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“Life can be mega”

mega-faceoff

Good ol’ Fred Topel just did an interview with Nicolas Cage for Screen Junkies, and he was cool enough to ask Cage about the concept of mega-acting:

SJ: I’ve been reading Outlawvern.com and he’s coined the phrase “mega acting” with regard to your work in films like Bad Lieutenant and Face/Off. The idea is it’s not overacting, because it’s intentionally extreme. Do you feel that’s accurate?

NC: Yeah, I think that makes sense. I often refer to it as outside the box, as opposed to over the top. The two things mean the same thing on one hand but one sort of celebrates the idea of breaking free and going into other forms of expression, whether they’re abstract or extreme or as this friend of yours calls mega acting. The other sort of implies you’re not being truthful to the part, but see, I don’t know how you measure something like that because life can be extreme and life can be mega. I wouldn’t do that to somebody in another art form. Not to compare myself to someone like Francis Bacon but just as a point of explanation, I wouldn’t say, “Hey, you can’t paint a screaming pope like that because a screaming pope doesn’t look like that naturally.”

When Cage is interviewed most of the time he’s probly sitting in front of blownup movie posters talking bullshit with local news people who still watch Entertainment Tonight every night. What’s cool about Fred’s interview is he comes from appreciating the odd sides of Cage’s work, so that’s what he asks about. Check out the whole thing for some more interesting insights.

thanks to Fred for doing the interview and Tommy S. for sending me the link

VERN has been reviewing movies since 1999 and is the author of the books SEAGALOGY: A STUDY OF THE ASS-KICKING FILMS OF STEVEN SEAGAL, YIPPEE KI-YAY MOVIEGOER!: WRITINGS ON BRUCE WILLIS, BADASS CINEMA AND OTHER IMPORTANT TOPICS and NIKETOWN: A NOVEL. His horror-action novel WORM ON A HOOK will arrive later this year.
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107 Responses to ““Life can be mega””

  1. HELL YES.

    Good job Fred, as always.

  2. This is excellent.

  3. Not a fan of the man or his hair pieces, but I can dig what he is trying to do by selecting projects he personally likes.

  4. I tend to like cage’s movies. most of the time. Sometimes I feel like he just plays the same character in every movie.

    Loved the interview. I love asking off the wall questions sometimes.

  5. I am a huge fan of Cage’s hairpieces.

    I’m glad he liked your theory, Vern. It would have sucked if her got all offended. I like that he knows that his style can’t be taken 100% seriously, but he still gives it his all and doesn’t descend into self-conscious Shatnerian shtick.

    I’m pretty psyched for DRIVE ANGRY. I hope his tongue makes it into the movie (and the audience).

  6. Now that was a good read and I hope that now, that he knows about it, Cage will use the term “Mega Acting” by himself. :D

    PS: Found that awesome Nic Cage related cartoon video today. I’m sure some of you have already seen it, because it seems to be on the web for a while, but I instantly fell in love with it. (It’s from the guy who made that “Saturday Morning Watchmen” thing last year or so:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5PJddmfesaA

  7. It’s officially a cinematical neologism , then , if the man himself likes it ! I sure hope to see someday a video interview with him saying “…some may refer to my body of work as Mega-Acting…..” , and then , suddenly , the term is mainstream and everybody is using it .
    Wait a second …. his brother was posting here a while back , no? I’d like to hear his opinion on this.

  8. Great interview. I must say, the concept of mega-acting has really changed the way I look at Cage’s body of work, and his responses in that interview make a lot of sense in that context. You really got to give the guy credit for intentionally going way out there in fairly mainstream movies. I mean, hearing him describe WICKER MAN as a comedy, it kinda makes sense –but man was the film not sold that way, nor does it do anything during its runtime to try and let you know that you’re supposed to be laughing. It’s almost like he’s daring the audience to try and figure it out for themselves, which uh, seems like a pretty bold thing to do (especially in the kind of mainstream films Cage usually shows up in).

  9. Not that I can prove this scientifically, but my theory is that this newfound talk about WICKER MAN being intentionally a comedy is just Cage trying to rewrite history a little bit. Not that I don’t think it’s possible that the film, or parts of the film, were intended to but over-the-top or what have you (and some of it is clearly intended as comedy), but that doesn’t really explain a lot of the more regular, non-silly stretches of the movie that play more like a generic horror film shot by a director with little understanding of the genre.

