The Rock : Movie Review!

I thought I had reviewed this classic action movie from the 90s! I am now reviewing it!

Where the heck do I begin with another all time favourite of mine. I absolutely love The Rock, along with Face/Off and Con Air! All 90s action movies starring Nicolas Cage. I recently re-watched them all as they have all just been added to Amazon Prime! $%@& me!

“Hugely improbable and hugely entertaining action thriller about a mild-mannered scientist (Nicolas Cage) and a hardened ex-con (Sean Connery) who join Navy SEALs in an attempt to retake Alcatraz from terrorists.”

Release date: 1996 (United States)

Director: Michael Bay

Gross revenue: $335.10 million

Run time: 2 hours 16 minutes (finished about 2 hours 5 minutes)

Starring: Nicolas Cage, Sean Connery, Ed Harris

A blockbuster movie set in the heart of San Francisco on the infamous ex prison island Alcatraz. The Rock is one of the most well known movies to be set on this island, and the movie and the plot, the acting, action scenes and generally overall theme including music, lighting, tension and drama are enough to make this one of the greatest movies of all time. The other movie set on Alcatraz which I really find amazing is the Clint Eastwood movie Escape from Alcatraz. (

Let us begin. We are introduce immediately to a rogue unit of military men who are seemingly breaking into a secure facility and stealing some potent vx poison gas rockets. They are doing this so that they can get some type of compensation for the fallen men of the military who have gone without a proper military burial and whose families have been left with nothing. This is quite true and unfortunately is still happening, the sad reality is that many courageous men, women and young people are giving their lives for their countries and are being disgraced by a government who won’t acknowledge them. This film takes that to the extreme, although cases of rogue soldiers and hostage situations are real and are happening as we speak.

Enter Stanley Goodspeed (an FBI chemical weapons specialist with a love of the Beatles and other classic music, note a reference to Elton John’s Rocket Man later on toward the end of the movie). He has been prepping for this moment throughout his career, and is thrust from the lab to the frontline by the FBI and the USA government to assist a cutting edge marine core unit who are assigned with entering Alcatraz, and disabling the vx poison gas rockets. Little does he know that the FBI is also seeking the help of John Patrick Mason (Sean Connery), an ex Alcatraz inmate who previously escaped and knows the ins and outs of the island and is therefore the best person to assist the team. Mason has a history of being trained by British intelligence and knows a shed load of state secrets, and was held without trial for most of his life until he gave up intelligence that he had.

Goodspeed (God Speed) is soon getting acquainted with Mason in San Francisco as he is being lied to in order to assist the FBI. All the while Frank Hummel is leading the rogue soldiers on Alcatraz with Tom Baxter and giving the government 17 hours to pay up. Mason is cleaned up in a nice hotel and I must say this is the start of one hell of a big action sequence involving a car chase. Mason escapes said hotel after distracting the FBI agents by ordering room service (LOL) and is soon hijacking a Hummer and flooring it across that all so famous San Francisco landscape. Stanley Goodspeed, out of some kind of responsibility to do the right thing, and being aware of the serious threat from Alcatraz and the poison, is soon pursuing Mason in a yellow Ferrari. It’s literally all down hill and carnage and mayhem ensue as the FBI and police are in hot pursuit. They can’t exactly arrest Mason since they requested his help in the first place!

Mason ends up evading the law for a brief while to visit his daughter. Goodspeed however is still following and informs them of the location. I guess we can imagine how hard Mason had it being locked up away from his daughter for years, and Goodspeed does the honorable thing when the law turns up and tells Mason’s daugther that he is assisting with an important FBI matter. It’s got the humour in this movie that I love, as soon as Mason’s daughter has gone, Goodspeed is soon grilling Mason on his pain from the car chase.

It’s time for the team to start moving into Alcatraz. Informed of the mission. Mason soon learns Goodspeed is in fact a chemical weapons expert and remarks that he was lying about being a field agent, and that he shouldn’t get them fucking killed. Good writing. It’s an underwater start to enter the island. With an ex con to guide the team and Goodspeed to assist, things go wrong fairly quick. The rogue militants on the island have booby trapped every entrance and after triggering a sphere alarm system, whist trying to enter the bathroom/shower room of the island, the elite navy seal team are now at the mercy of the mercenaries. It’s a brutal massacre of every member of the team except Mason and Goodspeed, and from that point on, there is a cat and mouse pursuit and Hummel knows of their presence, yet cannot find them.

