Blow

Blow

4.5 23
Director: Ted Demme

Cast: Johnny Depp, Penélope Cruz, Jordi Mollà

     
 

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Following the life of cocaine-trafficking pioneer George Jung in a way that recalls Martin Scorsese's Casino, Blow recounts the man's days from his 1950s childhood in Boston to his downfall in the 1980s. George (played by Johnny Depp) begins his life as the son of Fred (Ray Liotta), an earnest breadwinner, and Ermine (Rachel Griffiths), who frequentlySee more details below

Overview

Following the life of cocaine-trafficking pioneer George Jung in a way that recalls Martin Scorsese's Casino, Blow recounts the man's days from his 1950s childhood in Boston to his downfall in the 1980s. George (played by Johnny Depp) begins his life as the son of Fred (Ray Liotta), an earnest breadwinner, and Ermine (Rachel Griffiths), who frequently walks out on them in pursuit of a more fulfilling life. When George moves west to California in the late '60s, accompanied by best pal Tuna (Ethan Suplee), he becomes an entrepreneur in the marijuana business, which soon spreads to the East Coast as well, with girlfriend Barbara (Franka Potente) smuggling the product during her stewardess shifts. George is arrested in 1972 -- at which time Barbara dies of cancer -- but George finds a new ally in Diego (Jordi Molla), who proposes the idea that he become the American conduit for Colombian kingpin Pablo Escobar (Cliff Curtis). George flourishes in the heyday of the disco era, and falls for Mirtha (Penelope Cruz), a self-serving bombshell who eventually has a daughter with him. Trouble escalates as the FBI threatens to bring George and his crew down, while he desperately tries to be a stable parent to his young offspring. Blow also features Paul Reubens and Max Perlich in featured roles.

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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Kryssa Schemmerling
Based on Bruce Porter's biography of the same name, Blow tells the story of real-life drug kingpin George Jung (Johnny Depp), a working-class kid from New England who turned America on to the magic powder that made disco come alive. Echoing the trajectory of a cocaine high, the sunny euphoria of Jung's early days in the 1960s selling pot on Southern California beaches gives way to the manic, teeth-grinding frenzy of his big-scale coke smuggling during the 1970s, when he hooked up with Columbian Pablo Escobar's powerful Medellin cartel. By the mid-'80s, as arrests and betrayals send Jung's billion-dollar empire crashing down, his life becomes one long cocaine hangover. Breezily told, Blow dispenses with major chunks of story through rapid-fire, Goodfellas-like montages as Jung narrates in voice-over; much of the fun comes from checking out Depp's ever-changing array of period costumes and hairdos as the movie hurtles through the decades. Director Ted Demme slows the action down for Jung's periodic visits with his loving but ineffectual father (Ray Liotta) and his shrewish mother (Rachel Griffiths), who salivates over her son's ill-gotten gains, then later turns him in to the police. These scenes with the parents are meant to provide the key to Jung's character: In his marriage to Mirtha -- a Columbian bombshell (Penelope Cruz) who quickly goes from fantasy babe to coke-snorting, money-grubbing harridan -- we witness the reenactment of his family history. But it's never clear how Jung, who seems neither ruthless nor particularly smart, rises so high in a trade dominated by vicious, machine gun-toting drug lords. It's a testimony to Depp's immense appeal as a performer -- his ability to undercut his breathtaking good looks with a self-effacing sweetness -- that he manages to make us care about a character that we never really get a handle on. Blow hammers home its point that crime doesn't pay, but by the end we have so much sympathy for Depp that we almost wish that it did.
All Movie Guide - Jason Clark
Ted Demme's drug drama doesn't score many points for originality or daring (borrowing liberally from the works of Martin Scorsese and Paul Thomas Anderson among others), but the story of drug entrepreneur George Jung is still gripping enough to make this film worthwhile. In an unsurprising but effective turn from Johnny Depp, we see Jung's ups and downs as he teeters between infamy and respectability, and the film itself has a similar rickety pattern. The female roles played by Penelope Cruz and Rachel Griffiths are monstrous cartoons, configured to sneer easily; the characterizations take some of the wind out of the story, as they make it more retrograde than necessary. Furthermore, Jung's life is told with far too much sentiment, forcing the audience to sympathize with him more often than is needed and taking the darker edge off the film, which could have made it an irresistible crime tale much like Scorsese's GoodFellas. Scorsese told a very similar story with more black humor and a resistance to convention, while still managing to take the audience on a breathless ride -- something this film only hints at.
New York Post
In its way, this sometimes hilarious, sometimes deeply moving film has more to say about the influence of drugs on American society than the self-important Traffic. Lou Lumenick

