What the Hell Happened to Nicolas Cage?

Nicolas Cage

It may seem strange to ask “What the hell happened to Nicolas Cage?”  He certainly isn’t missing.  He appears in several movies every year.  But the Oscar-winning actor has gone from being a box office draw to a national punchline who can’t say “no” to any movie.

What the hell happened?

Nicolas Cage is part of the Coppola clan.  Francis Ford Coppola is his uncle.  Talia Shire is his aunt and  Sofia Coppola and Jason Schwartzman are among his cousins.  To avoid the appearance of nepotism, he changed his last name from Coppola to Cage early in his career.  He based his name on Marvel superhero, Luke Cage aka Power Man.

Cage’s earliest role was as an uncredited extra in the Robert Redford film, Brubaker in 1980.  In 1981, Cage appeared with Crispin Glover in a youth-oriented TV show called Best of Times.  The show was not picked up.

cage - fast times

In 1982, Cage appeared opposite Jennifer Jason Leigh, Sean Penn and Phoebe Cates in Amy Heckerling’s classic high school comedy, Fast Times at Ridgemont High.

Cage was originally cast in the Judge Reinhold role.  But since he was still a minor and could not shoot at night, he was given a smaller role as one of Reinhold’s friends.  Fast Times was the only time Cage was credited as Nicolas Coppola in a film.

 cage - valley girl

In 1983, Cage had his first major role in the teen rom-com, Valley Girl.

Deborah Foreman starred as a valley girl who falls for a Hollywood “punk” played by Cage.  It was a very 80’s take on Romeo and Juliet directed by Martha Coolidge, a New York filmmaker who was recruited to Hollywood by Francis Ford Coppola’s Zoetrope Entertainment.

Coolidge spent three years researching a rock-and-roll love story for Zoetrope, but the project fell through.  Years later, a screen-writer brought her the script for Valley Girl because “it was about a girl” and there weren’t many female directors at the time.

Valley Girl had a miniscule budget and only two weeks of pre-production.  The producers gave Coolidge nearly free rein to make the film she wanted so long as she didn’t go over-budget and  included four scenes with naked breasts.

During casting, Coolidge says she rejected all of the male members of the Brat Pack. “All those ‘Brat Packers,’ or whatever, they came and I rejected all of them. I almost cast Judd Nelson but I got so tired of all those pretty boys that I walked over to the reject pile, found a picture of Nic Cage and said, ‘Find me people that look like this.'”

At the time, Cage was living out of his car.  But Valley Girl helped put him on the map.  It got positive reviews and was a hit at the box office.

cage - rubmle fish

Later that year, Cage appeared opposite Matt Dillon, Mickey Rourke and Diane Lane in Francis Ford Coppola’s Rumble Fish.

Coppola directed two films based on novels by author S. E. Hinton.  The first adaptation was The Outsiders which was also released in 1983.  Cage auditioned for Dillon’s role in The Outsiders, but he didn’t get it.  He was offered Emilio Estevez‘s role, but turned it down.

Instead, Cage was cast in his uncle’s less successful follow-up to The OutsidersRumble Fish was the more progressive of the two films.  It proved divisive to critics and received mostly negative reviews upon its release.  Over time, it has come to be more respected.  Rumble Fish flopped at the box office.

Next: Birdy and Peggy Sue Got Married


Posted on February 9, 2013, in Movies, What the Hell Happened?, WTHH Actor and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 298 Comments.

  1. What an excellent and fun writeup. I had not realized just how lengthy a career he has had and how many movies he has made. Pretty good range of different material, too. Only a versatile actor could be in both Con Air and Peggy Sue. (I thoroughly hated Con Air, no desire to ever watch it again, but thought Cage was excellent in it).


  2. Don’t know why, but Nicolas Cage is definitely one of my personal box-office poisons. I simply can’t tolerate his boiled fish face.


    • Ah, that’s a shame. I know people who feel the way you do. But I think Cage is pretty great. The fact that he isn’t traditionally handsome is a part of his appeal. No one loses their shit like Cage.


      • You’re probabily right. Maybe it’s beacause I’ve witnessed only the worst part of Cage’s carreer. I like him in “City of Angels”, “Adaptation” and “Leavin’ Las Vegas” but, as you pointed in the article, he has done almost everything to damage his credibility in the last ten years.


        • One of the things I like about Cage is that he is not afraid to suck. Heck, he’s not afraid of anything. For the most part, you know exactly what you are going to get out of Tom Cruise. He’s a fast food burger. Cage – you just never know. It may be awful, it may be great. But it won’t be a boring cheeseburger.

          Go back and check out some of his quirky movies. There’s a lot of great stuff in his filmography.


  3. Yep, his money problems make it hard for him to say “no”. But also, Cage has always been this way. His attitude seems to be that he will do anything. He’ll make it interesting if he has to.


  4. Good read as usual. Cage has been on screen as long as I can remember. I remember seeing and enjoying Red Rock West when I was like 12 years old. I used to think Cage sucked because he didn’t look like a traditional movie start. I kind of like him now but going though his Filmography it’s shocking to see how much schlock he has made. Other than Kick ass and Wild at heart I struggle to find anything I might like.


    • Thanks, Stoich. Glad you liked it.

      I knew Cage had made over 60 films. But just how many that is didn’t sink in until I was hip deep in the article.

      Check out Vampire’s Kiss. It’s really messed up.


  5. great article….and I really had no idea how extensive Cage’s career is.

    But let’s get one thing straight. Con Air and The Rock are not intelligent films, but they are a lot of fun with some great dialogue. Check them out.

    Matchstick Men and Lord of War are both intelligent and heartbreaking, and probably the best movies on this list.

    I can forgive Cage for his bad stuff, because he’s definitely given me some good stuff.

    And Raising Arizona?

    Every week when I log into my bank account and see how much of my paycheck has disappeared to the taxman – I still utter that line from RA. Cage sees his first paycheck after going legit, and the pay-clerk mumbles….

    “Government do take a bite, don’t she?”



    • You make as many movies as Cage has and you’re bound to have some winners and some stinkers.

      I’m just not a fan of the “blow stuff up” style of action movies. I watched The Rock once. It was too dumb for me. I didn’t hate it, but I have no desire to watch it again. I have never heard anyone say that Con Air was anything but a lesser version of The Rock, so I’ll pass.

      I actually prefer Drive Angry which goes past dumb into awesomely stupid. If you’re going to make a ridiculously stupid action movie, at least commit to it 100%. Drive Angry does that.

