FNC 2019: Color Out of Space (2019)

Color Out of Space (2019)

Color out of space

Director (and screenplay): Richard Stanley

Cast: Nicolas Cage, Q’orianka Kilcher, Joely Richardson, Tommy Chong, Brendan Meyer, Julian Hillard, Madeleine Arthur

A town is struck by a meteorite and the fallout is catastrophic. – IMDB

SpectreVision has produced some fantastic movies in the last few years. Following the success of Mandy, Nicolas Cage joins this cast of characters of H.P. Lovecraft‘s short story of the same name’s adaptation where the little county of Arkham is hit with meteorite which lands on drops onto his character Nathan’s front yard and ends up having an effect on his family. Color Out of Space has everything that you’d expect from a SpectreVision production whether its trippy twists and visually appealing scenes and designs and creativity that explodes onto the scene. Right from the eerie start of the film, narrating through a dark forest and the secluded nature and raindrops on water, the tone of the film was set right away. Its a bit loopy and leaves a few unanswered questions at the end but that’s half of the fun of odd storylines and where it leaves some talking points. 

Color Out of Space still builds its atmosphere well and gives it a mysterious thriller that gives out a lot of questions that slowly unveils itself. While the answers are never clear and this outer space influence on the family and those in close vicinity never fully explained and understood, it leaves the space for our imagination to fill in those gaps and what gives it the subtle horror. The horror is built upon gradually whether in its subtle presence or unclear motives to how its absorption into the farmland affects every living thing there. It creates some visually stunning moments and beautiful elements (yet again like the previous FNC film Little Joe) through mysterious appearances of red flowers gradually covering the land and its unknown pinkish swirling lights while creating destruction from the inside as well as the disturbing effects. Being able to execute an unknown and unclear dangerous force sometimes makes for something much more unsettling.

Its taken a long time to get Nicolas Cage back to full form and while there is still a level of suitable overacting in Color Out of Space as the father of the house, Nathan Gardner, he still manages to carry the movie a lot as his character slowly infected by this outer space force and making his “crazy” somehow very acceptable and adds to the films most of the time. At the same time, much more grounded in her role and adds in the oddities is Madeleine Arthur (previously in To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before) who plays Lavinia Gardner, the daughter who wants to escape this remote farmstead. Her role is done really well and has some true development as she struggles with this force and what it has done to her family. While young actor playing the youngest son Jack (Julian Hilliard previously in The Haunting of Hill House) adds in the child element which has some rather unsettling moments. The careful way of how the characters spiral as an aftereffect at different paces and different ways is also what builds the movie and gives credit to how the movie itself is executed very well.

To say that Color Out of Space is perfect would be stretching it a little though. Running at 111 minutes, it does feel, despite its suitably sensually overwhelming and fantastically psychedelic end in sound and visuals, that the film was one or two scenes (if not more) too long. There was a bit of overacting that does pull out from the story a little in parts. Despite its flaws, there is still a lot to like here. As you let the movie sink in a little more, the mysteries the story leaves behind and how director Richard Stanley frames his scenes and how the script builds up is all executed very well at creating this psychedelic terrorizing film.

Color Out of Space has one more screening at Festival du Nouveau Cinema on October 19th at 8:15pm at Cinema du Parc. You can find the info HERE.

Double Feature: Astro Boy (2009) & When in Rome (2010)

And we’re back with another double feature!

In the neverending quest to catch up with Netflix and diminish the outstanding titles on my Netflix list before they vanish from selection, I’ve decided to choose movies primarily already on the list whenever I watch something which lead me to trying out a new way than the normal alphabetical approach and that’s to choose a common factor between films, mostly director or actor/actress in whichever role. I honestly don’t know how long this can go for but from the preliminary test, I have at least 20 movies drafted in so we’re in for a ride. I’m liking this new way as it gives variety.

This time will be a lovely Kristen Bell double feature with Astro Boy and When in Rome!

