Blu-ray Review: 8MM

8MM (Eight Millimeter) was directed by Joel Schumacher from a screenplay by Andrew Kevin Walker and stars Nicolas Cage, Joaquin Phoenix, James Gandolfini, Peter Stormare, Anthony Heald and Chris Bauer.

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 video store employee (Joaquin Phoenix) helps him infiltrate the dangerous and depraved world of illegal porn movies.

This 1999 thriller follows Tom Welles (Nicolas Cage), a private detective who’s hired to investigate the authenticity of a mysterious snuff film that supposedly features the murder of a young woman on it. The tape was discovered by a wealthy widow who simply wants to know if it’s real or not and Welles is tasked with finding out this information for her. His journey leads him to Max California (Joaquin Phoenix), a video story employee with connections to the gritty underworld of leather and perversion who becomes a helpful asset for the private detective.

Welles’ search for the truth finally leads him to Dino Velvet (Peter Stormare), Eddie Poole (James Gandolfini) and Machine (Chris Bauer), the sinister figures who were behind the shocking death of the young woman. What he realizes is that once he meets up with these men he knows he’ll have a hard time surviving his own experience, especially after his cover is blown. Welles also puts his wife Amy (Catherine Keener) and their baby in danger because of this deadly situation but this turns into the driving force that keeps him alive and ultimately allows him to get some vengeance on the trio of disgusting sleazeballs.

The front of the packaging features the artwork you see at the top of the page and the back includes movie details, more artwork and list of special features. The reverse sleeve features some alternate artwork and movie credits so you have your pick of which side you’d like to use as the front cover. The Blu-ray disc also features some artwork that matches the front cover. Inserting the disc, the menu screen was simple and easy to navigate. The picture and sound quality for this high-definition debut were crisp and clear. Even though the movie didn’t receive any kind of new transfer I still didn’t have any issues with the video and audio.

Bottom line is, 8MM is another movie that was part of my massive DVD collection that also included quite a few Nic Cage movies. The crazy thing is is that I kept this one right next to Se7en on the shelf and didn’t even know the connection between the two back then. There’s several strong points to this thriller and it all starts with the story and its controversial content by Andrew Kevin Walker that’s brought to life by director Joel Schumacher who delivers a dark and sinister vision. The movie has a fantastic cast led by Nicolas Cage who doesn’t go full-blown Nic Cage in this one like we all love but he does have his intense moments, especially when he’s in vengeance mode. There is a distant kinship to 1995’s Se7en because of the shock value but 8MM falls a little short when it comes to the entertainment value. It’s still a really good movie that holds up well after twenty years but I was just giving you something to go by. 8MM (Eight Millimeter) will make its Blu-ray debut on January 8th.

Distributor: Scream Factory

Run Time: 123 Minutes

Rated: R

Blu-ray Video: 1080p High-Definition Widescreen (2.35:1)

Blu-ray Audio: English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 and 2.0

Subtitles: English

Special Features: The extras include a new interview with the director, some audio commentary, a vintage behind-the-scenes featurette, theatrical trailer, three TV spots and a still gallery.

  • NEW 8MM in 35MM – an interview with producer/director Joel Schumacher (21:08)
  • Audio Commentary with producer/director Joel Schumacher
  • Vintage Behind the Scene featurette (05:07)
  • Theatrical Trailer (02:35)
  • TV Spots (01:04)
  • Still Gallery (06:39)
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