Tag Archives: Nicholas Cage

Outcast (2014)

"Crusades!"
“Crusades!”

“Legends are Born in Battle”

Directed by Nick Powell
Starring Hayden Christensen, Nicolas Cage, Liu Yifei, Ji Ke Jun Yi, Andy On

During the Crusades – doesn’t really matter which ones – Jacob (Christensen) and his mentor/retainer Gallian (Cage) kill some Saracens; probably, in the final analysis, way too many. Gallian is already thinking of getting out, and three years after a particularly bloody siege we find Jacob following Gallian’s dream to head east, because there’s something that you probably didn’t pick up on from that poster.

Continue reading Outcast (2014)

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Season of the Witch (2011)

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“All Hell will break loose”

Directed by Dominic Sena
Starring Nicholas Cage, Ron Perlman and Claire Foy

Two war-weary crusaders are charged with escorting a witch to a remote monastery, where she can be tried and the plague with which she has cursed the land dispelled.

Continue reading Season of the Witch (2011)

Drive Angry (2011)

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“Get ready for one Hell of a ride”

Directed by Patrick Lussier
Starring Nicholas Cage, Amber Heard and William Fitchner

John Milton (Cage) has escaped from prison and is hunting the Satanic cult that murdered his daughter and kidnapped his infant grandchild. Intervening in a violent domestic between Piper (Heard) and her cheating boyfriend, he cadges a lift from Piper to try to rescue his granddaughter before she is sacrificed by the cult.

Oh, and the prison he escaped from is Hell and Satan’s Accountant (Fitchner) wants to bring him back. Continue reading Drive Angry (2011)

Ghost Rider (2007)

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“Hell is about to be unleashed”
“His curse is his power”
“Let’s ride!”

Directed by Mark Steven Johnson
Starring Nicholas Cave, Eva Mendes and Wes Bentley

Johnny Blaze makes a deal with Mephistopheles (Peter Fonda) to save his father from lung cancer, only for Blaze senior to die in an accident during the family stunt-cycle show. Years later, Blaze (Cage) is called on to hunt down renegade demon Blackheart (Bentley) and his Nephilim minions as the Ghost Rider, to prevent a contract for a thousand souls granting vast power to either Mephistopheles or Blackheart.

What’s wrong with it?

Eve Mendes is a feisty, but not much more, as Blaze’s lost love, although she gets at least one shot in, which is something.

Pretty much everything with Blackheart in is ludicrously melodramatic, to the point of unwitting farce, and the occult shenanigans are basically just silly. There is also barely an instance of the Rider getting a decent fight. Blackheart knocks him downa  few times, but basically he owns the three Nephilim without much effort, including burning the one made of water.

What’s right with it?

First up, it’s great to see a film that knows how to do a tagline. I mean, it has some less-convincing ones, but look at that pick up there.

It also has Sam Eliot as Carter Slade, the Phantom Rider and Blaze’s predecessor, and no film which casts Sam Eliot as a Texas Ranger has got everything wrong.

How bad is it really?

Chunks of it drag, mired in crummy dialogue, and the action scenes are mostly pretty stilted, but there are occasions where it sparkles (a witness describes the flaming skull head thing as ‘an edge look, but he totally pulled it off’) and it’s cheesy fun.

Best bit (if such there is)?

Slade reveals his identity by lighting up for one last ride, then he and Blaze charge across the desert to an electro-metal rendition of ‘Ghost Riders in the Sky’. Sadly he doesn’t actually fight, but it’s still awesome.

What’s up with…?

  • Burning the water demon?

Ratings

Production values – Marvel Studios have set the standard in superhero special effects. Not, however, with this film. 15
Dialogue and performances –  The Johnny Blaze story is actually pretty solidly written and performed. Unfortunately, the demon stuff drags it down. 11
Plot and execution – The film rambles from set-piece to set-piece. As with the dialogue, the cursed and redeemed storyline is better than the more directly demonic stuff. 12
Randomness – Once you accept that Johnny Blaze is the Devil’s Bounty Hunter, it’s all pretty straightforward. 7
Waste of potential – So, it’s a Ghost Rider movie; what were they going to do? On the other hand, Sam Eliot doesn’t shoot one person. 8

Overall 53%

From the Archive – Gone in 60 Seconds (2000)

60

“Ice Cold, Hot Wired.”

