ask someone else to tell you why…
Since my cat is cutely asleep right next to me, I will need to review The Frozen Ground without looking at the notes I took (and left in my bag in the living room!) during the screening. Do forgive me for not giving you the full image of what I experienced and take my word when I say that even without notes, I will do everything in my power to make this review more enjoyable than the film itself. So after magically managing to produce 75 words without mentioning the name of Cage, I will now proceed to describe how disappointing his new film was to me. Why so? Because there’s no Cage~Rage in The Frozen Ground.
The Frozen Ground boldly compares itself to another thriller that came out so long ago I don’t even care to check. The thriller in question is Se7evn and if you somehow managed to live your life without seeing it, The Frozen Ground release is a great opportunity to do so. You can then say that you spent your weekend watching one of the best thrillers ever made and saved yourself 13 pounds, or however much it costs these days to have the doubtful pleasure of watching big corporations steal money from the audience’s pockets. Frozen Ground is nothing like se7en. Of course it does satisfy all the requirements of the genre, but the main issue lies in its inability to show the horrors of the true story it is based on. First time in the history of Midnight Review, allow me to put some light on what exactly Frozen Ground is about (and it is not due to the fact that I have no idea what to write about since this film is so…average):
The Frozen Ground, according to my little memories of the film, tells a story of Nicolas Cage who, after encountering Vanessa Hudges- the only survived victim, goes on hunt of one of the most disturbing prostitute killers in the 80s portrayed by another obnoxious actor, John Cusack. The film time is divided more or less equally between all three characters showing us their actions, but rarely any motifs behind them. So yes, the crimes are disturbing but not because they are portrayed with necessary tension and power, but because as human beings we have the ability to feel empathy. The film strongly relies on the audience’s imagination in hope that it will do the whole work. Instead, the filmmaker’s lack of analysis of the murderer’s personality and the psychological impacts the crimes committed had on all three characters, results in the bland and even boring at times movie. Nicolas Cage, who was the reason why I waited for this film with the excitement of six year old opening her Christmas presents, doesn’t get the opportunity to show off his amazing skills. He does what he’s been recently doing in all these fake Taken movies (Trespass, Stolen, some other one word films), and unfortunately contributes to The Frozen Ground’s utter borefest.
Apart from being boring, The Frozen Ground is pretty basic, but doesn’t fall below average in its genre. It’s well paced, interesting enough to hold the audience’s attention for about 90 minutes and tells a story that can be made into something better. Overall, one to miss when it comes out in cinemas, but might be seen when reaches DVD stands.
The East is coming out tomorrow and although I already saw it few weeks ago at one of these quite prestigious press events, I still didn’t find time to write a proper review of it. Since my memory is bad and I remember only the things I want to remember, the promised proper review might not come at all, because The East is as memorable as yesterday’s breakfast. Don’t get me wrong- it isn’t a bad film, but with all the potential it has, it could do so much more than it actually did. It managed to hide from my angry rant but it never persuaded me enough to even describe a story it tells to a familiar face. I don’t want you to avoid The East though- it has strong moments, interesting message and does justice to fashionable ecologic battle. Balancing between thought provoking and naively idealistic, The East however, is pretty bland. It promises a revolutionary approach to often misunderstood topics and instead it offers a radical, but quite silly and childish view on the everyday social and economic processes. It raises both the topics of big concerns’ corruption and small cults’ mechanisms, however, it never gives either of them enough analysis to derive a unique or surprising message. So if you are still interested in seeing The East, I’ll give you my blessing since it doesn’t hurt sitting though it, however, if this kind of bland review of a kind of bland movie didn’t persuade you to pay 13 pounds, here are some ideas of how else you can spend your free time:
1. Watch something similar in form and content, but actually something good like
2. Take a walk, it’s probably more thought-provoking than this idealistic ecological rant
3. Have an organic dinner- still better food for thought than The East
4. Start a cult ’cause the biggest money is in belief
5. See something amazing like Before Midnight- if you saw it, see it again