BADass SINema Unearthed - Blu-ray Review

Grand Isle (2019) - Blu-ray Review

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Grand Isle

Mint juleps, duplicitous hospitality, locked basements with voodoo dolls, and wild hurricanes.  Is there anything more southern gothic than that? The writers of Grand Isle, a new B-grade murder mystery flick starring Nicolas Cage and Kelsey Grammar, think that’s all it takes to turn this southern gothic tale into a steamy tale of murder and lust that you’ll want to watch on a dark and rainy night.  They aren’t wrong.

"Cage delivers - when he is in the film - another manic performance that is hard to shrug off"


 

Grand Isle, now on blu-ray thanks to this release from Screen Media Films, delivers a plot-twisting tale of sex and murder, making me remember some steamier offerings from another decade (Out of Time, Body Parts, etc.).  It’s darkly-lit and heavy on atmosphere, but most of the enjoyment of this film noir flick comes from the performance of Cage who, at the beginning, loves to take out his frustrations by shooting bottles that are a bit too close to the hired help and then goes completely off the rails as one of the walking wounded.

Truly, you had me at one glimpse of the movie poster as a crazed-looking Cage stares back at me.  The moody cover of the blu-ray, which promises Cage going full-on gonzo, gives us a bit of a glimpse of what’s to come.  Forget the rest. I just want to see Cage rage. He is, after all, the hardest working actor in Hollyweird, making something like six crazy-ass flicks last year for his fans to delight in.

Grand Isle is the latest, although he’s not in the damn thing enough.

Directed by Stephen Campanelli and co-written by Iver William Jallah and Rich Ronat, Grand Isle suffers the wildest of rainy nights and gives audiences a sudsy framing device as Grammar, playing Detective Jones tries to get to the bottom of last night’s murder in Grand Isle, Louisiana.  Number One on the suspect list is the man sitting in front of him; a recently hired handyman with a troubled backstory to boot. He even spent the night - riding out the hurricane - with the family at the center of the murder.

Buddy (Luke Benward) just wants to clear his name.  He’s got a fractured marriage and a sick kiddo at home and being at the top of a list of suspects is just something that he has no time for.  He should have never agreed to fix the fence of Walter (Cage) and Fancy (Kaydee Strickland), but Fancy - true to her name - offers him a sexy time that he just couldn’t pass up.  She even sucks his . . . thumb.  Grand Isle

But, the messiness and the drama gets worse, because Walter wants Buddy to kill his wife.  Walter is an ex-marine, but he’s still on a mission. Exactly what it is, though, is anyone’s guess - which is why this film works more than it should.  We get the shrouded offer, the femme fatale (thanks to a wonderfully weird and ripe performance from Strickland), and the hapless stranger all bedded down for the night.  The actual mystery might be garbled in the nitty-gritty details thanks to the extreme nature of the atmosphere surrounding the house, but Cage delivers - when he is in the film - another manic performance that is hard to shrug off.  

Grand Isle, with mixed results, brings a ragin’ Nic Cage into atmospheric film noir territory.  Country chicken coppers and Cage unite in this sultry tale of murder and madness!

3/5 stars

Grand Isle

Blu-ray

Blu-ray Details:

Home Video Distributor: Screen Media
Available on Blu-ray
- February 4, 2020
Screen Formats: 2.39:1
Subtitles
:
Audio:
DTS-HD MA 5.1
Discs: Blu-ray Disc; single disc
Region Encoding: Locked to Region A

For 110-minutes, Screen Media invites you to stay in Grand Isle.  Shot on location, this tale of murder is a must-see for Cage fans.  Kaydee Strickland also knocks it out of the park in her performance as a sultry siren, tempting her hired help to watch her take a bath.   Dark and spooky, Grand Isle might not be a classic for the film noir genre, but it doesn’t disappoint when it comes to atmosphere and unhinged performances.

Visual:

This is a dark and swampy production, but the details in the 1080 handling are magnificent.  Black levels are inky and hold their edges and colors are vivid throughout 110-minutes. The 1080p handling of the movie makes it worth a look on your home theater system. The reference quality visuals are truly gorgeous with vivid colors that pop against dimly-lit backgrounds and dark mahogany wood and watery textures. Textures of clothing and floating specs of dust come into perfect focus throughout.  The filmic canvas here is very expressive and it registers nicely in these close quarters.

Audio:

The DTS-HD MA 5.1 track won't keep your system rocking as this is a dialogue-heavy affair, but the atmospheres truly kick with a cool soundtrack.

Supplements:

Commentary:

  • None

Special Features:

  • None

Blu-ray Rating:

  Movie 3/5 stars
  Video  3/5 stars
  Audio 2/5 stars
  Extras 0/5 stars

Overall Blu-ray Experience

2/5 stars

Grand Isle

MPAA Rating: R.
Runtime:
97 mins
Director
: Stephen S. Campanelli
Writer:
Iver William Jallah, Rich Ronat
Cast:
Nicolas Cage, KaDee Strickland, Luke Benward
Genre
: Action | Thriller
Tagline:
A Storm is Coming.
Memorable Movie Quote: "$20,000. That's what I'm going to pay you to kill my wife."
Theatrical Distributor:
Screen Media Films
Official Site: https://screenmediafilms.net/productions/details/2947/Grand-Isle
Release Date:
January 3, 2020
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
February 4, 2020.
Synopsis:Walter (Nicolas Cage) and his neglected wife lure a young man into their Victorian home to escape a hurricane. When the man is charged with murder by Det. Jones (Kelsey Grammar), he must reveal the couple's wicked secrets to save himself.

Grand Isle

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