Coffee And Cigarettes Blu-ray Review
“Coffee And Cigarettes” is pure Jim Jarmusch.
With 2003’s “Coffee and Cigarettes,” indie film pioneer Jim Jarmusch crafted an anthology that contains 11 shorts/vignettes filmed over various years. Each short contains a new cast and involves coffee and cigarettes to some degree (or in some cases tea). The subject of the shorts revolves around strangers meeting, twin siblings, Tom Waits and Iggy Pop meeting, awkward life moments, lies, family, a tesla coil, alternative medicine, health, and life. The shorts feature a huge cast that includes the likes of Bill Murray, Tom Waits, Steve Buscemi, Jack and Meg White, Cate Blanchett, Steve Coogan, RZA, Iggy Pop, and many more.
For film fans craving a narrative or linear story, “Coffee and Cigarettes” might not be for you as there’s no overarching story to the series of short films other than the fact that they all involve coffee and cigarettes. Instead, the shorts are really a collection of intimate moments of varying importance. There’s small talk (like in the opener “Strange To Meet You”), family conversations (like in “Cousins” which features Cate Blanchett in duel roles) and deeper or more existential conversations like with the climactic “Champagne.” The most memorable shorts, however, are the ones that provide the most laughs. “Those Things’ll Kill Ya” is a hilarious segment featuring two old guys bitching at each other, “Cousins?” is a supremely funny short in which Alfred Molina tells Steve Coogan that they are cousins, and “Delirium” (which is easily the best short of the lot) revolves around GZA, RZA, and Bill Murray. Need I say more?
Presentation: 1.78:1 1080p. How does it look? The B&W print is gorgeous and is a quality upgrade from the DVD.
Audio Track: 5.1 DTS-HD MA. How does it sound? While decent, the track is way too soft for my liking.
The only extras include a “Coffee And Cigarettes” trailer and a 4 minute interview with the late actor Taylor Mead who talks about working with Jim Jarmusch, the film’s themes, Cate Blanchett, and his work.
Overall Thoughts: If you’ve ever seen a Jim Jarmusch film, you should know what to expect with “Coffee and Cigarettes.” If you’re a fan, you’ll likely dig the oddball shorts, but if you find his work plodding, ‘Coffee’ isn’t likely the film to change your mind about his work.
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