Dom Hemingway

by Michael Cox

EDGE Media Network Contributor

Monday August 11, 2014

Dom Hemingway

Heavily influenced by the testosterone soaked cinema of Martin Scorsese and the verbal, stylistic mish-mashing of Quentin Tarantino, "Dom Hemingway" has been described as "balls-out." Still, for the story of a man leaving prison, this movie is amazingly flashy with bold colors, expressionistic editing and over-the-top art direction. (Even the slums look like they should be put in a gallery.)

The movie begins with a long monologue where the impulsive Dom Hemingway (Jude Law) describes his cock. Though characters speak in common parlance and cockney vernacular, the dialogue in this movie is anything but realistic. The characters speak in paragraphs -- flamboyant, flowery and funny -- but also very self-conscience.

After spending 12-years in prison, and missing some of the most pivotal and important moments of his life (his wife's death from cancer and his daughter's childhood), Dom emerges from his cell expecting payback for not naming names. (He could have had a drastically reduced his sentence if he testified against his employers.)

When his payday goes awry Dom tries to return to his old life as a safecracker, eventually leading him back to his estranged daughter and a reassessment of his true values.

The characters speak in paragraphs -- flamboyant, flowery and funny -- but also very self-conscience.

Jude Law remarkably plays against type to create this outrageous narcissist, but the larger-than-life criminal adventure aspects of the film negate the sentimental familial redemption aspects, and vice versa. The film is so operatic it loses its humanity.

The Blu-ray image highlights the over-the-top, stylized art direction and the predominant use of the color red. Visuals that would be destroyed by NTSC.

There are many special featurettes, including, "Who is Dom Hemingway?" (2:46), "The Story" (2:39) and "The Look of Dom Hemingway" (3:26). These are not very informative and serve mostly as extended trailers for the film. Writer/Director Richard Shepard's anecdotal audio commentary, on the other hand, has some interesting technical information and is rather fun.

Best of all, you can play the "Ping-Pong Loop" (a short clip of two topless women playing Ping-Pong on an endless cycle) on your television indefinitely. It's a great way to give the room a misogynistic flair without having to redecorate.