Nicolas Cage

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53 Responses to “Nicolas Cage”

  1. Not even sure if I can add a comment here, but this clip needs to go somewhere:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=wYa8EwX2Duw

  2. Hey, no ZANDALEE? That’s a pretty good one for fans of Cage uncaged, especially the scene where he covers himself in black paint and cries.

  3. Nicolas Cage Art Show for those in the San Francisco Area –

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/03/17/nicolas-cage-art-show_n_4964643.html?ir=Arts

    Also, rewatched Con Air for the first time in years yesterday (still holding my breath for Vern to review that one) – man, it’s still a classic. I know I’ve joked about how it’s the best Michael Bay movie Michael Bay never made – and I still stand by it – it looks great, is populated by loads of fun characters who are actually distinguishable and have (gasp) character development. The tone balances the seriousness and the absurdity of the plot, and everyone is awesome in it (was this the beginning of the “indie actor in the big summer movie” trope that started with this and hit the nadir with Malkovich again in Transformers 3?) Plus the action sequences manage to be fun and exciting even though they literally make no geographic sense. Characters seemingly teleport all over that abandoned airfield with no rhyme or reason other than to insert them into trailer moneyshots, and I somehow don’t give a damn.

    You know it’s a good movie when Cage keeps it in check, never mega-acts, but is never boring like he can sometimes be now and creates (probably) his most compelling and likable character.

  4. Agreed, on CON AIR being an action classic, and agreed, that if Michael Bay had a brain, a heart, and a sense of humour that didn’t mock racial stereotypes, CA could have been his. Its also a testament to Cage’s charisma that he can pull off the role with that crazy mullet.

  5. I’ve never liked CON AIR that much. And believe me, I’ve given it every opportunity. It just never grabs me. I start checking out right around the first time the plane lands and we get about 40 minutes of arguing. It’s so overlong and there’s absolutely no momentum. Cage gives a good performance (the “Put. The Bunny. Back. In the box.” scene is a highlight) and the cast is obviously a one of a kind, etc., but honestly I think it did a lot of damage to action cinema. CON AIR’s enduring popularity established a few things that have dogged the genre for close to 20 years now: 1. Anybody can be an action star. Get him a gym membership for a few months, nobody can tell the difference. 2. Being badass is a big joke. Ha ha, look at him and his hair. There’s no poetry in being a tough guy, it’s just splosions and inside jokes. It’s not supposed to be Shakespeare amirite? 3. Get enough famous faces in your movie and it doesn’t matter if none of them have anything to do. Just slap ‘em on the poster. It’s a big famous people party and you’re not invited! 4. Cut, cut, cut, shake, shake, shake. Forget about visual information, just confuse, inveigle, and obfuscate. 5. Everybody blames Michael Bay for all this, even though he was busy destroying a whole different genre (disaster movies, his true oeuvre) at the time.

    Yeah, I wish I liked CON AIR, as it’s kind of become the ROAD HOUSE of the nineties. I can see why people like it, but I find it empty and phony. It lacks ROAD HOUSE’s courage of its convictions. It’s an “action” movie.

  6. I recall liking not loving CON AIR. It’s properly ridiculous but maybe a tad too aware of its cartoonishness.
    All the tough guy lines (cockroach>rapist) sound they were written to be showstopping tough guy lines.
    They emanate from a drunk writer on a Tarantino-infected typewriter on ‘roids.

    But, as someone who rocks the Ranger tab on his Class A’s, I have to admit a soft spot for the military-fetishist opening, Nic Cage’s character (too bad about that hairdo, though), and this piece of the script:

    Cameron Poe, you have pleaded guilty to manslaughter in the first degree.
    With your military skills, you are a deadly weapon…
    and are not subject to the same laws as other people that are provoked…
    because you can respond with deadly force.

    A Ranger with a fist is as lethal as a layperson with a gun!!!

  7. I’m sure in the real world his lawyer would have had a field day with the judge saying that laws are not to be applied equally to all American citizens. I’m no legal expert but I’m pretty sure that’s, like, whatever the opposite of constitutional is.

