HollywoodChicago.com RSS   Facebook   HollywoodChicago.com on Twitter   Free Giveaway E-mail   

Blu-ray Review: Criterion Edition of Jim Jarmusch’s ‘Down by Law’

Printer-friendly versionPrinter-friendly versionE-mail page to friendE-mail page to friendPDF versionPDF version
No votes yet

CHICAGO – The Criterion Collection continues their pattern of releasing a few new titles on Blu-ray every month while also upgrading some of their catalog releases to the HD format. One of the latter for July is #166 in the legendary collection, Jim Jarmusch’s spectacular “Down by Law.” The film has no new special features but what was available on its initial release is pretty spectacular and the HD transfer is an expected beauty,

HollywoodChicago.com Blu-ray rating: 4.0/5.0
Rating: 4.0/5.0

I love the rhythym of “Down by Law,” a film that still plays wonderfully a quarter-century after its release. Much like the music of Tom Waits, who stars in the film, the movie has an non-traditional time signature, lurching forward with a fight scene and back again with a long scene of dialogue. The unusual structure of Jarmusch’s screenwriting would become one of his signatures but I find it the freshest in his earliest material, being a much bigger fan of films like “Stranger Than Paradise,” “Mystery Train,” “Night on Earth,” and “Down by Law” than what he’s done in the last decade. This is one of his best.

Down by Law was released on Blu-ray and re-released on Criterion DVD on July 17, 2012
Down by Law was released on Blu-ray and re-released on Criterion DVD on July 17, 2012
Photo credit: Courtesy of the Criterion Collection

Synopsis:
Director Jim Jarmusch followed up his brilliant breakout film Stranger Than Paradise with another, equally beloved portrait of loners and misfits in the American landscape. When fate brings together three hapless men - an unemployed disc jockey (Tom Waits), a small-time pimp (John Lurie), and a strong-willed Italian tourist (Roberto Benigni) - in a Louisiana prison, a singular adventure ensues. Described by Jarmusch as a “neo-Beat noir comedy,” Down By Law is part nightmare and part fairy tale, featuring sterling performances and crisp black-and-white cinematography by the esteemed Robby Muller.

Special Features:
o Audio Interview With Jarmusch From 2002
o Interview With Director of Photography Robby Muller From 2002
o Footage From The 1986 Cannes Film Festival, Including a Press Conference With Jarmusch and Actors John Lurie, Roberto Benigni, and Nicoletta Braschi, and an Interview With Lurie, Featuring Commentary
o Sixteen Outtakes
o Music Video For Tom Wait’s Cover of Cole Porter’s “It’s All Right With Me,” Directed By Jarmusch
o Q&A With Jarmusch in Which He Responds To Fans’ Questions
o Recordings Of Phone Conversations Between Jarmusch and Waits, Benigni, and Lurie
o Production Polaroids and Location Stills
o Trailer
o Isolated Music Track
o Essay By Critic Luc Sante

“Down by Law” stars John Lurie, Tom Waits, and Roberto Benigni. It was written and directed by Jim Jarmusch. It was released on Blu-ray and re-released on Criterion DVD on July 17, 2012.

HollywoodChicago.com content director Brian Tallerico

By BRIAN TALLERICO
Content Director
HollywoodChicago.com
brian@hollywoodchicago.com/a>

Post new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
CAPTCHA
This question is for testing whether you are a human visitor and to prevent spam submissions.
Image CAPTCHA
Enter the characters shown in the image.

Hot stories on the Web


User Login

Free Giveaway Mailing

TV, DVD, BLU-RAY & THEATER REVIEWS

  • Drunk History Seasons 1 & 2, 2014

    CHICAGO – The awesomeness of history loses any of its stuffiness with the incredibly fun, indeed educational show “Drunk History” from Comedy Central, its two seasons now released on DVD. Hosted by its creator Derek Waters, the show is a celebration of various historic figures and their under-appreciated true tales, as expressed by funny people narrating in the universal language of inebriation; their recounts are then reenacted by famous actors working with their given dialogue, dressed with the comic cheapness of a bloated biopic.

  • Happy Christmas

    CHICAGO – “Drinking Buddies” director Joe Swanberg’s latest release of the same star wattage is “Happy Christmas,” an even lower-fi story than the Olivia Wilde beer comedy, steered even more by the casting that it was able to assemble. However, with this movie Swanberg doesn’t so much worry about having a story that could be confused with a more mainstream romantic comedy if it were to have a bigger budget.

Advertisement


HollywoodChicago.com on Twitter

archive

HollywoodChicago.com Top Ten Discussions
referendum
tracker