  10. Its a fine piece of mega acting from Cage when he says The Wickerman was a comedy.

  11. Dan — yeah I kinda go back and forth on it too, but then again there’s the indisputable fact that he wears a bear suit and punches a lady. Is it part of the joke that a lot of the film seems completely serious? I can sort of see it as kind of a horror film with some darkly humorous subtext about gender relations, but then the over-the-top wackiness still seems out of place and not necessarily related to that subtext anyway, except that Nic Cage keeps flipping out at women without necessarily asking or understanding what the fuck’s going on. But then most of that is in the performance, rather than the script.

    For awhile I kind of thought that Cage sort of decided it was a weird comedy on his own (I mean, he’s in full-on VAMPIRE’S KISS mode a good portion of the runtime, so I can definitely believe at least HE knew what he was doing), but then why did LaBute make the film at all? And then why did he remake DEATH AT A FUNERAL right after? Now I’m leaning towards the possibility that LaBute is trying to have some kind of weird Andy Kaufman-esque parody / performance art career as a director, making bizarre movies that people assume are just bad.

  12. In the spirit of neologism, I propose that the act of retconning a drama into a comedy after it’s panned by audiences should be termed a “Wiseau.”

    Ex: “Nic Cage just Wiseau’d the Wicker Man in an interview.”

    The only snag I’ve run into with this proposal is that I’m not really sure how to correctly pronounce Wiseau.

  13. ebonic plague – I believe it’s “wizz – oh”

    “A film with the passion of Tennessee Williams!”

    “A quirky new comedy!”

    – THE ROOM promotional materials

  14. Could the term be expanded to include movies that actors/directors etc. later admit were failures?
    As in, “Mark Wahlberg recently Wiseau’d The Happening, several years behind everyone but M. Night”, or is that too broad?

  15. Also it’s supercool to imagine Nic Cage saying “mega-acting”.

  16. Gwai Lo- Aha, thanks. But knowing that, “Nic Cage Wiseau’d the Wicker Man” sounds like Australian slang for a sex act.

    Jek- That’d work, but I don’t think Wiseau ever considered The Room a bad movie, just misunderstood or miscategorized. I think, based on previous comment threads here, that maybe a more accurate synonym for that would be, “Mark Wahlburg just Pyun’d The Happening…”

  17. I think to call THE WICKER MAN a comedy is an exaggeration, but I have always felt that La Bute was not getting credit for something he was trying to say about men and women not being able to communicate with each other. The biggest part of this is the way Cage keeps asking women questions and then not even listening to their answers, but interrupting them. I’m sure that’s gotta be in the script.

    So I think what it is is the movie makes an attempt at some kind of dry humor and Cage knew that what he was doing was absurd and he doesn’t want people to think they’re laughing *at* him like it was some kind of accident that it’s funny when he goes mega, wears a bear costume, etc.

  18. Vern – What, no review for SORCERER’S APPRENTICE? We need further studies of Cageology, or is it A Treastise on Method Acting w/ Additional Thoughts on Nicholas Coppola?

    Guys, you know what shocked me about his BAD LIEUTENANT remake? Not that he was deploying some vintage fucking wacky mega acting, but that he was actually in a very good movie for once.

    Seriously, I’ve asked this question way too many times in the last few years but why can’t Nic Cage in a good movie be the norm, and not the rare fucking exception? I mean I get him doing some obvious dogshit now to pay off the IRS after his manager basically stole him blind, but what was his excuse before that?

  19. YES! Go Vern!

  20. Nic Cage has been in a lot of good movies.

    Kick-Ass
    Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call, New Orleans
    Knowing
    Grindhouse
    World Trade Center
    Weatherman
    Lord of War
    Matchstick Men
    Adaptation
    Bringing Out The Dead
    8MM
    Snake Eyes
    City of Angels
    Family Man
    Face Off
    Con-Air
    Leaving Las Vegas
    Guarding Tess
    Amos & Andrew
    Wild At Heart
    Moonstruck
    Raising Arizona
    Peggy Sue Got Married
    Rumblefish
    Fast Times at Ridgemont High

    They’re not all masterpieces but I liked them. That’s 25 movies in a 29 year career and that doesn’t take into account his movies I haven’t seen yet. That means you can expect about one good Nic Cage movie a year. Not a bad ratio if you ask me.

    Heck, 9 of them came out in the 2000’s.

  21. I know Michael Bay is persona non grata here, but how are you gonna leave off THE ROCK but include CITY OF ANGELS? ;)

  22. First off, to count GRINDHOUSE is a reeeeeal stretch because it was two shots, a cameo. Why don’t we include THE KING OF COMEDY as The Clash movie while we’re at it?

