Nicolas Cage

Raising Arizona

Year: 1987
Directed By: Joel and Ethan Coen
Written By: Joel and Ethan Coen

RYAN’S REVIEW

I actually remember catching clips from this movie as a kid in the 80s on HBO. Long before I ever knew who the Coen brothers were or before I ever saw the movie with an understanding eye. It’s an interesting thing I like to consider and a memory I smile on. It makes this movie more endearing to me in an odd way. I think this is a delightfully charming movie that has always gotten better with each viewing.

I’ve always thought of this movie as full on Coen. In that I mean that it has all their greatest qualities rolled into one. It is funny in an intelligent and interesting way with a script that could only come from the Coens. There are interesting characters and action sequences that come out of no where but manage to be both exciting and funny at the same time. I have always loved the Coens and own a great many of their films. This one happens to be one of my favorites yet I find it hard to really explain why. It’s such a smart yet silly movie. I think the dialogue is the reason for that. The characters we watch are generally stupid but they speak in humorous creativity with an amazing vocabulary.

There is good Nicolas Cage– and bad Nicolas Cage. These days we don’t seem to see much more than the bad version but in 1987 and as H.I. McDunnough Cage is really funny. He’s so simple yet well spoken that I find it hilarious. That hair that he has is awesome and he rocks it with a look of pure stupidity on his face that makes me laugh every time. When he goes back to armed robbery and steals the Huggies I think he is part of one of the greatest action sequences ever. One that only the Coens could have concocted. The panties hoes, the shooting, the chasing dogs, and then the ending series of turns that leads them back to the Huggies is a work of sequential harmony.

My favorite performance in this film actually goes to Holly Hunter though. She has such a great accent in this movie and I love her womanly dramatics. My favorite scene is when she is in the car with Nathan Jr. after the kidnapping and she suddenly screams out “I JUST LOVE HIM SO MUCH!!!!” as she begins to cry hysterically. I think it is a hilarious scene and I do think Holly Hunter manages to steal the screen often in this movie. Her accent is remarkable. I love her from the get go when she mentions how her “fi-ance” had left her. She is flawlessly funny in this movie.

The Coen’s have always had a knack for including an out of the ordinary character in their films that leaves an impression on the audience. In this movie that character is Leonard Smalls played by Randall “Tex” Cobb. Smalls is such a scary guy that H.I. considers him a demon formed right out of his own sin to hunt him down and punish him.  When Smalls proves to be an actual person with demands of his own I think it only serves to make him more badass. He is such an intimidating man but when he snatches the fly out of the air right in front of Nathan Arizona’s face it puts him over the top. Smalls as a character is one of the best things about this movie and I love what he brings to the story.

John Goodman has been a favorite of the Coen brothers going all the way back to this film in 1987 and continuing until today. This is not my favorite collaboration he has had with them but he is hilarious paired with William Forsythe as an escaped con who figures out his old buddy H.I. is hiding something. He is so great from beginning to end from breaking out of the prison in the rainstorm to the prison robbery with Nathan Jr. in tow. It really funny in the end when he and Forsythe simply crawl back into their hole to go back to prison.

This is a one of a kind movie made by some of the most interesting and talented film making brothers to ever get behind camera. As with most of their movies it offers wit that you won’t find anywhere else and a story that is unlike anything you have seen before. I love a movie that gets better the more you watch it and that is the case most of the time when you sit down to watch something made by the Coen brothers. This movie is without doubt no only worth your time but worth plenty of it and I would recommend it any day of the week to anyone.

