Monday, April 4, 2011

Peggy Sue Got Married

  Directed by Nicolas Cage's uncle, Francis Ford Coppola, the movie revolves around Peggy Sue played by Kathleen Turner. When the movie begins we meet Peggy Sue as a forty-something housewife facing a divorce from her estranged husband Charlie played by Nic Cage. At her 25th high school reunion, Peggy Sue faints on stage and awakes to find herself transported back to her teenage body with the knowledge that her high school sweetheart Charlie turns out to be a lying, cheating scumbag who just never amounts to much.

  In what I can loosely describe as a female version of Back to the Future, Peggy Sue Got Married explores the concept of what you would do if faced with the opportunity to relive your life, in a lighthearted but also slightly dramatic way. Once Peggy Sue gets over the initial shock of finding herself a teenager again, she begins railing against her teenage boyfriend Charlie for sins he has not yet committed. As the story unravels, things become more complicated and it becomes clear that there are reasons why Charlie lost his way.

  Notable appearances include Catherine Hicks (the mom from 7th Heaven) and Joan Allen (the mom from Pleasantville). A young Jim Carrey and Sophia Coppola make an appearances as well.

  Kathleen Turner was nominated for a best Actress Oscar for her performance while Nic Cage's performance was ridiculously bad. Cage performs as Charlie with a nasal voice reminiscent of PeeWee Herman but he can't seem to keep the act up. The voice is constantly fading in and out and it's pretty distracting. Thus far in his career, Nicolas Cage doesn't really seem to have found himself as an actor and it shows.

Here's a look at what Kathleen Turner has been up to lately on one of my favorite shows right now, Californication:

On a related note, I recently lost my voice and someone remarked that I sounded a lot like Kathleen Turner.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

The Boy in Blue

So bad, it's bad...

  Set in Philadelphia during the late 19th century, The Boy in Blue is Nicolas Cage's portrayal of real-life championship sculler Ned Hanlan. If only rowing were really that exciting. If you want to get an idea of what this movie is like, take the movie Rocky... replace Sylvester Stallone with Nic Cage... give him a pair of oars and send him down the Schuylkill River with a trainer old enough to have known William Penn... throw in a few training montages couple with some way out of place synthesizer music you get... a total piece of crap.

"Before baseball, football, or soccer, one sport alone captured the imagination of both rich and poor -- sculling.
The masses turned out by the thousands to cheer their heroes as they battled on the water, while gamblers won and lost fortunes on the outcome.
This is the true story of a young oarsman --
And so begins our not-so-epic journey into the world of 19th century sculling. In the film version of the story Cage plays Ned Hanlan, a Canadian bootlegger turned sculler. After a run-in with the law, Hanlan is convinced by Bill (David Naughton) to go down to Philadelphia to compete in the International Centennial Regatta, which he won easily, thanks in part to a new type of sliding seat that no other rower was willing to try. Hanlan is approached by Colonel Knox (Christopher Plummer), the head of the local gambling scene to train and row for his interests. Knox uses his niece Margaret (Cynthia Dale) to sweeten the deal but ultimately Hanlan refuses the deal, getting the cold shoulder from Margaret and back-stabbed by his former partner Bill. After refusing to throw a race against his rival, the Australian oarsman Edward Trickett, Hanlan intentionally rams him and as a result is banned from rowing in the U.S. Hanlan then sets out to challenge Trickett for both bragging rights and the world champion title, bypassing his U.S. ban by racing in the Thames river. I'm pretty sure you can figure out who wins... If you're in the mood to watch a really bad movie, rent Drive Angry but whatever you do, don't watch this movie. It's a total waste of time... unless of course you're Canadian or something...

Friday, April 1, 2011

Nic Cage to play Captain Jean Luc Picard in upcoming Star Trek Sequel

Paramount has confirmed that the projected release date for the "Star Trek" sequel is indeed June 29, 2012.

Director J.J. Abrams will return to helm the sequel and plans include a Next Generation Twist. Nicolas Cage is in talks to play Captain Kirk's latter day counterpart, Captain Jean Luc Picard. Production is set to begin hot off the heels of Ghost Rider 2 and according to Nic Cage "The role of Picard will be a Nic Cage classic".

The news comes from a variety of sources, including Ain't It Cool News and Entertainment Weekly, but there's no Paramount-issued press release as of yet. The information ran through some trustworthy sources, but we've yet to receive comment from the studio directly.