    Second, I was kinda with you on your list until you went into the 90s and 80s. I was there dude, I saw FACE-OFF. And fucking’ FIREBIRDS. Ok? I noticed you didn’t mention that one.

    Third, Never saw WEATHERMAN and LORD OF WAR*. Both sound intriguing, both have their fans and detractors within my inner-circle, so one of these days I’ll rectify this. But not in a real rush. WEATHERMAN if anything from that marketing campaign just came off as an angsty hipster whimsical indie comedy that I just don’t have an eager place for in my life. But maybe I’m wrong?

    Fourth, WORLD TRADE CENTER was weak. I mean when you had two 9/11 movies that year, and Oliver Stone makes the weakest, least interesting of the two….maybe one realizes how much Stone has slided. Once one of the more compelling (and controversial) directors of his generation, now quite dull quite frankly. What the fuck?

    Fifth, alright you got me on MATCHSTICK MEN, which honestly if you ask me I would consider that to be the last good Cage movie (and not in a mocking fashion, but serious here) until BAD LIEUTENANT. Which last I checked, was a six year gap.

    SIX YEARS!

    *=Interestingly, the supposed real-life inspiration for that Cage character finally got busted by the Feds.

  23. I don’t get what point you’re making about FACE/OFF, RRA? LORD OF WAR is good, I recommend it. I had the same reaction to THE WEATHERMAN as you when it was being promoted, so I never saw it. Anyone wanna stick up for it? Also I just noticed that two of Cage’s best movies, VAMPIRE’S KISS and RED ROCK WEST, aren’t on Mr. Slime’s list either. Or DEADFALL for that matter.

  24. And now that I’ve checked IMDB, KISS OF DEATH is also conspicuously absent.

  25. This is so weird because I just turned in a CLiNT column about this exact topic, but I think it’s two issues out. So I don’t want to get into my theories and lower the value of the comic story magazine two months before it hits.

    I dislike alot of Cage’s movies, including some of the ones on that list, but between VAMPIRE’S KISS, FACE/OFF, ADAPTATION and BAD LIEUTENANT… that’s four all time great performances right there, how many actors have that under their belt? And that’s far from his whole contribution.

    Also I read that he tried to buy a dinosaur skull but DiCaprio outbid him.

  26. Thanks, guys. I’m always glad to talk to people who know what they’re doing and have interesting ideas, whether I agree with them or not. But I totally agree with Nicolas Cage. I’ll watch anything he chooses to do. I tend to like more of them than not too.

    I remember the Cage-bashing going back to film school, when he started doing action movies and film geeks said he sold out. Then he got popular, but now mainstream people are tired of him so they hate on him. I guess I’m just too positive a person.

    I’d say his worst movies are Guarding Tess and Trapped in Paradise, two blatant attempts to be bland and mainstream.

  27. I’ve said before if Vern were to ever write a Cage-studies book it should be called SPELUNKING: EXPLORING THE MEGA-ACTING OF NICOLAS CAGE. Get it? Cause Cage and Cave are kind of similar!

    Oh, and I liked THE WEATHERMAN, though it’s not essential viewing by any means, but certainly better than a lot of hipster-ish indie comedies of the last ten years or so (even some of the more Oscar-winnish/nominatedish ones). I met someone who called it the worst film they had ever seen though, which frankly baffles me. Put it this way, it’s probably the best film where Michael Caine puts on an American accent.

    You know what film I honestly didn’t get, at all? MOONSTRUCK

  28. Bob Zmuda has mentioned in interviews how Cage’s “best friend” Jim Carrey tricked him out of making an audition tape for Man on the Moon by saying he was too big a star to do such a thing. Carrey then had Judd Apatow edit him into the Mickey Mouse bit on SNL that won him the part.

  29. Let’s not forget, this is a man who took mushrooms with his cat.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BcnXGLAeWuM

  30. RE: Mr. Majestyk

    If i described for you some of the scenes from Drive Angry, you would likely get very excited. My advice, don’t.

  31. I go see anything Cage does. I even went to see the very first showing of Bangkok Dangerous, opening weekend. I’d count Lord of War as one of his very best films. Stylish and socially important, Lord of War manages a very impressive tightwalk of getting you to think, while also making you laugh your ass off. Of course, Jared Leto is way more mega in that movie than is Cage and the film probably has more voice over work than any modern film outside of Sin City, but I loved the pitch black tone and Vonnegut-ian sense of humor.

    As for The Wicker Man, LaBute is a skilled satirist and social critic obsessed with faith and the search for meaning and G-d. He’s also well known for his discussion of sexual politics. If you really think about it, The Wicker Man makes perfect sense as a LaBute vehicle as it ties together his two overarching themes. While I’m thinking about it, I’d like to suggest that LaBute should write a screenplay for Aronofsky. It could be epic.

