Mar 11, 2012

8MM, 1999

8MM, 1999
Director: Joel Schumacher
Cast: Nicholas Cage, James Gandolfini, Joaquim Phoenix

Stage: Home, late Saturday TV selection

8MM in short:
A small, seemingly innocuous plastic reel of film leads surveillance specialist Tom Welles down an increasingly dark and frightening path. With the help of the streetwise Max, Welles relentlessly follows a bizarre trail of evidence to determine the fate of a complete stranger. As his work turns into obsession, he drifts farther and farther away from his wife, family and simple life as a small-town private eye.

Preps: None. I have seen this piece a long time ago. Time to see it again.

Reality: this is one of the pioneer ones about Snuff genre. It hasn't been spoken wildly in public about, however it remains one of the so called forbidden genres. The one that doesn't exist, like the drugs don't and certainly, the one that noone has ever heard about, yet all of us know what it is and what the term stands for.
The storyline is basicly simple to absorb, it's the philosophy that stands behind the investigation, that is intriguing. In terms of what kind of a person are you to order such a movie, to film it, where do you get persons to volunteer to act in these kind of movies and overall, is it worth it? Demistification of the husband's secret now becomes an obsession for the investigator. I must confess the role suits Cage like a glove. He feels extremely comfortable inside the scenes and I am thrilled to see him crash after a while because all of this becomes too much even for a tough policeman/investigator. The reasons for doing it, still, remain uncertain and unrevealed. It's not a surprise to see a christian son doing the killing, and a close member to the family Cage is investigating for, to take a greater role in helping the husband do the deed and order the snuff movie. For any person who has ever seen or read some crime stories, this is a normal turnover. In this sense, the movie isn't exciting or goes beyond average. I believe, that the unique sales proposition in this matter is snuff, because this is enough to make up for every other average perticularity of the piece. Not enough said about dark sides of porno movies, drug industry or other "misbehaviour" in our society. I would make this a pioneer piece for the sake of widering the mind of us, observers.
A nice, unusual role, for the young Phoenix, who at that time wasn't quite so famous as he is now, in 2012, where we are quite familiar with his ass in some other notorious pieces. Here in a role of a drug jockey, plays magnificently and surprises me with the elegance and comfort he finds in this role.

The movie itself could be somehow shorter, I believe the agony is prolongued more than it should be, but that might be Schumacher's aim, to make it go deep inside our veins.

My personal rating: 6,5
(a solid piece on a genre we aren't familiar with and most of us really contradict the fact it exists).


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