Regardless, there really hasn't ever been any doubt that we'd be seeing more "Star Trek." Abrams' take on the series made it friendly to an entirely new, much wider audience than its ever known before.

Thursday, March 31, 2011


Nicolas Cage and Matthew Modine (Full Metal Jacket) play Al Columbato and the movie's namesake Birdy, two unlikely high school friends brought together by lost baseballs. Al is the outgoing social type while Birdy is quiet and introverted. Both of them are drafted into the Vietnam war after highschool and the movie flips back and forth between their pre and post Vietnam relationship. Birdy seems trapped by his psychological wounds and is threatened with the possibility of being institutionalized for life. Al, physically wounded in a explosion, is trying to save Birdy by revisiting their past.

As we watch the two teens grow up in South Philadelphia, it becomes apparent the strength of their friendship lies in shared trauma: Birdy falls off the roof while collecting pigeons, both have run-ins with Al's abusive father as well as Birdy's antagonizing mother. Present-day Al refuses to give up on Birdy, insisting his friend is still there, even when threatened with being taken away himself.

I remember seeing this when I was younger and enjoying it. This was the first movie I was really looking forward to rewatching as part of the 365 Days of Cage experiment. This is also the first movie where I thought Nic Cage wasn't half bad but that could be because of the fact I was mesmerized by Matthew Modine's performance. The movie won the Grand Prix at the 1985 Cannes Film Festival and Roger Ebert gave it 4/4 stars. The film's soundtrack was written and performed by Peter Gabriel. Definitely worth watching.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Rich’s Late Analysis of The Cotton Club

Just because this blog hasn’t been updated in a month doesn’t imply that Alex and I have given up on this project. It just signifies that we have underestimated the amount of effort that we would need to exert to properly analyze Nicolas Cage’s film catalog. I know some of you may be looking at this blog and say, “Hey, didn’t you put up a calendar on the side that would show a weekly list of what movies you are doing?” And my official response would be “Let’s pretend that the calendar is more like a guideline than an actual set schedule…”  The past is the past and what’s done is done. But, baby, I’ll do better. So don’t worry about that other woman and let’s just talk about the Cotton Club.

Robert Evans is an eccentric and sometimes polarizing Hollywood producer (The movie The Kid Stays in the Picture is based on his autobiography) and was the studio head behind the Godfather. Sometime in 1984, he gets the brilliant idea that if he hires the writer from the Godfather (Mario Puzo), he will be able recapture lightning in a bottle and create a mob movie masterpiece that is even better than the Godfather. He wants to recreate the Godfather – WITH MUSICALS. Well, besides these massive delusions of grandeur, Mr. Evans also had a slight cocaine addiction and may not have known the meaning of the word restraint. But, DAMN IT, he had a plan and he wasn’t going to let a little thing like reality get in his way. So, he borrowed money from the studio. And then he borrowed some more money from Las Vegas casino owners. And then he borrowed even more money from drug traffickers and an alleged arms dealer. And then one day, he woke up and he realized that the script he had sucked. So, while most normal people would realize they are way in over there head and ask for mercy, Robert Evans is no ordinary man and came up with a brilliant idea to save his movie. He’ll just hire the director of the original The Godfather (Francis Ford Coppola) and give him complete control. What could possibly go wrong?

The answer to that question is everything. One of the financiers (and alleged drug traffickers) was murdered by his partner. Chris Evans was fired as producer and eventually arrested for buying large quantities of cocaine. And his replacement, Joey Cusomano, was an alleged “made” mafia member that used the film production to launder mob money. And this movie became one of the most expensive Hollywood productions ever made. I guess making movies can sometimes be difficult.

During this time, our plucky hero Nicolas Cage was coming off the disappointment that was Racing with the Moon. He was attempting to emulate his film heroes of James Dean and Marlon Brando and create a bit of a mythology around himself but felt that he was unable to find the proper roles. So, when Francis Ford Coppola offered him the meaty role of Vincent Dwyer, Nic jumped at the chance. But what was supposed to be a quick three week shoot turned into a six month nightmare. And Nic’s frustration with this production led to bouts of rage with various pieces of furniture. One popular anecdote during this period of time talks about how Nic went up to a street vendor, grabbed all of the remote control cars from his kiosk and then smashed them underfoot while laughing manically.