      RA is classic Coens. It’s either your kind of humor or you’re left scratching your head. I generally like the Coens. But I prefer their less goofy films. I have to be in the right mood for RA or Big Lebowski.


  6. Another great post; It has always amazed me how Nic Cage went from Oscar winner to showing up in some of the movies he has done in the past 5 years.

    Your insight is great, considering how many movies he has completed. The video with Kevin Smith is GREAT, but shows what goes on in the movie making process.

    I did like The Rock, Con Air and Face Off; I thought Cage played those roles perfectly. Granted, they were weak movies, but they were fun to watch.

    Really enjoy your posts, keep them up!!


    • Thanks, Tom.

      The Rock, Con Air and Face/Off definitely did what they set out to do. I remember liking Face/Off even if it was too long. I haven’t watched any of them since the 90s. So, maybe I need to revisit them.

      That Kevin Smith video is hysterical and says so much about the way movies are made. I think that video is responsible for Smith’s transition from director to public speaker. These days, I think he only makes movies so he has something to talk about in his speaking engagements.


      • You gotta check out Kevin Smith’s guest appearance on How Did This Get Made?

        It’s very interesting, and I learned that Bruce Willis can be a real dick.


        • THAT’s where you learned Bruce Willis is a dick? He’s been a dick since before he was a star. Every story you hear about Bruce Willis is about what a huge dick he is. He even made a movie where he played himself being a dick.

          Smith is a talented, funny guy. But he also annoys the crap out of me. Comic Book Men makes me want to puke. I wish Smith would stop being such a lazy stoner and make a real movie again.


        • You’re funny. I never knew he was a dick. And I agree about Smith….annoying but talented. I think Dogma is highly underrated – but I don’t know much about who was behind that film.


  7. “The Rock” was awesome because Cage, Sean Connery, & Ed Harris basically lowered themeselves to the material & boosted up a notch as a result.
    Don’t forget Cage’s cameo as Fu Manchu in the “Werewolf Women of the S.S.” trailer (from Rob ‘All my movies are basically remakes of Texas Chainsaw Massacre’ Zombie), which was part of “Grindhouse”


  8. I recently met someone who claimed to have worked at a bar with Willis in the very early 80s. Somebody ripped the joint off, and this person suspected Willis and his roommates.


  9. Cage’s career is frustrating.
    I counted myself among his fans 15 years ago, but his descent into lousy action films is depressing.
    His comedic and character work at his peak was always entertaining. Raising Arizona is one of my favorite comedies and I am among those who consider him the best part of Peggy Sue Got Married. Con Air, however, is one of the most hateful and stupid things ever put on film. That is not a compliment. With all the talent attached (Cage, Malkovich, Cusack, Buscemi, etc) we could have had a great movie with a better script and completely different concept. It would be a good use of a time machine.


  10. I personally like Cage;although the very thought of him playing the
    Iron Man brought chills down my spine 😉 .It is indeed great that the Iron Man is played by the man worthy of that role-Robert Downey Jr….


  11. How tired were your fingers after typing up this manifesto? Cage’s filmography is longer than any other three actors combined. To me he’s like potato chips…not exactly fine dining but you just keep on eating them anyway. I’ll pretty much give anything he’s in a chance just because he’s such a goofball and fun to watch. Kind of like Brad Pitt in his early years before he became Branjelina (Twelve Monkeys anyone?). I have even liked several of Cage’s flops: Lord of War, Knowing, Bad Lieutenant, hell even Season of the Witch wasn’t that terrible. And for the record Bringing out the Dead and Raising AZ are two favorites on my cult classics hit list. The Big Lebowski is also on that list by the way. 😉

    Yeah I’m a Cage fan but there are a few even I can’t stand. Ghost Rider 2 was just plain “filmed in eastern Europe” trash. Wicker Man I never had the stomach to see. And I actually wasn’t that impressed w/ the National Treasure franchise either. One was ok but the others sucked. As long as he owes money to ‘The Man’ I don’t think we’re done seeing Nick Cage. I’m ok with that.


    • Man, you have no idea. I’m taking up money to get Cage to take a year off so I don’t have to update this article every three months.

      Even Cage’s bad movies are usually pretty watchable just to see what Cage will do next. I havew watched Drive Angry a couple of times and I’ll watch it again. It’s not good, but it’s a lot of fun to watch. I haven’t subjected myself to The Wicker Man, but I watch that best-of clip all the time.

      I did check out of Ghost Rider 2 about half way through. I didn’t hate it, but I had better things to do. I don’t really have any interest in the National Treasure movies. But I’m sort of surprised NT3 hasn’t happened yet. The first two were monster hits.

      For my money, he was the best part of Kick Ass. He even salvaged some of Trespass. But don’t subject yourself to that one.


  12. Great write up, as usual. The Ratner line had me howling.

    One minor correction, though: WILD AT HEART was actually booed when it won at Cannes. I remember that very well.

    I don’t know if it’s correct to say LEAVING LAS VEGAS changed Cage’s career, either. It was, in fact, virtually the END of his career as a thespian worthy of anyone’s time. He never used the momentum from it to go for a higher class of film; he, instead, became a star of up-budget schlock, just as you wrote.

    I guess I should offer up a few words in defense of both Aquaman and, especially, Ghost Rider. Both have had very good runs at various times, and could easily be turned into excellent films. Mark Steven Johnson and Hollywood are what murdered GHOST RIDER on film.


    • Thanks for the kind words. I’m glad you enjoyed the article.

      I think you’re confusing Wild at Heart with Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me. Cannes loved Wild at Heart. It even won the Palme d’Or. They booed Twin Peaks. Loudly. They seemed to take it as some kind of personal betrayal after having lauded Lynch for Wild at Heart two years earlier. Frankly, Cannes got it wrong both times. They greatly over-praised WaH and were unfair to TP:FWWM.

      You are right about LLV. When I wrote that it changed his career, I was thinking of it from the point of view that he was now an Oscar winner. I suppose the movie that really changed his career was The Rock. Winning an Oscar gives an actor a lot of leeway to reinvent themselves. Cage chose to use that clout to become an action star.

      I have to admit my digs at Aquaman and Ghost Rider were half-hearted. As a former comic book reader, I like both characters. Especially Aquaman. I used to do a whole stand-up routine on Aquaman from the Super Friends (not the most original material, I know). All the while I was making fun of him, I was a fan of the character. There are no bad characters, just bad creators. Mark Steven Johnson is definitely to blame for Ghost Rider and all of his other movies.

