The name Jeremiah Chechik may be familiar to a certain crowd these days. As the director of many episodes of shows like: Chuck, Gossip Girl, Burn Notice, Leverage, and others, those that pay attention to such things may recognize the name. Out of films since the disaster that was 98′s The Avengers, Chechik does not have a lot of movies under his belt, but he does have one of the best ever.
Benny & Joon, which also includes one of the all-time best performances from Johnny Depp, is now available on Blu-Ray, and though it may not have received the royal treatment in the release, it’s still a must own.
The early 90s semi-sleeper had audiences falling in love with its quirky style, wild characters, joyful soundtrack, and “crazy enough to work” effort. Mary Stuart Masterson delivers a fantastic performance herself as Joon, a woman who has some special needs, and is watched over by her brother (Aidan Quinn). In the off-kilter world we’ve entered, Joon wins Sam (Depp) in a poker game, and the already crazy lives of all three of them are about to have things turned up a few notches.
It’s a strange look at life, a daring effort as a film, and a remarkably insightful celebration of the curious ridiculousness inherent in us all. It also stands up wonderfully, and is as fresh, entertaining, and wacky as it ever was.
The Blu-Ray itself isn’t anything too amazing, though it looks fairly spectacular, for what it is. It isn’t a film that particularly shows off Blu-Ray capabilities, and unless I’ve missed something there wasn’t a lot of effort at delivering the best quality release you’re going to run into (and fair enough really).
Special features include deleted scenes, a music video, trailer, and a small featurette assortment covering costumes, stunt footage, etc. None of it is particularly interesting, but at least you get something. There is also a commentary track by Chechik, and that is a nice addition, and one that fans may sit through more than once.
The release itself probably isn’t something that can legitimately manage a very high rating, but the film gets top marks, and if you haven’t seen it in a while, it’s a great purchase.
Oscar® Nominee Johnny Depp, Mary Stuart Masterson (TV’s Law & Order SVU ) and Aidan Quinn (Practical Magic) star in this hilarious, quirky comedy. Wildly eccentric Joon (Masterson) can be very charming — especially when she takes her medicine. Long under the thumb of her overprotective brother, Benny (Quinn), Joon craves her independence. During an unusual poker game, Joon loses her hand — but wins Sam (Depp), a whimsical misfit who soon charms his way into her heart. Now if they can only find a romantic interest for her brother, love just might stand a chance in this charming, delightful film that also features Oliver Platt (Frost /Nixon) and Academy Award® Nominee Julianne Moore.