"We are different here." Policeman Edward Malus
does not yet know just how terrifyingly different the people
of Summersisle are but he is soon to find out. He has come
to the private island to find a missing child. And each step
of his search draws him deeper into a web of pagan ritual
and deadly deceit- and closer to THE WICKER MAN.
Nicolas Cage plays Malus, Ellen Burstyn portrays the eerie
matriarch Sister Summersisle and Neil Labute writes and directs
this gripping tale of unspeakable horror - a remake of the
1973 cult classic. Weary, wary and increasingly on the edge,
Malus faces a defiant, unfamiliar world where his badge and
gun mean nothing...and his presence means everything. It is
the Day of Death and Rebirth on Summersisle. No one can escape.
If I could
meet Nicolas Cage in person, one thing I would like to ask
the actor is why he always appears so grave and serious –
lighten up, dude! But that’s besides the point here,
other than the fact that I’ve just watched Cage in another
drearily sullen performance that does not make my already
unhappy day any happier. It doesn’t help that he is
starring in a Hollywood remake of a very iconic 1973 cult
classic of the same name, which explored themes of religion
a sheriff who goes to a remote island to investigate the mystery
of his ex-fiancé’s missing daughter (no, it’s
not his daughter, but it’s still nice of him to care).
Terrifying secrets await him on the creepy island where the
women address each other as “sisters” and everyone
is dressed in fashionably-wrong clothes that you won’t
want to be caught dead in.
the 1973 original directed by Robin Hardy is a film with one
of the most chilling pictures ever made, and features one
of movie history’s greatest plot twists. Alas, when
the movie studio decided to sign on Neil LaBute (Nurse Betty,
Possession) to helm this “re-imagining” of the
cult classic, it did not expect critics everywhere to pan
the movie this badly.
movie plays out blandly with Cage running all around the island
shouting at anyone whom he thinks is suspicious. One sequence
where he hysterically runs into a classroom full of girls
discussing about, hold your breath, phallic symbols, had me
rolling in laughter. I don’t think that was the intention
of the director, though.
that the movie also stars reliable actresses like Ellen Burstyn
(Requiem for a Dream, The Fountain) and Leelee Sobieski (Eyes
Wide Shut, The Glass House), their presence is ultimately
wasted. Who can take Burstyn seriously when her face is painted
in blue and white while she commands a horde of angry women
on the island? Who can find Sobieski attractive when she spouts
badly-written lines like “When you leave the island,
take me with you”?
be fair, the cinematography by Paul Sorossy (Where the Truth
Lies) offers some nice camerawork and the music score by Angelo
Badalamenti (Dark Water) captures the somber mood of the movie.
Otherwise, I remain puzzled why I’ve never been entertained
by Cage’s performance. Oh, there was a moment when Cage
donned a bear suit and marched around the island. That made
me chuckle a bit.
SPECIAL FEATURES :
This Code 3 DVD contains a “Shocking
Alternate Ending” featuring James “Green
Goblin” Franco which isn’t that shocking in my
opinion. There is also a Commentary where
the director gathers co-stars Sobieski and Kate Beahan, editor
Joel Plotch and costume designer Lynette Meyer to talk about
mundane stuff like how they named the sisters on the island
after all things associated with nature, and how a five-minute
opening sequence involved editing from two hours worth of
footage. An obligatory Theatrical Trailer
is also included in the disc.
The disc’s visual transfer of the movie is clear and
pristine, but not enough to save the movie from being panned.
It is presented in English Dolby Digital 5.1.
by John Li