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"THE FINAL CUT"
(2004) (Robin Williams, Mira Sorvino) (PG-13)

Alcohol/
Drugs
Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Frightening/
Tense Scenes
Guns/
Weapons
Mild Moderate Heavy Moderate Heavy
Imitative
Behavior
Jump
Scenes
Music
(Scary/Tense)
Music
(Inappropriate)
Profanity
Mild Minor Moderate None Mild
Sex/
Nudity
Smoking Tense Family
Scenes
Topics To
Talk About
Violence
Heavy Minor Moderate Moderate Heavy


QUICK TAKE:
Sci-fi: In a world where memory implants record everything a person sees and hears from birth to death, a post-mortem editor of such material tries to find the answer to a memory that's haunted him since childhood.
PLOT:
It's sometime in the future where every minute of certain people's lives is captured on ZoŽ chips that are implanted into their heads in utero and serve as a permanent record of their memory once they pass on. In preparing for memorial services known as Rememories, "cutters" create brief audio-visual programs showcasing the best of the deceased's life, while jettisoning the mundane and unsavory memories.

The best in the business is Alan Hakman (ROBIN WILLIAMS), a cutter who works by himself and is known for making even the most sordid lives look bright in retrospect. When ZoŽ Tech executive Charles Bannister (MICHAEL ST. JOHN SMITH) dies before his time, his wife, Jennifer (STEPHANIE ROMANOV) wants only the best for her late husband. Accordingly, cutters Thelma (MIMI KUZYK) and Hasan (THOM BISHOPS) pass on the job and give it directly to Alan.

He immediately gets to work on it, interviewing both Jennifer and her young daughter Isabel (GENEVIEVE BUECHNER) to see what Charles was like. While working on the Rememory, he sees a figure from decades ago in his past, a person who's haunted his memories over a childhood accident long ago. Seeking the help of girlfriend and bookstore owner Delila (MIRA SORVINO), Alan then sets out to find if this is indeed the grown-up version of the boy he briefly met and left for dead after a seemingly tragic incident.

Yet, he must also contend with tattooed protestors who are against the notion of such implants, as well as former cutter Fletcher (JIM CAVIEZEL) who abruptly left the business years ago, but now wants his hands on Bannister's memory implant so that he can use it to bring down the corporation. From that point on, Alan tries to track down the mystery man and deal with his painful memories all while unexpected revelations threaten to undermine his efforts.

WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
Unless they're fans of someone in the cast or more intellectual sci-fi films, it doesn't seem too likely.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: PG-13
For mature thematic material, some violence, sexuality and language.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
  • ROBIN WILLIAMS plays the most highly regarded "cutter" of people's recorded memories who's still haunted by his own memories of a childhood accident. When he thinks he spots that same person decades later, he tries to find out who he is, all while briefly fooling around with Delila and having to deal with various unexpected complications in his life.
  • MIRA SORVINO plays a bookstore owner who's apparently his girlfriend (they briefly fool around) and is concerned that he's too wrapped up in his work.
  • JIM CAVIEZEL plays a former cutter who's returned after a long absence to get his hands on a recently deceased executive's memory implant and will do anything to get it, including using violence. He uses some profanity.
  • MIMI KUZYK and THOM BISHOPS play other cutters who are aware of Alan's reputation and then proceed to help him deal with his own troubling memory.
  • STEPHANIE ROMANOV plays a widow who hires Alan to do her husband's Rememory service.
  • GENEVIEVE BUECHNER plays her young daughter who's been told what to say about her apparently sexually abusive father.
  • CAST, CREW, & TECHNICAL INFO

    HOW OTHERS RATED THIS MOVIE


    Curious if this title is entertaining, any good, and/or has any artistic merit?
    Then read OUR TAKE of this film.


    (Note: The "Our Take" review of this title examines the film's artistic merits and does not take into account any of the possibly objectionable material listed below).


    OUR WORD TO PARENTS:
    The following is a quick look at the content found in this sci-fi film that's been rated PG-13. Profanity consists of several "s" words, while other expletives and colorful phrases are also uttered. A point of view shot looking down at a woman while having sex with her is briefly seen (with movement and sounds), other sex is implied and another couple is briefly seen kissing on a bed, while brief, sexually related dialogue is present.

