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Daily Archives: October 10, 2013

The Frozen Ground (2013)


The Frozen Ground Poster

The Frozen Ground (2013)

 

Nicolas Cage and John Cusack have both been pretty much hit or miss for about the last 6 years.  Oddly enough, their downfall started around the same time.  I have been a huge fan of both actors ever since I can remember.  Even though they are both not consistently in great movies any longer, I still give them the benefit of the doubt every time I watch one of their new movies.  I guess I just hope that one day they will bounce back from whatever funk they got themselves into and start making great movies again.  One can always hope right?

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So, that is the attitude that I had before watching The Frozen Ground.  I would have been less enthusiastic about wanting to see the movie if it was only Cage or Cusack in it.  But, it’s not just Cage or Cusack, it’s both.  If both of these struggling actors are in the same movie then it is bound to be awesome right?

The film is based on actual events that took place in 1983.  It’s about an Alaska State trooper who teams up with a woman who was able to get away from a serial killer named Robert Hansen.  Together the duo works to find Hansen and bring him to justice for the murders that he has committed.

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The movie was written and directed by Scott Walker and the rest of the noteworthy cast includes Vanessa Hudgens, Dean Norris, Kevin Dunn, Radha Mitchell, Michael McGrady, Matt Gerald, and 50 Cent.

The Frozen Ground has an overall dark tone which is fitting because of the dark subject matter.

The movie was missing a lot.  It was hard to follow and full of wasted talent.  There was hardly any character development, so you couldn’t really feel anything for the characters.

The Frozen Ground Cage

It is yet another letdown from Cage and Cusack.  The list of bad movies that each actor continues to make just keeps getting longer.

It really felt like both Cage and Cusack were just going through the motions.  However, the writing and filmmaking overall, really did nothing to help their cause.  Occasionally both actors would show a slight spark that would quickly go out.  I think that if they keep making movies like this one, their careers could be doomed.  It’s a real shame.

The film started out like it could have potential, and then it got boring quickly.  The scenes were choppy and the acting and dialogue all felt forced.

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Don’t waste your time or money with The Frozen Ground.  If you would like to try to preserve the memory of when Nicolas Cage and John Cusack both made good movies, don’t watch this one.

I rate this movie a 3 on a scale of 1-10.

Buy, rent, or run?  Run.

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Don Jon (2013)


Don Jon Poster

Don Jon (2013)

 

I have always been a fan of Joseph Gordon-Levitt.  I grew up watching his films and television shows.  When I was a little kid, I liked him in the films Angels in the Outfield (1994), Beethoven (1992), A River Runs Through It (1992), and the television shows Family Ties, Murder, She Wrote, and Roseanne.

As I grew older, I watched Gordon-Levitt grow up and his roles slowly mature.  When I was a teenager I enjoyed his part in the movie 10 Things I Hate About You(1999), and I liked him in the television shows That ‘70s Show, and 3rd Rock from the Sun.

Shortly after 3rd Rock from the Sun ended in 2001, Gordon-Levitt started accepting edgier roles.  For the most part, he stuck with low-budget independent films until the blockbuster Inception (2010) boosted him to superstardom.

Ever since Inception, Joseph Gordon-Levitt has been on fire.  He was excellent in the film 50/50 (2011), The Dark Knight Rises (2012) speaks for itself, he made Premium Rush (2012) watch-able, Looper (2012) was awesome, Lincoln (2012) was a film of epic proportions, and he has returned to his roots of independent, edgy filmmaking with Don Jon.

Don Jon marks an impressive new milestone for Gordon-Levitt.  It is the first film that he has written, directed, and starred in.  Also, he bulked up a lot for the movie.

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Don Jon is an atypical dysfunctional drama that hits on a touchy topic, porn addiction.  Jon (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) is a New Jersey man who seems to have all of his priorities straight except that he is a total ladies man and he is addicted to pornography.  When Jon meets Barbara (Scarlett Johansson), the most beautiful woman that he has ever seen, she changes him.  He is forced to confront his porn addiction and how he treats women.

The rest of the noteworthy cast includes Julianne Moore, Tony Danza, Glenne Headly, Brie Larson, Rob Brown, and Jeremy Luke.

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The movie is definitely an adult drama.  It tackles the subjects of pornography, masturbation, and addiction.  There is a lot of nudity and language.

Joseph Gordon-Levitt has a very solid track record when it comes to acting and I was very excited to see Don Jon because of his writing, directing, and starring credits.  He does not disappoint.  The film was delightfully different from the norm.  It touches on topics that people tend to shy away from and it throws them in your face.  Although it will be considered a controversial movie and it proves that Gordon-Levitt likes to takes risks, Don Jon has a lot of heart.

I saw Don Jon two nights ago and I have been thinking about it ever since.  It stuck with me.  The more I think about it, the more that I like it.  It’s a good date movie if you have an open mind.

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The cast is awesome!  Gordon-Levitt was a rockstar both on and off camera.  The chemistry between Johansson and Gordon-Levitt was perfect.  They also had their accents down wonderfully.  Moore was a great addition to the movie and it was fun to see Danza and Headly acting again.

Don Jon deserves a few Oscar nods, in my opinion.  Joseph Gordon-Levitt should be recognized with a nomination for an Academy Award for Best Actor or Best Director, or both, and the film should be nominated for Best Picture.  Johansson and Moore also gave Oscar worthy performances.

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Don Jon is one of the best, if not the best movie that I have seen all year.  Prisoners (2013) and The Iceman (2012) are my other favorite films of 2013.

Joseph Gordon-Levitt has proved himself to be a very capable filmmaker.  I’m excited to see what he will do next.

I rate this movie a 9 on a scale of 1-10.

Buy, rent, or run?  Buy.

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Note: The first movie that I remember seeing Joseph Gordon-Levitt in was Angels in the Outfield (1994).  That film was also the first movie that I remember seeing Tony Danza in.  It’s interesting to me how almost 20 years later Gordon-Levitt has gone on to be a superstar and Danza’s career has tanked.  If this movie does not revive Danza’s career, then nothing will.  If Danza suddenly pops up in everything, it will be because of his comeback in Don Jon.