It is only when Mason tries to leave that Goodspeed is forced to explain the situation to Mason. Disappointed with the news and fearful for his daughter, Mason, maybe out of a some sort of moral righteousness, decides to stay and help. Given that it is over 2km back to shore, realistically how could he get back without being caught? Things are tense, things are dark and wet and the duo, although chalk and cheese, do make a good team. Acting is great and the pair have a chemistry that I found echoed that in Cages other movies like Con Air and Face/Off. It is not often that such pairings are found in modern movies, save for The Fast and the Furious. Although The Rock in an action movie, it is I believe about working together and forming friends for the greater good. So although they may not like each other, and this is evident to an extent, the two have to work together to defeat a threat greater than themselves. Without this cooperation, neither could survive.

Although the marines are determined to kill the innocent citizens of the city and are holding 81 hostages, they have a plan, and they expect that plan to be executed. So, when Mason and Goodspeed interrupt this plan, it starts to reveal cracks in General Hummels moral mindset. Mason understands that such a man would not kill the innocent, but Goodspeed is unsure. The marines themselves have doubts. Soon the pair are killing off the marines, derailing the plan and having an awesome shoot out in some old mine in the belly of Alcatraz. The vx gas rockets guidance chips are being destroyed and Hummel, short on time, is pressure to fire. He decides to launch, and at the last moment stops the rocket confirming that Mason was right about him. This leaves one rocket left, and plenty of crazy marines. It is also the time when Mason and Goodspeed witness the general being killed by his men as they attempt to overthrow him.

Left with no choice, the remaining marines are determined to launch the final rocket and our duo heroes are still battling to stop the rocket. Unfortunately due to the previous vx poison gas rocket launch, the president has now authorised a bombing strike on the island. Cage is fighting to disarm the rocket and counting down to the moment the jets are dropping bomb on him, it is pure anxiety. We want the hero to succeed and we want the world to be safer.

Cage disarms the rocket, and is blown into the water, Mason saves him. This is our ending, an unlikely pair who happen to save 81 hostages, after what seems to be a massive glorious action movie. All of this takes place within an hour in movie time, yet it feels like more, this is clever movie making. The crammed action does not give you chance for breath. There is not a dull moment. A bittersweet ending sees Mason leave and Goodspeed off with his wife and future child.

We all love that sort of feeling. A story worth telling, a movie worth watching, a feeling worth having.

This film made my childhood along with other Cage action classics. You have to watch this if you haven’t.

Rating : 5/5

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Face/Off – Movie Review!

Obsessed with bringing terrorist Castor Troy (Nicolas Cage) to justice, FBI agent Sean Archer (John Travolta) tracks down Troy, who has boarded a plane in Los Angeles. After the plane crashes and Troy is severely injured, possibly dead, Archer undergoes surgery to remove his face and replace it with Troy’s. As Archer tries to use his disguise to elicit information about a bomb from Troy’s brother, Troy awakes from a coma and forces the doctor who performed the surgery to give him Archer’s face.”

Ranking 7.2 on IMDB and 92% on Rotten Tomatoes!

Face/Off, one of Nicolas Cage biggest 90s movies. They magical days of Cages career in a 90s decade which saw him in blockbusters movies like Con Air, The Rock, Face/Off, Snake Eyes, 8mm, Kiss of Death, Leaving Las Vegas and City of Angels among others.

Run time : 2 hours 18 mins

Director: John Woo

Genre : Action

Starring: Nicolas Cage, John Travolta

Trailer for 1997 Face/off

This is one of the greatest movies ever made, one of my all time favourites and one of Nicolas Cage and John Travolta best movies. It has all the material for a blockbuster action film, including guns fights, fist fights, terrorism, gangsters, crazy protagonists and more than enough likeable characters.

The highlight of this movie is the acting, really superb, surpassing many movies that either actor did after the year 2000. The movie starts with deluded terrorist Castor Troy being apprehended by FBI agent Sean Archer after many years of pursuing him following the murder of Archers son. It has all seemingly been settled, until they discover a bomb will go off and the FBI induct Archer into a top secret program to remove his face and replace it with Castor Troy who is currently in a coma, or so they think. After receiving Troys face, Archer is brought to a secret prison, where inmates are forced to wear metallic magnetic boots which they cannot take off. It is a sadistic prison and Archer, wearing Castors face, has to not only blend in but convince others he is who he says he is, including the terrorists brother, who has doubts.