      I would love to see a respectful Aquaman movie. Probably never happen though.


      • No, WILD AT HEART was, indeed, booed at Cannes. As I said, I remember that very well. A quick Google search doesn’t turn up much, but it is mentioned on the Wikipedia entry for the film (yeah, yeah, I know):

        “When Jury President Bernardo Bertolucci announced Wild at Heart as the Palme d’Or winner at the awards ceremony, the boos almost drowned out the cheers with film critic Roger Ebert leading the vocal detractors.”

        Ebert made some rather profoundly stupid remarks, accusing Lynch–David Lynch–of being unwilling to go non-commercial! The Cannes crowd was out to lunch both times–this and the TWIN PEAKS flick were both great. Lynch’s pictures usually are.

        With Cage, THE [C]ROCK is definitely a better candidate for career-changer. That’s really the point at which he chose to flush a promising career.

        Something I forgot to mention before was that I was astonished to learn (reading your article) that MATCHSTICK MEN was critically well-received. I have standing gripe about what I see as the exceptionally poor state of contemporary film criticism, but MATCHSTICK MEN was unwatchable.


        • Are you sure they weren’t just booing Bernardo Bertolucci? 😉

          I had not heard about the booing when the WaH won the award. But I understand it. I like Wild at Heart, but it has its flaws. I can certainly imagine people being unhappy with the victory. That probably contributed to the backlash two years later. Thanks for clarifying!

          I like Ebert, but his biases show. He was down on Lynch for a long, long time. And then praised him for Mulholland Drive. I have never understood how critics panned Lost Highway and then praised Mulholland Drive. They have more in common than not. I suspect Ebert (who has a fondness for Russ Myer) may have been swayed by the lesbian scene.

          I was mystified by The Rock. It got much better reviews than I thought it deserved and was a bigger hit than I expected it to be. I guess it was marginally better than other films in its class. But it wasn’t my cup of tea. I’m glad so many other people enjoyed it.

          I barely recall Matchstick Men. I remember it getting good enough reviews that I wanted to see it. And I am pretty sure I enjoyed it well enough. But I also remember being vaguely disappointed that it didn’t live up to the reviews. I really need to watch it again to get a fresh pov.


  13. Nicolas Cage is one of my favorite actors, probably because off the top of my head, I’ve seen nearly every movie he has been in. From last year’s “Seeking Justice” (which was actually a decent flick for a boring night) to his older films like “Honeymoon in Vegas” and “Red Rock West”.

    I know he gets a bad rap in recent years for his direct to videos binge, but I should note that as a devoted Nic Cage fan, I’ve seen “Seeking Justice”, “Trespass” and plan on seeing “Stolen”. Also, “Knowing” in 2009 was one of the highest grossing films of the year. Two years prior, he had massive box office hits with “National Treasure 2” and “Ghost Rider”.

    I think he just makes alot of films.


    • He sure does!

      I know he owes a lot of money, but he should probably be more selective. It might be helpful in the long run to make fewer movies and preserve some of his credibility with audiences. Or win it back as the case may be.

      But then, I don’t think Cage gives a crap.


      • I also tend to remember when I was about 13 years old back around 2000, Nicolas Cage was the shit.

        He had Con-Air and Face/Off making loads and loads of money and keeping moviegoers coming in 1997 and renting in 1998, then he had my mother and sisters crying in City of Angels (1998) along with his silhouette on the cover of the Goo Goo Dolls single, “Iris” which was one of the longest running top hits ever and in October 2012, “Iris” was ranked #1 on Billboard’s “Top 100 Pop Songs 1992-2012” chart.

        Cage on the music:

        I also remember the holiday season of 2000 being filled not only with Al Gore and recounts but with “The Family Man” as well. Around the same time too, “Snake Eyes” and “8mm” were making the rounds in rentals.


  14. “Community” backed out of doing an episode devoted to Nicolas Cage:,92410/

    As Dan Harmon explained at Communicon, Jeff Winger would’ve pretended there was a class called “Nicolas Cage Appreciation.”


  15. They were quite a pair, weren’t they?


  16. face off was great, con air, gone in 60 seconds, the rock, national treasure 1 and 2 , honeymoon in vegas, moonstruck, sorcerer’s apprentice and raising arizona were good movies from nicolas cage. i would love to see a reunion of nicolas cage and john travolta in expendables 3 if john woo directs.


  17. The Death of “Superman Lives”: What Happened?:

    A documentary about the proposed 1998 “Superman Lives” feature film that would have been the most original and strangest Superman ever.


    The Death of “Superman Lives”: What Happened? is a Feature Length Documentary about the unmade movie “Superman Lives”. This film, out of all the various attempts to make a Superman movie between 1987 and 2006, would have stood the test of time and become a bonafide Cult Classic nowadays. I am not alone with my intense interest in knowing everything I can about this project, and so now I’m embarking on making a Documentary that will cover everything ever made for this film, from interviewing as many people as I can who were involved, to including actually recreating scenes from the script!!!

    I’ve been interested in this film since it was first announced back in the late 90’s. Nicolas Cage was announced as Superman, Kevin Smith was announced as the Writer, Tim Burton was announced as the Director, and fans have had very heavy opinions, both positive and negative, on all of this. As news slowly bubbled out, news buzzed around about Rainbow Robot Outfits, Brainiac Skull ships, Superman not “flying”, Fighting a Giant Spider, Polar Bears guarding the Fortress of Solitude. It all sounded so crazy, so weird, so different, that I honestly was hoping that they would actually make it, just so we would have something different from what had come before. It never happened. Cut to almost 15 years later, and I really wish I could slap that “Superman Lives” disc into my player, and watch this guaranteed weird, strange, and original new take on the mythology of the Superman character. By this time, whether it was a success or failure at the box office, It would have for sure been a cult classic, due mainly to its inspired casting, and its tremendous bravery in it’s attempt to merge toy sales with the weirdness.


    I have been working professionally in the world of media for over 15 years now, writing, producing and directing shows that many of you have heard about. Some have even achieved cult status themselves ( Upright Citizens Brigade, Metalocalypse, The Venture Bros ). This will be my first feature length documentary, but over the years I’ve had plenty of experience in doing interviews, talking on camera and specifically editing interviews. I was a featured guest in Morgan Spurlock’s “ComicConIV: A Fans Hope”, I’ve edited over a dozen episodes of “Space Ghost Coast to Coast”, and I’ve directed hundreds of Actors both in front of the camera and in “behind the scenes” docs, so I’m very prepared to make this documentary soar, both visually and with the talent involved!

