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Movie Review: Blow

Story: Those of you out there old enough to remember the 60's (I do - or at least I think I do) probably recall the first time a joint appeared at a party or a friend's house - the curtains were drawn, the shades were pulled down, the talk was in whispers. Fast forward a bit to the early 70's and the choice of drugs had increased along with the availability. Rev ahead to the late 70's early 80's and coke was everywhere (the drug, not the drink). I remember people flaunted their drug usage by wearing gold jewelry as necklaces, brooches or tie pins in the shape of coke spoons.' So how did all of this happen? Younger LOBO readers probably don't even know that life was ever different except when they watch Nick at Night on TV.

Well, this thoroughly entertaining semi-documentary depiction of the growth of this industry is what BLOW is all about. It is based on the true story of drug dealer George Jung. It was directed by Ted Demme (The Ref), from the book by Bruce Peters and screenplay by David McKenna and Nick Cassavetes. Jung and his buddies move to California in the 60's. To avoid getting real jobs they start to sell pot to their friends and community. One thing leads to another and as time progresses, the demand for drugs gets larger and the money even larger and we are eventually introduced to Pablo Escobar, the Colombian drug devil. I won't go into the whole tale but it is fascinating storytelling and the film gives you a lot to think and talk about.

What started out as seemingly innocent capitalistic entrepreneurialism has changed our entire society. The scourge of the drug trade has left us with 'crack babies', many new prisons and little money left for new schools. We have more guns, more crime and countless lives have been destroyed. Would legalizing drugs make a difference? Is there an end in sight? This film will be a big hit!

Acting: Johnny Depp as George Jung is simply fabulous. It is a perfect part for him. He is coming into his own and this film will even give him a larger appeal. Penelope Cruz, as his shrewish Colombian wife Mirtha is also excellent. The entire cast has depth.

Critters: Some chickens in Mexico

Food: Coke is an appetite suppressant.

Visual Art: Some really bad sculpture.

Blatant Product Placement: Mexican Marijuana and Colombian Cocaine.

Soundtrack: Excellent but not intrusive.

Opening Titles: The titles accompanied by the Stone's Can't You Hear Me Knocking brought you right into the film.

Theater Audience: Very few. Everyone but us probably worked for New Line Cinema.

Tissue Usage: 0 - but I think many other people might cry.

Oscar Worthy: Yes. Johnny Depp could easily get a nod. It is just being released too early for the short term memory of the Academy.

Nit Picking: It was a little sluggish towards the end.

Big Screen or Rental: Big Screen

Length: 2 hours (it did seem longer).

LOBO HOWLS: 8 (even thought there was a narrator, I didn't find it intrusive).