Posts Tagged ‘Nicolas Cage

30
Apr
18

Mom and Dad, The Witch

Mom and Dad

Mom and Dad is a weird film, and since it stars Nicolas Cage, that’s saying something. It tries to be a hybrid of genres, combining zombie and home-invasion styles to create something new and utterly terrifying. Except it isn’t terrifying in the least. And it isn’t interesting, funny, exciting, or well-acted. It’s a giant turd of a film, and when you watch it you can’t help but wonder how something like this ever got financed. The premise is a mind-control signal is broadcast on TV, and any parent who sees it wants to kill their children. They don’t want to kill other children, just their own. The parents act like fast-running zombies while they try to kill their children. However, the bulk of the film takes place in a house, with the kids trying to escape being killed by their parents. The movie is peppered with flashbacks which don’t work, and go on for far too long. The music is mostly heavy metal, which clashes with the 70s vibe they go for visually. The acting is atrocious, although Cage gives his usual 110% so he can’t really be faulted. It doesn’t offer any explanation for why this happened, any cure for the parents, or even an ending. It just stops mid-sentence, in fact. It’s a slog to get through as it offers little to grab onto, and no characters to identify with. I have read that this is a “black comedy” but there’s no fucking way that was the original intent. The film is utterly bereft of humor. I think the marketers slapped the “black comedy” label on it after it failed at being any other genre. Fuck this movie, what a waste of time.

Verdict: Shitty

The Witch

The Witch has been heralded as a modern horror masterpiece. Horror is a bit of a stretch, and masterpiece isn’t even a part of the equation. It’s a boring, turgid film that will test the patience of any seasoned film-goer. It takes place in colonial America, and an ultra-religious family is kicked out of town to go live in the countryside. While there, strange things begin to happen. Unfortunately, strange does not equate with interesting. Nothing interesting happens at all. The family just goes from scene to scene, fucking around, being boring, praying, and farming. A few times, when it seems like something interesting might happen, the film cuts away so you don’t see it. The filmmakers are so obsessed with building atmosphere, that they do it at the expense of things happening. It become excessively aggravating as you desperately want something, anything to happen, but the film refuses to attempt anything noteworthy. The culmination, with everyone dying, happens in the last five minutes or so. And then, the main actress goes off into the woods to become a bride of Satan. Apparently, the goat was supposed to be Satan or something, but whatever, who gives a shit? A movie this boring cannot be considered scary in the slightest. But as cure for insomnia? Certainly.

Verdict: Shitty

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27
Aug
16

Seeking Justice, The Hateful Eight

Seeking Justice

This is yet another New Orleans-based Nicolas Cage movie. I haven’t seen every movie in his oeuvre, but this makes at least four to be set there (The Runner, Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans, and Stolen were the other three for those playing along at home). Maybe the dude loves New Orleans, who knows? Anyway, this is a pretty pathetic excuse for a movie. Cage’s wife is raped, and he is approached by a mysterious stranger who promises to get revenge in exchange for a favor later. The bad guy, of course, wants Cage to kill someone, and he refuses. This turns into a boring back-and-forth between Cage and bad guys leading to a shootout in an abandoned mall. The problem with this movie is that it seems to not care about doing anything unique. They have a good setting and a decent premise, but just piss it away for generic plot points. Its ham-fisted plot and straight-forward directing style make it as generic as they come. Cage is perfect, though, he’s never been bad in anything.

Verdict: Shitty

The Hateful Eight

Quentin Tarantino’s newest film proves he doesn’t understand the definition of the word “brevity.” A sprawling three hours in length, his latest Western is a tale of loathsome people stuck in a cabin, riding out a snowstorm. It’s a story that could be taut and thrilling, easily told in a lean 90-minutes, but for some goddamn reason, it’s twice that long. Sally Menke had been Tarantino’s editor from Reservoir Dogs until Inglourious Basterds. After her untimely death, Tarantino has been off the reins. His new editor, Fred Raskin, either doesn’t have the balls or the wherewithal to tell Tarantino when enough is enough.

The movie contains all of Tarantino’s trademarks: rambling speeches, a growing sense of dread, anachronistic music, events out of synch, and ultra-violence. When this movie works, it absolutely works. From the point where Samuel L. Jackson’s character figures out who the bad guys are until the end, the movie is enthralling. But that comes over 90 minutes in. Almost everything up to that point is needless, and getting there is laborious.

The characters are great, the performance are great, and the music, by the legendary Ennio Morricone, is great. The problem is the fucking editing. I needed to take Adderall to stay awake during the first half of this movie, because nothing even remotely fucking interesting happens for the first 90 minutes. That’s an entire feature length! He really needed a better editor here. Even at two hours, this could have been a masterpiece. As it stands now, it’s needlessly bloated. Tarantino often indulges himself, frequently going in delightful tangents, but there is no delightful tangent here, The Hateful Eight just wastes time.

