That's it. I am never reading another book that they're going to make into a movie EVER AGAIN. I will only read "Catcher in the Rye" for the rest of my life.So, anyways, this movie is based on a true story, but since only the main character was willing to participate, they changed the name of all the other real people into new, completely fictional characters. Man, I hope someone makes a movie about a friend of mine, and then they give me a fake name. If I have any say, I would like my fake name to be "Sam Fantasta-terrific". Jerry Bruckheimer, take note.
"Like Goodfellas, but....um...well...like 'Goodfellas'."
Plot: George Jung (Johnny Depp) is a nice guy, but he keeps getting screwed over by evil, evil women. His mom narcs him out to the cops, his wife's a psycho coke fiend, and his daughter's mean and makes unreasonable requests, like "pick me up from school". This movie's pretty big into the "women = bad" thing. So he deals pot, coke, and makes lots of money. But it's bad and it doesn't bring you true happiness. Apparently, neither do women. Is this movie a subtle recruiting ploy for homosexuals? The only together guy is Derek Foreal (Paul Reubens), and HE'S GAY. Heterosexual America, take note.
Ted Demme is the director, and if he's half as talented as his uncle Jonathan, well, he's about half as talented. But at least he won't make a shitpile like "Beloved". He's a flashy, flashy fellow and uses all sorts of neato "director-type" moves that make us dizzy. Because, as you know, drug movies require large amounts of herky-jerky camera motion so that the acid-heads who watch the movies can feel morally superior. "I may be attending this movie with the cast of 'Hulk Hogan's Rock n' Wrestling', but at least I'm not on coke! That stuff fucks you up!"
This whole movie has a definite sense of "deja vu". First off, hiring Ray Liotta as Johnny Depp's dad is strike one. Getting Rachel Griffiths to channel Lorraine Bracco as Depp's mom is strike two. It's like "Goodfellas", but without the fun face-stomping and gangland whimsy.
The cast aquits themselves nicely; Depp is solid as usual, as well as very touching in parts, Liotta is actually making quite the comeback - with this, "Hannibal", and "Heartbreakers", I might actually be willing to forget "Turbulence" and "Unforgettable" (which would be a direct disobeying of the title, but it's necessary), and the women are all appropriately evil, with the exception of Franka Potente (from "Run Lola Run") who is nice but doesn't last long. And for all the hub-bub about Penelope Cruz, she's in the movie for about ten minutes, and she's got the face of a schnauzer.
And Paul Reubens rules. But you already knew that.
I guess having read the book beforehand allowed me to fill in the gaps that the movie leaves; it covers a lot of ground in two hours, and skips over a lot of necessary details. So it felt a lot more complete to me than it did to my viewing companions. "Blow" is a good movie, but it's been done before, and better. Ted Demme is no Martin Scorsese, or even Brian DePalma. Tony Montana woulda bitchslapped all of them.It's a movie that moves really fast and you forget it immediately afterwards. George Jung was an unlucky putz, and that keeps you from really getting emotionally involved. You keep slapping your forehead whenever he screws up, but you don't really care all that much.
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originally posted: 04/01/01 17:48:43