 

NEXT MOVIE: Ransom (1996)

 

 

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Matchstick Men

Year: 2003
Directed By: Ridley Scott
Written By: Eric Garcia (book), Nicholas and Ted Griffin (screenplay)

RYAN’S REVIEW

Recently I saw an episode of Community that pondered the question “Nicolas Cage: good or bad?” I thought the whole thing was hilarious because when reviewing Cage movies in the past I have talked about how great he can be in some films and how hopelessly awful he can be in others.  On the show the question proved to be too much for even Abed Nadir to handle.  Scary stuff in truth because if Abed couldn’t handle it then not even Cage himself should broach the subject.  Nevertheless it is a very compelling question about an actor who has made over 70 films in the last thirty years.  It is interesting indeed to see an actor achieve the highest honor in film, the Academy Award for Best Actor in 1995 and follow it up the way he did. With his performance in Leaving Las Vegas Cage beat out Tom Hanks (who was going for his third straight win with his role in Apollo 13) and followed it up with The Rock. While I have always personally loved that film it is what it is, and I was twelve when it came out so naturally I thought it was awesome. The Rock was just a cheesy action movie but it wasn’t all that bad and it paired him with Sean Connery. More or less I think it was an acceptable idea for Cage to win such a prestigious award and then branch out into a new genre that was looking for new heroes as the regulars (Schwarzenegger and Stallone) were getting too old.  However, then in 1997 he starred in Con Air…….now what is there to say about that one? A cool cast all around but Cage was so specifically bad in that movie it made the whole thing a joke.  I actually referenced it specifically in our review of Lord of War saying that Cage could be great but you just never knew when he was going to do something like this:

Cage is certainly an interesting actor and maybe one day someone will succeed where Abed could not in answering that question posed by Community, but I’m not driving myself crazy trying to figure it out.  I ony bring it up because when it comes to this film I don’t really think there is much more to talk about beyond Cage.  It’s a good enough movie and everybody does their job well but as it goes with movies about con men the story is generally the same.  If you have seen one you have seen them all because there isn’t usually anything fresh brought to the table.  You might see some cool new cons but at the end of the film our characters have betrayed one another and the big shocker is not shocking at all.  Despite that I love this film because I think it is one of the films that will make you lean toward “Good” when trying to tackle that unsolvable Nicholas Cage question.  I think Sam Rockwell is exceptional in it and expected so much more from him after this.  It has sadly been quite disappointing to see his career never take off quite like I imagined it would ten years ago.  In this movie he is smooth and cunning as the protegé that has much more going on than he lets on.

I specifically thought Alison Lohman was incredible in this movie and like Rockwell I don’t know why it didn’t lead to greater things for her.  Rockwell however has still found marginal success here and there while Lohman has fallen off the map completely, not acting at all since 2009.  I read that she was twenty-two when she played this part and got the role by showing up to her audition dressed like a fourteen year old.  Apparently Ridley Scott was surprised when he found out how old she actually was and obviously she made an impression with her audition.  She had incredible chemistry with Cage and brought a lot to the film.  I also relate to it more now maybe because I have daughters myself. The father-daughter aspect of the film really gets to me and makes the movie more significant to me personally.  Regardless how it transitions into my fondness for Alison Lohman as an actress I still think it is unfortunate she isn’t out there making movies anymore.  I think this film proves she has plenty of talent and hopefully one day she will be able to showcase those skills again.

Ridley Scott is a director you can have faith in.  When he makes a movie you know it’s going to be made right and every once in a while one of them will absolutely blow you away.  No director is without his busts and Scott is not immune.  He has his fair share of films that weren’t successful but I think his successes far outweigh them.  I have always considered him the better of the two Scott brothers.  While I wasn’t specifically a fan of his younger brother I was still sad at the news of his passing a couple of years ago.  He was a good filmmaker and it was an unfortunate loss.  In this film Ridley Scott did a great job.  He specifically pushed for the ending to correlate with the book in which Cage’s character loses everything.  Producers didn’t want the “hero” of the film to end up like that and initially the script called for a different ending.  I think Scott made the right call and compensated the producers with a final scene in which we see Cage has moved on and into better things.  I like that ending better because his character didn’t deserve to win. As viewers we need to keep in mind that while we are enjoying watching this character he is still a seriously awful guy.  Con men are piranhas that prey on the weak and feeble.  There is nothing noble about them and every one of them out there deserves to lose everything and then be caught.

