REVIEW: ‘Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent’ is a Nic Cage triumph

Nicolas Cage is uncaged in this film, since he gets to really be himself. Seriously.

Cage plays a fictionalized version of himself in “Massive Talent.” Like the real version, the Cage in the movie hasn’t starred in a major blockbuster in a few years and it’s been tough on the actor.

He gets an opportunity to make some easy cash thanks to a mega fan named Javi, though, which could help get him on sturdier ground. However, it turns out Javi, who hired Cage to attend his birthday party, is actually a person the CIA has been targeting as an arms dealer. The CIA then asks Cage to provide surveillance on the individual.

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REVIEW: Adrenaline filled ‘Ambulance’ entertains despite speed bumps

Michael Bay tears up Los Angeles in his new action blockbuster, although the stakes are a bit lower compared to his other entries from the last decade.

Yahya Abdul-Mateen II stars as Will Sharp in “Ambulance,” a veteran and young father struggling to provide for his family, especially with medical bills mounting. In his desperation, he turns to his adoptive brother Danny (Jake Gyllenhaal), who runs an auto shop.

It turns out, that isn’t Danny’s only business, though, as the brother is also into heists and has been planning a bank robbery. Will is eventually roped in to the situation, but the robbery turns south fast. Needing to escape, the brothers carjack an ambulance with a wounded officer and an EMT (Eiza Gonzalez) inside.

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Review: ‘Sonic 2’ succeeds where predecessor fell short

Best video game movie made up to this point? The argument can certainly be made with this one.

In the new “Sonic” adventure, the blue blur (Ben Schwartz) is trying to play the role of a hero but is finding out that he still has some learning to do. Meanwhile, Dr. Robotnik (Jim Carrey) managed to get off the planet he was banished to in the first film thanks to a new partnership with Knuckles (Idris Elba), an echidna warrior who has a grudge against Sonic.

That grudge is based on a historic conflict between the echidnas and the owl tribe, which Sonic was connected to since he was raised by Longclaw in the first movie. Sonic gets a warning about the new threat of Robotnik and Knuckles from a new friend, though, named Miles “Tails” Prower (Colleen Shaughnessey). From there, the two factions battle with each other with an ancient hidden power on the line.

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Three recent times Cage was perfectly cast

The release of “The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent,” where Nicolas Cage will play himself, is right around the corner and I’m quite excited for it.

While, admittedly, I’ve been hard on Cage at times for some of his less than stellar filmography entries, I remain intrigued whenever I see him in a cast lineup. There’s always a chance that he can give a really memorable performance.

That happened in 2021, when he gave a performance that was absolutely snubbed by the Academy in the film “Pig.” I have to say I was proud of my fellow Minnesota film critics for awarding him the Best Actor award for the portrayal.

That’s not the only time Cage has fit a character so well in the last decade, though. Here are some other times that the actor was perfectly cast for a role, and delivered a solid performance.

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REVIEW: ‘Everything Everywhere All At Once’ is excellent

After this movie, you’ll never look at googly eyes the same way again.

This film stars Michelle Yeoh as a woman, Evelyn, who owns and operates a laundromat with her husband, Waymond (Jonathan Ke Quan). Their marriage has become strained, though, and she doesn’t have the best relationship with her daughter, Joy (Stephanie Hsu), either. On top of her family matters, Evelyn also has to deal with an audit into the laundromat by the IRS.

At a meeting with an IRS employee, Evelyn is contacted by different version of her husband from another universe who informs her that she may be the only being in the multi-verse who can prevent a calamity. To do so, Evelyn will have to tap into abilities from other versions of herself from alternate universes.

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REVIEW: Please, no more ‘Morbius’

Even “Dracula Untold” from the ill-fated Dark Universe did a vampire origin story better.

The movie follows the titular character Dr. Michael Morbius (Jared Leto), who’s lived with a debilitating blood illness his whole life. It’s something he shares with his surrogate brother Lucien (Matt Smith), with the two meeting at a hospital as children to be treated for the same disease.

As adults, Lucien has become a wealthy businessman while Michael is a world-renowned doctor specialized in treating blood-related diseases. Michael’s latest experiment to treat illnesses, including his own, turns out to be a mistake, though, as he is transformed into a vampire.

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REVIEW: Middling romcom is all to be found in ‘The Lost City’

This might be the most intense adventure a character played by Sandra Bullock has been on since “Speed 2: Cruise Control.”

In “The Lost City,” Bullock portrays Loretta Sage, an author who’s made a career out of writing steamy romance/adventure novels. She was once passionate about history and exploring, but she lost her drive when her husband passed away.

Loretta isn’t excited about her latest book tour, either, as she’s tired of dealing with Alan (Channing Tatum), a book cover model who takes a lot of the attention. Loretta ends up having to rediscover her passion for history, and find some courage, though, as she’s kidnapped by a billionaire (Daniel Radcliffe), who’s searching for a treasure referenced in one of her books.

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94th Academy Award Predictions

The Gotham Award nominations came out in late October. Nearly five months later, we’re finally toward the conclusion of the 2021-2022 award season.

It’s been an entertaining season for sure, with the Best Picture front-runner shifting a lot, from “Belfast,” to “The Power of the Dog” and now, seemingly, “CODA.” We’ll know the winner of this category and all the others on Sunday during the Academy Awards ceremony.

Until then, we can only predict what will happen. So here are my predictions for who will win on Sunday, who could maybe play spoiler, my choices for who should get the Oscar and a few snubs.

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REVIEW: New horror ‘X’ delivers mix of old and new thrills

What happens when you cross “It Follows” with “The Texas Chain Saw Massacre?” It’s probably something like this movie, “X.”

Set during the late 70s in rural Texas, “X” follows a group of six characters who’re working on an adult film. To shoot the production, the filmmakers have rented themselves a small cabin on the property of a secluded farmer.

The group gets to work and things start off fine. However, when the property owners learn what kind of work is going on, they take great offense to the actions and the situation escalates to a deadly level.

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REVIEW: Visually appealing ‘Outfit’ bogged down by plotting issues

The Chicago crime scene of years gone by is brought to life on a small scale in this bottle film.

Graham Moore makes his feature directorial debut with “The Outfit,” which centers on Leonard (Mark Rylance), an Englishman who owns a tailor shop in Chicago. The film’s protagonist runs an honest business, with the help of his secretary Mable (Zoey Deutch).

However, he has also set up a post box at his establishment used by crime organizations to communication. One night, this decision becomes a problem, as mafia members who’re customers of Leonard’s store begin using the shop as a place to go during a gang war. Leonard is then placed in a tense situation with dangerous men.

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