ARROW IN THE HEAD REVIEWS

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The Wicker Man (2006)
Written by: The Arrow
Director: Neil LaBute

Starring:
Nicolas Cage/Edward
Kate Beahan/Sister Willow
Ellen Burstyn/Sister Summersisle
Molly Parker/Sister Rose
PLOT-CRUNCH
Cop Nicolas Cage sees a kid die and then his asked by his ex gal-pal to find her missing child. He hits some island filled with YAWN Feminist/Lesbos nut-balls and tries to uncover the mystery by breaking into people's homes, drop kicking dames into walls and taking names. What were they smoking when they made this and can I have some?
THE LOWDOWN
What the f*ck is going on around here! Has Hollywood gone on a crack smoking spree???? I mean a Wicker Man remake was a shitty idea from the get-get go if you ask me or the dead bunny rabbit in my freezer (Hmm…dinner…). The original felt like a one shot deal as its unique/offbeat aura would be near impossible to sanitize for today’s audience without stumbling miserably. I thought that maybe with Neil LaBute at the helm, the man who created two of my fav mean-spirited films (In the Company of Men” & “The Shape of Things), there was a slim chance in hell that all could be well in Graceland. I WAS NOT RIGHT!

The Wicker Man remake made a fool of itself with its first misstep being it’s shoddily laid out main scenario. Shakier than an alcoholic at a liquor store with an empty Gold Card, the sturdy Paganism vs. Christianity themes of the original were replaced by some half-cocked feminism/butch lesbo/bee loving Cult versus an overacting Nicolas Cage (more on him later). Gone was the entrancing sexuality of its forefather (PG 13 yo!) and say hello to ABSOLUTELY NOTHING! Since the Cult's raison d’etre and the motivation for their actions were beyond underdeveloped, that made the whole far from credible. This was supposed to be an island filled with crazy feminist Cult bitches that I should fear? Looked more like a bunch of actors, in costumes, reading a toilet paper script out loud and cashing checks to me.

And it just kept getting worse and worse as the film trucked forward. Suspense wise, LaBute obviously had zero grasp on what makes a fear set piece work. It sure didn’t help shite that his chilling bits were often rendered ridiculous by the lousy cutting and the overbearing score. The more the flick tried to be frightening, the more I giggled like a schoolgirl sniffing glue. It takes more than pathetic, lets pad the clock and the fear quota “dream sequences” (That often went down when the lead was awake?!?) to frighten this old boy. Especially when they’re randomly inserted in places that just don’t make any damn sense! I don’t know about you but the last thing I’d be doing when trying to overcome dire obstacles is go into “trances” of "scary” stuff that was most likely tossed in there to scare up the film’s trailer. But that’s just me!

Which brings me to the film’s last block which had to be the most un-intentionally comedic piece of horror cinema I’ve seen in the last 5 years. It almost felt like the filmmakers said, “f*ck it, this film just doesn’t work, lets go buck-wild, open up Nicolas' cage and hope for the best. How else would you explain Nicky chewing the scenery like it was his last meal and going into spastic facial expressions that would make Plastic Man envious? How else can you justify, Cage’s character punching chicks left and right, “Con Air kicking" gals into walls or running around aimlessly in a kinky bear suit? I was in tears man! TEARS!

Add to all that, choppy scene transitions, cheapo CGI (come on, how hard is it to shoot the actual ocean), dumb ass “The Shining-esque” symbolic imagery, an in the dark Ellen Burstyn (she had no script to work with), side splitting lines that had me in stitches (Bitches!!!!) and a stupid “they’re will be a sequel if this makes money” tacked-on ending and you get an UTTER MESS! Anything good to say? I did dig on how they personalized the lead’s quest via some choice revelations. If the rest of the film was handled properly, it could’ve added to the film’s overall impact. Sadly this update wound up being a big joke and this sole “positive element” became the punch line. BURN WICKER MAN 2006 AT THE STAKE!
GORE
Other than a couple of "after the fact" mangled bodies, the most gore we got here was Nicolas Cage's cocaine-ish facial ticks.
ACTING
Nicolas Cage (Edward) started off strong, underplaying it to a T. But then somebody spiked his coffee as the wild eyed and quip spitting Cage came out of the box to ruin it all. Kate Beahan (Sister Willow) had big eyes and bigger "insert here" lips. Yum...but not much of a part though. Poor Ellen Burstyn (Sister Summersisle), no script and no substance to play with while being in the shadow of the great Christopher Lee who tackled the same role in the original. Molly Parker (Sister Rose) was efficient as the creepy school teacher. Diane Delano (Sister Beech) was too "walking butch cliché" to be taken seriously by your truly. Why was Leelee Sobieski (Sister Honey) in this film again? And why didn't she drop her top to validate her presence?
T & A
I was day dreaming of seeing the girl sitting next to me naked and lathered in whip cream, does that count? No lesbo loving on this lesbo island.
DIRECTING
LaBute made a Bute of himself with awkward choice of close ups, lousily put together suspense/scare scenes and flat atmosphere. Granted some of the cinematography was slick but other than that nobody was home.
SOUNDTRACK
Angelo Badalamenti should stick to David Lynch type films because his rendition of a straight "horror score" was too over the top to serve the film. Help make it funny on the other end...yup that worked!
BOTTOM LINE
The Wicker Man remake wound up being the funniest movie of the year! Too bad it was meant to be a grim horror film. Nothing worked! The Scotch Taped together narrative, the limp scares, the lousy acting and the outlandish last block made sure of that. The flick did have a couple of good ideas but they were urinated on by the flick’s shaky foundation, sad-sap characters, amateur editing and Nick Cage side kicking snatch loving chicks into walls. Good for a couple of hearty laughs when buzzed on something legal or illegal, other than that, in the garbage you go right next to the Pulse remake, the Omen remake and the When a Stranger Calls remake!
BULL'S EYE
Look out for LaBute regular Aaron Eckhart in a cameo early on. James Franco and Jason Ritter have cameos as well.

