Nicolas Cage Rules!
Let me get that out of the way first and foremost: for decades now, Nicolas Cage has put himself out there for movie lovers to enjoy – and by that I mean he’s never been afraid to put himself WAY WAY OUT THERE:
Nicolas Cage is ALWAYS willing to take risks, and that’s why I love him – you never know what level of “Nicolas Cage Rage” you will get, but you’ll always get something unique!
Cage has had a great career, beginning with early films like “Peggy Sue Got Married” and “Moonstruck”, and the infamous 1988 film “Vampire’s Kiss”:
While he was rumored to have bitten a live bat, they managed to talk him out of it – yes, he really wanted to – talk about a method Actor!
His willingness to pour himself into a role culminated in the Academy Award for his portrayal of a man drinking himself to death in “Leaving Las Vegas”.
He also has starred in some of the biggest box office hits of all time, like the “National Treasure” franchise as well as “Con Air”, “The Rock” and John Woo’s brilliant “Face/Off”:
So What’s Cage Been Up To Recently?
Short answer: a lot!
I counted 29 projects that list Cage’s involvement since 2010 – in fact, IMDB lists seven projects underway this year alone!
Well, that means I am way way behind. So, I spent a day diving headfirst into some of the Actor’s latest and greatest work!
This Is NOT A “Cage-Free” Day!
I decided to eat some breakfast before I started my “Cage-a-thon”, so I chose a White Castle cheeseburger topped with a fresh egg – a delicious breakfast treat that gave me sustenance and got me focused for the first film on my list – a crime thriller that I knew had a BIG Nic Cage performance in it:
1 – “Dog Eat Dog” from 2016
I had to start with one of the films I was most anticipating – because “Dog Eat Dog” was directed by Paul Schrader, who wrote “Taxi Driver” and directed such great films as “Blue Collar”, “American Gigolo” and “Auto Focus.” The film also co-stars Willem Dafoe as well – and I knew that he was also going all-in on this film, so it was destined to be a wild over the top battle of scenery-chewers!
Here is the trailer:
Three ex-cons trying for one last big score…that’s the quick one-liner for this film, but it’s so much more…Cage and Dafoe have a field day with this dark material, and Schrader paints a wildly colorful cinematic palate, a mix of garish interior and moody exteriors.
Oh, and Cage embraces his role with relish – this is a gritty “Reservoir Dogs”-style film that got me off on an energized start!
Here is a more indepth look at this gritty film:
From one extreme to the other: that same year, Cage starred as a meek mild-mannered American who decides to go to Pakistan to capture Bin Laden – because God told him to – and yes, God is Russell Brand!
2 – “Army of One” From 2016
Well, it’s been awhile since Cage did a comedy – he was great in “Raising Arizona” and “Adaptation”, but he really put it all out there for comic effect in this film – check out the trailer:
Black comedy and farce are VERY difficult to pull off, and while Cage gives it his all, with an “Indiana Jones Meets God” look, this film turned out to be an acquired taste…
This “black comedy” is loud, noisy and very offbeat – and was a bit controversial for the Actor, because in Japan you could have had THIS snack while watching the film!
Yes, they made a corn puff snack with Nic’s face on it to promote the movie release – oh, but they forgot to ask his permission so you can imagine how that went down – click here to see what happened:
Almost 4 hours and two films in, I stopped to have lunch – important to show you that I was going “all in” as well:
There was some lettuce, onion, tomato and pickle on this burger, so I call that a “side salad” – fortified, I thought it was time for a good thriller with lots of action, but my reality was a bit different – and the drinking was about to begin…
3 – “Vengeance: A Love Story” from 2017
This film is officially titled “Vengeance: A Love Story”, and is based on the 2003 novel “Rape: A Love Story” by acclaimed Writer Joyce Carol Oates.
I didn’t read the book, but the film stars Cage as a Cop who decides to administer the justice that our system refused to mete out…check out the trailer:
Nic’s Support Team!
This was my third Cage film, and the third one that has had a recognizable co-star, in this case Don Johnson, who is terrific as a Defense Attorney with no morals at all!
