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Heaven (1998)

 -  Crime | Thriller  -  30 April 1999 (USA)
6.8
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Ratings: 6.8/10 from 682 users  
Reviews: 31 user | 9 critic

A struggling architect, being sued for divorce by his wife and struggling with booze and gambling, finds work remodeling a friend's strip club, the Paradise. There he meets a transsexual ... See full summary »

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(novel), (screenplay)
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Title: Heaven (1998)

Heaven (1998) on IMDb 6.8/10

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Robert Marling
Daniel Edwards ...
Heaven (as Danny Edwards)
...
Stanner
...
Jennifer Marling
...
Melrose
...
Sweeper
Michael Langley ...
Sean Marling
...
Tree
Clint Sharplin ...
Nicely
Barry Spring ...
Wibber
Jon Brazier ...
Billy
Dean Stewart ...
David
Jane Fullerton-Smith ...
Candy (as Jane Fullerton Smith)
Jean Hyland ...
Mrs. Daniels
Valerie Williams ...
Claire
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Storyline

A struggling architect, being sued for divorce by his wife and struggling with booze and gambling, finds work remodeling a friend's strip club, the Paradise. There he meets a transsexual stripper who is bothered by accurate, but extremely violent visions of future events. The increasingly violent visions start including the architect, who doesn't believe in the prophesy. One who does however is a psychiatrist who is seeing both the stripper and the architect and is sleeping with the ex-wife. He uses the prophecies for his own financial gain. Finally the scenes from the vision move into reality amidst many plot turns. Written by John Sacksteder <jsackste@bellsouth.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Every Seduction Is A Gamble.

Genres:

Crime | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for vicious, bloody violence including rape, pervasive strong language, and sexuality/nudity | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

|

Language:

Release Date:

30 April 1999 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Aihmalotos ston paradeiso  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$1,983 (USA) (30 April 1999)

Gross:

$1,983 (USA) (30 April 1999)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Quotes

Robert Marling: I'm the chairman of the fuckin' board!
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Jersey Girl (2004) See more »

Soundtracks

I Like
(Pumpkinhead)
Carrot Core Music
Performed by Pumpkinhead
Courtesy of Wildside Records
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User Reviews

Gore galore when Heaven hits Hollywood
4 December 1999 | by (Sydney, Australia) – See all my reviews

I had a premonition about this movie. Young NZ director (Scott Reynolds) makes low budget but interesting first feature ("Ugly") and gets snared by Hollywood. Makes more ambitious next film (although the budget doesn't seem to be much greater) in the style of film noir meets Tarantino (with less humour and more gore.) Bet he fluffs it.

Well, he does, up to a point. There's plenty of talent here in this familiar but painful tale of an architect (Martin Donovan) down on his uppers and suffering from a severe case of compulsive gambling trying to preserve access to his young son (Michael Langley.) He is really up against it. His beautiful but very fed-up estranged wife (Joanna Going) is having an affair with their marriage guidance counsellor (Patrick Malahide) and for good measure has appropriated his lawyer as well (there's enough professional conflict of interest here to keep a couple of misconduct tribunals going for months).

Our architect's current client, a sleazy nightclub owner (Richard Schiff), is doing his best to reduce him to penury through their late-night poker games. Into this mess floats Heaven, a six-foot four Polynesian transsexual and nightclub dancer (Danny Edwards, in a standout performance), who sees in the near future useful things like winning card hands, and some more nasty pending events. She takes a shine to the architect and helps him through the mess, but not after being pretty badly treated herself.

Really I think this film is spoiled by too much gore. It has a good intelligent storyline, fine acting, suitably grungy locations and sets, plenty of pace, imaginative time-shifting and cross-cutting (without being too obscure) and then all this stupid carnage towards the end, lovingly and lingeringly shot. Less is more!

Still, I enjoyed Patrick Malahide (unforgettable years ago as the nasty perpetually frustrated Inspector Chisholm in TV's "Minder") who plays the unethical counsellor. Danny Edwards beautifully conveys the pain of someone who can see the future but, having a rather passive nature, is not well equipped to deal with it. Still, people like Heaven do attract protectors, and, fittingly, she gets it together with Raymond (Karl Urban), the club's handsome macho bouncer.

The film was shot in Auckland, New Zealand with an NZ cast apart from (I think) four of the leads, but it appears as an identi-kit grungy urban environment from anywhere. (Though it has to be pointed out that Auckland railway station's 1930s "Georgian Maori" architecture is pretty distinctive and there are plenty of right hand drive cars of 70s vintage that never saw a US freeway). I don't know what it is about Auckland, a pretty place on a fine harbour, that makes filmmakers present it in such a way. Another recent example was "Once Were Warriors" but that was a film of great cultural relevance. This one just uses Auckland as a toilet.

The price of participation in global film culture? Though Miraxmax are listed as the producers, I'd feel happier if it carried the wording "no government money was used in the making of this film."


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