  8. He’d be found innocent in Florida.

  9. ’96 & ’97 Cage did his action trilogy of THE ROCK, CON AIR, and FACE/OFF, shaking off the weight of being an “Academy Award Winning Actor” for THE LOST WEEKEND IN VEGAS (though it was no honeymoon). And I think it was the best thing he could have done for his career. I think this was also around the time Sean Penn called him a sell-out, but fuck him(no disrespect Penn, you are awesome too, just don’t judge others ok, its not nice).

    Of the Cage Action Trilogy, or C.A.T if you will indulge me, my unchanging preferred order is –

    1. FACE/OFF
    2. CON AIR
    3. THE ROCK

    Broadening that list to top 10 action movies of the 90’s would be –

    1. FACE/OFF
    2. BRAVEHEART
    3. THE LAST OF THE MOHICANS
    4. DIE HARD 3
    5. THE LONG KISS GOODNIGHT
    6. T2
    7. CON AIR
    8. HARD TARGET
    9. THREE KINGS
    10. BLADE
    =10. HEAT
    2nd=10. SPEED

    THE ROCK is the most disposable of the C.A.T. for me. CON AIR is a great beer and pizza action movie. FACE/OFF just flat out awesome.

  10. Hmm. I watched CON AIR recently and I never felt it was visually incoherent like a lot of modern day actioners.

  11. Darren – no room for DESPERADO?

  12. Shoot – DESPERADO might get in at about #19 if I did a top 11-20, which would include POINT BREAK, PRIVATE RYAN, PREDATOR 2, MISSION IMPOSSIBLE, UNDER SIEGE and THE FUGITIVE.

    I used to think Rodriguez was the shit when DESPERADO came out, hot on the heels of Tarantino. It’s still fun, and watchable, but a bit hollow. I tried sitting through it a few months back but switched it off at the halfway mark. I found Banderas pretty irritating with his Spanish Mariachi Loverboy schtick. Cool music though.

    FROM DUSK TILL DAWN is easily my favourite of his. Can’t wait till the tv series comes out on bluray.

  13. Darren – I´ve seen a couple of episodes of the show. I wouldn´t go into it with high expectations as of now. It´s watchable, sure. But it´s treading the same water as the first film with little incentive to keep watching, except a more elliptic narrative and an attempt to flesh out the story. Personally I don´t think I ever found the story to FDTD that interesting in the first place. The original film was a fantastic slice of b-movie schlock and that was it. Of course I´ll keep watching since (hopefully) it becomes a lot more gorier and fun once they hit the Titty Twister.

  14. “fantastic slice of b-movie schlock” – perfectly sums up why I love FDTD.

  15. Mouth does bring up an interesting fact – this is one of the few movies where an Army Ranger is the hero. (They’re almost always (Navy) SEALS or Marines, etc, but rarely the Army for some reason…)

    And Majestyk brings up a common complaint – that for a big summer movie there’s alot of downtime and bickering and standing around, which is all pretty much true, but I guess I dug the personalities and the “witty” dialogue so I didn’t mind. And Darren points out that Con Air does have a lot of heart – Cage isn’t just a typical action hero but also a really decent guy (trying to wound and not kill people, staying on the plane to help his friends when he had several chances to get off, hitting Sally-Can’t-Dance with an open hand) – he’s incredibly selfless and the exact opposite of Shia Lebeouf’s “hero” turn in Bay’s TF3 where he sells out his friends, stands around while they’re about to get executed, and doesn’t really do anything heroic as far as I can remember. He’s the Private Upham of summer movie action heroes.

  16. The Original Paul

    March 27th, 2014 at 3:05 pm

    I guess I will have to rewatch “Con Air” again then. Hey, it worked for “X3″ and “Superman Returns” (the latter is still awful, but not quite as hateable as I thought it was. And I will admit to having previously missed the point of the ending.) It didn’t work for “Out of Sight”, but there you go. And talking off which…

    …So I’ve been sniping at “Out of Sight” in the comments for pretty much the past couple of months now, ever since I rewatched it in fact. It’s obvious I’ve had an epic rant brewing all this time, but I didn’t really want to make a big deal out of it, especially since there are people here who like it. And it’s not as if it’s badly made… it’s as if they set out to make the most plasticky, vapid, smug, pretentious, boring, obnoxious, risible, hateable piece of shit movie that ever existed. And they damn near succeeded. Seriously, before I rewatched this movie I thought it only reached the level of being smarmy and worthless. I’m shocked at how much I overrated it.

