I’ll admit it before I even begin typing this review, I’m a huge fan of Joe Begos. I absolutely loved Almost Human, I thought The Mind’s Eye was excellent, and now we’re here with Bliss, and from what I understand, he has yet another movie being released this year with VFW. If someone gives this man a budget, you better watch out, because he’s doing special things on a shoestring, I can’t imagine what he could do with fifty million bucks. Bliss begins with a warning that if you have a sensitivity to flickering lights and such, that you probably shouldn’t watch the movie, and that’s a good warning, because there is a lot of that within. Also, just from my own experience I’ll warn you, if you’re trying to quit any kind of substance, it would be ill advised to watch Bliss, as there is a TON of drug usage in this movie. Bliss follows Dezzy, played perfectly by Dora Madison, a painter and habitual drug user who is struggling to finish her masterpiece. Dezzy’s drug of choice is something called Bliss, which is some kind of mixture of cocaine and heroin, or some such nonsense. I’m going to try and be as spoiler free as possible in my review, but if you like to go into movies completely cold, proceed with caution.
One thing I like about Begos, is that like all of the masters, he has a group of actors and crew members that he likes to work with on every project. Another thing I’ve noticed is that this core group seems to be expanding to other extremely talented yet underrated genre actors, producers, designers, and basically people from all trades. If you’ve seen Begos’ previous films, you’ll immediately spot several familiar faces. All the performances are great, which is genuinely surprising for movies with a budget such as this. A lot of credit is due to the actors, but also to Begos for directing these actors and getting those performances out of them. Bliss is a slow burn, but what’s interesting is that, even when it’s slow, there’s something crazy happening on screen. Nonstop drug use, a blur of drinking and profanity and nudity, and one of the wildest sex scenes I’ve seen outside of pornography. When Bliss eventually goes wild, holy shit does it go very wild. It goes zero to sixty in an instant. You like gore? You like practical effects? Has Bliss got some surprises in store for you! Bliss is one wild ass movie, and I loved every frame of it.
Bliss is a gorgeously shot film, and Dark Sky’s Blu-ray release really lets it shine. It’s grainy, but detailed and beautiful, colorful, and somewhat shiny at the same time. Featuring a full HD AVC-encoded 1080p transfer presented in 2.39:1, Bliss looks gorgeous on Blu-ray disc. I rented the film in HD when it hit VOD, and it looked good then, but it looks even better on disc. The sound is excellent as well. There’s a couple of options to choose from, but the obvious choice is the DTS-HD MA 5.1 track, but if you’re feeling adventurous, there’s also a PCM-lossless 2.0 track as well. One area the disc is lacking is in the extras department. It’s not a vanilla release, thankfully, there is a deleted scene, a couple of trailers, and two audio commentaries, which I more than appreciate, but I wanted some more behind-the-scenes stuff for this one. Overall it’s a great presentation of an excellent movie. Bliss is easily one of my favorites of the year, and I would highly recommend it to anyone and everyone.