REVIEW: PAY THE GHOST

CAST

Nicolas Cage (Ghost Rider)
Sarah Wayne Callies (Prison Break)
Veronica Ferres (The Devil’s Violinist)
Lyriq Bent (Saw III)
Jack Fulton (Shadowhunters)
Stephen McHattie (Watchmen)

A professor, Mike Lawford (Nicolas Cage) frantically searches for his son who was abducted during a Halloween parade. As nearly a year goes by, the parents are still looking for their son and starting to hear and see their son reaching out to them from the other world—the Professor sees his son on a passing bus, but upon chasing the bus down and gaining access, his son is not there. He disembarks and notices spray painted on a building, “pay the ghost,” the phrase his son uttered before vanishing. He enters the building and finds homeless people living there. Unearthly screams of a woman are heard, and a blind homeless man calls for the others to mask their fires, explaining to Mike that the screams are heard every year before Halloween. Mike asks about the phrase, and is taken to a wall with more of the same phrases written on it. Engrossed by the wall and the homeless man, he does not notice the wall behind him shift into another world, and a demonic figure briefly appears behind him, then vanishes. The homeless man explains nothing, but quickly tells Mike to leave.His wife later sees their son’s scooter move on its own, and calls him. Later that night while pouring wine, the power in their home goes out. Mike looks out the window to see three children appear and burned at the stake, then turns and sees his apartment crowded with figures of children, standing lifeless and pale. They call a psychic to investigate. Standing in their son’s room, she senses nothing, but then abruptly walks to the window, looks at the approaching storm, and says, “It’s here… it has all the children.” The psychic is then thrown against the wall and strangled before collapsing, burn scars all over her hands. A later autopsy shows her internal organs were burned to ash.Later, Mike walks upstairs to his wife’s room, and she addresses him with their son’s voice, pleading for help and saying “She’s coming, Dad. I’m scared.” He walks closer, and sees his wife cutting herself. Cleaning the wound, they find a symbol, which leads them to a Celtic Halloween celebration. A participant explains—the children are burning dolls to pay the ghost, so they won’t be taken. In early New York, on Halloween night of 1679, because of her Celtic worship, a young widow living on the first New York settlement was burned alive with her three children by an angry mob of settlers suspecting her to be a witch, and she takes revenge every year on Halloween, when the border between the spiritual world and the physical world dissolves for a short time.Since then, every Halloween the ghost of this woman takes three living children from their parents and puts them in an alternate world. The borders solidify until next Halloween, and the children taken are able to reach out and be rescued. But if the children cannot escape this alternate world within the first year, they are stuck in this world forever. The professor is able to break into this world and bring back his son as well as the other children that were taken exactly one year ago on Halloween.It’s pretty generic “lost my son! someone believe me supernatural forces are at work! i’ll go get him myself!”  Very predictable dialogue and storyline, but I am a fan of horror movies that aren’t super gory or too much thriller or jump scares out of nowhere so this was perctfor me! I recommend entirely! I like Nic Cage movies and this is another one of his better films.

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REVIEW: ARMY OF ONE

CAST

Nicolas Cage (Ghost Rider)
Russell Brand (Arthur)
Wendi McLendon-Covey (Bridesmaids)
Rainn Wilson (Super)
Denis O’Hare (Half Nelson)
Paul Scheer (Piranha 3D)
Matthew Modine (Notting Hill)
Will Sasso (The Three Stooges)
Amer Chadha-Patel (Bhaji on The Beach)

Frustrated with the U.S. Government for its fruitless efforts to bring down Al-Qaeda’s leader Osama Bin Laden, the eccentric middle-aged, part-time construction worker Gary Faulkner, after a personal visit by God himself, takes the decision to embark on an adventure in the badlands of Pakistan to get the job done. With the intention to bloodlessly capture and bring the infamous, yet, elusive leader to justice, Colorado’s former handyman turned vigilante, will overlook his problems with diabetes and meticulously prepare for the long and perilous journey. Between reality and pre-dialysis hallucinations, armed only with a teleshop katana and a Stars and Stripes hang glider, this American samurai on a mission from God is determined to take matters into his own hands and succeed at any cost. Is he a hero or a crackpot?.Plot of the movie was very funny and fast pacing. Remember, this is not a documentary but a comedy. Watch this movie, if you want a real laugh.

