Leaving Las Vegas Blu-ray review

This deeply profound and realistic look at alcoholism was expertly made by Mike Figgis, writer and director, for both of which jobs he received Academy Award nominations. And the seemingly impossible happened when Nicholas Cage, whose last film in Vegas had him parachuting with Elvis impersonators, won a Best Actor Academy Award for his portrayal of a washed up alcoholic who decides to go to Las Vegas to drink himself to death. Along the way he finds Sera (Elisabeth Shue), a Vegas hooker who seems to enjoy drinking as much as he does. Together they form a bond while drinking as much as they can, throwing themselves into self-destructive behavior as an escape plan.

Leaving Las Vegas is a deeply unsettling film, mostly because of how easy it is to believe the characters due to the committed performances. Cage’s career has essentially gone downhill from here. Perhaps it is simply that Cage cannot seem to ever match the role of Ben Sanderson, though aside from the accolades, I can’t see why he would want to either.

The Blu-ray includes an unrated version of the film along with trivia and production notes, previously released on DVD. The high definition is somewhat average, and this isn’t the type of film which requires clarity in the visuals, despite some graphic sex scenes between the stars. The unrated version of the film seems to enhance this slightly, but it doesn’t enhance the film as much as celebrity curiosity to see these films in high definition.

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