’s 63 days of filming. Very cool stuff. “Character Outtakes” is a pretty weird little extra, in that it presents actors from the movie acting in character and speaking about George Jung. Most of it is ad-libbed and pretty damn funny, especially Penelope Cruz’s over the top bit. The 6 clips run just under 10 minutes. The movie’s original theatrical trailer and teaser trailers are also included. The music video for Nikki Costa’s “Push and Pull” rounds out the extras. As with other New Line infinifilm releases, you can select that option while watching the movie to have access to all the special features while you watch the flick. The DVD features some great looking menus, with full animation and sound.
FINAL DIAGNOSIS
As with other previous New Line releases, Blow manages to really get the job done. When you throw in kick ass audio and video, solid documentary featurettes, plenty of deleted scenes and one cool ass fact track, there ain’t much to complain about. While I didn’t exactly love the movie, the DVD makes for a borderline purchase.
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