    Anyway… there endeth Paul on “Out of Sight”. As far as I can gather, there are about a hundred people in the world who actually like this movie; and most of them either write fluff pieces for movie magazines that feature five-star reviews of films like “Pearl Harbour”, or post on this website, so… sorry for taking little digs at it for the past few months, I guess? Look, it was getting annoying to ME, so I don’t even know what you guys made of it.

    Anyway, this is the end. I needed to rant a bit about that one. Get it off my chest. I will speak of it no more. Pretend I live in a world where it never existed. A better world.

    So, “Con Air”. I thought there were a couple of characters – Malkovich and Buscemi’s characters in particular – who would’ve been fantastic if they’d have actually had anything to do. Everyone else in it talks like Nic Cage. (Except, ironically, Cage himself, who is actually pretty restrained in this one.) I think the movie lost me at the point where you see the two old people in their car, just before the dead body hits the windshield. If they’d have been some sweet old couple who blatantly didn’t belong in an action movie then this would’ve been hilarious, but instead they both start bitching about driving through clouds of flies, swearing like anything. And so what should’ve been one of the funniest scenes in action movie history just falls flat on its ass.

    That said… it’s been a long time since I saw it. And honestly I’d rather rewatch “Con Air” than “The Departed”, because the pattern so far has been that whenever I’ve rewatched a kinda-crappy movie that I really disliked but that others might have found redeeming qualities in, I’ve liked it better the second time. Whereas whenever I’ve rewatched a movie that actually looks completently made but that I disliked for other reasons, I’ve found it way worse the second time around. So I might give “Con Air” another try at some point.

  17. I dare you, Paul..I dare you!

  18. The Original Paul

    March 28th, 2014 at 11:25 am

    I will totally do it. “Con Air”, here I come!

  19. The Original Paul

    March 29th, 2014 at 2:50 pm

    Oh and Darren… regarding your list… three movies stand out for me. “Speed”, “T2″, and “Blade”. Well, those and “Mission: Impossible”, obviously. But “Mission: Impossible” isn’t an action film until the very end, and that’s the point at which it loses me (up until that point it’s one of my all-time favorite movies).

    “Blade”… it’s just fantastic. Snipes is effortlessly cool without ever needing to “force it”, the world is portrayed so perfectly with the vampire society intertwining with the human one, and I kinda love how the villain is nothing more than a manipulative upstart for most of the movie, then suddenly becomes a very real (and physical) threat near the end. He totally goes off the rails, actually, but in a good way. (A pity that none of the sequels hit any of those high points for me, but that seems to be a theme… it applies to “Mission: Impossible” too.)

    “T2″… all I can say is this… it survives Edward Furlong’s dialogue (“Major bummer, huh?”). Not as good as the original “Terminator” but a fantastic film with a scary-as-hell villain nonetheless.

    And “Speed”… disregarding “Die Hard”, which I would say is more the protagonist using his resourcefulness rather than his brains (almost all of the weapons McClane uses are stolen from his enemies), this was really the first straight action movie hit to emphasize the protagonist’s smarts. Which seems incredibly ironic considering said protagonist was Keanu Reeves AKA Ted Theodore Logan, but hey… Sandra Bullock and Dennis Hopper pretty much stole that movie anyway. The plot of “Speed” plays out almost like a chess game – albeit one with freeway chases and explosions.

    I really like “Heat” as well (it has a great scary secondary villain in Wayne Gro, and a fantastic airport shootout at the end). As for the rest… “Face/Off” and “Con Air” I’ve talked about; “The Rock” I’ve never liked (I seriously don’t understand how a movie with that premise, cast and plot can be that goddamned boring, but it manages it somehow); “Braveheart” I also like for what it is, although “what it is” can strain credibility a lot at times, to the point where it’s practically insulting to the intelligence; “The Long Kiss Goodnight” I always think is great-looking with a great concept but for some reason it never quite grabs me; “Die Hard 3″ I think is great until the second Jeremy Irons appears onscreen, at which point it becomes absolute tosh; I really like “The Fugitive”; I’ve never seen what the big deal is with “Point Break”; I’ve talked about “Private Ryan” before, which I kinda like but a lot of my friends find too offensive to really enjoy; I like “Under Siege”; I respect “Three Kings” but it’s not for me; I kinda love the ending and the start of “Predator 2″ but I find most of the long midsection pretty boring; and I’m sure I’ve seen “Hard Target” at some point but I’m damned if I can remember a thing about it. Think that’s all of the ones that I’ve seen.

