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Blow (DVD)

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  • too long, leaves you wondering how they can make a third hour
  • Ay caramba! Penny does her loud latino act again!
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      27.01.2012 14:37
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      Would certainly recommend to anyone

      Blow is one of my favourite movies which is based on a true story. The film is completely gripping from start to finish which shows that greed always gets the better of people.
      The movie stars Johnny Depp and Penelope Cruz adding that extra bit of sex appeal to the film.
      Basically the plot is about George Jung (Johnny Depp) being an innocent hippy from the 1960's becoming a money chasing drug dealer in the 1980's. In pursue of living the dream life he moves from his home town to California where he discovers sun, sex and majijuana from which he later discovers has huge profits. At first he sell the marijuana to a nice independant lifestyle but greed soon get the better of him. Soon he becomes the worlds premiere importer of Colombian cocaine with the risks he takes becoming more fatal as his profits begin to mount.
      What makes this movie all the more interesting is that its based on a true story.
      I would certainly recommend this film to anyone and would put this in my top 10 favourite films of all time.
      The approx film length is 107 minutes

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        15.05.2010 08:57
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        Biopic of George Jung, who set up the American cocaine market in the 70s

        Blow is a 2001 film based on the true story of George Jung, the man who set up the American market in the 1970s. The film chronicles Jung's life with a fine portrayal of the man from Johnny Depp, and some solid acting alongside him. It's entertaining and well directed, a biopic I recommend watching.

        On the face of it, I wasn't really sure what to expect of this film, as true life stories don't often interest me that much. However, it was interesting to see how a market such as the cocaine trade was set up for America, and it uses beautiful scenery and locations for its filming to depict the smuggling routes to and from the US from the lower American countries from Mexico down.

        It's a stylish film, tracking Jung as he first started out selling pot on the streets, before upgrading and joining forces with Pablo Escobar and becoming a multi-millionaire. Throughout the film, we not only get a lot of history, but also an insight into the feelings and emotions of the various characters. Jung makes and breaks friendships and relationships, and we see the heartache of those around him and well as his own personal losses. One particular focus is on his long suffering wife, Mirtha, who became addicted to cocaine as well, and despite them having a daughter, they continued. This area was particularly of use when it came to extracting a bit of emotion for a powerful scene - using something a lot people can relate to in order to bring down to a familiar level what they were doing. When you put it into perspective, and show that they were just like any other couple in many ways, it's actually quite shocking. Penelope Cruz plays Mirtha very well, throughout the various stages of her emotional and physical state.

        Jung's relationship with his daughter, and indeed her very existence, proved to be a key factor in him having a break from the cocaine business, perhaps seeing the true value of family and how it matters more than anything else. Depp is particularly good in these scenes, and while he was good throughout the film, I wouldn't say this was one of his best roles. There's some strong support from Paul Reubens, Cliff Curtis and Ray Liotta, and a strong final flurry of the film prevents it from being just another biopic. The final parts do have a lot of emotion, and director Ted Demme manages to slow things down and bring character into it a bit more.

        Not that the movie has no character up until here, because it does. The cast all do a very good job, as do those behind the camera. There are some impressively patient scenes where the film's score is well utilised, and some scenes where the pace picks up as the risks of the drugs industry come into play. It's a well balanced rollercoaster of a biopic, and one I recommend watching. It's available on DVd for around the £5 mark at the moment, which is a decent price for a good film. Recommended.

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        16.04.2010 16:54
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        Two thumbs up

        Blow is the true story about George Jung - the man who started the cocaine market in the United States. It stars Johnny Depp and Penelope Cruz plays his second wife.

        The movie is very interesting and well acted. You don't need to be at all interested in the drug scene to enjoy this film. Depp as always is wonderful. he looks great and his acting is superb.

        The film begins when Jung is a young boy growing up with poor parents in Boston. Jung decides to move to Manhattan Beach, California is the 1970's when he begins selling pot. He is put in jail for this and while in jail his cell mate tells him all about how to sell cocaine. When Jung gets out of jail his life as a cocaine dealer begins....and ultimately ends with his sentence in prison.

        The film is at times funny, but most of the time it is sad. Jung loses everything that is important to him, all for money.
        Two thumbs up for this one.

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          05.12.2009 16:37
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          An Excellent Film. =]

          FILM ONLY REVIEW!

          This movie has got to be one of my all time favourite films! I think I still have it knocking around the house somewhere on VIDEO! That just shows how long I have owned that copy of the film, I should really get round to buying it on DVD,maybe that's an idea on what to spend my amazon vouchers on! I think I only watched the first time because I used to have a major crush (like most women I assume) on Johnny Depp but since then I loved the film so much I must have watched it at least 100 times.

          Film History:
          This movie was made in 2001 and is based on the true life events of George Jung and is also based on Bruce Porter's 1993 book Blow: How a Small Town Boy Made $100 Million with the Medellin Cocaine Cartel and Lost It All. Starring Johnny Depp and Penelope Cruz the film didnt go down well when it was released in cinema's but it gained a greater fan base when the film was released on DVD in late 2002. The film's name is a slang term for cocaine and not anything filthy as people often think when I ask them if they have watched the film!

