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Prisoners Of The Ghostland (2021, Sion Sono directs Nicolas Cage)

Started by Small Man Big Horse, September 14, 2021, 06:33:11 PM

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Small Man Big Horse

Previous Hot Sexy Sono Chat Action: https://www.cookdandbombd.co.uk/forums/index.php/topic,58890.0.html

Sion Sono's (mostly) English language debut stars Nicolas Cage and that's a combination which got me all hot and bothered and then some. It's unsurprisingly a weird old thing, a sort of post apocalyptic western where Nicolas Cage's prisoner is sent to find a missing girl and if he can return her to the town's governor he'll win his freedom, though he has to wear a leather suit primed with explosives to stop him from buggering off without doing so. It starts off well and there's some very memorable visuals and it initially has a quirky sense of humour (
Spoiler alert
the reaction to his naked body, and when he ditches the car for a bike were both very funny moments for me
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), but about half way through it hits a dull groove and largely plays out exactly how you'd imagine it would, the imagery is less captivating as well, and by the violent finale I found myself oddly bored. Perhaps it's partially to do with expectations but for me this is one of Sono's lesser efforts, it's pretty but lacking in depth and the villain is straight out of a pantomime. 6.3/10


Small Man Big Horse

It is in cinemas, but it's also available via torrent sites.

Disappointing to read this. Sight and Sound had a pissy review and featurette (no interview) on this by Tony Rayns, which claimed his work regularly featured "fringe theatre performance tropes", whatever that means, and included moaning that Sion's first name should actually be spelt Shion even though (1) he spells it Sion and (2) it's only Shion in the old-fashioned Hepburn romanisation, not in modern romanisation schemes that try and reflect Japanese phonology. Anyway, they also compared Prisoners... to Mad Max Beyond The Thunderdome, which can't be bad, surely? But you'd expect them to hate Sono.

Small Man Big Horse

Quote from: dissolute ocelot on September 15, 2021, 12:47:43 PM
Disappointing to read this. Sight and Sound had a pissy review and featurette (no interview) on this by Tony Rayns, which claimed his work regularly featured "fringe theatre performance tropes", whatever that means, and included moaning that Sion's first name should actually be spelt Shion even though (1) he spells it Sion and (2) it's only Shion in the old-fashioned Hepburn romanisation, not in modern romanisation schemes that try and reflect Japanese phonology. Anyway, they also compared Prisoners... to Mad Max Beyond The Thunderdome, which can't be bad, surely? But you'd expect them to hate Sono.

The fringe theatre criticism's a right odd one and I can't make head nor tail of that, or the whole spelling thing, it seems really petty. I've not seen Thunderdome (or any of the Gibson Mad Mad films for that matter somewhat oddly, it's something I really need to rectify) so can't say if that's accurate or not, but the film was just a bit average in my opinion, or to be a little more precise initially really great, but then rather repetitive and disappointing after about thirty minutes, but again I'm not sure if it's due to my expectations being so high as I normally love Sono's films and have an awful lot of time for Cage as well.

zomgmouse

Very much feels like Sono channelling Miike/Tarantino(/Jee-woon?) - some impressive visuals and production design but I do agree it all felt a little empty.