    Also, I just saw the new LaBute play in previews when I went to NYC a few weeks back. Very interesting material and a few great scenes, but the whole thing is sunk by a listless, passionless performance from David Duchovny. If you’re under 30 you can get tickets for 20 bucks a pop. If you’re not…I don’t recommend it.

  32. There’s a great early film by Nicolas Cage called Red Rock West. The film is neo-noir with some nice twists and turns. Cage plays a drifter who, of course, gets pulled into a bunch of small town machinations. It also stars Dennis Hopper, so it serves as a Mega-Acting face off.

  33. I just mentioned the Cage movies I have seen AND liked.

    The Rock bugged me before I even knew that I hated Michael Bay, I saw it once and haven’t since.

    I think I saw Vampire’s Kiss once upon a time but I don’t remember it so I didn’t include it.

    I haven’t seen Firebirds, Deadfall, Windtalkers, Capt. Coreeli’s Mandolin, and many others that were mentioned and not mentioned.

    I also have to disagree with Grindhouse. Nic Cage may have only had a three second part in it but that was an awesome three seconds. It’s also what kept the Werewolf trailer from being compltely useless.

    And yes, I like City of Angels. I have a strap-on vagina I break out once in a while for chick flicks. I also like The Notebook, Time Traveler’s Wife, 13 Going on 30, and a whole slew of romantic comedies and chick flicks.

  34. I also saw Valentine’s Day and loved it. I’d turn in my man card, but I think I already turned it in for something else earlier this year.

  35. Dude, liking movies where men and women fall in love and have sex with each other is so gay.

  36. The merits of his various films can be debated, but it’s tough for me not to have some affection for Nic Cage, mega-actor simply because he has produced such a large body of work. Not all his roles are in great movies, but it’s impressive to me that he works so much, whereas a lot of stars average less than a movie a year.

  37. Despite the re-shot compromised ending, I’m a big fan of “Snake Eyes” which is also a fine example of Cage’s Mega Acting which, in this one, comes across as completely in character. Just very Mega.

  38. The compromised ending of SNAKE EYES is a hilarious example of a director just saying “Fine, fuck it” and giving the studio what they want in the most blatant way ever. It kind of works because it’s De Palma and thus everything else in the movie is very arch and in quotes anyway.

  39. Yes, if you want to get all De Palma scholar on it, you might say it’s his most sublime Hitchcock homage ever: he’s delivering Hitchcock’s compromised ‘Bad Guy Shoots Himself’ reshoot from Topaz.

  40. hamslime: Just curious: did you see Wenders’ WINGS OF DESIRE?

  41. caruso_stalker217

    December 2nd, 2010 at 12:38 pm

    For anyone debating whether or not they should see THE WEATHER MAN, just know that it’s the only film in existence where Michael Caine utters the words “dildo” and “cameltoe.” Though not in the same sentence.

  42. Does he use them in a rhyming couplet?

  43. He also won an Oscar for his brilliant portrayal in Leaving Las Vegas.

  44. Vern — re: WICKER MAN, I guess what I don’t quite get is how the mega/absurd stuff really makes sense with the very deadpan subtext about gender relations. What does a bear suit add to that subtext? Why make it purposely absurd and hide it in the guise of a not-too-well-made horror film? I just don’t see how the horror aspect, the darkly comic subtext, and the over-the-top goofiness have much to do with each other.

  45. Re: hamslime and Jareth Cutestory – yeah, the reason I question CITY OF ANGELS is not that it’s a chick flick, it’s that it’s a masterpiece remade into a chick flick.

  46. Mr. Subtlety,

    “Why make it purposely absurd and hide it in the guise of a not-too-well-made horror film?”

    My feelings exactly. I can see arguing that the bear suit stuff is intentionally funny, but what about moments like Cage’s nightmare where he gets hit by the truck while at the dock (I could be remembering that wrong, but it was something like that). It’s a very silly moment, but not in a way that strikes me as intentional

  47. And I didn’t mean to send that yet.

    To continue: it comes across more as an awkward attempt at a “boo” scare, with hilarious results. And specifically not a moment of intended comedy.

  48. Hunter D> Lord of War is an amazing film.

    Infact, having read this talkback I have come to realise this Nic Cage chap might not be the douche I thought he was.

    I have grown as a person throughout this talkback.

  49. I wonder if Nicolas Cage would do guest voices in TV Cartoons. For any reason I would love to hear him in THE VENTURE BROS. This might be the perfect show to give an example of mega VOICE acting.

