Ahh yes… Nicolas Cage… It’s fair to refer to him as a man with, shall we call it, an ‘eclectic’ career…
His work has spanning the decades and across genres, with forays into action, drama and comic book adaptations, some with great success… Some, not so much… However, to celebrate the release of his latest film, Dying of the Light, out on Blu-ray and DVD from the 2nd March 2015 courtesy of Signature Entertainment, we take a look back at some of his better roles.
Dying of The Light (2015)
This brilliant thriller, directed by Paul Schrader and executive produced by cinematic wunderkind Nicolas Winding Refn, stars Cage as Evan Lake, a desk-bound Langley CIA agent, forced into retirement by signs of early onset dementia. At the same time he discovers that his former nemesis, Jihadist Muhhamed Banir (Alexander Karim – Zero Dark Thirty, TV’s Tyrant), is not dead as has been assumed for the last two decades, but alive and receiving experimental medical treatment. Banir’s exact location is unknown but with the help of a disgraced young agent (Anton Yelchin), Evan sets out to track down and confront him before it is too late for both of them…
This classic romantic comedy won Oscars for Cher, Olympia Dukakis, and screenwriter John Patrick Shanley, but Cage’s turn as the main romantic interest cannot be overlooked. Moonstruck tells the story of widowed bookkeeper Loretta Castorini (Cher) who has agreed to marry Johnny Cammareri (Danny Aiello). When Johnny leaves for a trip to visit family, Loretta is tasked with attempting to mend relations between Johnny and his volatile brother, bakery operator Ronny (Cage). However, complications arise when Loretta and Ronny find themselves utterly and irresistibly attracted to one another…
Leaving Las Vegas (1995)
Cage won a Leading Actor Oscar for this film, in which he plays Ben Sanderson, an alcoholic Hollywood screenwriter who arrives in Las Vegas to drink himself to death. On arrival, he forms a bizarre friendship with prostitute Sera (Elizabeth Shue) after nearly running her over, and they eventually move in together… but their self destructive patterns of behaviour threaten to drive them apart. Cage famously admitted to being genuinely drunk while filming some scenes, in order to add authenticity to the character.
Con Air (1997)
Cage stars alongside John Cusack and John Malkovich in this action thriller, and plays Cameron Poe, a US Army Ranger, imprisoned for involuntary manslaughter for seven years. When he becomes eligible for parole he is forced to share an airplane with some of the country’s most dangerous criminals, including notorious serial killer Cyrus ‘The Virus’ Grissom (Malkovich). When the criminals hijack the plane, Cameron has to find a way to stop them, all the while maintaining his facade as ‘one of them’.
This cult favourite is often cited as one of the greatest action films of the nineties- and with good reason. Cage stars as Castor Troy, a criminal genius responsible for the death of the son of FBI agent Sean Archer (John Travolta). Troy has planted a time bomb that could wipe out Los Angeles – and refuses to reveal its location. Troy’s brother, Pollux (Alessandro Nivola) is also aware of the location of the bomb- so FBI scientists hatch an ingenious plot: using experimental surgery, they graft Troy’s face temporarily onto Archer’s head to allow him to question Pollux without suspicion. But once Archer has taken Troy’s face, Troy regains consciousness and forces the doctors to give him Archer’s face. Now Troy has practically the entire FBI fooled, and Archer is stuck with virtually nowhere to turn…
Gone In Sixty Seconds (2000)
This remake of the 1974 action thriller of the same name was a major hit on release- and stars Cage alongside Angelina Jolie, Giovanni Ribisi and Timothy Olyphant. Cage plays Memphis Raines, a brilliant car thief who has his retirement plans delayed when his younger brother Kip (Ribisi) runs afoul of a vicious crime boss. Raines agrees to steal 50 luxury cars in one night, with the help of other car thieves, including Sara “Sway” Wayland (Jolie), in order to get his brother out of harms way. But first, he’ll have to outwit a rival group of thieves, as well as evade Castlebeck (Delroy Lindo) and Drycoff (Olyphant)- the two detectives who are on his trail…
Lord of War (2005)
This film charts the rise and fall of arms dealer Yuri Orlov (Cage), starting in the 1980s in Little Odessa, selling guns to local mobsters, all the way through to the early 90s, where he formed a partnership with an African warlord and his psychotic son. Co-starring Bridget Moynahan and Jared Leto, the characted of Orlov is said to have been modelled on real life arms dealer Viktor Bout, who became one of the world’s biggest arms dealers after working as a Russian lieutenant, and was finally arrested in 2008.
