Nicolas Cage

‘Becoming Iconic’ Tells Confusing, Messy Stories About Film Directing

Ulises Duenas

The biggest problem with this documentary is the sporadic way that it’s edited – which veers from interviews with Baker to interviews with other directors to old photos and footage of people associated with Baker at a confusing pace with hardly any understandable transition. What’s worse is that the film uses various weird camera angles and visual effects like random bright lights, dark vignetting, random zoom-ins in footage of Baker just walking around or talking on the phone.

How the Eccentric Coen Brothers Became American Film Icons

Christopher Karr

Think of drastically different genres. Fuse some with others and add new elements. Borrow patterns, themes and impressions from the halls of movie history and blend them with postmodern philosophy, a wickedly self-deprecating sense of humor and a heavy dose of playful ironic detachment. The resulting mixture pays homage to directors such as Stanley Kubrick, Roman Polanski, Sam Raimi and Preston Sturges, and writers like  William Faulkner, Flannery O’Connor, James M. Cain and Raymond Chandler. I’m referring to none other than the work of Joel and Ethan Coen, the modern American maestros of cinematic cross-breeding. 

‘Sherlock Holmes,’ ‘In Darkness’ Arrive on DVD, Blu-ray

Forrest Hartman

When director Guy Ritchie (“Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels,” “Snatch”) and actor Robert Downey Jr. updated the Sherlock Holmes mythos in 2009, they delivered an appealing blend of action, drama, mystery and suspense. Sadly, their return to the well is less appealing. That’s not to say “Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows” is a disaster. Downey Jr. is still outstanding in the title role, most notably because he gives the master detective a sense of brutishness that isn’t typically seen in the character. 

Legendary Directors and the ‘Inspired Lunatic Tradition’ in Filmmaking

Christopher Karr

The movie director plays the creator of a miniature world, the organizer of a controlled sphere. As Ingmar Bergman once said, “To shoot a film is to organize an entire universe.” It’s a demanding task, playing master of a mini-universe. And major problems occur whenever humans decide to play God. For instance, what happens to the actors and technicians who devote themselves to a God who’s a tad insane?

 

Will the Real Nicolas Cage Please Stand Up?

Sam Chapin

Who is Nicolas Cage? Or perhaps the question should be, what is Nicolas Cage? There are few actors working today who prove harder to define, both on and off-screen. If you read the news reports, the answer to the first question is that Cage is a broke, pagan castle owner who named his son Superman and will star in any movie, if asked. The answer to the second question: a vampire from the Civil War.

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