I don’t consider this film to be exceptional but it is entertaining and I enjoy it.  Little else matters right? I may not be willing to tackle the unsolvable question about Cage but I will be the first to point out where he is “Good” as opposed to “Bad.” At the end of the day I am just more interested in appreciating what he is good at and happy to ignore what he is bad at.  So maybe he takes an easy paycheck and makes a bad movie far too often.  The man is in the game to make money and he isn’t getting any younger.  Cage is great in this movie and I for one am happy just to appreciate his compelling and considerate performances.  This is a cool movie and I think it is more than worth your time to see.

AMBER’S REVIEW

This is one of my favorite movies in our collection. I remember the first time that I saw this and thinking how great Nicholas Cage was in this movie. I found him to be incredibly believable in this role. I was drawn in and interested from the very beginning and I really like how the whole movie played out even in the end. This is one of those movies that not a lot of people have seen or even know about really, but it is a really interesting flick.

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There is absolutely nothing exciting to me about this poster. I feel like someone used a few photoshop filters and effects and viola! you have…this. It includes the main players of the movie, which is good, but I really have no allusion to what this movie is about. It doesn’t even give you a reason to want to see the movie. The typography of the title is killing me. I really dislike it. I just overall really just don’t like this poster at all. I don’t think it does this film justice. I think a better solution to this poster would be to see Nicholas Cage smoking in his superbly clean house maybe beside the dog which shows some cash and the gun hanging out. See, now I am interested. I think this design is lazy.

NEXT MOVIE: The Matrix (1999)

Lord of War

Year: 2005
Directed By: Andrew Niccol
Written By: Andrew Niccol

RYAN’S REVIEW

I initially bought this movie for a project I was doing in college.  I had seen it before and had a specific scene in mind that I wanted to use for the project.  While I bought it for the project, I really just used that as an excuse for the purchase.  I liked this movie and really only needed a half assed excuse in order to add it into our collection which was much smaller at the time.  It’s a movie that tells a really interesting story and it gets you more invested on the pretext of being based on a true story.  This is a fictional film “inspired” by true events and that makes all the difference.  There never was any real Yuri Orlov or an overzealous Interpol agent determined to catch him.  It makes for a great story of cat and mouse but it isn’t based in any factual truth.  The character Nicolas Cage portrays is a combination of many different arms dealers and organized criminals throughout the time the film takes place.  The conflicts seen in the film are ones that actually took place but all characters and events we see are fictional.  Nevertheless there is enough of a base truth in this film to give us an idea of reality, or at least something we can learn from.

Whether the movie is actually based in fact or not it still brings awareness to a truth that plenty of people know little about. Everyday there are stories about atrocities that take place in rural parts of the world but we never consider the upper level dealings that lead to these horrible acts.  This movie makes somewhat of a protagonist with the character of Yuri Orlov but in truth the men that he represents are evil men who profit from cruelty and death.  It’s easy for some of us to forget about how fortunate we are when we see a film like this and get a glimpse of what it looks like in some other places around the world. In this film we see conditions in places like Liberia and Sierra Leone where children carry weapons and people fear for their lives at all times.  The President of Liberia and his son are fictionalized for this film but they are based on Charles Taylor and his son who were very real.  These men are intimidating in this film because they are capable of anything and there is nobody to stand up to their own style of authority and justice.  If only half of their portrayal in this film is accurate it is still a scary reality that took place years ago.  Currently Charles Taylor is spending the rest of his life in jail and that is where he belongs.  However, in this film I specifically like that he and his son ride around with women dressed as Dallas Cowboys cheerleaders. It can be hard to grasp the idea that while we are going about our own lives there are evil men out there living like kings and doing whatever they please despite the havoc it creates for others.