This wildly successful adaptation of Mark Millar and John Romita Jnr’s comic book featured an all-star cast including Aaron Taylor Johnson as the titular reluctant superhero, alongside Chloe Grace Moretz as the irrepressible Hit-Girl. The action-packed comedy follows the exploits of Dave Lizewski (Taylor-Johnson), an introverted student and comic book fan who decides to become a super-hero, even though he has absolutely no powers or real incentive to do so. Cage provides wonderfully off-the-wall support as superhero veteran- and Hit-Girls father- Damon Macready, AKA Big Daddy.
Dying of the Light is available on Blu-ray and DVD from the 2nd March 2015, courtesy of Signature Entertainment.
Quite often we’ll get sent posters for things, and often I don’t bother posting them because there’s not really a whole lot interesting about a poster. Then there’s this:
It was announced a while back Jason Momoa would be playing Aquaman in Zack Snyder’s Justice League, but this is the first time we’ve seen him in his full. Aquaman outfit. Well… I say full Aquaman outfit…. This is Momoa we’re talking about, so the costume is of course, shirtless. At this point I beginning to suspect it costs more to have Jason actually wear a shirt in a project…
There are a couple of possibilities as to what the ‘Unite The Seven’ but i think we have to assume it’s referring to The Justice League – Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Flash, Green Lantern, & Cyborg.
Aquaman will be making his first appearance in the upcoming Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice which hits cinemas March 2016, before a solo Aquaman movie in 2018.
This is a nice announcement to wake up to on a Tuesday morning! Sony have finally seen sense, and struck a deal which will allow Spider-man to appear in a future Marvel Cinematic Universe movie! Some of you maybe asking ‘why is this a big thing?’. Well, long ago, before Marvel started making billions off it’s movies, they sold a bunch of licenses for some of their characters so movie studios could make superhero movies. X-Men and Fantastic Four went to Fox, Sony bought Spider-man, etc… So this meant, when it came to making an Avengers movie, two of the comic book’s key Avengers from recent years were off the table, as the movie rights for Wolverine and Spidey weren’t owned by Marvel anymore.
This announcement changes all that… At least for Spidey anyway. The press release says:
Under the deal, the new Spider-Man will first appear in a Marvel film from Marvel’s Cinematic Universe (MCU). Sony Pictures will thereafter release the next instalment of its $4 billion Spider-Man franchise, on July 28, 2017, in a film that will be co-produced by Kevin Feige and his expert team at Marvel and Amy Pascal, who oversaw the franchise launch for the studio 13 years ago. Together, they will collaborate on a new creative direction for the web slinger. Sony Pictures will continue to finance, distribute, own and have final creative control of the Spider-Man films.
No news on whether that means Andrew Garfield is out as Spider-man, or whether he’ll get to retain the web shooters. Personally, I thought he made a really good Peter Parker, and I don’t think any of the issues with his 2nd Spider-man movie can be blamed on him.
This also means some monkeying around with the release dates for upcoming MCU films to slot in the new movies:
Marvel’s “Thor: Ragnarok” will hit theaters November 3, 2017. The following year, Marvel’s “Black Panther” will make its way to theaters on July 6, 2018, and Marvel’s “Captain Marvel” on November 2, 2018. Finally, Marvel’s “Inhumans” will now debut in theaters July 12, 2019.
So, Marvel film, then a Spidey film in 2017… I’d be very surprised if the MCU film isn’t next year’s Captain America: Civil War.
Now… If they can just strike a deal with Fox for Wolverine…
It’s been a long time coming, but we finally get a brief look at the upcoming Fantastic 4 reboot staring Miles Teller, Michael B. Jordan, Kate Mara and Jamie Bell.