Astro Boy (2009)

Astro Boy

Director: David Bowers

Voice Cast: Freddie Highmore, Charlize Theron, Nicolas Cage, Donald Sutherland, Bill Nighy, Kristen Bell

When an android replica of a boy is rejected by his aggrieved creator, he goes off to find his own identity in an adventure that would make him the greatest hero of his time. –IMDB

While I can’t hate on animated films. Astro Boy really is quite average. Back when this was announced, I had my doubts and I was also travelling when it came out so I never caught it in theatres. A lot of the story here is quite generic and its not very exciting. However, the art is quite nice plus the world is very pretty with lots of colors. The characters are brought alive by its immense talent behind the voices. Kristen Bell does a great job but we also have Bill Nighy as the scientist and Nicolas Cage as the dad and of course, Donald Sutherland as the villain. During that time, Freddie Highmore had a lot of these kid roles and he does a fantastic job as Astro Boy. It may be average but in all its generic and predictable moments, it still has a few decent fun and funny moments.


With that said, Astro Boy could be a fun movie for a younger audience. It has a lot of science-y fun and brave kids and takes in the parents angle. Plus, its not terribly long running at about 90 minutes which is always nice because it keeps the pacing decent.

When in Rome (2010)

When in Rome

Director: Mark Steven Johnson

Cast: Kristen Bell, Josh Duhamel, Anjelica Huston, Danny DeVito, Dax Shepherd, Will Arnett, Jon Heder, Alexis Dziena, Kate Micucci

Beth is a young, ambitious New Yorker who is completely unlucky in love. However, on a whirlwind trip to Rome, she impulsively steals some coins from a reputed fountain of love, and is then aggressively pursued by a band of suitors. – IMDB

I’m pretty forgiving with romantic comedies. They are really just silly and funny sometimes. There has been widely a shortage of good ones and When in Rome honestly doesn’t do much for itself. Its quite ridiculous in parts and I spent a lot of time rolling my eyes at everything. However, When in Rome has some charming characters. Kristen Bell and Josh Duhamel are incredibly fun to watch together and separate. The premise is really where things are a little odd and shaky. Just take a look at the cast, Danny DeVito, Dax Shepherd, Will Arnett are all fantastic as the enchanted lovers chasing after Kristen Bell and they offer some pretty comedic moments. Its always a good time to watch Dax Shepherd and Kristen Bell as they always do these roles and can get the whole not into each other thing really well. When in Rome just seems like it doesn’t have anything special about it other than its charming cast. But then, you can always watch this charming cast in other movies they’ve done better roles for making this one seem not so appealing.

Overall, Astro Boy and When in Rome fall in the very average range. I’m still a fan of Kristen Bell and its definitely not her issues that makes for the downfalls of these two selections.

Have you seen Astro Boy and/or When in Rome?
What is your favorite Kristen Bell film?

Opinion Battles Year Three Round One Favourite Nicolas Cage Role

Opinion Battles is in Year Three! The first round of 2017 is choosing our favorite Nicolas Cage role. Mine was a fair fight between Moonstruck and National Treasure but seeing as I love the latter so much more, it had to go to that role! A lot of fantastic choices here from everyone!

Head over and drop a vote for which role you like.

Movie Reviews 101

Opinion Battles Year Three Round Onenew-logo

Favourite Nicolas Cage Role

Nicolas Cage has had one of the most fascinating careers in Hollywood today with one Oscar win to his name. his career started in 1981 has seen him take the strange roles, the brilliant roles, become the action hero of the 90s before tackling those bees in The Wicker Man remake before becoming somewhat of a parody of himself in recent years. It will be fair to say everyone will be remember Cage as an actor for a range of different reasons but today we are going to pick our favourite character of his career.

If you want to take part in the next round we are going to be picking our Favourite Oscar Winning Actor Performance in a Leading or Supporting Role, if you want to join email moviereviews101@yahoo.co.ukby 22nd January 2017.

Darren – Movie Reviews 101

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That Moment In Podcast: The Rock (1996)

It is vacation season over at That Moment In Podcast. Not the site! Its why we’ve taken a little break. We are back with a chat about The Rock. Not the actor but the 1996 Michael Bay action thriller starring Sean Connery and Nicolas Cage. As usual, Melissa and David give their haiku and alliterations respectively. We also dive in questions we had before Melissa talks about The Moment in The Rock that is significant and why it is so. We also share some moments that caught our attention in any way.