Ok, so some of you may actually came here for a movie review. And, well, I’m getting there in my own round about way. As Alex mentioned earlier, the movie starts simple enough. Richard Gere plays a musician that saves a mobster’s life. In gratitude, the mobster puts the musician to work for him. The musician falls in love with the mobster’s girl. The girl doesn’t want to return that love in fear of what her mobster boyfriend will do to them. And then the musician talks to another mobster and moves to Hollywood to become an actor for the next four years.  WAIT, WHAT? Reread that last sentence again. The movie starts out real strong and straight forward but by the beginning of the second act, the story just starts to wander aimlessly. Example: the beginning of the second act has the protagonist leaving for California for four years. And what does he do while in California, he becomes an actor that specializes in playing Mob Bosses. And then he doesn’t show back up until there is like 20 minutes left in the movie. WHAT THE FUCK?

There are other problems with this story as well.  Charles “Lucky” Luciano shows up in the last 20 minutes of the movie and becomes the most important character in the story as all the other characters in the movie are trying to gain his allegiance. The only problem is that the movie never explains WHY he is so important and I’m not even sure if he was even given any dialog that was in English. Another weird storyline out of nowhere has Laurence Fishburne’s character, Bumpy Rhodes expressing his love for Gregory Hines’ sister. Bumpy Rhodes’ love for her is so great that it results in him almost drowning another mobster in a toilet. And then that entire love story is never brought up again. And finally, the ending is a complete disaster. I have never seen a mafia movie that attempted to be a drama, fantasy and a comedy all at the same time. And it fails at all of them.

Most of the movie’s failings could be directed at the film’s scatterbrain script. Francis Ford Coppola supposedly wrote the script while filming the movie. And it shows. It doesn’t matter how good the cinematography is or how talented the cast are, if there isn't a story, the movie will most likely suck.

But there are a lot of bright spots in this film. Fred Gwynne, playing the gentle giant mob enforcer, Frenchie Demange, steals absolutely every scene he is in. He is at times hilarious and other times absolutely terrifying and he communicates both of these emotions mostly with facial expression and physical gestures. Another highlight is everything that involved Gregory and Maurice Hines. Besides the musical and dance numbers being absolutely fantastic, I kind of wish that Francis Ford Coppola had cut out the whole mob/musician love story and concentrated on the Hines brothers. I found their story to be much more engrossing and believable than Richard Gere playing a cornet player. Also, Laurence Fishburne once again shows why is he is a complete and utter bad ass. And finally Nicolas Cage plays up the deranged thug that terrorizes Harlem absolutely beautifully. This is the first time that we see Nic’s crazed, bug nuts gaze that will become the hallmark of a lot of his later works.

And finally, I must express my appreciation for Diane Lane. Between this film, her role in Rumble Fish, and masterful performance in Streets of Fire, I think I’m starting to develop a bit of a crush on her. Not only is she sexy, but she is talented and she totally did not deserve a Razzie for her performance for this role.

In conclusion, this movie is a train wreck. Stay for the musical dance numbers and watching the Hines brother work. Run every time Richard Gere is on screen.

Fun fact: Sylvester Stallone was originally cast to play the part of Dixie Dwyer, but he dropped out because he thought the script sucked. I think this movie would have been exponentially better with Sylvester Stallone in the lead.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Drive Angry 3D

This movie was so bad it was awesome... Cage plays Milton, a dead man who has escaped from hell for the sole purpose of rescuing his granddaughter from the cult leader that killed her parents. The best scene in the entire movie occurs about 30 minutes into the film where a fully clothed Nicolas Cage is killing people in a crazy gun battle all while he is in the middle of banging away at a middle-aged blonde waitress he picked up in the previous scene. All in all it's a pretty horrible movie but there are plenty of car chases, violence and nudity to make up for it. It's a little long for what it is but if you don't have anything else to do watch it for the sheer spectacle. This movie was in 3D, which I'm not a huge fan of but I won't go into the details because Roger Ebert already did a great job with his article on "Why 3D doesn't work and never will. Case Closed.". The article is worth reading more than this movie is worth watching.

