Tag Archives: nicholas cage

And Recently… My Life 03 MAY 2012

I guess our quota of public holidays are pretty much up for now, but damn, what a good run it has been. I’m not sure I even remember what a five day work week is any more! As it happens, next week will also be a four day work week for me, seeing as my birthday falls on Friday the 11th and we get off on our birthdays.

Lucky!! Seriously though, I am turning 32. 32?!? (Wow, it really is downhill after you turn 30!)

In addition to the short work weeks we’ve been enjoying, I haven’t set foot in the Westlake Touchwork office since last Wednesday – we’re moving office to new premises (still in the Westlake Business Park though), and without Internet set up yet, it doesn’t make sense for me to make the trip in, so have been instructed to rather stay and work from home. Again, lucky! (And a heap saved on petrol to boot!).

Anyway, seriously looking forward to this coming weekend though – We’ve (and by we I mean Evan) have organised a big 12 man expedition to Cape Gate Ster Kinekor on Saturday evening in order to watch Avengers – and from everything I’ve been seeing on the ‘Net, I’m in for a slice of awesome comic book movie goodness!

Which kind of reminds me that I haven’t really been filling you guys in as to what has been happening with the Lotter family over the last while. So a quick recap then. Two weekends ago (outside of all the Young Justice viewing and FIFA season mode gaming I’ve been keeping myself occupied with inbetween), Chantelle and her mom put together another successful market showing at the Willowbridge Slow Market – despite the gloomy weekend weather. During that time Jessica and I also made the trip through to Bellville first to pay a visit to Mom and Dad for a bit of grandparents and toddler time, followed by a stop in to check out Ryan’s awesome new kitchen (and grab more viewing material).

After jump-starting a woman’s car before leaving Willowbridge at the end of the afternoon, Chantelle and I capped the Saturday off by leaving Jess in Ouma and Oupa’s care, and heading out to Cape Gate, first for supper at the Spur, followed by a viewing of the harrowing but cinematically excellent Liam Neeson plane crash/blizzard/wolf survival film, “The Grey”.

Back at the Montgomery Stronghold, Jessica unfortunately didn’t have a good night, meaning a lot of awake time for the two of us, though luckily for us this didn’t continue on into Sunday, where a surprisingly enjoyable Nicholas Cage movie, “Sorcerer’s Apprentice”, scuppered our plans of going out to feed the ducks in the morning. Robert was in charge of producing the excellent steak lunch which we enjoyed with the Montgomery Clan, which was followed up by a fun game of darts with Monty and Cheryl, with Chantelle and I losing both games played – though to be fair, the first game ended rather abruptly, with Cheryl’s first throw netting a Shanghai to take the unexpected win!

Of course, all of the above means that last weekend was a Chantelle on duty weekend, and outside a lot of FIFA and looking after Jessica while Chantelle was at work, I didn’t get up to all that much. However, Saturday did feature a nice interlude in that my folks came over for an afternoon home-made pizza lunch and visit (complemented by an awesome stroll around the Strand duck pond feeding all the ducks), whilst Sunday yielded an evening trip through to Bellville to drop Jessic off with the Montgomery clan – for looking after on Monday’s public holiday when the creche would be closed and both Chantelle and I would be at work in case you were wondering.

In amongst all of this, Chantelle has been producing fantabulous cakes for various orders that have streamed in, including two Barney the Dinosaur-themed cakes as well as a gloriously decadent chocolate birthday cake for Louise. And then of course there is all the preparation baking for this weekend’s market that has been going on behind the scenes…

And me? All I’ve managed to do is finally get around to sorting out and tidying up the office! Anyway, that should just about cover everything we’ve been getting up to the last while, and yes, just in case you were wondering about this as well, Jessica continues to get cuter with each and every passing day! :)

National Treasure: Book of Secrets My Reviews 02 FEB 2008

National Treasure 2In 2004 we were introduced to the highly successful National Treasure, directed by Jon Turteltaub, produced by Jerry Bruckheimer and starring Nicholas Cage in the lead role. Of course, seeing as this movie made such a killing at the box office and Mr Bruckheimer loves dealing in franchises with maximum revenue, we were destined for a follow-up, which is exactly what we got this year with National Treasure: Book of Secrets.

Again directed by Jon Turteltaub (whom I first discovered through the hilarious Cool Runnings featuring Jamaica’s first ever bobsleigh team) and pretty much starring the whole original cast of Nicolas Cage, Justin Bartha, Diane Kruger and Jon Voight, it also adds some new heavyweight acting clout in the form of Helen Mirren, Ed Harris, Harvey Keitel and Bruce Greenwood. It plays off in a pretty similar fashion to what the first one did, basically leading the team on a wild goose chase around the world while uncovering and solving various clues all in order to find some or other treasure which has some or other significance to the main character. Simple, predictable and highly enjoyable.

