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Johnny Depp (CHOCOLAT) delivers a remarkable performance in this highly acclaimed tale of adventure and intrigue in the wild, wild west! A young man in search of a fresh start, William Blake (Depp) embarks on an exciting journey to a new town ... never realizing the danger that lies ahead. But when a heated love triangle ends in double murder, Blake finds himself a wanted man, running scared -- until a mysterious loner teaches him to face the dangers that follow a "dead man." With an outstanding supporting cast including Gabriel Byrne (THE USUAL SUSPECTS) and Robert Mitchum (CAPE FEAR), and a sizzling soundtrack, DEAD MAN is another motion picture triumph from filmmaker Jim Jarmusch.
- Deleted Scenes
- Dead Man Theme music video
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When Blake gets to Machine to begin his job he learns from the supervisor, John Hurt, that since it took him 2 months to get there, the job went to another. This is confirmed by the company's owner (Robert Mitchum, in his last American feature film), who throws Blake out at gunpoint. Broke and without work, Blake helps out an abused flower salesgirl (and likely part time prostitute) played by Mili Avital. She pays back the favor by sleeping with Blake. They are interrupted by her former boyfriend Charlie Dickinson, son of Mitchum's character. Things go downhill from there. Charlie kills the girl but the bullet goes through and lodges in Blake's chest. Blake manages to kill Charlie but is now a hunted killer.
Still seriously wounded, Blake escapes on Charlie's pinto but passes out in the hills. When he awakens he finds a large Indian called Nobody (very humorous Gary Farmer) who is unable to dig out the bullet as it lies too close to Blake's heart. This begins a constant point of conversation throughout the film. Does Blake have any tobacco? He is constantly explaining to everyone who asks - and that's everybody he meets - that he doesn't smoke but that doesn't alter their constant requests for tobacco.
Blake and Nobody, now buddies, are on the run from 3 hired guns, all mean and fearsome with Lance Henriksen's Cole Wilson the meanest. Others are played by Eugene Boyd and Michael Wincott. Another trio that shows up along the way is Iggy Pop, a cross-dressing "Sally" Jenko, Jared Harris as Benmont Tench (named after one of Tom Petty's Heartbreakers) and Big George Drakoulious played by Billy Bob Thornton. As a footnote you will find many of these characters are named after people in the music industry. I suspect that may have something to do with the fact that Neil Young handles the musical score in the film, and it's a dandy. Throughout the film, Young interjects his mournful electric guitar. Catch the bonus music video for a nice film recap featuring Young. You might even see some plot points clarified.
"Dead Man" features goodly amounts of humor throughout the film. In one scene the 3 bad guys chasing Blake go on for a couple minutes about how one of them has had his fly open and nobody called it to his attention. In another, 3 supposed ruffians marvel at how soft William Blake's hair is. "How do you get it like that?" one asks. I'm shortchanging Farmer's Nobody. He feels a closeness to Blake but some of that is due to the fact that he believes Blake is the famous British poet, whose work he studied while spending a few boyhood years in London. The movie has many jokes, some I got, some I'm sure I didn't catch.
Directed by Jim Jarmusch who is probably best known for "Broken Flowers" with Bill Murray, the movie is a winner. The photography is terrific. Shot in black and white, several scenes are stunning beautiful, including one where the characters traverse through a winter time forest filled with what I think are white Aspen trees. I will also suggest that this is one of Depp's best performances. He is always good at playing out of the ordinary characters and this is no exception.
The Blu ray transfer, as suggested earlier, is first rate. With video resolution at 1080p the aspect ratio is 1.78:1. The black and white film has excellent contrast and boasts fine detail with no video noise. The audio come in DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0. Overall I would say it is acceptable. It is nothing special and is inconsistent at times. Other than the music video, there are a few deleted scenes and that's it. Granted, the film isn't for everyone, but if you're looking for something well made and out of the mainstream, check it out. I loved it.
Wandering in the wilderness, William meets Nobody (Gary Farmer), an American Indian who thinks he really is the poet he's named after. Together, Nobody prepares William for his journey to the afterlife, for William Blake is indeed a Dead Man.
This is a very interesting and thought provoking film. The movie was shot in black and white, which adds an old fashioned vibe, but more importantly strips away the traditional beauty of color and adds a different kind of ethereal beauty. There are different elements at work here as well: drama, tragedy, even some buddy comedy in the interactions between William Blake and Nobody, two outcasts from their respective societies. Each character is a strong individual who work together and keep the story going to its conclusion. The brief but effective cameos from John Hurt and Crispin Glover add to the movie as well, with Glover's train fireman acting as a Charon from Greek mythology, bringing him to the underworld of Machine even before he has died. Or is he dead already? Like I said this movie makes you wonder, in a good way. Multiple viewings are recommended.
Now, the technical aspects: this DVD is bare bones. It contains just the movie. No commentary, no extras of any kind, not even a trailer. The picture quality is top notch, which I'm glad for since I've had problems with DVDs from Echo Bridge Home Entertainment before.
Most recent customer reviews
I'm quite proud that the final 20 minutes is a setting with my tribe cast as extras.Read more
BEEN watching this since it's release. One of the all to e great rest Video z