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Product Details

Release Date:
11/13/2007
UPC:
0794043111150
Original Release:
2001
Rating:
R
Source:
New Line Home Video
Region Code:
1
Presentation:
[Wide Screen]
Sound:
[Dolby Digital, stereo]
Time:
2:04:00

Related Subjects

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Johnny Depp George Jung
Penélope Cruz Mirtha Jung
Jordi Mollà Diego Delgado
Franka Potente Barbara
Rachel Griffiths Ermine Jung
Ray Liotta Fred Jung
Ethan Suplee Tuna
Paul Reubens Derek Foreal
Cliff Curtis Pablo Escobar
Miguel Sandovar Augusto Oliveras
Kevin Gage Leon Minghella
Max Perlich Kevin Dulli
Jesse James Young George
Miguel Perez Allesandro
Dan Ferro Cesar Toban
Tony Amendola Sanchez
Bobcat Goldthwait Mr. T
Michael Tucci Dr. Bay
Monet Mazur Maria
Lola Glaudini Rada
Jennifer Gimenez Inez
Emma Roberts Young Kristina Jung
Jaime King Kristina Jung
James King Kristina Jung

Technical Credits
Ted Demme Director,Producer
Maria Baker Set Decoration/Design
Mark Bridges Costumes/Costume Designer
Allan Byer Score Composer,Sound/Sound Designer
Nick Cassavetes Screenwriter
David Ensley Art Director
Michael De Luca Co-producer,Executive Producer
Amanda Demme Musical Direction/Supervision
Tracy Falco Associate Producer
Michael Z. Hanan Production Designer
Melo Hinojosa Set Decoration/Design
Georgia Kacandes Co-producer,Executive Producer
Avy Kaufman Casting
Ellen Kuras Cinematographer
Denis Leary Producer
Nicholas C. Mastandrea Asst. Director
David McKenna Screenwriter
Susan McNamara Associate Producer
Douglas Mowat Set Decoration/Design
Graeme Revell Score Composer
Amanda Scheer-Demme Musical Direction/Supervision
Hillary Sherman Associate Producer
Joel Stillerman Producer
Bill Taliaferro Set Decoration/Design
Kevin Tent Editor
Bernardo Trujillo Art Director

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Scene Index

Side #1 --
0. infinifilm Select a Scene
0. Main Titles
0. My Name is George Jung
0. Summer 1968
0. Coast to Coast
0. Donde Esta Pot?
0. Family Dinner
0. Chicago 1972
0. A Visit Home
0. Diego
0. Colombia 1976
0. A Favor
0. Pablo
0. Mirtha
0. A Family Visit
0. Diego's Move
0. No More Brothers
0. Kristina
0. Happy Birthday
0. On the Run Again
0. Florida 1987
0. George's Heart
0. One Last Score
0. A Message Home
0. A Visitor
0. End Credits
0. Select a Scene
1. Main Titles [1:49]
2. My Name is George Jung [1:13]
3. Summer 1968 [:22]
4. Coast to Coast [1:22]
5. Donde Esta Pot? [2:10]
6. Family Dinner [:06]
7. Chicago 1972 [2:35]
8. A Visit Home [3:26]
9. Diego [2:32]
10. Colombia 1976 [2:12]
11. A Favor [:57]
12. Pablo [:07]
13. Mirtha [3:41]
14. A Family Visit [2:28]
15. Diego's Move [2:36]
16. No More Brothers [1:39]
17. Kristina [2:37]
18. Happy Birthday [3:00]
19. On the Run Again [1:52]
20. Florida 1987 [:07]
21. George's Heart [4:33]
22. One Last Score [1:26]
23. A Message Home [:56]
24. A Visitor [:07]
25. End Credits [2:21]

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