All posts tagged: Nicolas Cage

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Digital HD Review: “The Croods”

The Croods is my latest foray into digital downloads, a form of movie watching that in my experience has provided better picture quality and sound than many of my Netflix viewings. This recent film from Dreamworks Animation and 20th Century Fox was a big hit last spring. Some people were surprised that it did so well, probably because Nicolas Cage and Ryan Reynolds provided two of the voices. However, the film was co-directed by Chris Sanders, co-director of the last great Disney 2D feature, Lilo & Stitch, and Dreamworks’ wonderful How to Train Your Dragon, so doubters should have waited for the final film before knocking it down. Truth told, Cage and Reynolds show more depth here than many of their recent live action films, while the rest of the small cast, which includes Emma Stone, Catherine Keener and Clark Duke, also shine. The story is pretty straight-forward: The Croods are a prehistoric family of cave dwellers who live a secluded life in a rocky valley. The father, Groo (Cage), is overprotective and has his …

10 Movies…That Had Better Titles In Pre-Production (Like ‘The To Do List’ Had)

A lot can happen from the time a script is turned in to a studio to the time the film actually goes into production. Actors are cast and then recast, shooting locations may change, the script gets rewritten a bunch of times, and even the name of the damn movie might end up getting tweaked. Such is the case with this week’s The To Do List, which, subtly and playfully gets across the point that the movie is about a girl racking up sexual experiences before she leaves for college…but it’s not nearly as raunchy, or absolutely unmarketable, as the original title, The Hand Job. Here are ten other movies that chickened out and went bland and familiar instead of evocative and bonkers. Last Action Hero This ultra-meta parody of extremely violent action movies was supposed to be called…Extremely Violent. Scream This ultra-meta parody of scary movies was supposed to be called…Scary Movie. (That title was then, ironically, used for a series of horror movie parody films.) The Texas Chainsaw Massacre Yeah, The Texas Chainsaw …

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10 Movies…That Are Remakes of Classic Horror Films

Horror movies derive most of their power and enjoyment (you sicko) from a combination of novelty and surprise.The novelty: how the filmmakers will have this particular bad guy stalk and kill the good guys. The surprise: OHMYGODLOOKOUTBEHINDYOUDREWBARRYMORE! Nevertheless, because horror movies are eternally popular, Hollywood remakes the biggest ones, as they would any genre of film. However, horror movies also boast extremely devoted and defensive cult bases, so time will tell if this weekend’s Evil Dead reboot is as good as Sam Raimi’s original 1981 classic, despite Sam Raimi’s seal of approval and active involvement. Here then are 10 more notable horror remakes. Friday the 13th (2009) There was once a rumor that they were going to eventually make 13 Friday the 13th movies. But after sending camp drowning victim/supernatural hockey mask-wearing murderer Jason Vorhees to space, hell, and Freddy Krueger, the franchise ran out of steam at 11 movies. So in 2009 they rebooted the franchise by remaking the original 1980 film, set at the proven horror setting of a summer camp full of …

Basement Songs: Chris Isaak, “Wicked Game”

The wind blew through my grimy hair as I lounged in the back of the pickup truck. Drunk on the youthful feeling of invincibility, and also the four beers I’d had at lunch, work was the furthest thing from my mind. I was thinking about school, a new apartment, making movies and saying goodbye. As I wound down my final hours as an employee of the North Olmsted Board of Education, I was thinking about the future. It had been three straight summers of waking to the orange glow of the sun over the horizon and the dampness of the night’s dew. Some days Steve and I rode our bikes, full of vigor; while others we dragged our sorry asses into cars, sometimes still reeking from the mass quantities of alcohol we’d consumed the night before. We never drank on the job, though. The thought of getting reprimanded by our boss was uncomfortable enough to keep us straight during work hours. We may have been lazy and a little irresponsible but we tried to walk …

DVD Review: “Knowing”

Knowing (2009, Summit Entertainment) purchase from Amazon: DVD | Blu-ray Alex Proyas, the gifted director behind The Crow, I, Robot and the cult classic Dark City, really knows how to creep you out. Throughout his latest film, the sci-fi end of time action thriller Knowing, there is always a foreboding sense of doom that keeps the story propelling forward. Whether it’s a well-placed close-up of his actors’ worried expressions, or a niftily constructed shot with beautifully arranged extras silhouetted in long, flowing trenchcoats, Knowing has all of the elements of a great genre film…until it reaches the end, at which point it becomes a mess of new age hokum. An opening prologue shows Lucinda, a troubled little girl in the 1950s scrawling a series of random numbers on a sheet of paper in her grade school classroom. The children in her class are writing notes for a time capsule the school is burying that will be opened 50 years later. The teacher takes Lucinda’s paper and it is placed in the time capsule. Later, Lucinda …