#43 8MM

#43 8MM
Year: 1999
Director: Joel Schumacher
MPAA Rating: R
Epic Co-stars: Joaquin Phoenix, James Gandolfini, Carl Hungus, Catherine Keener
Running Time: 123 mins
Cage Time: 99%
Cage Kills: 2
Cage Flip-outs: 5
Group Review:  When sitting down to watch 8MM I thought, "Isn't Joel Schumacher a good director?"  I looked on IMDB and saw such gems as "St Elmo's Fire" and "Batman Forever" on his resume, which was encouraging... and then I saw "Trespass." So... that doesn't bode well. I guess 8MM could go either way...

This picture is quite possibly the best thing to come out of this film.
Tom Welles (Cage), a private investigator, is summoned to the home of a wealthy widow. The widow reveals to Cage that after the death of her husband, a prominent member of the community, she found among his things an 8mm film of the rape and murder of a young girl. She asks him to investigate the legitimacy of this film and the people involved in its creation. Posing as a federal agent, Cage discovers the identity of the girl, a runaway, and meets her mother, who says that no matter what, she needs to know the truth about what happened to her daughter. Dun-dun-DUNNNN.

Nic Cage almost vomits when initially viewing the film.  It serves as a nice reminder  of a time before the internet when people could still be shocked or offended by stuff.
Although I stated earlier that this movie could go either way, it really didn't.  While it was nowhere near the total swill that is Trespass, it was also nothing that will be getting unanimously positive reviews on this blog.  The ending does bring some decent suspense and there are some "scary" characters, but most of the time I just felt like it was taking a bit too long to get to where ever the hell this movie was going.  This feeling wasn't helped by the fact that a scene that would normally come at the end came in the middle, which made the remainder of the movie "drag ass".

The look of a truly passionate swordsman.  Little know Cage fact: This scene single handedly landed his role in Season of the Witch.
Cage's acting was on point with the general style of the movie.  Pretty middle of the road; nothing  worth the praise of an academy award or worth the self loathing he must have had after his initial viewing of Ghost Rider.  Some of his high points include delivering all of his lines like a man who's had the blood drained out of him and being the worlds worst deliverer of bad news over the phone.  Everyone he makes a phone call to ends up sobbing on the floor.  In the end I only came away with two things:  Never use the word "snuff" when talking to Latino porn lords and that there is a dark side of George Costanza that we never saw on Seinfeld.  Use that information however you see fit.

Movie quotability:
  • "Wait, so we're watching a Nic Cage film??" -Martine
  • "Why is every word that comes out of Nicolas Cage's mouse so... goddamn... amazing?" -James
  • "His wife is bullshit." -James
  • "Is that painting a picture of Jon Voight?" -Geoff
  • Nic Cage: "Mrs. Christian." Nathan (sings): "Sister Christian..."
  • Nathan: "There's no lights in this movie." Skyler: "That's why it's a dark comedy."
  • "I'd hate to see you caught in one of those every day situations that calls for a battery-operated vagina, and you don't have one." -Joaquin Phoenix
  • "Hey! It's like a gas station, you pay before you pump." -JP
  • "There's things that you're gonna see that you can't un-see. They'll stick in your brain." -JP
  • "That's great. Snuff 2: The Resurrection." -JP
  • "What if it's not the right guy? He's like, 'Hey, you know how you got stabbed? Now I'm going to kick the shit out of you.'" -Shauna
  • "You dance with the devil, the devil doesn't change. The devil changes you." -JP
  • "George Costanza!" - Martine
Plot Holes:
  • Why did he need to go out of town to investigate this? If he didn't know anything about the film, how would he know where to look for the girl?
  • Man has two sons named Warren.
  • What humans talk this way?
  • It's dark all the time in Hollywood.
  • Cage loiters aimlessly in back yards looking like a real creeper and nobody seems to care.

!Christmas shopping in the CAGE!


Steve M said...

The editor really needed to find another 30 minutes to drop onto the editing room floor. Just when I thought it was finally ending and the pain would soon be over I realized I still had over 30 minutes to go. Ouch.

Honestly, who writes this kind of script, who reads it and decides it would make a great movie, and who would agree to play a role in it? Oh yah, some guy that apparently wants to get paid to watch porn. Well, I think "some guy" did an okay job of portraying an average person caught up in a bad situation that he knows would never get justice in court so he's going to avenge the girl as if she were his own daughter. But first he needs permission.

How about some non-porn holes. The missing persons database on the computer doesn't allow filtering by gender, but the old paper file systems that he finds her in is sorted. Placing a bug in the microphone end of a telephone handset transmits both ends of the conversation at equal volume and with nearly equal clarity. The old house at the end of the movie doesn't have a single squeaky stair, floorboard, or door. When he goes in to dispatch "Machine" he suddenly has a silencer and a pistol that is threaded to accept it even though he has no reason to have such a weapon and we never see him buy it.

James Ayers said...

Wow, so disgusted that you refuse to even mention his name in your review. Ouch.

Steve M said...

It wasn't intentional, but considering he wasted 2 hours of my life it does seem fitting.

James Ayers said...

43 movies in and the number of hours wasted is only at 2? That's god damn impressive for Dr. Cage.

Anonymous said...

I really liked this movie, could use less porn scenes...but then again, it is the subject matter (I watch this because I like movies where Nic Cage is a cop or something of the kind - the lone decent guy).

I find the characters believable, but there is a major problem with pacing. I think the director needs the movie version of Anne Rice's editor (before Rice got rid of hers, her work was good trash instead of 'is it over already'?). That scene where Nicolas Cage got handcuffed to a bed (mmmnnnnn...) should have been in the last 45 minutes of the film. That was the scene where Tom Welles should have successfully killed all the bad guys (with the bad guys shooting at each other first over the money). with Machine being the last guy he confronts, in that warehouse (no need for Machine to escape and a dragass tracking scene) - demask, and kills. There was zero need for Tom to arrange to meet the old lady might later in the day, it doesn't take that long to commit suicide - he calls her right after he killed a bunch of people, shaken, delivers the horrible news, and then he arrives at her house, is told that she killed herself (so Tom has just killed a bunch of people, and caused a suicide within 1 hour of real time, minutes of film time), THEN he goes sobbing to his wife. Shortly after, show the letter scene (the scene where he tells the mother of the dead girl doesn't have to be shown) - the end.

Re Steve M: Nic had to get out of town to go to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, which has a big physical location where they keep all the files and pictures - I remember it referenced in a John Douglas book. As for the filing style difference, the same person who started the paper filing and kept them sorted by gender, probably wasn't the same guy who started the computer system. This kind of thing happens alot in offices. ..and the most updated thing might not be the most /upgraded thing/ because features get 'retired' because someone decides they are not needed anymore...

Unknown said...

Am I the only one confused by Mrs Christian saying her husband wrote 5 suspicious cheques to the sum of $1mil, but there were only 4 bad guys? (Mr Velvet, Machine, Sopranos and the lawyer)

KaBluie said...

#63 8MM (1999) HDNET First Time View Great Movie! - I watched this on the 24th but couldn't login to this site to list it.

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