(US/Germany - 2013)
Written and directed by Scott Walker. Cast: Nicolas Cage, John Cusack, Vanessa Hudgens, Radha Mitchell, Curtis "50 Cent" Jackson, Dean Norris, Kevin Dunn, Olga Valentina, Michael McGrady, Jodi Lyn O'Keefe, Kurt Fuller, Brad William Henke, Katherine LaNasa, Ryan O'Nan, Matt Gerald, Gia Mantegna, Robert Forgit. (R, 105 mins)
Considering that the nearly $30 million-budgeted THE FROZEN GROUND has been banished to VOD Oblivion by Lionsgate, is only playing in a few theaters across the US, arrives in August 2013 sporting a 2011 copyright date, opens with the logos (among several others) for Emmett/Furla Films and Cheetah Vision, counts co-stars Curtis "50 Cent" Jackson and Olga Valentina (one other acting credit: Fiddy's FREELANCERS) as two of 29 credited producers, and is headlined by Nicolas Cage and John Cusack, both of whom are a long way from CON AIR and not exactly riding a wave of recent box office success (though Cusack appears as Richard Nixon in LEE DANIELS' THE BUTLER), it comes as a pleasant surprise that the film is a quite engrossing serial killer thriller/police procedural. While it's nowhere near the level of ZODIAC, it's unexpectedly well-done for a film that has so many things working against it. I could be wrong, but this may mark the first time the words "pleasant surprise," "quite engrossing," and "50 Cent" have appeared in the same review.