Prisoners of the Ghostland (2021)

Prisoners of the Ghostland
Director: Sion Sono
Writer: Aaron Hendry, Reza Sixo Safai
Cast: Nicolas Cage, Sofia Boutella, Nick Cassavetes, Bill Moseley, Tak Sakaguchi, Young Dais, Charles Glover, Cici Zhou, Louis Kurihara, Tetsu Watanabe, Takato Yonemoto, Shin Shimizu
Part of: SLASH Filmfestival
Seen on: 25.9.2021

Content Note: child sexual abuse (alluded to), misogyny

After his granddaughter Bernice (Sofia Boutella) disappears, the Governor (Bill Moseley) turns to desperate measures to find her. He frees a notorious criminal and turns him Hero (Nicolas Cage), though not without precautions to ensure his compliance. Thus the Hero makes his way to the Ghostland where Bernice is suspected to be. The Ghostland is a dangerous place, and the Hero has his work cut out for himself.

Prisoners of the Ghostland didn’t work in the slightest for me. Way too shrill and loud, way too little sense. If I hadn’t been sitting right in the middle of my row, I probably would have left early. As is, I napped here and there but I should have just stayed away entirely.

The film poster showing the Hero (Nicolas Cage) standing atop a giant warrior helmet with skulls, other people and a huge clock that seem almost part of the helmet.
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Color Out of Space (2019)

Color Out of Space
Director: Richard Stanley
Writer: Richard Stanley, Scarlett Amaris
Based on: H.P. Lovecraft‘s story The Colour Out of Space
Cast: Nicolas Cage, Joely Richardson, Madeleine Arthur, Elliot Knight, Tommy Chong, Brendan Meyer, Julian Hilliard, Josh C. Waller, Q’orianka Kilcher
Part of: surprise movie at the /slash Filmfestival
Seen on: 24.9.2019

The Gardeners – Nathan (Nicolas Cage), Theresa (Joely Richardson), Lavinia (Madeleine Arthur), Benny (Brendan Meyer) and Jack (Julian Hilliard) – live on a remote farm where they are trying to escape the hectic big city life, much to the chagrin of Lavinia who even resorts to witchcraft to be able to return to the city. Things do become slightly more interesting when young scientist Ward (Elliot Knight) shows up to test the water in the area. But nobody can anticipate just how interesting things will be after a meteorite crashes in the Gardeners’ garden.

Color Out of Space was okay. It might have won me over more if it had stuck to a 90 minute runtime, but at almost two hours it was a little exhausting, albeit far from a bad movie.

The film poster showing a purple-pink psychedelic splash of colors with faces and some animals emerging.
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Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (2018)

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse
Director: Bob Persichetti, Peter Ramsey, Rodney Rothman
Writer: Phil Lord, Rodney Rothman
Based on: Stan Lee and Steve Ditko‘s comic
Cast: Shameik Moore, Jake Johnson, Hailee Steinfeld, Mahershala Ali, Brian Tyree Henry, Lily Tomlin, Luna Lauren Velez, Zoë Kravitz, John Mulaney, Kimiko Glenn, Nicolas Cage, Kathryn Hahn, Liev Schreiber, Chris Pine, Natalie Morales, Edwin H. Bravo, Oscar Isaac, Greta Lee, Stan Lee
Seen on: 17.12.2018

When Miles Morales (Shameik Moore) is bitten by a radioactive spider, he finds himself facing a whole new set of problems – as if starting a new school wasn’t enough. But then he has to watch as Kingpin (Liev Schreiber) kills Spider-Man/Peter Parker (Chris Pine) who tries to keep Kingpin from using a dimension-crossing machine, and things get even worse. That’s when Miles stumbles upon yet another Peter Parker/Spider-Man (Jake Johnson) and he realizes that he might be able to find other Spider-Men in other dimensions. If they team up, they may stand a chance against Kingpin, although not all of them are of equal help.

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse got a whole lot of advance prasie and all of it was absolutely deserved. In fact, I felt that it actually surpassed my expectations. It was funny, hit all the right emotional notes and was visually really interesting. Absolutely fantastic.

The film poster showing Miles Morales (Shameik Moore) as Spider-Man jumping high over the skyline of New York.
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Mandy (2018)

Director: Panos Cosmatos
Writer: Panos Cosmatos, Aaron Stewart-Ahn
Cast: Nicolas Cage, Andrea Riseborough, Linus Roache, Ned Dennehy, Olwen Fouéré, Richard Brake, Bill Duke
Part of: /slash Filmfestival
Seen on: 20.9.2018

Red (Nicolas Cage) and Mandy (Andrea Riseborough) couldn’t be happier with each other. They live remotely and they live mostly for each other. But their intense togetherness is not only disrupted, it is destroyed when Mandy catches the eye of Jeremiah Sand (Linus Roache), the leader of a local cult. Jeremiah shows up at Red and Mandy’s home ready to do everything to get Mandy to himself.

Mandy starts off well enough, but after the first hour or so, I lost interest in it. It’s intriguing, and as an opening to this year’s /slash Filmfestival it was well-chosen, but it just didn’t work all the way through.

