|Coffee & Cigarettes
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- One of those uneven ones...
Largely salvaged by Jarmusch' prodigious grace and elegance, but by no means one of his best efforts. My favorite bits are the hillarious "Somewhere in California" when Tom Waits expounds to inimitable Iggy Pop how he'd just perforemd an open road life-saving surgery (using his pen-knife!). LMFAO. Another great keeper is a hot Renee French jealously guarding the right temp or her cup of java! Purr-purr!! The third one got to be the last segment (two old men musing upon some much better times).
Forget about Beningi though. It worked with the "Down by law", but no cigar here. I wonder even why they advertise this flick with Beningi's name? Other segments sort of fade away into quick oblivado -but each viewer will surely find his own most enchanting piece. It's the charm of doing it for yourself. ...more info
- nobody liked this movie.
Coffee and Cigarettes is one of those rare litmus tests for telling who is actually paying attention and who is just nodding their head. Nobody likes this movie. There is nothing to like.
This is a movie revolving around the conversations people have while drinking coffee and smoking cigarettes. It is driven by dialogue. What's wrong with that? The dialogue is absolutely mind-numbing, with about as much kick as a cup of decaf.
This is the film in a nutshell:
Guy # 1: This is bad coffee.
Guy # 2: Yup, this isn't as good as the coffee I had the other day.
Guy # 1: Oh really?
Guy # 2: Yeah, I had some good coffee the other day.
Guy # 1: Yeah, I like coffee.
Guy # 2: Yeah, and cigarettes, I like cigarettes.
Guy # 1: Yeah, but I gotta quit.
Guy # 2: Yeah, they're no good for you. Neither is coffee.
Guy #1 and # 2: Coffee and Cigarettes!
(click their cups together)
This goes on and on and on and on. Nine dollars to watch this film and for the same price you could buy your own pack of cigarettes, your own cup of coffee, and have a much more interesting dialogue between yourself and somebody you love.
This film is the equivalent to the last three pictures on a roll of film, the ones you took of your shoes or yourself in the mirror, uninspired and done for the sake of doing it and quickly developing the rest of the roll. I wonder, were they working on some real movie when they made this?...more info
- Waiting for Elvis . . .
As scanning the customer reviews here shows, this film is not for everyone. Both less and more than a series of theatrical blackouts, its mostly improvisational sketches reveal how a series of actors / personalities (playing themselves) can turn the glimmer of an idea into something with flashes of insight into the human condition.
Yes, the conversations over coffee and cigarettes are sometimes boring and repetitive, but in the way that smoking and drinking coffee are ways to fill time, I was often reminded of Beckett's "Waiting for Godot." This came across most strongly in the last piece between two old men (played by William Rice and Taylor Mead) who seem to be janitors on break in some netherworld where if you listen hard enough you can hear Mahler.
And yes, some of the sketches fall flat, but just when you are about to reach for the remote, you find yourself watching a situation that comes wonderfully to life (Alfred Molina and Steve Coogan are brilliant as two Brits in LA). And as the editorial review at the top of the page indicates, there are several other sketches that are worth waiting for. Finally, when the film was over, I couldn't believe there were no more of them to watch. The 95 minutes had flown by.
Definitely for Jim Jarmusch fans, the DVD includes an entertaining interview with Taylor Mead. ...more info
- So boring!!!
If there were an award for the most boring film ever made, this might be a contender. Jarmusch's movies are generally odd, and usually only intermittently interesting. This movie is not particularly strange, just boring. The best Jarmusch movie I've seen is Dead Man with Johnny Depp. Dead Man is actually pretty good--eerie, but good. I suggest that viewers who would like to sample a Jarmusch film choose Dead Man, rather than this one....more info
- This isn't your corner Starbucks
This is a series of 11 vignettes, all centered around..whatelse but Coffee & Cigarettes. Going into it you know its gonna have that small indie 'Arthouse' feel and style. And just like the various roasts of coffee at your local Kaffeklatch I found that some of the shorts I didn't care for while others I thought were superb. Perhaps my personal favorite scene was with Cate Blanchette, once I realized Ms. Blanchette was playing a dual role in one story as both herself and as her hapless cousin who is definitely not the refined and polished 'Movie Star' that Cate protrays so well, Sarah is roguish and down and out, I was very taken with the juxtapostion of the two characters. And that I think is the beauty of this movie. The interaction and sometimes self-aprising need to impress those around us is shown on several layers and sometimes the most engrossing self-ploitation tends to backfire. Ultimately it is the irony of who we are sometimes that brews so perfectly out of this unique film....more info
I had really high expectations for this movie....a great premise and
interesting subjects. It could have been something special but
comes off forced and boring. Don't waste your time watching this movie....more info
- Awful, just plain awful
Not worthy of much discussion. Stupid, ugly, deadly boring, but worse than that. The actors look & act like they had a gun to their heads.
