Miramax Films | Release Date: October 13, 1995
7.0
USER SCORE
Generally favorable reviews based on 15 Ratings
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5
BerCJun 20, 2016
The artistic medium of film is very subjective. Every audience member has a different set of criteria they use to measure their viewing experience. Not everyone shares the same set of criteria. If we did, what a bland and uninspired worldThe artistic medium of film is very subjective. Every audience member has a different set of criteria they use to measure their viewing experience. Not everyone shares the same set of criteria. If we did, what a bland and uninspired world this would be.

What I Personally Liked About "Blue in the Face":
The loose, improvisational quality of this film allows for some truly unconventional moments to occur. Where its predecessor "Smoke" was tighter and found rich detail in the ordered precision from director Wayne Wang, this sequel succeeds (to some extent) because it tosses that format right out the window. There is also some wonderful humor present in this movie, both through deadpan interpretation and exaggerated expressiveness depending on the performer delivering the laughs. For example, witness the purse-snatching scene involving Mira Sorvino or Michael J. Fox polling Giancarlo Esposito. I also very much enjoyed Jim Jarmusch and Lou Reed. Their segments were among the best in the film. I could listen to these guys tell stories all day long. That could have been the whole movie right there and I would have been happy. Another dynamite cast member was Mel Gorham, who redefined Spanish sexuality on screen in her surprisingly steamy role.

What I Personally Disliked About "Blue in the Face":
A couple of the more argumentative segments simply did not work. When Peggy Gormley and Stephen Gevedon have their shouting match, it is just painful to watch and feels really out of place next to the rest of the material. In addition, Roseanne Barr doesn't fit into this film. At all. Her scenes slow up the entire picture and if she wasn't sharing screen time with Harvey Keitel, they would be absolutely worthless. Speaking of which, this film could have used a lot more randomness with Keitel himself. He seems to stand in the shadows more than he stands in the spotlight and he could have given so much more charm to the film had he been featured more often. After all, if you're going to have a channel to focus some of your madness through, shouldn't it be Auggie Wren, the character who inspired this sequel in the first place? Some of the workable sequences seem far too short as well. There are plenty of oddball moments which could have been expanded upon. At a measly eighty-three minutes, it's not like the filmmakers were in danger of overstaying their welcome. The narrative involving the possible closing of the smoke shop was unnecessary, too. The production would have been infinitely better as an experimental, plot-less motion picture tied together only by stories of Brooklyn and examples of the city's inhabitants in action.

My Overall Impression of "Blue in the Face":
What works really works and what doesn't work really (for lack of a better term) sucks. It's a mixed bag that's worth a watch, but the end result could have been so much better if they had not limited themselves to shooting the entire production in less than a week.
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