Notable appearances by David Morse ( 12 Monkeys ) and William Fichtner ( Entourage, Prison Break ) and well as East Bound & Down's curvy Katy Mixon.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

The Cotton Club

Nominated for 2 Academy awards and inspired by true events, The Cotton Club centers around a prohibition era Harlem jazz club of the same name. Richard Gere plays Dixie Dwyer, a cornet playing jazz musician with unwanted ties to the mob. Nicolas Cage plays Dixie's brother, Vincent Dwyer whose character is based on Vincent "Mad Dog" Coll. Vincent uses Dixie's mob contacts to secure himself a job as a small town lackey, collecting money and terrorizing the residents of Harlem.

I'm not a huge fan of Richard Gere and I didn't think I would really enjoy the movie but Gere was remarkably bearable and the all-star supporting cast was nothing short of amazing. The story revolves around Dixie and his love interest Vera Cicero played by Diane Lane. After Dixie witnesses a murder by local mob hothead Dutch Schultz ( James Remar ), he is tasked with entertaining Dutch's girl Vera. Vera is more attracted to Dixie but both agree to keep things under wraps for fear that Dutch would find out and possibly kill one or both of them. In a parallel story arc, real-life brothers Gregory and Maurice Hines play the tap dancing Williams brothers, trying to make it big at The Cotton Club. Meanwhile Vince is working his way up the mob ladder by any means necessary. The underlying theme throughout all the story arcs seems to be about the price we pay for the things we think we want. Laurence Fishburne ( Rumble Fish ), Bob Hoskins ( Who Framed Roger Rabbit) and Fred Gwyne ( aka Herman Munster ) round out the cast with supporting roles and Tom Waits also makes another appearance in Nic Cage's 5th movie.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Rich's Late Review of Racing with the Moon

I feel like I'm back in college and handing in my assignments three weeks late again. I honestly thought I could get through at least 10 movies before I fell behind. But between the multiple snowstorms, preparing for job interviews and attempting to acquire Microsoft certifications, I had to put movie reviews on the back burner. But as a consolation prize to our wonderful fans (all 6 of you), I have acquired Nicolas Cage: Hollywood's Wild Talent  and Uncaged: The Biography of Nicholas Cage  books. I know unauthorized biographies such as these are about as accurate as most supermarket tabloids. But, I believe that this additional material will assist us to blatantly plagiarize analyze and review Nicolas Cage's movies more efficiently. But enough about me, let us move onto "Racing with the Moon."

 "That nerd from Fast Times can actually act"  - Sean Penn describing Nicolas Cage

I don't think that Nicolas Cage fits the classical definition of a nerd. However, he can definitely be classified as an outsider. Not only is Nicolas Cage the nephew of Francis Ford Coppola, but he also attended Beverly Hills High School. You would think that these two developments would give Nic the inside track for being popular and successful but it actually had the opposite effect. He might have had the last name Coppola, but his father was only a poor teacher (a poor but acclaimed teacher)and Nic felt that he could never compete with the children of movie stars who had money and influence. This eventually caused him feelings of insecurity. These feelings of insecurity followed him onto the movie sets of Fast Times and Rumble Fish as many of his fellow actors felt that he was getting work due to his name and not by his actual talent. Nic became the butt of many a jokes and one of the nicknames he acquired was "that nerd."

It was only after the success of Valley Girl that Hollywood began to shower Nic with some acclaim. But the feelings of insecurity still remained. And for his next role, Nicolas Cage decided to get out of Hollywood for a while and hang out with his good friend and drinking buddy, Sean Penn. The film they stared in together became "Racing with the Moon."

As Alex described earlier, "Racing with the Moon" is a story about Henry and Nicky, two small town pals with only a short time before they ship off to World War II. Henry begins romancing new-to-town Caddie Winger (Elizabeth McGovern) and Nicky gets into trouble because of his penis. Sean Penn plays the hell out of Henry with a wonderful tour-de-force of intensity, compassion, and confusion. Nicolas Cage plays the role of Nicky. Initially, you start to think that the character is eerily similar to "Smokey" from Rumble Fish. But as the movie continues, you realize that Nicky is just a tough talking kid that's actually scared shitless of the upcoming war and Nic plays it just right. The best compliment I can give to Nicolas Cage's acting in this film is that he is not at all overshadowed by Sean Penn's performance. And in this movie, that's a pretty decent feat.

I could go on to describe more of the story, but in all honesty the movie isn't really that good. What is worse is that it almost feels like there is a really good little film somewhere in this jumbled mess. Sean Penn’s and Nicolas Cage’s performances just get lost to either bad writing or bad directing. Hell, even Nicolas Cage thought this was a bad movie when he stated, "I don't think it was that good ... I felt it was something like a Hallmark Card - sweet and sentimental without and sense of depth or danger".