Verdict: Average

 

31
Jan
15

Cheese Goes to War: Windtalkers

Photoshop goes to war…

Windtalkers is a World War II movie directed by action legend John Woo and starring the lovably insane Nicolas Cage. When I learned these bits of information, my first thought was, “Where do I sign up?”
The movie came and went, and got middling reviews. I never got around to seeing it thanks to its poor reception. Finally, 11 years after its 2002 release, I watched this movie on Netflix. And how did it hold up? Eh, not good.
It’s somewhat hard to believe that John Woo actually directed this movie. He is normally very competent behind the camera. His action scenes in movies like The Killer, Hard Boiled, and Face Off were incredible. They managed to have enthralling, well-planned, heart-pumping moments of carnage. It’s impossible to watch one of his older movies, see Chow Yun-Fat flying through the air with a gun in each hand, and not get excited. I figured he would bring all that good stuff to this movie. Unfortunately, he didn’t.

Continue reading ‘Cheese Goes to War: Windtalkers’

19
Jul
14

Stolen, Mud

Stolen

“THIS IS MY ACTING FACE!”

Did you like Commando? Did you like Taken? If so, then why not watch Stolen? It’s exactly the same movie as the others. Nicolas Cage plays a man whose daughter is kidnapped, and he must race against the clock to save her. Stolen is about as low-budget, straight-to-video as a movie can get. The film blew its wad getting Cage to star, and he acts alongside a lot of shoddy nobodies. Cage plays a bank robber who goes to jail after a botched job to steal $10 million. Once he is released, his former partner kidnaps his daughter, holding her hostage for the $10 million he feels he is owed. What follows next is a 90-minute traipse through New Orleans while Cage tracks down his former partner by any means necessary. The FBI are hot on Cage’s trail for no reason in particular other than he used to be a bad guy. Apparently, the FBI have nothing better to do like catching wanted criminals or protecting the U.S. from terrorists. Nope, let’s chase a guy who has already served out his sentence because he’s probably up to no good. The movie gets increasingly more ridiculous as Cage attempts to find his daughter. It reaches self-parody at one point when Cage is arrested and placed in an FBI vehicle, and moments later the vehicle crashes, flipping end over end, followed by Cage getting out of the car, talking on his cell phone with the kidnapper. At this point the movie has realized it is a giant piece of shit, so it might as well be as ridiculous as possible. In the movie’s favor, Cage doesn’t phone it in. He always invests 100% of himself in every movie, regardless of how bad it is. At least the guy has a work ethic.
Verdict: Shitty
Mud

“Don’t worry, ladies, my shirt WILL come off.”

After being mired in shitty romantic comedies for years, Matthew McConaughey decided to fire his agent so he could land roles in good movies. Mud is one such movie. McConaughey plays the titular Mud, a mysterious guy on a remote island in the south. He’s living in a boat that has somehow gotten lodged in a tree. One day he is discovered by a pair of teenage boys. There’s something shady about him, and that makes the boys want to know more about him. He wants to get in touch with his ex-girlfriend who is in town, but he can’t do it himself. Is he a criminal? Who is after him? The cops? The mafia? Definitely, there is more than meets the eye to this character. But the point of the movie isn’t really Mud at all. It’s the teenage boy played by Tye Sheridan. He’s the main character. He has a troubled home life, and he uses the discovery of Mud as a means of escaping a very shitty situation. Mud becomes a surrogate father to him. It’s kind of hard to describe this movie without giving away all the best parts. You’ll just have to take my word for it, that this is a movie well worth your time. It features rich characters, an intriguing backstory, and wonderful acting. Not only does McConaughey turn in a great performance, so does Sheridan. This movie really has it all. It’s the kind of film mainstream Hollywood wishes they could make. Be sure to check this one out.
Verdict: Good
01
Mar
14

Brik Hates the Academy Awards: 90s Edition

It’s no mystery that I hate the Academy Awards. Hollywood spends half the year binging on cocaine and hookers and the other half praising themselves for it. No other industry exerts so much energy and spends so much money on self-congratulatory masturbation than the film industry. These sick fucks have the cushiest, easiest jobs in the world, and they act like what they do is some kind of goddamn accomplishment. “LOL OH LOOK I JUST RECITED SOME LINES SOMEONE ELSE WROTE FOR ME AND SHED A TEAR AT THE SAME TIME! I’M A FUCKING ACTING GOD! QUICK SOMEBODY GIVE ME FIFTY AWARDS LOL!” In theory, I could get behind the awards if they actually awarded things that were deserving. You know, giving a Best Picture award to the best movie of the year. But the Academy rarely gives that award to the best movie of the year. Hell, they don’t even give it to the most popular movie of the year. Usually, they give it to whatever cool person produced the movie, or to the most obscure, independent, foreign piece of shit they can find. Typically, no one in the mainstream public will have even seen the winner. They’ve been pulling this shit for years. So, I decided to analyze the past years, offer my own nominees, and declare new winners. Best movie isn’t the one that makes you cry or makes you think. Best movie is the one that you want to revisit over and over again. A movie you watch once and never again isn’t good. It’s only good if you can’t help but watch it a million times. Rewatchability is the hallmark of something great.

