Wednesday, November 28, 2012
Nic November: Wild at Heart and The Wicker Man
Well, here we are at the end of an interesting month of devouring a whole bunch of Nicolas Cage movies. I can't really say I'm thinking that he is now a great actor, but this experience has definitely opened my eyes to his...wide array of talents. Especially this week, as I left Wild at Heart and The Wicker Man until last.
The Hairstyle: The Carefree 90s Punk-Rock/Boy Band Cross-Over
One of the main reasons why I added Wild at Heart to the list - and why I left it until last - was because it is a David Lynch film. And I thought that Lynch + Nicolas = more craziness than you could imagine. And I was right. Wild at Heart is one of the strangest movies I've ever seen, even though I suppose it is more sane and easy to follow than some of Lynch's other stuff. To be honest, there's just a whole lot of sex. Like...a lot. Honestly, it was just the basis for the entire film. There was a story of Sailor (Cage) and his 20 year old girlfriend Lula (Laura Dern) getting chased down by a gang that Lula's mother (Diane Ladd) assembled because she doesn't approve of Sailor. The gang itself is pretty crazy, mainly because it involves Willem Dafoe being crazy. But at any rate, this is just an interesting take on a road trip movie melded with a love story.
In fact, the love story was probably the best thing this movie had going for it. It was like, a partially insane coming-of-age story intertwined with tones of The Wizard of Oz. And it has Nicolas Cage singing 'Love Me Tender' at the end, which was interesting. Nicolas himself was actually very good, but that comes with the insanity of the material - I've found that the more insane the material is, the more tolerable he is. Sailor is just a cool dude in a snakeskin jacket, and the role isn't all that demanding to be honest. If Nicolas had taken Willem Dafoe's role, then things would have gone absolutely crazy. However, Dafoe did a terrifying job all by himself (he's no Dennis Hopper in Blue Velvet but there's shades of that character in his character). I can't say I loved the film, but I definitely enjoyed it, I guess. An interesting entry to the David Lynch cannon, that's for sure.
The Hairstyle: IDGAF
So anyway, the one I've eagerly been awaiting: The Wicker Man. Yes, it is as bad as I previously thought I was going to be. Seriously, I don't even know where it was going. It was just so poorly made and scripted, and definitely wasn't at all scary because it tried to hard. It really did try too hard to be everything that it couldn't be. And you know why?
Because it had Nicolas Cage in a bear suit.
I don't care if this was the best film ever made, Nicolas Cage in a bear suit brings down a whole movie. Luckily it occurred towards the end of the film, because I had trouble taking anything seriously at that point. Mind you, I couldn't take this film seriously because it took itself too seriously. It was kind of sad to watch.
One person that wasn't taking themselves terribly seriously, though, was good old Cage. He wasn't even trying. It is like how you feel when you're really tired so you just weakly beg and plead with people to listen to you. When he was saying "how'd it get burned? How'd it get burned?", he really had the life sucked out of him. And then there was that bear suit, which is something I'll never forget, that's for sure.
It was just a really bad movie. I'm not even sure it was "so bad it's good". I do have to wonder why James Franco turned up at the end. That was strange...
The quality of the Nic November movies, ranked:
8. The Wicker Man (2006) Dir. Neil LaBute
7. Ghost Rider (2007) Dir. Mark Steven Johnson
6. Gone in 60 Seconds (2000) Dir. Dominic Sena
5. Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans (2009) Dir. Werner Herzog
4. Wild at Heart (1990) Dir. David Lynch
3. Lord of War (2005) Dir. Andrew Niccol
2. Face/Off (1997) Dir. John Woo
1. Adaptation. (2002) Dir. Spike Jonze
What did I think of my experience as a whole?
To be honest, I don't know how it has gone so fast. I thought this would be a torturous month, but there were some real surprises in the mix here. Still, Nicolas Cage isn't a great actor to me. He is capable of greatness, though. In small doses.
And that is the end of me 'dipping my toes' in anything for the year! Sometime during the weekend/after I do my Magic Mike review there will be a huge post up looking back at all four of the different realms I've explored this year. For now, though: what do you think of these films? And how do you feel about Nicolas Cage?