Dying of the Light (2014)
Director: Paul Schrader
Starring: Nicholas Cage, Anton Yelchin, Alexander Karim
Running Time: 1 hr, 34 mins
Rated: R

Review by Daniel Stidham

Early in Dying of the Light, the camera zooms in on a man’s hand which then begins to tremble uncontrollably. The hand belongs to Nicolas Cage, and this shot is the first best hope we have that the film we’re watching will be worthwhile. Though Cage has a notoriously uneven track record, many of his highest highs involve him playing disturbed, afflicted, or deeply neurotic characters. Leading Man Cage, National Treasure Cage, is fine as far as he goes; but what you really want is Matchstick Men Cage, Bad Lieutenant Cage. You want the guy who has unpredictable freak-outs, manic ticks and ridiculous hair. Sometimes it’s a thin line that separates “I want to take his face…off!” from “No, not the bees,” but we’re willing to take that risk because when it works it pays off big time; and for at least a few minutes of Dying of the Light, it looks as though we’re about to be treated to the next entry in the “Nicolas Cage Losing His Shit” canon.

Read the full review on CutPrintFilm.com

Knowing (2009)
Director: Alex Proyas
Starring: Nicolas Cage, Rose Byrne, Chandler Canterbury
Running Time: 2 hrs, 1 min
Rated: PG-13

Review by Brother Reed

I just can’t take Nicolas Cage seriously any more. I’m not sure exactly why. Oh, who am I kidding? I know why. It’s the whole “Wicker Man” fiasco. Now that I have seen this man running around in a bear suit punching women in the face (a questionable career move but undoubtedly amusing) it’s just harder to picture him in a serious dramatic role. That’s too bad, too, because Cage has actually been in some great movies since he got started in the early 80’s and turned in a few notable performances as well. Even in this decade he’s done Adaptation, Matchstick Men, and Lord of War, all of which should have elevated his career to the point where Ghost Rider, Next, and Bangkok Dangerous would not have been necessary. Perhaps they weren’t. Perhaps even in his pre-castle-crisis days he simply enjoyed B-movies and undercooked sci-fi. But I made a mistake, too. I didn’t have enough respect for the influence said B movies and undercooked sci-fi have on me. I’m a sucker for a great idea so when I heard about Knowing I turned a blind eye to Cage’s concerned-looking visage on the poster and bought a ticket anyway. READ FULL REVIEW