I find this movie VERY GOOD! In fact, the end nearly brought me to tears. This movie does something that shouldn't be, but it is. By the end of the movie, you feel SO SORRY for a drug dealing thief. It's amazing how they tell the story, and by the end you want to go see this man and say how sorry you were. I believe that it's one of Johnny's best roles and really makes you think some. This movie has been underrated by many people because it's about drugs, but the story is just a story, but the message it brings and the emotions it triggers, are lasting. I recommend this <more>
Cocaine, They Started that. Your Welcome. (by Quinoa1984)
That statement was said by Denis Leary who, not surprisingly, co-produced this drug epic with Ted Demme who not only directs this film, but Leary's special No Cure for Cancer. Watching that special, I would've never expected a movie this good and serious, but it is. And unless a better film comes along this year, Blow might just be the best film of 2001.In this bio-pic, George Jung is a guy who starts out by selling pot in the California area. After a while though, he progresses to selling cocaine in the late 70's and early 80's with the infamous Pablo Ecobar, and becomes a <more>
multi-millionaire Jung, played by Jonny Depp very well, explains that if you bought cocaine in that time period in America, there would be a 85 percent chance it was from him . But then we see how things change with time, especially with Jung, which makes this movie even more fascinating and excellent.While Blow is stylish, smart and hard edged with good stuff, the film also has compassion and feeling, in-particular in the third act which gives this movie a clever turn. Also with brilliant acting from the cast the ensemble includes Depp, Paul Ruebens, Penelope Cruz and in a twist of a role from GoodFellas, Ray Liotta as Jung's dad and a well told story, this is one of the best bio-pics and drug movies of the 00's.
It feels wrong to be sympathetic toward a person who deals drugs for a living, but after watching this movie being based on a true story I have a completely different view of George Jung. The first time I watched it, I watched it because I'm a fan of Johnny Depp. I always felt he played his best role in "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas," however, now it's hard to decipher which was better, his role as Raoul Duke, or George Jung?The story of George Jung's life is a truly amazing one considering he starts out dealing marijuana, and his own mother has him sent to jail, and <more>
then he winds up trafficking cocaine with Pablo Escobar, and becoming as rich as Penelope Cruz is beautiful. He finally decides to straighten his life out for his daughter, and winds up back in jail for the rest of his life. The end of this movie is as sad as the story itself. I've never stayed as interested in a movie that was over 2 hours long as I did with this movie. It's a great, climactic story, and I would recommend it to basically ANY movie lover. I don't know a single person who hasn't seen it, and walked away disliking it. Johnny Depp deserves an Oscar. He's an incredible actor, and George Jung was an incredible man.
One of the most intriguing movies of 2001. **** out of four (by Movie-12)
BLOW / 2001 **** out of four By Blake French: I don't think George Jung was a corrupt, sleazy drug smuggler, but, more or less, a young businessman making money to support his family and wild lifestyle. That is what makes Ted Demme's "Blow" different from other drug movies-it does not portray its characters as addicted lowlifes, but as recklessly successful, high powered individuals who simply want to live the American dream. The film is based on the true story of George Jung, whose image went from the average Joe next door, a high-school football star from a small <more>
Massachusetts town, to the world's premiere importer of cocaine from Colombia's Medellin cartel, who once supplied the States with over 85% of the total amount of imported cocaine in the 1970's and 80's. "Blow" is one of the best movies of the year. "Blow" covers a wide range of generations and locations, ranging from the turbulent 60's to the haze of the 80's, and from such areas of the North America like Massachusetts, Florida, Colombia, California, Mexico, New York and Illinois. The time and location span provided the filmmakers with a challenge. The film was shot in a variety of locations in Southern California and in Mexico. "It was a difficult film to schedule and shoot because it had so many different time periods. And since it was the story of a man's life, every scene was fairly brief which meant an incredible number of scenes to be shot," explains executive producer Georgia Kacandes. Covering so many years in a single film also tests the ability of the film's costume designers and makeup artists. The wardrobes, makeup and hair styles appear authentic and impressive. This movie pays close attention to even some of the most minute of details. George Jung's motives for pursuing drugs may have been triggered by his family life as a child. His father was a nobody construction worker who often struggled with money and his marriage. In the film, Ray Liotta plays George's poor but content father, with the versatile Rachel Griffiths as his bitter, unhappy mother. George vows to never live his life in poverty, no matter what. He moves to California as a young adult where selling marijuana supports his