AVOID THE WICKER MAN SITE HERE

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9:18AM on 03/10/2010

Entertaining but only as an Unintentional Comedy.

Like the 1996 Version of "The Island of Dr. Moreau". "The Wicker Man" remake is one of my favorite guilty pleasures like "P2" and "The Adventures of Ford Fairlane".

Watching Oscar-Winner:Nicolas Cage (Who also is one of the producers of this unintented silly movie) is a joy to watch for the worst reasons. Seeing him overacts to a burning doll, seeing him kicking doors in wide shots, having most of the worst dialogue from usually intelligent filmmaker Neil LaBute (Lakeview Terrace, Nurse
Like the 1996 Version of "The Island of Dr. Moreau". "The Wicker Man" remake is one of my favorite guilty pleasures like "P2" and "The Adventures of Ford Fairlane".

Watching Oscar-Winner:Nicolas Cage (Who also is one of the producers of this unintented silly movie) is a joy to watch for the worst reasons. Seeing him overacts to a burning doll, seeing him kicking doors in wide shots, having most of the worst dialogue from usually intelligent filmmaker Neil LaBute (Lakeview Terrace, Nurse Betty) and also seeing him fighting Leelee Sobieski is good for a few laughs. Especially seeing him in that awful bear suit in the third act of the movie and also there`s more!

True, the female actors in the movie are well cast. Nicolas Cage is certainly an huge miscast in the movie. The Director`s Cut version of this movie is a slight improvement. But stick to the original movie.

Best way to enjoy this, try to watch this as a comedy and maybe you won`t be so disappointed.
Your Reply:



+0
10:10AM on 11/24/2006
Aside from the gripping opening sequence, and the presence of an actor I so respect in Nic Cage, this film was a load of crap. I haven't seen the original so I have nothing to compare to, but talk about movies that put you to sleep. 50 minutes into the film and nothing happens aside from Cage's character running from one person to the other repeating the same lines and carrying the same face. I mean, yeah I dig the man's performances but not in this one. He just looked sleepy and uninterested
Aside from the gripping opening sequence, and the presence of an actor I so respect in Nic Cage, this film was a load of crap. I haven't seen the original so I have nothing to compare to, but talk about movies that put you to sleep. 50 minutes into the film and nothing happens aside from Cage's character running from one person to the other repeating the same lines and carrying the same face. I mean, yeah I dig the man's performances but not in this one. He just looked sleepy and uninterested all the way through. The dialogue was so cheesy that they actually used the definitive chiche in all cheesy horror films: "Go home and lock yourself up. I have a bad feeling about this".
A total waste of time and talent. If anyone asks me my opinion I'd just say "AVOID LIKE THE PLAGUE". Unless you wanna give it a try and get infected by yourself.

The sole "star" goes for some good imagery and an intriguing premise. And because I've honestly seen worse.

Your Reply:



10:32AM on 10/18/2006

I'm the minority

I went to this movie expecting to hate it, but I actually kind of enjoyed myself, here's why:
1) Instead of simply copying off the original, LaBute brough a new theme/idea to it that it consistent with his body of work (battle of the sexes style stuff, like his debut "In The Company of Men"). To me, a remake is completely kosher IF the director/writer has something new to bring to the material...WHICH HE DID. I got to see one of my favorite movies new again, which made it a fun experience.
I went to this movie expecting to hate it, but I actually kind of enjoyed myself, here's why:
1) Instead of simply copying off the original, LaBute brough a new theme/idea to it that it consistent with his body of work (battle of the sexes style stuff, like his debut "In The Company of Men"). To me, a remake is completely kosher IF the director/writer has something new to bring to the material...WHICH HE DID. I got to see one of my favorite movies new again, which made it a fun experience.

2) While no one seems to think so, I thought LaBute did a good job building up the suspense and story. Oh well...I didn't think the acting was bad either...

3) The amber/green look the film had was very nice. It was a pleasure to look at.

It did have many problems though. For one, there's too many moments that just seemed like set-ups for boo scares. There were too many moments where Nic Cage was chasing Rowan and ended up hurting himself. It seemed like the meddling of studio suits, but I'm probably wrong. Also I didn't like how LaBute jettisoned the musical element from the original. Granted he was trying to do something different, but the music is really what made the original so good.

