DVD Blue in the Face [DVD] [Region 1] (DVD 15826985),
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Blue in the Face [DVD] [Region 1]

  • R
  • DVD
  • 1 disc
  • Region 1 USA/CA (info)
  • Toward the end of shooting SMOKE, director Wayne Wang, screenwriter Paul Auster, and, seemingly, the entire crew were having such a good time that they approached producers Harvey and Bob Weinstein for more money to continue shooting the mostly improvised BLUE IN THE FACE. Not all the actors could return to Auggie Wren's cigar shop, but they were replaced by some well-known stars making cameo appearances. Lily Tomlin plays a strange man in search of Belgian waffles, Michael J. Fox appears as an equally odd man conducting a bizarre survey, Madonna delivers a singing telegram, and Roseanne does a dramatic scene as the wife of the shop's owner. What plot there is concerns the owner's desire to close the cigar store and rent the space to a vegetarian restaurant. In a documentary style, there are interviews with Brooklyn residents, archival footage of the demolition of Ebbets Field, and other attempts to show the look and feel of life in Brooklyn. In spite of the star appearances, it's the nonactors who provide much of the genuine warmth and easy improvisation as thinly veiled characters. A man with unusual glasses (musician Lou Reed), looking right into the camera, explains why he loves Brooklyn and feels nervous in Stockholm. Bob (filmmaker Jim Jarmusch) comes in to smoke his last cigarette with Auggie; he then demonstrates how one can always tell who the bad guys are in the movies because they invariably hold their cigarettes in a strange manner. As in SMOKE, Harvey Keitel holds the whole ensemble together with his touching portrayal of Auggie, a kind of Brooklyn everyman.
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  • Credits
    Harvey Keitel, Michael J. Fox, Michael Andrew Fox
  • Critic Reviews
    "...A bold notion for a movie..."
    Rolling Stone

    "...Keitel provides a benevolent and stabilizing presence as characters wander into the shop, light up and interact..."
    Chicago Sun-Times

    "...The cameos are among the movie's principal pleasures...Jim Jarmusch makes a charmingly witty wannabe ex-smoker Bob, delivering nice takes on cinematic smoking..."
    Sight and Sound

    "...[An] air of gentle play and a wistful sense that Brooklyn in some kind of lost Eden..." -- Rating: B+
    Entertainment Weekly

    "...Lively....Amusing....Lurie's music is bouncy..."
    Variety

    "...A reaffirmation that cinema's beauty and richness really need no stars at all..."
    Film Comment

    "...[The film] has considerable charm and humor....Adam Holender's fresh, airy camera work and a vibrant electric score also add vitality to an all-talk film..."
    Los Angeles Times

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