This movie touches on several historical and political issues yet ironically I used the film in a college project for neither reason.  At one point in college I took a summer class on History of Pirates in the Caribbean. Let me repeat and clarify.  I literally took a college credited class at a popular North Carolina university on the history of pirates.  A complete BS class but it came with a writing credit and was great because I could apply it to required hours for any of the three required regions of study in a history major which were US, European, and Third World.  It was a vaguely interesting class but I can’t be honest enough in the fact that this class only existed because of how popular that ridiculous Disney film starring Johnny Depp was.  If I’m being honest then I also must add that I only took the class because I was being exceptionally lazy at that point in my college career. This class seemed like an interesting idea but offered very little in real education. The project I used this film for was on a presentation about modern day pirates.  I showed the scene in which Yuri quickly changes the name of the ship he is on as Interpol approaches to demonstrate how illegal activity at sea can take place or something like that. College seems like 100 years ago now.

Since I was a kid in love with action movies I have been a fan of Nicolas Cage.  I have to say that as a 13 year old boy Con Air seemed like one of the coolest movies ever made.  Today I can recognize that one for what it is but I still like Cage because he is capable of so much.  I have never understood his decision making when it comes to choosing roles, which these days seems something like “take every single thing that is offered.” Cage will literally make the most ridiculous movie in the world then turn around and deliver an Academy Award worthy performance.  I don’t think this was his greatest role but he is a great actor that brings something to the table no matter what’s on the menu. Throughout the rest of the movie collection we will have plenty of opportunities to discuss how great Nicolas Cage can be (also see Adaptation) but at the end of the day you just never know when he is going to do this:

When I think of Ethan Hawke I always think of that second string veteran wide receiver in the NFL.  If that guy is in the game you know he is going to do his job and do it right, but you won’t expect anything spectacular from him.  If he was spectacular he would be starting.  I see Hawke as an actor who can act but I don’t think he really has the talent to do anything exceptional. He is a serviceable actor though and he does well enough in this movie. I think Jared Leto generally only gets called when Jake Gyllenhaal has a scheduling conflict.  I have never really been much of a fan but like Hawke, he does well enough in this movie.  I think the best performances came from the men portraying the President of Liberia and his son, Eamonn Walker and Sammi Rotibi.  I don’t know that it was their performance as actors or if they just had the best parts to play but they did a great job in this film.  Iam Holm was exceptional in his role as Nicolas Cage’s rival and competitor. Holm is a good actor but he is slowing down as age catches up with him.  Once his role of Bilbo Baggins is over in a couple of years we probably won’t see much more of him.

This movie couldn’t have come at a better time in the collection because it had been a long time since I’d seen it.  I like this movie and enjoyed watching it again but I don’t think it’s good enough to warrant multiple views.  I like the narration over the film and how that enhances the idea that it actually happened.  While the story is fictional there are probably many things from the film that actually happened to various people, albeit exaggerated as all things in film are.  I have a pet peeve when it comes to films “based on a true story” because there is really no such thing.  I once had to watch Hotel Rwanda in college for a class project and was shocked to find out how much history was distorted in that film.  The way I see it, if you can’t trust a film like Hotel Rwanda to be accurate then there is little room to trust any film claiming to be based on real events.  The key word is “based” because it implies that what goes on in the film actually happened but doesn’t necessarily mean it actually happened that way.  You specifically can’t trust that phrase because sometimes a movie is tagged that way just for effect.  Good examples of this are Fargo and The Strangers.  Both of those films are listed as being based on real events but never happened at all.  The Strangers specifically seems scarier when the idea that it really happened is introduced but it never did.  The writer simply created the stories based off his own ideas about the Manson Family murders of Sharon Tate and her friends.  It didn’t happen anything like what we saw in the movie but the movie wasn’t even based on those murders so it doesn’t matter.  My whole point here is that as a viewer you should never trust that what you are seeing is something that actually happened.  They are movies and movies are about telling a story that will make the studio money. They will tell which ever story is more likely to bring people into the movie theater and pay to see the film.  Despite all this I think this was a good movie and would recommend it if it came up in a conversation. I think it’s worth your time, just take it with a grain of salt and don’t believe it to be something that actually happened.  It should be noted that none of the men Cage’s character represents got arrested and received a get out of jail free card because they had done dirty work for the president.

