Der Film wird über weite Strecken aber den Geruch des schlichten Voyeurismusses nicht. Dieses bewusste Grenzen überschreiten. Immer derber, brutaler und perverser. Es kann funktionieren, hier wirkt es schlicht wie ein Mittel zum Zweck.
Ein weiteres Ärgernis ist der Darbietung von Nicolas Cage. Irgendwie beitet er hier alles, weshalb man ihn hassen kann, allem voran, seine unglaublich nervige Mimik, die nur in "Face/Off" noch schlechter war, aber immerhin passte sie dort in die Geschichte.
it was okay. not something i would be like, hey we gotta watch this, but not the worst ive seen. still far superior to Ghost Rider
This isn't a traditional review. I'm not going to critique and analyze the film. I'm just going to make a brief statement to anyone who has yet to see the movie and wants to give it a chance and I'm going to touch on why I feel this film needs to be shown more appreciation.
First, take everything you know about Nic Cage and throw it out the window. If The Rock and National Treasure are where you know him from then I implore you try your best to pretend that you don't know who this guy is that's playing the main character. This is totally different than what your used to. He was being very un-Nic Cagey. And this is the source of the bad reviews.
The critics slammed the movie. Yet four years earlier he won an Oscar for playing a role that was outside his supposed comfort zone as an actor. How is going outside your usual mainstream comedic toned kind of role brave and edgy in 1994 and a case of being miscast in 1999? In 1994 he played a man drinking himself to death who falls in love with a prostitute (one who has a heart of gold and no it's not cliched because we said so). Alcoholism is romantic? I was a pretty bad alcoholic most of my life and I don't remember it being quite so romantic. I just ended up with liver disease, I didn't get the prostitute who was way too good looking to be a prostitute in real life (again not detracting from the critical fanfare even if it strains one's suspension of disbelief and hurts the authenticity of the movie). What was it about Leaving Las Vegas a film more worthy of being remembered?
It's because the movie has a sad ending. That's why. Happy endings are popular and things that are liked by everyone are unrefined. It's the same reason that comedies aren't reviewed the same way dramatic movies are. Go back and look at the initial critic reviews for a movie called Ace Ventura Pet Detective. Obviously garbage right. Uncivilized. And yet it made Jim Carrey one of the biggest movie stars on the planet. But it was something likeable, so critics had to slam it and all of his other films, until of course he started making more serious movies with sad endings. (Sidenote, he wouldn't have made those movies if OUR Jim Carrey movies weren't successful, so doesn't that make us the smart ones here? I mean we recognized his talent first. If the critics had their way, Ace Ventura would have been his first and last movie. Don't we deserve some thanks?) Anyway the way it works is that film critics need to hate popular things and love unpopular things. It makes it much easier to give off the illusion of superior knowledge and intelligence, that you are an authority and that you have an opinion that is so insightful and wise that you need to be paid money to share it. Sad ending equals less popular, less popular equals art. It's the same way with teenagers who want to be cooler than their friends when it comes to taste in music. All the best bands are the ones no one has ever heard of, all the coolest people know that. And if you want to be part of the cool club and elevate yourself above everyone else, you just gotta keep putting down things that the majority likes and keep telling us how great things are that only smart people like you know about. Oh and about Jim Carrey, that's not the first time, won't be the last time the critics totally missed the comedic boat. Adam Sandler's first two movies, and let's face it, his best two movies, also slammed. Another attempt by the elitists to try to shut down a movie career because they were incapable of seeing the genius that was as plain as day to so many others who saw the film, loved it, and then turned to their friends and said, you gotta see this. And now the guys a billionaire. Thank God for real movie fans out there. Who are able to recognize the cool movies out there. Not saying great, not saying art, just saying cool. 8mm was cool. Not art, not mainstream, just really good. Really memorable. Unique, timeless, important. Worthy of being introduced to people who've yet to see it, unless you're petulent critic/teenager who only likes the cool bands that everyone else hates.
So it's 1999. He's trying something different again but this time Nicolas Cage isn't in a love story. He's carrying a gun not drinking himself to death. Carrying guns is for action movies. Action movies aren't art, people like them, and so 8mm had to be disliked critically. Another victim of critic snobbery. Some of us though gave it a chance and we weren't wrong. Watch his performance for yourself and be honest. Cage really gets into this role. He really feels the sick ass shit that this movie isn't afraid to deal with. And that's another reason why the movie shouldn't be branded with such crap numbers on places like Rotten Tomatoes because it needs to be remembered, because it deals with subject matter that no other movie I've ever seen deal with, before or since.
