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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Cage & Shue give the performances of their careers...
Leaving Las Vegas (1995)
Leaving Las Vegas, upon release, was praised for what a powerful film it was. I didn't watch it up until about a couple of years ago. Mainly because I'm not a Nicolas Cage fan. But this is undeniably one of the greatest performances of the 1990's. Elisabeth Shue also turns in a raving performance, as a Vegas call girl. Ben (Cage in his...
Published on March 11 2004 by DVDaHolic

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3.0 out of 5 stars DVD Picture Quality Will Drive You To Drink
This is easily a 5-star movie with great performances by Nicholas Cage and Elisabeth Shue. The characters are realistically portrayed, and the story is excellent. However, the extremely poor picture quality of the DVD transfer costs this otherwise great flick two stars. If you're contemplating purchasing the VHS version, go for it.Not only are the visuals noticably...
Published on Feb. 2 2000 by C. Baker


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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Cage & Shue give the performances of their careers..., March 11 2004
This review is from: Leaving Las Vegas (DVD)
Leaving Las Vegas (1995)
Leaving Las Vegas, upon release, was praised for what a powerful film it was. I didn't watch it up until about a couple of years ago. Mainly because I'm not a Nicolas Cage fan. But this is undeniably one of the greatest performances of the 1990's. Elisabeth Shue also turns in a raving performance, as a Vegas call girl. Ben (Cage in his Oscar-winning role) is a movie executive whose also a hopeless alcoholic. After losing his job and family, Ben sets off to Las Vegas with his severance pay, to drink himself to death. Along the way he meets a beautiful call girl by the name of Sera (Shue in her Oscar-nominated role) and soon after they fall for each other. Neither one of them is ever tearing the other down for their problems and seem to find peace with one another. This movie works on many levels. The main one is the love story -- that's anything but conventional. The other is the alcohol. We watch Ben kill himself slowly with massive ammounts of alcohol-- at some point, wishing he would just say no. The same for Sera, who is a genuine character you care about, you just want her to say no. I'm hoping MGM will release a nice little 2-Disc set for this movie. Some extras would be nice -- especially some deleted scenes and maybe some behind-the-scenes. The DVD -- both sound and video wise -- is excellent, it just lacks special features. All in all, the movie is one of the best of 1995 -- considering that it was up against such greats as Braveheart and Dead Man Walking.
Leaving Las Vegas was nominated for 4 Academy Awards including:
Actor In A Leading Role -- Nicolas Cage {"Ben"}
Actress In A Leading Role -- Elisabeth Shue {"Sera"}
Directing -- Mike Figgis
Best Adapted Screenplay -- Mike Figgis
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Beautiful Tragedy, Dec 2 2003
By 
Randy E. Aveille "raveille" (Fort Lauderdale, FL USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Leaving Las Vegas (DVD)
I saw this movie several times in the theatre and bought it when it came out on video. It had a tremendously melancholic effect on me for days. I imagine that many people who enjoyed the movie could somehow relate to it, even if in an abstract way. Nick Cage's portrayal of Ben, a man who has hit rock bottom and has lost his will to live, is incredibly powerful and moving; and so is Elisabeth Shue's portrayal of Sera.
After having lost all control to his alcohol addiction, Ben's life starts to spiral downhill once he loses his family, and subsequently, his job. Ben decides to take a trip to Vegas, but not before taking everything he owns and burning it (a sign that he will not be returning). He goes to Vegas with nothing but the clothes on his back, a huge stockpile of booze, just enough money for a room at the Whole Year Inn (which he reads as "The Hole You're In"), and enough booze to binge on until he dies.
Along the way he meets Sera, a prostitute, and seems to feel a personal connection with her. They do not hit-it-off immediately, but the two connect later during their time together. Their bond becomes passionately deep and Sera gets attached to Ben emotionally. Ironically, Ben is smitten with Sera, and he knows he could start a new life and love with Sera, were it not for the fate he has indomitably accepted.
Although most people would judge and condemn a man like Ben in real life, I was very sympathetic to the character and his pain. I also felt Sera's humanity pierce through the cold wall she puts up as a defense mechanism. Ben has touched her in a way that no one has, and though at first she accepts Ben's death wish as a condition for their new "relationship," Sera becomes conflicted about losing Ben--creating a distraction that Ben had not intended on.
This is a great movie with excellent performances from both its stars. Just don't expect to walk away feeling hopeful or happy; because as it is in reality, life does not always have a happy ending, and this movie is a depiction of that reality.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars POWERFUL, Feb. 12 2004
This review is from: Leaving Las Vegas (DVD)
The 2 viewers who talked about how 'boring' and 'lame' this movie is and the crack about 'getting to AA'--you're completely missing the point of the movie. Perhaps you should stick to the simpler stuff. The POINT of the movie is not about alcoholism, it is about total acceptance of one another--a trait that few people in life seem to master well, (even with people without the issues that the characters Ben and Sera have). Yes, it is sad and I wouldn't advise someone to watch it if they're depressed--but the performances of Cage and Shue are incredible and touching. It is a powerful movie which reflects true unconditional, albeit tragic, love.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A unique masterpiece., Oct. 17 2003
By 
Stuart Winer (Boston, MA USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Leaving Las Vegas (DVD)
This kind of movie is an acquired taste.