Be sure to stick to the end to see which film Melissa challenges David to find the moment in!

I’m not sure if I mentioned it last time but That Moment In Podcast is now available in Soundcloud, iTunes and we also have it in video on Youtube!

Thanks for listening! Hope you enjoyed! 🙂

The Croods (2013)

I’m going to try to get through 2013 flicks at least one per week.  Last week, I decided that its been too long that I haven’t watched animated movies.  I think the last one I watched wasn’t even a full review.  Actually, its kind of crazy.  I’m way ahead of movie watching but just so behind writing up all the reviews.  Thats actually never happened before but its comforting to know that I now have time at night to study or explore other stuff than just watching Netflix all the time. Last week, I decided that I wanted to watch The Croods.  I’ve read mostly positive reviews for this and with the bad reputation of Nicolas Cage picking up a lot of not so great movies because of his debts and still getting good reviews, I was pretty intrigued.  Lets check it out!

the croods posterDirector: Kirk De Micco & Chris Sanders

Voice Cast: Nicolas Cage, Emma Stone, Ryan Reynolds, Catherine Keener, Cloris Leachman, Clark Duke, Chris Sanders

The Croods is a family of cavemen who live under the patriarch of the family, Grug (Nicolas Cage), who has proven through his many survivor stories to “never not be afraid”. Although everyone agrees and lives by this, his daughter Eep (Emma Stone) craves to be in more light and exploring the world.  One time, when they were sheltering in their cave, Eep sees a strange light that moves and she follows it to find a boy, Guy (Ryan Reynolds) in disguise with something called fire that protects and scares away creatures.  He warns her that he’s running away to faraway mountains to be safe from the world’s end.  When she heads back and her parents don’t believe her while the signs of what Guy says starts occurring, eventually causing their home to be destroyed, The Croods pick up the whole family and have to try and find themselves another home.  Eventually, meeting Guy again, they travel together to find safety.  While Guy learns about The Croods and their barbaric ways, The Croods also slowly learn the way to survive with something called ideas instead of brute force.

croods eep

If you’re new to the site, I’ve been pretty impressed with the last two years of animated flicks.  Dreamworks has been kicking some serious butt.  They are the brains behind the neverending Madagascar and Ice Age series, which I will cringe if they make another of because I refuse to watch it.  Still, Dreamworks has proven if not by earlier animations but with How To Train a Dragon, Kung Fu Panda and the more recent Rise of the Guardians, that they are a force to be reckoned.  I’m happy to say that The Croods is in the same ballpark.  Its entertaining for all ages and its hilarious.  The colors and scenes are beautiful especially after the move onto the jungle portion and the creatures are adorable and pretty. Just look at this little guy:

the croods tiger

Okay okay, I’m a tiger addict so this feline totally stole my heart away.

Not just looking at creatures, the characters were really fun to watch.  The whole cavemen learning about newer things and learning to use their brain to form ideas and solve problems.  The whole concept of breaking out of tradition.  The voice work was just so good.  Despite how everyone thinks Nicolas Cage really sucks in the recent years, I  haven’t seen too much of his newer stuff but even the movies like Sorcerer’s Apprentice was fun in my book.  But then, my scale and expectations shift depending on the movie genre and the target audience I feel they are aiming for.  I don’t think I’ve seen anything with Nicolas Cage doing voice work but man, he was hilarious.  Add in the very enthusiastic and sarcastic Emma Stone doing Eep and this movie already won my heart over.  As for Ryan Reynolds, I don’t have a huge opoinion on him.  He has done movies I love, hate and am indifferent to but I realized that I never recognize his voice, ever.  Its really weird but somehow in this one, his character of Guy and how he portrayed his voice worked well.  I liked it 🙂

the croods guy and thunk

I’m just praising the movie non-stop, right? Is it so weird though? Co-director in this is Chris Sanders, who also does the voice of Belt, the little purple fluff up in that picture that looks like a sloth.  Chris Sanders has directed movies that I love including Lilo & Stitch and How to Train a Dragon.  I didn’t know that part until I researched a bit for this.  He is awesome and I hope he keeps making these things because it totally works for me.  It reminds me of how much I just love animation and could watch ALL THE TIME!

