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4.0 out of 5 stars
Leaving Las Vegas
Format: DVDChange
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Showing 1-8 of 8 reviews(3 star)show all reviews
on February 2, 2000
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 pixellated in low light and low contrast scenes, but even in some bright ones as well. If you subscribe to digital cable in an area where they compress too many digital channels into each analog channel, you know the effect I'm referring to.
The poor picture quality in this title most likely stems from the decision to cram both a widescreen and fullscreen version of this 2-hour movie on the same side of a single-layer DVD. Something had to give, and in this case, it was the compression ratio, leading to extraordinarily poor picture quality. If the producers felt compelled to include the fullscreen version, they could have at least done us all the favor of putting it on the flip side. If you appreciate high-quality visuals in your movies (and why else would you have bought that DVD player?) pass on this one until they come out with a less-compressed version.
On the positive side, the movie itself is one of the better ones I've seen, and definitely justifies a rental of this title if you haven't seen it before. The Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack is exceptional (I'd rate it a 5, vice Amazon's 4), and the background music is both well-chosen and very well-mixed. If you have a 5 or 6 speaker Dolby Digital setup, you'll feel as if you're actually in the movie, with the jazz music and sound effects emanating from all around you. It's a crime about the picture, though.
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on January 6, 2000
I had no idea what this film was all about, and if I had any inkling, I would never have watched it. But, I watched it to the bitter end. I am in two 12-step programs, AlAnon, and AA. I am familiar with being around alcholics myself, and have seen the total destruction that it has done to relatives, friends, and friends of friends. I have been sober for the past 12 years, and have experienced a rebirth in myself, and I thank God for that every day of my life. This was a powerful movie, and the director, and the performance by Nicholas Cage were able to evoke tears, trembling, cringing, anger, fear, and depression for days afterward, which might have caused my blood pressure to become elevated. Yes, Sera and Ben were good people at heart, but alcoholism totally takes over a person(s) life; and when a woman resorts to peddling her body, depths of degradation become part and parcel, and in these instances, there will only occur the extreme inevitable... Yes, Nicholas Cage, and Elizabeth Shue played powerful, and undoubtedly emotionally draining roles for this movie. However with the special effects of the present day, I believe Cage would not have to do the as much work or acting as Ray Milland in The Lost Week-End. The special effects might have helped Cage get through the work and acting a bit easier than Milland or Jack Lemmon in Days of Wine and Roses. In summation, if you can get through the lurid sex scenes or the disgusting language, to put it mildly, this movie has some merit to it. It is wake up call for drinkers out there who think -I'm too intelligent to ever let that happen to me - - - Respect alcohol, it is more powerful than you. Would I ever see this movie again? Hell, NO.
Clare Hynes-Pope New York City
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on January 6, 2000
I had no idea what this film was all about, and if I had any inkling, I would never have watched it. But, I watched it to the bitter end. I am in two 12-step programs, AlAnon, and AA. I am familiar with being around alcholics myself, and have seen the total destruction that it has done to relatives, friends, and friends of friends. I have been sober for the past 12 years, and have experienced a rebirth in myself, and I thank God for that every day of my life. This was a powerful movie, and the director, and the performance by Nicholas Cage were able to evoke tears, trembling, cringing, anger, fear, and depression for days afterward, which might have caused my blood pressure to become elevated. Yes, Sera and Ben were good people at heart, but alcoholism totally takes over a person(s) life; and when a woman resorts to peddling her body, depths of degradation become part and parcel, and in these instances, there will only occur the extreme inevitable... Yes, Nicholas Cage, and Elizabeth Shue played powerful, and undoubtedly emotionally draining roles for this movie. However with the special effects of the present day, I believe Cage would not have to do the as much work or acting as Ray Milland in The Lost Week-End. The special effects might have helped Cage get through the work and acting a bit easier than Milland or Jack Lemmon in Days of Wine and Roses. In summation, if you can get through the lurid sex scenes or the disgusting language, to put it mildly, this movie has some merit to it. It is wake up call for drinkers out there who think -I'm too intelligent to ever let that happen to me - - - Respect alcohol, it is more powerful than you. Would I ever see this movie again? Hell, NO.
Clare Hynes-Pope New York City
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on November 4, 2000
I watched Leaving Las vegas three times,each time rewinding my video with more of a sense of confusion.I understood the somewhat subtle plot and tried to come into terms with the characters in the movie.Nicolas Cage is great in this film dont get me wrong,but his character seemed very imaginary and unfruitful.Liz Shue's acting was also praisworthy however thin her appearance seemed.One has a sense that there is some part of the film missing,could be Im wrong but I failed to find the significance of the other characters in the film i.e-the Russian "pimp",If youre not into non linear films with strange scenes appearing from out of the blue give this a miss,but if you like a well portrayed broken man with a serious drinking problem and a suicidal view on life then check out this one.
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on March 18, 2002
This is one of the most unremittlingly depressing movies I have ever seen. That said, it is well made, and the lead actors do a credible job. My main argument is that very few hookers look like Elizabeth Shue, and the relationship between two very troubled individuals is somewhat glamorized and made to look poetic, when in reality, it would be pathetic.
If you're feeling a bit down, avoid it like the plague! Otherwise, watch it to appreciate the acting, and to realize that Las Vegas is one of the most depressing places on the planet.
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on September 29, 1999
The early scenes in this film in which Cage's character's life is unravelling are heartbreakingly real and moving. The scene where he's being fired by a boss who clearly cares about him is stunning. Overall, though, I found this film to be overrated. It never reaches the level of such films as "The Lost Weekend", still the definitive film about alcoholism. The acting is excellent throughout, however.
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on May 9, 2001
this is an EXTREMELY depressing movie to watch. I have rarely felt so down after watching a movie as I did after this one. It has a lot to commend in its performances but the story is not that interesting. It comes down to a man wanting to drink himself to death and succeeding. Shue is just along for the ride. The performances are good but the movie is dark and depressing.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on May 7, 2004
I like this movie and recommend it. Something to watch when you're alone late at night. Good acting by the talented Cage
& Shue. Makes an impression on you.
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