As much as I have whined and complained and felt sorry for myself, God, the Universe, Fate, or Pure Chance --- whatever it is that reality runs on, it has really been kind to me. It has really taken it easy on me. It has given me a chance to love and be loved. But for some people, millions of them all around the world actually, they are trapped and will die there trapped. Sold into sexual slavery or thrust into a lifestyle through less dramatic means, through a series of events, more metaphoric shackles like poverty and drug addiction, real people all over the world find themselves trapped in the trade of flesh. As human beings we are able to appreciate physical love in a way that is more than just animal. We treasure it, we create ceremonies that celebrate it and venerate it and immortalize it. We define ourselves by it. It is something greater than what element of it is animal. We aren't bound to just reproduction. For many people physical love doesn't contain even the possibility of reproduction.
But for a lot of people out there, more than anyone would like to admit, those people never know love. They only experience the perversion of it all. The sex trade is real. Slavery isn't a thing of the past. Estimates of the number of slaves today range from around 21 million to 46 million. Of that, An estimated 22% of slaves to date are active in the sex industry. That is between 4.6 and 10.1 million people, living in sexual slavery. 8mm isn't about sexual slavery but it is a glimpse into a similar world. It's about a missing girl who is never coming home, who had her right to love and be loved taken away, and who's family will never know the truth of what happened and be given the closure that they deserve.
I've never seen another film that goes where 8mm was gracious enough to go. Wouldn't that make 8mm irreplaceable and something that is a little more deserving of respect? We all praised Blood Diamond for talking about something that no one wanted to talk about. And yes I recognize it had a bigger budget and "better actors", but is 8mm any less important? I'm not saying give it Blood Diamond numbers. I'm not saying Nic Cage and Dicaprio are on the same footing. I'm just saying that the numbers don't add up. Blood Diamond is 62% Critic with a whopping 90% Audience score. We got that one right and made up for the poor critic score. But 8mm got just torn to shreds with a 22% Critic Score. User review here helps a little but all that we stand at is 52%. With such a shellacking from the reviews we need to do better.
8mm still has not seen a Blu-Ray release. It is still getting play on television thankfully and my seeing it on Starz this evening, along with the shit tomato numbers in the info, is what got me started on this rant. I urge anyone who cares about this movie being remembered, anyone who wants to see a Blu-Ray release, anyone who thought that it was more than a forgettable B-movie, leave a review and score of your own. And if you haven't seen it yet give it a chance. Look past the numbers here and maybe show it a little love if you come to feel impacted by the film the way I was when I saw it first almost 20 years ago.
Maybe I'm biased, maybe I feel things that just aren't there for everyone when they see this movie. But 8mm just makes me more thankful for my own life. Thank you God for taking it so easy on me. If you saw my childhood you would feel sorry for me, but it could have been so much worse and I need reminders to let me know how lucky I really am, that I am here, alive, all in one piece and that I never let myself become truly beaten. If you saw my life today, where I live, the collection of my possessions you might be someone who would pity me. You might say to yourself, "that poor man, he has nothing." I have everything. I know love. I've been lucky enough to experience it in so many forms and with so many people that I never would have had the pleasure of knowing if my life was cut short and if things were as bad as they are for others. And as much of a pessimist as I am and as much as I have fought with that sadness that I have struggled against, I know I'll find even more love in my life yet to come.
Thank you to to anyone who read this. Thank you for giving me a chance. Thank you for lending me your attention and I really hope you really listened to me. That you tried to follow it all and that you didn't think it was just some mindless rant. There was a message here as convoluted as though it may be. It's my review of 8mm. Or rather it's a thank you and a plea. Thank you to the writer and director and studio and everyone involved in this film and believed it needed to be made. I'm sorry that it was so poorly received and I'm sorry you didn't get the adulation of the press that you might have longed for in return. And thank you Nic Cage for giving us such a timeless good-guy character, a hero who battles evil on its own turf, who meets out justice when it would not exist otherwise. A true warrior of goodness and light.
If only this weren't just fiction. If only every parent of a missing child were finally given closure. If only good found a way to win more often.
Thank you for this film, for showing me a world that really exists. Thank you for making me appreciate more my, no matter how begrudgingly admit it, my absolutely wonderful life.