An Easter story. Frank is a Manhattan medic, working graveyard in a two-man ambulance team. He's burned out, exhausted, seeing ghosts, especially a young woman he failed to save six months' before, and no longer able to save people: he brings in the dead. We follow him for three nights, each with a different partner: Larry, who thinks about dinner, Marcus, who looks to Jesus, and Tom, who wallops people when work is slow. Frank befriends the daughter of a heart victim he brings in; she's Mary, an ex-junkie, angry at her father but now hoping he'll live. Frank tries to get fired, tries to quit, and keeps coming back, to work and to Mary, in need of his own rebirth. Written by
Martin Scorsese and Nicolas Cage rode along with real NYC paramedics in preparation for filming Bringing Out the Dead. See more »
When Frank and Larry are trying to resuscitate Mr. Burke, the E.K.G. shows asystole (flat line), but Larry then shocks him with a defibrillator, which would do nothing if the patient were really in asystole. In mitigation, however, what looks like asystole could really be fine ventricular fibrillation, and while the Advanced Cardiac Life Support protocols do not call for defibrillation on an asystolic patient, it is sometimes used just in case. See more »
This surreal portrayal of a stressed-out depressed, alcoholic and generally weird paramedic is a movie you cannot watch just like that. I recommend watching it late at night, but not too tired, since you have to be quite alert to catch everything that's going on.
The basic plot is about an ambulance driver(Nicolas Cage can act!) who hasn't saved anyone for months and begins to doubt he can save anyone anymore. He drinks booze and coffee and the result is a great mess. This is not a "beginning to the end" kind of movie. When the movie ends, nothing is really solved.
The acting is pretty much flawless. Nicolas Cage does his best performance to date, and his paramedic buddies and the people he encounters are all very well portrayed. John Goodman is a fat, sweaty but somewhat likable paramedic, Tom Sizemore(!) is a psychotic ambulance driver who has his very own view of the job, Ving Rhames is a delivered Christian who takes the job as an opportunity to save souls, Mark Anthony is an interesting street weirdo, and Patricia Arquette is a weary woman who loses her father.
The imagery is very good too. New York whizzes past, full of lights and darkness. It's gritty, it's moody and it's surreal.
If you can stand a little unorthodox cinema then you'll like Bringing Out the Dead. But be sure to be in the mood, or the experience will be very different.
Oh, and I salute all the paramedics and other health care heroes out there. If your job is anywhere near this movies, you're the greatest.
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