Dom Hemingway Blu-ray Review
Dom Hemingway has been waiting twelve years for those jail cell doors to open. He’s had a bit of a ride inside, eating pudding in the cafeteria and delivering monologues about his, uh, Little Dom, while being pleasured by a fellow inmate, but when it’s time to go, he gets a big grin on his face.
When Dom (Jude Law, the recent SHERLOCK HOLMES movies, RIDE OF THE GUARDIANS), a professional safecracker, leaves, he’s in an exquisite suit, smoking a fresh cigarette and being cheered on by his former housemates. His first order of business is laying a beating on a mechanic who bedded his wife while he was away. “I should kill you,” he says, “but I fancy a pint instead.” He meets up with his old friend Dickie (Richard E. Grant, who played Withnail in Bruce Robinson’s WITHNAIL AND I), who tells him he should visit his boss, Mr. Fontaine (Demián Bichir, A BETTER LIFE, which earned him an Oscar nomination for Best Actor).
Dom and Dickie travel to Mr. Fontaine’s French villa, where he lives with his gorgeous girlfriend Paolina (Romanian actress Mădălina Diana Ghenea, 2012’s RAZZA BASTARDA). It’s there that Mr. Fontaine pays up for Dom’s silence, the gang celebrates in elaborate fashion (complete with cocaine, hired girls and fine alcohol) and Dom takes a fateful spin in his boss’ car. And then it’s back to London, where he attempts to reconcile with his daughter, Evelyn (Emilia Clarke, who plays Daenerys Targaryen in HBO’s GAME OF THRONES), who went without a father figure for too long. (There is also a safecracking challenge that puts Little Dom on the line, as well as topless ping-pong players.)
There are some interesting characters here that spout some borderline insane quips that seek to top whatever British crime dramedies inspired it (“I’m the f*cker who will gut you with a dull cheese knife and sing Gilbert and Sullivan while I do it.”). If DOM HEMINGWAY had just focused on one tone, it may have been a more memorable effort. But since it jumps from here to there (from over-the-top party to redemption tale and a stop or two in between) without warning, the movie is hit and miss. As it goes on, it becomes clear that Dom’s failed relationship with his daughter is the real heart and that there doesn’t really feel like much of a purpose to the first part.
But director Richard Shepard (2004’s THE MATADOR, 2007’s THE HUNTING PARTY; he’s also directed several episodes of HBO’s GIRLS) has still created a fairly stylish movie that has a slick look to it and manages to make a brief car crash a nearly beautiful moment. The most interesting part of DOM HEMINGWAY, though, is by far Jude Law’s performance, which is his best in quite some time. Here is a cocky, rough, vulgar piece of work that lets Law play around and have fun. With that, DOM HEMINGWAY is often a blast and quite enjoyable even when the plot starts to dull and the supporting characters show little depth.
DOM HEMINGWAY BLU-RAY REVIEW
Video: 2.35:1 in 1080p with MPEG-4 AVC codec. DOM HEMINGWAY has a slick look to it and so does this high-definition transfer, which features excellent details and bright colors for the duration.
Audio: English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1; Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1; French DTS 5.1. Subtitle in English, Spanish and French. The audio is also strong, bringing life to the various atmospheres (French villa, London streets) in the movie.
Audio commentary with writer/director Richard Shepard: Shepard offers a solid track as he spends the duration offering up production tales and technical tidbits.
Promotional Featurettes: Housed here are four pieces: Who Is Dom Hemingway? (2:46), which offers an overview of the character; The Story (2:39), which covers the plot of the movie; The Look of DOM HEMINGWAY (3:26), which details the sets, props and more; and A Conversation with the Cast and Director (4:44), which features comments from Shepard, Jude Law and Demián Bichir.
Ping-Pong Loop (30:30): Approximately 600 loops of two topless women playing table tennis. Seriously.