REVIEW: DOG EAT DOG

 

CAST

Nicolas Cage (JKustice)
Willem Dafoe (Spider-Man)
Christopher Mathew Cook (Hours)
Omar J. Dorsey (Django Unchained)
Louisa Krause (Billions)
Melissa Bolona (The Neighbour)
Reynaldo Gallegos (Logan)
Chelcie Lynn (Tangerine)

Carved from a lifetime of experience that runs the gamut from incarceration to liberation, Dog Eat Dog is the story of three men who are all out of prison and now have the task of adapting themselves to civilian life. The California three strikes law looms over them, but what the hell, they’re going to do it, and they’re going to do it their way. Troy, an aloof mastermind, seeks an uncomplicated, clean life but cannot get away from his hatred for the system. Diesel is on the mob’s payroll and his interest in his suburban home and his nagging wife is waning. The loose cannon of the trio, Mad Dog, is possessed by true demons within, which lead him from one situation to the next. One more hit, one more jackpot, and they’ll all be satisfied. Troy constructs the perfect crime and they pull it off, but in the aftermath, they keep finding the law surrounding them wherever they go. Great little movie with impressive acting by Cook and Defoe and a solid Nicolas Cage. The mix of dark, weird and funny might not be everyone’s cup of tea and the whole thing was more character than plot driven, but if you’re into quirky sometimes over the top stuff with great cinematography, this might just be a good 95 minutes for you to spend. I enjoyed Dog eat Dog all the way through, the chemistry between the characters, the decisions they made, even the stereotyping worked for me, as the movie did not seem take itself too serious.

REVIEW: THE RUNNER

CAST

Nicolas Cage (Ghost Rider)
Connie Nielsen (Wonder Woman)
Peter Fonda (Easy Rider)
Sarah Paulson (Glass)
Wendell Pierce (Lay The Favorite)
Bryan Batt (Scream: The Series)
Dana Gourrier (Django Unchained)
Ciera Payton (Graceland)
Fredric Lehne (Lost)

hero_TheRunner-2015-1After giving an impassioned speech talking about the effects of the BP oil spill in Louisiana Congressman Colin Pryce (Cage) is poised to make a run for the Senate. When a scandal is revealed his career is over. 1235616_fullNow, after losing everything he has to chose between wanting to make a real difference, or becoming like every other politician.  The-Runner-LB-1Cage did a wonderful job of playing a conflicted, somewhat tortured train wreck waiting to happen. He delivers a truly human and well measured performance. A great political drama/Thriller.

REVIEW: THE TRUST

CAST

Nicolas Cage (Ghost Rider)
Elijah Wood (The Hobbit)
Sky Ferreira (Baby Driver)
Ethan Suplee (My Name Is Earl)
Steven Williams (21 Jump Street)
Jerry Lewis (The Nutty Professor)
Kevin Weisman (Alias)

Sergeant David Waters and his boss/friend Lieutenant Jim Stone both work in the Evidence Management unit of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department. Disillusioned and bored with their jobs, they also find it hard to make ends meet. While going through case files, Jim comes to know of a drug dealer who has access to large amounts of money, as indicated by his bail receipt, which was paid in $200,000 cash.Using his vacation days, Jim engages in a stint of undercover work at the same hotel as the drug dealer is employed and comes to discover that all of the merchandise the dealer and his gang move is taken to one building, and never moved again. David, after acquiring blueprints from the local planning office, discovers the dealer and his gang have built a large safe in the back of an industrial freezer in the building. Realising it is an easy hit, Jim and David scour items required for the heist, including a diamond tipped drill and unlicensed firearms, paying for them with illegally acquired cash from a corrupt colleague. They break into the apartment above the freezer building and muffle its two occupants, but Jim ends up shooting and killing one after he attempts to escape. After drilling and the use of improvised explosives, they are able to unlock and access the vault. David, who has become attached to the surviving female hostage, allows her to call her 3-year-old son’s father to assure him that she is okay.Jim and David search the safe, which contains vast quantities of diamonds, cash and gold coins. Despite Jim being elated, David becomes concerned that stealing so much valuable property from the gang will get them killed, and subsequently relocks the safe so Jim can’t access it. Enraged, Jim threatens David at gunpoint, forcing him to reluctantly open the safe and unload all of the valuables. As they are packing up the drill, David kills Jim in a brief shootout and returns the contents to the safe. He then drives off with the hostage to drop her up north, assuring her of her freedom. Later, David sees two vans following him and he notices the phone number advertised on the back of one of them as the same number the hostage called earlier. Despite identifying himself as a police officer, David is shot dead by men in the vans, who rescue the woman (implied to have been a member of the same gang responsible for watching over the safe). The movie ends with David’s badge and the drill being catalogued in the Evidence Management building where he and Jim used to work.A thoroughly decent film. I am not an Elijah Wood fan, and can take or leave Nic Cage, but you know, these 2 carried this film off. It had some real funny moments, and some tense scenes. It was a bit different as well, and i just really enjoyed it.

