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Cashmere Cat - Princess Catgirl Music Album Reviews

The Norwegian producer invents a Vocaloid-inspired feline character and retreats from the spotlit pop of his last album, returning to the introspective hush of his earlier work.
After all these years, Cashmere Cat is still shy. The musician born Magnus August Høiberg has nearly a decade of prismatic productions under his belt, which has led to appearances on the big stages at EDM festivals, collaborations with childhood heroes, and studio time with the biggest pop stars in the world. On some level, Høiberg has had to adjust to the practicalities that this success requires. He once wouldn’t even do in-person interviews, but a few years ago he finally decided to open up about his life story in a music video. One would imagine he’s no longer hiding in a bathroom, as a friend of his once described, when DJ Khaled unexpectedly turns up at the studio.

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Running with the Devil Movie Review

Slow Country for Old Men

Editor's Note: kudos to intrepid BPBS reviewer Neil Danner for inspiring us to officially recognize Nicolas Cage as a one-man cottage industry of media mayhem. In that spirit, we're introducing a special review scale for Mr. Cage's work:

1 Nick Cage: uncharacteristically dull

2 Nick Cages: shows some signs of life; pretty entertaining

3 Nick Cages: we're getting crazy now!

4 Nick Cages: bees-level insanity; safety gear advised

A film putting Nicolas Cage ("Spider-Man: Into the Spider Verse") and Laurence Fishburne ("John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum") together onscreen sounds like the kind of adventure that you would need to sign a waiver before watching. Unfortunately for thrill-seeking viewers, "Running with the Devil," which does just that, is in reality a surprisingly flat experience, lacking even a true protagonist to root for.

A shipment of cocaine is killing users, and the cartel leader who is overseeing distribution, The Boss (Barry Pepper, "Maze Runner: The Death Cure"), takes action to remedy the situation. He sends The Cook (Cage), his quality control guy, and The Executioner (Cole Hauser, "Olympus Has Fallen"), his right hand, to follow a shipment from the fields of Columbia to the streets of North America to discover and fix the issue. The entire time they are being followed by The Agent in Charge (Leslie Bibb, "Tag"), a tenacious fed who has a personal stake in putting an end to their operation.

The emotional tenor of "Devil" feels off almost immediately. A young girl discovers her parents overdosed on the couch, and The Agent in Charge arrives to reveal that the girl is her niece and the dead couple is her sister and brother-in-law. The girl is immediately passed to another family member and forgotten by the audience. Rather than following The Agent in Charge's quest for retribution, we quickly move to Colombia to follow a shipment of cocaine from its beginning.

Here, The Farmer, a criminally underused Clifton Collins Jr. ("Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood"), harvests the coca leaves and creates the initial batch of pure cocaine. The Cook follows the product to Mexico, where a runner is shown selling some on the side. After The Cook removes this issue, the cocaine continues its journey to Washington State. This leg of the trip is done by The Man (Fishburne), who snowshoes over the Canadian border to bring the cocaine to Vancouver. Here The Cook discovers who has been cutting the product and needs to make a decision how to proceed.

Everything is laid out for this movie to have a lot of gritty emotion, but it doesn't use any of it. We don't get pulled into The Agent in Charge's story of vengeance, or even get enough of her story to identify with her character. Instead, all of the characters are very one dimensional, without showing depth or substance. In "Maria Full of Grace" you see the cartel world through the eyes of a runner. In "Scarface" you see it through the eyes of the eventual leader. Both of these films are effective and powerfully emotional in different ways. Here, however, it is almost as though the world is viewed through the eyes of the cocaine itself. Everything is presented without judgment or depth, and the narrative moves to the next person without any feeling or attachment.

"Running with the Devil" has a cast with a lot of talent, but they are underserved by the story. At the very least you would hope for a trademark over the top Nick Cage moment, but the audience is deprived of even that joy, leaving the viewer feeling oddly flat.

"Running with the Devil" earns a 1 on BPBS's Nick Cage Mayhem Scale.

View my Flipboard Magazine.

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