          Whats The Film About?:
          George Jung (Depp) wishes for a life a million miles away from his less than perfect childhood, being constantly poor and having two parents which didnt really love each other. He starts off being a small time marijuana dealer in Southern California where he has now moved to. But as demand grows, along with his amount of customers George decides to get the drugs straight from Mexico, unfortunately he gets caught trying to smuggle the drugs and gets sentenced to two years in prison.

          But while he is there that is when the story really takes off. George's cellmate a man named Diego convinces him to enter into a partnership with him smuggling colombian cocaine. Pretty soon he becomes the number 1 importer of class A drugs in America. And he has now met his beautiful wife Mirtha (Cruz). After a while George gives up his trade and vows to become an everyday American Citizen. Unfortunately George now realises once you have entered this world sometimes it is very hard to get out!

          What Did I Think?:
          Now usually this wouldnt be my type of film at all, it just wouldnt interest me but I am very glad I watched it. The fact that it is based on a true story only makes the film better for me and even though the main character is a drug dealer and all round a bit of a n*b you feel like your automatically on his side and understand why he feels the need to live this lifestyle. I think Johnny Depp was brilliant in his role and I don't think they could have cast a better actor for it, he did the part justice and helped make the story believable and made a somewhat nasty character likeable.
          The ending had me in tears and I thought it was perfectly written (even though it actually happened like that.)

          A brilliant film that I highly recommend anyone to watch, even if it wouldnt be your cup of tea usually I think this would really change your mind. Th only bad thing I have to say about this film is that it is on for a long time, or at least it seemed that way to me. Although once you start getting into the story you will forget about the time.

          Other Information:
          Running Time: 124mins
          Rated: 15
          Contains: Some scene's of a sexual nature, some violence and many scenes of drugs and drug use.
          Director: Ted Demme

          You can get this DVD from amazon.co.uk for around £15 (not including P&P)

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            01.11.2008 15:29
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            Thoroughly Enjoyable, Thought Provoking True Life Story

            Blow is based on the book: " Blow: How a Small -Town Boy Made $100 Million with the Medellin Cocaine Cartel and Lost it All, by Bruce Porter. The film tells the story of George Jung (Johnny Depp), an average small-town American boy who decided to pursue the American Dream by becoming the first American to import cocaine into the United States on a large scale.

            In just a few short years during the 1970's, powder cocaine turned from being a relatively obscure illegal drug into a multi-billion dollar international business with the power to make and break nations. Most people know that behind the surge in cocaine's popularity were powerful Colombian drug cartels determined to make money no matter what the cost. What most people don't know is that the Columbian narco-lords had an American connection who made it all possible.

            In no time at all, Jung was sleeping, breathing and eating money, living out a fantastic, no-rules lifestyle that many dream of. But no matter what he did, he could never get the only thing he truly wanted - a love that wouldn't be taken from him.

            So how did the typical boy next door become Pablo Escobar's (Cliff Curtis) right-hand man, one who played a key role in the importation of cocaine to the States during the 70's and 80's? Blow set out to answer this question. It also revealed the riveting inside story of George Jung's rise and fall. The story of how one man used every last bit of his ingenuity, ambition, courage and savvy only to blow all of his dreams on greed. By providing an intimate look at the border crossings, illicit fights, ruthless negotiations, brutal executions, extensive money laundering and all out war with the justice system that let the party go on, the film set out to reveal the other side of 1970's glitz and glamour. At a time when drug abuse and addiction continue to grab headlines in America, Blow provides a moving and human look at how it got to where it is today and the price it has had to pay.

            In the film, Jung is not just portrayed as a drug trafficker, nor simply one of the first to recognise the profit making potential of turning cocaine into a major recreational pastime, but also as a man of his times. Like America itself he journeys from the innocence of the 1960's to the decadence of the 1970's, to the retribution and redemption of the 1990's and beyond.

            As far as Demme, the director was concerned, he set out to bring to the screen the combination of an intmate portrait of human yearning mixed with an epic story of American crime and culture over the last three decades. He wanted his movie to be tragic, yet exciting, sexy and fun because the backdrop is always sex and drugs and rock 'n' roll. Its about a period of tme in America that was all about transformation, from innocence to cynicism, from pot to cocaine. I think also it was also a personal story to him because so many of his friends had been touched by the effects of the drug trade and what happened during those flush days for George Jung.

            To play such a shifting role Damme chose Johnny Depp because he had a reputation for originality and the ability to delve into the darkest spaces of human experience. Producer Joel Stillerman knew that the film would only be successful if Depp played this role. He knew that Depp would make Jung much more than a drug dealer and that's exactly what he did. Depp himself was thrilled to play the part. In interviews Depp has said that, 'Jung saw himself as a modern day pirate. He didn't believe in the system or politics or rules or bosses. He just wanted to go out there and live in a very intensive way, but it swooped him up, and he lost everything, including the people he loved.'

            Perhaps one of the reasons why he was so convincing in this role is because he could relate to Jung's dizzying rise to fame and fortune. Playing Jung reminded him of when he first started acting and making lots of money, more money than he had ever seen before. Throughout the role, Johnny remained cognisant of the fact that he was playing a living human being who actually experienced what he was dramatising. Never one to miss an opportunity to delve deeper into his characterisations, he even went to the prison where Jung is serving time on drug charges until 2014, mainly to absorb the man's vast inside knowledge about the temptations and tribulations of his drug smuggling and unpredictable existence.

