Rated X (2000)
It must have seemed like a good idea at the time, casting brothers Charlie Sheen and Emilio Estevez as the pornography pioneering Mitchell Brothers. Apart from the sibling connection there were many other similarities. Artie Mitchell liked to party and so does Charlie. Jim Mitchell wanted to be a filmmaker and so does Emilio. The Mitchell Brother’s films contained woeful acting and appalling soundtracks. So does this biopic.
It was Jim who devised the revolutionary idea of the brother’s opening their own theatre to screen their product, while it was Artie who thought up the plot (as it were) of their biggest hit Behind the Green Door. Yet for all their success, the brother’s competing egos and constant drug-taking fuelled an unhealthy case of sibling rivalry which ultimately led to the case of fratricide that bookends this film. It’s an intriguing, dare we say titillating, story that is stymied at every turn by a director pre-occupied with finding the money-shot. He is not helped by a perfunctory script that contributes little in the way of character development. Indicative of this approach is the boy’s explanation of why they call each other Bob. “It’s our old man’s middle name” they reply, “and that’s all you need to know”. The scriptwriters would appear to have a similar dismissive attitude.
Estevez would find redemption with his next directorial effort, the overrated Bobby, while Sheen went on to star in television’s hit comedy, 'Two and a Half Men'. His much-publicised melt-down and sacking from that show has some uncomfortable parallels with certain scenes in this biopic.
as Artie Mitchell
as Jim Mitchell
as Marilyn Chambers
The building that was converted into the O'Farrell Theatre was originally a two-story car dealership, not a disused theatre.
Artie Mitchell’s children have publicly stated that the depiction of their father in this film is inaccurate, and based on lies told by their uncle.