FANTASTIC FOUR, a contemporary re-imagining of Marvel’s original and longest-running superhero team, centers on four young outsiders who teleport to an alternate and dangerous universe, which alters their physical form in shocking ways. Their lives irrevocably upended, the team must learn to harness their new abilities and work together to save Earth from a former friend turned enemy.
These days, almost everyone is attached to their phone, and a phone can do just about anything. People already use their phone for watching movies, but with apps, film fans can go a little deeper and connect with their favourite films even more. For film lovers, there’s nothing better than an app that allows them to interact with the movies they love and get more information about them. People no longer have to be content with just sitting and watching a film; there are so many ways to make the movie-going experience more interactive. There are some great apps out there for looking up movie times, getting reviews, and finding out more about a film.
One of the top free movie apps is the IMDB app. IMDB is one of the largest movie databases and the app can be used to find movie ratings, watch trailers, and find out information about upcoming movies. The IMDB app also allows users to look at photos, keep up their must-see lists, rate the films and TV shows they watch, and look up the actors and actresses. The app is available for iPhone, iPad, and Android.
The RunPee app allows users to look up the film they are seeing and find out when it’s safe to take a bathroom break. It tells them their cue to leave and how long they have so that they don’t have to worry about missing the best part of the movie. The app finds three to five-minute scenes that don’t have plot twists, funny moments, or any major action. It also lets users know if there is anything in the credits worth staying around for. Download it here.
This great little app (sadly only on iOS), allows you to enjoy a large array of public domain movies, as well as import your own, and make notes on the film whilst it’s playing. You can also tag sections of the film making it easy to search, and when you finish, email your notes to yourself, and it’ll send along screenshots with it. Really handy little app for those studying film!
Turner Classic Movies
For the classic film buff, the Turner Classic Movies app is a must-have. This app has on-demand classic films available and it allows users to access the network live. It’s available on all platforms, and has photos, movie history, trivia, and scheduling. It also has a feature that allows users to take a virtual tour of classic Hollywood. The TCM app is available for phones and tablets.
Disney Creativity Studio
For children, there is the Disney Creativity Studio app designed by Worry Free Labs. This app is designed to promote creativity in children and allow them to make art. They can learn how to draw the Disney characters that they love. The app features advanced software and an extensive colour palate that allows for lifelike drawing. Drawings can be saved and shared. The app is compatible with iPad Retina display.
There are a lot of great apps out there for film lovers. These apps make it easier to connect to the world of movies. Not only that but they also allow users to learn more about films and to interact with them.
The phrase ‘action movie star Colin Firth’ is not one i’d ever thought i’d utter… Kingsman: The Secret Service changes that. Director Matthew Vaughn (of Kick Ass & X-Men First Class fame), along with long time collaborator Jane Goldman have crafted a brilliant, funny and uniquely wonderful love letter to the old school British spy.
The story follows Colin’s character ‘Galahad’ as he inducts a new apprentice to the ultra-secret service of the ‘Kingsmen’. The chavvy Gary ‘Eggsy’ Unwin (brilliantly played by relative newcomer Taron Egerton) is not their usual caliber of recruit, but Galahad sees something in the lad and pushes to train him as a super-spy.
Firth seems to take to the action star role rather well, tackling some of the most brutal comic book fight sequences since Hit-Girl sliced her way through 2010’s Kick-Ass. Egerton looks completely comfortable on screen, despite this being his first time on a film set and holds his own, which is a great achievement looking at the incredible caliber of actors surrounding him. Michael Caine playing the Kingsman’s leader Arthur, Mark Strong as weapons and tech specialist Merlin, and Samuel L Jackson chewing through scenery as Valentine, the lisping, evil billionaire looking to destroy the world. Special mention also needs to go to Sofia Boutella who plays Valentine assistant/assassin Gazelle, who has a rather unique weapon of choice!
Vaughn, once again, has managed to take the work of Mark Millar, and transform it into a highly entertaining (if also ultra-violent) movie. It’s old-school Bond-eque, without being Bond, mixed with flashes of his previous work on Kick-Ass, Snatch, and a dose of class. Wonderfully stylish, and very funny.