Middle Men (2009)
Surprisingly incoherent and boring
Good concept, poorly executed.
There is, somehow, an interesting story here, as well as some good acting. There are also some good scenes
Actress is magnificent and exudes a hypnotic screen presence in this affecting drama.
Internet pornography is pornography that is accessible over the Internet, primarily via websites, peer-to-peer file sharing, or Usenet newsgroups. While pornography had been available over the Internet since the 1980s, it was the availability of widespread public access to the World Wide Web in 1991 that led to an expansion of Internet pornography. The Internet enables people to access pornography more or less anonymously and to view it in the comfort and privacy of their homes. It also allows access to pornography by people whose access is otherwise restricted for legal or social reasons. As times moved ahead with technology advancing, it became a powerful medium. The adult entertainment industry ventured in to this market and noticed there was potential to make billions. Towards the later 90s viewers of porn were able to watch, download or even stream to their computer hard drives pornographic material at the touch of a button. All this was possible by using a credit card and the transaction was verified discreetly. Now times have changed. The market has become more competitive with the arrival of free porn on the net. There are endless sites that make porn available to view at no cost. This is the theme that surrounds 'Middle Men'. It is open to speculation whether or not the movie is based on a true story. Well more of an inspiration from a true life person who invented a way of people being able to watch porn on-line. But from what is known the movie was funded through illegitimate means. The individual concerned is still standing trial. The movie itself is not a masterpiece but dwells in to a industry that is very taboo. The main character devising a money making method by combining on line porn to internet commerce is quiet unique and different to what I have witnessed till date. Without being vulgar the subject matter is delivered in a conventional manner. It doesn't aim to be a 'Boogie Nights' or a 'People versus Larry flint' either. What one notices as you reach the end is that there is no tragic ending. Everything ends well in Wilson's life. This one of the unrealistic elements in the film. SPOILERS 2 men quite unhappy with their jobs come up with the idea of creating a porn website. They shoot videos and take photographs and upload them on the internet. They slowly start to make a profit and ditch their old jobs. To further fund their activities, they borrow from a Russian gangster. However as the two of them lack the business and financial sense, Wilson steps in to handle matters. It is only a matter of time until they become giants of the porn internet commerce. Unfortunately they run in deep waters as they kill a goon and and experience trouble in their personal lives. Wilson also has his fair share of issues when the fbi and state senator take interest in his business affairs. END OF SPOILERS The premise unfolds at a moderate pace and ingenious narration is provided too in humorous Martin Scorsese style. Director George Gallo impresses with his wacky style of movie making and story telling. The approach is with a non serious perspective. His previous stories such as 'wise guys' and 'midnight run' were fantastic. So he certainly knew his territory. There was more potential for this movie in becoming a biopic, but due to it's budget it turned out in being a smaller venture. The director had his finger on the right button but I could not understand why he avoided the sexual content. There was barely any nudity on screen or even at a minimum level. One would expect to see so much explicit visuals but I was disappointed. The performances of Luke Wilson, James Caan and others involved make it enjoyable. And to add to it there was Laura Ramsey who plays a porn star, but doesn't have a single nude scene. She is pleasant eye candy. But gives good support to Wilson's character. Giovanni Ribsi is hilarious and it's hard to believe he is the same guy who was in 'The boiler room' many years ago. As a added bonus there are a couple of porn star cameos if one manages to see them. Jesse Jane appears for 5 seconds, if that's what you're looking for. I'm not sure what the future holds for on line porn. But government agencies have been battling to enforce every kind of legislation and restrictions that are possible to keep on line material in existence. Free material is endless and this is what poses as a threat to membership sites. But in the long term this will continue because there is big revenue involved for all to share. After all keeping the common man happy is important.
I don't watch many movies, maybe ten new ones a year for the last fifteen years, and this one is, in my humble opinion, is among the top three I have seen in all that time. I am amazed, that this movie has not been more popular. In fact Before seeing the ad for it on Netflix I had never even heard of it! The only reason I saw it was because every time I went to Netfilx it was being offered in the "Watch Instantly" section and the artwork for the movie had caught my eye several times. The acting is SUPERB. The story moves along at a perfect pace, it doesn't bog down the viewer with unimportant minutia like a lot of movies do yet it's easy to follow for a movie that has a lot of story to tell (about ten years worth!) in a short amount of space. There were no gratuitous violence or sex, in fact the brief amounts of both are vital to the plot. There isn't even a lot of cuss words! Not near as much as your average R rated flick today. I truly believe this movie will garner its proper respect and find it's place among such greats as "Boogie Nights" and "The Big Lebowski". I have six words of advice for anyone contemplating viewing this flick: See it, see IT, SEE IT!! You will not regret it.
A movie about family values, about vices and how people succumb to them, a movie about money and power and the fact that there's never "enough". A beautifully crafted piece of work that keeps you in pretty much throughout. Performance is great from Luke Wilson and the story goes seamless.One little, probably needless, piece of action that I didn't quite understand why it was there, is the confusion at the end with Russian mafia taking the wrong "thing", but it's probably just me and it's not that bad anyway.Definitely deserves more than the actual 6.7 it's got. Also recommend "Limitless" and "Fracture".
The "Inspired By True Events" telling how how one man became filthy rich off transactions between distributors and customers of the porn industry, via the internet. I don't know how true the story is since the man the film is based on is also the producer, I would embellish a few points as well to make my life seem more interesting. Still, the film does an okay job at telling the tale of how he became a multi-millionaire, got in trouble with the FBI and got away squeaky clean while everyone else got theirs. Luke Wilson plays the lead character, a guy who people go to when they need some help with a business problem. Gabriel Macht and Giovanni Ribisi play two idiots who come up with the brilliant idea of charging people for looking at porn on the internet, apparently one of these guys is the one responsible for writing the code that allows internet companies like Amazon and Ebay, as well as online banks, take your credit card number and bill it. So, the term idiot isn't exactly the right one, but they do manage to screw it up, snort away tons of money and be in debt to the Russian mobster known as Nikita Sokoloff, who can only be played by one man, Rade Serbedzija. So Wilson is brought into play to help get the business back on track, he is the one who comes up with the idea to be the middle man. Don't make the porn, just be the company who bills the customer. No one wants their bill to say Big Boobs, or some other dirty things I probably can't say here. Why not 24/7 billing, something nice and clean. So they end up raking in millions and millions. Of course they can't make all this money and live a happy life, where is the excitement in that?So there happens to be an accidental death, the two guys who came up with the idea get more and more paranoid and accidentally end up involved in a child porn site, Wilson helps the government assassinate terrorists and James Caan shows up as a slimy lawyer...are there any other kind though? So a lot of stuff happens in the film and this guys life, things just seem to get out of hand and crazier each day. Which of course takes a toll on his marriage and family back home. A well put together film with an interesting topic. The overall film feels a bit short in it's reach to achieve success though. Wilson doesn't really stand out even though he is given the chance to. Giovanni Ribisi is the one here who seems to be having the most fun with his role, I would have like him to be a bit more paranoid though. Kevin Pollack shows up in a small role as an FBI agent as well as Kelsey Grammar as a man running for office. As well done as the film is, it doesn't stand out when it should. It becomes mediocre and forgettable as every concludes. The film never got attention and yes it's sad, but it's also evident why. There is nothing special about it. Even if it is better than half the trash we see today.