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Overall Rating

Awesome: 31.25%
Worth A Look38.75%
Just Average: 21.25%
Pretty Crappy: 7.5%
Sucks: 1.25%

13 reviews, 82 user ratings

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by Joe Cooper

"Depp with Bon Jovi's hair, and a wild ride to boot!"
4 stars

Blow is a heady sex, drugs, and rock ‘n’ roll ride through the life and times of former cocaine king George Jung; the man responsible for satisfying 85% of America’s nose candy needs during the late 70s and early 80s. Running fast and hard from its ominous beginning to its heartbreaking end, the film dazzles with the likes of Depp, Cruz, and Liotta in its cast. It also sheds a bright light on a dangerous yet fascinating world seldom seen by the average person. All up, Blow is a two-hour hit of powerful stuff.

George’s beginnings are modest, with his formative years spent listening to his working-class father, Fred (Ray Liotta), and his irascible mother, Ermine (Rachel Griffiths), bickering about money and social prestige. The Jungs have neither, and the lack leaves a mark on their son.

Eighteen eventually arrives for the quietly spoken kid, and he promptly leaves his cold Massachusetts home for a California flush with sunshine, bikini-clad flight attendants on vacation, and lots of marijuana. “This is the life”, thinks George and, in order to avoid the interruption of a regular job, he begins shipping the Golden State’s favourite herb back home to his old friends, at a tidy profit.

Moving larger and larger amounts of pot, George eventually bumps into the law and winds up with a small stint in the clink. It’s inside prison that the ambitious young man discovers a new and exciting way to stamp his mark on America’s drug culture. Cocaine.

What follows is a meteoric rise into fabulous wealth and influence for Boston George. Beautiful women, expensive cars, designer clothes, and stylish parties are just some of the perks available for a ‘coke star’ with tens of millions of dollars sitting in an offshore bank account. However, what goes up must eventually come down, and for George the descent comes with devastating effect.

Johnny Depp (Chocolat) is very adept at biding his time, waiting for exceptionally suitable roles to float his way. As the intriguing George Jung, Depp is well at home and at his emotive best. Whether flaunting across the screen as an upwardly mobile drug impresario or slumped as a despondent jailbird, he doesn’t fail to capture the moment. Although Depp may be prettier than the real life George (who himself admits to a passing resemblance to 1940s schlock-horror actor Bela Lugosi), the 40 year old actor narrows the margin with some truly outrageous hairstyles, including a startling Slippery When Wet-era Bon Jovi do.

The supporting cast of Blow, unlike George’s powdery wares, is of mixed quality. Ray Liotta (Goodfellas) delivers a fine performance as the aging Fred Jung, and Paul Reubens (a.k.a. Pee-Wee Herman) camps it up nicely as a loud hairdresser with a business on the side. However, Rachel Griffiths’ overacting, in her all too frequent bouts as George’s mother, taints the blend somewhat.

Of course, a review of Blow wouldn’t be complete without a comment on Penelope Cruz (Vanilla Sky) and her contribution. Contrary to popular opinion (as evidenced by her nomination for a Razzie Award for Worst Actress), the Spanish actress excels in her role, brief glimpses of her scantily clad and sporting a kinky leash aside. She brings the spirited and often petulant Mirtha Jung (George’s eventual wife) to life in very entertaining fashion. Full credit to her.

Blow is arguably director Ted Demme’s (The Bet, Snitch) best work. Although a little excessive with the time spent analysing George’s relationship with his parents, Blow generally flows smoothly and does George Jung’s moving story justice. Sadly though, the film is one of Demme’s last. The 38 year old filmmaker suffered terminal heart failure during a celebrity basketball match in 2002. With terrible irony, the coroners found traces of cocaine in his system.

Blow is part poignant tragedy and all wild ride. As a capsule of George Jung’s extraordinary life and the interesting times in which he moved, Blow’s effects are lasting. More than just a movie, it’s a pop-culture history lesson delivered with style.

link directly to this review at http://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/review.php?movie=4720&reviewer=335
originally posted: 06/20/03 19:31:22
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User Comments

