‘CinemAddicts’ Podcast Reviews Nicolas Cage Thriller ‘Mandy’ And ‘Hal’ Documentary

Nicolas Cage as Red in the action, thriller film “MANDY”an RLJE Films release. Photo courtesy of RLJE Films

The latest installment of CinemAddicts is a good one, as we spotlight the Nicolas Cage feature Mandy. Set in 1983, the tale centers on Red Miller (Cage), an average Joe who lives out in the woods with his wife Mandy (Andrea Riseborough). When a cult leader (Linus Roache) and his minions descend upon this loving couple, Red’s life is immediately torn apart, leading to a blood-soaked journey of vengeance.

Directed by Panos Cosmatos, Mandy is a surreal, violent, and ultimately hypnotic story that offers up one of Cage’s best performances (it’s right up there with Adaptation and Joe). The feature hits select theaters on Friday.

We also offer up our take on Hal, a first rate documentary centering on the life of filmmaker Hal Ashby (The Last Detail, Being There). Anderson Cowan and I covered Ashby’s classic film Harold and Maude several weeks ago on Spoiled Cinema, and Ashby’s work is definitely dear to our hearts. Hal which was released last week in New York, hits Los Angeles theaters on Friday. Check out this month’s installment of CinemAddicts below!

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Posted by: Greg Srisavasdi

Orson Welles Feature ‘The Other Side of the Wind’ Lands A Netflix Release In November

Over 40 years in the making, The Other Side of the Wind is finally seeing the light of day, as it will be released in theaters and Netflix on November 2. Directed by Orson Welles, the project centers on J.J. “Jake” Hannaford (John Huston), a filmmaker who returns to the U.S. after spending years in Europe with hopes to making his own comeback film. The project co-stars Welles’ longtime friend, filmmaker Peter Bogdanovich, Susan Strasberg, and Welles’ partner Oja Kodar (Welles, though married to Paola Mori, was also involved in a relationship with Kodar).

Due to financial and legal issues, The Other Side of the Wind’s chances of finally seeing the light of day appeared slim, but hope flourished when producers Frank Marshall and Filip Jan Rymsza scoured through over a thousand reels of film negatives to ultimately get the picture on the right track. Check out the trailer below and tell us what you think!

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Posted by: Greg Srisavasdi

CinemAddicts Podcast Reviews ‘Never Goin’ Back’ And ‘A Prayer Before Dawn’

There are a ton of movie releases this August, and a few selections that may go under the radar are definitely worth checking out. Now playing in select theaters, Never Goin’ Back centers on two Texas based waitresses (Camila Morrone, Maia Mitchell) who are planning a vacation in Galveston. Their goal to work double shifts to make their money before the trip are thwarted by unforeseen circumstances and their irresponsible tomfoolery. Directed and written by Augustine Frizzell (whose narrative was inspired by her own misspent youth), Never Goin’ Back is a raunchy comedy that has its heart in the right place (even as it deliciously crosses the line of good taste).

Coming out August 10, A Prayer Before Dawn is the true story of Billy Moore (Joe Cole, in a riveting performance), a drug addicted boxer who attempts to fight his way out of Thai prison through his chosen craft. The flick, which has very little exposition, is as intense as they come, and the boxing scenes are absolutely riveting. Not one of its 116 minutes is wasted, and the picture had me on the edge of my seat from the get go. 

Both movies are profiled on the latest episode of CinemAddicts. Take a listen and feel free to comment below!

 

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Posted by: Greg Srisavasdi

Review: ‘Mission: Impossible – Fallout’ Is Ethan Hunt’s Crowning Moment

Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) and his IMF mates (Ving Rhames, Simon Pegg, Alec Baldwin) are back with Mission: Impossible – Fallout. the great news is Director/writer Christopher McQuarrie, who helmed Cruise in the first rate Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation and Jack Reacher, is behind the camera, and his top notch skills are on full display. Years ago McQuarrie penned the script for The Usual Suspects, and his adept touch at crafting twisty narratives is well suited for the M:I franchise.

