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3.1 out of 5 stars
41
3.1 out of 5 stars
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Ellis's "novella" is a fascinating, if challenging and unpleasant, "moral tale." As one character says, " I want someone to tell me what is good. And I want someone to tell me what is bad," in this depiction of an amoral '80's on the verge of devastation by the Aids epidemic. Interesting (and hard-edged) though Ellis's novella is, I don't really feel it's episodic structure has been successfully reworked in this film version. Still, despite the overwhelming apparent nihilism of the piece, certain lines - and implicit ironies - continue to shine through in the film script - although the satisfying complexity of original tale is somewhat lost. The book's original violence, together with its constant references to drug taking (which created an overwhelming repetitive almost hypnotic power) are all dramatically toned down in the film, while sexual episodes become much more explicit (only a 15 Certificate for goodness sake!) and are foolishly sanitised. This subsequently changes the focus of the piece to damaging effect and transform its vicious "edginess" into soft porn. Key moments from the novel are also lost and: the surreal "Vampire" sequence; the absence of characters such as Biff etc; and the removal of the "desertion scene"; etc etc, are not good decisions and are very missed. Most significantly the book's most shocking and horrific sequence - the abduction and murder of a child - is re-written and given a "happy ending" totally at odds with the "ethos" and creative direction of the novel and making nonsense of the work's Dantesque drive. So ultimately the piece is neither brave nor long enough (98 mts reduced from a original cut of 160 mts) to do justice to the novel and it's reworking (censorship of Ellis's uncompromising tale) reduces it's overall impact considerably. However it's not without interest and it is difficult to understand the almost universal negativity of mainstream critics on its release. That said, it's far from "commercial", definitely not for "general audiences" seeking an entertaining "night out" and it's certainly not a pleasant experience for anyone (although certainly not as unpleasant as it should have been!) So I only recommended this disc for fans of Elis's work - and perhaps only those fans wanting to see how his weird, wonderful and decidedly horrid tale could possibly be brought to the "big screen". The blu ray provides a solid if uninspired audio and video transfer - rather like the novella itself !
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on 1 April 2017
Parts of this are very 80s, very dragging. When it gets to Amber Heard, who we see a lot of, it's more, interesting.
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on 25 April 2017
good film
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on 24 March 2017
Okay movie
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on 18 January 2016
This has had some bad and, perhaps, unfair reviews. The title is wrong – “Feckless Lives” would be more appropriate. There is no story – more of a snap shot into the lives of a successful rock band and their entourage. Set in the 80’s with a backdrop of emerging HIV, various parts of their lives emerge – drugs, sex - and a pointless existence with no moral compass. “I want some to tell me what is right and wrong” says one character. Yes, worth watching.
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on 24 March 2016
Despite terrible reviews when it came out, The Informers has become something of a cult movie in subsequent years. I find it all very glamorous, sordid and fascinating with an 80's soundtrack that sounds even better than it did at the time, unless you were on acid. Flock of Seagulls, the Fixx... I swoon! I watched it for, I think, the fourth time, tonight and it's appeal is undiminished. If the rumoured 160 minute version really exists, I would certainly like to see it.
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on 21 November 2009
I watched `The Informers` with the lowest of expectations.While it doesn't
rank with classics such as American psycho or The Ruoles Of Attraction
it is still entertaining with a great effort from the cast and crew
including the late Brad Renfro and marvellous Mickey Rourke.

The films plot focuses on the high's and lows of a group of wealthy
and eccentric characters in LA whose lives involve drugs and partying.
While the movie has it's flaws it still beats other movies of it's genre.
Take Magnolia for example.
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on 23 January 2010
Taking into account this L.A. set multi-stranded ensemble piece was a complete flop in America and only got a very limited cinematic release here in the UK (strange considering it arguably has the best cast of any film in 2009), it's not bad at all. The 80's feel is very much like the book and the soundtrack is terrific.

The segments range from interesting to pointless; I enjoyed the stuff with Jon Foster, Austin Nichols and Amber Heard, who is absolutely stunning and you see plenty of her in this! The story with Mickey Rourke and the late Brad Renfro is good too but perhaps the most interesting is the one with Lou Taylor Pucci as Tim who struggles to bond with his dad (Chris Isaak) in their trip to Hawaii. The performances between the two are great and this part is very faithful to the book.

As for the pointless ones; Billy Bob Thornton, Kim Basinger and Winona Ryder just turn up for their pay cheques while Rhys Ifans is in the film for about 10 seconds! I was disappointed they cancelled the vampire scenes, it would've been great to see Brandon Routh (Superman Returns) as Jamie. I seen an interview with Jon Foster (who plays Graham) and even he was confused to why they dropped the story, the producers must've bottled it.

I'm still trying to understand why this film has had such a quiet release and why barely anyone has heard of it. I just think the producers never spent enough on promoting the film after they interfered too much and totally soured writers Nicholas Jarecki and Bret Easton Ellis' vision (who left the project after it drifted too far away from his novel). However, apparently there was a 160 minute cut of the film he was pretty happy with and hopefully we'll see it someday.

However, despite all the production problems and the general critical mauling I think The Informers is a decent character piece thats worth checking out, especially for the standout performances by Jon Foster and Lou Taylor Pucci. The downbeat ending is also pretty effective and along with many moments in the film, stays with you for a few days.
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on 12 January 2013
Let's admit it, this movie has no point. Having said this, one can float in it (I watched it in 4 sessions - which shows how one is captured by it) and enjoy the soundtrack. This, together with the view of splendid male and female bodies mostly naked, is the major asset of the movie. I actually cannot remember why I bought it. I give 3 stars instead of 2 (as it would deserve) due to the good craftsmanship, pictures, and soundtrack
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on 7 December 2011
The best way I feel I could describe The Informers is with the word 'empty'. The movie plays like an uncut episode of The Hills. But that's why it's good. It is unrestrained in its nihilism and despair. Which is why it's a shame that the director felt the need to cut so much of the movie out, probably to get it's R rating. I mean with the empty plot, this was never going to be a critical success, so I find it both amusing and annoying that this movie was cut so heavily.

The characters in the film are shallow and almost two dimensional, the cinematography is all over the place, and the plot is almost literally nonexistent. And that's exactly why you should see it! Watch it as a serious piece and see how you feel by the end. Try and engage with the characters; see how it feels when that's completely impossible.

Although I've given this movie five stars, in comparison to the book, this movie, although similar, loses most of the story. Merging characters and their story lines for the sake of narrative continuity. However, it's not the story of The Informers that makes it a special movie, it's the tone. The unrepentant nihilism in both the characters and the dialogue.

The Informers is, in it's own, a masterpiece. No doubt accidentally so, but no less. The director Gregor Jordan has created a formless mess with a buckled narrative and actors who don't know how to play their characters. This mess fits the tone of the book better than any meticulously orchestrated direction ever could. And for that it is undeniable that this film is the best adaptation of any of Ellis' novels.

Feel like I should add an extra conclusion to this review, because I feel very strongly about this movie. Some accuse this movie of being pointless (in a bad way). Well it isn't. The states of mind all of these characters experience: the numbing of the soul because they have everything they want, the ennui and over-saturation, the apathy toward their fellow people, the vapidity that has spread through their very animus like a virus leaving them completely without desire and without conscious- it is a philosophical nightmare. It's an existential black hole that sucks and raison d'être the characters may ever have held. That is the point of this movie. That having everything is leaving nothing. That innocence is something that can never be recaptured. That is the lesson behind this movie- and it is thanks to the tone and messy narrative that you can feel that.
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