9/13/17 morris campbell gritty but nothing special 3 stars
9/03/14 Celeste Garcia This movie was beyond the best. 5 stars
7/11/13 Jeff Wilder Derivative sure. But well-directed and fantastic performances from Depp and Liotta. 4 stars
11/11/10 Lundon johnny depp is amazing no matter what movie he does and blow makes you feel like your there 4 stars
4/02/08 Tiffanie I loved this movie! Its prolly one of the best by far 5 stars
1/04/08 Pamela White drug dealing and the paranoic life they lead 3 stars
12/09/07 SamanthaP johnny depp is good in anything! 4 stars
11/12/07 Ashley i love this movie very sad 5 stars
10/07/07 KNurse I have watched this movie several times.....awesome fucking movie 5 stars
1/02/06 Wiseman I loved this movie! i watched it 10 times 5 stars
12/18/05 Bree Outstanding all around. 5 stars
11/30/05 john smith it is ok 3 stars
11/21/05 Emily I can watch this movie over and over 5 stars
11/20/05 ad excellent 5 stars
10/30/05 Stephanie This is my favorite movie! 5 stars
9/14/05 shawn great fucking movie 5 stars
8/03/05 D.K. great cast, good grasp of the facts 5 stars
4/20/05 Evka cool movie 5 stars
8/17/04 Violeta perfect! 5 stars
7/23/04 Sandy Turynowicz too much info. I didn't need 2 stars
7/07/04 Denise Duspiva May the wind always be at your back and the sun upon your face and may the winds of destiny 5 stars
6/22/04 Jack Sommersby Obvious, uninsightful and blandy directed. Depp is wasted; Liotta only bright spot. 1 stars
6/07/04 Darryl Stavena The most romantic way to see the life of a drug-dealer 5 stars
3/09/04 Ash Everything about this movie makes you a die-hard depp fan! 5 stars
2/22/04 8=====D COKE RULES!!!! 5 stars
1/26/04 R.W. Welch Familiar tale of rise/fall of drug lord, professional work tho. 3 stars
1/14/04 josh mentzer great movie 4 stars
1/07/04 Kim it was great and johnny depp was so sexy i loved it! 5 stars
10/25/03 Samuel Great film, based on a true story and that makes it that much better! 5 stars
8/27/03 Mr. Hat One great film. Great acting, great directing, one powerful ending. 5 stars
7/31/03 Samantha Macias I thoght this movie was interesting, and very sad!! 5 stars
5/03/03 sleepy this film made me feel pity for a drug dealer! 5 stars
4/27/03 tyler reiter greatest fucking movie of all time 5 stars
4/17/03 George Jung One of the best biopics of recent memory. 5 stars
2/06/03 123 a shorter, less violent, inferior version of goodfellas 3 stars
1/07/03 val Fucking Awesome 5 stars
12/30/02 Tam Interesting depiction of a life ruined by drugs. 4 stars
12/30/02 Jack Sommersby Blow me! 1 stars
7/26/02 karen goldstein extremely entertaining - johnny depp deserved an oscar for best actor!!!! 5 stars
7/14/02 sdjfsdkjf Depp, great but once Barb died boring. Penelope needs fucking English lessons, "hypocrite"? 3 stars
5/13/02 bubba ray dudley must see 5 stars
4/29/02 Andy (Big A) dis was one of the best movies ever big ups to my boy jung and soon you will be free 2015. 5 stars
4/09/02 Butterbean A wonderful movie! Far superior to that overrated Requiem for a Dream 5 stars
4/06/02 Cardo Elins Outstanding 5 stars
3/29/02 Victor Villalba Good with some assumptions 4 stars
2/20/02 luda hoe it was fun. i want to do coke now, but still, it was fun 4 stars
2/17/02 Clarance Jonny Depp - Great job - Depicted the harsh reality of how fucked up life can be 5 stars
1/29/02 Phil M. Afficianado Erik the Movieman states my views. Depp is terrific and ages realistically in the film. 4 stars
1/01/02 calvin cellars best based on a true story movie ever made 5 stars
12/27/01 Evil Bitchwoman pretty cool movie i guess so u should go see it. Cruz is a mental Slut though 4 stars
9/24/01 Monday Morning Great characters bring this story to life. It's not great but it shore is fun. 4 stars
9/04/01 Alan The Spanish bitch sleeps with everybody and I despise her. 3 stars
8/17/01 Obi Wan Wow! 1 of the best flicks I've seen in this movie tix inflation era! 5 stars
6/02/01 Richard Wright Does nothing to lift it out of a tired genre, overlong and dramatically shallow to boot. 3 stars
5/27/01 Connor Dueck a slightly different look at the drug game 5 stars
5/23/01 Christine It is the best movie ive ever seen!! 5 stars
5/19/01 A Williams I went in there expecting crap, but it was a really excellent movie, i recommend it 4 stars
5/15/01 Misa The movie was actually pretty great, definately not boring like I thought it would be. 4 stars
4/25/01 *~Danielle*Ophelia~* (formerly KyLe*BrOfLoVsKi) An aquired taste...and I suggest everyone acquire it... 4 stars
4/25/01 Todd Very cool, but if he hasn't seen his daughter while in prison, why did she act in the movie 4 stars
4/25/01 Brian After Pacino in "Scarface", all these other drug-lord movies pale by comparison 3 stars
4/23/01 Pete Sweet movie. Go see it. Johnny Depp is the best character actor in America right now. 5 stars
4/23/01 Girl 9 The Depp track record for making decent films sucks, but this one is worth seeing. 4 stars
4/18/01 Joe Awesome! Another movie Depp will be overlooked 5 stars
4/16/01 ChiefAlDog I wanted more explanation of how he avoided his parole officer time and again. 4 stars
4/14/01 Bill B Best I've seen in a long time. PeeWee was great. Tear jerker for any man with a daughter. 5 stars
4/14/01 Clarance A Cross between Trainspotting and Traffic...but BETTER! Fantastic and Powerful!! 5 stars
4/11/01 gabi Says it all--the good and bad of life; Depp incredible; very awsome film 5 stars
4/11/01 Nick A little on the depressing side, but a good film with an interesting comment on life. 4 stars
4/10/01 alanis I think you are very unfair with johnny, he makes an excellent performance, as usual 4 stars
4/10/01 scott awesome 5 stars
4/09/01 The Bomb 69 some cliches but overall an interesting look at a flawed and tragic character 4 stars
4/08/01 poetchuck Engaging story 4 stars
4/07/01 grunter If "Scarface" were a T.V. movie, it'd still have more substance and grit than "Blow" 2 stars
4/07/01 malcolm realest, most sympathetic drug dealer character in a while, maybe ever 5 stars
4/07/01 frankko nothing we haven't seen before. (and not enough paul reubens.) 2 stars
4/07/01 rue the whirl fairly dull and tiresome 3 stars
4/07/01 fishfry Last hour excruciatingly boring. Major disappointment 2 stars
4/06/01 brent young not given away in the previews, this movie was very good. worth a definate look. 5 stars
4/06/01 Megan Uninspired direction, a badly written script, and a horrible performance by Penelope Cruz 2 stars
4/02/01 Marcy Skenderian Per the WGA, it should read "Written by David McKenna and Nick Cassavetes" 5 stars
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  06-Apr-2001 (R)


  23-Aug-2001 (M)

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