the croods family

To be fair, its rare to find a perfect movie.  I was very pleased with this.  In a more objective mind, the story was not as developed or maybe not even that original because its just cavemen learning to be more sophisticated, adding in the family aspect and whatnot but thats okay because animations don’t have to be that detailed.  They are for kids and as long as the main point is carried out and everyone has a good time. Thats really what matters 🙂 There were some touching moments here between Grug and Eep in the end and I just bonded with the characters so much, I kind of cheered them on in their escape to evade the world’s end.

I really have nothing more to say about this. OVERALL, it was fun, entertaining, hilarious. The puns worked great and the characters are awesome.  The voice work was great and you know what, the creatures and background was just adorable and beautiful respectively. I had a great time with it and I think it’ll be great for seeing for both kids and adults.

Have you seen The Croods? What is your favorite Dreamworks animation? 

Raising Arizona (1987)

When I ended my Valentine’s Marathon, I asked what everyone’s favorite comedy is and to that question, Eric at Isaacs Picture Conclusions told me “a MUST see” called Raising Arizona.  All of you probably know it already because apparently I’m missing out on tons of awesome movies and have a lot of catching up to do.  However, I think most of you know about Eric and his blog the IPC in short but if you don’t, you really have to check it out especially since Shitfest 2013 Fall edition is right around the corner and well, I have a submission for it again 😉 Plus, he posts awesome and fun reviews all the time.  Now, lets check out his recommendation, Raising Arizona!

raising arizona posterDirector: Joel Coen

Cast: Nicholas Cage, Holly Hunter, Trey Wilson, John Goodman, William Forsythe, Sam McMurray, Randall Cobb

H.I. McDunnough is a small-town ex-con who has an ex-cop, Edwina ‘Ed’ McDunnough as his wife.  Ed decides that she wants a baby but after trying everything learns that she actually can’t have any.  At the same time, furniture tycoon Nathan Arizona and his wife luckily has quintuplets.  Hearing this news, H.I. and Ed hatch a plan to take one of the them for their own and raise it like their own child. Luckily, they manage to get one and at the same time, H.I. has two jail buddies, brothers Gale and Evelle that bust out of jail and have some big plans to turn their lives around.  On top of that, the situation gets even more complicated when an “emotionless” head hunter (of sorts) approaches Nathan Arizona to search out his baby boy and does so any way possible.

raising arizona holly hunter

Raising Arizona is a very odd comedy.  Is it my favorite? Probably not. I like a lot of weird things but as entertaining as this was, I was absorbed by the different style of comedy that it was.  There was a good many parts that did make me laugh out loud and for the most part, this movie really offered an awesome experience and fun movie watching experience.  And another thing, that whole southern accent thing was totally amazing!

raising arizona nic cage

Number 1 highlight of this movie is Nicholas Cage.  For one, he’s super young.  Was this around when he did Moonstruck because he seems to be sporting that crazy out of control hair style. You know, I’ve always liked the crazy Nicholas Cage act and this one counts as one.  Plus, his whole love struck act at the beginning to Ed (played by Holly Hunter) was pretty hilarious.  Those facial expressions in this one and there was a ton of scenes that just rocked the world.

raising arizona john goodman william forsythe

That’s right! John Goodman is in this! Totally crazy character and I loved it for the most part.  He played a pretty silly character but still, I had a great time watching him on screen.  I’m a huge fan of his from his days on Roseanne and in a few of his movies.  Plus, he had a great chemistry with the on-screen brother played by William Forsythe.  I think if Nicholas Cage doesn’t fully entertain you, these guys definitely will.

raising arizona

I’m running out of reasons as to why I liked the movie so much.  Maybe its because its odd, or its because I found it original and had a lot of style.  I recommend this if you haven’t seen it.  Its fun and pure entertainment.  Nicholas Cage and John Goodman are plenty of awesomeness and as pointless and random as some scenes are, it all wraps up into a pretty amazing comedy.

