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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What Was The Reviewer Smoking?
How unfair is it that Tim Keogh of the Amazon.Com organization gets to lead off the list of reviews for this movie by stating - "This disappointment from Jim Jarmusch stars Johnny Depp in a mystery Western about a 19th-century accountant named William Blake, who spends his last coin getting to a hellish mud town in Texas and ends up penniless and doom struck in the...
Published on Sept. 2 2000 by Big Dog

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Good, bad and somewhat ugly
The screenplay is probably the best thing about the film. The spasmotic and threatening verbal interaction between crass and ignorant characters does more to portray the hard world of the West than does the gun play. Blake (Johnny Depp) is the innocent from the East sent to work in the wild wild West. He is the pure and decent man corrupted by the world. Nobody (Gary...
Published on Jan. 28 2004 by Charles Adams


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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What Was The Reviewer Smoking?, Sept. 2 2000
By 
Big Dog (Cleveland, Ohio USA) - See all my reviews
How unfair is it that Tim Keogh of the Amazon.Com organization gets to lead off the list of reviews for this movie by stating - "This disappointment from Jim Jarmusch stars Johnny Depp in a mystery Western about a 19th-century accountant named William Blake, who spends his last coin getting to a hellish mud town in Texas and ends up penniless and doom struck in the wilderness." I don't know if Tim was busy stuffing his face with popcorn but he makes three erroneous statements in this first line of his totally off-base review.
1) This movie is not a mystery! 2) Johnny Depp spends his last coin buying whiskey. 3) The "hellish mud town" of Machine is on the West Coast - not Texas. (After all, it would take a while to ride by horseback from Texas to British Columbia where the Coastal Indian Tribes were located).
You may be asking yourself why I take issue with such mundane details? The answer is obvious - to prove the point that Tim Keogh wasn't even watching this movie, and therefore, has no right to review it. Simply put, Dead Man is a cinematic masterpiece! Jim Jarmusch has made a number of strong movies, but Dead Man surpasses the others as a brilliant work of art.
You can see by reading the other reviews that support for Dead Man borders on fanatical. There are few movies that I have watched repeatedly but I continue to see this one over and over again. Everything about the film is different from the conventions of Hollywood mass consumption "fast-film". The story unfolds in a slow and methodical manner and requires much attention on the part of the viewer. If you invest in it, Dead Man will repay you many times over.
If you liked Forrest Gump and The Sixth Sense then you can go see another mindless mainstream movie with Tim Keogh and the majority of the ignorant American public. If you need more than that . . . buy Dead Man. I'll bet you watch it more than once!
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars BLEAK, UNSETTLING & RIVETING, Dec 4 2003
By 
Lynne Clarke (Darlinghurst, NSW Australia) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Dead Man [Import] (DVD)
I never saw this on the big screen, but after watching the DVD I think it would have been great to hear Neil Young's music coming from all directions and see the brilliant photography on the big screen.
Dead Man, no doubt, will be loathed by some as being meandering and slow. However, I'm one who was thought this was absolutely brilliant. Some would probably describe this as just the story of someone who is fatally injured right at the beginning of the film and spends the rest of the time dying - and they'd be right - but it wouldn't do justice to the amazing acting of all concerned (esp. the bounty hunters - The talkative Michael Wincott - who still manages to keep talking after being shot about 6 times, and the scary, taciturn Lance Henrikson).
Johnny Depp (Bill Blake) yet again proves what a good actor he is, he was totally believable as the accountant who finds himself penniless and adrift in an totally alien world and his slow descent from a "stupid white man" to "killer of white men".
Gary Farmer was excellent as Nobody, an English-educated Indian with a love for Williams Blake's poetry and a desire to see Blake "return" to the spirit world in the proper way. There are also some great parts played by Alfred Molina as the missionary, Iggy Pop, Bill Bob Thornton, Gabriel Byrne, John Hurt etc., all of whom added to the surreal atmosphere.
The black and white photography is magical, the story is bleak, funny, shocking, uplifting and painful in equal parts.
If you like your films full of action and dont want to think too much about the plot - this one is definitely not for you. If you love films that can be interpreted on many levels, with interesting characters, great acting and wonderful photography, you may - just possibly - love this film.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Review, May 28 2013
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This review is from: Dead Man [Import] (DVD)
The music is haunting. Gary Farmer steals the movie even with so many big-name actors in the cast. The script is spartan but effective.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Too Weird, Feb. 15 2008
By 
Laura Knight-Jadczyk (France) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Dead Man [Import] (DVD)
Right up front I'll state that I generally like movies that have well-defined plots, tell a good story, and have a satisfying ending. So, really, this movie wasn't for me (or my husband, who likes movies with positive endings that exemplify the triumph of the human spirit).

