Welcome back to my Home Movies! This week, the wonderful meta Nicolas Cage film The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent leads the charge. Also hitting shelves today is After Yang, as well as two Criterion releases, including Shaft. Read on for more…
The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent
One of my favorite films of the year, The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent is an absolute blast. The movie is a tribute to Nicolas Cage, but even if you’re not a Cage lover, this is just wildly entertaining. Very little this year has been more purely enjoyable. My rave review here included this bit:
Nicolas Cage is about as unique an actor as there is. No matter what he’s in, and he’s in kind of everything, Cage gives it his all, turning in work you wouldn’t get from anyone else. That kind of commitment, combined with his singular persona, has made him a figure that almost everyone has an opinion on. Whether it’s derision or worship, no one is indifferent to him. So, in crafting a film about him, for him, and in direct conversation with his fans, it’s presenting something rather bold. Luckily, not is Cage in on the joke here, he’s game to up the ante. The result is The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent, a movie that goes gonzo and meta in equal measure. It may sound like something that shouldn’t work, but it really does, to the point that nothing else in 2022 to date is nearly as good.
The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent is going to utterly delight Cage fans. The amount of his work referenced here, either covertly or overtly, is wonderful. It’s not just Face/Off, either. There’s a Captain Corelli’s Mandolin pull as well. When there’s that much to go nuts over here, the perfect usage of Paddington 2 is just a beautiful bonus. For what this flick is trying to achieve, it succeeds in a massive manner. I was blown away.
Animaniacs: Season 2 (TV)
The Conjuring 3-Film Collection
Godzilla: 3-Film Collection
The Umbrella Academy: The Complete Second Season (TV)
Wonder Woman 2-Film Collection
From The Criterion Collection: “Cantopop superstars Anita Mui and Leslie Cheung display the androgynous magnetism that made them icons as doomed lovers in this emblematic film of Hong Kong’s Second New Wave, directed by pioneering queer melodrama master Stanley Kwan. Rouge bridges past and present in its tragic romance between a humble courtesan and the wayward scion of a wealthy family, who embrace death by suicide pact amid the opulent teahouses of 1930s Hong Kong. Fifty years later, she returns to the city-state to find him, drawing a young contemporary couple (Alex Man and Emily Chu) into her quest to rekindle a passion that may be as illusory as time itself. With its lush mise-en-scène and transcendently melancholy mood, this sensuous ghost story is an exquisite, enduringly resonant elegy for both lost love and vanishing history.”
From The Criterion Collection: “While the Black Power movement was reshaping America, trailblazing director Gordon Parks made this groundbreaking blockbuster, which helped launch the blaxploitation era and gave the screen a new kind of badder-than-bad action hero in John Shaft (Richard Roundtree, in a career-defining role), a streetwise New York City private eye who is as tough with criminals as he is tender with his lovers. After Shaft is recruited to rescue the kidnapped daughter of a Harlem mob boss (Moses Gunn) from Italian gangsters, he finds himself in the middle of a rapidly escalating uptown vs. downtown turf war. A vivid time capsule of seventies Manhattan in all its gritty glory that has inspired sequels and multimedia reboots galore, the original Shaft is studded with indelible elements—from Roundtree’s sleek leather fashions to the iconic funk and soul score by Isaac Hayes.”