    Violence consists of a person being fatally shot (with somewhat bloody results), a boy falling several stories to his presumed death (with bloody results), other murderous attempts, some hitting and a memory-based scene where we see a woman cowering from a man and then hear the sounds of him beating her. That scene and others, including implied incestuous abuse may be unsettling or suspenseful to some viewers. Other tense family and thematic material includes familial deaths.

    Various characters have bad attitudes, some drink or smoke and some imitative behavior is present. If you're still concerned about the film and its appropriateness for yourself or anyone else in your home who may be interested in seeing it, we suggest that you take a closer look at our detailed listings for more specific information regarding the film's content.


    ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE
  • We hear the story of some young woman who got into drinking and drugs and then did a suicidal leap from the 27th floor to kill herself and destroy her memory implant.
  • Miscellaneous people have drinks.
  • A miscellaneous person has a drink.
  • Fletcher and another cutter have drinks in a memory flashback.
  • BLOOD/GORE
  • After a boy falls several stories to the hard floor below, young Alan then goes down for a closer look and we see a pool of blood around the kid, into which Alan accidentally steps and leaves some bloody footprints on the floor (but we later learn that not all of what we see is reality).
  • We see a cutter's assistant with a black eye (from where protestors reportedly beat him).
  • We see a little blood on the skin as a person gets a tattoo.
  • Delila slaps Alan on the face, drawing a little blood. She then shoots his memory cutting machine, severely damaging it.
  • We see a memory from Alan's childhood where it appears that he pulls a scab off his knee and eats it.
  • A person shoots another person and we then see blood on the victim's shirt as well as his hand as he lifts it up to look at it (it's implied that the person dies).
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • We see a memory showing a point of view shot from a man looking at a woman cowering on the floor. We then hear the sounds of him apparently beating/attacking her (as she screams, etc.) but don't see any of the contact. Alan then deletes that memory.
  • Some incestuous abuse is implied as we see a memory and point of view shot of a father waking up his young daughter and then having her come to his office where he closes the door.
  • There's talk that a miscellaneous person suffocated some kittens when he was 13.
  • We hear that a cutter met and then manipulated a woman into liking him through the memories he saw of her through her former boyfriend.
  • Fletcher will do anything to get his hands on a deceased person's memory implant, including breaking into Alan's place and later trying to kill him for it (another man helps him in a similar manner).
  • FRIGHTENING SCENES
  • Young Alan walks across a lone board spanning an opening several stories above the floor below. He then encourages another boy he's just met to do the same, but the boy panics more than halfway across. He then tries to leap to the side, but only manages to grab the ledge momentarily before slipping and falling away, all as Alan stands in frozen terror. We hear the impact and then see the body on the ground. Alan then goes down for a closer look and we see a pool of blood around the kid, into which Alan accidentally steps and leaves some bloody footprints on the floor.
  • We see a memory showing a point of view shot from a man looking at a woman cowering on the floor. We then hear the sounds of him apparently beating/attacking her (as she screams, etc.) but don't see any of the contact. Alan then deletes that memory.
  • Some incestuous abuse is implied as we see a memory and point of view shot of a father waking up his young daughter and then having her come to his office where he closes the door.
  • As Alan hears someone inside his place, he quickly loads his gun and then slowly enters the room.
  • As other cutters prepare to extract memories from Alan's head, we hear that it's a very dangerous procedure for those who are still alive and presents the possibility of severe damage. We then see a countdown of five minutes as Alan delves into his memory, trying to find what he's looking for. When it reaches zero, Alan experiences a lot of pain and falls backwards in his chair to the floor.
  • Alan returns home to find his front door open and some people rifling through his stuff.
  • A man chases after Alan with a gun, firing at him several times in a cemetery.
  • A person shoots another person and we then see blood on the victim's shirt as well as his hand as he lifts it up to look at it (it's implied that the person dies).