            It is, as always, with Johnny Depp, exciting to see him transform himself into the character he was playing. The body language was excellent. He even looked like him in a weird sort of way. There was a whole subtle shift in Depp between the time George in his prime to when he is actively deteriorating under the stress and doing too much coke. His body just collapses into itself and it's amazing. He physicalises the role without make-up or wardrobe. It's all in his psyche.

            Joining Johnny in bringing Jung's story to life was an accomplished cast playing the assortment of colourfulful and unconventional characters that surround him on his journey to become a cocaine king.

            Penelope Cruz was recruited to play Jung's ravishing, demanding, high-living wife. Her role as Mirtha was excellent. She played a woman who goes through so many changes and is so extreme; someone who for a while lived in a fantasy world that took her far from the pain of reality. She created a world of money, power, drugs and fashion and, when she lost it all, she thought she had lost everything but she actually grows from that.

            Jung's parents are played by Ray Liotta and Rachel Griffiths, who portray Fred and Ermine Jung, an argumentative, working class New England couple who thought they were raising a nice, small-town boy. It is Fred Jung who first tells George, 'Sometimes you're flush and sometimes you're bust.' A lesson it takes George a tumultous lifetime to learn. Liotta and Griffiths were both excellent. Fred Jung was a big influence on George; a hard working guy who played by the rules and never amounted to much, George sees his father struggling and knows he doesn't ever want to live like that. Johnny plays it that George really loved his dad but he couldn't stand to see him so brow-beaten by life but ironically, the more money he makes, the more alienated he becomes from the parental approval he craves.

            My Thoughts
            -------------------

            Although this film was never deemed a flop there were some critics that found the whole thing tedious. Some thought it was a rehash of every other rise to the top of the drug heap movie. Some said it was ambitious, messy and bursting with feelings for which it can't always find a coherent expression. Others thought that Johnny Depp in a blonde wig makes him look like a permanently hung-over Francis Rossi look alike in a Quo tribute band. Does it really matter what the critics say? With a respectable 52 million dollars gross taken in American cinemas alone it can hardly be called a flop.

            Personally, it is one of my favourite films and I think Depp was perfect for this role. You feel the adrenalin, the rush, the excitement, the danger. You believed he was Jung and, in his love for life. He didn't want to end up in a cookie cutter job, like everybody else, he had a real vision of freedom. Depp's instincts were impeccable and he gave the role a cerebral quality. Although the film is very serious and not many laughs it is sometimes very touching especially the scenes with his daughter. You feel his love for the child and you feel yourself rooting for him, hoping he can keep hold of this love.

            My favourite scene in the movie is when he is in his house and it is packed with dollar notes; in cupboards, draws and boxes piled high in every room. He looks at it with a cool satisfaction but it's close to the point of becoming a meaningless inconveniece wondering where the next box will go - like the users he serves, the word 'enough,' isn't part of his vocabulary. The way he portrays the naivety of Jung is excellent. In the beginning he never saw himself as a bad guy. He was just making money on his own terms - giving people what he wanted. The way Johnny portays the role is as he is just going into business. It was like Coca Cola or McDonald's to him at first, just marketing a new product and it was even being supported by the government, by very high level politicians.

            Perhaps the film romanticises too much in the way you are led to believe that Jung is just an opportunist who got mixed up in something bad; an inadmissible defence as the real Jung won't get out of prison until he is 72 although it is interesting to note that other people involved in the same bust got out in three years. The film really captures the mood of the time and I think presents the topic from an entertaining but mature perspective. You feel the buzz of excitment when he's on the up and the pain of withdrawal when it all goes wrong but beyond that there is a wider social reflection on the frailty of the great American dream and ultimately, the human being.


            Running Time 1 hour 59 minutes

            Certifiction 18

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              07.10.2008 16:06
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              Inside the life of George Jung.

              This is a great movie based on a true story. I have seen this movie quite a few times and it never fails to entertain and be just as good as the first time I watched it. Everything about this movie is great- the cast, the story, and the music! The only thing I can say is that if movies with foul language and drug use/paraphernalia bother you- then do not watch this movie!

              The Story:
              If you did cocaine anytime in the early 70's in the U.S., there is an 85% chance it came from drug entrepeneur George Jung. George grew up with a struggling family in the 50's, he did not want to be like his father constantly worrying about money or with a wife like his mother who constantly nagged and complained. George started out selling marijuana with his friend Tuna and goes right to the source in Mexico to buy it. Soon he is caught and while in jail he meets Diego who introduces him to the cocaine market. George starts a partnership with one of the most infamous drug Lord's Pablo Escobar. He marries has a daughter and starts to rethink his life.

              My Opinion:
              There is so much drama going on in this movie from family drama, relationship drama, friendship drama. This film received five nominations and won one award. Johnny Depp did a phenomenal job as George, Penelope Cruz was great as George's wife, Cliff Curtis was ruthless as Pablo Escobar, Ray Liotta and Rachel Griffiths were great as George's father and mother, Ethan Suplee did a good job as Tuna. This is a must see film for any true movie watcher! Even the soundtrack was awesome and features- "Can't You Hear Me Knocking", by The Rolling Stones, "It Ain't Me Babe", by Bob Dylan, "Strange Brew" by Cream, "Black Betty" by Ram Jam, "That Smell", by Lynard Skynard, and many more.

