Tag Archives: Wes Bentley

Knight of Cups (2015) Review

Time: 118 Minutes
Age Rating: 860940[1] Sex scenes, offensive language & nudity.
Cast:
Christian Bale as Rick
Cate Blanchett as Nancy
Natalie Portman as Elizabeth
Brian Dennehy as Joseph
Antonio Banderas as Tonio
Wes Bentley as Barry
Isabel Lucas as Isabel
Teresa Palmer as Karen
Imogen Poots as Della
Armin Mueller-Stahl as Fr. Zeitlinger
Freida Pinto as Helen
Cherry Jones as Ruth
Nick Offerman as Scott
Dane DeHaan as Paul
Thomas Lennon as Tom
Joel Kinnaman as Errol
Jason Clarke as Johnny
Katia Winter as Katia
Nicky Whelan as Nicky
Shea Whigham as Jim
Ryan O’Neal as Ryan
Joe Manganiello as Joe
Michael Wincott as Herb
Kevin Corrigan as Gus
Director: Terrence Malick

A writer (Christian Bale) indulging in all that Los Angeles and Las Vegas has to offer undertakes a search for love and self via a series of adventures with six different women.

full_star[1] full_star[1] full_star[1] full_star[1] full_star[1] Black-Star-Photographic-Agency[1] Black-Star-Photographic-Agency[1] Black-Star-Photographic-Agency[1] Black-Star-Photographic-Agency[1] Black-Star-Photographic-Agency[1]

I remember waiting for this movie for a long time. I wasn’t sure what I was going to think of it as Terrence Malick is a very polarising filmmaker but after watching and liking Tree of Life (which was quite unconventional as a film), I thought that I had a good chance of enjoying it. I recently watched Knight of Cups and… I really don’t know what to think of it. It is beautiful looking and it has a lot of great actors in it but otherwise it really didn’t do anything for me.

Describing the movie is hard. The basic structure of Knight of Cups is split into segments where Bale interacts with particular people. I’ve only seen 3 of Malick’s movies, Tree of Life, Badlands and now Knight of Cups and I liked the last 2. Even Tree of Life, for how unconventional it was I liked it but most of all, I could actually somewhat understand parts of it. I’m not even sure what Knight of Cups is supposed to be about, I couldn’t connect to it. So with that connection to whatever Malick is going for being gone, it takes away so much from the movie. When I’m just watching all these talented actors just internally monologing some deep poetic speech while the camera just follows them and I don’t understand what its supposed to mean, you can see how I would find it frustrating and pretentious. Don’t get me wrong, Terrence Malick no doubt had some idea of what he was filming, he wasn’t just filming nice looking stuff and calling it art. But whatever he was going for, I didn’t get it at all. The film drags consistently and constantly, at times its borderline a parody of a Terrence Malick movie with how self indulgent it is. I find it very difficult to recommend Knight of Cups to anyone, unless you are a die hard Terrence Malick fan.

There’s not really much to say in terms of acting, whereas most of the characters in a film like Tree of Life had some sort of character, from what I can tell all the characters in Knight of Cups represent ideas or something. Christian Bale here is pretty much like Sean Penn in Tree of Life, except he’s the main ‘character’ and appears from start to finish. He doesn’t really at any point become a character and just feels flat, Bale barely gets to do anything to leave an impression. Supporting actors include Cate Blanchett, Wes Bentley, Antonio Banderas, Natalie Portman and Imogen Poots and while they are good in their ‘roles’, they don’t leave too much of an impression either. Some actors involved were straight up cameos with Jason Clarke and Joe Manganiello, and supposedly Dane DeHaan and Joel Kinnamon was in it as well (I have no idea where they were though). The only performance that really stood out to a degree was Cate Blanchett but even then she’s not in the movie that long.

This movie is shot beautifully like all of Terrence Malick’s films. The locations, lighting, colouring, all of that was great and was probably one of the only things I liked in the whole film. That’s honestly is the only thing that I can guarantee you’ll think with Knight of Cups, that it looks great. The film also seemed to have a dream-like feeling to it, and the score by Hanan Townshend also played a part in that.