Reviewed by Simon Drake

Directed by Dominic Sena.
Starring Nicolas Cage, Angelina Jolie, Robert Duvall.

Memphis Raines (Nicholas Cage) has to steal 50 – count ’em – high-class cars in one night to save his brother’s life from Token Brit Villain Christopher “I’ll never move to Hollywood film” Eccelston.

What’s wrong with it?

Basically the film (actually a remake of a 60’s film) is terribly dated and frankly a little dull. Bruckheimer was evidently trying to capture the 80 cheese of Top Gun and Days of Thunder…But in the year 2000. Adding insult to injury, the film, pitched as a car chase movie, only contains one car chase…and that is ten minutes before the end. The rest of the film is spent with long, lingering shots of the cars (admittedly nice) and Angelina Joile (also admittedly nice), who plays the most unlikely mechanic in cinema history, with the implausible moniker of ‘Sway’.

Director Dominic Sena (responsible for other dire offerings such as the David Duchovny ass-fest Kalifornia, and the Halle Berry breast-fest Swordfish) obviously thought it was a great idea to punctuate the film with interminable pounding techno and epileptic edits…And Vinnie Jones.

Ahhhh Vinnie. 15 Minutes almost up!!! ‘Our’ Vinnie plays (wait for it) a violent thug (showing the full extent of his range) called ‘The Sphinx’ (where do they come up with these names!!!). Writer Scott Rosenberg has clearly never seen Mystery Men, or maybe he has as the previously mute Sphinx spouts some cod philosophy at the end of the film (in a very He-Man ‘all laugh together’ ending). Either way he probably misses the irony.

Finally, the whole questionable moral message of the movie (stealing cars is okay if they are expensive as the owners can afford it). Even the Maverick cop lets Nicolas Cage go despite the fact he’s just dropped a business man (admittedly British, therefore Evil!) into a vat of boiling molten metal.

What’s Good about it?

To be fair, the film has Nicolas Cage in, who always falls into the watchable category (despite Starring in Snake Eyes, 8MM, Bringing Out the Dead, Family Man…I could go on). It also features a cool car chase at the end (although followed by some sickening ‘all for a brother’s love’ moralising). Angelina Jolie disappears for half of the movie, so whether you think that’s a good or a bad point is your own lookout.

How bad is it really?

It’s just badly written by someone who on occasions has proved himself to be an able hack. It stars 3 Oscar winners, acting badly (I believe the term is ‘phoning it in’), in a film with high production values pitched to 16-year-old boys who read ‘maxpower’ magazine.

Must try harder!

Best Bit

Either the line ‘You promised your Mother you’d never steal another car again’, or Christopher Eccelston falling backwards into a pit of Molten Metal (with the obligatory terrible back projection effects).

The Cars are cool as well.

What’s up with…?

  • The Finale set in the leftover set of the steel Mill in Terminator 2?
  • Vinnie Jones philosophical psycho analysing all the main characters?
  • Nicolas Cage’s ginger toupee?

Ratings:

Production Values – High. Lots of expensive cars (some shots if them driving would have been nice though) and stars. 3

Dialogue and Performance – Pretty lame. A few decent one-liners creep into the mix, but not many. “I’m not messing with anyone who plays with dog shit” ‘quips’ a street punk. 16

Plot and Execution – The plot is more of an excuse really. The title was fairly apt. 20

Randomness – High. Subplots involving Parents splitting up, getting Cancer, Diaritic dogs and Geordie thugs are all thrown into the mix. But most bizarrely is the crapness of the car thefts, just shots of various fast cars being loaded into huge crates, then as the film goes on just shots of the crates…Obviously Jeremy Clarkson only allowed half his collection to be filmed. Also lots of techno crap about Carburettors and Tungsten fuel injection ports. 18

Waste of Potential – Unrated.

Overall: 72.5%*

* Overall rating calculated based on the percentage from the four rated categories.