This time around, I’ll be taking a look at the Best Picture winners from the 1990s.
23
Nov
13

Nicolas Cage’s Bad Lieutenant: Choose Your Own Adventure

Beware and Warning!

This blog post is different from other blog posts. You and you alone are in charge of what happens in this story. There are dangers, choices, adventures, and consequences. You must use your numerous talents and your enormous intelligence. The wrong decision could end in disaster – even death. The adventures you take are a result of your choice. After you make your choice, follow the instructions to see what happens to you next. Remember, you cannot go back! Think carefully before you make a move! One mistake can be your last, or it can lead you to fame and fortune!

Now, enter the mysterious and frightening world of Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans. You were summoned to this world by Nicolas Cage’s Nouveau Shamanic style of acting. You now inhabit his body with no apparent way out. Continue on your quest to find a way home.

Good luck!

Continue reading ‘Nicolas Cage’s Bad Lieutenant: Choose Your Own Adventure’

17
May
13

Predators, Drive Angry

The title of this post could really be read one of two ways. First, Predators and Drive Angry seen separately. Or second, as a statement telling those Predators to go out there and drive angrily. You know, a movie combining Predators and Drive Angry together could be one of the greatest movies of all time. Maybe somebody will figure out a way to edit them together to create a cinematic masterpiece.

Predators

As you all know, the original Predator is an 80s classic. One of the best examples of sci-fi and action. It is such a monumentally important film, it blows away Oscar-winning films by comparison. Unfortunately, the Predator franchise has fared even worse than the Alien franchise in terms of churning out horrible sequels. This movie comes 23 years after the original and rightfully ignores the other movies that came in-between.

A group of modern-day warriors are dropped into a mysterious jungle. The group consists of military-types, mob-enforcers, Yakuza, and serial killers. Each has their own weapon and their own style of killing. They hesitantly team up so they can find their way out of the jungle. What happens next is exactly what you expect/want to happen. Predators start hunting and killing them one by one.

Predators works because it doesn’t try to reinvent the franchise. It just uses the good stuff from the original and expands on it. That’s all. It has the suspense, the build-up, the action, and the bloodiness of the original. Instead of one Predator there are several, and it turns out the characters were sent to an alien world which is a big “game preserve” for the Predators. Their focus shifts from survival to getting the hell off the planet. They expanded the Predator mythology a bit to show there are two types of Predators and they don’t exactly get along. The human characters are able to use this to their advantage in order to resolve the fight against superior enemies in a logical fashion.

Overall, just about everything in this movie works. There is some questionable CGI but it isn’t used too much. A few of the characters should have lasted longer but died too soon (e.g. Danny Trejo). The final battle wasn’t much different than the final battle from the original movie. The action is plentiful but not overkill. The acting is pretty damn good including fun performances from Adrien Brody, Laurence Fishburne, and Walton Goggins. And it uses musical cues from the original, which helps it to better tie in to the franchise as a whole.

Verdict: Good

Drive Angry

This movie stars Nicolas Cage as a man who literally escapes from Hell in order to get revenge on an evil cult.

Verdict: Awesome

What? You need more than that to justify the verdict? I thought that sentence alone would have done it.

OK, so, Drive Angry is cheesy action cinema at its best. Cage died some years ago. His daughter was murdered by a cult, and that same cult is going to kill his granddaughter as a sacrifice to the Devil. Cage knows all this is going on, because in Hell you see nothing but the suffering of your loved ones. So, he does what anyone would do: escape from Hell in a Buick Riveria (the Devil has good taste in cars), and track down the cult.

What happens next is a series of car chases, shoot-outs, and general mayhem. I was surprised at just how graphically violent this movie is. It doesn’t pull any punches in terms of showing us limbs being blown off, brutal beatings, and even Cage getting shot in the face. Yes, you read that correctly. The goofy, over-the-top violence works in the movie’s favor, firmly cementing in the viewer’s minds that this is a grindhouse movie, and should not be taken seriously. If that doesn’t become apparent to you by the time Cage kills bad guys while having sex, then it never will.

Drive Angry is the perfect movie for that person who loves bad movies. It is a tribute to shitty movies. And the special effects, directing, acting, and editing all are pretty good so you still feel like you’re watching a high-end Hollywood movie. If you’re a fan of action, violence, nudity, and, most importantly, Nicolas Cage, then you’ll like this movie.

Verdict: Awesome




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