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Anyone else think the movie BLOW with Johnny Depp is really good? (1 Viewer)

todd stone

Screenwriter
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Dec 1, 2000
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I haven't watched this one in awhile and decided to throw it on. Sure, we may not feel too much sympathy for the man who dealt the largest amount of cocaine to many people in his lifetime, but not everyone in the world is perfect and the moments where you realize his connection loss with his daughter, really left me sad at the end of the movie.

The orchestral music along with these moments was perfect.


Johnny Depp, another terrific actor of our time.
 

Alex Spindler

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Jan 23, 2000
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I thought it was rather good. Excellent cast for the most part, but Depp was especially good. I actually felt quite sorry for the decline they showed in the film. Great use of period music as well as great costumes.
 

Joshua_Y

Screenwriter
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Dec 19, 2002
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1,241
I thought it was just excellent...great cinemtography...wonderful actors...characters with depth...whats not to like?
 

Dean DeMass

Screenwriter
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Jun 30, 1997
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1,826
Depp is one of my favorite actors. Blow was a very good film. Paul Reubens did a damn good job as well. My only problem with the film was Penelope Cruz. i am just not a fan of hers. That voice gets on my nerves.

-Dean-
 

LennyP

Supporting Actor
Joined
Jun 20, 2002
Messages
587
It's up there for me below Scarface, Goodfellas, Boogie Nights, etc, an excellent movie and a loaded disc!
 

Rich Malloy

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Apr 9, 2000
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I despise this film. Bearing the same narrative template as Goodfellas/Casino, but without one whit of soul or artistry, it's completely by-the-numbers and completely boring, one of the stiffest and least compelling gangster tale yet offered by any of the Marty-lites that have been polluting the theaters with their bland, derivative retreads in the past decade. Flat, uninspired, and thoroughly hokey, this is the Battlefield Earth of Scorsese ripoffs.

First the small stuff: Ray Liotta, who plays George Jung's (Dep's) father and unfortunately serves as a constant reminder of a much better film, looks more like Jung's brother in the early scenes. In one scene, he even manages to look like Jung's younger brother. Until, that is, the horrendous age makeup is applied... and this is easily the worst makeup I've seen since the awful For the Boys. Ray Liotta's old man look is simply ridiculous. But it doesn't even come close to the absurd "fatpack" that Dep wears throughout the final scenes. Same skinny ass and bony face, but he looks like he's wearing a quarterback's flakjacket or an overstuffed fannypack underneath his billowy button-up. There's simply nothing at all convincing about it. The shot of him walking with his daughter had us rolling. In that scene, the film finally went from excruciatingly awful to hilariously so... and Dep's presence then recalled thoughts of the master-hack, Ed Wood.

And I'd be remiss if I didn't mention that the otherwise wonderful Rachel Griffith's portrayal as Jung's mother is one of the single worst performances I've ever seen. Completely unbearable.

And we haven't even discussed the most despicable lies this film tells. Referring to the real facts of Jung's life as detailed in the book upon which the film was very loosely based, Slate's reviewer, David Edelstein, writes:
I don't want to mince words here... the ending, and its implications, made me sick. We're encouraged to believe that George Jung is a real mensch who loves his daughter with a heart the size of the sun and would do absolutely anything for her, including risking his safety and freedom just to be with her. We're encouraged to believe he's just a loveable fuck-up deserving of our sympathy. So we leave him in prison, pining away for his daughter's love. The final text on the screen reads (paraphrasing): "To this day, George Jung's daughter has still not bothered to visit her imprisoned father".

Why would she? Knowing the true facts, how could anyone in good conscience go about demonizing this poor girl, turning her into an ungrateful shrew just like her mother (in the film's portrayal of her, anyway)? But that's precisely what Demme did.

Please note that I'm not even criticizing the "morality" (or lack thereof) regarding the George Jung character as portrayed in this movie. A very good film certainly could be made about a highly immoral man. It's not the moral character of the protagonist - or his real-life counterpart - that I'm criticizing.

II do, however, criticize the character of the filmmakers. And not for simply whitewashing Jung's life. That's expected. Filmmakers do it all the time, though it's particularly laughable in this instance as it departs so utterly from the real story of his life. But, again, that's not the moral issue I have.

My accusation of the filmmakers - and Ted Demme, in particular - is that they chose to create a story arc that ended with what they portray as a betrayal of this man by his daughter. But everything upon which they based this man's character - and any notions of love or loyalty owed him by his daughter - is a lie.