AMBER’S REVIEW

lord_of_war_ver2I don’t know why I didn’t really like this film. I usually love Nicholas Cage. I think he is a very talented actor. For some reason this movie just didn’t resonate with me. I found it hard to get into and even more holding my attention. Ryan seemed to really like it, and maybe I should give this one another shot sometime, but for now I am standing on the fact that it’s just not my favorite.

This could be my favorite poster to date. I love everything about it. If you didn’t already know, you now know that this movie is about weapons and the trading and selling of them. The designer of this poster decided to build Nicholas Cage in bullets. ALL bullets.

The time and effort that went into this is amazing. I can’t even imagine having the patience to place and color all of them. Even better is the way they take the essential (required text) information and put it around the poster as a border in a very light gray. I wouldn’t dare cover up the bottom of this either, it took too much time! I think that’s a great resolve. My only complaint here is the Lord of War typography, and that may not have even been done by this designer. I feel like Trajan is way over done for movie titles and the little “of” in the middle is way overdone.

Lord-Of-War_2299_4ea5ddbd34f8633bdc0016b5_1320301540

Here is a closeup of the face, Just in case you don’t believe me. 😉

This poster is going into my favorites. I just love the artistry and design behind. The concept and use of design rule-breaking. Kudos designer!

NEXT MOVIE: The Lost Boys (1987)

Fast Times at Ridgemont High

Year:1982
Directed By: Amy Heckerling
Written By: Cameron Crowe

RYAN’S REVIEW

I have written in several other posts about what it is that makes us love high school movies likes this one and all of that applies to this film.  This is a great movie that I always enjoy watching.  It is a good insight into life in the early 80s and it sports an awesome soundtrack with lots of music from the time period. What I find most interesting about all movies like this is that no matter what time period it comes out of the kids are always doing the same things.  They are doing the same things now only they have headphones in their ears and cell phones in their hands.  The great high school films are timeless despite being a product of their time period.  This movie came out before I was born but it has always spoken to me despite my growing up in a completely different time.

I think this was the best of all Amy Heckerling‘s films by far. I like that certain songs are used multiple times to express the mood of the character on screen. I also really like how she incorporates graffiti from so many locations.  I love when Judge Reinhold is practicing what he will say to his girlfriend in front of a mirror with “BIG HAIRY PUSSY” written on it in giant letters.  I have always liked Reinhold and I think he is really great in this movie.  He is just one part of a great cast though.  Phoebe Cates is great here too, and she has such an awesome topless scene set to “Moving in Stereo” by The Cars. Jennifer Jason Leigh is very much the main character in the film and I think she does a great job but she scares the shit out of me because I have daughters. Sean Penn is so classic in this film, he has gone on to have such a great career but I think many of us will always remember him most as the stoner Jeff Spicoli. Ray Walston is great as Mr. Hand, playing a teacher that reminds us all of a teacher we had ourselves.   Forest Whitaker has a small role as the star football player at Ridgemont.  Also taking an important career step in this film is Nicolas Cage before he was Cage.  He was credited as Nicolas Coppola in this film and was only cast as an extra.  Before his career took off he changed his name to Cage to distance himself from his famous relative Francis Ford Coppola.

There is a lot to like about this 80’s high school flick and it is really fun to watch.  It is a great depiction of life in 1982 and I think that makes it special. They are wearing the crazy 80’s clothes and smoking everywhere. The movie did lead to a television show that ran for a while and Amy Heckerling directed it.  I have never seen it though and don’t know much else about it.  If you haven’t seen this film and have the opportunity I would recommend to anyone.  It is an awesome movie that is more than worth your time.