  20. Waynegro’s a great villain in HEAT. I like how he was revealed as this psychopathic serial killer stalking the fringes of LA, not necessarily adding anything to the plot, but adding a dimension to his character that probly would have been deemed superfluous and left on the cutting room floor in any other non-epic story. I don’t think we got to see another side to any of the other main characters, other than that they were all professionals who lived for the thrill, or the ‘juice’, as Tom Sizemore says, of doing heists. Apart from that they all had dreams to get out and retire, their motivator for that ‘one last job’.

    I agree THE ROCK is somewhat boring. For such a mega budget film, it should have been more entertaining. I think the concept of that story would have been better served as a lower budget DTV directed by Peter Hyams, then it may have been more inventive, and less straight forward and bland. It didn’t even make my top 20 actions of the 90’s. I did the list to give some perspective on where the Cage Action Trilogy of ’96 and ’97 fits in, and to point out how great FACE/OFF and CON AIR(for different reasons) are. Neal2zod elaborated on Cage’s Poe in CA being a great, selfless hero, and that’s really what holds the film together, as well as the humour. The editing of some of the action scenes is a bit too quick-cut for my usual tastes, but you get over it as soon as you get back to Cage squirming in his seat as Steve Buscemi’s Lecter-inspired killer is describing wearing a woman’s head as a hat, and talking semantics.

  21. Regarding THE ROCK. I think it´s amazing that they probably should have cut out that carnage of a carchase as it has no relevance to the plot and that Cage and Connery manages to destroy San Francisco instead of Hummel. They end up doing what Hummel refuses to do in the climax.

  22. Shoot – ha, I never thought of it like that, but you’re right, they do cause way more damage (and if this was realistic, would have killed way more people) than Hummel ever does. And the movie wants it both ways where Hummel is an essentially good man who is bluffing and trying to not to kill anyone, but we’re still supposed to cheer it when his men die horribly and laugh when the heroes kill them while saying snappy one-liners, etc.. Tonal complexity and shades of grey are fine, but Bay doesn’t really seem to get it. Kind of like how there’s all kinds of wrong shit happening in the Transformers movies (the heroes finishing off surrendered bad guys gruesomely, the heroes letting innocent civilians die to prove a point, etc..) and Bay doesn’t seem to even understand why this is a bad thing.

    Back to Cage – I liked The Frozen Ground alot more than I thought I would – it’s weird that him and his Con Air costar John Cusack seem to have both been stuck in DTV land recently, and Cusack is now playing the unhinged killer roles you figure Cage would have snapped up. (The Numbers Station and The Factory are way better than Stolen or Trespass or Seeking Justice, btw)

  23. neal2zod – THE FROZEN GROUND was notable to me for Cage’s subdued performance. No MEGA going on here. It was similar to his performance in KNOWING, stone faced for most of the film, but not boring. As for Cusack, I’ve never seen him so far removed from his nice-guy persona – quiet, cunning and controlling(especially the way he treated his family). I’m sure his eyes were pitch-black in this one.

    THE FACTORY played like a 90’s serial killer post-SE7EN throwback, reminding me of Russel Mulcahy’s RESURRECTION(anyone remember that one? I didn’t think so). Ludicrous and sincere walking hand in hand, but somehow being entertaining. Probly thanks to Cusack.

  24. Be afraid. Be very afraid.
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Are you ready for Armageddon? Cage is in this remake of the Kirk Cameron umm.. classic. http://www.imdb.com/list/ls002653141?ref_=hm_3p_vi3.

    I’m starting to worry about our buddy Nic. I hope he’s just doing it for the paycheck. However…..I for one have always considered Cage a type of mad Evangelist of Acting, so if he’s gonna do some movies for the Christian channel crowd, let’s hope he tears it up and brings some Mega-acting worthy of Moses on the mountain.

