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|Index||37 reviews in total|
This is one of the many films in the series that materializes America's
fascination with its own sub-culture - violence, drugs, pornography - all
coming closer to mainstream in the complex American landscape of the 70's
and 80's. It's well done and acted, and I liked it. The true story of the
Mitchell brothers, pioneers of porn and live nude shows in San Francisco is
told in a linear manner, without too many stuff like 'free speech'
justification, as in 'Larry Flint'. The Mitchell guys consider their
business just a business, and are not concerned at any point with its human
or moral implications. The relationship between the brothers is the central
theme, and it is well rendered by the two main actors - Charlie Sheen and
Emilio Estevez (who is also directing).
Some more logic in the script would have made a memorable movie. Some of the familiar relations, or the Mafia involvement seem to be just lost in the action. It is however a good film, and I am amazed by the negative comments of other viewers in IMDb, and by the lack of more critical feedback. Maybe the theme is still hard to digest for the American critics, I do not know. An 8/10 on my scale.
Going into the theatre, I had mixed expectations. This is, after all, a movie about the porn industry. It could be very graphic, shallow, poorly lit. It most certainly would have a nauseating soundtrack. The tickets were free and it was the premiere event, so the food would be good-- and I went. I was thoroughly amazed to see a very creatively produced film, whose formal perks were as interesting as its content. I was entertained by and sympathetic toward the characters, who were multi-dimensional and intense. Mostly, I was impressed by the film's visual aesthetics-- I'm not referring to the sex scenes here, though there was ample representation of that action-- I'm talking about the piecing together of a beautifully shot film. But besides that, the soundtrack was refreshingly hip and the actors gave excellent performances. This is a Showtime feature that has exceeded its medium's limitations,producing a movie that is given more justice in the theatres than where it will deign to be exhibited- on TV.
This film is Based on a True Story about the rise and fall of the porn
filmmakers:The Mitchell Brothers (Played by Charlie Sheen & Emilio
Estevez). The Mitchell Brothers made a famous porn film titled "Behind
the Green Door". Once they become successful, they have to go through
the American government, the mob, the woman's in their lives and even
each other to create a San Francisco Porn Dynasty but the drugs and
their intense relationship puts them apart.
Directed by Emilio Estevez (Men at Work, The War at Home, Wisdom) made a terrific if wildly uneven drama that, it was never release in theaters. Instend it got debuted in showtime entertainment network.
DVD has an bright Pan & Scan (1.33:1) transfer and an fine-Dolby Surround 2.0 Sound. DVD has an surprisingly amusing commentary tack by real-life brothers:Sheen and Estevez.
The french Canadian DVD has an sharp non-anamorphic Widescreen (1.78:1) transfer and an good-Dolby Stereo 2.0 Sound. This DVD is only in french with no subtitles.
This is an unfocused but extremely well made film. Watch for film director:Peter Bogdanovich appears in a cameo as a film school professor. A must see for the performances by Sheen & Estevez. (****/*****).
Maybe I'm rating this movie a little bit higher than I should. But there were some good moments for me in this film. I have no problem with Charlie Sheen or Emilio Estevez, they have both done some good stuff in their careers (and a few good movies too). Not to mention Denise Richards! Anyway, I just wonder if Tracy Hutson regrets playing Marylin Chambers in this film and doing a nude/sex scene. Seeing as how she is now on the squeaky clean ABC show "Extreme Home Makeovers". She is incredibly hot and I love to see her on the Home Makeover show, especially when I happened to remember that she was naked in "Rated X". I think this film is entertaining. Of course it is not even in the same league as "Boogie Nights", not even close...but if you are a porno movie fan, you might enjoy this story of a couple of the pioneers of the genre. If nothing else you will enjoy Tracy Hutson's awesome body. Which we may never seen in a film again. Too bad.
I just finished the QC of Rated X for the up coming DVD. I was pleasantly surprised by this film. The acting was impressive, and the story of the Mitchell Brothers kept my interest. The greatest praise I could give this film; after viewing it I wanted to learn more about the facts behind the Brothers story. This movie is worth a look, unless the subject matter would offend.
