I’ve seen 67 films this year and have written about 1 of them. Lets see if I can catch up

1: From Paris With Love (On TV)
From Paris With LoveWho’d have thought, when John Woo made Face/Off, that the fortunes of its two stars Cage & Travolta would be so intertwined. Travolta is a man whose career would be ruled unsafe as a rollercoaster even in a country where they hadn’t heard of health and safety legislation. And in another of his periodic (and we often wish permanent) lulls the world’s second most famous Scientologist rolled up in last years From Paris With Love. In a part where he was clearly the second choice after Nic Cage.

The role is of a loose cannon US spy, who breaks all the rules in a business notable for a lack of rules, with a garrulous charm that makes you love him even though he is a dick ALL OF THE TIME. Actually, Travolta seems unable to tap any of his old garrulous charm and so instead just plays him as a dick all of the time. It is possible Cage could have bought some of his reliably crazy shit to humanise this dick. Instead we see him take a oddly cast Jonathon Rhys-Myers (a wimpy US embassy staffer who wants to be a spy) on a trip killing stereotypes around Paris. For this is from the Luc Besson stable of English language action movies with a French sensibility: ie You can be a bit more racist in them and you can portray Americans as dicks cos, well to the French, they are. I know its just characterisation but then so is Travolta ordering a Royale With Cheese which is not so much an homage but a honking great sign that you’ve already watched too much of this movie.

Reasons to watch: You like these kind of Besson Yankspolitation movies, you wondered what happened to Travolta’s prosthetic head from Battlefield Earth (its here on his prosthetic fat body), you want to hear Travolta say Royale With Cheese one more time before you (or he) dies.

Its not such a dumb idea though, replacing Nic Cage with Travolta. They both played the same characters in Face/Off after all and maybe it wasn’t just their awesome acting that made it work so well. Maybe they are the same person in widely different physiques. Travolta has been trying to riff on a loose cannon craziness for quite some time in bad guy roles as lousy as The Taking Of Pelham 123(2) and Swordfish (he shoots a henchman). {erhaps Travolta has noticed that Cage seems to be loosing the heart for some of his usual craziness. I have seen two Nic Cage films already this year, Season Of The Witch and

2: Drive Angry 3D (In The Movies in Rubbish 3D)

Drive AngryAnd Cage is disappointingly restrained in this stab at a carsploitation movie. And here is a reason why you shouldn’t make a 3D carsploitation movie. Your 3D cameras are big, bulky and expensive, making it much harder to do much in the way of awesome stunts with camera in car. Also a moving 3D viewpoint is a bit confusing. Luckily whilst the 3D camera might be spinning all over the place, Cage provides a resolutely solid, some say wooden, central performance. Failing to be effortlessly cool in a hopelessly different way to Travolta, he is still watchable (his co-star Amber Heard possible tries to hard to do all the heavy lifting). But as a bat out of hell, Cage gets to battle a rubbish Satanist, an accountant and have sex with someone during a gun battle. Which would be interesting if it hadn’t already been done by Clive Owen and Monica Bellucci in Shoot ‘Em Up.

See: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zT_AnNk56wE&feature=related

Reasons To Watch: Its 3D and cars, odd David Morse cameo, You haven’t seen Shoot Em’ Up and want to watch a gun battle while someone has sex, you want to see if the title is ever justified (it isn’t).