However, having said that, I did recognize some unique things about this film that make it stand out (though I wouldn't watch it a second time). There was some fairly innovative camera work, unique stylistic touches, grim realism superimposed on black comedy, and clever caricatures of some of the bizarrest of human behaviors. The result was that, even though the movie was unrelentingly depressing, at the end, all I could say about it was "That was just TOO weird!"

I love Neil Young, and, as some people have noted, his soundtrack was perfect for the "Too Weird" character of this movie. It was grating at times and too loud; but then, that was what was needed.

The "William Blake" theme that ran throughout the movie was another strange touch. Probably most of the people who watch this film will have as little idea who William Blake was as the protagonist. The bizarre experience of seeing a Native American quoting William Blake in the grim wilderness is just - again - Too Weird!

In the end, trying to give credit where it was due, even though it was not to my taste, I have to say that it was truly a unique movie, probably worth watching once just to be able to say "That was TOO Weird!"
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What a movie..., Nov. 19 2009
By 
Aurel Sfecla (Alberta, Canada) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Dead Man [Import] (DVD)
A masterpiece!

I am not a movie freak, and my DVD collection is a very exclusive one.

Jim Jarmusch's movie is a wonderfully troubling one. And the more you're watching it, the more you discover new accents.

In our world, with Hollywood and so on, it is a privilege to have such a genius producer.
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5.0 out of 5 stars DEAD MAN, Dec 30 2011
This review is from: Dead Man [Import] (DVD)
LOVE JOHNNY DEPP! LOVE WESTERNS! DEAD MAN COMBINES BOTH, STRANGE BUT INTERESTING. DEPP PLAYS HIS NAIVE CHARACTER WELL, SURVIVING HIS SOMETIMES COMICAL WILD WEST ENCOUNTERS WITH PURE DUMB LUCK UNTIL--WELL, I DON'T WANT TO GIVE THE ENDING AWAY.
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5.0 out of 5 stars "Machine? That's the end of the line!", Nov. 23 2010
By 
Torval Mork (Calgary, Alberta Canada) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Dead Man [Import] (DVD)
If you aren't an accolylte of Jim Jarmusch (the director of Dead Man), you may find the pace of this film slow and tedious. On the other hand, if you appreciate the offerings of French New Wave film makers from the 60's and the gritty drama's of the 70's output from BBS (Five Easy Pieces, King of Marvin Gardens), you'll find it easy to dial into this surreal western setpiece.

From the outset, we are thrown headfirst into the reality of William Blake (Johnny Depp), on his way from Cleveland to the town of Machine on a steam train, where a job as an accountant in a mill called Dickinson Metal Works awaits him. En route, he encounters a few uncomfortable situations - most notably when an un-named coal shoveller from the locomotive (Crispin Glover) sits across from him and tests his wherewithal. A memorable line comes when suddenly the passengers leap from their seats, raise their shotguns and start firing out the window, and Glover's character spouts "They're shooting buffalo, government says they shot a million of them last year alone."

Upon his arrival in Machine, Blake finds that the job he travelled for has been filled, and the mill owner (Robert Mitchum) laughs him out of the office. From there, Blake finds misfortune after misfortune, while encountering a colorful pallete of characters on the way to a bitter conclusion.

The above provides a synopsis - but it hardly evokes the stellar storytelling and visual complexity conveyed by Jarmusch and longtime cinematographer Robby Muller (whose previous work includes films with Wim Wenders and Lars Von Trier). This is an indie tour de force on the most under the radar level. The supporting cast alone fills tiny parts with some heavyweight talent: Gary Farmer, Gabriel Byrne, Robert Mitchum, Billy Bob Thornton, Crispin Glover, Jared Harris, Iggy Pop, John Hurt, Michael Wincott, Alfred Molina, Lance Hendrickson... enough already! The script is ripe for quotes, and the soundtrack is 100% Neil Young on an electric guitar, strumming along to the scenes - perfectly meshed.

