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Based on the true story of Jim and Artie Mitchell, two brothers who entered the porn industry in the early 60's. After creating such legendary porn films as "Behind the Green Door" and "Inside Marily Chambers", they later became addicted to drugs and began a downward spiral leading to bankruptcy and murder. Written by
The opening and closing sequences of the film were constructed using a variety of different film stocks, shooting at different speeds, intercutting with still photographs, using jarring edits with seem to break continuity, using dutch angles, and employing various other techniques. Director Emilio Estevez has said that these scenes were modeled on similar looking scenes in Oliver Stone's JFK (1991), The Doors (1991), Natural Born Killers (1994), Nixon (1995) and U Turn (1997). See more »
When the brothers go to New York there are cable car wires in the background. See more »
"Rated X" is a solid good film by the Martin Sheen sons (Emilio Estevez and Charlie Sheen). It would have been a better film for me, however, if the editing and/or story line were a little clearer about the characters motivations in the final act of the film. You can clearly see how much the brothers love each other and yet one threat over the phone sets Jim Mitchell out to kill Artie Mitchell - it just didn't seem to fit for me. The film did show how out-of-control Artie was getting near the end, but still I just couldn't buy Jim's explosion at the end - going hunting for his brother with a rifle. Just two scenes before the end you see Jim and Artie as close brothers, one where Jim saves Artie from drowning and the other with Artie in a hospital bed saying he is going to clean up. And a minute later a single threat on a phone and boom, Jim grabs the rifle. I didn't feel the emotional transition taking place in Jim from loving brother to murderer of his brother.
Another difficulty for me was keeping track of all of the woman in the film. It was hard to keep track of which wife or girlfriend each one was when they popped up in a scene.
I thought Emilio's direction was very good. The close close-up's, the bizarre angles - all enhanced the emotional verisimilitude. However, some minor things: I would have liked to have seen more two-shots with Emilio and Charlie acting together - I think one would have had a better chance to see the characters reacting to each other. I know it is harder to shoot, but I think it helps the characters develop better if you have a couple of longer scenes where you can see both characters reacting to each other at the same time - rather than edited together close-ups to make the conversation.
The production & wardrobe designers deserve praise for the accurate portrayal of the 60's and the 70's. I was growing up in Ohio at that time, so I didn't see the extreme fashions of the hippest crowds in San Fran were wearing, but the wardrobe definitely felt accurate to me, as did the sets. There is nothing worse than being jolted out of the story by an obvious flaw
like a 1980's car in a 1968 scene - I caught no such
They both put in inspired performances - no doubt they are drawing from some of their own experiences as brothers. Again, it would have been more fun to see them in more long two shots - but it was great watching them all the same. I also enjoyed the performance of Terry O'Quinn as their father.
I gave it a 7 out of 10, a good film.
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