I do love those viewers who praise the blackness of the blacks & the whiteness of the white (film tones not people)....more info
- ethnography and psychology in the vastness of a gesture
The movie is almost an impossible project... The set is made of one table, a couple of chairs, few cups of coffee and no more than 10-15 square feet of space around them. The camera is usually fixed and the picture is black and white. Jim Jarmusch uses these self-imposed limitations (reminiscent of Danish Dogma) only to prove what we usually forget: beauty is most of the times in details and in their good measure and there is much suspense in each gesture. The actors are absolutely formidable. The humor is pervasive but minimalist allowing the epilogue to take place on Mahler's music. One brief remark on the ethnographical value that is present in every movie made by JJ. The movie functions very well as a display of his vast collection of impressions and travel notes: jukebokes, cofee mugs, tables, table clothes (very meticulously different from one scene to another), lipsticks, waiter's caps, etc. It reminds us of Nabokov's passion for collecting buterflies. How does Jarmusch catch his luna moths? ...more info
This movie was brilliant. Everything was i expecting from the trailers. Steve Coogan did twice as well as he did in 24 Hour Party People. Cate Blanchett's scene ,like ive heard other people mention as well, reminded me of something Peter Sellers would of acted out. Bill Murray and the Wu Tang Clang was rather odd but the i think a lot of the hilarity stemmed from the fact that Bill Murray was in a scene with the Wu Tang Clang. Each scene had it's own brilliance. I recommend also you find time to watch shows such as The Office for they contain a lot of the same kind of awkward silence and subtle humour as is in this movie. The subtle tongue and cheek humour and heartfelt ending may have escaped Lady Critical but anybody who enjoys a good laugh and good movie im sure will find it. The movie's goal in my mind at least is not to be artsy and deep , but to get a genuine laugh. ...more info
- Different from the Usual
This film consists of several short segments, consisting of two main characters sitting at a table, drinking coffee (tea, in two segments) and most of them smoking cigarettes. There are few connections between the conversations from one segment to the others, aside from pointing-out that cigarettes and coffee aren't a good lunch, a couple of mentions of inventor Nicolas Tesla and coffee popsicles.
I will admit that this film isn't for everyone and also that I had a hard time writing this review. But, this film is entertaining for people willing to have an open mind about films that go outside the form most movies take. There are some very funny parts in "Coffee and Cigarettes" which had me laughing out loud and other parts where I could feel the discomfort of one character in their segment where the conversation seemed to touch a raw nerve in their companion or themselves. That uncomfortable moment occurs in many real life conversations where we don't know what to say next, if anything, to avoid hurting the other person's feelings.
This film has no definite beginning or ending and there is little in each segment to connect it with the others beyond the coffee (or tea) and cigarettes they are consuming.
Nevertheless, I liked the film and I recommend it to people who like to watch films that go outside the norm....more info
- The Sublime Pleasure of Mixing Coffee, Cigarettes, and Conversation.
"Cigarettes and coffee, man. That's the combination."--Iggy Pop
This film is better than many reviewers claim. It is a film that will appeal to anyone who has ever experienced the aesthetic pleasure of having a conversation (no matter how inane) over coffee and cigarettes, or to anyone who has ever encountered the social awkwardness of enjoying a smoke amidst the anti-smoking hysteria and worldwide public smoking bans. In 2004 Jim Jarmusch (Stranger Than Paradise; Down by Law) released Coffee and Cigarettes, a collection of short vignettes, several of which had originally aired on Saturday Night Live in the late 80s and early 90s. Shot in black and white, the eleven short vignettes are linked thematically by characters drinking coffee and smoking cigarettes. While some segments are stonger and wittier than others (Cousins, Somewhere in California, Delirium), and while many of the conversations are inane (much like life itself), the cumulative point of Jarmusch's film always remains clear: having a conversation over coffee and cigarettes is one of the most pleasurable experiences in life. When combined, caffeine and nicotine have the power to reveal the sublime humanity in the dreariness of human existence, a point the anti-smoking movement will never understand.
The eleven segments of Coffee and Cigarettes include:
1. Strange to Meet You, which features Roberto Benigni and Steven Wright;
2. Twins, which stars Joie Lee and Cinqu¨¦ Lee as twins, and Steve Buscemi as a waiter who explains his theory of Elvis Presley's evil twin;
3. Somewhere in California, which features musicians Iggy Pop and Tom Waits, who having quit smoking, believe they are allowed just one more cigarette ("The beauty of quitting is, now that I've quit, I can have one, 'cause I've quit");
4. Those Things'll Kill Ya, which features Joseph Rigano and Vinny Vella, who discuss the health dangers of smoking;
5. Ren¨¦e, which stars Ren¨¦e French drinking coffee while reading a gun magazine;
6. No Problem, which features Alex Descas and Isaach De Bankol¨¦ as friends who meet and talk over some coffee and cigarettes;
7. Cousins, which stars Cate Blanchett plays both herself and her cousin Shelly, who meet for coffee in a hotel;
8. Jack Shows Meg His Tesla Coil, which features Jack and Meg White of The White Stripes having coffee and cigarettes;
9. Cousins stars British actors Alfred Molina and Steve Coogan, who discuss their careers over tea;
10. Delirium, which features GZA and RZA of the Wu-Tang Clan, who drink caffeine-free herbal tea ("Crisp and clean, no caffeine") as their waiter, played by Bill "Groundhog-Day, Ghostbustin'-ass" Murray, who drinks coffee straight from the pot and suffers from a smoker's hack; and
11. Champagne, which stars William Rice and Taylor Mead who converse during a coffee break.
G. Merritt ...more info
- Some scenes are brilliant
Coffee and Cigarettes is an episodic film comprised of eleven episodes where different characters chat over the ubiquitous coffee and cigarettes that provide the title and some dark, brooding, cool cinematography. Some scenes are superb- Steve Coogan meeting Albert Molino for instance. Some scenes, featuring big names- Bill Murray, Wu Tan Clan for example fail to be as good as the delicious potential provided.
