Grand Isle

Longtime fans will be disappointed by the extent of the acting duel between Nicolas Cage and Kelsey Grammer in Grand Isle – but cinephiles who seek out Cage craziness won’t regret catching this thriller on the big screen during a very limited theatrical release. Grammer spends most of his screen time framing a flashback as a detective grilling a struggling handyman who’s been arrested for murder. That’s after a bizarre opening where a Southern belle creeps out some Girl Scouts (or the indie equivalent), with KaDee Strickland making it clear she’s ready to match Cage in their portrayal of a sleazy Southern couple. Luke Benward simply tries to keep up as the young man with a frigid wife and a sick kid. That leaves him desperate enough to agree to fix the broken fence at Cage’s rotting manor. Then he’s stuck staying the night as a Louisiana hurricane leaves him stranded. It’s the perfect setting for a deep-fried film noir, with the sexually-frustrated wife complaining about her husband “sitting on his lazy ass and getting drunk all day.” Of course, that’s before things get increasingly unhinged to ensure that the Cage filmography remains a genre unto itself. The final big reveal still turns out to be that Grammer might have had to work two whole days to cram in all of his scenes.