I haven’t done a lot of blogging this year, but, don’t worry, I’ve still been watching a ton of movies! I’ve even been keeping track of everything I’ve watched or read in a pair of Composition Note Books that I’ve (not so) cleverly dubbed Pop Notes. Thanks to them, I’m pretty confident looking back at the year and piecing together thoughts on some of my fave film-watching experiences (minus horror, which will get a list or two of their own). This one’s pretty long, so hit that jump and get into it!Continue reading My Favorite Film Experiences Of 2018
If you’re like me, you love a good Nic Cage movie. The guy just has such a great track record in my head of making ridiculous, over-the-top movies in which he goes crazy to varying degrees. I have an actual spectrum in my mind with things like Season of the Witch and the craziest scenes from Wicker Man at the extreme end and, well, I don’t really have a “nice, normal” section, but he’s less crazy in other things. For me, the really solid midpoint for all this is the National Treasure movies which utilize his inherent bonkers nature while still keeping things this side of the asylum. I wasn’t sure what to expect from Stolen when it recently popped up on Netflix Instant, but I was feeling game and gave it a shot.
As it happens, this movie can be described almost completely in the context of Cage’s previous films. Much like Gone In 60 Seconds, he’s a master criminal, this time a thief/bank robber. Unlike Memphis Raines, though, he gets caught and thrown in jail which makes him akin to Cameron Poe in Con Air. However, he serves his time and gets out to meet his daughter, now a teenager who happens to get kidnapped by a wonderfully crazy Josh Lucas, Cage’s former partner in crime who wants the money Cage supposedly hid before getting busted post-heist. As he says throughout the movie, though, Cage burned the money and doesn’t have it. A far from reasonable man, Lucas still wants his cash, so Cage has to pull another heist with the help of Malin Ackerman, who does a good job in the movie, but couldn’t look more out of place in an early scene where she’s dressed like a longshoreman and doing her best to look like a hardened criminal.
It takes longer than you might expect for them to get to the actual heist, but once it comes it’s actually pretty darn clever and leads right into a meeting between Cage and Lucas at an abandoned amusement park. It doesn’t utilize the location nearly as much as say Shakedown or Zombieland, but it’s still a pretty good scene.
For the most part, I enjoyed the movie. It does force you to buy the fact that Cage is not only a criminal mastermind, but also capable of taking out highly trained FBI agents in an elevator. If you can get on board with that, hopefully you can also get behind the fact that the entire setting of this movie is tailor made to give Cage the most difficult time. The movie’s set in New Orleans…during parades…which are loud and offer the kidnapper all kinds of cover and traffic blockages. It doesn’t necessarily feel like an organic story, but instead one built to offer the maximum amount of trouble. I want to say there’s nothing wrong with that, but when it feels so stage-y it does feel a little wrong, or at least a little obvious.
Still, I’d recommend this movie fro Cage fans. I mean, if you’re a fan of his, you’ve probably already scoped this one out. If you like man against time stories this one should be up your alley too. If you’re more a fan of Cage’s “normal” work, I don’t think you’ll be too put off here. He plays a dad trying to get his kid, so there’s not much weirdness there aside from demanding his crew listen to Creedence Clearwater Revival’s catalog before committing unlawful acts.