    I’m going to be interviewing as many Key Personnel that I can get in contact with, and I plan on getting everybody! In addition to delving into the making of “Superman Lives”, I’ll be focusing on the ideas, legends, and ever expanding mythos of Superman and the need for a superhuman character in our society and culture in general. By interviewing other Writers, Artists, Filmmakers, and Fans, I intend on asking more questions than could possibly be answered, but we are going to have lots of fun along the way!

    Including myself, my Producer, my Cameramen and my Editor, we will be setting up interviews with all the key personnel, and will be travelling about to get the people when we can. I’ll have a music composer and sound designer, with additional ADR and Sound Booth Recording, and all finished HiDef with a 5.1 professional mix.


    I hope that with the possible success of raising the money to make this feature documentary, that we also reach our additionally intended “Stretch Goal” of $50k, which will be used to actually produce and create several key scenes and moments from the “Superman Lives” scripts, using the incredible graphic ideas generated by the many designers and artists. I will also hire artists to make 3D models, build Practical Models, design Backgrounds, animate Lasers (very important!), make Brainiac’s eyes glow inside a giant floating SkullShip, and to composite very cool action flying shots. I’m going to direct these scenes in the spirit of the unmade Burton Version, and hope to be able to create some crazy “Superman Lives” Scenarios! For these reasons, that’s the budget needed to make this project, and that’s where you come in!


    With your help, I will have a finished cut of “The Death of “Superman Lives”: What Happened?” by the end of this summer, with a World Premiere Screening at one of the larger Comic Conventions, and then ready to screen it to the entire world after that! Once we get funded, I’ll be posting monthly updates on the progress I’m making, who we interviewed that month, and keeping you in the loop with Exclusive Kickstarter Video Updates!

    Thank you for your support!

    -Jon Schnepp


  18. In this “Cinefiles” episode, there’s a review of “Drive Angry”. The hosts (who note that Nicolas Cage has unfortunately appeared in a lot of “crap” as of late) even say that this is the type of movie that “Ghost Rider” should’ve been:


  19. Oh, how i love these columns. It just so happens that I was on a recent journey that included 2 hours by bus. While that may not ever be repeated… in the early dark hours of the morning…the driver announced he would be showing a movie.. “Next”…. ‘Starring Nicolas Cage.” Instantly my tiredness vanished. Instantly resolved to reread this entry to see the Lebeau angle on this movie. Never saw it myself and I was quite surprised at how good it was. Really, never thought i would like it. Julianna Moore as a badass FBI agent? Jessica Biel as the love interest? But I was spellbound. The movie has some logical inconsistencies or maybe I had trouble following it on little sleep. All in all, though, fairly well done. As with most suspense films, not watchable over and over, but I do plan a second viewing. And, there are moments when Cage is definitely swoon worthy once again. I do see why it wasn’t big box office, it’s more shallow yet more enjoyable than the likes of Con Air. Perhaps another reason it didn’t do better, is that it is one of those movies where you feel like the writers ran out of ideas at the end and wrapped it up in a way that could only be truly satisfying to the writer, while immersed in the project, on a deadline. Pity, cause it had an excellent premise and performers. Cage fans will like it but be irritated it wasn’t better.


  20. 12 Great Actors Who Seem Like They Might Be Terrible People:

    10) Nicolas Cage

    Do you even remember a time when Nicolas Cage was, like, a respected actor? I have to say, it seems like part of a distant memory, but his filmography begs to differ. As recently as 2009 he was receiving awards for Bad Lieutenant, and he has earned two Academy Award nominations for Adaptation and Leaving Las Vegas, respectively, receiving the win for the latter film. He’s now known for dumb films like Ghost Rider but even in most of the horrible projects he signs on for, he brings a fascinating element to his roles. His acting in Kick-Ass was completely nuts, and I have no idea what he was going for exactly, but did it work ultimately? I think it kind of did. But I’m also weird.

    It’s too bad he’s in so much debt that he basically has to take the stupidest movie parts to pay off enormous tax liens and odd purchases like dinosaur skulls. The price of fame has been costly to Cage, but it seems like that’s the case because he’s impulsive and maybe a bit of a hoarder and probably has a lot of other weird psychological stuff going on that I don’t care to know about. He can star in the worst movies to pay for his 9 Rolls Royces all he wants—the work he did in The Wicker Man is, to me, priceless.


  21. Love your posts, as usual! I often think “what happened to such-and-such actor/actress” and then I see you do a write-up on him/her. The “not the bees” line is classic for all the wrong reasons, lol.


  22. What Went Wrong?: Vol. 7:

    Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance always had an uphill battle. Directed by the pair Neveldine/Taylor (Crank, Crank 2, Gamer), the movie was going to be radically different from the already not well-liked original. Neveldine/Taylor are known for essentially doing their best to turn away a mainstream audience (though I appreciate their work). Additionally, the over saturation of and continued performance art piece that is Nicolas Cage’s life in the past half-decade or so has turned movie-goers off almost completely. Cage hasn’t starred in a hit film since 2009’s Knowing, and that movie doesn’t exactly have the best of reputations to begin with. It didn’t help that Marvel promoted Spirit of Vengeance through their generic Marvel Knights line (this being the only movie under that production label other than the underrated Punisher: War Zone). Seemingly, the studios involved had little faith that a Ghost Rider sequel would do well. Audiences agreed, and the film grossed less than half of what is predecessor made domestically (though it did somewhat better overseas). It is too bad, as well, because Spirit of Vengeance, after a so-so beginning, actually turned out to be a lot of fun.


    • The Worst of Comic Book Movie Casting:

      1- Nicolas Cage as Johnny Blaze/Ghost Rider: What would a list of mis-cast characters be without Nic Cage? I’ve never held back the fact that I despise Mr. Cage. In fact, I think he’s quite possible the most over-rated actor in the business. Sony, in all their genius, decided to cast a middle-aged man with a bad hair piece as a younger, less lame stunt biker. Ghost Rider requires an actor that is not a cheese ball, as he is a dark and vengeful hero and Cage just isn’t capable of checking his ego and scenery chewing at the door, so both Ghost Rider films, despite the bad writing, were extremely bad and just down right sad. He pees fire and spit bullets, however, so that’s cool. Or is it?


