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  • Less Than Zero [VHS]
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Less Than Zero [VHS]

23 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Actors: Andrew McCarthy, Jami Gertz, Robert Downey Jr., James Spader, Tony Bill
  • Directors: Marek Kanievska
  • Writers: Bret Easton Ellis, Harley Peyton
  • Producers: Jon Avnet, Jordan Kerner, Marvin Worth
  • Language: English, Spanish
  • Classification: 18
  • Studio: CBS Fox
  • VHS Release Date: 1 Oct. 1999
  • Run Time: 94 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00004CJET
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 374,168 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

Product Description

Clay (Andrew McCarthy) arrives home from college for Christmas in Los Angeles. His ex-girlfriend (Jami Gertz) wants Clay to save their friend Julian (Robert Downey Jr) from his ever-worsening drug addiction and its attendant debts. Clay does his best to undo the damage, but realises along the way that Julian's problem is much worse than it seems.

From Amazon.co.uk

Less Than Zero is adapted from the dreary, pointless late-80s novel by literary poseur Bret Easton Ellis, which focused on listless, shiftless, drug-sniffing, sex-swapping, dead-end California teens with too much money and time on their hands--though the movie is not nearly as interesting as that. This is mostly due to the ridiculously cleaned-up script and lifeless direction, which whitewashes the baser depravity and replaces it with perversion-lite and fashion shows. It doesn't help that director Marek Kanievska is saddled with Brat Pack lesser (make that least) lights Andrew McCarthy and Jami Gertz. The only things that lift this film above the muck are the performances by James Spader as a particularly heinous drug dealer and Robert Downey Jr as a rich-kid addict with no self-control. --Marshall Fine --This text refers to the DVD edition.

Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Schnecki on 10 Mar. 2008
Format: DVD
I felt the young cast was actually not badly chosen, Andrew McCarthy as the college boy possibly following his families footsteps, Jamie Gertz portraying an insecure girl and Robert Downey Jr as a guy who went on the wrong path going downhill by the minute. The vulnerability is genuine and for example with their (especially rich) parents being either widowed or divorced or else, it is believable how these kids develop post school.
I liked the film, but I can imagine a bigger potential with the book. Though Downey and Spader are definitely worth watching.

However there were two things bugging me about the film.
After 5 minutes plot the film moves on "6 months later", which I find given the circumstances and story unrealistic. These rather dramatic developments are unrealistic to happen only '6' months after graduation, it should have been a year to make a difference. A few months is just so naff, sorry. So I watched the film a second time, just pretending to myself it would be a year later, and things made more sense.
Secondly the party/clubbing scenes - were the dancing people out of rhythm, was the post-dubbing just bad or what was going on? And why would one hear tapping dancing feet? Any club would have played loud music so one could not really get this sound effect. This really distracted me and just did not convince me.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful By "logan72" on 31 Oct. 2003
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Sure, neither Jamie Gertz or Andrew Mcarthy are ever likely to win an oscar, but you can never knock James Spader or Robert Downey Jr, who both play fantastic parts in this. It's also nothing like the book, which isn't a bad thing !
Maybe it affected me more because I grew up in the 80's, but I really identified with the characters and the things they were being exposed to. It's set in LA, but it could be any city really, as it goes through what happens after kids leave university full of hope and big ideas, then they realise things aren't always quite so rosy in the big wide world. Sure, none of these characters struggle financially at first since they are all from wealthy families, but the temptations they come across and the decisions they have to make are no different to those that face all young people.
The soundtrack is another plus - you can't beat the Bangles can you ?!?
Well worth watching...a bit of a cult favourite, and a must for any Robert Downey Jr fan !
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By "polka_dott" on 5 Mar. 2006
Format: VHS Tape
I couldn't quite believe my eyes when I watched this film. As a fan of Bret Easton Ellis's novel "Lezz Than Zero", I was ecstatic to discover that there was a film adaptation and, best of all, it had actually been made in the 80s and therfore would, hopefully, capture the 80s influence that made the novel what it was. I set out to watch the film expecting it to be as thrillingly nihilistic and caustic as the novel, but was dissapointed to discover that, in making the film, Kanievska had completely missed the point. The fact that the novel's protagonist, Clay, is effectively numb to the events of the story (his most extreme emotions displayed generally being that of mild distaste and occasionally desperation) should never have been overlooked! Whilst I can accept that a story often loses aspects of itslef having made the transition from novel to film, I found it impossible to ignore the glaring deviations from the original text. Kanievska not only changed the dialogue, many of the scenes, and the plot, but also the emotions a reader/viewer leaves the story with. Here, "Less Than Zero" has gone from being a distressing account of the Reagan 80s that leaves the reader both numb and overwhelmed at the same time, to an unimpressive, underwhelming chore of a film!
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Format: DVD
Clay, an eighteen-year-old freshman, comes back from his first term at a college in New Hampshire to spend Christmas with his wealthy family in Los Angeles.

His former girlfriend, Blair, is now involved with his ex-best-friend, Julian. She warns Clay that Julian needs help: he is using a lot of cocaine and has huge debts....

Anything to with the Eighties, and I'm already sold, as you may know if you read my other reviews. Bret Easton Ellis novels are difficult to turn into movies, but I've loved everyone that has been produced (even the Informers).

And this is no exception.

It's a film about greed and excess, and spoilt little rich kids getting into trouble and not getting their parents health.

As expected, Downey Jr. Is the best thing about this, totally believable as the young man living the high life, only depending on being high to live it. Eye make up and barking attributes are the order of the day for him, and he excels.

The same cannot be said though for Gertz and McCarthy, they are pretty terrible in this, just spending the film looking worried or a little bit distant, this may be trying to be cool and reckless, but they just looked moronic and boorish.

But funnily enough, they are not the pivotal part of the movie, yes they get back together and try to conquer the excess of the eighties for love, but its the Julian and Rip relationship that is the movies core and heart.

It looks good, a typical eighties movie where people stand on expensive looking balconies trying to find themselves, with a great soundtrack, and good looking people.

Shame about Gertz and McCarthy though.
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