Ben Sanderson, a Hollywood screenwriter who lost everything because of his alcoholism, arrives in Las Vegas to drink himself to death. There, he meets and forms an uneasy friendship and non-interference pact with prostitute Sera.
An American diplomat and his fiancée venture into the sordid underworld of sex and pornography in Budapest, Hungary to find out who is blackmailing them with a porno video taken of them with a prostitute.
In order to foil an extortion plot, an FBI agent undergoes a facial transplant surgery and assumes the identity and physical appearance of a terrorist, but the plan turns from bad to worse when the same terrorist impersonates the FBI agent.
A small, seemingly innocuous plastic reel of film leads surveillance specialist Tom Welles down an increasingly dark and frightening path. With the help of the streetwise Max, Welles relentlessly follows a bizarre trail of evidence to determine the fate of a complete stranger. As his work turns into obsession, he drifts farther and farther away from his wife, family and simple life as a small-town private eye.Written by
At one point in the film, Tom is injured and drives himself to a hospital for treatment. The nature of his injury would most certainly be reported to the police by any number of hospital staff, who would no doubt have more than a few questions as to Tom's injuries and not simply send him on his way. See more »
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The film was heavily cut before release to gain an 'R' rating. Joel Schumacher's audio commentary on the DVD points out the multitude of MPAA cuts throughout the film. The cuts include:
Sex throughout the movie. For example, background sexual activity was trimmed under the "no more than two buttock-thrusts rule"
A lot of a conversation between Phoenix and Cage was removed because a bank of TV monitors in the background were showing hardcore pornography footage
Sequences in the underground sex club were trimmed to remove shots of enema porn (which were in fact real)
I'll never forget first seeing this film in the theater. When I heard that this film was written by the same writer as "Seven", I expected a truly sick and twisted film. Now don't get me wrong, this most certainly is a sick and twisted film, but it wasn't nearly as graphic as I expected. Maybe that is due to this film having a different director, but nonetheless the film wasn't as graphic as I'd expected. With that said, and having watched this film a number of times, I still wouldn't recommend this film to everyone. If you like thrillers and can handle the subject of pornography and "snuff" films, then you should definitely give this film a chance.
I'm a little surprised that this film has such a low rating on IMDB. I can see why someone wouldn't like it, but I can't see why it would have such a low rating. I would assume that most viewers couldn't handle the subject and therefore gave the film a low rating.
All of the actors involved in this film did a very good job. Nicholas Cage was great as always (sometimes a little over-acting, but most of the time he was great). James Gandolfini, Joaquin Phoenix, Peter Storemare, Anthony Heald, Catherine Keener, and the rest of the supporting cast all pulled off solid performances.
Joel Schumacher really needs to stick with films like this. He really does a great job with thriller/drama type films (and needs to steer clear of certain super-hero films). Joel did a great job with this film and I look forward to his next work.
The only complaint I have about the film is the music. There were some times were the music was perfect or tolerable, but there were others where it was just horrible and detracted from the film. Some of the music in the film was too bizarre and didn't fit with the film.
Like I said, I wouldn't recommend this to everyone, but I thought this was an excellent film. I hope you enjoy the film. Thanks for reading,
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