  50. I think LORD OF WAR is a immensely entertaining and well-made film which I ultimately found unbearably morally hysterical. When it’s a dark absurdist comedy, it’s fantastic — when it gest to stuff like claiming Ian Holmes’ character is a great guy because he only sells guns “to the good guys” … its almost unwatchably asenine. Another case of a well-meaning artist pushing the moral way too hard and ultimately undermining a rather fantastic dark comedy.

    Dan — like I said, I go back and forth. At least Nic Cage seemed to know what he was doing with the performance, but I’m not at all convinced he and LaBute thought they were making the same film.

  51. I only saw the first two-thirds of LORD OF WAR. I liked what I saw, if not heard (way too much fucking voiceover about stuff I had already figured out on my own) but I could kind of tell the direction it was going in so I’m kind of glad I never saw the rest of it.

  52. Vern- “This is so weird because I just turned in a CLiNT column about this exact topic, but I think it’s two issues out.”
    Do those two count the one that was in the new issue about Stallone’s twitter habits? I didn’t know Snipes had an account. It’d be cool if he did it in character as Blade.

  53. Oh, and here’s a random animated music video based on the “I Want That Cake” scene from Family Man:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5PJddmfesaA

  54. Wesley Snipes does everything in character as Blade.

  55. Jareth / Gwai Lo – I haven’t seen Wings of Desire (Didn’t know City of Angels was a remake of that) but I looked it up and I will be rectifying that real soon.

    I’m guessing Bruno Ganz plays Cage’s part and Peter Falk plays Meg Ryan’s? A masterpiece indeed.

  56. hamslime – Since I saw WINGS OF DESIRE, never had a real desire to see CITY OF ANGELS. Plus I have a particular allergy to Meg Ryan for some reason, though PROOF OF LIFE is a good argument against that phobia.

    BTW, and I sure hope CJ Holden doesn’t read this, but Nic Cage for the last few years has been attached to a remake of LIVES OF OTHERS*. What a depressing thought if it does happen.

    So yeah, that might be another American (pointless inferior) remake of a super good movie.

    *=How is that gonna work anyway? I mean LIVES was about the East German secret police, so what would the American context be? The War on Terror, the NSA, Patriot Act? I guess? Or would it be like the 1970s when the FBI wiretapped anybody on the Left they didn’t like or agree with?

  57. RRA: This is the first time I’ve heard of Cage and a LIVE OF OTHERS remake, but don’t worry: I don’t care.

    Stu: I love this video. I posted it earlier in this thread. :)

  58. hamsline: You’ll have to let us know if any of your appreciation for CITY OF ANGELS remains once you’ve seen WINGS OF DESIRE. I tend to find that fans of the latter can’t stand the former, and fans of the former find the latter really boring.

    Criterion put out a real nice version of WINGS OF DESIRE recently.

  59. RRA – Meg Ryan played a pretty good part in Hurlyburly I thought. Kind of a druggie whore…Okay, not KIND OF, she played a druggie whore. I’m guessing Courtney Love must have turned down the part.

    Jareth – I doubt that will change my thoughts on it. If I saw City of Angels after the fact then maybe, but since I already like it…

    It’s the same reason I recommend that friends check out Let Me In before they see Let The Right One In. I figure if they can enjoy both movies its better than enjoying one and hating the other.

  60. CJ- D’OH! That’s what I get for only skimming.

  61. Thoughts upon this morning’s visit to OutlawMotherfuckingVern.motherfuckingcom after a brief absence due to travel related to national security issues:

    Mind being blown. . . Life can be MEGA. . . Life is MEGA, hell yes . . . Fred Topel is good people, despite his name’s somewhat quote-whorish appearances on the tube lately (Sorry, dude, just telling it like it is.) . . . I have catching up to do on this website. . . Nic Cage has done the impossible and made it so that I, a huge Nicholas Cage fan already, am even MORE inclined to see everything that has his name attached to it. . . HURLYBURLY is excellent, both onstage & onscreen. . . WINGS OF DESIRE is a superb film, a classic. . . What sensibility-claiming idiot hasn’t seen WINGS OF DESIRE yet?. . . CITY OF ANGELS is not bad, but it’s no WINGS OF DESIRE. . . I’ve seen CITY OF ANGELS once, and enjoyed it as much as I would enjoy 10 minutes at The BadaBing gentlemen’s club, and I’ve seen WINGS OF DESIRE about 15x, and each time enjoyed it more than tantric sex with the Elizabeth Hurley of 10 years ago. . . THE LIVES OF OTHERS is intense and features one of the best final scenes ever. . . English degree holders go their entire lives hoping for a chance to write 3 words as loaded, brilliant, and cathartic as the final 3 words of THE LIVES OF OTHERS. . . In conclusion, I would like to headbutt Kim Jong-il. . .