Overall, some gems mixed in with some less successful dialogue. Worth seeing, and it is the type of film where DVD scene selector really comes into its own. ...more info
- Completely Empty
This movie was just BAD. Honestly, I felt like I was watching a bunch of lame student films. No actual message or content. I mean, SOMEONE please inform me of what even mildly intelligent line or situation exists in this movie. Funny? Um...NO! Just lame clich¨¦s. Nothing new here!
This movie tries WAY too hard to be "artsy" and "deep" and just ends up falling flat on it's face. Trust me, I've seen and loved tons of artsy films, this one ain't quality, it's crap.
In response to whoever said that people didn't get it because the point is the conversation, not action : The problem is that the writer doesn't "get" conversation. None of these dialogues reflect how people actually talk. It's like watching bad improv. Completely unnatural and uncomfortable, but not like real uncomfortable conversation, just like badly written conversation(the acting is bad too).
Anyways, this movie is only for people who really like the IDEA that they're watching a "cool" and "artsy" movie, but who don't actually have any interest in new ideas or even in being provoked into thought.
- Jarmusch continues to diminish his legend
If you thought "Ghost Dog" was as bad as it could get, you were mistaken. This "film" would get a failing grade if submitted by an 18 year old at NYU film school. Everyone involved in making this boring, shoddily acted and directed travesty needs to be slapped. Perhaps a few critics who breathe a more rarifed air, or have evolved beyond requiring the burdens of plot, quality of acting, script, or basic direction, will find this celluloid atrocity entertaining. They should be slapped too. And slapped again.
The stink of this film will linger long after you flush it from your DVD player. Even Bill Murray could not save it, but I could never find it within my heart to slap Bill.
Jarmusch can only redeem himself now by perhaps saving a busload of children, and dying in the process.
- very good
It's nice to see several films rolled into one. So it's different. So I am I, But I'm ok with that....more info
- But Everyone Else Will Be Bored
While everyone else may not be "just like me" as noted by another reviewer, a lot of people will be just as bored as me by watching this mindless tripe. It is pure crap. Not in the least bit interesting and a waste of everyone's time and money. I couldn't help thinking what a lazy filmmaker this is. All he had to do was point a camera at a table and get the actors to talk. The result is about as dull as one could imagine, or possibly more so. I'm not sure whether the dialogue was scripted or improvised, but it is completely trite and superficial. I fell asleep a couple of times during this film. It stinks....more info
- Helpful to look beneath the surface
What I think a lot of people seem to be missing with this movie is the parallels between coffee/cigarrettes and optimism/pessimism. Each vignette alligns its characters with one or the other. Beyond being a hip little collection of films, the interaction between characters and the arising outlooks are interesting. Pay attention to which ones are excited and which are complete skeptics. See who gets along and who can't stand each other. A very interesting movie, but definately not for those wanting an affair devoid of independent thought. They don't call it indie filmmaking for nothing....more info
- Watching a chicken lay an egg is a whole lot more exciting!!
Yes, I've led a very sad and sheltered life. My oddities have ranged from listening to chess matches on the radio to watching in full attention how a chicken lays an egg and that's 21 days of incubation for you people and that beats the heck outta this... so called artistic film(?). I'll never understand this abstract crap, abstract art whether it is portrayed on a canvas or film is bound to mean anything and don't give me that Pollock/Rothko jazz about them being talented enough to paint "beautiful/realistic" images but choose not to, 'cause who in their right f*cking mind stares at a wall painted in two colours in a ratio of 3 to 1? Or a canvas with random paint strokes with a few nail clippings and a few cigarette fags stuck to it? Only a Hapless imbecile with nothing else better to do with his time/money.
I love the irony of these so called "abstract artists" that feel offended when elephants and chimps are cunningly put up against them on the podium of ABSTRACTION with a canvas and a paintbrush. Hath the prospect of equality ever tasted so good?? Hahaha
Don't waste your money buying this junk, unless you're buying it for someone else and happen to HATE them with passion. Heck don't even rent it, it's minutes of your life you will NEVER get back, go wash the dishes or vaccum your room. I was strong enough to see more than three quarters of an hour and I felt VIOLATED!!!...more info
- Go. Make art.