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                23.03.2008 17:32
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                Based on a true story of George Jung

                Blow - 1-Disk DVD
                Rated 18
                Feature Running Time: 119 mins
                Director: Ted Demme


                === Disk 1: Main Movie ===

                Blow is based on a true story about drug-dealer George Jung (Johnny Depp) as he starts small after moving to California by selling marijuana on the beaches to his eventual drug selling domination of the west coast cocaine business.

                Set between the 60s, 70s and 80's, Blow follows the ups and downs of Jung as he escapes the middle class lifestyle after learning he doesn't want to have the same life as his parents (Played by Ray Liotta and Rachel Griffiths), he leaves for California with his his best friend Tuna (Ethan Suplee), Where he discovers sun, sex and after his gilfriend (Franka Potente) suggests he meets with her source, the profitable pleasures of selling marijuana. When he sees the profit margins are cheap in California, he enlists the help of his girlfriend stewardess and flys the pot back to the East coast where he starts pulling in upwards of $15,000 a week. He continues running the business until he is caught crossing a state line with hundreds of pounds of drugs in his car.

                When he is sentenced to jail, he meets up with his next business partner, a columbian drug dealer, (Jordi Mollà). Upon his release from jail, George skips town, heads to Columbia, and upon approval from the top Columbian drug lord, sets up a cocaine business that eventually provides the West Coast with over 85% of all cocaine.

                === My Opinion ===

                Johnny Depp is amazing in his potrayal of George, Ray Liotta does the job of playing the father perfectly. With other talented actresses such as Penelope Cruz and Franka Potente it gives a believable account of the way Geroge Jung lived his life. The story benefits from great performances and is able to ride these performances to the end as it turns into an equally entertaining and enjoyable film.
                The story is mostly told by Depp narrating what is happening and telling you about the situations they are in, and how they make the import/export business run so smoothly. The main message in this story, is don't get too greedy and just accept what you have already got. And money doesn't buy happiness.

                The Real life George Jung, is still in Federal Medical Center prison, and is due to be released on November 27th 2014, aged 72

                === Conclusion ===

                I'd definetly reccomend this to everyone, although the drug taking scenes and language may offend some people, it is a film that should be seen at least once. If you into any kind of gangster movie, or just like Johnny Depp it's a good film to see as he gives a great performance. And the fact this is a true story also makes it seem more realistic, due the fact that on the extras we see George Jung interviews ect.

                I'd rate the movie 4 out of 5 and reccomend to potential buyers.

                === Special Features. ===

                - George Jung Interviews.
                - Commentary.
                - 2 Documentaries.
                - Production Diary
                - Deleted Scenes
                - Music Video
                - Filmographies
                - Trailers

                I only watched the George Jung interviews and the deleted scenes.
                The Interviews were pretty interesting a worth a watch, with Jung explaining in detail each of the things that happened while he was in the drug trade.
                The deleted scenes weren't too bad, although they didn't add anything new to the movie.

                I'd rate these special features 3 out of 5, Although I did not watch them all so it may deserve higher.

                I bought this movie for £5 in HMV. Definetly worth the money.

                (Also posted on Ciao)

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                  28.03.2002 22:46
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                  • Tacky

