The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent (Lionsgate, Blu-ray or DVD, R, 107 min.). From the title onward, this film is very much tongue-in-check, but it also morphs into a decent action picture as it goes through five genres of films that Cage has done throughout his career, with many homages to particular Cage films sprinkled throughout. Cage is Cage as usual and he is supported by a terrific, comedic performance by Pedro Pascal.

The film opens with some fan declarations of how great Cage is, before switching to him trying to land a role that would revitalize his career. Throughout the film, Cage, who plays a semi-fictionalized version of himself, struggles to connect with his daughter Addy, 16 (Lily Sheen), much to the disappointment of his ex-wife Olivia (Sharon Horgan). When Cage fails to get the desired role, his manager Richard Fink (Neil Patrick Harris) offers him a well-paying birthday party gig. Cage decides to accept the gig and to retire from acting.

The birthday party turns out to be for superfan Javi Gutierrez (Pascal of “The Mandalorian”), with the party at his ocean-side home in Mallorca, Spain. Javi has written a screenplay for Cage to star in, but Fink never showed him the script. Javi constantly has a grin when around Cage, much as would any real fan. Their characters develop a true, wonderful bond.

Meanwhile, Javi is under surveillance by a CIA team of Vivian (Tiffany Haddish) and Martin (Ike Barinholtz), who believe the olive-exporting magnate is an international gun runner. This leads to the thriller aspect, especially as Cage and Javi try to avoid presumed surveillance and Javi flies in Olivia and Addy as a surprise that Cage takes the wrong way. Then there is a kidnapping.

Along the way, Cage’s younger alter ego Nicky pops up, usually to castigate his older self, even smacking him one time. (A strange, but wonderful deleted scene involves a showdown between Nicky and Cage in a “The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari”-like set.) Nicky recalls the characters Cage played in “Wild at Heart” and “Vampire’s Kiss.”

Extras include audio commentary by director Tom Gormican and writing partner Kevin Etten; two deleted scenes with optional commentary (4:53); a look at references to other Cage films (4:48); how the film came to be (6:38); and Pascal as Javi (4:21). Grade: film 3.5 stars; extras 3 stars

Rating guide: 5 stars = classic; 4 stars = excellent; 3 stars = good; 2 stars = fair; dog = skip it

Vampire’s Kiss (1988, MVD Rewind Collection, Blu-ray, R, 107 min.). This Nicolas Cage film is most noted for the infamous scene in which he eats a live cockroach, as well as his manic, over-the-top performance. Cage plays Peter Loew, a successful literary agent by day and a womanizing bar crawler by night.

One night a bat flies in through his window, causing his pick-up to run away. Next time out, he hooks up with Rachel (Jennifer Beals), who feeds on his jugular during their lovemaking. Now Peter is feeling run down and increasingly anxious, part of which he takes out on his secretary Alva (Maria Conchita Alonso), making her life a living hell as he forces her to find a misplaced contract. In one scene, he jumps on top of his desk, screaming and waving his finger at her.

As Peter’s behavior becomes more and more erratic, he believes he really has turned into a vampire, although the film shows us he really hasn’t. Peter already is under psychiatric care, as we see several of his therapy session with Dr. Dorothy Glaser (Elizabeth Ashley). Nonetheless, he flips over his sofa and lowers it over himself like a makeshift coffin. He even buys fake vampire teeth to assault someone at a nightclub.

One amazing scene has an unhinged, hallucinating Peter walking a Manhattan Street, while delivering a bizarre monologue and carrying a giant wooden stake, as seemingly real New Yorkers walk by, hardly disturbed by the overacting.

