Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Angel flicks

What angel movies can you recommend?  They seem to be gaining popularity, despite having to fight amongst the ranks of vampires and werewolves, but they are out there.  Here's a few:

THE PROPHECYThis one's got Christopher Walken in its favor, starring as the Angel Gabriel, who's really mad at God for allowing humans into heaven (because, you see, humans have souls and angels don't, and God plays favorites). Gabriel takes his anger out on the human race, coming to Earth to capture the soul of the most evil human alive in an effort to defeat the "good" angels that remain in God's good graces. One of the good angels is played by Eric Stoltz, who captures the evil soul before Walken does and transfers it into the body of a little girl.

This was actually a pretty good movie.  I loved Walken in it, and while it was campy, it still had some great acting and a reasonable story.  I'd recommend it, but skip the second and third sequels that followed.  Sequels never do measure up, do they?  

CITY OF ANGELS:  Meg Ryan stars as Dr. Maggie Rice, a heart surgeon who is grieving over a lost patient when an angel named Seth (Nicolas Cage) appears to comfort her. She can see him despite the "rule" that angels are invisible, and Seth's love for Maggie forces him to choose between angelic immortality and a normal human existence on earth with her. 

Reviews on this were iffy, but for a romance I really liked it (even with the less than heartwarming ending).  Angels populating the libraries and standing about in their long black coats, and Nicolas Cage as the one angel willing to fall for love.  Sigh...  I cry every time I watch this one. 

MICHAEL: Living peacefully in the rural Iowa home of an old, friendly motel owner (Jean Stapleton), the winged Michael (Travolta) is hardly the image of a perfect angel. He's scruffy, unshaven, eats sweetened cereal by the box-full and chain-smokes all day long. But when tabloid reporters (William Hurt, Robert Pastorelli) learn of Michael's alleged existence and head to Iowa to check him out, Michael soon realizes that it's his task to see that Hurt falls in love with an "angel expert" (Andie MacDowell) and breaks free from his habitually cynical attitude. 

I've never seen this one.  Anyone recommend it?  I seem to remember the trailers featuring Travolta doing a little shimmy dance.  Likes kinda sappy. 

CONSTANTINE: Based on the DC Comics/Vertigo Hellblazer graphic novels and written by Kevin Brodbin and Frank Cappello, Constantine tells the story of John Constantine (Keanu Reeves), a man who has literally been to hell and back. When he teams up with skeptical policewoman Angela Dodson (Rachel Weisz) to solve the mysterious suicide of her twin sister, their investigation takes them through the world of demons and angels that exists just beneath the landscape of contemporary Los Angeles. Caught in a catastrophic series of otherworldly events, the two become inextricably involved and seek to find their own peace at whatever cost.

This is not strictly about angels, and rather more about demons and exorcising the things that scare you, but Tilda Swinton's angel is well done.  I love this film because it is visually quite stunning.  So much to look at in it, and the angels and demons and the devil are done perfectly.  A must-see movie.

LEGION: Just in the theater, this one pits fallen angels against well, the unfallen ones.  Or maybe fallen against fallen; I was a little confused on that point.  It's a mediocre flick, but if you like Paul Bettany, worth a watch.  Lots of quality actors for a script that wasn't spectacular.  

HEAVEN CAN WAIT:  A gung-ho and merciful angel (Buck Henry) pulls Joe Pendleton (Beatty), a football star, out of his body before his time, forcing the higher powers to come up with a substitute host. Joe settles on a vicious multimillionaire whose wife and partner are trying to kill him. Light, breezy, with not a mean bone in its body, Heaven is based on the 1941 film Here Comes Mr. Jordan.

I probably ignored this film because it had football in it.  And Beatty.  Anyone recommend it?

WINGS OF DESIRE:  Wings of Desire (Der Himmel über Berlin) is one of cinema’s loveliest city symphonies. Bruno Ganz is Damiel, an angel perched atop buildings high over Berlin who can hear the thoughts—fears, hopes, and dreams—of all the people living below. But when he falls in love with a beautiful trapeze artist, he is willing to give up his immortality to come back to earth to be with her. Made not long before the fall of the Berlin Wall, this stunning tapestry of sounds and images, shot in black and white and color by the legendary Henri Alekan, is movie poetry. And it forever made the name Wim Wenders synonymous with film art. 

City of Angels was supposed to be based on this film.  I haven't seen it, but have heard much about it, and that it is a must see.  

Tell us about your favorite angel movie!  


Anonymous said...

The Prophecy is one of my favorite movies (actually when I saw Constantine I thought, "did they take this from The Prophecy plot?"!). Great performances by Virginia Madsen and Viggo Mortensen is my favorite Lucifer in that one!

Michele Hauf said...

Oh, wow, I forgot Viggo was in that one. Might have to rewatch it soon.

Meandi's corner said...

oh you can't forget Viggo He was great in it. Hubby like Micheal but it's too corney for me though it does have a few lines that I bust-up over

The Mighty Buzzard said...

Awe, man... I saw the headline in my rss reader and irrationally hoped Joss had finally gotten the go-ahead on his promised Angel tv-movie.

Gina Leigh Maxwell said...

I'm going to have to go against the grain on this one, peeps. I heard great things about Prophecy and was psyched to watch it. I thought it was dull and a waste of time. *cringes at imagined glares* Sorry. I loved Constantine, though.

Another one that's not mentioned here is Gabriel. It's a low-budget Australian film starring Andy Whitfield before he became the huge hottie and star of the new Spartacus: Blood and Sand series on Starz. Even though it's low-budget and not all of the acting is stellar, I really enjoyed it. It's very dark and has a great twist at the end. I recommend checking it out, if not only to ogle at Andy with his amazing tattoos they give him as the archangel Gabriel!

Derek Tatum said...

"Constantine," to me, is proof that something doesn't have to be a good adaptation to be a cool movie in its own right. While many movies can be considered "urban fantasy," I thought that "Constantine" is one of the closest to the term as it is used in fiction today.

Shauna Kemp said...

I loved City of Angels, Nicolas Cage is one of my all time faves, but I've only seen it once because of the ending...traumatizing! Give me horror, but not that! LOL. Great movie though.

The Prophecy has escaped me somehow, I really like Christopher Walken so I'll be adding that to my Netflix queue! Along with CONSTANTINE; I don't know what it is about Graphic Novels being set in contemporary LA that intrigues me, but it does!

I want to see Legion, for the pluses you mentioned! Bummer about the script though. :(

Anonymous said...

I love Christopher Walken movies - so camp and crazy-funny. I bought the 3 Prophecy movies from a used bargain bin a long time ago. But then, I always go for camp - cracks me up!

I'm sure I've seen City of Angels, though the Travolta flick is new to me.

Mike said...

Angel-A. Good movie

mmMoxie said...

Wings of Desire is like one long 80's Obsession commercial.