Film Reviews


By • Oct 28th, 2005 •

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Paramount and Escape Artists present an Escape Artists production
MPAA rating R / Running time — 100 minutes

Free-floating depression and the mocking of a twelve-year old for comedic relief.

I related to THE WEATHER MAN on two points: (1) I live in Las Vegas where there is never foul weather. Las Vegas weather men are ceremonial TV positions. I miss the misery of New York City weather. THE WEATHER MAN brings to those of us outside of domain of miserable weather another colorful landscape. We are privileged in Las Vegas. Our cars always start. We never have to scrape ice off the windshield. (2) I spent two years as a member of the Dover, New Jersey Archery Club. I entered tournaments. I have a custom-made compound bow and all the accoutrements of the sport including a huge traveling bag, archery binoculars, a perfect stabilizer and scope, and custom-made-to-my-specifications arrows.

Archery is a metaphor in THE WEATHER MAN.

Someone has to stop Nicholas Cage from narrating all his movies. He’s having a love affair with his voice. He narrates LORD OF WAR and now THE WEATHER MAN. Last night he narrated a dream of mine.

I’m imploring you, Mr. Cage, stop it.

Is narration necessary? Show me. Film is a visual medium. No, stars want to narrate a movie so that even when they are not on screen, you are hearing their voice and thinking about them.

David Spritz (Nicholas Cage) is a weather man for a local Chicago TV station. He admits he guesses about the weather, works two hours a day, is not a meteorologist, and makes a quarter of a million dollars a year. He has a nice, glossy city apartment. His ex-wife Noreen (Hope Davis) and his two kids, twelve year old Shelly (Gemmenne De La Pena) and fifteen year old Mike (Nicholas Hoult) live in the suburbs in a mansion. His father Robert Spritz (Michael Caine) is a world renowned, Pulitzer Prize winning author. David’s mother is a shadowy figure. THE WEATHER MAN is about a man in a crisis finally realizing he has failed making his father proud of him.

David is miserable even though he is famous in Chicago. Sure, he gets sex without trying but Noreen has a boyfriend and his father disapproves of his chubby daughter. Noreen is oblivious to the teasing Shelly gets at school. I blame Noreen for allowing Shelly to get fat and wear clothes that everyone ridicules. Mike already has a court-appointed counselor, Bill (Gil Bellows). Noreen isn’t keeping tabs on Mike and his too interested counselor. Noreen is a lousy mother. David wants to get back with her.

For some reason, Chicagoans love to throw fast food and drinks at David as he walks around town. I’ve never heard of this. Have you?

At the center of THE WEATHER MAN is David’s contentious relationship with his father, which changes once the old man is diagnosed with a fatal disease. David tries to interest Shelly in archery but takes up the sport and starts to use it as a metaphor for – I don’t know – focusing on who you are? I thought it was all about just hitting the bull’s eye.

It is a very sexy sport. A compound bow is sleek. However, I would never ruin my arrows by going outdoors. You have to deal with wind and dirt.

I never walked around showing off my bow, or with my arrows sticking out of my quiver slung over my back. I never thought of the bow and arrow as an extension of the penis. I never thought archery was a metaphor for sexual domination.

There is only one brilliant scene in THE WEATHER MAN; yet, the shock of the movie is the acknowledgement of the underground term “camel toe.” Unfortunately, this cruelly amusing piece is given to Shelly to shoulder.

Isn’t a man of David’s age too old to face the freedom of losing a father? Because, with his father’s death, David is liberated. And while it is David who buys Shelly new clothes, she will have the disapproving Noreen haunting her adult life.

At first I thought the theatre was using an old bulb. THE WEATHER MAN is so dark and washed out that it was hard to concentrate on the story. After adjusting to cinematographer Phedon Papamichael’s vision, I enjoyed the bleakness of the snow and grim rain. The mood set, you couldn’t help but see life exactly as David does, and agree with him. Life sucks, but if you were making a quarter of a million dollars a year for two hours a day of work, you’d find some joy somewhere. Free-floating depression is not pretty.

David Spritz: Nicolas Cage
Robert Spritz: Michael Caine
Noreen: Hope Davis
Don: Gil Bellows
Russ: Michael Rispoli
Shelly: Gemmenne De La Pena
Mike: Nicholas Hoult

Director: Gore Verbinski
Screenwriter/co-producer: Steven Conrad
Producers: Todd Black, Steve Tisch, Jason Blumenthal
Executive producers: David Alper, William S. Beasley, Norm Golightly
Director of photography: Phedon Papamichael
Production designer: Tom Duffield
Music: Hans Zimmer
Costumes: Penny Rose
Editor: Craig Wood

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One Response »

  1. im wondering whats the archery range in the movie ij would enjoy going there ? pleassssse reply

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