  23. John Cusack: If You Can’t “Say Anything” Nice…:

    When did John Cusack turn into Nicolas Cage? Both started out in smart teen comedies (for Cage, it was Valley Girl and Fast Times at Ridgemont High; for Cusack, Say Anything… and The Sure Thing), became the acclaimed stars of Oscar-caliber movies (Cage’s Moonstruck and Leaving Las Vegas and Cusack’s The Grifters and Bullets Over Broadway), then started making big, dumb action flicks like The Rock (Cage) and Con Air (both) and eventually devalued themselves to the point where they’re stuck doing direct-to-VOD schlock like Cage’s recent Stolen and Cusack’s The Numbers Station, now playing exclusively on DirecTV.


  24. 10 Underrated Actors Who Don’t Deserve The Hate:

    5. Nicolas Cage

    Nicolas Cage has become one of the internet’s finest jokes. Making acting into his own personal form of primal scream therapy, Cage’s agonising expressions on screen are so meme-worthy, it exemplifies what the format was invented for. Insaning his way through both blockbusters and weirdo arthouse projects, Cage is, for all intents and purposes, a ridiculous actor. He may also be a deep-fried genius. There’s simply no other actor quite like Cage and, outrageous as he often is, he can make even the most atrocious film watchable, merely for possessing the skill of being Nicolas Cage. Would the Wicker Man remake be a cult Bad Film were it not for the sight of Cage rampaging around an island like some escaped lunatic, beating up women and dressing up as a bear like it’s completely acceptable?

    To put it in basic terms, the crazier Cage is, the more entertaining he is; if he’s derided, it’s because his acting style is all of his own mad creation (he calls this style ‘Nouveau Shamanic‘. I’m not even making that up). And if you’re not a fan of madman Cage, there have also been a few performances from the man that have seen praise from ‘serious’ film lovers. His Best Actor Oscar for Leaving Las Vegas, for one, is entirely justified; rarely has alcoholism looked so raw, real and downright upsetting. It’s also easy to forget Cage put in some great turns in Adaptation, Matchstick Men and Bad Lieutenant, buried as they have been under a career-load of mania and ludicrous wigs.


  25. 10 Formally Respected Actors Who Have Probably Gone Insane:

    7. Nicolas Cage

    Oh boy, where do I start? For anyone who is too young to remember, Nicolas Cage is an Oscar winner; he was without doubt box office royalty in the 90′s. It’s hard to digest the fact that a guy can go from starring in Leaving Las Vegas, The Rock and Raising Arizona to what he is now.

    As Nic Cage’s real life persona has become more erratic, so has his choice of films; following his last big hit with Face/Off, Cage’s filmography is full of failure after embarrassing failure, with an occasional bright spot only to be followed up by further failure.

    For example, he went from a good and relatively mooted appearance in Kick Ass to yet more drivel in Season of the Witch and Trespass. The most baffling thing is that the erratic behaviour has bled into his performances; picking bad roles is one thing, but there is simply no excuse for bad acting from a man who has won an Academy Award.


  26. The Exact Moment Nicolas Cage Became a Punchline?:

    Wasn’t he a respected actor at one point?

    Was it the bees thing? Punching women in a bear suit? Naming his kid Kal-El? His hideous hair?


    • Once They Were Stars, Now They’re All Too Easy Targets:15 Celebrities Whose Careers Have Become Punchlines:

      Nicolas Cage stood shoulder-to-should among the reigning kings of Hollywood’s box office from the 1990s through the 2000s. The Academy Award winner was a favorite with audiences thanks to his knack for balancing action movies (like The Rock and Con Air) with character-driven dramas (like Leaving Las Vegas or Adaptation). Unfortunately, the Cage’s passion for mega-budgeted, escapist entertainment began outweighing his more intimate projects, causing a lot of flack from his peers in Hollywood (like friend Sean Penn, who in 1999 lamented Cage was “no longer an actor”). Cage didn’t seem to mind—audiences flocked to his action flicks in droves regardless of criticism. Then, in the early aughts, audiences stopped showing interest. The actor experienced a slew of big budget bombs like The Sorcerer’s Apprentice, Knowing, Drive Angry, etc. In pursuit of his mainstream ambitions, Cage’s populist taste and penchant for over-the-top “mega acting” diluted his own brand. The actor has unfortunately become a punchline among his peers due to these projects, a sentiment that has gotten a lot of help due to Cage’s continued financial problems. The actor will soon be collaborating with David Gordon Green on Joe, an intimate drama that will hopefully restore his lost credibility.


  27. 10 Actors Who Just Aren’t Trying Hard Enough:

    3.Nicholas Cage

    Career High: Adaptation
    Career Low: Ghost Rider

    It probably doesn’t help Cage that arguably his most loved role was in what is generally accepted to be a bad movie – Con Air. Since then Cage has apparently reveled in that reputation for making trashy movies (which is the only way to explain his association with TWO Ghost Rider movies), brushing his potential under the carpet to release instantly forgettable films like Justice.

    His high points may be few and far between, but Cage is capable of playing genuinely likable leading men – as he did in The Weather Man – or understated romantic leads – as he did in City of Angels – and he even has it in him to steal the show with extremely impressive performances – like in Adaptation, Kick Ass and some of his early work, including Leaving Las Vegas. But as long as he’s continuing the trend of 2011 – in which he made five bad films – he plainly isn’t trying his hardest to recapture his best form.

    It will be a massive shame if his performance in Kick-Ass was nothing but a temporary deviation from type.


  28. 15 Hollywood Comebacks That Didn’t Take (Maybe These Celebrities Find A Side Gig):

    The Academy Award winning actor was once one of the biggest stars in the world. Though he still headlines several theatrical films per year, Cage’s box office returns seems to be diminishing with time. The actor seemed like he was going to break the cycle briefly, offering up freshly manic onscreen performances in Bad Lieutenant: Port Call of New Orleans in 2009 and Kick-A$$ in 2010. Unfortunately, bombs like Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance, Drive Angry 3D, Trespass, Stolen, and Seeking Justice seem to have confirmed the actor’s career is on its last leg.