That said, every emotion in this film rang true for
me. These people seemed real and very vulnerable, especially Elizabeth Shue. It was just spare enough to say the important things in the relationship, leaving out all the detritus and other pointless details.
Mike Figgis really looked closely at these people at their worst moments and didn't flinch. I was fascinated - it spoke right to the deepest part of the human condition.
This is a rare work of art that will outlast us.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Fine performances, audio could have been better, Feb. 2 2004
By 
Roger Pomona (Cawker City, KS) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Leaving Las Vegas (DVD)
When I heard that someone had finally made a movie based on the Cheryl Crow hit "I'm Leaving Las Vegas", I knew I had to see it. I was certainly not disappointed. Nicolas Cage turned in his best performance since his role as stoner slacker Jeff Spicoli in "Fast Times at Ridgemont High". One important thing to note before you purchase this is that unlike his other Las Vegas movie, "Honeymoon in Vegas" where he dresses up like Elvis and skydives, this is not a comedy, unless you happen to think someone drinking themselves to death is funny. If you DO think self-destructive alcoholism is funny, then get ready to laugh your head off because that is what Nicolas Cage's character is all about. As he spirals towards his demise, he meets hooker-with-a-heart-of-gold Elizabeth Shoe who tries to save him from
himself. I could go on but I don't want to ruin the movie for anyone who hasn't seen it. I missed 5 minutes out of the middle because I had to take an important call, but I had no problem catching up with the plot, so I guess that means the movie could have been edited a little better. The only thing that keeps me from giving this 5 stars is that the sound mix was a tad muddy for my ears, although most non-audiophiles probably won't notice.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Depressingly brilliant, Sept. 2 2003
This review is from: Leaving Las Vegas (DVD)
Let me start off by saying that this is one of the most depressing movies I have ever seen. Don't buy this thinking it will reward you with an uplifting experience by the end of the film.
That being said, Leaving Las Vegas truly is a fantastic movie. It is a sad tale of a man with nothing to lose going on a suicidal drinking binge in Las Vegas. I saw this film almost immediately after Con Air, in which Nicholas Cage's acting is underwhelming to say the least. Before seeing Leaving Las Vegas, I already had a closed mind about Nicholas Cage's talent; to be truthful I thought he was only famous because his uncle directed the Godfather. Even though he will of course never read this review, I feel I must apologize for ever thinking such a thing.
Nicholas Cage was absolutely incredible in this film. Throughout the entire movie his character was drunk and Cage portrayed this character with as much talent as the world's best actors. Leaving Las Vegas is by far his best movie.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Three Words: Brutal, Honest, and Beautiful, July 5 2003
This review is from: Leaving Las Vegas (DVD)
I have never written a review for amazon.com before, but I was so touched by this film that I thought I could share my thoughts with others. I have seen numerous movies in my life that have story lines about love. Unlike other films,though, this one doesn't try to manipulate the viewer's feelings. The honesty in this dark movie is what makes it soar above any other film.
These characters aren't people you envy or admire; they are just lost souls who are simply looking for love and acceptance. This film effortlessly makes you care so much for the characters because it presents them as flawed human beings who want nothing more than to feel love and to give love. This movie is touched me so deeply because it was a visual representation of feelings of my own life when I am forced to drop my guard and examine my own life and person I truly am. Please, don't even bother reading anymore reviews because this movie will brings tears to your eyes as a result of its unwillingness to give into the boring cliches and stereotypes that ruin so many other movies. If you can handle thinking outside of the box, you will be deeply rewarded
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4.0 out of 5 stars Burning in Las Vegas, July 2 2003
By 
Nightlegend (Alexandria, Egypt) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Leaving Las Vegas (DVD)
WARNING:SOME SPOILERS AHEAD , PLEASE DON'T PROCEED IF YOU HAVEN'T SEEN THE MOVIE , OR CONTINUE AT YOUR OWN RISK!
As the movie begins with the first moments , we are encountered with two completely separated charachters , (Nicholas Cage) a complete day/night drunk , never wakes of his booze , he is slowly descending to the edge , with suspecious friendships , shattered memories and irritating behaviour , he is faced with the losing of his job due to his Unresponible acts , on the other hand we meet (Elisabeth Shue) a hooker lives in Las Vegas , we take a glimpse of one of her THREESOME encounter , and we see her talks to someone after that who isn't obvious on the screen , but we take the impression that she are talking with a shrink .