  25. I’m not sure what to expect from this. It’s allegedly gonna be a theatrical release, and when Cage signed on it was reported as a mainstream, secular remake of the story. But the amateurish poster and trailer suggest DTV at best and Christian bookstore at worst.

    One reason to possibly be interested is that the director is Vic Armstrong, famed Indiana Jones stunt double and director of Dolph’s pretty good ARMY OF ONE, aka JOSHUA TREE. So it will probly be like Craig Baxley’s LEFT BEHIND: WORLD AT WAR and at least have a couple good cars blowing up.

  26. There’s a belief in Hollywood these days that christian movies are potentional money makers. But they seem to always choose topics that only a few die hards care about, and they don’t even make their money back. The rapture is some evangical crap that turned up fairly recently, and the only result we’ll get from this stupid remake is the end of Nic Cage’s career.

  27. Cage will survive the Christian film industry. Hopefully he’ll be a breath of fresh air to their famously bland and cheesy production values. Trust me, I’ve seen a couple of real belters about The End Times in my life.

    What makes me curious about this one is, will Cage bring any of his improv quirks to the tale? Like, will he tell the stewardess how good he is at Eating a Peach? Will he let her ‘suck’ his tongue? Will he ask The Antichrist if he’s ever been dragged to the sidewalk and beaten till he pissed.blood.!!? What potential!

  28. It’s pretty obvious that Cage only worked on the film for a few days and got a bunch of money for a vacation. All his scenes seem to take place in one location. Kinda like Dennis Hopper only worked like two days on that one Seagal movie.

  29. Fuck Mexico! is about the only Mega-burst from Cage in RED ROCK WEST. Mostly he speaks in a quiet Texan drawl as he gets himself into deeper and deeper shit and tries to squirm his way out. Being surrounded by the Mega wild man Dennis Hopper and the steely eyed perfection of late great character actor JT Walsh, I think Cage made the right choice to keep it under the Mega radar. I like Cage in this and I fuckin love this movie full-stop(.) It gets better every time I see it, which is about once a year.

    It’s a good, straight Cage performance, never boring and an interesting character. Ex-Marine with a leg injury from battle. He’s drifting. He’s broke. He starts off making good choices – like being honest about his medical condition on a job application, which goes against him getting the job. Then he has an opportunity to steal from an unattended gas station cash register and he doesn’t. So we know he’s got some integrity. So then it’s a bit of a head scratcher why he plays along with Wayne the bartender when Wayne mistakes him for a hitman from Dallas who he’s hired to kill his wife. It can’t be for the money cause he’s shown he can resist the temptation to steal. Maybe he’s bored and looking for some adventure. Don’t know, but things go south pretty spectacularly after that.

    Kudos to director John Dahl who knows how to make a fuckin great noir movie. His three best are the first three in a row he made, KILL ME AGAIN with Val Kilmer, RRW and THE LAST SEDUCTION. JOYRIDE aka ROADKILL was good too. Haven’t seen his war movie THE GREAT RAID. Mostly does TV now. Oh well.

  30. New DTV Cage TOKAREV is a great little crime/revenge/mini-morality story. Cage is ex Russian mafia on the straight n arrow whose daughter gets killed, it seems because of his past, and he goes on a rampage to find her killer. It made me think of MYSTIC RIVER with Cage in the Sean Penn role. He’s a loving dad but also a dirty, tough bastard when it comes to the crunch. And he’s got these two big goons who are like his best buddies/bodyguards who do some of the head-smashing for him, but they also crack jokes after they beat up a guy and strangle his druggie girlfriend like it was a walk in the park.

    It’s got great atmosphere, lots of rain and night-time scenes. Danny Glover and Peter Stormare weigh in with strong performances. Cage gives it his all and knocks it out of the park. If he’s gonna be stuck in dtv land for the near future I hope he makes more like this.

  31. I got to learn not to pigeon-hole Cage. I thought he was on a DTV doin-it-for-the-money roll from his last few efforts, now I just saw JOE from David Gordon Green and he gives a great, organic performance. No flash, all internalized rage, sometimes spilling over.

    It’s a low budget effort from Green, like his early films, with mostly non-actors except for the kid from MUD. Which tells me Cage took the role because he wanted to, not just for the (probly minimal) money. One of the best movies I’ve seen this year, and a reminder that Cage is an actor of great depth and range. I mean, I love crazy, balls-out Cage like the next guy, but we don’t see enough of these quieter, quality performances from him.

