This Week’s Coming Attractions: Nic Cage Leads A Baby Heist In The Trailer For ‘Dog Eat Dog’

My favorite story of the month, thus far, has been how crazy people in Indiana went over seeing Nicolas Cage shopping at the local Toys “R” Us. Like, why the hell was Cage at a Toys “R” Us in the first place? Was he reminded while filming whatever VOD project he’s working on in Clarksville, IN that someone’s birthday is coming up? Is he obsessed with NERF guns and wanted to grab a couple so he can prank his castmates? Does Toys “R” Us sell pterodactyl skulls? What a strange-yet-expected Nic Cage story.

I bring this up because Cage is at his best when he’s unhinged and feeling the groove of a crazy story or quirky character. He reminds us every now and then that he can still be one of the best actors in the game in films like Kick-Ass and Joe, but we forget because he follows them up with films like Outcast and Left Behind. This week he’s back in the trailer for a film that makes me think we’re in for a classic Cage performance, so let’s get the ball rolling…

Dog Eat Dog

Directed by: Paul Schrader

Starring: Nic Cage, Willem Dafoe, Louisa Krause

What’s it about?

Carved from a lifetime of experience that runs the gamut from incarceration to liberation, Dog Eat Dog is the story of three men who are all out of prison and now have the task of adapting themselves to civilian life. The California three strikes law looms over them, but what the hell, they’re going to do it, and they’re going to do it their way. Troy, an aloof mastermind, seeks an uncomplicated, clean life but cannot get away from his hatred for the system. Diesel is on the mob’s payroll and his interest in his suburban home and his nagging wife is waning. The loose cannon of the trio, Mad Dog, is possessed by true demons within, which lead him from one situation to the next. One more hit, one more jackpot, and they’ll all be satisfied. Troy constructs the perfect crime and they pull it off, but in the aftermath, they keep finding the law surrounding them wherever they go. [IMDb]

The only thing better than Nic Cage having fun with a role (and not phoning it in) is Willem Dafoe also having fun with a role in the same movie. I’m getting Matchstick Men and Bringing Out the Dead vibes from this one, not necessarily in terms of story but because those are two of my favorite Cage movies and I like seeing a serious, invested Cage. I miss that version of Cage. Less Outcast and more Dog Eat Dog. Or maybe no Outcast at all. That’s a better start. Paul Schrader’s Dog Eat Dog hits the Toronto International Film Festival on Sept. 16, and hopefully we’ll get a release date soon after.

The Great Gilly Hopkins

Directed by: Stephen Herek

Starring: Sophie Nélisse, Kathy Bates, Glenn Close

What’s it about?

12-year-old wisecracking Gilly Hopkins finds herself shuffled from foster home to foster home until she meets Maime Trotter. [IMDb]

For a second I thought Bates was bringing back Mama from The Waterboy, but as the trailer went on that accent evened out. This one is based on a book of the non-comic variety, so I haven’t heard of it. But I’m sure that fans of Katherine Paterson’s novel will have strong feelings. All I know is I’m always a fan of the rebellious teen using her strengths for good, in this case beating up the bullies who are picking on the weak boy. Also, when it comes to Gilly, it could always be much worse…

Gilly is Great on Oct. 7.

Complete Unknown

Directed by: Joshua Marston

Starring: Rachel Weisz, Michael Shannon, Kathy Bates

What’s it about?

As a man contemplates moving to a new state with his wife for her graduate program, an old flame – a woman who often changes identities – reenters his life at a birthday dinner party. [IMDb]

Bates is on fire this week. Am I sensing a big comeback that will be capped off with Misery 2: Oh God, Not My Feet Again? I have to assume so. As for this one, it’s a little disappointing to see someone who can be as awesomely creepy and angry as Michael Shannon can be playing the straight guy. But that’s depth for ya. The Unknown becomes known on August 26.

Jack Reacher: Never Go Back

Directed by: Edward Zwick

Starring: Tom Cruise, Cobie Smulders (the ghost from Safe Haven)

What’s it about?

Jack Reacher, despite everyone’s warnings, has to find a way back. [IMDb]

What a perfectly subtle and empty synopsis. “They told Jack Reacher not to go back, but he went back, and boy were they sorry.” In this latest trailer, Jack Reacher goes back to beating everyone up in ridiculous scenarios. At this point, between this franchise and Mission: Impossible, shouldn’t Tom Cruise just join the Fast and Furious franchise? He refuses to get beat up in his movies, so he’d be perfect opposite Vin Diesel in case The Rock bolts after Fast 8. They could just stare at each other and whisper, “Do it, bro.” Jack Reacher goes back to going back on October 21.

Don’t Breathe (Red Band)

Directed by: Fede Alvarez

Starring: Stephen Lang, Jane Levy

What’s it about?

A group of friends break into the house of a wealthy blind man, thinking they’ll get away with the perfect heist. They’re wrong. [IMDb]

This movie looks fantastic and I can’t wait to watch it on August 26 and then again on August 27 and the next five days after that. Lang rampaging through a gaggle of young pretty actors is probably the best thing I could hope for in a movie. Add a talking seeing-eye dog and I’ll organize the Oscars boycott for when this movie is snubbed.

Broken Vows

Directed by: Bram Coppens

Starring: Jaimie Alexander, Wes Bentley, the Cam Gigandet

What’s it about?

A charming yet troubled man spirals into a rage after being rejected by the woman he initially seduced. [IMDb]

A weak, attractive, drunk woman giving into the seduction of a stranger and jeopardizing her perfect relationship? That’s a fresh story for 2016. I’ll offer two positives here: 1) Wes Bentley has such a great psychopath look. That’s not an insult, as so many actors try to pull it off and fail miserably. He can legitimately look scary and that’s an important talent for a recycled plot like this one. 2) Cam Gigandet, baby. He’s Channing Tatum Lite and his performance in In the Blood won me over forever in terms of him being the go-to hunk who barely speaks. Vows break on October 11.

Found Footage 3D (NSFW)

Directed by: Steven DeGennaro

Starring: Carter Roy, Alena von Stroheim, Chris O’Brien

What’s it about?

A group of filmmakers sets out to make the first 3D found footage horror movie, but find themselves IN the first 3D found footage horror movie when the evil entity from their film escapes into their behind-the-scenes footage. [IMDb]

I don’t know what to make of this one, but I’m leaning toward loving it. The found footage genre deserves to be mocked, and this seems like it’s more a gory parody than it is a horror movie that starts out as an intentional joke and then allows itself to become an unintentional joke. Hopefully it has the same sense of humor as films like Scream and The Cabin in the Woods, and it offers us a little more entertainment in this otherwise tired sub-genre. The Footage is Found on August 20.