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The Informers
The Informers
Actors: Kim Basinger, Billy Bob Thornton
Director: Gregor Jordan
Genres: Drama
R     2009     1hr 38min

FROM THE AUTHOR OF 'LESS THAN ZERO' COMES A NEW TALE OF 1980S LOS ANGELES AS A LOST GENERATION DRIFTS THROUGH A WORLD OF LUST, GREED & ADDICTION.

     

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Movie Details

Actors: Kim Basinger, Billy Bob Thornton
Director: Gregor Jordan
Genres: Drama
Sub-Genres: Drama
Studio: Senator
Format: DVD - Color,Widescreen - Closed-captioned,Subtitled
DVD Release Date: 08/25/2009
Original Release Date: 01/01/2009
Theatrical Release Date: 04/24/2009
Release Year: 2009
Run Time: 1hr 38min
Screens: Color,Widescreen
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 0
MPAA Rating: R (Restricted)
Languages: English
Subtitles: English
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Member Movie Reviews

David M. (KingofGarageSales) from FAYETTEVILLE, AR
Reviewed on 3/21/2022...
Starring Billy Bob Thornton (which is why I chose it), Kim Basinger, Wynona Ryder, and Mickey Rourke. In order to be successful, any film must seduce the viewer into temporarily suspending disbelief; into thinking that the actions, motivations, and emotions of the actors and actresses are credible. It’s OK if one likes—or even vehemently hates—one or more of the characters. That just means that the thespian has successfully hidden the real-world persona behind the mask of the character. In THE INFORMERS, however, the plot fails miserably. It’s inane, contrived, and phony from the first five minutes. And as for those in it: Let he who is without sin stone the cast first. The film was actually too bad to finish watching. I didn’t CARE how it ended; all I wanted to do was get it out of my DVD player. It’s been many years since I’ve given a film 0 stars; I only did it this time because I couldn’t give it less.
1 of 1 member(s) found this review helpful.

Movie Reviews

Underwhelming and unengaging look at the decadent 80s
z hayes | TX | 08/30/2009
(3 out of 5 stars)

"Intrigued by the premise of the decadent 80s in LA [and all the star names associated with this movie], I decided to rent it. The result however was completely underwhelming, and left me feeling disappointed and annoyed at wasting my time on it. The movie plays out ala "Crash" in the sense that you have all these characters that are kind of linked with each other through certain circumstances. There's a Hollywood honcho [Billy Bob] who has a tumultuous and strained relationship with his wife [Kim Basinger] because of his dalliances with a newscaster [Winona Ryder]. His son [Jon Foster] is heavily involved in a world of sex and drugs, a world which includes his promiscuous girlfriend [Amber Heard]. There's a father-son pair who can't seem to connect with each other [Chris Isaak and Lou Taylor Pucci], a disillusioned rock star [Mel Raido], and a doorman [Brad Renfro, whose appearance in this movie was his last prior to his death] who is forced to put up with his con artist/criminal uncle [Mickey Rourke] and his nefarious activities [which include the kidnapping of minors].

The story arcs seem compelling, but they are never explored with any great level of depth, and the connection between these various arcs are at best, tenuous. I just felt underwhelmed by most of the performances - Billy Bob just seems to have this vacant expression on his face for most of the movie, Amber Heard's performance highlight was exposing her delectable bits and pieces, Brad Renfro blubbers throughout, and the list goes on. The exception was Kim Basinger who is actually quite compelling and credible in the role of the betrayed wife.

"The Informers" tries its best to engage viewers' attention and elicit sympathy, but I felt emotionally disconnected from the major players, and felt the movie was shallow and under-developed in its' theme and characters portrayals. A rental at best.

"
An Under-Appreciated, Bold and Faithful Adaptation
Michael K. Crowley | 09/23/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I almost never review anything anymore, but I'm reviewing the motion picture adaptation of Bret Easton Ellis' THE INFORMERS because I honestly believe it was treated patronizingly, haphazardly and unfairly by most professional film critics.

THE INFORMERS--the movie--is an unusually faithful adaptation of the collection of stories upon which it is based. I consider "The Informers" a novel, but Ellis considers it a collection of short stories. In any event, the film certainly looks exactly like I imagined it would look. There are minor changes here and there, and the absurd vampire stuff is omitted (mercifully) because it would have stood out as atonal and conspicuous.

The fiction of Bret Easton Ellis is clearly an acquired tasted. Initially, I loathed it, but after time it began to grow on me and I feel he has the knack for capturing what was so titillating, repulsive, appealing, magnetic, compulsive, empty, vacuous, frightening and true about that period between 1981 and 1990.