I'd be lying if I said I thought it was a bad movie, it's flawed, but it ain't bad in my book. I'm almost afraid to admit that I like it since everyone hates it so much, but I've explained why I like it, so...whatever.
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+0
9:52PM on 09/06/2006

Great Comedy

I wrote this little review on another site well before I saw Arrows.

A friend of mine wanted to see this film. So I went. I like Nick Cage so no problem. But before we went I made him watch the original. Which he enjoyed and it helped to refresh my memory.


ANYWAYS the film was pretty bad BUT it was well worth the price of admission as this had the funniest Non intentionally funny scene of all time. I was laughing so hard I was crying. My friend and other people in the audience were
I wrote this little review on another site well before I saw Arrows.

A friend of mine wanted to see this film. So I went. I like Nick Cage so no problem. But before we went I made him watch the original. Which he enjoyed and it helped to refresh my memory.


ANYWAYS the film was pretty bad BUT it was well worth the price of admission as this had the funniest Non intentionally funny scene of all time. I was laughing so hard I was crying. My friend and other people in the audience were laughing also, though I was far and away the loudest and most uncontrolled. I laughed for about five minutes straight. The scene itself lasted about two.

I had not laughed that hard at anything in a long time.

All I will say about the scene is Bear Suit. You have to see it for yourself.

Oh yeah there were two other laugh out loud un intentional funny moments also.

So as a remake/horror film I give it two stars as I did enjoy Cage in the film.

As a comedy I give it four.


So as you can see I could not agree more with the arrow man. I was also in tears. I did give it a better rating but I love Cage. The Overacting is part of his charm and had he not been such a goof in this film there would have been nothing in this film to enjoy.
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2:10PM on 09/06/2006
I think 'i knewit' and to others i know .... 'see i told you so' come to mind, queue smug grin!!!!!!

I think 'i knewit' and to others i know .... 'see i told you so' come to mind, queue smug grin!!!!!!

Your Reply:



4:24AM on 09/06/2006
I think this is evidence that it's time to say no more to horror remakes. For every good remake there are 20 bad ones, it's not worth it. Come up with someting new!!
I think this is evidence that it's time to say no more to horror remakes. For every good remake there are 20 bad ones, it's not worth it. Come up with someting new!!
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2:23AM on 09/06/2006

f*ck me up the ass with a chainsaw!

Man oh man, here again with a shitty moobie for us all. When will HW learn and lean off the emphasis of a good trailer and start with the good horror movie making. With the exception of Descent, I havent seen a good horror flick in ages. Thanks for the forewarning Arrow, ill spend my money on porn istead.
10pound mofo Brown
Man oh man, here again with a shitty moobie for us all. When will HW learn and lean off the emphasis of a good trailer and start with the good horror movie making. With the exception of Descent, I havent seen a good horror flick in ages. Thanks for the forewarning Arrow, ill spend my money on porn istead.
10pound mofo Brown
Your Reply:



10:16PM on 09/05/2006

Hell yeah

This revie wsums it up perfectly. This movie was a terrible, terrible joke. Cage is a talented actor but honestly, what the hell.

"You have my permission to stay the fuck out of my way!"
This revie wsums it up perfectly. This movie was a terrible, terrible joke. Cage is a talented actor but honestly, what the hell.

"You have my permission to stay the fuck out of my way!"
Your Reply:



8:52PM on 09/05/2006

Thanks Arrow!!

As a huge fan of the original (I still say you gotta watch the extended version on Absinthe to really appreciate it), I am glad to be given the warning to stay away from this remake. Sounded like a bad idea. Turns out it was, eh?

Gracias to the Arrow.
As a huge fan of the original (I still say you gotta watch the extended version on Absinthe to really appreciate it), I am glad to be given the warning to stay away from this remake. Sounded like a bad idea. Turns out it was, eh?

Gracias to the Arrow.
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+0
6:47PM on 09/05/2006

I agree, Arrow. This flick's hilarious!

When's the last time you were actually AWARE of the fact that a flick is destined for "Campy Cult" status a mere few minutes into watching it? I swear to God, when the DVD comes out, the last 20 minutes of this flick are gonna be on constant loop to get me outta depression.

When Cage hollers "AAAAhh! My legs!", am I the only one who thought he sounded like Fry from FUTURAMA when Zoidberg accidentally cut his legs off?

Seriously, sneak into the cinema with beers in your jacket pocket and
When's the last time you were actually AWARE of the fact that a flick is destined for "Campy Cult" status a mere few minutes into watching it? I swear to God, when the DVD comes out, the last 20 minutes of this flick are gonna be on constant loop to get me outta depression.

When Cage hollers "AAAAhh! My legs!", am I the only one who thought he sounded like Fry from FUTURAMA when Zoidberg accidentally cut his legs off?

Seriously, sneak into the cinema with beers in your jacket pocket and laugh your ass off at what would otherwise be a shitty remake.
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