Bringing Out the Dead Reviews
Bringing Out the Dead is a very interesting film that is another character study from Martin Scorsese, much like Raging Bull or Taxi Driver. Now, it isn't as good as either of those, but it's still Scorsese and all the signs of his presence are there. Much like Taxi Driver, he brings the city of New York into the story as another character, almost. The city is filthy, the hospitals jam packed. Many people can't even get treated because there's just too much for the doctors to handle.
Frank is an ambulance driver in New York City. He hasn't been getting much sleep lately and we see three nights of him on the job. He's being haunted by those who have died on him, especially an 18 year old girl named Rose that he lost 6 months earlier. He's cracking, he's losing his mind, and he's an alcoholic. The first night we see him take in an older man who just had a heart attack. Frank soon forms a sort of bond with the mans daughter.
Nicholas Cage is perfect in the role of Frank Pierce. This is the type of role that he was born to play and that he thrives in, as it plays right to his strengths. It allows him to be eccentric, but also lazy. It's much like his performance in Leaving Las Vegas. The rest of the cast is well picked too. John Goodman, Ving Rhames, Tom Sizemore, and even Patricia Arquette(who I am not a fan of) are great in their respected roles.
In the end, this is always going to be a forgotten Scorsese film. It doesn't quite live up to his standard, but it's still an extremely well made and tense film. So what it's labeled "lesser-Scorsese." Whenever Scorsese is in the directors chair, you can be certain it's going to be a film worth watching, and Bringing Out the Dead is no exception. Don't expect another Taxi Driver or Raging Bull. Just expect some more solid filmmaking from one of the greats.
This is the fourth collaboration between Martin Scorsese and Paul Schrader, and in many ways, it draws several comparisons to Taxi Driver (the first film they did together). Both are gritty and dark tales of redemption, although this one is a tad less bleak and more hopeful. It follows the book pretty well, retaining the novel's mix of pain, grimness, and dark humor, although the humor comes off more strongly and apparent in the movie.
This is a slight departure for Scorsese, with the movie being more of a dark comedy than the super gritty drama I was anticipating. This isn't a bad thing, but it seems a bit odd, especially since the movie is also a bit more reserved and lethargic than his usual fare. Maybe this film being different is why it's one of his more underrated films. That's a shame too, because I really dug this.
Nicolas Cage is the perfect choice for Frank, and he gives his second best performance of his career thus far (behind Leaving Las Vegas). He really pulls off the weary, desperate, and haunted nature of the character. John Goodman is fun as Larry, Ving Rhames is a real delight as Marcus, but it's Marc Anthony as a hospital regular who's the real scene stealer of the film. Patricia Arquette is decent if slightly underwhelming as Mary, an ex-junkie and daughter of one of Frank's patients who he tries to form a meaningful connection with.
As I mentioned, this film is a slight change of pace for Scorsese, but it still has some great moments of visual flair, and of course some killer needles drops. I was a tad disappointed because the humor is more prevalent than I anticipated, but it does the book justice, and is still a good and entertaining piece of work. Give it a chance.
A Parademic who was loosing his mind? Did I miss something, I DONT THINK SO.
The only good thing in the Movie was Ving Rhames appearence, it made a tiny bit watchable with his funny quotes.
The film stars Nicholas Cage as a burnt out ambulance driver on the edge. The story follows a weekend that begins with him meeting the daughter of a man he saved (Patricia Arquette) and follows him through the weekend and the three different partners, each of which as a different personality (played by John Goodman, Ving Rhames, and Tom Sizemore).
This film is almost an update of the masterpiece Taxi Driver. In fact it's almost trying to be too much like Taxi Driver. The problem is that Nicholas Cage is not Robert DeNiro. Cage is over the top in almost every scene he's in and it's this that brings the movie to a screeching halt. It's almost like Cage is trying to conjure the soul of Travis Bickle and failing miserably.
I've never accused Scorsese of trying to go back to the well, but it almost seems that way in Bringing Out the Dead right down to the music cues that at times remind us of Bernard Herrmann's Taxi Driver score. This is basically a re-imagining of Taxi Driver starring Nicholas Cage who ruins the entire film.
So why does it get three and a half stars? The supporting cast picks up the slack and Scorsese is still a great director (even though some of the scenes seem to be borrowed from Oliver Stone). Bring Out The Dead could have been one of Marty's best if it didn't have Nicholas Cage in it. But he had an Oscar and didn't do crap like... (list to long to post)
This seems to be like the lost Scorsese film. It came out in 1999, amidst many other great movies of that year, it has a great cast, an interesting subject, oh and its a Scorsese film.
Nick Cage stars as Frank Pierce, a burnt out ambulance driver. The film takes place during three consecutive days in the early 90s (as the film says) all surrounding a very long shift that cage is on.
Over the course of these three days, Frank is paired up with three different co-pilots in the ambulence.
John Goodman, the most controlled performance in the film.
Larry: Oh no, I can't eat the same meal twice.
Ving Rhames as a born again christian, who also doubles as a security guard in the hospital.
Marcus: Don't make me take off my sunglasses.
and Tom Sizemore, as the upbeat and possibly crazy driver.
Tom Wall: Frank, what do you know? It's you and me again tonight. The rough riders, tearing up the streets, just like old times. This old bus is a warrior, Frank. I have tried to kill her, but she will not die. I have a great respect for that.
These are all great performances, and there are even more from Patricia Arquette as the daughter of a heart attack patient, Cliff Curtis as a drug dealer, and Mark Anthony as a crazy drug user.
Scorsese directs the movie with ultra fast and very visual techniques, with a very short average shot length, but none of it is too jarring, it fits the mood of what is going on in this film.
Cage is also great. Being written by Paul Schrader (Taxi Driver), Cage plays the counter part to Travis Bickle, a man who functions at night, is burnt out, and has seen terrible things, but still goes on with his life. Cage views things in a very dark manner, and is even seeing images of lives that he has lost, but the situations the movie presents us with are both dark and darkly humorous.
A very well made film, with another great Scorsese touch including the editing, visual style and soundtrack.
Dr. Hazmat: I thought you said this guy was dead.
Frank Pierce: He got better.