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Mysterious Skin [DVD] [2005]

4.5 out of 5 stars 62 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Actors: Brady Corbet, Joseph Gordon Levitt, Rachael Nastassja Kraft, Lisa Long, Chris Mulkey
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Subtitles For The Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.77:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 18
  • Studio: Tartan
  • DVD Release Date: 24 Oct. 2005
  • Run Time: 99 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (62 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0009X799S
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 35,167 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

Off-beat indie drama. Brian Lackey (Brady Corbet) went missing for five hours when he was eight-years-old, an event that he remains convinced was the result of alien abduction. In the same small Kansas town, teenage hustler Neil McCormick (Joseph Gordon Levitt) is a confused outsider with a promiscuous mother (Elisabeth Shue) and who was abused as a child by his Little League coach (Bill Sage). Locked into their own obsessions, both young men pursue a self-destructive path that will lead them towards each other, and will result in each of them trying to exorcise the demons of their past. Also starring Michelle Trachtenberg.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
This movie was far from being rubbish. I am not one to watch gory details when it comes to human life, but nor I'm I able to watch mind-numbing boring and easy movies either. The summary got me, and I had to rent it. This movie dealt with a lot more than more or any gay themed movies can ever imagine. It was heart felt, shocking, scary and damn right vomit worthy at times. But all that brought in such a powerful storyline. We always get hit with political stories in movies, especially when it deals with aids or rape. But this movie dealt with how two people suffered the same incident but how different they were as people and how differently they took the incident.

A fan of the movie, and will be off the book once I get around to buying it. The warnings are all there, if you still pick it up and don't like it, don't blame it on the theme.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
The issue of child sexual abuse is an incredibly difficult one to broach, especially on the big screen - Gregg Araki manages to tell the story of these two young men from a dispassionate and sometime uncompromisingly detached perspective, whilst allowing the viewer to empathise with the two young men and the situation that they find themselves in.

This film is not for the faint hearted. Possibly the hardest scene to watch is where Joseph Gordon-Levitt, playing a rent boy, is raped - and yet I felt that this scene truly brought to the fore, the incredible turmoil going on inside this youth - the source of his self-destructive behaviour.

Despite the controversial and emotive material that forms the backdrop for this film, the journey of healing that ultimately emerges in the closing scenes is heartwarming and hopeful.

I would highly recommend this film.
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Format: DVD
Creepy pedos in baseball-playing, mom-loving, apple pie-eating small town America? You bet. And because it is devoid of an "after school special" sentimentality or Spielberg gloss, it feels that more chilling and bold and real.

An uncomfortable film to watch, but resonant for me as someone who grew up gay in 1980s Kansas. Details like the Little League games, the Halloween spook house and the shady characters cruising the park were all spot on, although I doubt the film will be championed by the Kansas Travel & Tourism Division.

I've not read Scott Heim's book on which this film is based, but on reading his background you realise each of the youths in the film is a manifestation of himself. He claims to have seen a UFO with his family, excelled in school and lived with his single mom after a divorce (like Brian), he announced baseball games (like Neil) and his infatuation with cosmetics and British goth pop made him the subject of death threats (like Eric).

Altogether that means there's a lot of truth to what's being depicted, no matter how dangerous or taboo some may consider the subject matter. I think Araki should be praised for making a mockery of the American movie ratings by filming such an explicit movie that doesn't show a thing. I've seen European art-house films with twice as much flesh which were half as frank. I think what disturbs people most is there is no moralising, no revenge and no happy ending where learning the truth frees the tortured characters from their shattered lives.

Joseph Gordon-Levitt was the stand-out from the cast, with Michelle Trachtenberg failing to bring any weight to the film's more poignant scenes because her dialogue was too 'writerly' (saying things that people may think but rarely voice).

I was disappointed that the film was not filmed in Kansas, but they did an excellent job finding places in California which were strikingly similar.
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By PM on 6 Oct. 2005
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I have never rated Greg Araki but this film changed my mind. A truly brave and bold adaptation of the wondeful novel by Scott Heim which never fails to capture the fragile poetry and lyricism of the book. Despite the dark subject matter, the film is never po-faced and humour is used skilfully and humanely. Two young boys are sexually abused by their school football coach. As young adults, each deals with the abuse in their own different way until both reach a mutual crisis and are propelled towards a dramatic and moving conclusion. The film was criticised on the grounds that it suggests that one of the characters enjoyed being abused as a child - nonsense. The film never doubts for one moment that both characters were damaged by their experiences with coach. Have these critics never heard of the concept of denial? Anybody who knows anything about child abuse knows that children often go back to the abuser again and again - usually because the adult makes them feel special. For all our liberal values, society is still very much in denial about the whole subject of child abuse and childhood sexuality. We are much more comfortable thinking about the evil paedophile bogyman (The Woodsman), than facing the reality that most adults who abuse children are people kids look up to and respect - fathers, mothers, brothers, uncles, aunties etc. Where many would rather run away from this subject and not talk about it, this film meets it head on, if you forgive the pun. Without doubt the best film of 2005. You must see this film.
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Format: DVD
No point in re-writing the synopsis, just see above… This film is one of the most powerful and stunning films I’ve seen in some time. What I found interesting about the film was the way the main character (played brilliantly by Joseph Gordon-Levitt) believed himself to be unaffected by the abuse he suffered, yet as time goes by, you can see the damage that has been done (after-all – he is a rent boy!), he has shut down his emotions, but he begins to understand more when he meets Brian and realises the damage done to him. Powerful stuff and not for the faint hearted. This really is an extraordinary film, and I haven’t previously been impressed by the films of Araki.
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