Cage gives a very physical, at time maniacal performance that is more memorable than the plot. The extras are an audio commentary by Cage and director Robert Bierman, a photo gallery, and a mini poster. Grade: film and extras 2 stars

Father Stu (Sony, Blu-ray or DVD, R, 124 min.). Based on the true story of Father Stuart Long, who went from boxer to priest after a near-fatal motorcycle accident and then had to battle a debilitating disease, the film seems to revel more in Stu’s misbehavior than his proselytizing. Reportedly, the film was a passion project for leads Mark Wahlberg, who plays Stu and financed the project, and Mel Gibson, who plays his estranged father Bill and whose romantic partner, Rosalind Ross, wrote and directed the film. In the extras, Wahlberg says Father Stu’s story mirrored his own life in many ways, including wanting to be a movie star.

As a boxer, Stu was 14-2, but with more trophies than income and too many injuries, which may have contributed to his later physical problems. Told continuing to box would endanger his life, he heads to Los Angeles for an acting career that never happens. While working behind a deli counter, he encounters the beautiful Carmen (Teresa Ruiz), who is a devout Catholic. By chasing her, he becomes involved in Catholicism. Eventually, he decides to be baptized, shocking his mother Kathleen (Jacki Weaver).

The film’s last 30 minutes or so are a tough watch, but very affecting, as the disease takes over his body. Extras include 12 deleted scenes (11:54) and a series of promo shorts with more information on the real Father Stu. Grade: film 2.5 stars; extras 1.5 stars

Ip Man: The Awakening (China, Well Go USA, Blu-ray or DVD, NR, 80 min.). In this sort-of origin film, the young Ip Man (Miu Tse), newly arrived in Hong Kong and witnessing the abuses of colonialism firsthand, declares to friend Feng, “Someone must stand up to injustice,” after he witnesses a Chinese gang grabbing females to be sold as slaves for a corrupt British official. Particularly, Ip tires to help Feng’s sister Chan, who has been imprisoned. Eventually, he realizes that sometimes one has to play the long game and not every problem can be solved by his Wing Chun style of fighting.

There are several fights against gangs and an early one in which Ip takes on three would-be robbers on a streetcar. The fight scenes feature lightning-fast action. There also is a one-on-one battle between Ip and a Britisher who uses Bartitsu sparring style. Grade: film 3 stars

The Cellar (Ireland, RLJE, Blu-ray or DVD, NR, 94 min.). This horror film takes place in a large, occasionally creepy house that the endangered Woods family of four has just bought via auction, all contents included. During the first night in the house, teenage daughter Ellie (Abby Fitz) goes into the cellar to restore the lights which have gone out, but instead of descending 10 steps, her count – while on the phone with Mother Keira (Elisha Cuthbert) – reaches 30. When the parents, including dad Brian (Eoin Macken), return home, Ellie has gone missing.

What follows is Keira’s investigation into the house’s history, which ultimately combines, mathematics, other dimensions and a doorway to hell, the latter courtesy of the demon Baphomet. Included on the release is writer/director Brendan Muldowney’s short film “The Ten Steps” (10:31), a very good effort that covers the girl’s going into the basement and her counting going beyond 10. However, that is only the start of this film, which does not offer much follow-up excitement. There also is a young son (Dylan Fitzmaurice Brady) who almost gets lured down the steps, but why didn’t Keira even check out the sudden opening that appeared in his playroom?

There are cast and crew interviews (5:09), a before-and-after look at visual effects; and Muldowney does audio commentary for both films, with producer Richard Bulger on the feature. Grade: film 2.25 stars; extras 2.5 stars

Offseason (RLJE, Blu-ray or DVD, NR, 83 min.). There have been several films named “Off Season,” but this one is mostly boring and unengaging. Marie Aldrich (Jocelin Donahue) gets an urgent letter saying her mother’s grave has been vandalized on her home island — only her mother had not wanted to be buried there. Marie drags friend George (Joe Swanberg) to the island, where everyone acts very weird and the bridges are raised for the winter, due to storms. It turns out, the islanders made a pact with a demon to survive those storms. But did they really survive? Writer-director Mickey Keaton’s film is a total misfire. Grade: film 1.5 stars

Tom Von Malder of Owls Head has reviewed music since 1972, just after graduation from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism. He has reviewed videos/DVDs since 1988.

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