  29. My recent Amazon order included The Weatherman. I started watching it last night, got mad and turned it off, then watched the rest today. This movie had so much potential but for some reason it feels screwed up. It is most emphatically not the fault of Nic Cage or Michael Caine, or any of the cast!! I was tempted to lay the blame on the director but I replayed some scenes and decided that whoever he is (never heard of him) he was trying hard to make something of this material. Sometimes, he tried too hard. Dude, we get it, we have become a fast food nation and Cage has a fast food, sound bite job. Other times he nailed it, such as when using weather to support the storylines in a movie about a TV weatherman. Again, can’t fault the actors. The project must have seemed exciting to them because there was a very captivating premise what with the social commentary and the exploration of parent child relationships. The cinematography was excellent. Critics were kind to this vehicle. Then… what? then it hit me. The screenplay absolutely sucked. I mean this with complete sincerity. It is possible that my 10 year old would have done better. It is for SURE that I could have written a better screenplay. Is Hollywood this hard up for decent writers? If so, then my services are available. Is the writer someone’s nephew? Or is there a team of writers, all of whom should have been sent back to their desks until they got it right? It was only mildly galling to have a gratuitous sex scene and lot of gratuitious, needless F bombs/profanity peppered throughout the script. At times I thought the cast was visibly ashamed of having to try and work magic out of such inane dialogue, but I could have been projecting. It was completely and totally galling, to throw away such promise on a poor screenplay. It was as if the writer, not knowing how to convey anything, resorted to 17 F bombs so the audience could appreciate the character’s emotions. A good writer never needs to hit people over the head with the message; people figure it out on their own and that’s what makes movies powerful. This movie, 1) Could have done so much more for Nic Cage’s career than it did, 2) Had NO, absolutely NO reason to be NC17 and would have been a better movie without what they did to get it, 3) suffered from a weak screenplay, and 4) could have used better editing as well. I truly don’t get this. Don’t Cage and Caine, as the stars, have enough… well… star power to throw the script at someone and say they want some rewrites before they will agree to continue?? This movie cries out for a sequel to set things right. I have ideas for the script.


    • Having not seen the movie, I can’t contribute too much here. I love your passion though.

      Caine and Cage, while great actors, both have reputations for doing pretty much anything as long as the check clears. Even if they could throw some weight around to improve the script, it’s not what they are known for.


  30. 10 Misguided Career Moves Made By Talented Actors:

    9. Nicolas Cage Fighting Off Bankruptcy

    At least Nicolas Cage has something of a logical reason as to why he’s starring in crapfest after crapfest, with an intermittently good film ever couple of years. Nicolas Cage ended up being ripped off by his accountant a few years ago, leaving him with a huge tax bill that has seen him selling off his exorbitant assets in order to stump up the cash. That, and he’s decided to (mostly) stop starring in good films and just take the payday.

    In the last five years alone, he’s starred in the duds Stolen, Ghost Rider 2, Trespass, Justice, Drive Angry, Season of the Witch, G-Force, Knowing and Bangkok Dangerous. Though Cage is still a likable actor and I’ll continue to watch anything he makes, it’s depressing that such a talented actor has to resort to such means just to get by.


    • How Big Must a Flop Be to Ruin a Career?

      First, I think one of the main reasons Cage has been in a lot of crappy movies over the last decade is that he’s got money problems and needs the quick paychecks. Second, while not destroyed by a single big bomb, Nicholas Cage’s career and reputation actually has been steadily eroded by all the small bombs he’s been in. For example, last fall he and Nicole Kidman (another person whose career seem to be steadily eroding) starred in Trespass, a critically-roasted movie that, except for contractual clause requiring it to play at least one week in a theater, went straight-to-DVD. Only a few years ago, it would’ve been impossible for any film starring Cage and Kidman to be (for all due purposes) released directly to DVD. The fact that it can now indicates how low their stock has dipped.


  31. OK, here it is. “The Weatherman in New York.” This movie will be powerful and will be rated PG13 with only minimal profanity, minimal NY violence and no sex scenes. Nic Cage, grieving the loss of his father, channels his sadness into his work and while still upbeat on the surface, brings a new dimension to his material at work, as he studies for a degree in meteorology, online in the evenings. His coworkers respect him and he respects himself more. New York life takes place all around him, but he is only tangentially aware, be it parties, poverty, or violence. Meanwhile, his ex wife continues to have issues with the kids, that are multiplied by the relationship with her new husband, who turns out to be a narcissistic jerk. Cage is apprised of these details as he continues to fly out to Chicago on weekends and they fill him in. Eventually, they ask to visit him in NY during their spring break and they get to go to work with him one day. Also, in the evening, they observe him studying and as a result, without being told anything, both kids take an interest in their schoolwork. When they are set to return home to Chicago, a freak snowstorm closes O’Hare and they are stuck in NY for another 5 days as all the flights are cancelled for a couple days and then full after that. The mom is beside herself with worry. The kids continue to study their textbooks while in NY and finally get a flight home. Once back in Chicago, she notices a subtle change, and during their absence, she has also been re-examining herself in roles as mom and wife and has also changed. While both she and Cage gave up on any thoughts of reconciliation, they reach a new plateau that works. Movie ends with Cage visiting his father’s grave and saying something moving about how right he was.

    Copyright 2013 by RB, all royalties may be arranged through my agent, LeBeau. RB also makes casting decisions and Daffy
    Stardust plays Cage’s best friend at his new job.


    • Can Daffy Stardust be a zombie? He makes an excellent zombie. Or would that be typecasting.

      I see bright things in your future. Stick with me, kiddo. You’ll go far. (my attempt at being an agent – how’d I do?)


      • haha, yep, that was good, and nicer than, “lebeau does not accept unsolicited submissions” 🙂


        • There is very little lebeau does not accept. It’s anything goes round here. More often than not, the comments section is more fun than the article that started the conversation.


  32. Time to Put the Bunny Back in the Box, Nic:

    Subject: Nicolas Cage (born Nicolas Kim Coppola), 46-year-old American actor

    Date of Assessment: April 16, 2010

    Positive Buzzwords: Indefatigable, resolute, gumshoe (as in “gum on my shoe”)

    Negative Buzzwords: Clueless, intense, flashlight

    The Case: The following may sound like a rather cruel statement, but I can’t think of a single friend or acquaintance (nor even an enemy) of mine who has admitted to being a Nic Cage fan since last century. Perhaps there’s a secret society — just as obtuse as Nic himself — out there that prays for his exceedingly rare display of lucidity in movies like Leaving Las Vegas and Adaptation. Admittedly, I loved the guy in the fairly underrated Raising Arizona, and it tickles me to watch those old 80s flicks — Fast Times at Ridgemont High and Rumble Fish — where Nic just pops up outta nowhere in manner of “Where’s Waldo?” Now, however, the man is a bewilderingly impenetrable mess, and most of us seem to agree that more Nic Cage is not a good thing; yet he still gets plenty of acting work. Somehow, all of his characters’ esoteric banter must hold appeal for audiences, who persist in rewarding many of his movies with amazing ticket sales. It all makes very little sense.