  62. Mouth, you noticed!

    My favorite part of this is when Nic refers to Vern as my friend. As far as he knew I was just referring to some dude on a chat board, not a published author, but he answered it anyway. But I would like to be friends with Vern, even if they say you shouldn’t meet your heroes.

  63. EVERYONE’S A WHORE!

    Fred, you’re not trying to become Shawn Edwards or Maria Salas or something, are you? Or was that just out-of-context babble? How much control do you have over where your words are displayed? Are you at least being paid well for commenting on a movie before it is even released or screened for critics?

    Sorry to grill you. We all know that, on balance, you do way more positive work for BADASS CINEMA and the issues we care about here. We can still be friends, but I’m just curious about this outbreak of Pete Hammondism.

  64. Mouth, if you’re asking sincerely, I can tell you the thought process. One, I guarantee every quote I give is an honest opinion that’s coming from the review I’m writing after a press screening.

    Two, for Faster, the idea of blatantly calling him The Rock when he wants to be Dwayne Johnson was too good to pass up. And yeah, I’m only copmaring Faster to The Game Plan, Southland Tales and Witch Mountain (not hugely attached to Rundown or Walking Tall either.) Burlesque, I’m a well rounded person and I thought it was great so why not say so?

    Three, there is no pay for providing a quote. It is only a way to bring some attention to a smaller site that’s publishing my opinion, in addition to all the objective stories on news and interviews.

    My goal is to be descriptive so that the quote actually says something, and makes you want to read the review it came from. Even if it’s only one word, I’m hoping that “awesome” in the context of Burlesque is more interesting.

    It’s not some dream or goal, it’s just something that’s one of the things I’m asked or able to do as part of my job. If I want to give a quote, I can. If I got nothing, I certainly won’t make it up.

  65. Oh, well, as long as it comes *after* a screening, then that’s all you have to say. I declare this controversy closed.

  66. Wait, you thought people were giving quotes on movies they hadn’t seen? Wow, if anyone did that… I do remember David Manning-gate. Thank you for your interest. I am here for Vern though, so not trying to make it about myself.

  67. Since someone brought up Meg Ryan, can we take a moment to consider that you can’t say “fuck” to mean sex in a movie without getting an R rating, but you can have billboards all over America with a truly grotesque title like, “In the Cut,” which for those of you who don’t know, is a sexual metaphor.

  68. Also, funny quote whore story. After a Comic-Con screening of The Collector, the press dude for the film asked me what I thought (I write for collider, bee tee dubs). I was impressed by the vile nature of the movie and called it, “The best American snuff film since Passion of the Christ.” They called me about using that quote in marketing…I was disappointed to see that it didn’t make the dvd.

  69. Vern’s New Year’s resolution should be to watch as many non-action Cage films as possible for some truly amazing moments of Mega-Acting. There’s even some in movies like The Family Man (actually a good Christmas flick and very bittersweet). Vern, did you ever review Peggy Sue Got Married? His work in that one is the type of performance that makes you wonder if he saw the movie as another genre entirely, which is what I think happened with Wicker Man. He thought it was a comedy, even though no one else was in on that angle. Except maybe the audience later on.

  70. As a result of both my dedication to mega-acting studies and a need for festive entertainment I watched THE FAMILY MAN. I half watched it on TV once about six years ago, but this is the first time I’ve given it my full attention.

    I actually think much of it is a pretty good display of Cage’s comic chops, but (and I’m aware most of you probably don’t give a crap) is it just me or does the film basically not work because prior-mystic stuff Cage actually wasn’t that bad a guy? OK, he seems to have a string of meaningless one night stands rather than a meaningful relationship and he’s kind of condescending to Don Chedle in a way which could be seen as status or racially orientated, but I still think there must be people out there more deserving of the Scrooge treatment. Or is “works on Wall Street” really just hypocritical Hollywood shorthand for “heartless bastard who must be saved!”

    One thing I will say is that based on this film I’d say Ratner is maybe a slightly better director than people (including me) perhaps give him credit for. Don’t get me wrong RED DRAGON and RUSH HOUR 3 are two of the least entertaining movies I’ve ever seen, but some of the camerawork and such is more inventive and accomplished than I’d expect from this kind of movie. Also I appreciated the homage to WILD AT HEART via Chris Isaak

    Kind of pointless to analyse a major studio movie nobody has thought of in half a decade like this I guess, but hey, this is the internet

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  72. Anyone see this about Cage’s son? Not Kal-el, the other one.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/06/13/nicolas-cages-son-the-man_n_875796.html

    Wish there were more details, and that it wasn’t TMZ.

