Arts

New to stream: The Unbearable Weight Of Massive Talent and Blackbird

The Unbearable Weight Of Massive Talent: Nicolas Cage as Nick Cage
Damon Smith

THE UNBEARABLE WEIGHT OF MASSIVE TALENT (Cert 15, 107 mins, Lionsgate Home Entertainment, Comedy/Action/Romance, available now via Premium Video On Demand rental, available from July 11 on Amazon/BT TV Store/iTunes/Sky Store/TalkTalk TV Store and other download and streaming services, also available from July 11 on DVD £19.99/Blu-ray £24.99/4K Ultra HD Blu-ray £34.99)

Starring: Nicolas Cage, Pedro Pascal, Sharon Horgan, Lily Sheen, Tiffany Haddish, Ike Barinholtz, Neil Patrick Harris.

HOLLYWOOD star Nick Cage (Nicolas Cage) is separated from his ex-wife Olivia (Sharon Horgan) and unable to connect with his 16-year-old daughter Addy (Lily Sheen).

He has been staying at the Sunset Tower hotel for more than a year, racking up a bill of 600,000 dollars on top of existing debts.

When his agent Fink (Neil Patrick Harris) relays an offer of a million dollars to attend the lavish birthday party of billionaire super-fan Javi Gutierrez (Pedro Pascal), Nick reluctantly agrees.

Javi made his fortune peddling olive oil but CIA operatives Vivian (Tiffany Haddish) and Martin (Ike Barinholtz) suspect he is an international weapons dealer.

The agents learn Nick is to be guest of honour at Javi's celebrations in Majorca and they pressgang the actor into spying for his country.

The Unbearable Weight Of Massive Talent is a delightful black comedy, which invites Cage to play a fictionalised version of himself at manic full volume.

From its opening frames – a kidnapping orchestrated during a screening of Con Air – Tom Gormican's picture is a love letter to the leading man and his indelible mark on popular culture in the 40 years since his big screen debut in Fast Times At Ridgemont High.

Pascal catalyses an affectionate screen bromance, climaxing deliriously with a chaotic LSD-fuelled road trip.

The two actors bounce off each other smartly as a freewheeling script co-written by Gormican and Kevin Etten contemplates the regrets of an artist, who worked to live, at the expense of personal relationships. (DS)

Rating: 4/5

BLACK BIRD (6 episodes, starts streaming from July 8 exclusively on Apple TV+, Thriller)

DEVELOPED by best-selling author Dennis Lehane (Gone Baby Gone, Mystic River), Black Bird is a six-part psychological thriller inspired by actual events, which ventures behind bars to confront a wily predator.

Policeman's son Jimmy Keene (Taron Egerton) is sentenced to 10 years in a minimum-security prison with no possibility of parole.

He can accept his grim fate or collaborate with the authorities to delve into the mind of suspected serial killer Larry Hall (Paul Walter Hauser) before an appeal goes through.

Jimmy agrees to venture inside a maximum-security prison for the criminally insane, befriend Hall and extract a confession about where the bodies of several young girls are buried.

However, Hall is a master manipulator and Jimmy is concerned that he is a pawn in a deadly game of bluff.

The series launches with the first two episodes and subsequent instalments surface on Fridays.

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