independent lifestyle. Paul Reubens and Ethan Suplee play George's drug-dealing comrades. Eventually, the authorities send him to prison for a while, where he meets Diego Delgado Jordi Molla . An insider in Colombia's rising drug trade, this man educates George about the profits of selling cocaine. After serving his time, Jung becomes partners with Pablo Escobar Cliff Curtis , the billionaire godfather of international cocaine trafficking. "Blow" displays a consistent and detailed portrait of the spectacular rise, and dramatic fall, of Jung and his travel towards turning powder cocaine into American's biggest drug problem. Ted Demme's direction is vivid, determined, and stylish. He reportedly conducted many interviews with the real life George Jung, as he makes very clear the early high life, and the dangerous reality of a drug smuggler's everyday lifestyle. Demme is careful to stay away from frequent potential distractions, like the drug use, side characters, family issues, and romantic interests. This is a vivid narrative of a very interesting character. It does display a message about drugs that we have seen before, but never in this stylishly innovative light. Laced with amusing detail and probing awareness, "Blow" defies the usual road of drug movies and provides us with tension and interest from Jung's many experiences-risky border crossings, ferocious consultation, unexpected deception, the persistence of the authorities, and unconquerable temptations. But untimely the film shows the true tragedy of losing your dreams to greed and drugs. Johnny Depp proves once again what a triumphant, adaptable actor he can be. He portrays George Jung with the perfect amount of greed, style, confusion, pride, and desperation. The real George Jung is in a prison cell in New York. Without possibility of parole, Jung's release date is scheduled for 2015. Depp acknowledged the responsibility that comes with dramatizing a true individual, but also the responsibility of the director. "I knew Ted was committed to the film, but I didn't understand how deeply committed he was to the real George.""Blow" becomes one of the most intriguing movies of 2001, but it even suffers in comparison to the incomprehensible achievement director Darren Aronofsky accomplished last year with his disturbingly real display of the downward spiral of four drug addicts in "Requiem for a Dream." That film gave us a cinematic taste of what drug addicts experience through their addictions and depravity. "Blow" still shines a fresh new light on drugs in movies, and perceptively portrays the story of a person from whom many can learn.
Blow didn't blow... it rocked. (by Christian_Dimartino)
Johnny Depp plays George Jung in a powerful and interesting film called Blow. Wow, I never knew that drugs were that interesting. Blow, like many films by director Milos Forman, tells a rise and fall story. And like The people vs. Larry Flynt, Blow tells a story about a guy that I didn't know about.George Jung, as a kid, knew he didn't want to end up like his father Ray Liotta :poor. So once he grows up, he travels to California,where his life changes. He meets the Californians, realizes that they are all free spirited, and do lots of drugs, and wants to do it too.So George tries to <more>
make cocaine a popular thing around America. The film chronicles George's life pretty much. From his short relationship with Barbie Franka Pontente , to his many visits to jail, with his meeting of Pablo Escobar Cliff Curtis , to his new girlfriend/wife Penelope Cruz , to his tragic fall.To a surprise, like most rise and fall stories, Blow made me sad. The end did. Actually, the end is very sad. The acting here is phenomenal. Johnny Depp, well, that goes without saying. But I have to say that Penelope Cruz gives a better performance. Cruz won an Oscar for her insane role in Woody Allen's masterpiece, Vicky Cristina Barcelona. She plays such a convincing psycho, I swear.The film is pretty funny, actually. I was pretty hooked on the whole thing. Wondering how worse this guy's life could get. The film is very interesting, and tragic, and great to look at. The film's soundtrack is old, but awesome. And goes along with the film.Overall, Blow is a very good film. I don't get why critics didn't like it. I don't get why they would say that Blow blew. I thought it was very good. Not as good as any rise and fall story Milos Forman's done, but still very good. Their reasoning for disliking it escapes me. Maybe they needed some blow.A-
The scene where Johnny Depp is strutting through the airport while "Blinded by the Light" is playing is amazing. The song is relevant to the film Depp's character was about to be busted , but also just sounded perfect with what was going on. The film is consistently stylish but this scene in particular really caught my eye. Some say this film's formula mirrors Scarface, but I believe it has its own style and is more effective. There is more emotion involved in this film, contrasting with the brutal ending and death scenes of Scarface, which is why I gave it 9/10What was <more>
I don't understand why many people I talked to either thought the film was bad or mediocre. Sure, it isn't a "great" movie, but when was the last time you saw 5 great movies in a row? A great movie comes along once in a blue moon, depending on your definition of great. I personally was very engaged in the plot. Johnny Depp gives a tour-de-force performance, fully engaging himself in the character. I'm sure he did lots of research on George Jung and tried to mimick his every mannerism, because this was far from a half-baked effort. Then again, I don't ever recall <more>
