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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Hal Ashby's swan song is an enjoyable 80s crime thriller
After killing an unarmed man in a drug bust, a cop (Jeff Bridges in an uneven performance, his drunk scenes are awful) resigns from the force and becomes an alcoholic, destroying his marriage in the process and eventually leading him to join Alcoholics Anonymous. When a hooker (Alexandra Paul) comes to him for help in escaping the prostitution life, what at first seems...
Published on 14 Mar 2012 by The CinemaScope Cat

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Disjointed Ashby
Hal Ashby started his career in Hollywood as an editor, hitting the big time when he was awarded the Academy Award for Film Editing for "In the Heat of the Night" in 1967. Three years later, Ashby made his directorial debut, "The Landlord" taking with him the editing styles he had learnt in his previous years. Over his directing career, Ashby made a couple of fantastic...
Published on 18 Dec 2011 by BPR


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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Hal Ashby's swan song is an enjoyable 80s crime thriller, 14 Mar 2012
By 
The CinemaScope Cat - See all my reviews
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This review is from: 8 Million Ways To Die [DVD] (DVD)
After killing an unarmed man in a drug bust, a cop (Jeff Bridges in an uneven performance, his drunk scenes are awful) resigns from the force and becomes an alcoholic, destroying his marriage in the process and eventually leading him to join Alcoholics Anonymous. When a hooker (Alexandra Paul) comes to him for help in escaping the prostitution life, what at first seems like a chance at redemption leads him down a dark path involving drugs and murder. The last film of director Hal Ashby is a far cry from the days of BEING THERE and SHAMPOO. It seems nobody was happy with the finished product. Ashby was fired after the film wrapped and had nothing to do with the post editing process. Co-screenwriter Oliver Stone wanted his name taken off the credits (it wasn't) because Ashby threw out his script and reputedly had the cast improvise (it sure sounds like it). After all that, you'd think the film would be a hideous mess. Well, it is a mess but an entertaining one in spite of the erratic acting and writing. The film is pure 80s in look and feel especially the James Newton Howard synthesizer underscore. With Andy Garcia in his star making role (he seems to be channeling Pacino from SCARFACE), Rosanna Arquette and Randy Brooks.

The Second Sight DVD from Great Britain is a decent anamorphic wide screen (1.85) no frills transfer that looks to be duped from a German print as the film's title is in German in the opening credits.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 8 million reasons to buy this DVD, 28 Feb 2012
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sandy gran (West midlands uk) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: 8 Million Ways To Die [DVD] (DVD)
If you are a Bridges fan then you will see this as one of his best films, along side 'True Grit'

He has the knack of making you believe that he is the character he is playing.

A truly remarkable film, watch over and over.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Disjointed Ashby, 18 Dec 2011
This review is from: 8 Million Ways To Die [DVD] (DVD)
Hal Ashby started his career in Hollywood as an editor, hitting the big time when he was awarded the Academy Award for Film Editing for "In the Heat of the Night" in 1967. Three years later, Ashby made his directorial debut, "The Landlord" taking with him the editing styles he had learnt in his previous years. Over his directing career, Ashby made a couple of fantastic films including "Harold and Maude", "Being There" and "Shampoo", however it would be for "Coming Home" with which he would be most successful, earning Ashby and Academy Award nomination for Best Director. Towards the tail end of his career, Ashby earned a reputation for being unreliable, reclusive and eccentric, mainly due to drugs. Unfortunately, his erratic behaviour affected his films, getting fired from "The Slugger's Wife" due to 'creative differences' with Neil Simon and then finally making "8 Million Ways to Die", a film from which he was sacked on the final day of principal photography with the film becoming a commercial failure.

The film stars Jeff Bridges as an alcoholic LA drugs cop, Matthew Scudder, who shoots an unarmed suspect in a drugs raid in front of his family. His life quickly spins out of control resulting in Scudder losing both his job, and his wife. Trying to clean up his act and quit drinking, he is thrown into the deep end when a prostitute begs him for protection and winds up dead. As Scudder is drawn back into the world of vice, he hunts down the hookers' killer among LA's seedy underbelly of pimps and drug dealers.

With a screenplay by Oliver Stone (Natural Born Killers, World Trade Center), the script for "8 Million Ways to Die" is surprisingly tame and formulaic and seemingly strays from the original novel by Laurence Block. Oliver Stone however, is not to blame and was reportedly displeased with the end result as the studio wanted a more "Miami Vice" feel rather than a gritty cop drama, and so Robert Towne was called in to rewrite Stone's screenplay. It also didn't help that Ashby improvised many scenes. Executive producer Mark Damon once stated that Ashby even through the script out, forcing everything to be improvised and whilst I feel this may be an exageration, it would still account for the disjointed feel. Still, as far as the genre goes, the story is a by the numbers affair and certainly passable.

The cast, is another story altogether and is likely the saving grace to an otherwise muddled affair. Jeff Bridges is joined by Rosanna Arquette and Andy Garcia and all put in reasonably good, but not career best, performances. I would've liked to see more scenes with Bridges and Garcia together though. The supporting cast, including James Avery, Lisa Sloan and Randy Brooks, also put in respectable appearances.

I'm not sure if I could out and out recommend the film, as there are many gritty cop dramas from the eighties that are better (see Charles Bronson's filmography). However, despite the disjointed feel, and on-set problems, the end result isn't as bad as the lack of commercial success would suggest.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars this must be the director's cut, 6 Mar 2012
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This review is from: 8 Million Ways To Die [DVD] (DVD)
while he was completely wasted....low rent in every aspect...apart from the title, which is where all the effort clearly went. ridiculous story line with AA meetings as a back-drop.
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8 Million Ways To Die [DVD]
8 Million Ways To Die [DVD] by Hal Ashby (DVD - 2011)
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