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The Cinematic Katzenjammer: April 14: Lord of War


April 14: Lord of War

"An arms dealer confronts the morality of his work as he is being chased by an Interpol agent."

What do you know? Another Nic Cage drama that's a damn good film. Hear that Mr. Cage? A DRAMA you made is terrific. Keep that in mind with your next career decision. Lord of War is an excellent look inside the world of arms dealing and the toll it takes on one man and his family. Cage plays Yuri Orlov, a down on his luck New Yorker who realizes that, next to food, guns and ammunition are the world's highest commodity. Yuri eventually turns his arms dealing into a world-wide enterprise, peddling guns and ammo from Russia to Africa and everywhere in between. As his notority increases, an Interpol agent named Jack Valentine (Ethan Hawke) makes it his mission to apprehend Yuri. With a growing family and a cocaine addicted brother (Jared Leto), Yuri is conflicted at whether or not to give it all up or keep on trafficking. 

Yes, he'd have to even give up his boats 'n hoes. 

   Cage delivers as excellent performance in the leading role. His "gravitas" fits the career criminal aspect and his hairline reminds you that he's just like the rest of us (but better in every way). He's suave enough to get away with all the illegal shit and smart enough that you can believe he could actually pull it off. He's unhinged just enough to know you're watching the real Nic Cage but still grounded enough to deliver a great performance. He has a few scenes where he loses his shit and screams the only way Cage can, and a hallucination scene that is reminiscent of The Wicker Man. However, there leaves a lot to be questioned when he bags a supermodel wife and is supposedly brothers with the lead singer from 30 Seconds From Mars. 

Okay, there are SOME similarities. 

   Overall, I would highly recommend Lord of War. It's a great blend of genres that combine war, drama, suspense, and even some comedy. The film gives great insight to the black market world of arms dealing and makes you wonder how much of it's actually happening around the world today. Yuri is definitely a bad man, but Lord of War allows you to cheer for him and hope he succeeds. Lord of War works well because of the performances from the entire cast, especially cage. With a great soundtrack of classic 70's and 80's rock songs and one of the best opening sequences I've ever seen, Lord of War is definitely worth your time. 

The Good:
seeing Nic Cage in a setting he works wonders in... a drama
The Better:
a great story that delves into the underworld of war and how everything is really connected
The Best:
a film that's both political and controversial, without feeling like it's shoving itself down your throat

Overall: 8.2/10


And as an added bonus to the end of this edition of Nic Cage Week, I present, "Cage Does Cage". 

Fear not, for Nic Cage Week will return for it's third installment this July. 

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At April 15, 2012 at 3:51 AM , Blogger Josh Jones said...

Excellent flick, another one overlooked by most I'd imagine. He really does need to return to drama, though at the same time, I'm excited for National Treasure 3 heh.

Sidenote for fun: my hypothetical Nic Cage Week would play out something like this (using only films you haven't reviewed thus far):

*The Rock (Start with a bang!)
*Bringing Out The Dead (Excellent flick, another overlooked drama)
*Snake Eyes (Somewhat lacking compared to the first two, but still great IMO)
*Adaptation (Saw for the first time recently, really enjoyed)
*Next (Nic Cage + Philip K. Dick, I'm in!)
*Tough call here, Gone in 60 Seconds? (Solid action flick), or Face/Off (Also solid action flick, but way more over the top, heh)
*Con Air (End with AMAZING)

At April 15, 2012 at 4:48 PM , Blogger Nick said...

Oh, I certainly have plans. There's two more Nic Cage weeks this year, and after looking at his filmography, I'm happy to see some good shit mixed in with the bad. Adaptation, Moonstruck, Raising Arizona, Leaving Las Vegas.

And I agree, Con Air will be one of the finales as it's kind of frickin' phenomenal.


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