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|Index||25 reviews in total|
This movie sashays between an attempt at modern noir, an homage to film
noir, and a parody of film noir.
I like Michael Biehn, but unfortunately his voice-over narration comes off rather flat. Some of the noir dialogue just falls on the floor and lies there -- I had to rewind to believe that I actually heard the line: "That was the thing that would send me into the darkness, squinting at clues."
Nick Cage's character is certainly a standout. I think the excesses of the character are supposed to be funny. However, Cage not only takes Eddie over the top but down the other side -- he chews up the scenery, digests it, and poops it out right there in front of you. For some reason he seems to think the character should always be on the edge of having a seizure. The cumulative effect for me is to flinch from the thought of ever again seeing him in a film. Really. Like aversion therapy. Say "Nick Cage" and I will think of him drooling and choose another film.
And the film suddenly veers off into an Italian James Bond rip-off! I thought for a moment they had gotten reels mixed up with another movie... In a stylish secret lair (behind a billiard parlor) we meet Angus Scrimm (the Tall Man from "Phantasm") as "Dr. Lyme", the man obsessed with diamonds. Crystals are everywhere, his female henchmen are decked out in big blobby crystal jewelry, the furniture is designed with crystalline angles. He comes complete with a Dr. No suit, a Sidney Greenstreet growl, and -- get this! -- a metal arm with a sharp shiny lobster-claw hand! No fooling. My jaw dropped. At least he wasn't stroking a cat.
Throw in Charlie Sheen as a suave pool hustler, and Mickey Dolenz and Clarence Williams III (!) as sidekicks, and you have quite a stew. Peter Fonda looks like he is thinking about his shopping list. James Coburn (the primary reason I picked up the film) definitely classes things up, but we don't see enough of him.
This film isn't quite a train wreck, but it is something of a demolition derby. Between a bus, a sportscar, a taxi, and a motorcycle. And a kid on a tricycle.
I'm going to hang onto it for a while, just to share Angus Scrimm's scene with people. And to prove I didn't dream it.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
The answer is that the film just looks so cheap! It's tacky! The finale 'shoot-outs' are awful, accompanied by some very bad extra's. Biehn was perfectly suitable in the role, it is a shame that he had such a bad character, with bad dialogue. Nicolas Cage is terrible as Eddie, he is nearly inaudible! James Coburn is great, and has a genuine chemistry with Michael Biehn. The ever-reliable Charlie Sheen is once again reunited with Biehn, the pair had built up a good rapport filming Navy Seals. But the film is just really bad, and I was so disappointed. Sarah Trigger (who?) is ok, but nothing special. The action lets it down, as it's too cheap. The music is terrible, really tacky. This is an ever-popular concept, which games like Grand Theft Auto have excelled in, but this film just wasn't good. The money must have been spent on the cast. This was the first 'deadfall' in Biehn's career, luckily he was still cast in Tombstone later that year. You can't blame him for this movie, "Hey Mike, we're going to put you in the starring role of a movie by Coppola, with Nicolas Cage, Talia Shire, James Coburn, Charlie Sheen, oh and Peter Fonda as your support cast." You'd be silly to have turned it down. Disappointing.
OK lets cut to the chase about this movie: the only people who should ever watch this movie are die hard Nicolas Cage fans. Everybody else will be bored out of their minds at this film. Micheal Bein turns in the most lackluster lead hero performance I have seen in years. The talents of both James Coburn and Peter Fonda are wasted in this movie. The only reason that anybody would want to watch this movie is to see Nicolas Cage screaming at the top of his lungs. Howver, all the best Cage scenes are already available online so it is basically a waste of time to track down a copy as Cage is only in about 30 minutes out of the movies 90 minute run time. However, the 30 minutes he is in the movie include some of the most quotable lines in Nic Cage history. The rest of the movie is watching the former Kyle Resse sleepwalking through a modern day film noir movie alongside James Coburn who honestly looks ashamed to be in this movie. Peter Fonda makes a brief cameo that is so short that if you blink you might possibly miss it. In short, check out the scenes with Cage being awesome and let the rest of the movie die off into obsurity.
DEADFALL (R) - Vidmark Video (Original 1994 VHS distributor):
You'd think a cast of pro actors (Michael Biehn, Nicholas Cage, Sarah Trigger, Peter Fonda, James Coburn, Mickey Dolenz, Clarence Williams III, Charlie Sheen, Rene Estevez and PHANTASM heavy Angus Scrimm), and a famous daddy to guide him, Christopher Coppola (sone of Francis and director of the better-forgotten 1985 opus DRACULA'S WIDOW) would have no trouble pulling off a neat little GRIFTERS-style caper flick. Instead, he's pulled abominably inconsistent performances out of many in the cast (Cage is cosmically unrestrained) and proven himself one of the most talentless, non-descript son-of-a-directors ever to sit behind a camera. I give it a 1.
Watching this movie was a surreal experience to say the least, not even close to David Lynch's surrealism in movies but it all strangely works. The Directing is non existent, the dialogue is a homage to film noir while being a parody to film noir, the acting ranges from flat, to decent, to so over the top you wonder if the director was even on set, or anyone for that matter and the story is held together with duct tape and glue and implodes at the films unbelievable grand finale. I get this movie is garbage and the only reason anyone would see it is for a memorable Nicolas Cage performance but somehow and I'm not sure how but apart from the lifeless narration, the tacky villain towards the end who looks like a James Bond reject and the ending that makes no sense it just kinda works. Apart from the action scenes the cinematography is descent, the music while a bit cheesy makes the movie more eerie, the acting from all the main cast is good, and the cons where we'll done as well. While watching it I did want to know what was going to happen next and where it was going even if the ending was garbage and the dialogue while goofy at times just kinda comes together to give this strange little movie that's full of suspense just acting much as it is full of laughs I'd it's worth a watch at least once whether you're a Nick Cage nut or just interested in a strange little movies it's worth checking out to make you're own opinion about it.