I think this is the first Nicholas Cage movie I’ve reviewed here.  Let me ask you: Do you like Nicholas Cage? What are your favorite movies of his? What genre do you think he excels at?

Kick-Ass (2010)

With so many other movie bloggers being hyped up for Kick Ass 2 coming out this year, I felt a bit left out that I hadn’t even seen the first one. I needed to know what the deal was and get in on the fun before it was too late 😉

kick ass posterDirector: Matthew Vaughn

Cast: Aaron Johnson, Chloe Grace Moretz, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Nicholas Cage, Mark Strong, Lyndsey Fonseca, Michael Rispoli

Dave Lizewski (Aaron Johnson) is a normal student who does nothing special and is usually invisible to the girls at school. Being into comic books and superheroes, he wonders why no one has ever stepped up and tried to do what superheroes do and protect their society.  With this in mind, he orders a green jumpsuit from the Internet and trains himself (the best he can) and eventually tries to defend his society.  On his first attempt, he gets accidentally filmed and he becomes a hit under the alias of Kick-Ass.  When he urges a girl he is interested at school, Katie (Lyndsey Fonseca) to ask Kick Ass for help to get rid of an annoying ex, on that mission, he ends up meeting Hit Girl (Chloe Grace Moretz) and Big Daddy (Nicholas Cage) who requests for him to join them.  In the process, some mafia leader Frank D’Amico (Mark Strong) mistakes him to be part of a big scheme to derail their illegal activities and his son offers to disguise as another superhero called Red Mist (Christopher Mintz-Plasse) to help with their plan.

kick ass hit girl kickass

When I turned on Kick-Ass, I had no idea what it would be like.  I hadn’t even seen the trailer.  Back in 2010, I was still just getting back into the groove of the existence of TV, forget about movies.  Honestly, it looks a bit corny and cheesy but at the same time, my main motivation was that Chloe Grace Moretz is awesome! If everything sucked, at least she would light up that screen.  Unexpectedly, it was bloody, funny and silly, and plenty of stylish fun.  It was somewhat of a weird combination from all the characters but it had a spark that really worked for it.  There was a lot of cross over with comic style visually here and there and the way they filmed it was really attractive.  I like this little flick a lot!

kick ass dave

If you had to define loser, this Dave character would definitely be it.  Even the costume he chooses and the luck he has is ridiculous.  However, something about the sweet victory of a normal everyday person having the heart to become something more without no actual reason makes me want to cheer for him and connect.  Thats what Dave has going on for him, even when we see him dig his own grave over and over again in his personal life or as Kick-Ass.  Its fun to see his character development as it changes into making this into something more meaningful and he finds his actual courage and strength.

kick ass hit girl big daddy

Hit Girl and Big Daddy played by Chloe Grace Moretz and Nicholas Cage respectively are father and daughter team and they are super kick ass.  Like not Dave Kick Ass because Big Daddy is right when he says that, he should be called Ass Kicked compared to them.  This team is phenomenal with a specific agenda that they know what they want to accomplish, well-planned and they are crazy great at everything.  Their story is actually pretty good and it defines the means of why they do what they are doing.  Its been a while I’ve seen Nicholas Cage teamed up with kids and there is a pretty good vibe between the characters.

kick ass red mist

What superhero movie is without their villain, right? Mark Strong plays the villain Mark D’Amico.  He’s somewhat of a brutal and emotionally unstable man to me.  He seems to try to contain himself and is immune to being harsh.  Red Mist is his son and he recognizes his son’s potential as he is chooses to become Red Mist to lure out Kick-Ass.  Frank D’Amico is a tough guy to beat, however, we all know Red Mist isn’t really that bad…he’s just being a son, right? Thats not a spoiler…I hope! (Its getting hard to stop myself from writing too much…)

Bottomline: I loved it! It was great to watch visually.  The characters were great and there was a good development with each one.  It was a bit predictable but the action and the fight scenes and the interaction between the characters was totally fantastic that I didn’t really feel like there was anything unenjoyable until I sat down and wrote this.  Just little issues though and definitely worth a viewing! Maybe like me, you’ll want to go see Kick Ass 2 when it comes out!! 🙂