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Starring: Johnny Depp, Ray Liotta, Paul Reubens, Jordi Mollà Perales, Penélope Cruz, Barbara Rachel Griffiths and some awfully attractive latin types ...Slurp!
Directed by: Ted Demme
Rated: R

Bluntly speaking? Blow's another long drug movie (ala Traffic) that, at times, makes you wish ya had a little bit of the snowy prop to use as a quick pick-ya-up and-make ya-wanna-vacuum-the roof snack. But the story, based on drug dealer George Jung of the Disco -n-coke era, is ultimately deep enough to reap one's forgiveness in the end.

Johnny Depp captured the soul of poor, used, ne'er-do well, drug dealer extraordinare George Jung. Watching Depp rise from Jump Street to this performance should be inspiring to all young actors. That's not to say Depp hasn't been great to gaze upon until now. It's just that here he needed to hold the whole film together - he's in nearly every scene - and he did without the help of scissory appendages, headless horsemen or a simpleton brother.

Remember a year or so ago when every "it" movie was Shakespeare in disguise (Ten Things I Hate About You, Shake's In Love) or even blatantly the Stratford-upon Avonshire's quill (A Midsummer Night's Dream, Romeo+Juliet)? This season we have the oh-so-secret-behind-the-scenes-look-at-the-drug-business-kiddies. Trafficking, distribution, the repercussions down the line...all for your viewing pleasure.

Another oddly recurring phenomenon is the normally firm style beefcake leads (Del Toro in Oscar magnet Traffic, and Depp here) have rather paunchy bellies, pristine character accents, and a dull laziness so common in real men.

Of course, Del Toro actually packed his tenderloin-like torso with extra tacos and refried beans to ad his blubber. Depp, on the other hand, looks like he snuck into Universal's back lot and stole Carrey's under-Grinch wear. The belly, at least. You could see the stuffing, which actually looked all bumpy like a down pillow, through Johnny boy's cheesey late seventies attire...

Blow's story goes...George Jung's (Depp) a regular guy. A lazy guy in fear of getting a job...but a normal guy. He heads to California in the late sixties and decides to plunge into the cannabis plantius retail market. He hooks up with flamboyantly happy boy Derek (Paul 'Don't even whisper it...or I'll f*&^kin deck ya" Reubens... best known... as Pee Wee Herman). Together, their business grows in bushels.

Till one cold, windy-city Chicago day, the cops get George and toss him away for a couple of years.

Not to worry, prison's not really all that bad. It's the one place an ordinary criminal and drug dealer can completely learn the ropes about branching out, diversifying his distributions, and make some pretty good connections for the future.

George's future includes cell-mate Diego (a now he's cute-now-he's-not-Keith Moon-esque Jordi Mollà Perales). Diego introduces him to a Colombian named Pablo Escobar. Shudder. Pablo is like the evil Marilyn Monroe of drugdealers to this day! A drug icon whose legendary bravado and notoriously open cocaine operation - with the governments of several of the poorer central American countries behind him - supplied 85% of America's coca for over seven years (70's-80's) it seems. And I aint talking about the dark, syrupy, sugary stuff either!

George gets ultra rich and cocky. He marries into the cartel via a Colombian, Mirtha (Penelope "Spanish name meaning: face like a chicken" Cruz) which makes him a half gringo, but still a gringo.

Double crosses galore and the inevitable end of the good luck trolley car ride, lead George to his present state of affairs. You almost feel bad for the guy towards the finale. But as Forrest says "stupid is as stupid does" — that, and, of course, the real George Yung looked more like Templeton from Charlotte's Web, then cutey pie Depp. So, a girl's emotions can not be held accountable...

Depp is positively electric in this role. Sure, I love his angelic powder donut facade atop a lean Slim Jim frame, but hormones aside, damn if the boy can't act! Even without Burton behind the scenes! Soon all will know as I've seen time and time again...this guy's a classic "movie star" type. He's interwoven so many different styles - character adaptations - together in his career one gets giddy when they hear he's signed on to a at least. Rent Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.

Ray Liotta has a unique roll here as George's all loving, forgiving father Fred. He's a guy who just keeps on trying all his life yet just keeps four car lengths behind the limo with the super model in it...Liotta did a splendid, believable job and not a clove of garlic or a wiseguy to be seen!

Penelope Cruz is just ugly! I only say it like that because the media's always streaming that mock-publicity-brainwashing crap that she's attractive. Yech. I'm no clamdigger, but, certainly, men have better taste
than this? Yeah, she's got the never ending legs thing and that skinny carcass men seem to adore, but she's just a deflated version of Salma Hayek. And God knows we don't need another one of those running around.

Paul Reubens is one of my favorites. I admittedly still grieve his alter ego, Pee Wee. I see anything with Paul's name attached and enjoy it. Yes, even Mystery Men! Granted, MM sucked, but the characters and the actors are just so cool.

Blow's editing is enjoyably reminiscent of a Guy Ritchie gig.

Get out and see this. It has some great performances, an interesting (albeit, lloonngg) story, and it's super fun to watch Depp wear the grossest hairdos ever sentenced upon the male population, and in sherbert colored polyester wear to boot!

Snack recommendation: Birthday cake...and blow....pops.




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