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Raging Fire | NYAFF 2021 Review

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Raging Fire had all the necessary pieces to be an incredible action film up there with some of the greats. It’s directed by the late Benny Chan and stars both Donnie Yen and Nicholas Tse. Despite being almost 60 years old, Donnie Yen can still kick ass as can be seen by his work in the Ip Man quadrilogy as well as Rogue One and many others. Add in Nicholas Tse as well, best known for starring alongside Jackie Chan in New Police Story (also directed by Benny Chan), and you should have a great movie on your hands. But despite having all the right components, Raging Fire struggles to live up to its potential and ends up being a rather generic cops and robbers movie despite phenomenal action sequences.

Raging Fire is the final film from legendary director Benny Chan that was still in post production when he sadly passed away in August 2020. The Hong Kong-Chinese action film which received its international premiere as the centrepiece of this year’s New York Asian Film Festival stars Donnie Yen as Shan, the honest cop whose past comes back to haunt in.

The plot is fairly basic as by-the-books cop Shan, who’s got a long history of success is up against his ex-protégé Ngo (played by Nicholas Tse) who’s turned into a criminal mastermind since going to prison and is out for revenge. Ngo was a great police officer that used to be close with Shan but is now taking desperate measures in the name of the truth. A sting operation goes wrong when Ngo’s mysterious team of criminals attack and Chan must put a stop to him.

But where the plot is fairly simple and generic, Raging Fire more than makes up for in its incredible action scenes. The action is phenomenal with sweeping camera movements highlighting the incredible choreography.  The film truly delivers in providing so much firepower, gunfights, car chases and explosions that will really sweep you away and leave you in awe. There’s a shootout in the streets towards the end of the film that feels very reminiscent of the famous shootout scene from Michael Mann’s 1995 classic Heat starring Robert De Niro and Al Pacino. The action sequences in Raging Fire really are superb and it’s worth watching the film just to see Chan’s impeccable action but unfortunately there isn’t much else in Raging Fire worthy of such high praise.

It’s a run of the mill police story with very thin characters that don’t add anything to the well-trodden genre. When you’re in-between action scenes you’re stuck in rather boring police stations with basic dialogue to tire you out, waiting for the next shoot out or the next car chase to happen.

Despite being rather generic and not adding anything too exciting in terms of characters, plot or themes to the police story, Raging Fire boasts very impressive action scenes up there with some of the all-time greats making it worth a watch for the action movie aficionado.

Raging Fire had its international premiere as the centrepiece of NYAFF.

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The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent Review | A Meta Lucid-Trip

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Nicholas Cage stars as Nick Cage in the action-comedy The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent. Creatively unfulfilled and facing financial ruin, the fictionalised version of Cage must accept a $1 Million offer to attend the birthday of a dangerous superfan (Pedro Pascal). Things take a wildly unexpected turn when Cage is recruited by a CIA operative (Tiffany Haddish) and forced to live up to his own legend, channelling his most iconic and beloved on-screen characters in order to save himself and his loved ones. With a career built for this very moment, the seminal award-winning actor must take on the role of a lifetime: Nick Cage.

‘Nicolas Cage’ (Nicolas Cage) greets ‘Javi Gutierrez’ with a ‘Palm Hold Fist’ salute as he arrives in Mallorca, Spain. Photo Credit: Katalin Vermes/Lionsgate

From filmmakers, Tom Gormican and Kevin Etten, The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent is a sincere, authentic, and hilarious love letter to Nicholas Cage. It’s also an absolute hoot and delightfully bonkers as we take a rollercoaster ride through his iconic filmography. Full of quirky and heartfelt moments, the film showcases the most uncaged performance from the man himself as, after all, it’s the role he was born to play.

Nicholas Cage is nothing less than a screen legend whose iconic pictures include The Rock, Face/Off, Con Air, Moonstruck, Honeymoon in Vegas, and Academy Awarding winning turn in Leaving Las Vegas. The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent builds upon that renowned work and twists and turns it with an imagined “Nick Cage”. He’s able to do any genre from romantic comedies, avant-garde films like Mandy and Wild at Heart, and big tentpole franchises such as National Treasure.

The film is a homage to his body of work and the genres that he’s worked in. He’s a man known for taking risks early in his career that paid off handsomely but in the later years, he’s taken to independent film work some heading straight to streaming. Mandy, Joe, Prisoners of Ghostland and Pig are among my favourites. Each is interesting ranging from unusual to insane.