So, in conclusion, Racing with the Moon has some great acting by Sean Penn and Nicolas Cage. But both of those performances are wasted in this "Lifetime Movie of the Week" quality, shitty movie. I've already taken the two best scenes from this movie and put them in the Youtube video below. I recommend watching that video instead of watching "Racing to the Moon." You'll thank me later.

Fun Fact: Nicolas Cage and Crispin Glover both went to same high school.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Rumble Fish and Racing With the Moon

I did actually watch Rumble Fish last week but after reading Rich's review I couldn't think of anything intelligent to add. I will say, it's an incredibly surreal experience. I'm surprised I had never seen, let alone heard of the movie before scheduling the viewings for 365 Days of Cage. If you've never seen it, take a look. It's reminiscent of Hinton's The Outsiders mixed with a little bit of The Wanderers and a healthy dose of mind-fuckery. Diane Lane is gorgeous and it was great to see Larry Fishburne so young. 

Racing With the Moon is about two small town high-school best friends Henry (Sean Penn) and Nicky (Nicolas Cage) preparing to enlist in the Marines during the winter of 1942 in Northern California. Nicky is spending his last few weeks trying to stick his dick in anything that moves while Henry is looking for something with a little more substance. Everything is going well until Nicky finds out the girl he's been sleeping with is pregnant with 3 weeks left before he and Henry leave town. I won't give away any more of the plot, but it's a well rounded poignant drama worth seeing at least once. Compared to his previous performance in Fast Times At Ridgemont High, Sean Penn is an absolute pleasure to watch and Nic Cage seems to be getting the hang of acting, delivering a solid supporting role.

Also of note in this movie, Crispin Glover who you might remember as George McFly in Back To The Future, makes his Hollywood debut around the 6 minute mark as a smart mouthed rich kid that gets his face smashed in by Sean Penn's character. About an hour into the movie is another small, yet notable appearance by Michael Madsen in his second movie role. He plays a hospitalized amputee soldier named Frank who shows Henry that going to war isn't fun and games and has actual real-life consequences. Also credited in Racing With the Moon is Dana Carvey as Babyface, but I wasn't able to spot him. Carol Kane (Scrooged, The Princess Bride) also has a small part in the beginning as the town hooker. 

Sunday, January 23, 2011

The Evolution of Nicolas Cage's Hair

I know it's been about a week since I last posted but I only got a hold of Racing With the Moon earlier today. I should have a review up in about 48 hours. In the meantime, enjoy this Youtube video dedicated to the ever changing styles of Nicolas Cage's hair. Enjoy.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Crazy about Footwear (The First Great Mystery of 365 Days of Cage)

So, I have been working on this blog for about two weeks now. And I've only watched about three Nicolas Cage movies so far. But, I think I have found a mystery about Nicholas Cage (that probably only interests me). Check out the following pictures.

These are the same boots, right? I'm not seeing things, am I?

So, my question to you fine folks is: Why do these boots keep appearing in Nicolas Cage movies? Do these boots have some sort of special significance that we the viewers don't know about? Feel free to offer your own theories about this particular in the comments section.

Rich's Youtube Tribute to Valley Girl

Uh, oh. Somebody got access to an editing bay.

Thanks to Netflix and the Temple University TECH Center, I was able to create this video tribute to Nicolas Cage's best moments from Valley Girl. Please be kind. I haven't done any serious video editing in about 5 years. Enjoy.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Nic Cage and The Green Hornet

Lisa wrote in to tell us about an article in the New York Times about the troubled history of The Green Hornet's production. According to the article, Nicolas Cage was supposed to star as the movie's villain however it didn't work out because "For reasons known only to him [Nicolas Cage], he insisted on using a Jamaican accent." 

Am I the only one who thinks that would have been epic?

Rich Reviews Rumble Fish

"Even the most primitive of societies have an innate respect for the insane."
- the Motorcycle Boy

I always thought that I had seen Rumble Fish. But it seems that I confused this movie with the Fisher King. Considering that both movies have fish in the title, I think you can understand my confusion. But now I really wants me to see Nicolas Cage in a Terry Gilliam film.