Returns to , aftetr he got fired he decides to end his life by living on the edge till the end , he chooses Las Vegas as the spot to achieve his goals , and we see him trashing every thing he owns , and getting ready to leave , after reaching Las Vegas he sudddenly encounters and a strange relationship grows from here , he offers her five hundred dollars just to spend the night with him , and he didn't mean it in the SEXUAL way , he just wanted her to be beside him , and things started to develop.
You may think that the movie is trying to explain why such people would go on boozing till they destroy themselves , but actually the movie doesn't offer explainations of any kind , it plays like a portrait of personal experience , we see keeps destroying himself by indulging more and more in the booze , even tries to get him out of it by many ways without any success , he is presisting on destroying himself with all the methods , in one scene he is faced with a question regarding why he is insisting on doing what he is doing , he answers blankly that he is just doing it , so that proves the personal experience theory , no explainations are offered here .
Mike Figgs's direction focused mainly on the disturbing and shocking elements of the storyline , which were actually various during the movie , the dark concept of the story applied to every single scene in the movie , but he definitely got help from the cast members , including the briliant performance from Nicholas Cage , who actually gave the movie extra atristic weight , also Elisabeth Shue which too a very hard and controversial role , she played her role easily and suceeded in portraying a real image of such real life character .
Another elements helped the movie , like the excellent soundrtack which came very suitable for the atmosphere of the movie , the cinematography wandered freely with some strange locations , on the other hand there are other things prohibited this mvie from getting a higher score , including the lack of motivation for some characters , for example till the end of the movie you dont't know why is doing all of that to himself , why he throws all those things he own away , and departs his city to leave , also the theme of a hooker who meets a man who changes her life for better is not an unique theme , it has beeen presented many times before .
but as we agreed on the personal expereience approach you will leave this movie with some kind of shocked sadness , and trust me , the performance of Nicholas Cage will be clinged in your memory for a long time .
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5.0 out of 5 stars One Drink Over The Line, March 6 2003
This review is from: Leaving Las Vegas (DVD)
1995's Leaving Las Vegas is a dark, fatalistic film that unlike most Hollywood films, does not offer redemption at the end. Nicholas Cage stars in yet another edgy role as Ben Sanderson. As the film begins, we find that Ben has lost his reason to live as his career in Hollywood and his family have been taken away from him. He has vowed to move to Las Vegas and drink himself to death. One very powerful early scene, finds Ben downing a whole pint of booze in one shot at a bar and sinking into a hallucinogenic state. The scene is filmed in a hazy blurriness that captures the moment perfectly. Upon arriving in Vegas, Ben runs across a hooker, Sera, played by Elisabeth Shue. They connect with one another and soon Sera finds herself becoming attached to Ben. Ben offers no promises and demands that the one thing she never asks him to do is stop drinking. Sera grudgingly accepts this condition and they enter into a relationship that is based on a mutual neediness that only desperate people have. Director Mike Figgis does not allow the characters to change. Ben remains a drunk throughout the film and he fulfills his destiny and Sera never gives up her profession. Mr. Cage & Ms. Shue are brilliant in their roles and both garnered much acclaim. But as great as Ms. Shue is, this is Mr. Cage's film all the way. He is a commanding presence on screen and gives one the best acting performances in the last twenty years. For his troubles, he won the 1995 Best Actor Oscar. Ms. Shue was nominated for Best Actress and Mr. Figgis gained two nominations, one for Best Director and the other for Best Adapted Screenplay. This film was a surprise and so far an anomaly for Mr. Figgis. He showed nothing in his prior films to suggest he could pull off a film like Leaving Las Vegas and none of his subsequent films have built upon or matched this film's excellence.
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5.0 out of 5 stars I'm in love with Elizabeth Shue in this movie, Feb. 11 2003
This review is from: Leaving Las Vegas (DVD)
Elizabeth is in fine form for this film. Never found her too attractive until I saw her dressed up as a whore. Some very good visuals of her in this film which I highly recommend.
You are able to sympathize with both Ben and Sera, despite the paths they have chosen. Nicholas Cage was amazing and brilliant. No wonder why he won an Academy Award for his performance. You really buy into the fact that he is this sad character who wants nothing more but to destroy himself by the only thing that can bring him some sense of false happiness. Shue is also terrific in her role and should be applauded as well. The two are explosive as a team and can really bring the house down.
As for the DVD, you can have your choice of either watching the movie in widescreen or full screen. The picture for the most part looks good; not the best, but good. The main special feature this DVD offers is a trailer for the film and a bonus secret page. It would be nice if they decided to re-release this in a more superior version.
"Leaving Las Vegas" is heartbreaking, but at the same time is satisfying. It's emotionally charged from start to finish.
Elizabeth is very hot. She can help me through my alcoholism any time.
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Leaving Las Vegas
Leaving Las Vegas by Mike Figgis (DVD - 2003)
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