The film poster all in red hues, showing various of the film's characters.
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Moonstruck (1987)

Director: Norman Jewison
Writer: John Patrick Shanley
Cast: Cher, Nicolas Cage, Vincent Gardenia, Olympia Dukakis, Danny Aiello, Julie Bovasso, John Mahoney, Louis Guss
Seen on: 30.12.2017

Loretta (Cher) is a bookkeeper who lives with her parents (Vincent Gardenia, Olympia Dukakis). Her boyfriend Johnny (Danny Aiello) is slightly boring, but definitely dependable. And he just proposed to Loretta. Loretta agrees to marry him but insists on following the old traditions because she is sure that her first husband died because they didn’t stick to traditions. Johnny agrees, but has to leave to go to Sicily to tend to his dying mother. In the meantime, he asks Loretta to see his brother Ronnie (Nicolas Cage) and invite him to the wedding. Loretta does so and finds a passionate, hot-headed man who turns all her plans upside down.

I can imagine that Moonstruck came across as charming when it came out, but I don’t think it aged very well. I didn’t get into it in any case.

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Snowden (2016)

Director: Oliver Stone
Writer: Kieran Fitzgerald, Oliver Stone
Based on: the books The Snowden Files by Luke Harding and Time of the Octopus by Anatoly Kucherena
Cast: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Melissa Leo, Zachary QuintoShailene Woodley, Rhys Ifans, Nicolas Cage, Tom Wilkinson, Joely Richardson, Timothy Olyphant, Erol Sander, Scott Eastwood, Ben Chaplin
Seen on: 4.10.2016

Edward Snowden (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) used to be a soldier, then he started working for the NSA. Growing disillusioned with the NSA’s surveillance practices, he decides to do something about it. He contacts journalists Laura Poitras (Melissa Leo) and Glenn Greenwald (Zachary Quinto) and leaks documents and evidence through them. But whistleblowing like that is treason and Snowden has to be smart to make sure that the information reaches the public and that he doesn’t get caught.

Snowden is a very nice companion piece to Citizenfour. It’s a well done, engaging film and you can’t repeat this horrifying story and the sheer scope of everything enough.

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Joe (2013)

Director: David Gordon Green
Writer: Gary Hawkins
Based on: Larry Brown‘s novel
Cast: Nicolas Cage, Tye SheridanGary Poulter, Sue Rock, Heather Kafka, Ronnie Gene Blevins
Part of: Viennale

Joe (Nicolas Cage) is an ex-con who managed to build up a successful, if illegal woodchucking business. He generally plays a rather big role in his community. When Joe is approached by 15 year old Gary (Tye Sheridan) who admires him and asks for a job for his and his alcoholic, violent father (Gary Poulter), Joe gives him a chance. But not everybody loves Joe and Gary gets caught up in the middle.

Joe (the movie) didn’t work for me. Mostly because Joe (the character) didn’t work for me at all. Which has less to do with Nicolas Cage and more with the script but in any case it makes the film pretty much unbearable.


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Re-Watch: Kick-Ass (2010)

Director: Matthew Vaughn
Writer: Jane Goldman, Matthew Vaughn
Based on: the comic book by Mark Millar and John Romita Jr.
Cast: Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Chloe Moretz, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Mark Strong, Nicolas Cage, Lyndsy Fonseca
[Here is my first review.]

Dave (Aaron Johnson) is a normal teenager who likes to read comic books and gets beat up a lot. But then one day he decides that, actually, nothing is keeping him from donning a superhero suit and changing the world for the better. This seems to work fine for about 30 seconds and then Dave is in over his head.

Damn, I had forgotten just how fricking awesome this film is. I still have a couple of issues but I left the film absolutely hyped. It’s fantastic.



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The Croods (2013)

The Croods
Director: Kirk De Micco, Chris Sanders
Writer: Kirk De Micco, Chris Sanders
Cast: Nicolas Cage, Emma Stone, Ryan Reynolds, Catherine Keener, Cloris Leachman

Eep (Emma Stone) lives in a cave with her family, fiercely protected by her father Grug (Nicolas Cage). Grug lives by the credo the everything new is bad and will get you killed. But Eep is not satisfied with that – she’s way too curious. And then she stumbles upon Guy (Ryan Reynolds), a young man who is prophesizing the end of the world. When their cave gets destroyed, Eep and her family join Guy on his way to a safe place.

The trailer for the Croods promised a coming-of-age story as Eep gains her independence from her father – which is a movie I would have loved to see. Unfortunately what we got was a movie that quickly sidelines Eep to focus on the guys, especially Grug.


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Season of the Witch (2011)

Season of the Witch
Director: Dominic Sena
Writer: Bragi F. Schut
Cast: Nicolas Cage, Ron PerlmanStephen Campbell Moore, Stephen Graham, Ulrich Thomsen, Claire Foy, Robert Sheehan, Christopher Lee

Instead of the usual review, this is going to be a blog-along. Because we all know this movie deserves it, and we should all bask in its glory.

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