Before we get into the movie itself, I need to discuss Nicolas Cage and his familial relationships. Nicolas Cage was born Nicolas Coppola. His father was August Coppola, a famous academic and author. His uncle was Francis Ford Coppola (Director of Godfather and Apocalypse Now) and Talia Shire (Yo, Adrian!). Nicolas's two older brothers, Christopher and Marc, were also involved in the entertainment industry. Nic changed his name to Nicolas Cage in order to avoid the appearance of nepotism. But I guess when you get a chance to work with one of the most critically acclaimed directors of the 20th century (who just happens to be your uncle), are you really going to skip that opportunity?

Around 1983, Francis Ford Coppola was in the middle of filming The Outsiders, when he discovered another novel by S.E. Hilton named Rumble Fish. According to popular folklore, Coppola was drawn to the novel because of the strong personal identification he had with the subject matter - a younger brother who hero-worships an older, intellectually superior brother, which supposedly mirrored the relationship between Coppola and his brother, August (Nic's father). Coppola worked with Hilton to adapt the screenplay on off days during shooting of the Outsiders. And production for the film started almost immediately after the Outsiders shooting finished with almost the same cast and crew.

The film centers on the relationship between Motorcycle Boy (Mickey Rourke), a revered former gang leader, and his younger brother, Rusty James (Matt Dillon), a teenaged hooligan who aspires to become as feared and respected as his older brother but doesn't quite have the ability. The movie opens with Laurence Fishburne walking into a diner and proclaiming "Biff Wilcox is looking for you, Rusty James. He's gonna kill you, Rusty James." And with that statement, the movie just bursts onto the screen. Through the use of camera movement and character action, Coppola is able to give the opening scenes a real sense of vitality and urgency. It's so exhilarating to watch that you might to forget to notice Tom Waits playing Benny (and looking grizzled as fuck even back in 1983) and Diane Lane (who looks about 14 in this film) playing potential love interest, Patty. All this frenzied camera work leads up to a great gang fight (cheorgraphed by Michael Smuin of the San Francisco Ballet) and first appearance of the Motorcycle Boy.

At this stage, the film changes gears drastically and enters an almost dream-like state. Voices get more subdued. Lighting and shadows become more accentuated and smoke starts appearing randomly (signs of German Expressionism?). I assume this is to portray the Motorcycle Boy's perspective (he is color blind and going deaf). It adds a nice claustrophobic yet desolate feeling to the proceedings. But then you get an out of body experience and things take a turn to the surreal.

Mickey Rourke as the Motorcycle Boy absolutely haunts this film like a specter. When he is not wandering around, whispering metaphors and being treated like royalty in funky pool halls, all the characters react as if he is still present in the scene. This is a great contrast to Matt Dillon's Rusty James character. Dillon plays his character with youthful rage, testosterone and alienation. His portrayal in this makes Nicolas Cage work look absolutely subtle.

And speaking of Nicolas Cage, he once again has a small part as Rusty James's best friend, Smokey. Nic plays this role with a nice combination of guile and quiet intelligence. His conversation with Rusty James near the end of the movie just comes across as smart and pure cool.

In conclusion, Rumble Fish is a weird little film. The second 2/3 of the film is trippy as hell but solid writing and a great performance by Mickey Rourke prevent this film from flying too far off the tracks. Plus it has some absolutely breath-taking cinematography and a great propulsive soundtrack by Stewart Copeland. Check this film out if you feel like venturing out for something different.

One final note about this movie that may bother only me: Is Nicolas Cage wearing the same boots that he wore Valley Girl? Why do I notice such things?

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Rich's Immediate Review of Rumble Fish

What the fuck did I just watch? I'll write more in depth a little later but in the meantime, enjoy the trailer.

Rich Reviews Valley Girl

"When they attack the car, save the radio."
- Randy
Valley Girl is a 1982 cult movie starring our hero, Nicolas Cage. The movie was based off the Frank Zappa song of the same name which itself is inspired by the San Fernando Valley. This is a very loose reinterpretation of a Shakespearean tale (Romeo and Juliet, Randy and Julie, get it, GET IT?) in which our protagonists don't need to commit suicide by the end of the story.

Like Alex stated in his earlier review, this movie is just all over the place. You have an entire subplot involving Suzi and her cougar Mom, Beth fighting over some dude named Chip. This subplot adds nothing to the main love story and feels like it should have been in the hands of a better production like "Days of Our Lives". Next, you have some wonderfully inept acting such as Michael Bowen doing a poor man's "Johnny Lawrence" which can be viewed below. And finally some of the writing is downright horrible. "That techno-rock you guys listen to is gutless." We get it. You like punk rock. And you probably hate New Wave because a couple of preppies beat your asses at their concert. We didn't need that message beat over our heads repeatedly. It just seemed very heavy handed and forced.