REVIEW: KICK-ASS

CAST

Aaron Taylor-Johnson (Godzilla)
Mark Strong (Grimsby)
Christopher Mintz-Plasse (Superbad)
Chloë Grace Moretz (Carrie)
Nicolas Cage (Ghost Rider)
Lyndsy Fonseca (How I Met Your Mother)
Clark Duke (Two and a Half Men)
Evan Peters (X-Men: Apocalypse)
Sophie Wu (Wild Child)
Omari Hardwick (Gridion Gang)
Michael Rispoli (Snake Eyes)
Dexter Fletcher (Band of Brothers)
Jason Flemyng (Solomon Kane)
Xander Berkeley (Justice)
Garrett M. Brown (Roswell)
Yancy Butler (Witchblade)

Dave Lizewski is an ordinary teenager who lives in Staten Island, New York. Inspired by comic books, Dave plans to become a real-life superhero. He purchases and modifies a bodysuit, and arms himself with batons. During his first outing, he gets stabbed and then hit by a car. After recovering, he gains a capacity to endure pain and enhanced durability.In his absence from school, a rumor spreads that he is gay, as he was found naked by the paramedics after discarding his costume. As a result, his longtime crush, Katie Deauxma, immediately attempts to become his friend. Unhappy with the misunderstanding, Dave nevertheless appreciates the opportunity to get closer to Katie. Dave returns to crime-fighting and gains notoriety after intervening in a gang attack. Calling himself “Kick-Ass”, he sets up a Myspace account where he can be contacted for help. Responding to a request from Katie, he confronts a drug dealer, Rasul, who has been harassing her. At Rasul’s place, Kick-Ass is quickly overwhelmed by Rasul’s thugs. Before they can kill him, two costumed vigilantes, Hit-Girl and her father, Big Daddy, intervene, easily slaughter the thugs and leave with their money. After coming home, Dave realizes he is in over his head, and plans to give up crime-fighting. However, Hit-Girl and Big Daddy pay him a visit and encourage him.Big Daddy’s real identity is Damon Macready, formerly an honest cop. Framed by Mafia boss Frank D’Amico, he was jailed. His wife committed suicide, leaving behind his daughter Mindy. Against the protest of his former partner Marcus Williams, Damon trains himself and Mindy as preparation for getting revenge on Frank. They have been undermining Frank’s operations by raiding his warehouses, robbing his money and destroying his drugs. Frank believes Kick-Ass is responsible for the attacks and targets him, impulsively killing a party entertainer who is dressed like Kick-Ass. Frank’s son, Chris, suggests a different approach. He poses as a new vigilante, “Red Mist,” and befriends Kick-Ass. He plans to lure Kick-Ass into Frank’s lumber warehouse and unmask him. However, they find the warehouse on fire and Frank’s men dead. Red Mist retrieves a hidden camera he earlier placed in the warehouse, and sees Big Daddy kill the men and burn the warehouse. Red Mist and Kick-Ass part ways. D’Amico watches the footage and learns of Big Daddy and Hit-Girl.Following the event, Dave decides to quit being Kick-Ass. He reveals his identity to Katie, and clears up the misunderstanding about him being gay. She forgives him and becomes his girlfriend. However, Red Mist contacts him again, and tricks him into revealing Big Daddy and Hit-Girl’s location. At one of Big Daddy’s safe houses, Red Mist shoots Hit-Girl out of a window, and Frank’s men capture Big Daddy and Kick-Ass. Frank intends to have his thugs torture and execute his captives in a live Internet broadcast. While Kick-Ass and Big Daddy are being beaten by Frank’s gangsters, Hit-Girl, having survived the shooting, storms the hideout and kills all of the gangsters. During the fight, one thug sets Big Daddy on fire. Damon and Mindy say a tearful farewell before he dies of his injuries.Kick-Ass and Hit-Girl resolve to defeat Frank D’Amico once and for all. Hit-Girl infiltrates Frank’s headquarters, and kills numerous guards and henchmen before running out of bullets. When she is cornered by the thugs, Kick-Ass arrives on a jet pack fitted with miniguns and kills the remaining thugs. Kick-Ass and Hit-Girl then take on Frank and Red Mist. Kick-Ass fights Red Mist and they knock each other out. Frank overpowers an exhausted Hit-Girl. Before he can kill her, Kick-Ass regains consciousness and shoots him with a bazooka. Frank is blasted out of the window and explodes in mid-air. Dave and Mindy retire from crime-fighting. Marcus becomes Mindy’s guardian, and she enrolls at Dave’s school. Meanwhile, Chris D’Amico sits in his father’s office, dressed in an upgraded suit. Facing the camera, he says, “as a wise man once said, wait’ll they get a load of me,” before firing a gun at the audience.Kick-Ass is not perfect, and it will not cater to everyone’s tastes, but it is easily one of the most fun films of 2010.