And while this would merely make us roll our eyes and shake our heads when used to glorify an undeserving individual, it should disgust us and make us question the scruples of the filmmakers when used to demonize another person. Let's not forget for a moment that George Jung's daughter is a real person. She has a life. She did not choose her father. I think we can easily question the way in which the filmmakers portrayed Jung's mother, his wife... indeed, everyone. It's a film built upon one big lie and myriad little lies.

But all of this is merely in addition to the basic fact that BLOW is a terrible movie by any definition, created by a hack filmmaker without a single original idea rolling around in his head, who in the end couldn't even manage to make a convincing facsimile of the better movies he so obviously sought to copy. This is the very definition of a hack.

It sometimes seems that a certain karmic irony really does exist. Perhaps this is what was visited upon Ted Demme.
 

Alex Spindler

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Jan 23, 2000
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I may be looking too far into this, but I don't think Rich liked the movie. :)

An interesting counterpoint. I don't hold the film to being accurate in the least, but your points regarding the final text is entirely valid. Regardless of how accurate the film is, it does break a boundary by including a living person in a manner that could be considered accusatory.

However, I took it to be a negative towards George in the sense that he had disappointed his daughter just as he was making headway into her life. I didn't take her lack of meeting him to be a negative strike towards her, but rather that she had learned well to no longer waste her time with her father.

But, as I said, a good counterpoint.
 

Robert_eb

Supporting Actor
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Sep 14, 2001
Messages
965
:laugh:


Rich is absolutely correct in every point that he made as not being true to what actually happened.

Unlike Rich, I enjoyed the film, but I looked at it as a work of fiction, as most of the facts in the film are incorrect as Rich has described.
 

chung_sotheby

Supporting Actor
Joined
Apr 8, 2002
Messages
857
While I thought that the movie had some decent points, I have to say that all in all it was a huge dissapointment. The trailer was one of the most brilliant pieces of 3-minute cinema I have ever seen, and the story of the man who introduced cocaine to the US is very compelling, but too much of the movie itself was thematically and stylistically copied from other great movies. I thought that the pace of the film, the camera work, and the narrative arc were all completely mismanaged and jumbled. Case in point, the California Beach part where Demme uses some of the old 60's and 70's moving zoom tricks got very old very soon, while in no way lending creedance to what the whole section of the story was about. Also, the whole introduction to cocaine in the jail cell scene between Diego and George was a straight ripoff of a scene in Fight Club, and the fading in and out, as well as some of the other camera work and music, were completely unnecessary and inappropriate for what the scene was trying to accomplish. I think that it is ok to copy other filmmakers just as long as you can inegrate and use in such a way that it creates your own style (a la PT Anderson and Wes Anderson), copying for the sake of copying just further illuminates how ill-equipped you are as a director. I liked some of Demme's earlier films (Beautiful Girls, The Ref), but it seems that with Blow he just tried so hard to make it into a Scorcese picture that he instead made it look like a bad, SNL-type parody of a Scorcese flick.
 

todd stone

Screenwriter
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Dec 1, 2000
Messages
1,760
While I thought that the movie had some decent points, I have to say that all in all it was a huge dissapointment. The trailer was one of the most brilliant pieces of 3-minute cinema I have ever seen, and the story of the man who introduced cocaine to the US is very compelling, but too much of the movie itself was thematically and stylistically copied from other great movies. I thought that the pace of the film, the camera work, and the narrative arc were all completely mismanaged and jumbled. Case in point, the California Beach part where Demme uses some of the old 60's and 70's moving zoom tricks got very old very soon, while in no way lending creedance to what the whole section of the story was about. Also, the whole introduction to cocaine in the jail cell scene between Diego and George was a straight ripoff of a scene in Fight Club, and the fading in and out, as well as some of the other camera work and music, were completely unnecessary and inappropriate for what the scene was trying to accomplish. I think that it is ok to copy other filmmakers just as long as you can inegrate and use in such a way that it creates your own style (a la PT Anderson and Wes Anderson), copying for the sake of copying just further illuminates how ill-equipped you are as a director. I liked some of Demme's earlier films (Beautiful Girls, The Ref), but it seems that with Blow he just tried so hard to make it into a Scorcese picture that he instead made it look like a bad, SNL-type parody of a Scorcese flick
this is why I like opinions, as I disagree with everything you have mentioned above :)

In my opinion all of the camera work etc worked pefectly, for me.
 

Chris_Richard

Supporting Actor
Joined
Dec 3, 2001
Messages
515
I wasn't too fond of the film either. I forgot, until Chung mentioned, how great that trailer was. Boy was I looking forward to it. Instead it was a nicely acted piece that constantly reminded me of better Scorsese or P.T. Anderson films.
 

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