                  This is the worse kind of film making where the story is there to be told but the finished product is bland and instantly forgettable. It looks like the director has been thrown this script and has an obligation to make the movie in a five-film studio deal or something. Its surprising as he did the enjoyable superior, Beautiful Girls in his earlier days. This has very much smudged his early potential in my opinion. The director and to some extent the main actors have put little heart or detail into the film and little else to get you Involved. Johnny Depp is the lead in this biopic adaptation of the life and times of George Jung who became a legendary pioneer of drug smuggling to the US in the early hazy crazy days of the sixties and seventies. We are first introduced to a young George growing up in Hicksville Middle America to his honest pop, Ray Lalota and stroppy mum. The only time he dreamt of college, was when he fell asleep at highschool!.Without those freedoms beckoning for the blue-collar teen, he sets out with his best mate to the liberal sunshine state of California for less conventional rights of passage. Its more than they dreamed of as life by the ocean wave quickly becomes every reason why they ain?t going back to the sticks. But the boys need cash, and preferably in employment with hours to chose and locations with a seaview. Selling marijuana on the beach fills the job description nicely as the country boys quickly becoming the people to see to score some weed. But the real money is in supplying as well as selling so its not long before Jung enterprises is hiring planes and flying in the best Mexican sensimelle. As the operation gets bigger, so do their collars as the seventies night club kitsch takes over from the sixties rebellious freedom. Business is so good that thew team expand to the eastern seaboard with America at their feet. After conquering a couple of jail sentences and
                  84% of Americas pot imports, Depp hooks up with a fellow inmate who graduated him from the Bachelor of narcotics, to a doctorate of cocaine during the tedium of prison time The new line up go class A and start bringing in Coke from Columbia for the legendary Pablo Escobar. This gets the attention of the FBI trying to stem the flow of South American coke sweeping Americas glitteratti and of course political hypocrites. Big shot Depp steals one of the cartels girls for his wife in the stunning smoldering Penelope Cruz who is the eye candy for part two of Blow. Shes yet again the high maintenance fiery Latina who really has been over exposed in that role in the last two years. But she soon tires of Depp as jail yet again beckons and upsticks with their kid. As Rodney Dangerfield once said in the brilliant Back TO School,?She gives great head-ache!. The rest of the film is his and the scripts slow downward spiral as this gets very boring indeed, you just want him to have the inevitable bullet in the head or the OD moment. The dust cover is one of those that is full of one word reviews from reputable papers promising great things. The Independent says?excellent?, The Daily Mirror, Entertaining!,with the Telegraph perhaps more accurate with ?Slick?. But we all know that these words can be ambiguous and taken out of context. That has to be the case with Film Reviews magazines,?A must see!,yes I must see the closing credits quick!.At two and a bit hours, its way too long for whats slopped up. Although Depps easy turn as Yung is admirable, the director doesn?t allow you to believe hes a loveable rogue, leaving us with a character we really couldn?t give a toss for. And that is critical in a true to life tale thats centered around a drug dealer. The attention to detail is lazy to, with the costume people just handing out Hawaiian shirts and syrups from the Spinal Tap closet for the seventies feel. At one point near the end of
                  this slog, Cruz and Depp seem to be wearing the same hairpiece, probably from the brilliant Comic Strips rockumnetry on Bad News, which this movie certainly is folks. It?s a cheap rerun of Goodfellas without that wonderful Italian American patois and feverish whacking. Let alone the pace, construction and watchability. Please don?t bother with this if you have half a brain. Even lad mag readers in search of drug cool film will be turning off for Top Gear,Top Gear,get it!,na nor did i.And I have to watch f******g Pearl Harbor tomorrow!.

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                    10.03.2002 09:49
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                    Blow tells of a true story, ste in the 80's about the money hungry, marijuana selling George Jung. George Jung (Johnny Depp) starts out as a small time dope seller on the streets, but when he finds out where more money can be made, he finds himself there selling drugs just to maintain his independent lifestyle. But as he finds the US dollar hard to resist, he sets out in becoming the World's premier importer of Colombian cocaine. After he has worked his was into the trust of the Colombians, he is invincible, no one would dare touch him, he then gets married, has a little girl and continues to deal in the drug world, until he is arrested. In prison, his life falls to pieces, his wife tells him she wants a divorce, he loses his child, who then loses all tust in her father. He is relaesed from prison, trys to get back into a normal life without drug dealing. But when he gains the trust and respect of his daughter again, he feels he needs to deal for the last time, just to get a healthy start to a new life with his daughter in California. This is where he is stabbed in the back one last time, by his old friend who set him up, he is now sentenced to prison for 60 years.

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                      30.01.2002 22:44
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                      Johnny Depp stars as George Jung, a US drug dealer who was sentenced to 100 years in jail. If you believe the events portrayed in the film, he was responsible for introducing just about every modern drug to the West Coast of the United States. I doubt that he did this on his own, but he was certainly a big player in the cocaine smuggling business, and the end result is a kind of biopic-history movie – a view of a particular period in time through the life of one man, and events happening around him. Jung leaves home after school, travels to Los Angeles, ‘drops out’ and discovers a talent as a pot dealer. This is the mid-Sixties, flower power, hippies – there are some wonderful beach scenes which demonstrate the happy-go-lucky time perfectly. The cast is good: Paul Rubins (ex- Pee Wee Herman) plays a dealing friend (also a hairdresser – can you believe it?); Jordi Molla plays, Diego, the buddy he meets in prison; Penelope Cruz appears fairly late in the film, as Jung’s Columbian lover, a role which suits her very well. She gets to play a knock-dead gorgeous woman, and looks impressive, but is also good as the grasping, materialistic type. Rachel Griffith is excellent as Jung’s mother, as is Ray Liotta as his father, and there are some interesting scenes where we see how they deal with the suspicion, or the knowledge, that he is guilty of serious crimes. The denial they each display is manifest in different ways, and it all makes for very dramatic, emotional acting. I found it refreshing to see Liotta playing a good-guy, a hard-working non-Mafia type. The script is good, too, although there is possibly an over-reliance on voiceovers (which sound as though they could have been taken from an autobiographical work). Because the story is a true one, about an infamous person, and also because we see the present day in the first few scenes, where Jung is in prison, we are in no doubt about
                      where the storyline is going. Perhaps because of this, the story seems to drag slightly towards the inevitable end, and I definitely felt that the final scene should have been omitted entirely. Johnny Depp is one of my favourite actors (I forgive him the appearance in Chocolat, where his accent was deplorable), and he excels in “Blow”. His portrayal of the character meant that I felt at times that Jung could have been a criminal with a heart, although the reality of his line of business is that he couldn’t have been such a ‘nice’ person. Nevertheless he comes across as having an endearing personality. My favourite scene is a courtroom one, where Jung tries to defend his actions by spouting sentences which turn out to be from a Bob Dylan song – as I’m sure the judge realises. I enjoyed the movie, though I had a slight quesiness about it, as regards the morality it's attempting to promote, that is, I'm not sure if it successfully de-glamourises drugs. It’s not as good as “Traffic”, if anti-drugs movies are your thing, but “Blow” is an enjoyable and very watchable movie, and especially so if you have a soft spot for 60s and 70s nostalgia. The fashions and hairstyles are very well observed, as is the soundtrack. Recommended, even if you’re not a hippie!