    At some point, Nic stopped acting and started earning an absurd number of millions by waving around a flashlight while wearing an intense expression. That’s actressin’ at its finest, according to Nic’s career in (baffling) pictures. And after over sixty films, it’s impossible to discuss all of Nic’s works (nor would anyone even want to do so), but for every Adaptation, Nic’s also participated in nonsense like Face/Off, City of Angels, Ghost Rider, and Captain Corelli’s Mandolin. It’s kind of amazing, really, how such a commercially successful actor can manage to wade through so much crap, and it also makes one hope for more missteps like Bangkok Dangerous, which entered cinemas (in Sept. 2008) as a sole new wide release but saw only a $7.7 million opening weekend. Does a major flop even matter any longer? Well, Nicole Kidman has had several bombs in the past five years, and it’s just now beginning to negatively affect her career. Perhaps there is hope, after all.

    For a long time, I wondered whether Cage was purposely making bad movies or just didn’t give a shit. Now, there’s little question about what will motivate Nic to continue making really shitty movies. In his personal life, Nic has backed himself into at least four corners of his own financial ruin. The guy has collected so many ancient relics and creepy shrunken heads, and he’s completely obsessed with Superman and Elvis. He was even prepared to embarrass himself as the former in a deal that (fortunately) never materialized, and he portrayed a sailor version of the latter for David Lynch’s Wild at Heart. Hell, he even collected Elvis’ daughter at one point. Nic’s obsessions, with acting among them, are something of a novelty, and he’s given very little thought to the eventual fallout. Well, thanks to a hell of a lot of reckless spending and willful blindness on Cage’s part, the guy can’t really afford to quit working in the next several lifetimes or so. Now, he just needs to keep working purely for the money. To him, the quality of a script — or the question of whether there even is a script — isn’t even a slight consideration of what work he will take. Quite simply, whomever is willing to pay Nic the most (or anything at all) will get him to star in their movies. In other words, it’s only going to get worse.

    These days, I’m beginning to think that Nic’s performances in films like Adaptation and Leaving Las Vegas were mere flukes. After all, this guy has a terribly long acting resumé and he’s got many more movies in various stages of development. Yet, Nic’s reliability as an actor has been highly variable, so there’s always the possibility that he’s taking a scattershot approach and truly doesn’t know what the hell he’s doing. Perhaps this can all easily be explained through Nic’s erroneous approach to acting:

    I went on Dick Cavett many years ago and met Miles Davis. And I was talking about things like art synthesis and Picasso and you can do with acting what he did, or with music, and Miles came out and he got it, you know, he was looking at me, he gave me this, like – he nodded and he winked at me. Miles Davis, you know. And we were sharing the trumpet. And ever since then, because he accepted whatever my philosophy was, I believe that I wanted to approach acting as jazz. And so he became like a surrealist father of sorts, along with Walt Disney. And I thought, “Okay. Well, this time, I’m going to just let anything come out, whatever it may be.”
    Apparently, what comes out of Nic lately is the assumption that audiences will love it if he dresses in a bear suit and punches women, but I admit that I’m taking an easy shot there. Thing is, Nic makes it so easy to hate him. And I’m not knocking jazz, which makes for some great music, but as an acting “method,” it’s met with results that are far too erratic. During the same press conference mentioned above, Nic also talked about Jerry Bruckheimer’s “genius ability” to structure his movies like algebraic equations, an observation that Nic must have been gleaned on the set of the inexorable G-Force and he (presumably) applied to the incomprehensible, divine-nature-of-math, “pointless exercise” of Knowing. What other (allegedly) respected actor would ever find profundity in Bruckheimer’s exhausting method of storytelling? That’s Crazy Cage for you.

    Ultimately, Nic Cage is an abomination, a monster, among actors. Anyone who can rake in over $50 million last year yet still go bankrupt doesn’t live in the same world as we do. Quite simply, the man possesses no bloody concept of reality. Naturally, Nic chose to sue his financial advisor for leading him “down a path toward financial ruin,” which I suppose negates any sense of personal responsibility for purchasing yachts, a private jet, and a total of fifteen palatial estates around the globe. And, in a few decades, when Nic realizes the negative net totality of his cinematic legacy, he won’t blame himself for an endless series of bad script decisions and a jazz-based acting method. Instead, he’ll blame Hollywood for letting him get away with it for so long and audiences for continuing to buy tickets for all those horrific movies. Or maybe he’ll even blame Miles Davis for winking at him.

    Prognosis: Nicolas Cage shows no indication of ever regularly appearing in halfway decent movie. Further, Ghost Rider 2 and National Treasure 3 are in the works. Need I say more?


  33. When Nicolas Cage Jumped the Shark:


    • TC I am not making excuses for the guy. And it does sound like he better sell some of his real estate eh? As ridiculous as i know this is… I still feel sorry for people who have kept us entertained with movies and music, and who make tons of money for people around them… who wind up with nothing.


  34. 10 Great Acting Careers Accidentally Ruined By Legendary Directors:

    5. Nicolas Cage – Face/Off

    The culprit? John Woo. Now what kind of a list would this be without Nicolas Cage? Don’t get me wrong, Face/Off is one of my favorite movies. Cage is great in it, Woo does a great job directing it. But it seems to me that ever since then Cage has just gotten crazier, and crazier….and crazier… and crazier…but we all love him anyway. Nicolas Cage is awesome, no matter if he’s making the most craptastic movies of all time or not.

    You keep on truckin’, Ghost Rider! I personally believe that Cage just loves to work and act, and so as long as a part or a script or a director intrigues him, he’ll do it. And I can actually see it in a lot of the films he’s done. Unfortunately a lot of the time what he thinks might be fun to do might not gel with what moviegoers think will be fun to watch. I personally don’t care, as Nic Cage owns everything he touches, whether good or bad, he is unabashed and hard-working, and I applaud him. For me, it’s like looking in a mirror, only…. not.


  35. 10 Movies Great Actors Should Be Ashamed Of:

    6. Nicolas Cage – The Wicker Man

    Merely mentioning Nicolas Cage’s name now is met with groans and looks of derision, but he is genuinely a great actor, it’s just been a long time since he’s shown it. It’s easy to forget he’s an Academy Award winner and deservedly so for his heartbreaking performance in Leaving Las Vegas. Performances in Wild at Heart, Adaptation, Kick Ass and Bad Lieutenant prove that Cage is as good as any Hollywood actor when paired with a good director. Cage, unfortunately has become infamous for his manic and exaggerated performances in rubbish films such as Ghost Rider, Con Air, Drive Angry and Face/Off, but none of them can top his performance in The Wicker Man, which can be easily categorized as the most over-the-top performance in cinema history.

