Bringing out the Dead

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Bringing Out the Dead ★★½ 1999 (R)

Cage hasn't looked this haggard since his boozehound role in “Leaving Las Vegas” which could be considered a dress rehearsal for this turn as burnt out New York City paramedic Frank Pierce. Aided by Scorsese's kinetic filmmaking style, Schrader's on-tempo script, and revved up performances by Rhames and Sizemore as Pierce's partners, movie successfully convey's the day-to-day stress of emergency units. Unfortunately, Cage's sleepwalking character is a bore, and a lack of chemistry with real-life spouse Arquette as Pierce's singular ray of hope only makes you yearn for Scorsese's similarly themed masterpiece “Taxi Driver.” Based on the novel by Joe Connelly. 120m/ C VHS, DVD . Jon Abrahams, Nicolas Cage, John Goodman, Tom Sizemore, Ving Rhames, Patricia Arquette, Marc Anthony, Mary Beth Hurt, Clifford Curtis, Nestor Serrano, Aida Turturro, Afemo Omilami, Arthur J. Nascarelli, Cynthia Roman, Cullen Oliver Johnson; D: Martin Scorsese; W: Paul Schrader; C: Robert Richardson; M: Elmer Bernstein.