Death Wish (2018)
Why do we like vigilante justice? I think that it is because someone does exactly what we are thinking should be done or we would like to do, ourselves. Also, vigilante justice in the movies is often portrayed as sticking up for ones that cannot stick up for themselves. If you are like me, then you enjoy rooting for the underdog.
Death Wish is about a doctor who decides to take matters into his own hands after an attack on his family. He decides to find the men responsible and serve up his own form of vigilante justice.
The movie was directed by Eli Roth and the noteworthy cast includes Bruce Willlis, Vincent D’Onofrio, Elisabeth Shue, Dean Norris, Camila Morrone, Beau Knapp, Kimberly Elise, Len Cariou, Jack Kesy, and Ronnie Gene Blevins.
I am not usually one to be into remakes. It seems like Hollywood remakes or reboots just about everything these days. Often, I say leave well enough alone, but sometimes the right remake idea comes along and the right actor is cast in the lead role.
In this case, Willis was very fitting for the role in Death Wish. It was his best performance since Looper (2012). He has been making a lot of B-rated straight to DVD movies lately, so it is nice to see him return to his former glory. I am glad to see that he has not gone the way of Nicolas Cage (spitting out one piece of trash after the next). Death Wish is a one-man-show and Bruce was clearly up for the task.
This movie is a scary concept because of how realistic it is. What I mean by that is that it shows just how worthless the police department and justice system can be sometimes. Too often, it is the people that deserve to see justice be done, that are the ones stuck without any justice at all. It also goes to show just how vulnerable we all are.
The likable Dean Norris has quickly been typecast as the police or detective type thanks to the success of the television series Breaking Bad. His part in this movie is good, but it does quickly make you think of Breaking Bad.
There are a few noticeable gruesome scenes in this movie that had Roth’s signature all over it. So far, I believe that this film is Roth’s best work as a director. He did a terrific job setting the tone of Death Wish and sticking with it throughout.
It has been a very long time since I have seen the original Death Wish (1974), but watching this version has made me want to go back and watch the original sometime soon. The new film is a quality remake done with today’s technology. The original movie is now 44 years old and it shows its age.
This movie is a murky suspense/thriller with good old fashioned popcorn-popping action. Willis as the protagonist doing bad for good reasons will keep you on the edge of your seat hoping that justice gets done.
I rate this movie an 8 on a scale of 1-10.
If you liked this film then you might also enjoy:
Death Wish (1974)
Death Sentence (2007)
The Brave One (2007)
Man on Fire (2004)
The Equalizer (2014)
The Punisher (2004)
Sin City (2005)
Harry Brown (2009)
John Wick (2014)
John Wick: Chapter 2 (2017)
Happy Birthday to Nicolas Cage!
The famous actor turns 50 years old today.
Although he and his career have basically imploded and taken a nosedive in the last 7 years, Nicolas Cage is still one of my favorite actors of all time.
Unfortunately he has disgraced us all with the absurdity and awfulness of The Wicker Man (2006), Ghost Rider (2007), The Sorcerer’s Apprentice (2010), Season of the Witch (2011), Drive Angry (2011), Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance (2011), and The Frozen Ground (2013).
However, let us not forget the jewels that he has bestowed upon us with:
Lord of War (2005),
The Weather Man (2005),
National Treasure (2004),
Matchstick Men (2003),
The Family Man (2000),
Gone in Sixty Seconds (2000),
Bringing Out the Dead (1999),
Con Air (1997),
The Rock (1996),
Leaving Las Vegas (1995),
Kiss of Death (1995),
and Raising Arizona (1987).
The man can still act. Every once in a while he gets his act together and creates something that is reminiscent of the Nicolas Cage of old. I still watch his films with a shimmer of hope because one day he could turn it all around and return to greatness. One day he just might make his comeback. He is not getting any younger, but 50 years old is something to celebrate. Happy Birthday Nic and thank you for the excellent movie watching experiences!
Click on the links below to read my Nicolas Cage movie reviews:
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
I delayed seeing Kick-Ass for 3 years. Honestly, at the time that it came out, it appeared like it would be jam-packed with gratuitous amounts of stupidity. I was fed up with superhero movies being the trend and given the fact that Nicolas Cage was a part of it made me worried. Cage is one of my favorite actors, but at the time that he made Kick-Ass he was taking any and every movie role offered to him. He was having money problems and he needed to get out of debt. During that time, he systematically dismantled his image and his career by force-feeding the world 11 movies over the course of 3 years. I thought the title was pretty lame and I was very skeptical to say the least.
The movie is about a nerdy high school kid (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) who one day decides that he wants to be a superhero. He dresses up like a superhero and therefore thinks that he is one. Fighting crime proves to be much more difficult than he anticipates and he gets in way over his head.
The film is directed by Matthey Vaughn and the rest of the noteworthy cast includes Nicolas Cage, Mark Strong, Chloe Grace Moretz, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Michael Rispoli, Clark Duke, and Jason Flemyng.
After writing off Kick-Ass three years ago, I never really thought twice about it until I learned of the upcoming sequel a couple of months ago, Kick-Ass 2 (2013). I heard from a few different people that Kick-Ass was actually pretty awesome. I decided to give it a chance.
Nicolas Cage was better than I expected he would be. The film was during his low point, but his character turned out to be moderately entertaining.
