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Blow: infinifilm

The third of New Line's "infinifilm" discs is a conventionally minded drug story driven by the power of Johnny Depp's superb performance, even as the movie falsifies the central character. George Jung is a womanizing, calculating shipping-and-distribution expert who is presented as a sentimental and loyal serial monogamist — a bumbling nice guy pining over his estranged daughter. Bruce Porter's book Blow, on which the movie is partially based, should be the real infinifilm element. As for the film itself, Blow follows Jung from Weymouth, Mass., where he is torn between his failed businessman father (Ray Liotta) and his status-seeking mother (a miscast Rachel Griffiths), to Manhattan Beach, Calif., in the '60s, where he falls into the marijuana business. His innovation was to bring Mexican pot into the country via low flying planes. Busted, he serves time with a fellow named Diego (Jordi Moll), who introduces him to the higher profitability of coke. Jung was an associate of Pablo Escobar (played by the chameleon-like Cliff Curtis), and he lived a '70s life, with discos, parties, a trophy wife with kinky interests, mountainous piles of cocaine everywhere, and brick-like stacks of cash in secret alcoves. But Jung is surrounded by traitors, has a shrill grasping wife (Penelope Cruz), and has a daughter he loves but is denied. In the end, Blow amounts to a moral brief on Jung's behalf. The film so takes Jung's side that it ends with a title-card lamenting that his beloved daughter still hasn't visited him in prison. Blow: infinifilm is packed with additional material, some of it informative, some of it dubious. Included are a self-celebrating "film diary," the short documentaries "Lost Paradise: Cocaine's Impact on Columbia" and "Addiction: Body and Soul," a "fact track," a commentary with Ted Demme and George Jung (recorded separately), segregated video interviews with George Jung conducted in prison, 10 deleted scenes with optional director commentary, "character outtakes," a music video, and DVD-ROM content, including script-to-screen and the official website. The anamorphic transfer (2.35:1) is flawless, with audio in Dolby Digital 5.1 and Dolby 2.0 Surround. The disc comes, appropriately, in a white keep-case.
—D.K. Holm

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