Bringing Out the Dead.
Firstly, don't see this movie if you don't dig Scorcese films (Casino, Raging Bull). The camera angles and effects aren't quite as vertigo-inducing as Oliver Stone's, but he throws enough loops in there to have you running for the Dramamine. Anyway, the story involves Frank (Nicolas Cage), a five-year EMT paramedic losing control of his sanity. He's plagued by many of the lives he's lost, particularly the case of an 18-year-old homeless girl named Rose. He becomes involved with Patricia Arquette when he barely saves her father from a heart attack. Becoming mixed up in a world where the innocents die freely and the homeless refuse to go, he meets an array of lunatics that start to skew his perception of reality. A great feature of this film was the ability to make the viewer feel like they were also victims of insomnia and repetitive routine, just like Frank. With a strong supporting cast including John Goodman, Ving Rhames and Tom Sizemore as crazy paramedic partners, and several inventive tricks (especially check out the sequence where the snow is falling upwards), this crazy movie is worth a look. But be warned, it will make you think.
This movie sure got its money's worth out of the same running joke: Excessive profanity is hilarious. I must admit, it really is. I caught myself thinking, "When will I get tired of him using more 'fucks' and 'shits' than other words in a sentence?" But, it never came. The plot is strung together surprisingly well, with a few predictabilites juxtaposed with a largely creative story. Billy Bob Thornton (hate him if you must, but I believe he's very underrated) plays the role of "Bad Santa", and Bernie Mac has a hilarious role as a closet-case, constipated, chain-smoking mall security chief. Of course, there's a moral to be found, as a lonely overweight (and sickeningly optimistic) child teaches us the real meaning of friendship and giving, yada yada yada. As much as you hate the kid, *vomit*, you do have to pity the poor bastard. And he's just innocent enough for the real dichotomy of Thornton's miserable character to work. Throw in John Ritter in one of his last performances before his untimely death, and you've got a movie well worth its fare.