Vengeance: A Love Story (2017)

US / 99 minutes / color / Patriot, Saturn, FilmRise, Hannibal Dir: Johnny Martin Pr: Michael Mendelsohn, Nicolas Cage Scr: John Mankiewicz Story: Rape: A Love Story (2003) by Joyce Carol Oates Cine: David Stragmeister Cast: Nicolas Cage, Anna Hutchison, Talitha Bateman, Deborah Kara Unger, Don Johnson, Joshua Mikel, Rocco Nugent, Joe Ochterbeck, Carter Burch, Charlene Tilton, Dikran Tulaine, Kara Flowers, Jimmy Gonzales, Cory Scott Allen, Mike Pniewski.

A somewhat idiosyncratic piece—as you might expect from its being based on a Joyce Carol Oates novel—that seems to set out to be a pretty standard vigilante-cop movie and yet somehow never quite commits to that template. Instead of focusing on the offing of the bad guys—those killings are treated almost as incidentals—and instead even of focusing on the cop, the movie instead becomes almost a character study of the people closest to a rape victim: her daughter and her mother.

In Niagara Falls, NY, on the night of July 4, young widow Teena Maguire (Hutchison) walks with her 12-year-old daughter Bethel “Bethie” (Bateman) home from a late-night party, short-cutting through a park. Four drunken, drugged-up no-goods Continue reading

Stolen (2012)

US / 96 minutes / color / Millennium, Nu Image, Saturn Dir: Simon West Pr: Rene Besson, Jesse Kennedy, Matthew Joynes Scr: David Guggenheim Cine: Jim Whitaker Cast: Nicolas Cage, Josh Lucas, Danny Huston, Malin Akerman, Sami Gayle, Edrick Browne, Mark Valley, Barry Shabaka Henley, M.C. Gainey, Garrett Hines, Tanc Sade, Dan Braverman, Jon Eyez.

Stolen 2012 2 - Gum surrenders having thrown the money into a brazier

A movie that’s filled with noirish tropes—it begins with an extended heist sequence of length and ambition comparable to such classic equivalents as that in The ASPHALT JUNGLE (1950)!—yet has more the taste of a caper. It’s fast and entertaining fun, relying on its pace and narrative flair to ease the viewer past rather more by way of egregious plot holes than there should be.

The heist is of a New Orleans bank and is conducted by a gang led by Will “Gum” Montgomery (Cage); the rest of the team are Vincent “Vince” Kinsey (Lucas), Donald Hoyt (Gainey) and Riley Jeffers (Akerman). What they don’t know is that Continue reading