A while back I started watching Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. It was free, streaming on Netflix. Even so, couldn't take it. So pretentious. Jim Carrey, who I dislike anyway, trying to be serious. Epic fail. Shut it off after ten minutes.
So what to watch now? My son had been streaming Kick Ass. It was in the queue, so I gave it a shot.
Thankfully, Nicholas Cage is a busy man. Sure, he may not be fronting massive franchise pictures (okay, he's got Ghostrider. Which kind of proves my point) but a quick look at his IMDB page shows us he's got lot of movies coming up with one completed, two in post, one filming and one in pre-production as well as another three on the drawing board.
Which is good, because the world needs more Nick Cage movies. The trailer for the movie about the never-made Nick Cage/Tim Burton Superman flick is almost too painful to contemplate. Nick Cage as the man of steel. If only.
He has become somewhat of an icon, with memes and lists of his greatest moments available all over the Internet, but here I want to touch on some Nick Cage films not everyone may have seen.
Knowing may be one of the bleakest movies ever made. I won't go into spoiler detail except to say it involves a man who finds a way to predict major disasters. There's a scene involving a plane crash that will curl your hair.
It was directed by Alex Proyas, best known for The Crow (you know, the movie where Brendan Lee was killed due to the irresponsibility of the producers) Dark City and I Robot. Even though he was a major participant in the all-too avoidable death of a rising young star, (for which I, as one who takes firearm safety very seriously, will never really forgive him) he's still a terrific filmmaker. One I would argue is actually better than the over-hyped Darren Aronofsky. (If you disagree, go watch Requiem for a Dream again. It's almost funny how cheesy that film is.) His films are dark, often grim and not really all that commercial. Knowing is the darkest and grimmest of them all, and the gray, cloudy, rainy day of that plane crash scene is the perfect visual metaphor for the film. Cage isn't off the wall nuts in it, but he's still great.
On the other side of the Cage spectrum we have Deadfall. Directed by another member of the Coppola clan, Deadfall is a clunky, low-budget attempt to make a film noir which is elevated only by the fact the Nicholas Cage, clearly doing a solid for a struggling filmmaking relative, agreed to do the movie but must have stipulated in his contract that he will do whatever the hell he wants to do with his performance. And boy does he. Cage, clad in a snakeskin jacket and goofy shades, delivers his entire performance between clenched teeth. It is a tour de force of all tour de forces. Miraculously, even though Cage is only in the film for 45 minutes, his mere presence at such an exalted level is enough to keep you watching all the way in the end if only on the hope that he may reappear.
But the combination of Herzog and Cage is surprisingly restrained, surprisingly funny and surprisingly human. Cage plays a cop, injured during Hurricane Katrina, who's turned to pain pills in a major way to stay on his feet. Despite his problems which include drug and gambling addictions, he's handed a major murder investigation while simultaneously trying to fend off bookies he owes a cool $5,000 to. It's a terrific film with a great twist and the most amazing iguana scene you've ever witnessed.
These are three great movies, and with the spate of other prime Cage material, should keep us fans satiated until Dying of the Light, written and directed by Paul Schrader, hits the screens.
Until then, take cover and swiiiiiiiiiitttttttttcccccchhhhhh to Kryptonite.