  73. So I got a chance to see Tresspass (Nicolas Cage IS Trespass?) at the Toronto International Film Festival. I thought it was great. Nic’s most mega performance in a while. He freaks out pretty early and does a hint of a Peter Loew voice. Hell, even his paternal interaction with his daughter is a little mega (he says “I need hugs” like he’s Elvis.)

    It’s a sleazy grindhouse B movie with A-list actors. Which is to say, Joel Schumacher in his element. Kidman slums it good. I found her way more appealing in this than mopey Oscar bait like The Hours or Cold Mountain. The film could go darker but it’s Hollywood in a lot of respects, still fun and fast paced though.

    Needless to say the TIFF crowd hated it. The theater was only half full to begin with. I didn’t need to get there so early but I was NOT going to be turned away for Nic Cage. I’m the only one in Toronto, neigh the entire country of Canada and continent of North America who currently likes this movie. I didn’t even realize it had a DVD release date. I thought they were shopping it for theatrical, but it is Millennium.

  74. The APOLLO WITCH PROJECT and now TRESPASS, Fred? Such controversial opinions. Do you also think Roger Moore is the best 007?

    Good to hear Schumacher tickled Cage’s Megabone. Er, you know what I mean. Fuck Canada.

  75. Mouth, Spy Who Loved Me actually was my favorite Bond movie until I saw Casino Royale. Now I think Daniel Craig is better than Sean Connery. I also wanted Timothy Dalton to get another shot.

    Story of my life. Loved Hudson Hawk, Last Action Hero, Memoirs of an Invisible Man, Heart and Souls… So you think some Canadians are going to scare me away from Nic “Mega” Cage! Press conference is tomorrow. I bet he’ll be happy to see me.

  76. Oh, I also liked the Straw Dogs remake. We’ll discuss when Vern reviews it.

  77. This isn’t worthy of ABC News, but (Warning: A video clip with sound automatically plays when you load this page.):
    http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/entertainment/2011/09/is-nicolas-cage-a-vampire-from-the-civil-war-era/

    **Mord believes Cage is a vampire who reinvents himself every 75 years or so.

    “Personally, I believe it’s him and that he is some sort of walking undead/vampire, et cetera, who quickens/reinvents himself once every 75 years or so,” . . . “150 years from now, he might be a politician, the leader of a cult, or a talk show host.”

    Mord claims that the supposedly 47-year-old actor looks virtually unchanged since his first big hit “Moonstruck” all the way back in 1987 — more “proof.”**

    People are idiots.

  78. And we haven’t even talked about the time he awoke in the middle of the night to find a strange man at the foot of his bed, wearing only Cage’s leather jacket and eating a Fudgesicle.

    http://www.avclub.com/articles/nicolas-cage-was-terrorized-by-a-naked-man-holding,61790/

  79. I totally believe Nic is a vampire. Why wouldn’t he be? He’s so mega he’s even mega-undead.

    Mr. M, I actually reported the full content of Nic’s interview. The naked man story is great, but I also liked his son trying to call him Nic Cage, and how he IS Nic Cage even though his passport says Coppola!

    http://www.starpulse.com/news/Fred_Topel/2011/09/15/tiff_nicolas_cage_talks_about_his_real

  80. Fred Topel is racist against the unemployed.

    Quit some of your jobs, Fred!

  81. Fred, that was some great reporting, for a racist.

    Tell me, did he do a Herzog impression when telling that story about that forest fire movie, a.k.a. THE WORLD WILL NEVER LOVE MR. MAJESTYK ENOUGH 2 LET THIS MOVIE EXIST? Because that sounds like heaven to me. If they actually make that movie, they should pull a Woody Allen and let Cage play a Herzog surrogate. Mega meets meta.

  82. Would you believe I actually need to find more work to pay the ridiculous mortgage my ex-wife got me into back in ’06? Luckily I also do consulting work.

    He did a mild Herzog but prefaced it with “I can’t do Herzog.” Which, come to think of it, there’s a voice Nicolas Cage CAN’T do???

  83. There is a voice Nicolas Cage can’t do, and that’s the voice of Nicolas Coppola. Because there is no Nicolas Coppola. There is only Cage.

