Daily Archives: February 22, 1999

Eight Millimeter

Nicolas Cage plays a surveillance specialist hired to determine whether a snuff film found in the safe of a recently deceased Pennsylvania millionaire is authentica job that leads him into the seamier recesses of the porn industry on both coasts. The director of this creepy wide-screen thriller is Joel Schumacher, who will surely live in infamy for Batman and Robin; he seems much more in charge this time, maybe because he has something to work with. The sturdy script is by Andrew Kevin Walker, the former Tower Records cashier who also wrote Seven, and there’s a similar impulse here to rub our noses in terminal slime and evil. The desire for retribution that’s honored so unambiguously may be morally based, but it’s the morality of Mickey Spillane, and I wonder if the defense of vigilante justice in Schumacher’s earlier A Time to Kill is more than just a coincidence. I can’t say I warmed to the results, but I was solidly held for the film’s two hours, and the secondary castincluding Joaquin Phoenix, Peter Stormare, Amy Morton, and James Gandolfiniis unusually sharp; with Catherine Keener, Anthony Heald, and Chris Bauer. (JR) Read more