The story of National Treasure: Book of Secrets starts off by revealing that things didn’t turn out all that rosy after the first movie. Famed treasure hunter Ben Gates has been kicked out of the house by Abigail Chase while Riley Poole has written a book but is pretty much sitting in debt after a visit from the IRS and some creative accounting.

The real story however only starts once a certain Mr. Mitch Wilkinson comes forward with some compelling evidence that implicates Ben’s great grandfather in the assassination of President Lincoln. Determined to clear his great grandfather’s good name, Ben embarks upon a quest to solve the riddle contained in the evidence and in so doing will be led down a wild adventure that will see him breaking into Buckingham Palace, kidnapping the President of the United States and even locating the famed lost City of Gold.

The story feels very, very similar to that of the first movie, so if you enjoyed National Treasure the first time around, you will more than likely find this incarnation just as thrilling. We get treated to a lot of clever and well-researched writing in the form of the various clues and puzzles that need to be solved and at the same time get to witness some great action sequences and well as some tense and dramatic – moments towards the end of the movie. Of course, all this is slathered in a good dose of humour and one-liners, more often than not delivered by the comic relief, Riley.

The script takes us to a number of locations, including England, France and the United States and this is partly what made the first movie such a success. By not restricting the action and puzzle hunting to just one locale keeps the audience interested and entertained. However, it was a little disconcerting to see how the movie treated the French and English cultures, but then again, I guess I shouldn’t expect anything less from an American made movie.

This is a big budget movie and you can see it in the various special effects, stages and props throughout the movie. The actors as well are just about all heavy-hitters in Hollywood and the acting quality shines through. These are believable characters which you can quickly follow and support, even though the movie never treads down an overly dramatic or emotional path except perhaps towards the end of the movie.

The composer for the movie is South African born Trevor Charles Rabin probably best known as a guitarist and songwriter for the British progressive rock band Yes and since then as his prolific work as a film composer. The soundtrack for the movie is well written and suits the movie well, though it tends to stay in the background and never threatens to overpower or impose on the tone being set during any one of the scenes.

Interestingly enough, while the original National Treasure seemed to pretty much end in a fashion that indicated that this was going to be a once off shot, National Treasure: Book of Secrets deliberately sets us up for a follow-up movie and we can be pretty sure that Mr. Cage and the rest of the gang will be turning up for another treasure hunt sometime in the future. I just hope that next time around they might mess with the now tried and tested formula just a little bit!

National Treasure: Book of Secrets is as good as the first movie (probably because it is almost exactly like the first one!) and won’t fail to entertain any fans of the original. It is a dose of high adventure with tons of great puzzles and action sequences that will keep you awake and watching for its entire duration, even if it does begin to feel a little stretched out towards the end. Even if it isn’t a particularly emotional rewarding movie to watch, it is a great popcorn action flick and probably shouldn’t be missed.

National Treasure 21 National Treasure 22 National Treasure 23
Related Link: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0465234/

Ghost Rider My Reviews 10 APR 2007

ghost riderSo we decided to give Ghost Rider a shot over the weekend. Now, I’ve always been a fan of the comic, especially when Salvador Laroca was doing the pencils on the book. So when Marvel’s latest comic book hero to film star landed on our shores, I pretty much had to go see what they’ve done with the old chap.

Now not being one of Nicholas Cages greatest fans ever, I was already cringing at the fact that I’d have to be seeing old Snake Eyes in all the non-CG shots. That said, I was pleasantly surprised how well Cage pulled this one off. I genuinely enjoyed his portrayal of old flame head. He was goofy, he was serious, and he was fairly likeable, all rolled into one. Eva Mendes made an appearance as the love affair in the movie, and though I don’t know too much about her, I cant really say bad things about her. And although it isn’t necessarily a bad thing for her fans, I really do wonder if she knows how to do up the top button on any one of her outfits.

Live action aside, this movie was always going to be made or broken on the strength of its CG scenes. And in this regard it didn’t disappoint. The CG was pretty awesome. Very nice overlays, backgrounds and special effects make Ghost Rider a feast on the eyes. Super-powered villains, hot bikes and whipping chains all look and feel good in this one. The soundtrack was okay. Probably. I can’t say it really stuck in my head so I can’t really remember if it was any good at all.

All this praise aside though, the movie really comes out feeling ordinary. I cant really talk badly about it, nor can I rave about it. It was a perfectly ordinary (some would say boring) super hero yarn. A definite must for fans of the character, but for most people this is one movie they can safely skip over.