Having finally seen it, I can see why Knight of Cups was so divisive. I’m not entirely sure I actually like it myself. And it’s not that I don’t like Terrance Malick as a director, I liked Badlands and Tree of Life, and the latter was very unconventional. I guess I just connected a lot more with Tree of Life than Knight of Cups, which is why with KOC, it really didn’t work for me. I guess the movie is beautiful looking and that’s somewhat enough for me to call it somewhat above average but only just. If you flat out don’t like Terrance Malick’s other films, you’d probably hate Knight of Cups. I’m going to try watching Song to Song sometime soon, and I’m just hoping that Knight of Cups was the most Malick film he ever made.

Ghost Rider (2007) Review

47[1]

Ghost Rider

Time: 114 Minutes
Age Rating: 860940[1] Violence
Cast:
Nicolas Cage as Johnny Blaze/Ghost Rider
Eva Mendes as Roxanne Simpson
Peter Fonda as Mephistopheles
Wes Bentley as Blackheart
Sam Elliot as Caretaker
Director: Mark Steven Johnson

In order to save his dying father, young stunt cyclist Johnny Blaze (Nicolas Cage) sells his soul to Mephistopheles (Peter Fonda) and parts from the pure-hearted Roxanne Simpson (Eva Mendes), the love of his life. Years later, Johnny’s path crosses again with Roxanne, now a reporter, and also with Mephistopheles, who offers to release Johnny’s soul if Johnny becomes the fabled, fiery Ghost Rider, a supernatural agent of vengeance and justice. Mephistopheles charges Johnny with defeating Blackheart (Wes Bentley), Mephistopheles’s nemesis and son, who plans to displace his father and create a new hell even more terrible than the old one.

full_star[1] full_star[1] full_star[1] full_star[1] full_star[1] Black-Star-Photographic-Agency[1] Black-Star-Photographic-Agency[1] Black-Star-Photographic-Agency[1] Black-Star-Photographic-Agency[1] Black-Star-Photographic-Agency[1]

Ghost Rider has been called a terrible movie and one of the worst comic book movies and although I found some good elements in it, I don’t think it’s a good movie. The acting isn’t that special and the story isn’t interesting or anything special either. What does save it from being completely dull are the Ghost Rider scenes which are entertaining enough to warrant me calling this a guilty pleasure.

787a2d59366e467eec8dc7ff6982270c[1]

I really wasn’t that interested in the story plot and what was going on. I would’ve liked to see Ghost Rider more in the movie because his scenes are the best in the entire movie, apart from his dialogue not being written that well, mostly consists of one liners. Unfortunately, Johnny turns into the Ghost Rider for the first time 40 minutes in; he should’ve been introduced earlier. There is also a romance between Johnny and Roxanne but it just feels unnecessary, forced and not done that well. Another problem was that none of the villains seem to do many threatening things, nor did they seem to have that much power, even Peter Fonda’s character doesn’t seem to have that much power. The henchmen were even worse, only posing a threat to Ghost Rider for a little moment before being defeated. If you are planning to see Ghost Rider, don’t see it for its story as it’s not that good.

cageeva[1]

Nicolas Cage is in this movie and he’s usually most known for being very over the top in his acting, however here, he keeps it subdued, with the exception of a few scenes. Unfortunately he was a little boring and wasn’t very memorable. If Cage had more over the top moments it would at least make his performance more entertaining. Eva Mendes was okay in this movie but I didn’t find her very memorable and I didn’t personally find any chemistry between Cage and Mendes, which doesn’t help as the romance wasn’t even written well to begin with. Wes Bentley plays the villain of this movie, and is unfortunately one dimensional, so he doesn’t feel that dangerous. Peter Fonda and Sam Elliot gave the best performances in the movie, they weren’t anything that great but they were good enough.

ghost_rider_02[1]

The cinematography was okay for me. Like I said earlier, I liked watching Ghost Rider when he was on screen; something about the look of him makes it great to watch. One of the best scenes in the movie involved Ghost Rider and the song “Ghost Riders in the Sky”.

gr3[1]

Some have called Ghost Rider one of the worst comic book movies of all time; even though it’s definitely not a good movie, it’s nowhere the level of Catwoman or Batman and Robin. There are also some enjoyable moments whether it may be of Cage or the actual Ghost Rider that has made this movie a slight guilty pleasure for me. From what I’ve heard, Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance is worse; I’ll just have to take a look at it for myself. Overall, Ghost Rider is not terrible but it’s not that good either.