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Coffee and Cigarettes (2004)

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RZA, Bill Murray, ... | GZA, RZA, AND MURRAY
Image credit: Coffee and Cigarettes: Jim Jarmusch

Details Limited Release: May 14, 2004; Rated: R; Length: 96 Minutes; Genre: Drama; With: Roberto Benigni, Cate Blanchett, Steve Buscemi, Steve Coogan and Alex Descas...; Distributor: United Artists (MGM)

In the new omnibus film from Jim Jarmusch, the director of ''Night on Earth'' and ''Mystery Train,'' it's a cup of joe and cancer sticks that connect all 10 offbeat vignettes, which -- filmed between 1986 and 2003 -- include Bill Murray as the RZA and GZA's waiter, the White Stripes playing with an invention called a Tesla coil, and Cate Blanchett, in a dual role, as herself plus her jealous cousin.

In one of the bits that attracted the most attention at last year's Toronto film fest, ''Spider-Man 2'''s Alfred Molina breaks some nutty news to ''24 Hour Party People'''s Steve Coogan (both playing themselves). ''Jim wrote the skeleton, and Steve and I put the flesh on it,'' says Molina. ''As we were improvising a bit, it was like he was mixing it, like in a sound studio.'' The end result, at the very least, is sure to make smoking and coffee guzzling look really cool and renegade. ''But,'' laughs Coogan, ''I'm not sure if that's a good thing!''

THE GOOD NEWS It's been almost five years since Jarmusch's last movie, ''Ghost Dog''; we need our fix.

THE BAD NEWS It's shot in black and white, which doesn't usually make for smokin' box office.

Originally posted Apr 20, 2004 Published in issue #762-763 Apr 30, 2004 Order article reprints