Monday, January 24, 2011
Sunday, January 23, 2011
Thursday, January 13, 2011
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.
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
Am I the only one who thinks that would have been epic?
"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
"When they attack the car, save the radio."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.
Monday, January 10, 2011
Sunday, January 9, 2011
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
Monday, January 3, 2011
- 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
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.