In the movie “Nick Cage” is a fictionalised version of the star, imagined as a once-highly respected actor who has fallen on hard times and is craving a return to box office glory and prestige. But his waning career is only one of his problems. The faux Cage’s megalomania has poisoned his relationships with his ex-wife Olivia (Sharon Horgan) and daughter Addy (Lily Sheen), unfortunately, though he can’t see it as the fictional Cage is feeling unfulfilled and rejected. This is in contrast with the real Nicholas Cage who recently received his best reviews for his performance in Pig

Photo Credit: Katalin Vermes/Lionsgate

Nick becomes frustrated and a little unhinged, when he loses out on a role that he’s desperate to inhabit so when his smarmy agent played by Neil Patrick Harris extends him a lifeline with an offer to attend a birthday party for a cool payday of one million dollars, Nick despite his instincts reluctantly agrees, and hops on a plane to meet the birthday boy/ cage superfan in picturesque Mallorca, Spain.

Upon arriving in Mallorca and being greeted personally by Javi, Nick is completely checked out until he discovers that he and his host have much in common and begin to bond. Both are cinephiles and share a love of everything from The Cabinet of Dr Caligari to Paddington 2.

That’s not all they have in common. The wealthy man is just as neurotic as his guest of honour and they both find themselves looking for inspiration from the actor’s famously bold audacious characters.

The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent is an intriguing change of pace for Pascal, he inhabits the role of Javi, but as neurotic as he is the character turns out to be an international arms dealer and crime boss. Both Cage and Pascal have incredible chemistry together and truly form a bromance. They are so much fun together and unapologetic about their shared admiration. It is infectious.

Javi Gutierrez’ (Pedro Pascal, left) and ‘Nicolas Cage’ (Nicolas Cage, right) zooming through the mountains of Mallorca, Spain. Photo Credit: Katalin Vermes/Lionsgate

VERDICT

The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent was such a hoot & delightfully BONKERS!! a rollercoaster ride through Cage’s iconic filmography & full of quirky & heartfelt moments The most uncaged performance was suave in this meta lucid trip.

 

 

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Eraser: Reborn | Official Trailer

It is based on U.S. Marshal Mason Pollard who is specialized in engineering the fake deaths of witnesses that leaves no trace of their existence.

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Genre:

Action

Release Date:

VOD: March 31, 2022

Director:

John Pogue

Cast:

Dominic Sherwood, McKinley Belcher III, Mampho Brescia

Plot Summary:

It is based on U.S. Marshal Mason Pollard who is specialized in engineering the fake deaths of witnesses that leaves no trace of their existence.

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Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore – New Teaser Trailer

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You are invited back into the Magic! as Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore, audiences will be taken back into the familiar and immersive world of magic, fun and excitement, featuring even more compelling and unique magical beasts in an all-new story that truly expands the iconic Wizarding World in surprising and unexpected ways.

Synopsis

Professor Albus Dumbledore (Jude Law) knows the powerful Dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald (Mads Mikkelsen) is moving to seize control of the wizarding world. Unable to stop him alone, he entrusts Magizoologist Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne) to lead an intrepid team of wizards, witches and one brave Muggle baker on a dangerous mission, where they encounter old and new beasts and clash with Grindelwald’s growing legion of followers. But with the stakes so high, how long can Dumbledore remain on the sidelines?

Image via Warner Bros

Dive into the complex, high-stakes relationship between Grindelwald and Dumbledore and unlock the story of these two legendary wizards.And for the first time, audiences will get an inside look at the complicated and enigmatic Dumbledore.

The film is also the ultimate wizard heist as what follows in The Secrets of Dumbledore is an action-packed cat-and-mouse game of secretive plans, mysteries and fun twists and turns. Our unlikely heroes – Newt, Jacob, Kama, Lally, Bunty and Theseus are brought together by Dumbledore in an attempt to defeat Grindelwald.

From the teaser trailer it looks like this film will be magical on the big screen as it’s a richly realised expansion of the story fans have been craving, a transportive cinematic experience for all ages that features familiar connections to Harry Potter, whilst also keeping the classic Magical elements like the whimsy humour as well as the heartwarming moments and heart-stopping action.

The film features an ensemble cast led by Oscar winner Eddie Redmayne (“The Theory of Everything”), two-time Oscar nominee Jude Law (“Cold Mountain,” “The Talented Mr. Ripley”), Ezra Miller, Dan Fogler, Alison Sudol, Callum Turner, Jessica Williams, Katherine Waterston, and Mads Mikkelsen.

Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore” was directed by David Yates, from a screenplay by J.K. Rowling & Steve Kloves, based upon a screenplay by J.K. Rowling. The film was produced by David Heyman, J.K. Rowling, Steve Kloves, Lionel Wigram and Tim Lewis. Neil Blair, Danny Cohen, Josh Berger, Courtenay Valenti and Michael Sharp served as executive producers.

Warner Bros. Pictures’ “Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore” is the newest adventure in the Wizarding World™ created by J.K. Rowling.

Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore will be released in cinemas across the UK & Ireland on 8 April 2022 by Warner Bros. Pictures.

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