Johnny Depp doing a movie where he didn't put his full enthusiasm into the role. The movie has many tragic moments and many funny moments. The film is a little over 2 hours long, but the time flew by in a breeze. I was so enlightened that I'm anxious to do some research on the real George Jung. I'm not a fan of Penelope Cruz, and they could've chosen a much better actress, but she's only in the film about 20 or 30 minutes, so she isn't given enough time to ruin the film. Paul Reubens gives a surprisingly earnest performance as a flamboyant, bisexual hairdresser. It's too bad he's caught up in all this controversy, because he seems to have sufficient range as an actor. I loved hearing all the great classic rock songs in the soundtrack, and every time I watch the film the songs get stuck in my head and I start singing them for days on end. "Blow" is a touching drama that doesn't try to exploit the world of drugs, nor condemn it. After seeing George's tragic outcomes as a world-class coke dealer, I doubt anyone would want to get in or get back into the "business," but that doesn't necessarily mean the message is preachy. My score: 8 out of 10
The effects of lacking the fortitude and conscience to make the right choices in life are examined in `Blow,' directed by Ted Demme and starring Johnny Depp as George Jung, a young New Englander who decides early on that living week to week and barely being able to make ends meet is not the kind of life he wants. George grew up in the 50s, in a decent, middle-class family, but was deeply affected by the fact that his father, Fred Ray Liotta , worked his fingers to the bone as a plumber, sometimes fourteen hours a day, seven days a week, and it was never enough, especially for his <more>
mother, Ermine Rachel Griffiths , who complained endlessly about not having enough money. More than once she abandoned her family, only to be taken back every time upon her return by Fred, who adored her. Then, in the late 60s, George, along with his childhood friend, Tuna Ethan Suplee , moved to Southern California and quickly discovered the freedom of the beaches and a lifestyle conducive to his idea of paradise. That `paradise' being anchored in the realization of the big, easy money to be made at the time selling marijuana; and for George, it was only the beginning, the on-ramp to the freeway that would ultimately take him to the top of his `profession,' and which was destined to define his life. It's a tale as old as time, the lesson of which is destined forever-- unfortunately-- to be ignored by those who seek the quick and easy road to wealth and happiness. Courage, it has been said, has many faces; one kind earns soldiers and citizens medals for rising above imminent danger. Another can be defined as being able to decline the carrot of ill-gotten gains when it is dangled before you. George lacked that kind of courage, and instead grabbed the promise it proffered with both hands, only to discover-- too late-- that it was empty indeed, and laced with unhappiness. It's a classic rags-to-riches-to-oblivion story, with a moral that will be embraced by those with the wisdom to build their house of brick instead of sticks and straw. As George, Depp turns in a convincing, believable performance, portraying him as a misguided, rather than `bad' person. You sense that George's naivete enabled him to take chances and enter an arena to which common sense would otherwise have dictated avoidance, and because of that you are able to sympathize somewhat with him. Depp lends an innocence to the character in which you can find the kid next door, the good kid you grew up with and knew throughout your school years, and in retrospect, it would seem that George, a reasonably intelligent young man, simply made some very stupid decisions. And, as they say, the prisons are full of those just like him. But the most telling indication of who George really is and what he could/should have been, comes through his relationship with his father. And it is that which becomes the very core of the story. As Fred Jung, Ray Liotta gives a poignant performance, presenting a very real person in a very real setting. completely avoiding any kind of stereotype into which this character could easily have fallen, Liotta plays him with a depth that averts sentimentality and makes the unconditional love he shows for his son entirely believable. It's a direct and understated performance that so clearly defines the true character of the man, and it is in the scenes between Liotta and Depp that the true nature of George is revealed as well, in which you begin to understand that he was just an ordinary guy who got caught up in extraordinary circumstances of his own design. The supporting cast includes Penelope Cruz Mirtha , Franka Potente Barbara , Paul Reubens Derek Foreal , Jordi Molla Diego , Cliff Curtis Escobar and Max Perlich Dulli . A cautionary tale for those who allow themselves to stray from the straight and narrow, the real impact of `Blow' is ultimately contained in the final frame of the film. It is a still picture of the real George Jung; and to fully realize what his life has been about, you need look no further than into the eyes of the man in that photograph. I rate this one 8/10.
