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Overall Rating

Awesome: 13.79%
Worth A Look34.48%
Average: 32.76%
Pretty Bad: 6.9%
Total Crap: 12.07%

6 reviews, 22 user ratings

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Weather Man, The
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by U.J. Lessing

"Mostly Overcast with a Few Bursts of Sunbeams"
3 stars

The Weather Man is worth watching for its captivating poser. Imagine you are on television every day. Your fame commands no respect, but it does induce people to throw fast food at you. What would that do to your ego integrity? Itís a shame the film chooses not to flesh out this intriguing idea but instead overburdens its main character with extraneous problems.

Only one aspect of David Spritzís (Nicholas Cage) life is in place: his finances are solid. As a Chicago Weatherman, he commands a lofty salary for minimal work. Everything else in his life is in ruin. His wife has stopped tolerating his narrow-mindedness, his teenage boy is a recovering drug addict and his adolescent girl is overweight, appears interested in nothing, and is teased at school.

And on top of that, Spritzís beloved father (Michael Caine), a prestigious author in whose shadow Spritz firmly resides, is also dying of cancer.

The Weather Man takes place during a cold winter in Chicago, a time when icy scales cover Lake Michigan like day-old scabs and dry,-feathery snow peppers everything. This cheerless landscape provides the perfect atmosphere for Spritzís midlife crisis. Like Spritzís suffering, Chicago winters are not only brutal, but also interminable.

Director Gore Verbinski, known for his visual banquets like Pirates of the Caribbean, The Ring, and the underrated Mousehunt, has the daunting task of taking such a bleak subject and make it entertaining and thoughtful. He is marginally successful.

The imagery of The Weather Man is extraordinary. Cityscapes are beautifully contrasted with expensive but empty suburbs. Shots of archers, snowy landscapes, window views, and traffic-ridden icy streets are remarkably effectual.

A quiet scene where Nicholas Cage, on a job-seeking trip to New York, stares quietly out of his hotel window as an enormous, inflated cultural icon slowly moves past may be the most beautiful cinematic moment of the year.

Unfortunately, the writing isnít nearly as remarkable. Writer, Steve Conrad never fully decides whether Spritzís pain derives from the tragedies that surround him or his own character flaws, and this makes all of Spritzís motivations and actions shallow and bewildering. The scenes with Spritzís wife and children are particularly ineffective and rapidly disintegrate into overindulgences and clichťs from the worst after-school specials.

Nicholas Cageís performance does help though. Cage may deliver a one-note performance, but what a note it is! He perfectly captures a strong, introspective depression while maintaining his characterís likeability and humor.

Cage is particularly impressive in his scenes with Michael Caine. Watching Spritz, an unimpressive man overrun with emotion, trying to interact with his emotionally distant impressive father is touching: Their relationship seems the most genuine in the film.

The Weather Man is a rare film where effective filmmaking goes hand in hand with convoluted writing. The result plays like a freshman philosophy class: youíll enjoy watching it, it has the appearance of intellectualism, but itís ultimately dominated by superficial ideas.

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originally posted: 10/29/05 03:44:35
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User Comments

12/09/12 Joe Smaltz turned it off, bored, needed something stimulating 2 stars
1/09/08 Servo Cought me off guard, hughly recommended. 4 stars
8/24/07 Steve Newman Turned this off 60 minutes in - what a pile of crap. Slow, unfunny and boring 1 stars
7/06/07 Total Crap It's just so boring... 2 stars
6/10/06 Dan Quirky, funny movie. I enjoyed it (and I especially enjoyed the beer girl!) 4 stars
5/20/06 Christine Wilbik A very depressing movie and not up to Nicolas cage usual movies. 2 stars
4/23/06 Jim Interesting character study 4 stars
4/15/06 Indrid Cold Unusual and fairly interesting, but unfocused and ultimately, unsatisfying. 3 stars
4/04/06 Valerie Kind of strange, but still good. 4 stars
3/13/06 Monday Morning I'd like to throw Slurpees at everyone who was involved w/ this pc. of shite 2 stars
3/08/06 Tanya very good it seemed like a real family 4 stars
12/15/05 jerriprice Unbelievably bad 1 stars
11/15/05 Jeff Anderson A big letdown for Cage & Caine. Very depressing & it quickly goes nowhere. A REAL SHAME!! 1 stars
11/14/05 rob henie fantastic! 5 stars
11/09/05 jeff strange humour, cage's acting awsome as usual. 4 stars
11/06/05 Agent Sands A very engaging slice of life that shares my sense of humor & has a great tearworthy scen 5 stars
11/01/05 jcjs fne 4 stars
11/01/05 Beth Whittier Nicholas Cage is one of my favorite actors, but bad movie 1 stars
10/30/05 john john stone 1 stars
10/30/05 Elaine Hochbeg Once again, Chicago serves as a fine backdrop. Cage presents a stellar performance. 4 stars
10/27/05 tom dolfin bad movie. no redeeming social value. sucks 1 stars
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  28-Oct-2005 (R)
  DVD: 21-Feb-2006



Directed by
  Gore Verbinski

Written by
  Steven Conrad

  Nicolas Cage
  Michael Caine
  Hope Davis
  Michael Rispoli
  Gil Bellows
  Nicholas Hoult

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