REVIEW: 8MM

 

CAST

Nicolas Cage (Ghost Rider)
Joaquin Phoenix (Gladiator)
James Gandolfini (Killing Them Softly)
Peter Stormare (2001 Maniacs)
Anthony Heald (The Silence of The Lambs)
Myra Carter (The Nanny)
Catherine Keener (Out of Sight)
Norman Reedus (The Walking Dead)
Amy Morton (Up In The Air)
Torsten Voges (Funny People)
Luis Saguar (Flawless)
Chris Bauer (True Blood)

Private investigator Tom Welles is contacted by Daniel Longdale, attorney for wealthy widow Mrs. Christian, whose husband has recently died. While clearing out her late husband’s safe, she and Mr. Longdale find an 8 mm movie which appears to depict a real murder, but Mrs. Christian wants to know for certain. After looking through missing persons files, Welles discovers the girl is Mary Ann Mathews, and visits her mother, Janet Mathews. While searching the house with her permission, he finds Mary Ann’s diary, in which she says she went to Hollywood to become a film star. He asks Mrs. Mathews if she wants to know the truth, even if it is the worst. She says that she wants to know what happened to her daughter.In Hollywood, with the help of an adult video store employee called Max California, Welles delves into the underworld of illegal pornography. Contact with a sleazy talent scout named Eddie Poole leads them to director Dino Velvet, whose violent pornographic films star a masked man known as “Machine.” To gain more evidence, Welles pretends to be a client interested in commissioning a hardcore bondage film to be directed by Velvet and starring Machine. Velvet agrees and arranges a meeting in New York City.At the meeting, attorney Longdale appears and explains that Christian had contracted him to procure a snuff film. Longdale says that he told Velvet that Welles might come looking for them. Realizing that the snuff film was authentic, Welles knows he is at risk. Velvet and Machine produce a bound and beaten California, whom they abducted to force Welles to bring them the only surviving copy of the illegal film. Once he delivers it, they burn it and kill California. As they are about to kill Welles, he tells them that Christian had paid $1,000,000 for the film. Velvet, Poole, and Machine received much less and that Longdale kept the major portion. In an ensuing fight, Velvet and Longdale are both killed; Welles wounds Machine and escapes.1_RP4FlJI3nlAIh3PAPYWZtgHe calls Mrs. Christian to tell her his discoveries and recommends going to the police, to which she agrees. Arriving at her estate, Welles is told that Mrs. Christian committed suicide after hearing the news. She left envelopes for the Mathews family and Welles: it contains the rest of his payment and a note reading, “Try to forget us.” Welles decides to seek justice for the murdered girl by killing the remaining people involved. Tracking down Poole, Welles takes him to the shooting location and tries to kill him. He calls Mrs. Mathews to tell her about her daughter and asks for her permission to punish those responsible. With that, he returns and pistol-whips Poole to death, burning his body and pornography from his car. Welles traces Machine and attacks him at home. Welles unmasks him, revealing a bald, bespectacled man named George. He says, “What did you expect? A monster?” George goes on telling Welles that he has no ulterior motive for his sadistic actions; he does them simply because he enjoys it. They struggle, and Welles kills him.O8wSinxAfter returning to his family, Welles receives a letter from Mrs. Mathews, thanking him and suggesting he and she were the only ones to care about Mary Ann.8mm58mm is in no way for the faint of heart, there are some extremely disturbing images. Nicholas Cage did a great job, but Joaquin really takes the show here. He made his character incredibly believable and almost sympathetic. I would recommend this film for a watch, it’s a great thriller.