Mar 252017

Arsenal is the type of movie that makes you wonder who exactly is financing it with a bad script and a so-so performance by its lead actor. The only redeeming value, if you can call it that, is seeing Nic Cage doing vintage Nic Cage who is wildly hilarious.




Genre(s): Thriller, Drama, Crime
Lionsgate | R – 92 min. – $24.99 | March 28, 2017

Date Published: 03/25/2017 | Author: The Movieman


Directed by:
Steven C. Miller
Writer(s): Jason Mosberg (written by)
Cast: Adrian Grenier, Johnathon Schaech, Nicolas Cage, John Cusack, Lydia Hull
Commentary, Featurette, Interviews, Trailer
Digital Copy: Yes
Formats Included: Blu-ray
Number of Discs: 1
Audio: English (DTS-HD MA 5.1), Spanish (Dolby Digital 5.1)
Video: 1080p/Widescreen 1.85
Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish
Disc Size: 22.5 GB
Codec: MPEG-4 AVC
Region(s): A


THE MOVIE — 1.0/5

Well, this was an interesting movie. Not for the plot or the main actors, but Nicolas Cage who seemed to be in an all together different thing than everyone else. This was a performance that harkened back to his 1988 classic Vampire’s Kiss with Cage being oh so Cage-y. He’s not quite that insane but so close and I’d say without him, this would’ve been another bad and forgettable pic, it’s just bad…

The plot focuses on blue collar entrepreneur and family man JP (ADRIAN GRENIER) whose older brother, Mikey (JOHNATHON SCHAECH), has anything but a stable life and has resorted to dealing drugs using the money JP gave him, only to have it ripped off by a couple of thugs. With a daughter to take care of, he’s in dire need. Growing up, Mikey worked for local crime boss Eddie King (NICOLAS CAGE) where his life went off the rails though he also cared for JP after their uncle’s suicide.

King, believing Mikey owed him, proposes an opportunity to extort money from JP with a kidnapping scheme. Soon enough, JP does receive a call demanding $300,000 and how it’s up to JP to track down sources on the streets, with the help of vice cop Sal and friend Sal (JOHN CUSACK), and discover if the kidnapping was real or if his bro is using him.

I honestly don’t know why I continue to subject myself to these crime-thrillers. Sure, Arsenal does boast an interesting enough cast, though the studio employs the same template as their other low rent flicks by nabbing a couple of names (i.e. Nic Cage and John Cusack) and have them on location for a day. I have to think, if it weren’t for Cage, this easily would’ve been forgettable. In his few scenes, Cage so chews the scenary to that I must commend Schaech for somehow getting through their scenes with him without breaking  because Cage is so outrageously over-the-top, it stands out as everyone else (from the main to supporting cast) plays is rather straight. This is vintage outrageous Cage.

As I said, the other cast members are rather bland. I couldn’t really buy Adrian Grenier as some successful businessman who somehow turns into a “bad-ass” who can wield a gun and seek vengeance. Schaech meanwhile plays disheveled rather well, however and the few scenes he has with Grenier weren’t bad. John Cusack, like Cage, no doubt was only on location for a day and had one piece of wardrobe: black coat, black pants, black headband. He’s alright in a limited part but could’ve easily been removed and wouldn’t have been missed.

From a script written by Jason Mosberg (debut), Arsenal was directed by Steven C. Miller who previously helmed a couple other Grindstone films (Extraction and Marauders) and has Escape Plan 2: Hades in production (mainly for the Chinese market more so than Stateside). Considering the script, budget and Cage, I’m not entirely sure if he had a chance to even actually make it good. That said, it would appear he was channeling his inner Guy Richie with some slow-mo shots that were more ridiculous than thrilling.

I suppose if you want a good laugh seeing Cage chew the scenery, Arsenal might be worthy of a rental, otherwise let it be lost amongst the numerous other direct-to-video flicks that have come and gone.



This release comes with a matted and title embossed slip cover. Inside is a Digital HD copy.

Audio Commentary – Director Steven C. Miller and Actor Johnathon Schaech provide a light-hearted and fun track giving anecdotal stories some of the more interesting ones being about Nicolas Cage who was only on location for one day.

Building an Arsenal (9:47; HD) is your usual behind-the-scenes featurette with interviews by members of the cast and crew talking about the characters and story.

Extended Interviews (TRT 26:40; HD):

  • Adrian Grenier (4:31)
  • Johnathon Schaech (5:05)
  • Lydia Hull (4:08)
  • Steven C. Miller – Director (3:43)
  • Brandon Cox – Cinematographer (9:13)

Arsenal Trailer (2:05; HD)

TrailersImperium, Solace, Urge, The Prince, Marauders


VIDEO – 4.0/5

Arsenal arrives on Blu-ray shown with a 1.78 widescreen aspect ratio and given a 1080p high-definition transfer. The picture, for the most part, looks fine with natural looking colors and sharp/well defined detail. It’s also clean, free of artifacts, aliasing, banding and other flaws.

AUDIO – 4.0/5

The disc includes a DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track offers up crisp and clean dialogue levels and there is a moderate amount of depth when it came to the few action scenes. Things like bullets flying were a tad muffled and the generic music made some usage of the rear channels.


OVERALL – 2.0/5

Overall, Arsenal is the type of movie that makes you wonder who exactly is financing it with a bad script and a so-so performance by its lead actor. The only redeeming value, if you can call it that, is seeing Nic Cage doing vintage Nic Cage who is wildly hilarious though unfortunately he only has a few scenes. The Blu-ray released through Lionsgate offers up good video/audio transfers and some okay set of features.





Check out some more screen caps by going to page 2. Please note, these do contain spoilers.

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