Archive for the ‘Nicolas Cage’ Category

‘Valley Girl’ Blu-ray review: Like, Totally Bitchin’

November 1, 2018

valley girl

I used to celebrate ’60s nostalgia. Now it’s the ’80s. The styles and the music were such fun. And no cell phones! So any movie or TV series shot in the era doesn’t have characters incessantly interrupted or distracted by their phone fixation.

No, they can focus — and in the case of 1983’s Valley Girl (just out on Blu-ray from Shout! Factory), the focus is a lively if not exhilarating boy-girl romance.

The boy is Randy (Nicolas Cage), a punkish guy from LA. The girl is Julie (Deborah Foreman), a trendy girl from the suburban valley. When her friends balk at her out-of-step and less than totally tubular suitor, peer pressure causes a Romeo and Juliet rift.

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More of ‘Indy 4’ in ‘National Treasure 2’

May 28, 2008

The original National Treasure was an Indiana Jones wannabe, set apart chiefly by the fact that it’s set in present day. So it’s only fitting that National Treasure 2: Book of Secrets hits DVD at the same time that Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull dominates theaters.

Somewhat like Indy, Nicolas Cage’s Treasure character, Ben Gates, is a scholar often bent on wild if not violent escapades in search of treasure that’s both informational and valuable. Like Indy, he has a sidekick (Riley, a whiz ably played by Justin Bartha), a love interest (Abigail, played by German beauty Diane Kruger) and a father (Jon Voight) who shares many of his interests but also carries emotional baggage.

Also like Indy 4, National Treasure 2 is a hodgepodge of vaguely defined plot elements clearly geared to provide as many over-the-top action-adventure sequences as possible. This includes brain-numbing car chases, which have been putting me to sleep almost since the landmark one in Bullitt.

So what’s to recommend it? Well, it’s family fare, boldly rated PG instead of PG-13. So kids can watch it with their parents and everyone’s happy (provided neither the children nor the parents expect much characterization and plot development). And much of the action is creatively if not spectacularly staged, though it often leads to so much wanton destruction that it’s painful to watch.

But most pained should be fans of such actors as Cage, Voight, Helen Mirren (as Cage’s momma), Harvey Keitel (as a Fed) and Ed Harris (as a heavy), who all deserve better material but chose to go slumming in an empty-headed adventure. Then again, everyone needs a paycheck. I’ve never slammed actors for taking work — we all must make a living. But when that work is so beneath their talents, as it is here, then the “treasure” of their craft remains largely buried. Then again, the movie made $219 million at the domestic box office, so what do I know?