Seeing that it got quite a few 1 star ratings, I decided it needed more credit. The artists here are just excercising their creative urges to go beyond conventional mainstream film making and are having fun doing it. Who has a problem with that? The film follows in the tradition of Warhol's underground films where the movie maker simply puts a camera in front of a couple of actors and says, "Go. Make art" and the great actors start to improv. It's a great risk because it's either hit or miss. And of course in movie making we see mostly the hits thanks to editing. Of course it is a little tighter wound with more grace than the underground Warhol films (sorry Andy!). The film is about everyday normal conversations and situations involving cafes, coffee shops, at work, etc. where there is usually two people talking over a cup of java and smoking some cigs. Some conversations are small talk and shallow, while some other ones are existentialist and profound. It deals with the human condition and relationships and how that can be altered by the two drugs caffiene and nicotine. This film is risk taking at it's best. They went for broke. That's art. I think some viewers of the film thought, "Well, I could do that!" Well, they didn't, so they need to stop whining, get an artistic license, get on the ball, and get a life. Bravo for all the creative people of this film. Encore!...more info
- I, for one, loved it.
This movie was great-- fantastic, even. I thought the ending scene was worth 5 stars alone. True, some parts of the film were rather slow, but it was a real crack-up, nonetheless, in that lovable tongue-in-cheek Jim Jarmusch style. Brill. It will live among the classics of American cinema....more info
- Missed by a mile.
I generally like and enjoy the films of Jim Jarmusch. But this one just fell flat. The situations in most of these little windows on moments are basically quite silly and terribly contrived. I kept hoping the film would get better as it went along and each section came up lacking. The only one that evoked any interest in me at all was the bit with Iggy Pop and Tom Waits. Other than that, I was completely disappointed in what appeared to be a haphazard jumble of poorly scripted short films stitched together by intervening titles....more info
- Who wrote the dialogue in this movie?
This could have been one of the greatest cult classics of all time but an idiot wrote it. I don't know he is but I guarantee he didn't work hard to get where he is today. Even the RZA, GZA and Bill Murray couldn't save this piece of junk. Don't get me wrong the idea is wicked cool, but it would have been a better investment if they let some Community College students write the dialogue.
- An Off-beat, Hilariously Dry Study of Human Interaction
If you can only laugh at slap-stick comedic films, you will not like this very much. If you enjoy dry comedic films where the jokes come from the characters' personalities, facial features, and witty dialogues, then you will enjoy most, if not all, the sketches of this film. The comedy comes from what I mentioned before, but it's a better experience watching this movie if you know almost every actor involved. Don't get me wrong, even if you didn't know any actor in the sketches, you would still find this enjoyable due to the excellent interactions between the characters.
As the title I gave for this review suggests, this film is a simple observation of how incredibly hilarious ordinary conversation can be. Irony and awkwardness are prominent themes throughout each of the sketches, and you will want to find out how exactly each conversation ends. None of the sketches run too long because even the few minutes where the characters' are seemingly staring into space trying to figure out what to talk to each other about is completely essential to establish the realism of the situation.
If you find ordinary conversation amusing especially when the talkers are so involved in the conversation, then you will enjoy the sketches in this film. There are no explosions, nudity, scary moments, or even color, just great writing and characterization....more info
- Monotonous and pretentious
"Coffee and Cigarettes" is a collection of musings on the shallowness of celebrity. It's also a portrait of awkwardness, of people trying to have meaningful conversations and connections in a disjointed, modern world. Real-life celebrities play themselves in separate vignettes connected by the presence (and excessive use) of coffee and cigarettes, inanimate objects that act as a barrier between two people that are struggling to make a real connection, or at least trying to appear to have one.
It's a good idea for a film, but CAC comes off as a pretentious and monotonous student film littered with existentialist prattle. Most of the dialogue is unnatural and scripted, and the scenes are only amusing for their voyeuristic aspect that you are peeking into the lives of real actors/celebrities that you fancy. The voyeurism, though, is an illusion, and instead what you get are talented actors whose talents are wasted (like Bill Murray and Roberto Benigni) as the shallow-but-we're-trying-to-be-deep-and-philosophical script makes them fall flat on their faces. The film presents no new ways to look at the world, no new philosophies, merely a couple quirky epithets that might induce a bit of conversation on an awkward first date.
One highlight though is the Hollywood-is-shallow sketch with Alfred Molina and Steve Coogan. For once in this film, Molina doesn't look like he's trying hard to act because his performance is natural. Kudos also to Cate Blanchett for her dual role in playing herself and a cousin, Shelly. Still, both Molina and Blanchett's sketches are a bit formulaic and sound like they were written by a film student.
- pretty great
I think this movie is great. Yeah, it's dry and it "isn't about anything", but I think it's hilarious and cool and awesome. I generaly like movies like this with no real "story", It's understandable that some people who bore easily wouldn't like this, but well I think its good....more info
- Three Stars For Three Talents, Especially Cate Blanchett
Over the period of 18 years, Jim Jarmusch shot 11 short films, all black and white (his trademark), with a small number of actors for each segment. He then collected them in this package 'Coffee and Cigarettes' which you are seeing right now.