As you can see from this ad for the film’s release overseas, there have been a number of different secondary titles like “he is the law”. No matter: what I watched was a VERY downbeat drama about a woman who was gang-raped – and only Cage could administer justice.
There is action in the film, but there is also a LOT of very dark material here, and Cage underplays the role – perhaps to show sympathy for the victim, but he is dour, somber and makes the viewing experience depressing – I needed a drink!
OK, it’s mid afternoon, 3 films into my marathon, and I grab a glass of wine. Time to dig into another 2017 film, the second in a row from last year – and I’m trying to imagine what made Cage want to make it:
4 – “Inconceivable” from 2017
In less than ten minutes I was reaching for the bottle again for a refill – because this Cage effort was driving me to drink.
Cage plays a Doctor whose wife, played by Gina Gershon, is trying to have another child. They befriend a young troubled Mother who quickly turns their life upside down!
Here is a look at the film’s trailer:
First: do you notice the trend of recognizable co-stars continuing, in this case Gerson and Faye Dunaway?
Second, I drank half the bottle of wine, just using “wine drinking” prompts in the film. Cage does little more than act like a comforting shoulder to his wife, as well as to the mysterious young woman – always with a glass of wine close by…as a drinking game it worked, but as a film, I felt like I was watching a “Lifetime Movie” drama!
I was in a bit of a state: the “robust” Nic Cage had gone away, I was 4 films and 8 hours into my Cage-a-thon, and I desperately needed something to wake me up!
5- “Rage” From 2014
If a film with the title “Rage” can’t rouse me up from my semi-drunken, Nicolas Cage-induced slumber, then I’m in big big trouble, but luckily, an angry Nic was on the way once again!
In this thriller, Cage plays a building tycoon who has a mysterious past. That past catches up with him, of course, when his teenaged daughter is kidnapped by people who were, indeed, part of that mysterious past.
Here is the trailer:
Cue The Recognizable Co-Star!
Yes, another familiar face: Danny Glover co-stars as the Cop who is looking for his daughter, but spends most of his limited screen time begging Cage NOT to take matters into his own hands…which of course, he does with two mouths full of chewed-up scenery…
This look is how I was feeling by this time, as “Rage” was entertaining, but I was worried that Cage may be phoning it in just a bit, even if the film is proficiently executed – it felt a bit like what Cinemax has with their “Skinamax” films, except with violence instead of nudity – so what could I do but this?
Yes, there was a lot of drinking in “Rage”, and I joined in…heading into my last movie, I desperately needed SOMETHING to keep me awake – and yes, I saved the best for last!
6 – “Mom And Dad” – 2018
Well, talk about ending on a high note! After almost ten hours, I wrapped my Nic Cage marathon on a terrifically fun high note!
Here is what Variety said about the film:
“To hear director Brian Taylor tell it, thriller “Mom and Dad” is a “gift to the movie gods.”
Taylor joined stars Nicolas Cage, Selma Blair, and Anne Winters at the Variety Studio Presented by AT&T to talk about the new film, Cage’s career (he’s not over-the-top, he “makes the top”), and why the actor doesn’t actually like the word “acting.”
Well, let’s get to Cage “making the top” – check out the trailer!
Yes, Cage goes GONZO in his hilariously black comedy about a virus that turns all parents into merciless killers – as you can see, the posters have a field day with the premise!
Selma Blair also hams it up in a deliciously wicked take on parenting…I was now toasting Cage for his willingness to, as the Director said, “make the top” with his acting choices!
This is a really great film, and it ended my Cage-a-thon, nearly twelve hours after started, on a sunken high note…what a ride!
So, a day with Nicolas Cage is like any other day in your life: full of laughter, happiness, despair, angst, depression and drinking…what could be better?
And if only he had been able to make THIS!
Yes, this is a REAL costume test for Cage – he was set to make “Superman Lives” with Director Tim Burton!
You can click here to read the whole story of how this one got away:
And if six Nic Cage movies aren’t enough, remember that someone used new technology to put the Actor in every film ever made!
Yes, that’s Cage as Lois Lane – not a still, actually acting the role! See this technology in action here:
I could do more of these “Cage-athons”, because he has so many films to explore – bravo to him!
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