It's a shame Amazon has used Tom Keogh's review to give potential purchasers such a negative first impression of such a memorable bit of film making prowess. Jarmusch doesn't make films to rake in cash, he's an artist making films to fulfill an artistic mandate. Imagine a filmed version of Cormack McCarthy's novel "Blood Meridian" and you'll find it easier to grasp the gritty post-modern Western scope that Jarmusch has embraced. As far as his film's themes and methodologies, they resonate from piece to piece - Dead Man fills in perfectly between Night on Earth and Ghost Dog. To jump in head first to Dead Man, it will definitely leave you wondering "what the....?", but upon viewing his back and forward catalogue, you'll get the picture.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Now this is a movie, Aug. 10 2006
This review is from: Dead Man [Import] (DVD)
Dead Man is not without it's faults (the main one being it really drags in a couple of places) but it should still be required study for every serious film director.

This film blends exceptional acting, beautiful cinematography, sparse but biting dialogue, dark humour and a haunting score to demonstrate what directors, actors, producers, composers (the whole lot) should aspire to.

This is a reaffirmation that film can still be an artform and not a mass-consumable widget. Perhaps the reason that there aren't more films like Dead Man is that the chief ingredients are imagination, creativity and a willingness to sidestep convention.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Personal Favorite of All Time, Nov. 16 2005
By 
M. Kliewer "Sambuka" (Calgary, Canada) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Dead Man [Import] (DVD)
I had seen this movie several times before I bought it, and I bought it so that I could lend it to friends and then talk to them about it. It's just one of those movies that inspires thoughtful conversation with all of the crazy imagery, dialect and I think the acting is phenomenal from every actor.
Johnny Depp's acting is always good, but in this movie there is something just a little more. His charecter is meant to change through the movie, and I don't know if the viewer is really supposed to pick-up on that, but damn he is good. Case in point, at the beginning of the movie he can barely stand to see a gun, is pretty much useless with a gun, but by then end he is pretty comforatble with one.
I'm tempted to use all 1000 words, but I think I'll just leave it by saying Jim Jarmusch did an absolutely PHENOMENOL job on this movie. This script is A+, the acting is A+ (all around), the sets are A+, and the soundtrack by Neil Young is another A+.
Just buy this movie. If Amazon is charging too much for you, go somewhere else or borrow from a friend - this is one of the RARE movies that could be seen a hundred times and still inspire new thought.
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5.0 out of 5 stars a trip for those who has a stomach for real movies, Jan. 4 2005
This review is from: Dead Man [Import] (DVD)
= a trip for those who has a stomach for real movies
before i wached this movie i never thought that a filmaker could make so naturaly and axepting the trip of a human through death. is written alot about it and mostly they focus about what is going to happen after it happens, but the moment of agony which might be for a human observer a matter of few minuttes , seconds, hours or maybe days we dont find it so often. as Homer at Iliada describe the batlle between Hector and his Nemecis Ackil en careful observer can find the ten moments of the agony of Hector which is killed at the first strike then the rest are the last moments of the victims living with some ilussions produced in his phantassysing agony at the passwaye to death, Jarmusch has describet unicaly all the stages of the trip of a man before passing on the other side of the livings. it is atractive from the first moments when Deep is on the train where the caracters change as the nature itself. starting in the small peacefully towns with relaxte peacefull passengers and with the nature being uncultivated by humans the pasengers which seat near Deep are getting more wild and scary untill he reaches at the heart ot the most canebalestic part of the unknown by the rest of the educated part of society where he is going to make his meeting with death and the trip untill he gets confortable with the idea that he has to leave life behind. in many wayes i thing Jarmusch in the caracter of Deep created a better image of death than Bergman. soundtrack could not been better. one of the best movies of 90-s.
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Dead Man [Import]
Dead Man [Import] by Jim Jarmusch (DVD - 2003)
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