Because of the nature of the film(s), 'Coffee and Cigarettes' is literally a mixed bag. Some of them might interest you, but I'm afraid not many of them would manage to be interesting enough unless you are a die-hard fan of Jarmusch, which I am not. But, anyway, you see these people here:
[LIST OF SHORTS] Robert Benini & Steven Wright in 'Strange to Meet You'; Joie Lee (Spike's brother) & Cinque Lee (Spike' sister) in 'Twins'; Iggy Pop & Tom Waits in 'Somewhere in California'; Joe Rigarno & Vinny Vella & Vinny Vella Jr. in 'Those Things Kill Ya'; Renee French & E.J.Rodriguez in 'Renee'; Alex Descas & Isaach de Bankole in 'No Problem'; Cate Blanchett in 'Cousins'; Meg White & Jack White in 'Jack Shows Meg His Tesla Coil'; Alfred Molina & Steve Coogan in 'Cousins?'; GZA & RZA & Bill Murray in 'Delirium; 'Bill Rice & Taylor Mead in 'Champagne'.
Because of the space, I don't write about the contents, except that each film is very talky, in which people talk over the table, drinking coffee or smoking. But you may know Jarmusch's films are so-called "acquired taste," and this film is no exception. The characters exchange the casual dialogues that might or might not betray their hidden feelings toward each other, and at its best, they are amusing to listen to.
So what is the best? The prize goes to Cate Blanchett who plays herself and her fictional cousin, and you are allowed to see the latter's thinly-disguised envy toward the success of the other. The dual roles (you see the two Cates in one frame) are skillfully handled by Cate Blanchett, whom I started to admire more than ever after seeing her turn.
Another good segment is about Alfred Molina and Steve Coogan, both playing themselves. Coogan meets Molina, rather reluctantly at first. When he realizes that Molina's admiration for him, Coogan begins to talk to him condecendingly until one incident which suddenly changes their relations. Good acting, and nice touch of irony.
But I am afraid not many parts are as good as these two, and Bill Murray, ususally very engaging with his tired face, is really disappointing. Another bad thing is Jarmusch's approach, which becomes redundant as the film goes on. Some of the segments are plain dull, some half-baked, or even look like coming from a film school student.
So my three stars are based on Cate Blanchett, Steve Coogan, and underrated Alfred Molina. Thrre stars for three talents. ...more info
- Weird, But Worth It
Each vignette is basically the same: two people seemingly miscommunicating and casting oddly ominous glances at one or the other. I did enjoy the soundtrack, though, which fits the mood. There is no point to this film, but that's part of its charm. It all seems to add up to more than it appears, but it doesn't really. I can't discern a real message. But don't let that stop you from watching it. It's better than a big-budget Hollywood shoot-em-up....more info
- One of the worst movies ever made.
This movie defies description. While the concept is interesting, the screenplay is absolutely horrendoues. None of the stories have any point whatsoever except two jagoffs srinking coffee and smoing cigarettes.
It's hard to believe this film even got made....more info
- How about ZERO stars for a ZERO of a movie?
This "movie" was SO BAD, I just knew it had to get better. I waited through the segments for a glimmer of something funny, entertaining or even interisting...NOTHING! I hoped there was some punchline at the end or something to make these stories come together...NOTHING! Please, if you're reading this, DO NOT WASTE YOUR TIME! I want the time of my life wasted on this back. I think I should sue!...more info
- Failed Experiment
Unfortunately, I only made it about half way through COFFEE AND CIGARETTES before I feel asleep. I'm usually a fan of indie films and there was a lot of allure to the "life interupted" diner vinettes, but alas, very few of the scenes were humorous, entertaining or insightful.
the entire movie is made of small vinettes, while two or three people carry simple conversations over coffee and smokes, shot completely in black and white. The premise was certainly intriguing, but didn't live up to the standards of film storytelling. The conversations as a whole were pointless, nonconfrontational and for the most part just plain dull. One scene that was near average had the fabulous actress, Cate Blanchette, playing the duo role of two cousins: one a successful career woman and the other, a failed punk rock star. There's a lot of tension between the two characters which was executed with ambivalence at best. It was one of the few scenes that gave a little bit of history to the characters, fleshed them out and made you feel like you were witnessing something great. But all moments of dramatic confrontation seemed to fizzle out and I was really dissatisfied. I was certainly looking forward to the clash of personalities between Tom Waits and Iggy Pop. However, their conversation (or lack of) was stale and pointless - even the two actors seemed bored.
There were some fun moments and Bill Murray's scene was a much-needed comic relief. But as a whole, I couldn't bring myself to finish watching this movie. Perhaps you need to be smoking and drinking coffee at the time to really appreciate Jim Jarmusch's movie. ...more info
- I like Jim Jarmush but...