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • Handguns: Carried and/or used to threaten or kill others and cause some property damage. See "Violence" for details.
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Phrases: "You look like sh*t," "Will go ape-sh*t," "A hell of a job," "Shut up," "Bitch," "Freaked out," "Freezing my ass off," "One hell of a beating," "Bastards," "Scumbags" and "You bastard."
  • Young Alan scrapes his name on some metal in an abandoned warehouse.
  • We see various characters with large painted/tattooed stripes on their faces (but later learn this is to keep the implants from recording rather than as just a social/fashion statement).
  • Some miscellaneous people have multiple facial piercings.
  • We see a memory from Alan's childhood where it appears that he pulls a scab off his knee and eats it.
  • JUMP SCENES
  • The sudden sound of a gunshot might startle some viewers.
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • A moderate amount of suspenseful and ominous music plays in the film.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • None.
  • PROFANITY
  • At least 3 "s" words, 2 hells, 2 S.O.B.s, 1 ass, 1 damn, 2 uses of "God" and 1 use each of "G-damn," "Jesus Christ," "My God," "Oh Christ," "Oh God" and "Oh my God."
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • We see an aerial view of Alan and Delila lying clothed on a bed (side by side) kissing in an embrace.
  • Spotting a woman at a rememory ceremony, Alan remembers seeing a point of view memory of her in the deceased's mind where they're having sex. The camera is thus looking down at her as if through the man's eyes with a brief head and shoulders shot showing movement while we hear related sexual sounds and her saying, "Oh yes, Danny."
  • As a man's memories are loaded into Alan's cutting machine, we hear various terms being used describing the person's life, including "masturbation."
  • Jennifer shows a little cleavage.
  • We see a memory playback of Delila's former boyfriend apparently on top of her in bed, caressing her face (nudity and sex are implied, but not noted for certain).
  • SMOKING
  • Thelma asks her assistant if he'll go and buy some cigarettes (after Alan asks if they can talk alone). The guy says they already have eight packs but leaves and the woman smokes.
  • Various miscellaneous characters smoke.
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • Alan interviews Jennifer and her daughter Isabelle not long after the husband/father has died.
  • We see some grieving observers (including the widow) at a rememory ceremony.
  • Some incestuous abuse is implied as we see a memory and point of view shot of a father waking up his young daughter and then having her come to his office where he closes the door.
  • We hear that Fletcher's nephew died at the age of 12.
  • Alan states that he lost both of his parents at a young age. Later, we see a memory from Alan's childhood (when he was 12) where he sees both of his parents in open caskets at their funeral.
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • How people would lead their lives if they knew all of their memories were being recorded.
  • Alan equates himself to the sin-eaters of lore who would absorb others' sins so that they could go on to the afterlife.
  • The comment that sometimes things are best left forgotten.
  • We hear the story of some young woman who got into drinking and drugs and then did a suicidal leap from the 27th floor to kill herself and destroy her memory implant.
  • Some incestuous abuse is implied as we see a memory and point of view shot of a father waking up his young daughter and then having her come to his office where he closes the door.
  • VIOLENCE
  • A boy falls several stories to the hard floor below, seemingly dying from the fall (we see a pool of blood around the motionless body).
  • We see a memory showing a point of view shot from a man looking at a woman cowering on the floor. We then hear the sounds of him apparently beating/attacking her (as she screams, etc.) but don't see any of the contact. Alan then deletes that memory.
  • A protestor hits Alan with a sign as he passes by.
  • Fletcher grabs Alan through a wall opening to keep him from walking away.
  • Alan punches a mirror in anger.
  • Delila slaps Alan on the face, drawing a little blood. She then shoots his memory cutting machine, severely damaging it.
  • A man punches Alan in the face, knocking him out.
  • Alan experiences a lot of pain in his head and falls backwards in his chair to the floor.
  • A thug pushes Alan back against a wall.
  • A man chases after Alan with a gun, firing at him several times in a cemetery.
  • A person shoots another person and we then see blood on the victim's shirt as well as his hand as he lifts it up to look at it (it's implied that the person dies).



  • Reviewed October 8, 2004 / Posted October 15, 2004

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