  32. Rage/Tokarev is on Netflix Instant and I’m pleased to say after a pretty amateurish and tedious opening 40 minutes, it settles into a pretty awesome revenge tale, complete with the return of MEGA ACTING. Cage has about 3 or 4 highlight reel-worthy scenes here that brought a huge grin to my face but don’t detract from the serious nature of the movie.

    I’ll save further comments for when Vern hopefully reviews it, but as Darren says, it’s got some shades of Mystic River in it, (apparently too much from what some reviews say), but I guess I don’t remember Mystic River very well since I was pleasantly surprised by the plot twists and turns.

  33. Decided to re-watch Raising Arizona for the first time in maybe 20 years – it’s even better than I remember it. Funny, fast, endlessly quotable (“They had yodas and shit on em!”), full of likable characters, amazing camera work, and that incredible score. Still the best Coen brothers movie in my opinion and probably in my Top 5 of all time.

    Three things of note in this rewatch: 1) Holly Hunter mega-acts more than Nicolas Cage in this one. She has certain lines and scenes where she appears to be playing a different character from the rest of the movie, but whatever, it works and it’s hilarious. 2) The “action” sequences are incredible. It’s not an action movie, but the editing and staging/camerawork during the foot chase and the showdown with the biker are more exciting than 95% of movies today. 3) If you strip away all the camera gymnastics and crazy accents and the supernatural biker guy, you could still make a pretty good non-funny version of this. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying I want a dark and gritty reboot of Raising Arizona or anything, but it’s a pretty high compliment when the characters and story are so strong and involving you can see the same story take place in different genres. (I actually got misty-eyed at the end for the first time this viewing too).

  34. H.I. is one of my most loved Cage characters. So goofy, so clueless. Love the way his hair stands up and has a life of its own. I also started taking notice of the Coen’s around the late 80’s early 90’s and noticed how each of their films from BLOOD SIMPLE to MILLERS CROSSING was so unique. Says a lot about their eye for talent that they scored an early, quirky performance from Cage before he became the maestro of mega.

  35. I’m planning to rewatch the whole Coen Bros filmography soon and this is actually the one that I look most forward too. Haven’t seen it in years!

  36. Yeah I wonder why Cage hasn’t worked with the Coen brothers again, since they seem to re-use the same players over and over and he’s amazing here. It’s crazy to watch this film and think THIS guy would go on to win an Oscar and be in big summer blockbusters. (Wait a minute – Frances McDormand won an Oscar and was in Transformers 3, and Holly Hunter won an Oscar and is going to be in Batman vs. Superman – but there’s no way you could see that from their work here).

    Also, IMDB says H.I. was originally going to be Kevin Costner(!) before he turned it down. Even though i can’t see him in this movie as is with all the wackiness, I can weirdly see him in my hypothetical “serious” version of Raising Arizona. (Actually, that would be A Perfect World, wouldn’t it?)

  37. Well, there are many great actors, who the Coens only worked with once, although they would fit into at least half of their output. Gabriel Byrne, Dan Hedaya, William Forsythe, Albert Finney, Tim Robbins, William H. Macy, Philip Seymour Hoffman, James Gandolfini, Woody Harrelson, Geoffrey Rush, Tommy Lee Jones, John Malkovich, Tilda Swinton or even Tom Hanks and Brad Pitt. So Nic Cage is in good company.

  38. Can’t recall if I read it somewhere or heard it in an interview with the Coen’s, but I remember them saying they had a difficult time with Cage. I think it was his decision to make H.I. a Road Runner Loony Toon type character, and the Coen’s couldn’t direct him out of it. Or something. Given that Coppola had a similar problem with him a year earlier on PEGGY SUE, I’m leaning toward this as a true(-ish) story.

  39. Tom Hanks also made not only the Coens worst movie but one of the worst movies ever.

    I feel like I’ve heard that story about Arizona though too. I think some actors love being directed by the Coens and their specificity but we know Cage needs to play by his own rules. So I understand if they don’t mesh. Arizona is still awesome though.

    Or maybe the Coens misfiled his contract. We know how he feels about that.