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                        26.11.2001 19:09
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                        • "missing detail"

                        I never got round to seeing "Blow" at the cinema, it came and went pretty quick which often tells you how good/bad a film is. The rental advertising campaign made comparisons to "Goodfellas", so I had to check it out. This is the story of George Jung's life, from a collabaration between the director and George Jung himself. Mr. Jung is something of an urban legend, and there was so much misinformation, hype and lies about his life that they wanted to set things straight. Okay, they've made some changes to the real events to make the movie flow better, but most of what happened is included. At the end of the movie, I felt quite depressed for poor old George, who we are told is due for parole in 2015. Wow! That's still a long way off, I hope he makes it out and enjoys a few years of freedom. The movie is actually quite boring in places, and renting the DVD shows why. This has to be one of the best DVD's in terms of special features content, there is a raft of material including documentaries about cocaines impact on Colombia, and loads of interview with George Jung himself, sitting on a bench in his prison's exercise yard. The story starts in the 1960's, with George born into a poor family - with a hard working dad played brilliantly by Ray Liotta. We are introduced to "Tuna", George's best friend. George and Tuna move to California as young men, and start dealing dope to pay his rent. This is probably the best part of the movie, as everything that happens is very postitive, including George meeting a beautiful girl who becomes his first love. George, or "boston" george as he becomes known, start exhausting his local sources and travels to Mexico to buy larger quanitites of dope. George established a good supply, but gets busted with 660 kilos of dope and is looking at serious jail time. Out on bail, he learns his girlfriend has cancer, so he skip
                        s jail to nurse her until she dies. This was a really sad moment and had me in tears, as it was very well portrayed. After this, things don't go well for George. He gets re-arrested, spends time in jail where he meets a Colombian man who educated him about cocaine smuggling. This is where George's life starts to fall apart... George meets Pablo Escobar, cocaine lord of colombia, and forges a friendship that last nearly 2 decades. Along the way, George meets some interesting characters, gets ripped off, jailed and ripped off gain (and jailed again!) During this time he falls in love with a fiery colombian woman, played by Penelope Cruz (Tom Cruise's new girlfriend). She becomes his downfall, and his "friends" turn against him, leading to a long stretch in jail - where he still is. Ok, that's the story, but what about the film? It starts really well, very similar to Goodfellas, and the 60's period is a pleasent, rose-tinted trip. The rest of the film shows George Jung, played by Jonny Depp, as a sad, naive man hooked on cocaine and backstabbed by "friends". George is quite a boring, ordinary guy who just happens to make loads of $$$. he isn't a gangester or a thug, which surprised me as I thought someone suppling 3/4 of American cocaine would be slightly dangerous. But George doesn't come across like that, maybe that's why so many people f**k him over near the end of the film? The movie seems to wane half-way, almost running out of steam. It doesn't have the sharp visulisation or cracking plot of Goodfellas, although the director tries to his best to ape Scorsese's mafia masterpiece. Watching the DVD reveals some interesting deleted scenes, that actually add some very important detail, like meeting Escobar for the last time after Jung has been busted. The final edit of the film feels like it is missing vital information, and the special features reveal this.
                        The acting is very good throughout, with Liotta stealing the show as George's dad. Jonny Depp is very good, with some convincing make-up taking him from teenage to tired fifty-something, complete with nylon shell suit and baggy eyes. Penelope Cruz is also good, this is the first film I've seen with her in; some great over-the-top acting at the end as she becomes very angry and sexually frustrated..which leads to George's downfall. The story is interesting, but the movie is a bit flat and lifeless. I couldn't help but feel sorry for George Jung, OK he was the biggest importer of cocaine for many years, but in this movie he is shown as an average guy who was simply lucky - right place, right time. If he had been a murderous thug, you wouldn't feel sorry for him. But he doesn't have anyone killed, or anything like that. He's too nice for his own safety, and that is his downfall. The wealth of extras does make up for the flattish film, especially the George Jung interviews (I sat there thinking wow! this guy lived all this...) But don't expect Goodfellas, Casino or similar, Blow lacks the grip of an expert director which might explain its' loose, flacid meandering.