I suspect, and I may be wrong, that most critics who detest the movie THE INFORMERS neither read the book upon which it is based nor like the novels by this author anyway.

Bottom line, for me: This movie is faithful in tone and spirit to the novel and waddles unapologetically in precisely the type of deadpan, vicious, fierce satire at which Easton excels. Yes, it is at times painful, loathesom, horrifying. And the tone oscillates to include the broader satire of his work, as illustrated by the father and son trip to Maui, punctuated with flashes of extreme sincere pain. Note Kim Basinger's performance.

In truth, the movie is actually kinder and gentler than the book.

It would be interesting to read the critiques of readers who "get" Ellis' work and see if their opinions vary drastically from the conventional talking points about this film constituting an utter failure.

Admittedly, it is by no means a perfect film--and it would perhaps have benefited from being longer--but it is far, far better than most of the reviews would lead you to believe. You want to see an awful adaptation of an Ellis novel? Check out LESS THAN ZERO. The only thing the movie and novel have in common is the title.

In addition, I highly recommend the collection of stories upon which it is based, the original book "The Informers."

As an afterthought, I am shocked to see people actually asking "What is this film about?" Is it not obvious what it is about?

I mean, really."
An accurate depiction of the feeling of desperation...
Kirby L. Wallace | Tulsa, OK USA | 09/29/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)

"
As I began watching this movie, the immeidate parallel that I drew was "Less Than Zero." I didn't know until it was over, and googled the cast, that I found out that it was written by the same guy. Very similar in mood.

In fact, I think the mood is more the point of the movie than anything else, and in that respect I can testify for it's accurate portrayal since I was exactly the age of characters at exactly that time. The dress, the look, the "searching", the feel of opulent loneliness, or exquisite desperation... It really did feel exactly like that in the early to mid eighties club scene.

Others have criticized the story line for being shallow, but hey, we were shallow. There were a couple of places that I thought seemed a bit "contrived", but even those mirrored some of my own sentiments from that time. I'm speaking of one instance where two of the guys are talking, and one of them is beginning to question his lifestyle and the other is definately not. He begins talking how he needs "someone to tell him what's right and what's wrong..." and I'm thinking, "Well, that came out of nowhere..." But when I look back, I did a lot of the same questioning myself, after coming home from a night on the beach clubs.

The movie is a series of pretty much independent character stories, in the same sort of vein as "Crash", but without the obviously clear connections between all the characters. They seem less connected to each other than in Crash. I'm not sure what Renfro's and Rourke's characters had to do with anything, though, and that whole plot line could have been dropped from the movie entirely with no sense of loss at all. Not sure what they were there for other than to perhaps lend a hand to the feeling of depression which I think this movie is intentionally trying to create. Same for Bassingers and Thornton's character line.

In fact, so independent are the stories from each other that you could drop almost any of them with no noticeable impact. The movie is the sum total of it's parts, but the sum would certainly be a bit less with any of them missing. Altogether, they create an "air" of emptiness, loathing and desperation that really were the mood of 80's nightlife. "To Live and Die in LA" has the same sort of grittiness to it.


What will help you survive this movie is to look at it differently than you are accustomed to. If you go in expecting the characters introduced at the beginning are going to be redeemed by the end, you will be disappointed. If you expect this to be a movie where all the knots are untangled by the end, where the rough edges are made smooth, the dillemas resolved, and harsh reality eased and made more bearable... you will be disappointed. This movie goes the other way and makes the smooth edges rough - the closing scene is particularly jagged.

Also of note is the soundtrack. It includes a lot of the "big names", but it's nice to see a movie about the 80s that doesn't neglect to remind you that there was lots of music on the scene other than "Flock of Seagulls". The soundtrack includes a lot of the other 99% of songs that never really made it to the Top Ten. This has the effect of intensifying the feeling of authenticity. You recall the music being like that, but not necessarily who did it. And that's the way 80's music really was. It was ubiquitous yet largely unknown; extremely transient. The only thing I can think of conspicuously missing is any reference to Miami Vice, although a character in the opening scene is dressed much like Don Johnson just before he gets killed.


SPOILER!

The sex is gratuitous and I could have done with less - a LOT less, in fact. But I think it may have been made excessive, but not specifically gratuiotous. I think there was a reason: it was to make a very hard impact on the closing scene. The dying Christie, laying on a cold, sunless beach, pale, ravaged now with AIDS. And on her pale, bruised covered thigh, a fly lands and crawls about for a while, while her former lover looks at her. This is the same beautiful body we were seeing before, now only weeks later cold and nearly dead with flies crawling on it. The contrast between soft and beautiful, and diseased and infected, on the same skin in so short a period of time. That really was a bit of a shock.



"