But for all of its faults, this movie has some real solid things going for it. First, even though this movie is plagued with some subpar writing, Nicolas Cage gives a solid performance as a devil may care, cocksure punk rocker from Hollywood. Sure, this might be the first appearance of Nic's "intense stare" and some weird ass eyebrows. But, this entire movie hinges on the fact that Nicolas Cage needs to portray a crazy romantic that will go to any length to get his woman. And he knocks that role out of the park.

An honorable mention should go out to Frederic Forrest. Besides looking like Sonny Bono's stunt double, Frederic plays Julie's father (and aging hippie) with a subtle but comforting touch. Watching the scene where Julie asking her Father for advice on which boy to choose is probably the best acted scene in the entire film. And Frederic's performance seems to give the whole scene an added sense of gravitas. I guess it just makes me miss my Dad.

Finally, how can you hate any movie that has such a great 80's soundtrack? I approve any movie that has Eddy Grant, Modern English and The Psychedelic Furs on it's soundtrack.

So, in conclusion, this movie is all over the place. In a way, it kind of almost feels like a John Hughes film. Except with worse writing and acting. It makes me wonder if John Hughes saw this film and said, "Hmm, I think I could do it better..." and then did make a better movie. Can we call this a John Hughes Beta project? I guess that is food for thought for another occasion. If you like Nic Cage and you like cultish 80's films, then go watch Valley Girl. It's worth your damn time.

For Sure, Like Totally

Alex's favorite line from Valley Girl ...

Monday, January 10, 2011

Jumping on the Nicolas Cage Bandwagon

Gee, we start a blog about watching Nic Cage movies and then Moviefone turns around and decides to host Nicolas Cage Week on their website. Of course, if we had Moviefone's budget (or drive), we could afford to list 47 facts about Nicolas Cage and maybe even interview the man himself. But we are just two men. So the best thing we can do is just link their site and blatantly steal their shit later. Enjoy.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Valley Girl

Valley girl is Nicolas Cage's first leading role as well as the first role he is credited as Nicolas Cage as opposed to Nicolas Coppola. Very loosely based on Romeo and Juliet, Julie and Randy are lovers from diametrically opposed social circles and the resulting plot is mostly predictable. My favorite Nicolas Cage line from the movie takes place at the point where Randy realizes Julie is dumping him because her friends think he's too weird for her. As he leaves her house he yells back to her "Fuck off for sure! Like Totally!". With its weak plots, poor acting and lack of any real talent involved I had a hard time paying attention to Valley Girl... I found myself looking for the snooze button on this movie... like totally... gag me with a spoon...

The only other actor of note in the movie was Elizabeth Daily, who had a short-lived music career in the 80s and is probably most well known as the voice of Tommy Pickles from Rugrats. She has a successful career as a voice actress and has over 100 credits to her name.

And just when I thought it couldn't get any worse, apparently there's a remake in the works and it's a musical... which reminded me of this... which I found on Reddit earlier this week:

Friday, January 7, 2011

Happy Birthday Nic Cage

Kate wrote in to remind us that today Nic Cage turns 47... and here's the latest trailer for his new movie Drive Angry. 

Monday, January 3, 2011

Where's Nic?

After talking to Alex, I decided that it would be an amusing idea to list all the scenes that we could find of Nicolas Cage in Fast Times at Ridgemont High. . We listed what we could find below. All times are approximates.

  • 7:43 - Gives Judge Reinhold a high-five after he pulls up in his car.
  • 8:37 - Standing with Judge Reinhold looking awkward as fuck.
  • 30:55 - Working in the kitchen with Judge Reinhold.
  • 47:28 - Seen cheering for the other team.
  • 1:20:52 - Dancing in the crowd at the graduation dance.
  • 1:25:46 - Leaving the Mi-T-Mart with Judge Reinhold.

If you find more scenes with Nic Cage, let us know and we'll post them up here.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

A Very Late Introduction to 365 Days of Cage

Awhile back my buddy Rich sent out an email to a our group of friends claiming that Nicolas Cage "is the greatest artist this generation has ever seen", including links to various YouTube videos of said actor doing what he does in various movies. His email got me started wondering about how many movies Nic Cage has actually done.

