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September 21, 2012

Breakdown of Cage and his new movie


11 more blogs till 100 for the year for the Hollywood Defender. To commemorate the occasion, I’m rolling out 10 Nicolas Cage blogs in a row. 

Viva la Fucking France.

Triple Cage Day
Last Thursday, I was elated to see that Stolen would be available at my local theater, however disappointed to find out that it did not receive a midnight showing. As I struggled to sleep in the wee hours of Friday morning with visions of Cage freakouts, emotional breakdown, and sheer animal magnetism dancing in my head. I had already read that Cage would be subdued in the role, and the “Cage” role of a one legged cab driver bent on revenge would belong to Josh Lucas (Link).
"You know, in that movie, it’s funny, Nic Cage actually said this to me. He said, “You have the Nic Cage role in this movie.” There was a funny joke from “Saturday Night Live” recently which is the ultimate Nic Cage movie, everything’s on fire and every single line is either whispered or screamed. I actually in that movie am the one who’s setting everything on fire and screaming the lines. It was just pure chewing on the scenery absolute fun. It’s funny, Nic obviously does two kinds of movies: the Charlie Kaufman deep soul movies and then these kind of big playful action movies. He really loves them. He’s, of every actor I’ve worked with, one of the most consummately professional, prepared guys who’s just got this kind of quiet, compassionate soul and he’s such a treat to work with. It’s interesting to then go be the big, big, gnarly bad guy in one of his movies which is kind of what he seems to do in many of them these days."
Josh Lucas

However, instead of scenery chewing Cage, I was fine getting action star Cage back again, actually any Cage at all. You know how kids always wish their parents were famous people, when I was a kid I always believed John Madden was actually my dad. Now I wish Cage was my Dad, not because I don’t like my own Dad, I love him, he’s my hero, but Nic Cage is so cool he could replace anyone’s Dad, and you would maybe miss your real Dad for about a second before Nic said something awesome like, “I was always shocked when I went to the doctor's office and they did my X-ray and didn't find that I had eight more ribs than I should have or that my blood was the color green.”
I spent some time during the movie wondering why Nic had chosen this particular script until the finale when it was perfectly clear what Nic’s intentions were. I’m pretty sure it wasn’t the idea of hunting down his Justin Bieber look-a like daughter. 
If you haven’t seen it, don’t read the next paragraph, but if you have, well enjoy.
Nic likes driving vehicles that are set aflame. Period. He hops into a burning taxi and crashes it into a lake to save his daughter. Awesome and Ghost-Rideresque. I appreciate that Cage is so self-referential at this point that he is referencing a movie that came out this year.
The film also was filmed in New Orleans, a spot where Nicolas Cage drunkenly engaged in domestic violence took place during the filming of this movie, which was then titled Medallion. 
It marked the first time I was ever worried about Nic and the path he was taking. I’d never been too concerned about the money he’d blown and his debt with the IRS because I felt in the long run it would keep him hungry for films that were evocative and maintain his starving artist status instead of the rich blockbuster star he’d become. 
This was different, he appeared as a broken Cage, his stupor similar to his performance in the casino in Leaving Las Vegas, but this time in a tattoo parlor. The domestic violence charge was overblown, but it was the first time I questioned my fandom in a long time. I love quirky Cage, he’s always been an openly weird dude, unlike Tom Cruise who hid this from us, instead Cage basked in his zaniness. Violent Cage is something I thought existed only in the context of his films. But if the financial struggles have led him to alcohol and possible substance abuse, Cage fans are in for a long winter.
My theater was relatively crowded compared to the grand total of 10 people that had accompanied me to Ghost Rider Spirit of a Vengeance and Seeking Justice. Instead I was one of thirty that congregated for Simon West’s film.  Because of this one theater being partially full, I expected the film to open well at the box office. When I checked the internet on Sunday, it wasn’t listed in the top 10. I had to tweet Grady Smith of EW to find the results, he retweeted me:
$204,000 from 141 theaters.
@HollywoodDfendr is that a good opening for that many theatres? Will it have success overseas? #stolen
Nope. Pretty bad and probably not.
Oh boy. I jumped to a positive conclusion, maybe I want Nic to succeed too badly. I thought Ghost Rider 2 was going to put him back on top because it was incredibly better than the first installment. It tanked at the box-office. Even overseas, where Cage dominates the market, won’t recoup the money. Another bomb, not on the scale of Trespass, which went straight to ON DEMAND, but a blow for sure to his status as a star.
I don’t mind if Nic makes movies no one sees, I just don’t want to see his personal life go down the drain, cause his movies will always have something I love about them, it’s impossible to find anything enjoyable about him being arrested for drunken domestic abuse and disturbing the peace.
And yet the reason Cage was in New Orleans is significant, he’s making sure that films are still made there post-Katrina. Cage has made three films down there recently and even penned a comic book with his son Weston “Voodoo Child” about the area. That’s the Nic Cage, I know, wild and goofy, but with a heart and compassion that most ignore. And so I proceeded to watch World Trade Center and City of Angels that night, completing the Cage Trifecta. 
I’ll be breaking these movies down individually as part of the 100 blog celebration.
Here’s a look at things to come:
1.     Cage vs. Bale
2.     The Next Cage
3.     Sorcerer’s Apprentice Tweet
4.     Cage Couch- creating the ideal Nicolas Cage room
5.     World Trade Center- Nic Cage American Hero
6.     City of Angels
7.     Why Nic Cage chooses movies
8.     Cage transition from Comedy to Action star
9.     Possible Stalking of Vanessa Hudgens
(they may not come in this order)
The Hollywood Defender