  84. Respect the Cage. Because it’s universal. It is evolutional. It is anthropological. It is biological. It is animal.

  85. Awesome, Mr. Majestyk. Awesome.

    Mouth, would you say I’m the Nicolas Cage of journalism? Can I appropriate the term mega-journalist?

  86. If you have room for that term in your twitter bio next to your 28 other jobs, go for it, Fred.

  87. Fred, that is a great piece. I would love the chance to pick Cage’s brain.

  88. Someone once called me the Lester Bangs of slasher films. I donno if he meant it as a compliment, but I took it as one.

  89. Tawdry: So long as the “someone” in question wasn’t Lou Reed, it’s probably safe to take it as a compliment.

  90. Wait a minute, does this mean Mouth is one of my Twitter followers? All I have to do is comb through the names and try to figure out which one!

  91. Erroneous. Maybe next year in Asheville, we shall break bread and unravel the mysteries of life. Hopefully, I’ll be too busy befriending Scott Adkins to make time for you, though.

  92. Anyone here seen THE CROODS yet and, if so, would you consider the following to be a fair appraisal of Nic Cage’s vocal performance in it?

    – “You don’t cast Nicolas Cage in your lead role if you don’t want him to Cage it up. That’s the mistake they made with films like Stolen, Trespass and Season of the Witch. Ask him to do muted and it all starts to feel a little pointless. Good thing, then, that his performance here is loaded with the appropriate level of Caginess. He often shouts gibberish at animals and suddenly decides in one scene to talk like a stoned hippy.”

    I had zero interest in the thing initially but i gotta admit that I’m now kinda intrigued by the notion of a Dreamworks Animation joint conceivably featuring some degree of mega-level unCagement.

    Anyway, I’d be keen to hear reports if anyone has had a chance to catch it yet. It doesn’t drop in Australia until the 28th so I unfortunately (?) can’t see it for myself until then.

  93. “[Cage] is the only actor since Marlon Brando that’s actually done anything new with the art of acting…” – Ethan Hawke talks about Cage in his reddit AMA.

    http://www.reddit.com/r/IAmA/comments/1fq1h6/i_am_ethan_hawke_amaa/cacnpza

  94. http://www.aintitcool.com/node/63109

    breaks my damn heart to see such a hard fought battle for understanding and acceptancy recapitulated in such a negatively connotational regard.

    Still, Zwig/Off could be seriously fucking amazing.

  95. His next project sounds absolutely amazing. Tremendous potential for massive displays of mega acting all over that upcoming project. I want to see it like RIGHT NOW!

  96. Broddie, if you’re talking about ARSENAL then yeah, looks like Cage is doing a DEADFALL riff. But if you’re talking about ARMY OF ONE, which I just saw on dvd, then that was a truly inspired performance from Cage. Highly recommended if you want to see what Cage looks like swinging a samurai sword around Pakistan and smoking hash, as a deluded guy who believes God (Russel Brand) told him to go and kill Bin Laden.

  97. ARMY OF ONE sounds worth it and ARSENAL gets it’s props for bringing back Eddie. However I was referring to the one he’s making with Panos Cosmatos. Talk about an inspired combo of actor and director. Only thing that would excite me more is if he returned to The Woo Zone.

  98. Great, so I’ve got plenty of time to finally watch BEYOND THE BLACK RAINBOW. It’s only been sitting on my shelf for five or so years.

  99. I don’t want to scare anybody off, but ARMY OF ONE was the first time I ever thought Cage ruined a movie with his acting choices. It’s usually the other way around, but I think if he’d played this one straight it would’ve been a really funny movie. Instead he goes for a cartoon character, destroying the whole point that it’s crazy because it really happened. I didn’t really know how to review it other than to say that.

  100. Man, now I really want to see Army of One.

  101. Spekaing of Pachinko, let me quote Guillermo Del Toro: “Fuck Konami”

  102. Paul scheer’s brief account of working with Nicolas Cage on Army of One was pretty funny. He reported that Nicolas Cage was very attached to the script (i.e. he didn’t like it when Scheer tried improvising) and that he was also super into knives.

  103. Vern, I’ve heard criticisms from the other end, people saying they thought the movie around Cage didn’t do him justice. I’d lean more towards that.

    I thought the first half floundered a bit before it found its feet. There were a few headscratchers, like all of a sudden Gary’s got a cast on his arm, and he tells the Mariner police he broke it trying to hoist a sail, but the movie never shows us that scene. It’s like they either made it up as they went, or there were some cuts made.

    neal2zod, smoke a big fat doobie before you watch it.

  104. Shoot McKay – Damn straight.

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