I usually love Jim Jarmush films, but this one is just painful. With good editing, this would have made a decent 15 or 20 minutes of comedy. Don't fall for the big names - this so-called movie features the most disappointing performances of Steve Buscemi and Bill Murray you've ever seen. Expect between 0 (zero) and 2 of the 10 skits to actually be worth your time, or at least not be agonizingly slow. Most are just pathetic, which should not be mistaken for funny (e.g. two smokers who quit - so now they can smoke - that's NOT worth 10 minutes). I'd recommend using the time to watch Broken Flowers or Stranger Than Paradise again, instead of this physically painful flop. ...more info
- A misunderstood film
I feel the need to correct a statement made by one of the reviewers here. He said "this movie is only for people who really like the IDEA that they're watching a "cool" and "artsy" movie, but who don't actually have any interest in new ideas or even in being provoked into thought." I believe the opposite is true...
This movie is for people who DO HAVE an interest in new ideas and care to be provoked into thought and NOT for those who only like the IDEA that they're watching a "cool, artsy" movie.
I have to say that my first viewing left me confused and disappointed. I guess it all comes down to one's expectations of the film...actually of any film. We expect a plot, confrontation, resolution. We are used to being entertained by high budget films that take us for a ride, spell out everything, leaving nothing to subtlety. This film is all so subtle. It is a quiet film. Its entertainment value lies with those who have an interest in human nature. Upon a second viewing, instead of my waiting for something to happen, I was able to focus on the faces, the body language, the dynamics going on between the actors. I could relate!
I would like also to mention my nostaglia for the title & theme of this film "Coffee & Cigarettes". How I miss the days when I could get a cup of caffeine and light up the nicotine to go along with it while sitting in a public place. I don't know how it is in your part of the country but here if I even light up at someone's barbeque they tell me to walk outside the yard notwithstanding the infinite sky overhead. People have gone crazy over the fear of cigarettes! Coffee shops, as they once were, are nonexistent. They would stone me if I lit up at Starbucks. Oh! the nostalgia of it all. ...more info
- So BORING
Several vignettes of mostly two people at a table, drinking coffee and smoking. Except in two cases I believe the characters had tea. I kept dozing off during the characters' very mundane conversations. What was the filmmaker trying to say? That we could all be stars? Sitting around drinking coffee and talking? Save your money, and go get your own coffee experience. I guarantee that no matter how boring it is, it has got to be more interesting than this film. ...more info
- Brilliant Piece of Cinematography
If ever there was a film to polarize an audience this is it. Some will see it as unfathomable and boring, others will see it as an absolute gem. I'm with the latter group. Off the top the quality of the filming is superb. Wonderful rich black and white compositions filmed with quirky and off kilter crops. The cast is impressive Albert Molina, Cate Blanchett, Tom Waits, Iggy Pop, Bill Murray to name just a few. Each performs an odd cameo piece in a stark documentary style. Everything feels ad-libbed with long awkward pauses and strange twists of conversations. One scene consists solely of a beautiful woman (Renee French) smoking a cigarette, reading a magazine and trying to stop the waiter from refilling her cup. It's almost 10 minutes long. Another scene has two Wiseguys swearing at each other as one tries to persuade the other to quite smoking. A lot of people will be squirming in their seats waiting for something to happen in this movie and it never does. Instead we are given the chance to eavesdrop on a series of social interactions which occur with a sense of reality and end as abruptly as they started. It really is a masterpiece, but not everyone will know it....more info
love it or hate it.
Oh well typical in a pop-art sort of way we find a DVD here that gives you back about as much as you put into it. While some people enjoy the wierd minimal off setting feel of the whole movie, other trash it, becuase it didn't grab them by the balls and tell them what they should be thinking about. It's a very subtle, The beginging is very slow paced and often "dry" leaving you to focus on subtle things like the many ways the Twin are actually different, much like the ways each scene relate/differ. The end speeds up a bit and you get some less subtle moments like meg-and jack .. and the lovely scene between Alfred Molina and Steve Coogan. The high light of the entire "collection in my opinion didn't even come from any of the people I knew before hand "No Problem" was the one that sticks out the most for me.
I mean the movie just has a kinda of vibe to it all and its stitched together with certain dialog keys and of course the overall style. I found myself either constantly offset by the mixture of unrealstic dialog mixed with people playing themselves in a fictious enviroment where they end up playing charactures of themselves. It's like the minor joys and flaws of each ofthese people on display, some times your kinda confused at the way people are portraying "themselves", but its all very human.
The Cate Blanchett peice is extreamly well done. Since you see this very odd side of her playing herself probably overly shallow, and Like myself most people didn't realize that she was also playing her "fictious" broke cousin.
Its a love it or hate it kind of thing, the movie fits the title. very well. And I hate Coffee and I don't smoke. (go figure),...more info
- You'll Need Plenty Of Both To Stay Awake Through This
Jim Jarmusch is a fun guy to have around because his sensibility is so consistently and genuinely offbeat. His work is always understated, relying on tone and mood more than plot or even character. When he gets it right, as in Down By Law, Mystery Train, and Ghost Dog, the results are thoroughly satisfying. When he fails, as in Stranger Than Paradise and Coffee And Cigarettes, the results are catastrophic.
