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Reviews » DVD Video Reviews » Rated X
Rated X
Showtime // Unrated
List Price: $14.95 [Buy now and save at Amazon]
Review by Chuck Arrington | posted April 2, 2001 | E-mail the Author
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RATED X

Synopsis:

Jim and Artie Mitchell created a pornographic empire. They introduced the world to Marilyn Chambers and showed everyone what was Behind the Green Door. However, life for them was filled with rampant drug abuse, legal woes, much violence and sadly, death. This is their story. Charlie Sheen and brother, Emilio Estevez, play the title characters in this Showtime Biopic and take you through the lives of then porn impresarios, Jim and Artie Mitchell. They began humbly and lived hugely. All at the expense of their characters and the understanding of that which was most important to both of them. Truthfully, I don't believe either of them ever figured that one out. Much like Boogie Nights, Rated X explores the world behind the cameras as well as that in front of them. It's gritty, graphic, violent and well produced. Rated X tells an intriguing tale that has no happy endings for anyone.

Audio/Video:

The audio is presented in Dolby 2-Channel Surround that puts the aural information all about the room. There is no sub activity and all of the audio is pushed through the fronts and rears. The dialogue is clearly understood. The Director's Commentary is provided by both Sheen and Estevez. It's loaded with humor and information and I got the feeling that these guys really enjoyed working together on this film. For the record, there are two versions of this film. One is rated R and the other is Unrated. The version used for review is Unrated. Of note, Estevez identifies the differences between the versions as being the result of the objections of the MPAA regarding, thrusting, bestiality ad infinitude. For the record, there was no bestiality in this film or in any of their (the Shaw brothers) films. You'll notice that Sheen and Estevez are sporting shaved heads in the film to add that measure of credibility that a "bald cap" would not have presented. To their credit, it says something when you get that into a part but for future reference, keep the hair fellas! The commentary is big on technical reference and comments about hated and loved scenes. As well as pointing out family members in the film. Not the best commentary I've heard but definitely a funny look at filmmaking through these guys perspective.

The video is presented in a full frame platform and showed a fair amount of transfer errors and mistakes in Chapters 8,19,20 and 21. Flecks of white besiege the first two chapters while the latter seem to have a dark band about the center of the film that lightens and then darkens. Not mentioned in the commentary as an effect, I can only deduce that it's an error.

Extras:

The extras on the disc are two interviews that are roughly 5-10 minutes in length. One interview is with Ms. Marilyn Chambers herself. She talks about her audition for Behind the Green Door, the Ivory Soap box Controversy, Shooting Behind the Green door and the politics of Porn. The second interview is with Bernard Walter, Former Assistant District Attorney during the Mitchell period and subsequent Murder investigation. His topics include: The Diane Fienstein Marquee incident, His assertions after meeting the Mitchell brothers, The challenges faces by the District Attorney's office in trying to effectively handle the Mitchell case and his involvement in the investigation into the murder of Artie Shaw.

Overall:

This is a very interesting movie. It really tells a great story and kept my attention throughout. Unlike Boogie Nights, I felt this film, used nudity and sex to tell the story as opposed to the nudity and sex being, the story. Sheen and Estevez offer up the best performances of their careers in making you believe they are these brothers. It's a sad story but a good one as well. Recommended

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