Dec 292018

8MM is a very dark movie with an incredibly dark story and like Andrew Kevin Walker’s previous work, Se7en, not exactly the type of film one might pop in on a whim. Still, Nicolas Cage is mostly subdued and does deliver a fine performance.



8MM (Eight Millimeter)

Genre(s): Suspense/Thriller, Drama, Mystery
Shout Factory | R – 123 min. – $29.99 | January 8, 2019

Date Published: 12/29/2018 | Author: The Movieman

Directed by: Joel Schumacher
Writer(s): Andrew Kevin Walker (written by)
Cast: Nicolas Cage, Joaquin Phoenix, James Gandolfini, Peter Stormare, Anthony Heald
Features: Commentary, Featurette, Interview, Still Gallery, Theatrical Trailer, TV Spots
Slip Cover: No
Digital Copy: No
Formats Included: Blu-ray
Number of Discs: 1
Audio: English (DTS-HD MA 5.1), English (DTS-HD MA 2.0)
Video: 1080p/23.976 fps /Widescreen 2.35
Subtitles: English SDH
Disc Size: 44.27 GB
Total Bitrate: 41.20 Mbps
Codecs: MPEG-4 AVC
Region(s): A

Shout Factory provided me with a free copy of the Blu-ray I reviewed in this Blog Post.
The opinions I share are my own.

THE MOVIE — 3.5/5

Plot Synopsis: Private detective Tom Welles (NICOLAS CAGE) lives a normal life with his wife (CATHERINE KEENER) and young daughter, until he receives a startling new case. A widow named Mrs. Christian (MYRA CARTER) has found what appears to be a snuff film among her late husband’s belongings, and she wants Welles to determine if the movie is real or fake. Welles heads to California, where a sex store employee (JOAQUIN PHOENIX) helps him infiltrate the dangerous and depraved world of illegal porn movies.

Review: 8MM (aka Eight Millimeter) is a dark (very dark) mystery-thriller from director Joel Schumacher, released in 1999 and starring Nicolas Cage at a time where he seemed to give a damn not to mention not in financial troubles with the IRS. This was a movie I had seen previously many years ago and not thinking all that much of it, but with another viewing, I think I appreciated the melancholy nature of the story, one that takes a bit more grounded realism where monsters look all too normal and a man portrayed by Cage becomes obsessed with finding the truth, speaking for a girl whom was amongst the thousands who disappear without a trace.

Nicolas Cage did deliver a fine performance where we neither see the over-the-top version (The Wicker Man, Face/Off) nor the couldn’t-give-damn version (Left Behind, Inconceivable) where he’s morose in roles that were already poorly written. Here, he does display some energy and believable emotions. Along for the ride is Joaquin Phoenix who added a bit of (dark) fun, in a role that came before he hit it big the following year with Gladiator. James Gandolfini has a smallish but important part as a sleazy and nefarious producer and has one incredibly creepy scene and Catherine Keener contributes nicely in the usually thankless role as Cage’s wife.

Joel Schumacher directed the film which was written by Andrew Kevin Walker, capitalizing on his success with Se7en. 8MM isn’t a great thriller and does stretch a bit long going over the two hour mark, but I was generally engrossed by the mystery element and with Cage’s engaging performance. Does it have great replay value, though? I don’t think so mainly because this is a harsh and dark film to sit through, examining the brutal side of human nature.



No slip cover with this release, but the cover artwork is reversible. While not a jammed-pack release, we do get a new Interview (21:08) with Producer/Director Joel Schumacher discussing his work on 8MM going on nearly 20 years later; an Audio Commentary with Schumacher breaking down the various scenes and his approach to the story; a Vintage Making-of Featurette (5:07) with older interviews with the cast and crew; the Theatrical Trailer (2:35), TV Spots (1:04) and a Still Gallery (6:39) round things out.


VIDEO – 3.0/5

While 8MM does get a Blu-ray debut (at least in North America) courtesy of Shout Factory, the 2.35 widescreen, 1080p high-definition transfer looks okay, but some scenes the artifacting is pretty apparent in many scenes especially set against some darker backdrops. Colors though are on the tepid side of course with the very dark tone of the story, though black levels are fairly deep.

AUDIO – 3.75/5

The disc comes with a DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track (and the standard 2.0 on most Shout Factory titles) and this one sounds fine, showing off some satisfactory depth alongside the clear dialogue levels. The front channel gets the most usage with the sides being relegated for any side action and rears for the music and ambient noises.


OVERALL – 3.25/5

Overall, 8MM is a very dark movie with an incredibly dark story and like Andrew Kevin Walker’s previous work, Se7en, not exactly the type of film one might pop in on a whim. Still, Nicolas Cage is mostly subdued (save for one scene anyway) and does deliver a fine performance. This Blu-ray release by Shout under their Scream Factory line offers some so-so bonus content, flawed but acceptable video and a serviceable audio track.




Check out some more 1080p screen caps by going to page 2. Please note, these do contain spoilers.

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