Blu-ray Review: Five Easy Pieces, Criterion Collection

Five Easy Pieces
Blu-ray | DVD
Directed by Bob Rafelson
Starring: Jack Nicholson, Karen Black, Billy Green Bush, William Challee, Lois Smith, Susan Anspach, Ralph Waite
Blu-ray Release Date: June 23, 2015
Theatrical Release: September 11, 1970

For a brief moment of time Robert Eroica Dupea (Jack Nicholson), in probably the first time in a very long while, finds himself totally immersed in something that makes him oblivious to all the chaos and rampant disorganization plaguing his life. After a grueling day of work in a California oil field Bobby finds himself stuck in traffic with his friend and coworker Elton (Billy Green Bush).

The heat is unbearable and Bobby’s patience has long been approaching an inevitable explosion. Unable to restrain himself he gets out of his car mid-traffic to see what the hold-up is. Looking far ahead by standing on other vehicles stuck in traffic Bobby sees nothing responsible for the jam. Absolutely commanding his attention, though, is an upright piano on the bed of a truck that is being hauled away somewhere. He leaps on back of the truck, throws off the sheet covering the piano and displays his magnificent talent, that, up to this point in the film, we had no clue he possessed. Completely consumed by his playing he quickly forgets the bustle surrounding him, paying no attention when the truck begins to drift out of traffic and on to an exit that takes Bobby to a different part of town. But he doesn’t care.

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‘Five Easy Pieces’ Actress Karen Black Dies At 74

Longtime Hollywood actress Karen Black, who appeared in some of the great films of what was coined “The New Hollywood,” which started with the counterculture movement of filmmaking in the late 1960s, has died at the age of 74, reports CBS News.

Black’s husband, Stephen Eckelberry, confirmed the news via a Facebook post on today. Black passed away from complications of cancer.

Black, with her piercing eyes, jet black hair, and thick lips, had the kind of visage and versatility which endeared to projects that were A-list, like Easy Rider, Five Easy Pieces (in which she netted a Golden Globe and an Oscar nomination for her role in that picture as the ditzy and careless waitress girlfriend to Jack Nicholson’s character), and a country star with a mean streak in Robert Altman’s 1975 masterpiece Nashville (in which she, like the rest of the cast, actually sang their own songs), and also projects that were downright Z-list (Killer Fish, Channel Solitaire, Killing Heat, and other direct-to-video before the term existed cinematic flotsam and jetsam), and all in between.

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