AMBER’S REVIEW

I totally love this movie. It is a classic movie about teens during a certain time period much like Dazed and Confused. There are so many famous actors in this movie that weren’t yet super famous at the time. The amazing Sean Penn plays the stoner that has pizza delivered to class. This movie is a great one because it takes you back to your own high school days and makes you reminisce. I definitely recommend this one. It is light-hearted and fun; a movie that doesn’t make you think too hard about it.

NEXT MOVIE: Fearless (2006)

Face/Off

Year: 1997
Directed By: John Woo
Written By: Mike Werb and Michael Colleary

RYAN’S REVIEW

When I was in my early teens this was probably one of the coolest movies I had ever seen.  It didn’t seem so cheesy then, and fifteen years ago this idea seemed like maybe something we were close to achieving in the real world. It all seems a bit silly watching it now, but this movie does bring back fond memories for me, and it was intricate in my evolving love of action films.

The world was so different in 1997, yet still the same.  It was an interesting time, but I can’t really remember the time period well enough to talk intelligently about it. I was 13 then, and that seems like a million years ago now.  I do remember loving this movie though, and that it was a hit.  In a year like 1997 this was a successful film.  It didn’t matter how ridiculous some of the film is, it made a lot of money despite that.  It might be ludicrous that every time these guys shoot at each other something explodes, and it might not be possible for Castor Troy to smoke a cigarette with no lips. These two guys might have serious and unprecedented operations that they are immediately healed from but none of that matters.  All that matters is how cool everything in this movie is. At least consider how awesome it must have been to a thirteen year old in 1997 watching it.  Castor Troy dressed as a priest and seducing a chorus girl is awesome, his two golden guns are awesome, above all else he is a cool and calculating villain and that is awesome too.  I think Nicolas Cage‘s performance as Troy in the earlier part of the film was his best role of the “trilogy.” Cage made three action films in a row during this time with The Rock and Con Air coming out right before this one and the three films are known as Cage’s “action trilogy”.  Cage has an interesting ability to deliver ground breaking performances in one film then turn around and make the stupidest wastes of time out there.  This was fifteen years ago though, and all three of these action films were well received.  Cage’s star was shining bright in 1997 and no matter how absurd some of his movies were people still paid to see them. I particularly like this one and The Rock, I did like Con Air for a time but grew to find it too cheesy.  They were all cheesy, but the action made up for it, it was a time that only explosions mattered, before heavy duty CGI and excessive green screens.

Ah, and now to John Travolta. Who I happen to think was great in this film, and many others.  I have always been a big fan and the news coming out this week has been quite the shocker.  I’m not surprised despite my admiration of his films.  If nothing else, Grease and Saturday Night Fever should have thrown up some red flags in the 70s right? Travolta is currently facing two lawsuits charging him with sexual misconduct against men.  It has opened the flood gates apparently and similar stories are popping up everywhere. Travolta has been around forever and is actually known for having one of the more long lasting relationship in Hollywood with his wife Kelly Preston so these are really serious allegations. Personally, I don’t care if Travolta is gay, but sexual misconduct is what it is and I hope the allegations aren’t true.  I think Travolta plays a great bad guy and obviously John Woo does too because he has used him in that capacity a couple of times, no pun intended. Travolta and Cage both have to play two different parts in this film and I think they both do a great job with the role reversal.  Gina Gershon is also worth mentioning in one of the female leads.  She is so smoking hot and never worked enough, she should have been cast in so many more roles.

John Woo directed this film and he was a really notable action director at the time. Although he has great vision and imagination when it comes to action, it is all so over-exaggerated and foolish.  To give him some credit, he did a great appreciation for style and good monologues that he used in a fantastic way.  Those proved to suffice during his heyday. John Woo’s movies might seem silly now but they meant a lot to me when I was younger. They were good fun mindless action movies to just sit back and enjoy when there was nothing better to do.

This movie is really really cheesy from beginning to end but it still has its merits and is still thought of favorably. I think this movie is worth your time, if nothing else let it take you back to a different time, a time before the world changed with the internet, terrorism, and the 24/7 news.