A quick check of IMDB reveals that as of this writing, he has 66 credits to his name, 6 of which have not yet been released. Looking at the listing, I have seen roughly half of his movies and initially thought it'd be fun to go back and take a look at the ones I missed over the years. I let the idea roll around in my head for awhile and thought it would be more interesting to watch his entire body of work over the course of the new year. To make it even better I've invited a few friends to join in the endeavor. Please feel free to post your own reviews, comment on other reviews or post anything Nicolas Cage related. If you'd like to be a regular contributor, let either Rich or me know... 

The first movie up was Fast Times at Ridgemont High which, as Rich mentioned, was not Nicolas Cage's first movie but I thought it would be a good start as he actually has a line and you can spot him in several scenes in the movie such as at 47:28 he can be seen cheering for the other team in the bleachers or at 1:20:52 he's dancing in the crowd at the graduation dance. Rich already wrote a great review of the movie so I won't go into too much detail but Fast Times is definitely notable for a few reasons but the only one I really feel like writing about is the Phoebe Cates's tits. They just don't make gratuitous T&A flicks like that any more... Did you know she turned down the role of Clarice in Silence of the Lambs? Instead she chose to work on the incredibly deep and moving psychological thriller Drop Dead Fred... she hasn't done much since... 

The next movie up is Valley Girl, Nicolas Cage's first leading role which I must admit I've never seen... It's directed by Martha Coolidge, who's only other movie I've ever seen (or for the most part, heard of) is Real Genius. I'll post my thoughts as soon as I've watched it. In the meantime, I leave you with this gem... 

Rich Reviews Fast Times at Ridgemont High

Fast Times at Ridgemont High is not Nicolas Cage's first movie. It's actually his third movie. According to Wikipedia, his first film was as an uncredited extra in Brubaker. And as much fun as it would be to go back and revisit Stuart Rosenberg's wonderful film about prison abuse in Arkansas, I am much too hung over to sit there and play Where's Waldo looking for a split second of Nicolas Cage and Morgan Freeman. On a slight tangent, I find it slightly weird that Morgan Freeman keeps playing a lot of prisoner roles (Brubaker, Shawshank Redemption, Invictus). But then again, he also got to play God.

Nicolas Cage's second film is something called Best of Times. Not much is really known about this movie. Looking on Wikipedia and IMDB, they both have very different descriptions about what the movie is about. I would love to describe the plot just to make a complete record for the blog but the movie is all but impossible to find. Netflix doesn't have it. Hollywood Video doesn't have it. Even the Pirate Bay doesn't have it. I guess I could go scouring on EBAY to find it but that would require something like "effort" and money.

So, that brings us to Fast Times at Ridgemont High. Much like Brubaker, it appears that Nicolas Cage has another really small role. Actually, his entire role can be summed up in one sentence: Being Judge Reinhold's non-speaking sidekick. Not that is necessarily a bad thing because Judge Reinhold is awesome in this movie. It's just not a really memorable role. I don't even think his character even has a name. His entire dialogue consists of one line ("How you doing Brad?") and looking awkward as fuck. But considering that this is Nicolas Cage's third movie, I can think his lack of memorable screen time can be forgiven.

But hey, don't let that get you down. It's a movie based off a Cameron Crowe book and there is plenty to love. First, you have the above mentioned Judge Reinhold playing a senior in high school with a promising future and then proceeds to have his life shit on for the remainder of the film. The look of horror on his face as his world spirals out of control is heartbreaking. How did this guy not become a huge star after this film? Maybe a mystery to explore in 2012. On the flipside, you have Robert Romanus's Mike Damone who plays the greasy, douchey, scalping, one-pump-chump, date rapist that feels way too familiar for comfort. I’ve sworn that not only have I met that guy in real life but I’m pretty sure that I may have lent him money. Other fun stuff include the iconic Jeff Spicoli - Mr. Hand relationship, Phoebe Cates and Jennifer Jason Leigh going topless at the drop of a hat and Forrest Whitaker just straight up jacking people on the football field. Plus, they used to let people smoke in movie theaters? When the hell did that stop?

In conclusion, Nic Cage's had a nothing role in this film (He was even listed as Nicolas Coppola), but the movie is awesome enough to watch in its own right. Now, I'm off to listen to some Pat Benatar.