Uneven, but entertaining, all the same (by mentalcritic)
Since not every film can be a great masterpiece, it only stands to reason that there are some which, as good as they are, will never be mentioned in the same breath as The Godfather. Blow happens to be one of those films. In today's market, where films are literally churned out with more attention paid to marketability than merit, it is no surprise that films of almost every subject are saturating the market. Even films about, or based upon, historical crime figures are a dime a dozen these days. The plus to this is that the ones that do come out have to do something special in order to <more>
be considered good.Blow's strengths lie in a couple of performances, and the scenes in which George Jung's ability to negotiate his way out of a fix or into one are displayed. Johnny Depp plays Jung with a consummate authenticity that, especially when sees the interviews with the real George Jung, literally leaps out of the screen. It's hard to believe this guy who I saw as a fresh-faced semi-nerd in A Nightmare On Elm Street is able to portray such a wide and varied range of characters. Ray Liotta gives him ample support as Fred Jung, showing a man hit hard by his own unsuccessful attempts to keep himself independent and free, therefore fully understanding of how far his son will go to see he doesn't fail in the same endeavour. The final scene with Liotta, where he is listening to the tape recording, is one of the most touching examples of men declaring they cannot regret their defiance seen on film.The scenes with Pablo Escobar are especially amusing. As we see how George was able to charm his way into any deal he set his mind to, one cannot help but admire the man. Merely standing before the most powerful drug lord in South America at that time would have taken more guts than most people are allotted. The Jungian method of keeping oneself calm while smuggling through customs, even if completely fictional, sums up this this calmness in the face of danger quite brilliantly.But, and it seems there always is a but with Hollywood product these days, some aspects of the film are terrible. Penélope Cruz is absolutely horrible as Mirtha Jung, and it is hard to believe that someone as cocky and bold as George would tolerate her presence. I've heard Salma Hayek or horse-jaw as she is probably better-known suggested for the part, but she is just as bad. Given how many actresses there are in Spain who would appreciate a break, and know a mode of speech other than screaming, one can't help but wish the director could have shown a bit of Jungian testicular fortitude and cast an unknown.Adding to the film's woes is the end of the story. Compared to the first two thirds, where we seem to be going along at the speed of one of Jung's sports cars, the whole thread about Jung's inability to live without contact with his daughter brings affairs to a screeching halt. That Christina Jung has never visited her father, at least according to the ending crawl, is a pretty sad fact. What's even worse is that after viewing this film, we never learn anything about Christina. We don't learn if the cocaine abuse on her mother's part during pregnancy had any ill effects, or whether she has led a life she would call satisfactory. She is little more than a prop. The fact that Jaime King, the actress who played her during the final wrap-up, is a recovering heroin addict only makes one wonder more. Especially among those of us who really have to live with permanent physical damage that may have been caused by parental drug abuse during in utero development even if it was only nicotine in my mother's case .In all, I gave Blow an eight out of ten. If you want to know anything about George Jung and how cocaine got to be such a hot item in America, then this film does make some excellent points. With the poor economy in America where blue-collar workers are in borderline poverty while CEOs rip them off something blind, it really is a wonder we aren't seeing the rise of an army composed of George Jung wannabes.