Harrowing is the word that comes to mind when trying to describe this movie. A fascinating look at two brothers, raised by a man who could have take parenting lessons from The Great Santini and being thrust into the world of 1970s porn and drugs. Yes, the porn angle of the story is very fascinating and is probably the reason most will see this movie, but I found it to be a riveting look at the older brother - younger brother relationship in the case of two men who led very enmeshed lives. Jim (the older brother) was always taught to take care of younger brother Artie and he did that all of his life, even kicking drugs on his own to show Artie that it could be done. Artie, meanwhile spirals down deeper into addiction and sexual excess and uses Jim's continued smoking as an excuse not to get straightened out. The ending scenes are very sudden and surprising, as they must have been when they really happened, but was this Jim's one last attempt to take care of Artie when nothing else seemed to work? This movie uses the not uncommon now technique of odd camera angles and color to put the viewer into the disoriented mindset of a person on drugs and perhaps on the edge mentally and emotionally. It was really showcased well in "Natural Born Killers" and has kind of been done already to death. But it does serve the story here. Recommended, and as a chaser after this downer of a movie, rent "Babe".
"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
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 errors.
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.
I must admit that I was pleasantly surprised when I watched this movie. Emilio Estevez has produced a movie that is both interesting and visually creative. I liked the cinematography...different and totally appropriate for this movie. And, Charlie did a truly fantastic job as Artie Mitchell! Especially as he moves further into the world of drugs and alcohol addition. I was really amazed at Charlie's acting ability on this one. Emilio was also very good in his role as Jim Mitchell. Charlie and Emilio...you've produced a fantastic film! Very impressive!
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I am not a fan of the brothers who dominate this flick, but they seem
to play against type well enough that this doesn't matter.
Everyone who'd watch this movie knows about the Mitchells at least slightly, so I'll talk more about the way they're rendered here: Emilio renders Jim Mitchell as basically the more mature older brother and Arty is, of course, the free-wheeling schmuck Jim feels indebted to. They make what is essentially "Vanilla Porn" in the sense that apparently none of the more non-mainstream fetishes usually (probably often rightly) considered perversions are visible, like pedophelia, corpophelia, bestiality, rape or snuff is included. And as a result of living something that is considered a societal fringe in the Seventies, they have a drug-induced downfall. Who would have seen that coming?
Still, to me, the downfall is played with enough reality (Arty seems to remain slightly sympathetic even during his depths, except for when he expects a spouse is doing someone behind his back) and I'd say sympathy that it felt like a fresh experience to me. But that's just me: I don't watch too much aside from nerdy stuff.
Frankly, I think that it beats Boogie Nights because there's no Mark Wahlbergs or Burt Reynolds around, and most important, no Paul Thomas Anderson. Estevez isn't the most humble guy, but at least he didn't approach the material in such a seemingly "I'll make sure everyone pays attention to how well I directed this thing instead of how good the story or things that happen in it are supposed to be." There's nothing really elaborate like that painful three minute opening and not the ton of cutesy dialogue. It's a much more bare-bones production, which I usually like.
Plus, I like the commentary track. God help me, but I do.
It's been a while since I've seen this, so I'll keep it short. I saw the film, and read the book. I guess the idea of making the film came a little too close to the "Boogie Nights" success. Both brothers, however, show that they are good actors, even if Charlie's trying a little too much to be Hunter S. Thompson (unless the character was actually like that.) It's a good movie about the porn industry whereas "Boogie Nights" wasn't really about the porn industry, which was used mainly a subplot (or one of many... I loved that film, I just don't think these two movies should be compared-- this is a straight bio-pic.) The demise of the Mitchell brothers wasn't the demise of porno. But, it should be noted, the demise of film making (for real) in porno. They tried like hell to make real films, and probably could have (some might say, with the budget, should have.) So the characters made a fairly respectable film that came along a bit too late.
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