Saturday, April 25, 2015

(Spoilers) City of Angels Review

***SPOILER WARNING: Spoilers may be found in the post below about VARIOUS ITEMS. And I'm going to add in a bit of filler text here to limit how much of the main article gets shown in a preview. That should take care of most of it. Hopefully. And away we go. SPOILER WARNING. ***

I saw it on TV around the time I rediscovered the "Stay" song by U2.

A world where angels are dressed in dark colored trench coats and watch humans, helping to ferry them away upon death. Seth (Nicholas Cage) is an angel who falls for a human doctor (Meg Ryan). A sort of romantic comedy?

Good or Bad?
My impression was that the angels didn't feel anything while watching humans for eternity (?) doing so. That created a Data on Star Trek: The Next Generation situation where angels wanted to be human. And Seth found out another angel became human, so you can probably figure out the rest after he becomes enamored with Meg Ryan's character.

This was on TV so often when I was younger, but I would always get upset when I found out it wasn't The Crow: City of Angels. Obviously, I didn't watch it in my rage. More recently, some research was done on the German movie, Wings of Desire, which I think City of Angels was based on, so I kind of knew what to expect. It ended up being a bit of a romantic comedy minus a lot of comedy and I really enjoyed it.

The acting was pretty good as far as I was concerned. Nicholas Cage's performance stood out. He played a very muted, calm, expressionless angel -- having seen so many of his movies where he played a human, this was very new. But when he became human, he went in the opposite direction and that was definitely the Nicholas Cage I knew. Meg Ryan and Dennis Franz did great jobs in supporting roles -- the latter was exceptional as Seth's friend.

There was a serene, heavenly feel to the movie throughout. It's been a while since I watched it, but I remember a lot of dark colors, muted expressions for the first part where Seth's an angel. I remember a brighter, more alive atmosphere after the change? Regardless, the movie looked beautifully shot to me. The music and sound used added to the serene atmosphere.

And then it ended and I couldn't watch it again. What the eff? Extra spoiler alert: Meg Ryan gets hit by a truck and dies -- well, the truck pulls out in front of her while she's on a bike, so she hit the truck? She dies. And Seth just became an angel to be with her. I hated that ending, but how Seth dealt with the loss and how he didn't regret his decision was very well done. So, it was kind of hopeful, but come on, how could she die.

I loved it, but can never watch it again because I hate unhappy endings. Beautifully shot movie with an incredible atmosphere though. Nicholas Cage's performance also stood out for me.

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