Hunt’s nemesis Solomon Lane (Sean Harris), though imprisoned, continues to hold power thanks to three plutonium bombs that need to be retrieved. The IMF’s goal is to retrieve the bombs before they detonate, and as usual their mission has friction from the government, as CIA operative August Walker (a buff and ready to slug it out Henry Cavill) joins the team with his own agenda at the insistence of his boss (Angela Bassett). Scene stealer Rebecca Ferguson returns as Ilsa, and like before her true motivations are unclear. The Crown actress Vanessa Kirby is thrown in for good measure as the White Widow, a powerful middle person who may hold the key to the IMF’s ultimate success or doom. 

The Paris and London locales are the backdrops from several of the movie’s stunning and immersive action sequences, while the climactic sequence serves as a slight nod to the second M:I flick. At 56, Cruise doesn’t look any worse for wear, even if he was seriously injured during the London building to building jump. To give away any other plot details would lead us into spoiler territory, and the only clue I’ll share is that Hunt’s personal life, and not just the actual mission, is given a ton of attention this go round.

While Brian De Palma’s Mission: Impossible was wonderful at delivering the double cross and intrigue (plus who could forget that train sequence?), Fallout is actually the most well rounded of the series. It’s great to see Ving Rhames and Simon Pegg fully engaged in the mission, and this time around Hunt is not just the star of the show, he’s really part of the team. Hunt’s taped messages may destruct in several seconds, but the franchise is currently at its peak, with no “fallout” in sight.

Mission: Impossible – Fallout opens July 27.

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Posted by: Greg Srisavasdi

CinemAddicts Podcast Reviews ‘Ant-Man And The Wasp’ And ‘Damsel’

Ant-Man and the Wasp and the revisionist Western Damsel are among the films that are discussed on the latest episode of CinemAddicts. If you were a fan of the first feature, Ant-Man and the Wasp doesn’t disappoint and is actually an improvement over the original. Be sure to stay for the end credits as it’s one of the most memorable closing sequences in Marvel history.

Robert Pattinson’s streak of excellent work continues with Damsel, a feature that, if you’ve seen the trailer, seems like a rollicking, quirky flick. Although there are some humorous moments in the feature, Damsel also has its share of dark and evocative moments, and it’s one of this year’s best films. Mia Wasikowska, if she gets a strong push from the heads at Magnolia Pictures, should be in the running from awards consideration (along with Pattinson).

Also covered in this podcast is co-host Anderson Cowan’s discussion of his feature directing debut Groupers and a few of my thoughts on the upcoming Keanu Reeves flick Siberia (opening July 13). Click on the media bar below our CinemAddicts discussion of July’s top releases:

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Posted by: Greg Srisavasdi

Review: ‘Three Identical Strangers’ Is A Riveting Nature Vs. Nurture Mystery

Three Identical Strangers

Three Identical Strangers is the true story of triplets (Eddy Galland, David Kellman, Robert Shafran) who, at the age of 19, realize that they are triplets. Separated at birth and raised by three parents from different socio-economic backgrounds, the guys have a ton of catching up to do.

Their 1980 discovery immediately catapults them to fame, as they became the toast of New York and were featured in various news articles and television program (their talk with Phil Donahue is featured in the documentary. The trio even opened up their own restaurant some years later.

Finding your literal blood brothers had its drawbacks, especially when they discovered their respective adoptions were part of a bigger research study on the “nature vs. nurture” theory. While attempting to explore if individuals can expand beyond their genetic makeup thanks to their environment is intriguing, this research was absolutely inhumane.

To give further plot details on Three Identical Strangers wouldn’t do justice to the documentary, as director Tim Wardle (One Killer Punch) keeps us guessing on the inevitable fate of these tight knit siblings. You can find out their fate with a requisite google search, but that would be doing Three Identical Strangers a disservice.

An incisive and at times heartbreaking look at how lives can be changed by a simple decision, Three Identical Strangers is a compelling mystery that will keep you intrigued (and understandably distressed) until the film’s closing moments.

Three Identical Strangers opens in select theaters June 29.

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Posted by: Greg Srisavasdi