Movie Crime Log: Dying, Enemy, Woman

So, look, I’m about to deliver you a mixed-bag of news. Grip the arms of your chair and hang on for dear life. The bad news is, it’s 2015 already. 2014 is gone, never to return. The good news is, the year is kicking off with a Nicolas Cage movie!

In Dying Of The Light he stars as Evan Lake, a desk-bound Langley CIA agent forced into retirement by signs of early onset dementia. When his former tormentor pops up on the grid Lake decides to deliver him some good old-fashioned retribution while he still can.

Dying Of The Light has an interestingly tortured development. It was intended to be directed by Nicholas Winding Refn and star Harrison Ford, but Refn bailed to direct Drive instead. Screenwriter Paul Schrader – you know, Taxi Driver and suchlike – then directed from his own script.

But the movie was taken away from him by the studio and re-edited and mixed. The expressionist colour-scheme Schrader used was removed. The whole thing has received, as a result, a suitably tepid critical response. My earlier enthusiasm in the first paragraph was clearly misplaced. However, do make your own mind up by eyeballing this trailer.

Behold Cage’s grim countenance:

Dying Of The Light is out today in cinemas and available on your new laptop tomorrow.

Moving on.

It’s well-know that somewhere in the world, we all have a doppleganger, someone who looks just like us. Mine is Alijaz from Strictly. In Enemy Jake Gyllenhaal plays beardy Adam, who’s watching a film when he sees someone just like him in the background. Oh, the irony. He becomes obsessed with finding his double. ‘The result,’ it says here, ‘is a haunting and provocative psychosexual thriller about duality and identity, where in the end only one man will survive.’

Enemy is based on the Nobel Prize-winning novel by Jose Saramago and directed by Denis Villeneuve, the bloke who made the awesome Prisoners, so it’s probably worth the watch. Double movies are always kind of creepy. And Gyllenhaal’s mostly good in everything, these days. Except Prince Of Persia. That was totes rank.

So a few years back Susan Hill wrote a ghost story called The Woman In Black, and I think it’s fair to say it’s done quite well. It became a long-running – and trouser-browning scary – theatre production, and then a movie starring the boy wizard.

Now there’s a sequel called Woman In Black: Angel In Death which delivers up more period scares, courtesy of Hammer Films. The action moves forward to the Blitz, when a group of schoolchildren are taken to the old, sinister estate — always a good place to house some shell-shocked kids – and here must confront the dark force who still resides in the house.

I mean, really? Orphans, a decaying mansion full of scary dolls? Aren’t there any suitable B&Bs in town, or what?

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