Paradise, an early effort, looked like a student film created by someone who eventually became a toll-taker on the interstate. Coffee And Cigarettes was in the works for decades. The project is remarkable in that it fails on so many levels. The premise of holding together unrelated skits through the coffee-shop atmosphere fails. The conceit of tossing out the script and letting actors improvise fails. But the disastrous failure is thinking that audiences want to see actors and third-string musicians being themselves.
The point of actors is that they are good at being other people, what they're worst at is being themselves, assuming there's anything there to begin with. The names on the box are promising, the potential for something was present. But self-indulgent artiness doth not a summer make, and attitude, no matter how overtly hip, is no substitute for content. ...more info
- slow death
a perpetually boring and at times excruciating waste of time that hopelessly squanders the time of such otherwise intriguing individuals as Iggy Pop and Tom Waits.
Out of self-respect, I had to shut the movie off at the point where the cool jazz-looking character is hounding his friend about there being something wrong. I took that as my cue to wake up from all the caffeine and put a stop to what was wrong: the entire premise of the movie.
It's like some pointless snapshot of people doing practically nothing and taking way too long at that....more info
- An Interesting Experiment
Jim Jarmusch's "Coffee and Cigarettes" is a strange but interesting experiment. It is comprised of about a dozen short skits of people in restaurants talking (obviously to the accompaniment of the title addictions). Some of the highlights include an amusing pairing of Bill Murray and the Wu Tang Clan, a strange encounter between Roberto Benigni and Steven Wright, a marvelously acted piece between Cate Blanchette and herself in a dual role as her cousin, and, best of all, a sad and funny scene with Steve Coogan and Alfred Molina. While the pieces aren't particularly satisfying on their own, as a whole, they make up a fascinating study of human nature, not to mention some fine entertainment.
The DVD from MGM has the film in its original 1.85:1 aspect ratio. The black and white image is very good looking with few scratches and little grain. The extra features are a theatrical trailer, shots of tabletops, an interview with actor Taylor Meade, and an unfortunately short blooper with Bill Murray. Far more interesting than any of these would have been an interview with Jarmusch....more info
- A film about nothing
This movie consists of several brief yet painfully long vignettes in which diverse celebrities pair up, sit in assorted diners drinking coffee and smoking cigarettes and talk about mundane subjects such as coffee and cigarettes. Or in some cases, not talking at all. Comedian Steven Wright and Italian director Roberto Benigni, each clearly not understanding a word of what the other is saying, spend time trying to decide which seat they prefer, and Wright somehow gets Benigni to go to his dentist appointment for him. (?) Bill Murray, working undercover as a waiter (?) literally drinks a pot of coffee with the Wu Tang Clan, who only drink tea. Iggy Pop and Tom Waits talk about quitting smoking until they inadvertantly end up offending one another. Cate Blanchett talks to herself. Steve Buscemi explains his Elvis theory to a pair of disinterested twins. Jack and Meg White discuss Jack's homemade tesla coil. (?) A woman leafs through a gun catalogue and gets annoyed at the waiter who refills her coffee. (???)
It's like My Dinner With Andre but without the substance. Conversations even get repeated, as if it wasn't enough to bore us once. A ritalin junkie would find it difficult to sit through this excruciating movie....more info
- Everyone Else Is NOT, Actually, Just Like You.
Certaintly this film's not for everyone. But those trashing it make the terrible assumption that Everyone Else Is Just Like Them.
If these vignettes have a theme, it's awkward tension. Some great comedy is born out of awkward tension, but some people prefer John Candy or The Three Stooges. It's like Tom Waits said to Iggy Pop, "If you don't like it here [hip, seedy coffee shop], I guess we could go to Taco Bell."
In response to one particular reviewer: Sure, some artistic "poseurs" might shallowly hype this film -- but that doesn't mean those of us who actually know our stuff don't appreciate it more seriously. Renee French's virtually-solo, nearly-silent role struck an obvious parallel with Warhol's approach to filming his Superstars: "You're so great, you don't have to act." WOW, does that apply to Ms. French! But just 'cause YOU don't dig the Warhol approach doesn't mean NOBODY does.
The good reviews all have one thing right: The Molina/Coogan scene will own your day, and Pop/Waits run a close second. I do think Blanchett's dual role, while impressive, is being overrated here ('cause she's Cate Blanchett, natch.) The Lee twins deserve praise for not being dwarfed by Buscemi's hilarious performance. And yes, the Descas/De Bankole scene was excruciating. In a bad way.
The angry reviewers don't appreciate the lack of narrative, the supremacy of tension over "flow", the passive-aggressiveness of most of the characters. But many of us do, with laughter and sadness and other, more intangible feelings.
Everyone Else Isn't Just Like You, after all.