This movie is a must see simply because it is so horrible. Just poor film making with an even poorer script performed by a good cast. It was recommended by a friend (as a great bad movie) and we were near tears from laughter as a continuous parade of well-knowns spit out one cheesy line after another.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
In his autobiography, "Wide-Eyed in Babylon", Ray Milland told about
witnessing a performance by Charles Laughton while co-starring with him
in "Payment Deferred".
First Laughton rolled his eyes until only the whites showed. Then his lips twitched and quivered, and then he began to slobber. This went on until Milland was convinced Laughton was having an epileptic fit. Finally the director called, "Cut."
Milland discreetly asked the director whether he considered what he had just witnessed to be fine acting. The director assured him that it wasn't, simply sheer self-indulgence, but that Milland shouldn't start feeling superior because he would be doing it himself if he lasted that long. The director considered it an occupational disease with most actors.
This goes a long way towards explaining Nicholas Cage's performance in "Deadfall".
The film is about con men, involving the same con that was the basis of "The Sting". "Deadfall", made in 1993, predates 2003's "Confidence" in 'paying homage' to that great movie.
Joe Dolan, played by Michael Biehn is involved in a sting that goes wrong when he accidentally shoots and kills his father, Mike Dolan. With his dying words, Mike sends his son to find his Uncle Lou. Mike and Lou are both played by James Coburn.
Lou decides to bring Joe in on a life fulfilling "long" con and teams him up with Eddie, his right-hand man.
Eddie, played by Nicholas Cage, becomes stressed by Joe's presence and this leads to increasingly excessive behaviour. Cage's performance is startling. To portray Eddie's anger management issues, Cage must have felt that tantrums along the lines of a child experiencing the terrible twos would be about right. After a fight with his girlfriend, Cage lays on a bed kicking and screaming. Cage also adopted a false nose for the role as though he knew he was going to cut loose and possibly felt he needed a little anonymity.
One is forced to ask if the director, Christopher Copolla, had any control over Cage at all? The answer could lie in the fact that Nicholas Cage is Christopher Copolla's brother his little bro' in fact.
Joe becomes involved in his uncle's scam. The mark is one Dr. Lyme, who has a taste for beautiful diamonds. Distractingly, the doctor wears an artificial hand that features a large pair of scissors not unlike Edward Scissorhands' in hedge trimming mode. This arresting prosthesis gives his character a cartoonish quality just another odd element in a movie that lacks a consistent style.
The scam goes down, and the movie ends with a series of twists that are too contrived to create much impact. "Deadfall" is unbalanced by some extreme characterisations, and is so derivative that there is not much originality left in the film other than Nicholas Cage's performance that is.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
There is so much true 1940's film noir feel underlying the slightly desaturated color; the ending especially. I would go so far as to say this is a Neo-Noir film due to the weaving of twisting of the characters lunacy, namely Eddy, Played by Nicholas Cage. Richard Widmark has played some wild, out of control villains, who moved from one thought so dangerously that were hinging off of the edge of your seat and his just to see what might happen next. Cage has continued to build a wonderful collection of original characters who entertain and thrill on many levels, and this film gave him the story framework to do a little glassblowing using every color in the rainbow, into very hot glass. The production design was idiomatically very thoughtful and flowed seamlessly from one scene to the next. This picture knew the importance of the location in this noirish tale as never backdrop, but character inspiring the events and interactions. I can only think how fun it must have been to introduce characters such as Dr. Lyme into the story, something a bit James Bond fantastic, but hey, I've seen some freakish dudes in the East Bronx who did business with his, uh, cutting precision. Sarah Trigger and Michael Biehn had good chemistry, and maybe bee more flirtatious with the lens, they played so pretty I almost wanted to remind how seamy the other characters around them were. Wonderful to hear Talia Shire's beautiful voice up close, something you don't get to do too often...James Coburn turned in a stellar menacing performance, Peter Fonda, nice cameo flavor...Charlie Sheen brought the smooth and delivered it well in the most fitting red velvet smoking jacket. Smoking Jackets - Merry go Rounds - a death scene that surpasses the Coen bros wood chipper in Fargo A FRYOLATOR - I'll recover, these are the sights that will meld in a haze of twirling smoke for me. But I like to sum things up with this line from Joe in a classic Sam Spade moment, realizing the greatest con of all..."That photo was the hook that sent me deeper into the shadows, squinting for the truth". Watch it to find out! P.S. looking for more cult coverage here.
Gawd, this movie sucks! The only reason worth watching it is Nicolas Cage. THE most over-acting performance I have yet seen in a film, EVER! What was he on?
There is only one great thing about this movie, but this makes it all
watching: Nicolas Cage as Eddie!
This is truly his ultimate character. When you see Cage in action, you
truly realize that he is the greatest and coolest actor EVER. The way he
affects the film by just being there is just so impressive.
Still, the plot is nothing special, and the rest of the cast is only fair.
(This is no reason to avoid it)
Deadfall proves that Cage handles more than blockbusters like Face/Off,
Rock and City of Angels, movies that most people associate him
So if you are a true Cage-fan, DO NOT MISS DEADFALL!!! Also check out "Vampire`s Kiss" and "Raising Arizona".
Both AWESOME examples of the Movie Phenomenon Nicolas Cage.
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