Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Blue in the Face (1995)

Smoke / Blue in the Face Double-Feature!

Synopsis: It’s Smoke...without a script.

Blurb From the VHS Jacket: "In the uproarious follow-up to the hit comedy Smoke, Harvey Keitel (Pulp Fiction) returns with a red-hot cast that includes Michael J. Fox (The American President), Roseanne (ABC-TV's Roseanne), and Academy Award Winner Mira Sorvino (1995 - Best Supporting Actress - Mighty Aphrodite)! It's nonstop laughs when a wacky group of locals visits the neighbourhood cigar shop, looking for good times... and finding plenty of hilarious fun!"

What Did I Learn?: 1) Very few people will name their price to eat a piece of shit. 2) Roseanne really can’t improvise a performance. 3) A trip to Brooklyn wouldn't be complete without taking in a Belgian waffle.

Really?: So wait... a little piece of the neighbourhood will die if Vinnie sells the smoke shop? Isn’t smoking really bad for one’s health? And who’s to say the locals wouldn’t congregate around the proposed vegetarian restaurant/health food store?

Rating: Blue in the Face is essentially an improvised follow-up movie to Smoke, featuring many of the same characters and actors; it’s a shame that William Hurt wasn’t available, but Keitel is outstanding as Auggie Wren. Blue in the Face is a lot funnier than Smoke – one of the best sequences features a whacked-out Michael J. Fox shooting the shit with a bemused Giancarlo Esposito -  but some of it works and some of it really doesn’t: Roseanne acts like she’s on an especially bad episode of Who’s Line is it, Anyway?  Smoke is a much better film, but check out Blue in the Face for a few laughs, and watch for a very sexy performance from Mel Gorham as Auggie’s long-suffering girlfriend, Violet. 7/10 stars.

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