  40. Sheesh, Fred. Such negative hyperbole from you? I think we can all agree that LADYKILLERS definitely is the weakest Coen movie, but it still has lots to like. Including Hanks’ performance in it. (Also we now finally know what a low brow comedy by the Coens would look like. The can cross of that subgenre off their list.)

  41. Sorry CJ, I really really really hate THE LADYKILLERS. Like as much as Peter Loew hates misfiled papers.

  42. Wait…weaker than INTOLERABLE CRUELTY?

  43. Fred probably hates LADYKILLERS because it never became a franchise.

  44. No way is THE LADYKILLERS weaker than INTOLERABLE CRUELTY.

  45. I see the argument. I think LADYKILLERS is their most flawed movie, but INTOLERABLE is their most bland movie. It’s perfectly fine, but unworthy of their talents. LADYKILLERS has more cringe-worthy things but also some good weirdness in it. And I always laugh when I remember her grumbling about “Left My Wallet in El Segundo.”

  46. LADYKILLERS has more funny moments than CRUELTY does IMHO. J.K. Simmons is pretty amusing in there, and I even think Hank’s weirdo accent schtick is pretty funny. At the very least, it’s different, it has its own unique flavor to it you couldn’t find anywhere else. CRUELTY just feels like coasting.

  47. Per his interview on Kevin Pollak’s show, Barry Sonnenfeld was originally going to do LADYKILLERS, and wanted Tommy Lee Jones in the Tom Hanks part because he thought TLJ could have provided a requisite amount of menace that made things a little more evened up. It heightens the stakes from it just being slapstick if you think the character is genuinely dangerous, which Hanks couldn’t convey well enough. That said for what it is, LADYKILLERS is pretty funny. It’s not in the league of their best comedies but it has it’s moments.

  48. And here it is, folks. INTOLERABLE CRUELTY was my favorite movie of 2003. I put it above KILL BILL: VOL. 1. I thought the Coens nailed that vaudevillian style of comic farce. It’s totally suited to them. LADYKILLERS I just found not funny at all and aggressively obnoxious about it.

    But look, I don’t like FARGO either. It’s just people talking funny but I don’t actually find it amusing. The TV series was brilliant though.

  49. Well I figure my OCD issues with trying to get the Coen talk on to a Coen thread for the sake of continuity and peace of mind about not pilfering this Cage thread are being challenged (gotta confront the OCD demon every once in a while, let it know who’s boss), so I’ll offer my 35 cents worth on this –

    LADYKILLERS was underwhelming for a Coen joint. The actors felt miscast (Hanks & Wayans in particular – Tommy L Jones would have been perfect, thanks for that backstory onthewall), and like they were on different wavelengths. But I agree with Vern, it’s still weird enough to enjoy. And Fred – you’re kidding about INTOLERABLE CRUELTY being better than KILL BILL right? We’re you having a tough year in 2003? Or are you just taking the piss?

  50. I recall 2003 being tough to come up with a top 10 and I may have penalized Kill Bill for splitting in two but I genuinely love INTOLERABLE CRUELTY.

    I would’ve followed you to the BLOOD SIMPLE thread but I was directly addressed here. I kinda feel like this discussion has been misfiled and you know how Cage feels about misfiling. There, now it’s relevant.

  51. I remember thinking that INTOLERABLE CRUELTY might have been the Coen brothers attempt of an old-fashioned screwball comedy. And that may very well be. I just hope they got that out of the system. Especially since they have a potential of unleashing Clooneys funnier streak (O BROTHER WHERE ART THOU, the later BURN AFTER READING). Compared to those movies, CRUELTY is lame and un-funny. Well-made as a romantic comedy. But I have a bullshit-detector programmed especially towards those kinds of films

  52. From what I’ve heard, CRUELTY was actually a paycheck movie. They were originally hired to do a re-write (which is why there are two other writers credited), but Clooney liked their draft so much, that he convinced them to also direct it. In the end it’s a movie, that is definitely underrated (although just because it gets a lot of shit for not beint the usual Coen masterpiece), but they did “classic screwball comedy” so much better with THE HUDSUCKER PROXY.

  53. IC might be worth another watch down the track, see if I missed something. But right now I have to verbally annihilate my secretary. OCD is a bitch of a mistress.

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