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The Cinematic Katzenjammer: Aug 18: The Weather Man

Saturday

Aug 18: The Weather Man

"A Chicago weather man, separated from his wife and children, debates whether professional and personal success are mutually exclusive."
Directed by: Gore Verbinski, Rated: R, 102 minutes

The Weather Man is a really out of place drama, blending too many elements and throwing in way too many subplots. The film follows a somewhat likable guy (Cage, of course), but nearly everyone around him has the devil in them. And when a large part of the movie deals with him struggling with those around him, trying to find a way to reconnect with them, it's hard to cheer him on. Why the hell should this guy WANT to be around these people? The film also features Michael Caine with an American accent. Yeah, it's weird and yes, it's not normal. The man in an incredible actor, no doubt about it, but his American accent is way too monotone and unconvincing. 

I mean, come on! Does the man even look remotely American?

The Weather Man follows David Spritz (Cage), an actual weather man in Chicago who goes day by day, avoiding fast food being thrown at him and doing what he calls the easiest job in the world. The man is well over-paid, yet he still finds ways to complain about his salary and continues to look for an opportunity to move ahead in his career. While this is natural for most people, you can't really complain about making $250,000 a year, "predicting" the weather in one of the country's biggest cities. As Spritz figures out his career, he's also struggling to stay relevant in the lives of his two kids, Mike (Nicholas Hoult) and Shelly (Gemmenne de la Pena). Both love their father, but when can't quite connect with David like they used to. His ex-wife (Hope Davis) has been able to move on, even dating again, all to the chagrin of David. His father, Robert (Michael Caine) seems to have lost all hope in life, after earning success in his younger years, and faces death after a cancer diagnosis. David can never seem to win the approval of his father and faced with the almost certain demise of his dad, tries even harder to show him that he's an honest, successful man. All of these problems pile on the man, and Spritz tries his hardest to find a way out, thinking a new (better) job in New York City holds all the answers. Throw in a pedophilia subplot, a fat kid who's rebellious for no apparent reason, and an odd fascination with archery, and The Weatherman comes together in a weird, weird way. 

F**k you, Katniss. Cage owns the bow. 

The acting is great throughout the film, but the characters are too hard to like to really care about. There's only so far solid acting can take unsympathetic characters. Director Gore Verbinski (Pirates of the Caribbean) does manage to capture the dark humor and melancholy feel of the film very well, but by the movie's conclusion, you're left a little depressed. The characters change very little over the course of the movie as is pretty surprising as you'd think they would at least transform into more likable people. Sure, I understand that a part of this may be to make the film more realistic, but who watches movies for realism? I want my escape from reality, dammit, and I want my over-the-top Nicolas Cage. Cage is good, but he's almost completely lacking of his signature facial tics and has only one moment (or two) of him screaming. When I watch a Cage flick, I expect much more. The movie also features WAY too many product placements, plugging every fast food chain you can think of along with dozens of other items. 

You can only assume Wendy's paid to have a Frosty thrown at The Cage. 

I can't really tell you to watch or avoid The Weather Man because it's really in between good and bad. It's not awful, by any means, and has a few moments that are genuinely funny, but it's no masterpiece you need to run and see. Cage has had plenty of better films in his career but has also had far, far worse. If you're in desperate need of a Cage fix, and The Weather Man is on TV, it's not a bad movie to waste an afternoon with. 

The Good:
pretty good acting throughout, especially from Cage
The Bad:
that same acting destroyed by incredibly unlikable characters that make you more frustrated than anything else
The Cage:
normal, with great hair 

Overall: 6.3/10
or
Three Cages out of Five

Trailer:

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2 Comments:

At August 19, 2012 at 2:31 PM , Blogger Sati. said...

Great review! I only saw the movie once and it was years ago so I can't really comment on Caine's accent but I remember I really liked Cage's performance.

 
At August 19, 2012 at 3:23 PM , Blogger Nick said...

It's awful lol. He never raises his voice or shows any emotion in what he says because he's not comfortable enough doing so.

 

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