- avoid this film
Boring, pointless, pretentious, moronic twaddle. The cast is great; the film is terrible. If it wasn't made by Jarmusch, people would not be so kind about it. It should be called The Emperor's New Clothes. A student film featuring some big names. A total waste of time and effort....more info
- Quirky, unusual, surprisingly funny
I saw this in the theatre and wasn't sure what to expect -- hadn't seen a Jim Jarmusch movie in a long time. I was pleased to see something else I hadn't seen in a long time - a movie without a real narrative, that presents simple little ideas gathered around a theme (the coffee and cigarettes), lets them play out and then moves on to the next. Judging by the other reviews here, a lot of people didn't get it, so let's presume it's an acquired taste. But if you like the idea of Tom Waits getting touchy over Iggy Pop's offer to introduce him to a drummer Iggy likes (Waits: "What are you saying? The drumming on my records sucks?"), or Bill Murray pouring joe for the Wu-Tang Clan, this one'll tickle you. Some of it is hilarious, some of it is touching, all of it is in black and white....more info
- A colossal bore
This movie sounds interesting, but, trust me, it isn't. There are some wonderful people in it, but it doesn't matter. They pretty much don't do or say anything. I have a high tolerance for boring and will hang in there to the end with many films that are quite dreadful. And I like talky movies--if they're smart. But this movie isn't intelligent and is just so very dull that even I couldn't stand it. I watched all of a few, but at least part of, every sequence--if you do buy or rent this movie, you'll be impressed--and it was tough going. The only sequence that was somewhat interesting was the one with Cate Blanchett. So, if you do rent or buy it and you're ready to throw in the towel, flip to that scene, just so you think you got something for your money. It's not great, but it's the best the movie has to offer....more info
- not for the faint of brain
let me say, that i loved this movie. i loved it as a whole. i did not "love" every part of it. I think the part with Tom Waits & Iggy Pop is brilliantly awkward. I think Cate Blanchett can do no wrong. I enjoyed seeing someone else who feels that Nikola Tesla was awesomely bizarre (thanks Jack). I mean, don't get me wrong, some vignettes dragged, but others more than made up for it. When a scene was dragging on me, i just drifted off and enjoyed the cinematography. This movie is very much a "different" experience. With the kinda free-flow dialouge that makes movies by Robert Altman and Richard Linklater so endearing. And a shoulder shrugging hipness that makes Quentin Tarantino and Wes Anderson some of my personal favorites. This movie reminds me that Jim Jarmusch is a curious observer, just like me, and that he isn't just an aloof director, but that he experiences the pieces much like we do. He's our friend or guide, like in a Walt Whitman poem. But then again, i suppose this movie isn't for everyone. There is no plot to follow, and its not a particularly "flashy" film. It's not even terrible experimental in terms of concept. But i am glad that this is the case, cos oft times that type of stuff borders on pretention when in the wrong hands. The only really "challenge" this film poses, is the challenge of the way you choose to participate in it. I would enjoy seeing more of this kind of filmmaking cos i think it is a welcome change of pace from the "falsh/bang" of hollywood. Or maybe i just really like coffee.......more info
- Murray, RZA and GZA
Its worth it just to see this scene alone. Otherwise, very slow but interesting and insightful....more info
- Coffee, Cigarettes and so much style...
Eleven Great Stories: Roberto Benigni, Steven Wright, Iggy Pop, Tom Waits, The White Stripes (Meg White and Jack White), Alfred Molina, Steve Coogan, Cate Blanchett, Steve Buscemi, Bill Murray, The Wu Tang Clan (RZA/GZA) and many more...
First of all, How can you write several stories about coffee and cigarettes FOR A FILM? I think it's COMPLEX, but more than the Topic its the way Mr. Jarmusch made this film.
I think this is a great film to review in all Film Colleges, just get focus in the image treatment (Of course after you watch the movie for the very first time) and you will say: "Wow, I want to make movies, I have to think in simple things, and give them a body, a good one..."
So simple, but as a film maker I have to say it's not that easy, it's not about "technique" it's about "CINEMA CULTURE", we have to develop a Common Sense, "a CINEMATOGRAPHIC ONE"... I'm not wise of course, but I'm doing my best to make "PERSONAL FILMS", we are disgusted by the Hollywood Cinema, we must to work our brains, I'm begging you, we can start a new wave, we are the future, don't swallow that pill for stupid people.
Back again to the Jarmusch's film, I think the best plot is the Molina/Coogan's one, so hilarious, the act is perfect, the camera shot so neat, Don't miss the chance to buy this movie, and don't compare this movie with the early Jarmusch's works.
This movie is great because it's so simple, you don't have to watch this Hollywood "Experimental" Cinema (I'm being sarcastic, one example: "Butterfly Effect") this is the kind of Lame story, "Oh yeah, we want a complex story and then we want to get lost in the plot" well it's because this kind of movies don't make any sense, and it doesn't mean that movies are great.
And please, don't make any judge about this movie without a solid theory, it's not fair for the director. You don't have to make a fantastic story with the best technology, you just need an anecdote (and talent to make this anecdote an interesting story) and cinema sense.
And don't waste your time writing negative reviews, what's for? Go and write about your favourite movies, maybe your cinema culture is the "POP" one, or go and change film history......more info
- miserable failure...(not George Bush)
How about a plot and characters? I am a fan of Jarmusch, but even Bill, Tom and Iggy weren't enough to make this one worth sitting through. You'd be well served to rent this on dvd so you can skip through the slower parts. Perhaps Mr. Jarmusch's point is making a film about nothing, but he's no Jean Luc....more info
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