Plot: What’s it about?
From time to time I like to peruse IMDb for reasons that not even I know. Yes, I spend a lot of time there getting the technical information for these reviews and I’ve even got a “Pro” account (why I have no idea as all the information I really need is available for free). But, to my point, it always amazes me how some of today’s “A” list stars do so many films that we don’t really hear about. Granted, not every film can make $200 million dollars and garner Academy Award nominations, but it’s films like Scarlett Johannson in Under the Skin, Matthew McConaughey in Mud or Jude Law in…Dom Hemingway?! Truly the home video/DVD/Blu-ray market has given these films a wider audience and a literal chance to be seen, so when I was sent the solicitation for Dom Hemingway, I have to admit I was more than intrigued. The film is a roller coaster in every sense of the word and I’ll say that I’ve never seen Jude Law quite like this…
The film starts with a bang when we’re confronted with a naked Dom Hemingway (Jude Law) as he’s praising a, well, certain part of his anatomy that I really don’t want to expand on. Let’s just say he’s very proud of it. Dom is subsequently released from prison after a dozen years and is off to the pub to meet his friend and cohort, Dickie (Richard E. Grant). Dom has done his time and done it right in the sense that he could have supplied information that would get drug lord Mr. Fontaine (Demián Bichir) in a quite a bit of trouble. However, Dom’s lips were sealed and is rewarded with a three day binge of prostitutes and drugs. Dickie and Dom then head to Mr. Fontaine’s estate where Dom is set to collect his “reward” of cash. After a war of words and a quick foot-in-the-mouth conversation later, Dom gets paid only for the group to get drunk, high and crash their car. With Fontaine out of the picture, his mistress, Paolina (Madalina Diana Ghenia), grabs Dom’s reward and hightails it out of there. Dom, broke and desperate tries to catch her but instead ends up coming into contact with his estranged daughter, Evelyn (Emilia Clarke). Can Dom manage to find Paolina, get his money back, make up with his daughter (and come to terms with being a grandfather) or is history destined to repeat itself?
Dom Hemingway is a rather strange movie and not in a bad way. It’s good to see such a well-known star take a role like this and it’s evident that Jude Law embraced every bit of it. Director Richard Shepard, best-known for films like The Matador and The Hunting Party, is in rare form here. The movie is a dark, very dark, comedy with some things that I wish I could unsee, but looking back on it – it’s something that I’ll watch again. The supporting cast is full of relative unknowns, but Richard E. Grant does his best to keep up with Jude Law’s performance. Perhaps I missed it, but it was somewhat difficult to tell what time period this movie took place in. From the clothes and such, I’d say the late 70’s, but again – unless I totally missed it, I was at a loss. Still, once again I’ll say that Jude Law is in rare form; think of it as his character in Gattaca except that he could walk and drinks about 10x as much. Does that help? No? Well, words are hard to describe it, but suffice it to say that it’s one that demands a viewing.
Video: How’s it look?
Sporting a rather unique look and feel, Dom Hemingway comes to Blu-ray in a fine-looking 2.39:1 AVC HD image courtesy of Fox. The film seems to have a pretty polarized look to several of the scenes, making way for dark circles around the eyes and some rather offbeat flesh tones. It’s not like this the entire film, but certain scenes stand out more than others. Dom’s time at the estate reeks of color, whites are white and the green of the grass really stands out. Let’s not forget Dom’s yellow sunglasses. Detail is razor sharp as well. The film might not have had a budget akin to a Summer blockbuster, but this looks like it was given the proper treatment. A nice effort.
Audio: How’s it sound?
The majority of the film is dialogue-driven, but several sequences have a very robust sound mix that the DTS HD Master Audio track brings to life. Jude Law is a bit hard to understand as is Richard E. Grant, at times, but still it’s a nice, crisp soundtrack that’s sure to please. Surrounds are present during the major sequences, such as when the car slams into a tree. The front stage shoulders the burden of the majority of the soundtrack, but all in all another nice effort.
Supplements: What are the extras?
Dom Hemingway is a rather low key release from Fox, but sports a nice offering of supplements (including one that I’ve never seen on a disc before).
- Audio Commentary – Director Richard Shepard sits down for a nice and informative commentary track. There’s a lot of technical jargon in there, but he seems pretty down to earth and fairly fond of this film. Fans of the movie will want to give this one a listen, for sure.
- Promotional Featurettes
- Who is Dom Hemingway? – As the name entails, this is a brief introduction to the title character.
The Story – This gives us a broad overview of the film and what to expect.
The Look of Dom Hemingway – More of a production design feature, this gives us some technical information on the look and feel of the film.
A Conversation with the Cast and Director – Again, just that – Director Richard Shepard sits down with Jude Law, Richard E. Grand and Demián Bichir as they discuss the film.