AMBER’S REVIEW

I find it really ironic that we are at this movie when John Travolta is under so much fire for sexual harassment. I don’t think I ever really saw this movie until I was out of college and caught it on television one day. I thought it seemed pretty cool and interesting. It’s not a movie that is like other movies. But, because we are snobs here, I have to say after watching it for the blog, I am thoroughly unimpressed. Everything seems implausible to me and makes me laugh. I’m sorry, but an action movie that makes me laugh during the serious scenes isn’t doing something right. This movie is cheesy at best and if you want to waste some time on it go ahead.

NEXT MOVIE: Fargo (1996)

Adaptation

Year: 2002
Directed By: Spike Jonze
Written By: Charlie Kaufman, Susan Orlean

RYAN’S REVIEW

This is an interesting movie, interesting in a peculiar way.  In that peculiar way it may be one of the most interesting films I have ever seen.  The story is so unique, so different and original, being very well made doesn’t hurt either.  The way the story changes when Donald joins his brother writing his script is very clever.  Apparently this film has fooled many by its format because while it appears to be nonfictional at times it isn’t, just a really wild idea that works like magic.  Donald Kaufman does not exist, nevertheless he was still nominated for an Academy Award along with his brother Charlie. This is a movie that was so good that even a fictional character from the story got nominated for an oscar.  Nicolas Cage, Meryl Streep, Chris Cooper, and the “Kaufmans” were all nominated for this film but only Cooper won. I don’t know why Spike Jonze was shunned, but I don’t think his lack of a nomination really matters, he made a great film.  Nicolas Cage is fantastic in this movie.  He may make a lot of stupid movies, but for every other dumb movie he makes he makes one worth remembering.  Meryl Streep is a great actress and she makes an incredible transition throughout the film.  I have never really cared for Chris Cooper, but he is a great actor.  Of all the roles he has played this is the one I actually like.

At a glance this looks like a movie that you would never want to watch.  It’s about a guy writing a screenplay based on a book about flowers.  In hindsight I don’t really know what it was that got me to watch this movie for the first time.  It is a surprising movie, and whatever the reason I’m glad I did. It’s a smart and clever movie, I immediately fell in love with it and remember thinking Charlie Kaufman was a mad genius.  I credit Kaufman and not Jonze because while I like Jonze I will always associate him mainly with that damn Fatboy Slim video “Praise You.” That video was the annoying song of the month that MTV chose to wear out 1998, and I just thought those people dancing in the mall were so weird. I don’t know if I still consider Kaufman a genius but he was thinking at genius level when he wrote this screenplay, and I hope that sometime in the future he can again show us something this exciting.  This movie is more than worth your time and if you give it a chance you will see what I mean.

AMBER’S REVIEW

This is one of my favorite films on the movie rack. I am a huge fan of weird and twisted movies that are way outside of the norm. I feel like I can relate to the people in this world that find themselves weird and insociable. On most occasions, I feel myself forcing through conversations with people just because I am am an awkward person. Charlie Kauffman in this film (who is played by the great Nicholas Cage, not taking into account his latest run-ins with the law) is a crazy, mad scientist screenplay writer and we get to hear his inner monologue the entirety of the film. Through this I feel like we understand the agony he feels over writing this screenplay. He even thinks to himself, “Why did I choose to write a movie about flowers?” He eventually learns that he must add in some character change, some drama.

Meryl Streep is another person that is fantastic in this movie. Recently, I have begun to really take an interest in her. I haven’t ever had anything against her per-say, but recently she has impressed me with her roles. In this one she is the character change. We see her in the beginning as this straight-laced New York writer and she spends her nights over wine with her friends poking fun at the redneck that cultivates flowers. She eventually becomes entangled in the story and search for the Ghost Orchid and through this she changes and becomes someone different.

If you can let your mind go while you watch this and let it take you on ride of the story you will love it. It isn’t for everyone, but it has my vote.

NEXT MOVIE: Airheads (1994)