Not long after extracting the information on the bombs location, Archer is ready to be removed from the prison, however, Troy has escaped, and killed the only people who know about the operation. This is also one of the points I did not understand, surely more than 2 people would know about this, but it addsto the tension and the fear. When Archer is visited in prison by Troy, wearing Archers face, both him and the audience will feel their hearts drop. I know I did, because it really is quite a scary moment in movie history, and the worst part is that these sorts of things are possible.

But this is where the magic happens, as Archer is breaking down, and Castor is reveling in his new found FBI career and new found wife and daughter, we see an incredible transformation in acting and I really believe they studied each other well. As Troy is living with Archers family, the first time I watched this movie, and still to this day, I was surprised that he did not hurt the wife or daugther, physically or sexually. I think it shows a different part of the bad guy, and also shows up how crazy he really is. He even tells the FBI where the bomb is to become an American hero, and free his brother at the same time.

See the source image
Sean Archer as criminal Castor Troy in prison.

I suppose it can be a little confusing when talking about it, but when you watch it I cannot imagine anyone struggling to understand, although when I first watched it I found it slightly difficult to grasp that they were the opposite person because again, the scenes, acting and storyline were convincing.

Of course, what would a 90s action movie be without action. It has plenty of guns fights, plenty of antagonist and protagonist chases and plenty of tensions. Soon, Archer has escaped the prison and brings the fight to the city where he encounters some of Troys well known friends. He also discovers that Troy has a girlfriend of sorts and a son. See, Archer is a FBI agent who caught this major criminal, and he still retains that goodness throughout as he doesn’t actually kill anyone, tries not to, by shooting to the side and maybe disarming. This is important as it shows a clear difference between the real Troy and Archer, yet, nobody knows, and this is blending. He has successfully blended with the criminal world and convinced them that he is still that bad guy. Back to Troys son, Archer does in a sense lie to the mother by saying that he will keep the son safe. This is sort of true, but if he really was Castor Troy it would be lies. At the end of the movie, Archer takes in the son, seemingly to replace his own deceased son Mike.

Before the finale, we have this tens church scene with Troy and Archer. It leads to a gun fight, and a boat chase. One of the most memorable and brilliant endings in any movie, up there with The Rock. It also kept me on edge, as Archer has now convinced his wife, but not his daughter, that he is wearing the bad guys face. This naturally leads to the FBI coming in, with this information and helping, at the end once Archer shoots Troy with a spear. A gruesome death.

I feel like the ending is bittersweet and I never want the movie to end. But of course it does, and it just always feels like a massive action adventure with enough heart and goodness that one can enjoy for many years.

I watched this on Amazon Prime the other day as it was recently added. I had not seen it for years so when it popped up I thought, that is a paid movie or a mistake. They never have movies like this on streaming, probably because it is actually good.

I recommend this movie to anyone who likes action, Nicolas cage or just good 90s movies.

Rating; 5/5

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Color out of space: Review!


Smashing 86% on Rotten Tomatoes. A well made, competently acted horror adaption. Loosely I may say, based on the HP Lovecraft novel.

I watched this movie just over a month ago. It is a strange, surreal and frightening film. I recommend for any horror film fans.

Nicolas Cage has had a reputation for starring in lower budget movies over the last few years, many of questionable quality. This is in my opinion, one of his best in recent years. It is shear terror from the start.

Let me just start by saying, that it is based on the Lovecraft story, therefore there are additions and differences to the book and anyone who has read the book should still give it a watch.

After a meteorite crashes into their farm, strange things begin to happen. It starts with small happenings, a leaching space monster, seemingly leaking into the world, spitting out these ‘fairies’ and changing the landscape slowly and surely, beginning to infect the occupants and any animal it comes into contact with.

It starts slow. It builds the tension and horror fantastically. I really was hooked waiting to see how Cage could handle the situation. Not much can be done. The ‘color out of space’ takes you down an increasingly disturbing nightmare, which accumulates in mass insanity, demonic space creatures, an unforgettable merging of mother and son, and a barn scene that I won’t forget anytime soon.

Brilliantly shot, the director has worked the scenes with skill, the lighting and special affects, are not overbearing and the warm feeling contrasts well with the darkly twisted story.

I won’t say too much about the ending, but by the time everyone has had their fair share of this insanity and meteorite madness, the film begins to wind down and warp our minds as the farm and our characters are whooshed into another nightmare of a world.

Offering a genius build up of horror and scares, this 2020 film is sure to become a cult classic. I can seriously not forget the film, it’s fantastic acting, directing, lighting, special fx, set design and so on. This is going to be remembered for a long time.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

(Well done Nicolas Cage for starring in a good film)