Season of the Witch

Olga and I spent some time choosing which movie to go see today.  There are a few showing, but none of them sounds even remotely attractive.  After we went through all options, we decided to watch “Season of the Witch“.  At least the trailer was attractive.

The film turned out to be a disappointment.  Whilst it had some good acting and special effects, the story failed it miserably.  It was too shallow and too raw.  There seemed to be no purpose, no connection.   And there were way too many contradictions.  Maybe fifteen or twenty years ago, all that could be easily hidden behind the visual effects.  But not today.

Overall, I’d give it a 3 out of 5.  Don’t bother with the cinema – watch at home.

The Weather Man

Yet again another very long break from movies. But this time I’ve got a backlog of good films (read: highly recommended by people, who’s opinions I respect) to watch. So, I started off with “The Weather Man“.

Directed by: Gore Verbinski
Genres: Comedy, Drama
Cast: Nicolas Cage, Michael Caine, Hope Davis, Gemmenne de la Peña, Nicholas Hoult, Michael Rispoli, Gil Bellows, Judith McConnell, Chris Marrs, Dina Facklis, DeAnna N.J. Brooks, Sia A. Moody, Guy Van Swearingen, Alejandro Pina, Jackson Bubala
IMDB raintg: 7.2
My rating: 8.0 ********

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Lord of War

Lord of War (2005)It was some time since I was in the cinema. I was saving up for a good movie and this week they have two of these. I am not yet sure that I will make it to the second one, but the first one I saw today – “Lord of War“.

Directed by: Andrew Niccol
Genres: Action, Crime, Drama, Thriller
Cast: Nicolas Cage, Bridget Moynahan, Jared Leto, Shake Tukhmanyan, Jean-Pierre Nshanian, Jared Burke, Eric Uys, David Shumbris, Stewart Morgan, Jasper Lenz, Kobus Marx, Stephan De Abreu, Jeremy Crutchley, Ian Holm, Tanya Finch
IMDB raintg: 7.4
My rating: 7.0 *******

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Random pick from a pile of movies with well-known actors – “Adaptation.“.

Directed by: Spike Jonze
Genres: Drama, Comedy
Cast: Nicolas Cage, Meryl Streep, Chris Cooper, Cara Seymour, Tilda Swinton, Ron Livingston, Brian Cox, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Jim Beaver, Judy Greer, Litefoot, Doug Jones, Jay Tavare, Stephen Tobolowsky, Roger Willie
IMDB raintg: 7.9
My rating: 8.0 ********

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Leaving Las Vegas

Leaving Las Vegas (1995)I don’t even remember why I had “Leaving Las Vegas” on my list of movies to see. After watching it I might think of a few reasons though…

Directed by: Mike Figgis
Genres: Drama, Romance
Cast: Nicolas Cage, Elisabeth Shue, Julian Sands, Richard Lewis, Steven Weber, Kim Adams, Emily Procter, Stuart Regen, Valeria Golino, Graham Beckel, Al Henderson, Shashi Bhatia, Carey Lowell, Anne Lange, Thomas Kopache
IMDB raintg: 7.5
My rating: 6.0 ******

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Birdy (1984)Birdy” DVD cover looked somehow very familiar, by neither Martin database nor my memory could reveal the fact that I rented this film. I also looked at the few pictures on the back of the DVD box and read the description of the film. Again, it looked very familiar but I couldn’t remember if I so it or not. So I decided to take. It turned out that I haven’t seen it before…

Directed by: Alan Parker
Genres: Drama, War
Cast: Matthew Modine, Nicolas Cage, John Harkins, Sandy Baron, Karen Young, Bruno Kirby, Nancy Fish, George Buck, Dolores Sage, Robert L. Ryan, James Santini, Maud Winchester, Marshall Bell, Elizabeth Whitcraft, Sandra Beall
IMDB raintg: 7.2
My rating: 8.5 ********½

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National Treasure

National Treasure (2004)I am a bit slow on catching up big movies lately, but I’m trying my best. Today I finally watched “National Treasure“.

Directed by: Jon Turteltaub
Genres: Adventure, Action
Cast: Nicolas Cage, Diane Kruger, Justin Bartha, Sean Bean, Jon Voight, Harvey Keitel, Christopher Plummer, David Dayan Fisher, Stewart Finlay-McLennan, Oleg Taktarov, Stephen A. Pope, Annie Parisse, Mark Pellegrino, Armando Riesco, Erik King
IMDB raintg: 6.6
My rating: 6.5 ******½

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Finally I watched “Windtalkers” on DVD. Once I have missed it in the cinema due to a poor and boring theatrical trailer, I wanted to rent in on DVD, but never had the nerve to take it, preferring other films.

This movie turned out to be different from what I expected. It was good in those areas which I was expecting to suck, and bad in those that I was expecting to shine.

There were plenty of war scenes and they were almost properly done. Lots of gun fire, explosions, and battle action and of these were at a loss without any strategy. It gets boring to watch a bunch of guys firing a bunch of guns and running all over the place. There was no clear distinction between allies and enemies. There was no clear distinction of a plan. Targets weren’t clearly marked for the audience. All the attention was given to soldiers, their ammunition and the scenery of the battle field. Airplanes and ships were mentioned briefly, each with their own impressive shots. But again, no attention to what and where they were doing in connection to the battle field.

There was some good acting, but not by Nicolas Cage. In fact, everyone else did better than him. His character appeared very shallow and faceless. One of Cage’s worst roles that I have seen.

Plenty of good photography and sound effects. I haven’t noticed any music except for that played by the characters, so I if it was there it must have been very good and natural. Plenty of good photography. Oh, I’ve mentioned it already, but it was really good.

Overall, I’ll give this movie a firm 6 out of 10.

The Rock

Watched some good old action on DVD – “The Rock“. It is based on an old story of some cool marine kernel stealing some chemical weapons, taking hostages, setting base ins some secure location (like a prison), and demanding some money off the government. The details vary from film to film, but the main story holds still for many movies.

Anyway, the story is not the point of the film, because it is weak and well-known, and everyone can tell that noone is blowing up anything after like 3 minutes of watching it. The point of the film is entertainment. And this film provides a good portion of it. Sean Connery and Nicolas Cage team up nicely against Ed Harris and David Morse. There is plenty of shooting, fighting, and cool talk.

There could have been more destruction and hot women. Patriotic propaganda could have been cut out too without affecting the film that much. Photography and camera work were brilliant. Some frames from the movie could have been done into excellent posters. For example, the fighter jet in the hangar with huge American flag, or the reflection of the flag in the wet tarmac together with few running marines. These were just beautiful. There were plenty more there.

Anyway, I’ll give this film a 7 out of 10, since it measure pretty much to the level it claimed. It could have been better, but I have seen a lot worse.

Gone in Sixty Seconds

Gone in Sixty Seconds” was on TV. I had to leave before the end to go to work, but I remember it pretty well from the time when I saw it in the cinema.

It’s a nice crime and action film, which lacks crime and action. It’s a film about great cars and their steallers, but there are not so many car chases and exciting driving. Pity.

Many famous people play in there – Nicolas Cage, Angelina Jolie, Delroy Lindo, Robert Duvall,Vinnie Jones and few others. All this film lacks is some action and spice in the dialogs. Even Cage stayed away from his usual dramatic senbernar look (also known as Silvester Stallone look). It’s a pity when so little separates an averagely good film from a category killer.