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                          14.10.2001 00:44
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                          Blow would like to consider itself a mischievous sibling of Goodfellas or at the very least a kind of reduced cholesterol version. We're all meant to sit back and gasp: "I Can't Believe Its Not Goodfellas". Unfortunately, in spite of the presence of Ray Liotta, it's all too easy to laugh in their face and say: "I Know Bloody-Well Its Not Goodfellas". Not that it's a bad movie. Pretty good in many ways. There's occasionally compelling drama, lots of wry humour and at the end a right old dollop of bleeding heart sentimentality. Not a bad start there then. The real problem is that in Goodfellas the character of Henry Hill was strictly functional, offering a window into the fascinating underworld of New York hoodlums. Blow on the other hand fails to make any real commentary on the rise of cocaine as the drug-of-choice in American society. Instead the movie focuses too much on its real-life protagonist, George Jung, and his own unfortunate odyssey. And while amusing, it's not a life-story that can keep the viewer interested for a full two hours. We have a quick run-through of what his childhood was like. Mommy is a bitter, unfulfilled, all-round self-centred bitch and Daddy is a pushover nice guy who is getting nowhere, but hey everybody loves him. Of course, we're meant to believe that this kind of social conditioning leads the teenage Depp into the precarious decision to become a drug dealer. Hmmm, what a novel idea. Oh hang on, that's right - it's been in a million other movies already. As ever in sympathetic bad guy movies, Depp's initial steps into the drug trade are depicted as almost accidental. Needs to make a few bob. Likes marijuana (which these days we are meant to presume is like having an affection for mars bars) and what d'you know, before long he's shipping tonnes of it to Boston for a tidy profit. Depp's running narrative informs us that at this point in tim
                          e his life was "perfect", a surefire sign that the shit, as it so often does around 45 minutes into a movie, is about to hit the fan. Of course, his first cocaine-deal is another twist of fate. Fortune is rogering this little boy silly. Somehow, the poor lad stumbles into a cocaine-deal and ends up with bags of the stuff and a debt of fifty grand which needs to be paid sharpish. Well, what's a poor Boston boy with contacts to do. He ships the stuff fairly rapid and GETS SUCKED INTO THE WHOLE VILE WORLD OF VICE. For a character who at one point confesses that 85% of the cocaine in 1970's California was going through him, the movie seems to be going a little easy on the lad. If you look at Henry Hill in Goodfellas or Dirk Diggler in Boogie Nights, the reason the audience empathises with them is because they're both fully aware they're a mess, but unable to do anything about it. This is the human condition. By contrast, at no point does it seem like the laconic Depp is losing a grip on things, not even when the grandaddy of cocaine Pablo Fucking Escobar pops up. Nope. Depp faces him down like a man who knows his name is going above the credits, and hey even though we're watching a movie about cocaine-trafficking in the seventies and eighties, let's not see Pablo Escobar again. That guy's out of control. Par for the course, Depp meets and marries Penelope Cruz, and not long after things are going arse-shaped on him. From here-on the movie veers very close to NYPD Blue territory and every drugs cliche in the book is wheeled out like a blue whale on a bicycle. The last half-hour is a bit too sickly sweet. Nor is it helped by the Childrens TV special effects which see the middle-aged Depp developing a gut with a pillow barely concealed up his shirt and an adroit walk which only a glove puppet could understand. In the end, emotions are mixed. It's not a bad two hours worth of entertainm
                          ent but it should have been so much more. Remember, the film is called Blow. Yet Depp's cocaine-dealing could have been replaced with an illegitimate trade in second-rate Swiss chocalate and the story wouldn't have changed much. Even more disappointing when you consider the fine acting talent on show

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                            19.07.2001 00:05
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                            • "too long
                            • leaves you wondering how they can make a third hour "

                            Carl Jung's life sounds so interesting and intriguing that a film had to be made of it. But to be honest, this film doesn't do his story any justice. It appears frank and rushed and yet the film itself is about 3 hours long, around about an hour too long for me to sit through. Although Depp portrays jung in such a fantastic manner, allowing you to fully identify with him, and penelope cruz also adds weight to the film, you can't help but wonder why the film is so long. I read an interview with the man himself, carl jung, in a magasine, and to be honest, reading that story was much more interesting than this film. Depp did his research on the man himself by meeting him in jail which adds to the feeling that he acts like Jung might have on the outisde, but laughably, Depp looks nothing like Jung at all, as shown by this ugly face at the end of the film that completely shatters the image of jung being a bit of a looker like Depp. The end of the film ends in a dream sequence that appears to arty for the rest of the film and although we see how Jung was betrayed by those closest to him in his own hope of bringing his daughter into a better life, the majority of the film seems a little pointless to include. None-the-less, it does tug at your heart strings, especially at points of the film where the acting is so intense you can imagine the scene itself happening in real life. As jung becomes his father, you can relate with his character, something that is harder to do with cruz's. although acting well, cruz's character lacks any form of depth and becomes a peripheral figure to say the least. to be honest, this film is very similar to casino in many respects, which draws many comparisons to such a great film in your head. with comparisons like that, the film is doomed to a certain extent before it has finished. I did like this film, but I went with four otehr mates and they all hated it. maybe you will like it? i think you should only watch it thoug
                            h if a. you are a depp fan, 2. you know of carl jung and his life, or 3. you like biopics. for everyone else, there is a lack of action, a lack of drama and a lack of interest. watch this on video

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                            13.07.2001 05:03
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                            Following the life of cocaine-trafficking pioneer George Jung, Blow recounts the man's day's from his 1950's childhood in boston to his downfall in the 1980's. George (played by Johnny Depp) begins his life as the son of Fred (Ray Liotta), an earnest breadwinner, and Earmine(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 dico 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 offspring. Blow also features Paul Reubens and Max Perlich in featured roles. This movie has got a story which has got black humour and a resistance to convention, while still managing to take the audience on a breathless ride--something this film only hints at.