Mark Strong was a superb hard-ass. He played his part perfectly.
Aaron Taylor-Johnson was alright, but it was the young Chloe Grace Moretz that stole the show. She sure kicked some ass.
I was shocked at how much I enjoyed this movie. It was far better than I originally anticipated. There is a bit of language, blood, raunchiness, and violence, but overall it was mildly funny and supremely amusing. It was a well-acted and clever, kick-ass journey into an almost believable world where superheroes exist.
I rate this movie an 8 on a scale of 1-10.
Buy, rent, or run? Buy.
Escape Plan (2013) (click on the title for my full review.)
Grandpa Stallone and Grandpa Schwarzenegger are both at it again. This time Sylvester plays a prison escape artist. After finding a way to break out of a number of prisons, he designed a new prison where escaping is near impossible. Of course, eventually he finds himself framed and locked up in the very prison that he created. Arnold is on the inside with him. Now Stallone must breakout in order to track down the party responsible for getting him locked up.
The movie reminds me a bit of Face/Off (1997) simply because in that film John Travolta‘s character (with Nicolas Cage‘s face) agrees to go under cover and be locked up in a high-tech prison. Eventually the only people that know he is undercover find themselves dead and he is forced to try to escape if he wants to get back to his real life.
How does 50 Cent keep getting parts in movies?
Although Stallone and Schwarzenegger are both maybe a little too ancient to be making this type of movie, I think that somehow they will pull it off. Either way, I will be there to give you my take on it.
The film is set to release on 10/18/13.
13 Awesome Actors, 13 Awful Movies
Unfortunately I had the displeasure of viewing these vile movies. I was duped into thinking that each one of these films could do no wrong because of the awesome actors that were in them. Boy was I wrong. Do yourself a favor and stay as far away from these movies as you can get.
Anthony Hopkins: Alexander (2004)
Brad Pitt: Killing Them Softly (2012)
Daniel Day-Lewis: The Boxer (1997)
George Clooney: Syriana (2005)
Jeff Bridges: The Contender (2000)
John Travolta: Battlefield Earth (2000)
Johnny Depp: Before Night Falls (2000)
Kevin Costner: Waterworld (1995)
Morgan Freeman: Dreamcatcher (2003)
Nicolas Cage: The Wicker Man (2006)
Robin Williams: The Night Listener (2006)
Tom Cruise: Interview with the Vampire (1994)
When I look at this list, I can only ask myself one question: What were they thinking?
(Nicolas Cage) stars as Will Montgomery, a bank robber who gets left behind by his partner Vincent (Josh Lucas) and the rest of their crew after successfully stealing 10 million dollars from a bank. Before being arrested, Will dumps the money and therefore only goes to jail for 8 years.
When Will gets out of prison, Vincent wants his share of the 10 million dollars and will do anything to get it, including kidnapping and threatening to kill Will’s teenage daughter. Vincent gives Will 12 hours to get him the money or his daughter dies.
It was a pleasure to see Josh Lucas playing a bad guy. He has always been an underrated actor in my opinion. He did a wonderful job being creepy.
Although the storyline is not much different than your standard kidnapping or bank robbery, Nicolas Cage and Josh Lucas bring a certain level of prestige to the film with a couple of unique plot surprises along the way.
There is enough action and chases interspersed throughout the movie to keep you intrigued and wanting to know what will happen next.
Nicolas Cage has been involved in creating a lot of trash in the more recent years. For a while it was one poor excuse for a movie after another. This is unfortunate because he is one of my favorite actors. But I guess that is what happens when you dig yourself way into debt and are forced to take any and all roles offered to you just to break even and keep your head above water. I have always wondered how someone as talented as Cage, with as much fame and fortune, and as many awesome performances in so many excellent movies (for example: Lord of War, The Weather Man, National Treasure, Matchstick Men, The Family Man, Gone in 60 Seconds, Face/Off, Con Air, The Rock, Leaving Las Vegas, Kiss of Death) could just flush it all down the toilet.
I won’t pretend to know what caused the downturn of this movie Icon. I heard that he had owed millions of dollars in back taxes to the IRS and I’m sure that was a big motivator to accept any garbage role that came his way.
It became about quantity rather than quality (for example: The Wicker Man, Ghost Rider, The Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call – New Orleans, Astro Boy, Kick-Ass, The Sorcerer’s Apprentice, Season of the Witch, Drive Angry, and Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance); anything to make money to pay his debts. According to imdb.com Cage is involved in 12 more movies that are expected to release in the next couple of years.
Within the pile of rubble that is Cage’s last 7 years of film making, you will find a few glimmers of hope. These are just a few reminders that Nicolas Cage can still make good movies, they are few and far between, but he still has the ability (for example: Next, National Treasure: Book of Secrets, Bangkok Dangerous, Knowing, Seeking Justice, Trespass, and Stolen). Arguably none of the movies on that list were fantastic, but they were still solid movies in their own right, and all worth seeing. The only big hit on that list was National Treasure: Book of Secrets and that is because it was the sequel to a much better movie.
Here’s to hoping Cage can get his life together so that he can start making greatness again. Stolen is just another example of hope that better is still to come for Nicolas Cage.I give
Stolen a 7 rating on a scale of 1-10.
Buy, rent, or run? Rent.