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                              10.07.2001 06:56
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                              Well the time is 11:04 pm right now and i have just returned home from my first view into the life of george jung. George Jung was a well known name in his time for his dealing in hard drugs. Im not talking little amounts im talking enough cocaine was brought in by him to produce a snow blizzard made out of cocaine. The first part shows his family, what he did as a child and where he lived. After introducing you to numerous fights between his mother and father the movie continues to california where Mr Jung becomes involved in the drug world. At first its marijuana where he realizes that money is easy made by selling marijuana to people near or on the beach. Remember this is the 60's, drugs were openly used, good music was on the scene and everybody in california were all stoned on the beach. It was in california he meets his first love. As time goes on Mr Jung becomes bigger and bigger in the marijuana business where by if you wanted it you got it from him. As the movie goes on you get a high as you are feeling the film's "good vibes" felt by Mr Jung. He goes to the furthest point he can with marijuana by first of all buying what seemed to be a bag the size of a pillow from a local dealer then going across the border to mexico to bring at least 600lbs of marijuana back. He was making a killing and living it large with his friends and treating his girl to the life of a queen. Life was good until he hits his first milestone and gets caught with up to 600lbs of marijuana and is convited on the grounds of posession and intent to supply. In prison Mr Jung then serves his time. Going by each day as a convict, locked up, counting the days till his release. He then agrees to teach a group of convicts in order to shorten his sentence down. Socialology was the subject, ill let you guess what he taught instead. It is inside prison that he meets a new friend. It was to be this new friend that
                              brings him into the cocaine circle. After being released on parole Mr Jung then has to find a job and live with his parents in order to legally stay out of jail and show the courts he has the will to start fresh. It seems drugs were in his bones and yet within 5 mins of being released our friend is again at his work. Mr Jung then, through his friend from jail, gets to meet the largest drug dealer whom everyone knows as "the cocaine king". Pablo Escobar, whom ive heard of previously before, was a HUGE dealer and producer of cocaine. It is through Pablo Escobar that George Jung was able to provide so much cocaine to the United States. From here on the movie shows you the highs and lows of George Jung's life as america biggest cocaine provider. On my first view into this movie I just thought "casino" because its gonna show drugs (of course) and then thats it. Boy was i wrong I was kind of objecting in my own mind to see this because it advertises drug usage and can be influential in its own way but when i saw the movie i knew that i was totally wrong. This is the kind of movie thats like a good book, you get drawn into it and cant wait to get to the next page to the extent that you even consider skipping a few lines. For people to see drugs being exchanged is easy but to see the effects on people and what happens to them especially to this man can be difficult to act and is by far amazingly shown on film. I take my hat off to Johnny Depp. The film shows that drugs not only affect your state of mind but by also affecting your state of family ties. Families get torn apart so does love and this movie shows all of it and more. Again Johnny Depp clearly showing a crystal clear view to George Jung. He did yet again another excellent performance as I do enjoy his movies. I also loved the editing in this movie, it was as smooth as silk and again the editor could certainly deserve a
                              hardy handshake for some brilliant work. If your into 60s music from the likes of Thin Lizzy, Cream and other great bands then you would love the soundtrack, im only 18 yet i love 60s music and instantly i loved the soundtrack when i heard Strange Brew by Cream. Black betty is another great song also on the soundtrack. If you out on the town want to catch a flick that is funny, exciting and also heart touching then I suggest you see this movie, even if your not into johnny depp the movie will still become attractive to you, not in a drugs sense of way but also in a way of saying "take these and pay the consequences" Truly I would be bold enough to say i havent seen such a good movie in the cinema in such a long time.

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                            A briskly paced hybrid of Boogie Nights and Goodfellas, Blow chronicles the three-decade rise and fall of George Jung (Johnny Depp), a normal American kid who makes a personal vow against poverty, builds a marijuana empire in the 1960s, multiplies his fortune with the Colombian Medellín cocaine cartel, and blows it all with a series of police busts culminating in one final, long-term jail sentence. "Your dad's a loser," says this absentee father to his estranged but beloved daughter, and he's right: Blow is the story of a nice guy who made wrong choices all his life, almost single-handedly created the American cocaine trade and got exactly what he deserved. Directed by Ted Demme, the film is vibrantly entertaining, painstakingly authentic... and utterly aimless in terms of overall purpose. We can't sympathise with Jung's meteoric rise to wealth and the wild life, and Demme isn't suggesting that we should idolise a drug dealer. So what, exactly, is the point of Blow? Simply, it seems, to present Jung's story as the epitome of the coke-driven glory days, and to suggest, ever so subtly, that Jung isn't such a bad guy, after all. Anyone curious about his lifestyle will find this film amazing, and there's plenty of humour mixed with the constant threat of violence and paranoid anxiety. Demme has also populated the film with a fantastic supporting cast (although Penelopé Cruz grows tiresome as Jung's hedonistic wife), and this is certainly a compelling look at the other side of Traffic. Still, one wishes that Blow had a more viable reason for being: like a wild party, it leaves you with a hangover and a vague feeling of regret. --Jeff Shannon, Amazon.com