    Remaking the 70′s cult horror classic was never a good idea in the first place, but the execution of the movie is so ill-judged it borders on the indescribable. Nicolas Cage has made some trash in his time, but nothing, and I mean nothing, is on the same level as this. During The Wicker Man, Cage dresses up as a bear and punches a woman in the face. And that sums the movie up just perfectly.


    • Michael John Tucker Ford

      After reading the article and enjoying it, I decide to then enjoy many of the comments. Then I come to some of your posts TMC, which are interesting at first, until I continued scrolling down. What is with you? All you do is ctrl + c, ctrl + v. Make an actual comment, form an opinion and stop spamming the same CRAP over and over again but paraphrased by a different author.


  36. Rewatching “Honeymoon in Vegas” (available now in bargain bins everywhere) and something else occurs to me about Nic Cage. There is so much written about him, not everyone is a fan of his acting but there seems to be a consensus that he is at least quite versatile. One theory I have about why he accepts so many oddball roles has nothing to do with money….it’s a different monkey on his back. When he got his start in film through the Coppola family connection, could it be he has something to prove? So he’s always pushing the envelope with different roles, and his own different interpretation of roles? Personally I don’t care how he got his first opportunity to be on screen, he’s more than paid his dues.


    • I agree he’s more than paid his dues. And by this point, I think most have forgotten he got his big break from his uncle. I’m willing to wager that Joe Moviegoer is more likely to know who Cage is than Coppola.


  37. 10 Actors Who Need To Make A Great Movie Before It’s Too Late:

    10. Nicolas Cage

    Last Great Movie: Kick-Ass (2010)

    I’ve finally come full circle with Nicolas Cage, in the sense that he used to bug the hell out of me (“how did this guy become an actor?”), and now I’m all like: “Must watch Nicolas Cage go insane in everything.” Still, that doesn’t mean I’m right, nor does it mean that Cage is the one true God that so many movie fans make him out to be nowadays. Fact is, the man has been coasting for a long, long time (he’s in a lot of debt), and I think he seriously needs to think about doing a movie where it’s required that he, you know, do some acting.

    The Sorcerer’s Apprentice. Season of the Witch. Trespass. Seeking Justice. Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance. Stolen. Those aren’t just a bunch of “bad” Nicolas Cage movies that I’ve plucked out at random: those are the last 7 films, in order, that the actor has made. The fact that he’s Nicolas Cage and will probably work for a relatively low amount (debt!) means he can keep working, but for any other actor this run of horrors would have ended a career. I long to see Cage dedicated to his craft again, like he was in the late ’90s: acting for the right reasons.


    • 10 Good Actors Who Make Mostly Bad Movies:

      Nicolas Cage

      Worst movies: Captain Corelli’s Mandolin (2001), The Wicker Man (2005), Next (2007), Season of the Witch (2011), Trespass (2011)

      Proof that he deserves better: Moonstruck (1987), Leaving Las Vegas (1995), Face/Off (1997), Bringing Out the Dead (1999), Adaptation. (2002), The Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans (2009)

      Is there a bigger walking punch-line in Hollywood than Nicolas Cage nowadays? Don’t ever pity the man, though—he did it to himself.

      With every new Cage film that opens, the once-respected A-lister sinks deeper and deeper into laughing stock status, and it’s a shame. Too many people forget that Nicolas Coppola (his birth name) is a four-time Golden Globe nominee (and one-time winner, for the 1995 powerhouse drama Leaving Las Vegas) and an Oscar statue holder (also for Leaving Las Vegas). There’s also his Academy Award nomination for the brilliantly quirky Adaptation. (2002). His pre-2003 résumé speaks for itself.

      It’s damn near everything after Adaptation. that tarnishes Cage’s formerly good name. No longer interested in challenging roles, or, frankly, good scripts, he seemingly signs onto any project that’s offered his way, no matter how all-around shitty (Season of the Witch), overcooked (Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance), or low-rent (Seeking Justice). But, hey, being able to comfortably spend $276,000 on a dinosaur head requires hefty paychecks. Who needs another Oscar trophy when you’ve got a Tarbosaurus skull chilling on your curio?


    • 8 Talented Actors Who Just Made Five Awful Movies In A Row:

      6. Nicolas Cage

      The Five Awful Movies: Trespass, Seeking Justice, Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance, Stolen

      Nicolas Cage has a legitimate reason as to why he’s no longer doing “proper acting,” and it’s because he decided that – for many years – spending all his money was much better than saving it. Which would have been fine, had he forgot that taxes were a thing that actually existed and not just something drummed for the sake of it. As a result, we’ve been treated to bad Cage movie after bad Cage movie, because this guy needs cash fast, all right?

      Take a good look at Cage’s last five ventures. I bet you haven’t even heard of most of them, and Ghost Rider is probably the only one that you might’ve actually seen. I mean, what the hell is Trepass? Who remembers Seeking Justice coming out? Will anybody remember these movies in two years time? Whereas Nicolas Cage used to be a great and dedicated actor, now he’s the same character in everything. And I mean everything – he’s actually made seven awful movies in a row, but I was forced to only include five due to the article premise.


    • Can these Hollywood careers be saved?

      Nicolas Cage

      Career high point: “Leaving Las Vegas”

      Career low point: Let’s just go with “now”.

      “How to fix it: There are essentially two schools of thought on Nicolas Cage: A) those who believe he’s a good-to-great actor who now takes any bad movie he’s offered in an effort to pay off his widely-publicized private debts; and B) those who think he’s a bad-to-mediocre (over-)actor who somehow had a good performance coaxed out of him by Mike Figgis for his Oscar-winning turn in “Leaving Las Vegas”. And yet while the focus over the last half-decade or so has rightly been on his recent string of hammy performances in a seemingly-endless parade of crappy genre movies, Cage has also given a couple of what many would argue are good hammy performances in both “Kick-Ass” and, especially, Werner Herzog’s bizarre-o 2009 effort “Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans”. At the end of the day Cage may need to focus on getting his personal problems sorted out before he can make a career turnaround, but when he’s ready to make the commitment, it’s worth remembering that he’s usually best when paired with an equally-quirky director who truly gets his brand of lunatic energy (think Herzog with “Bad Lieutenant”, Spike Jonze with “Adaptation”, or John Woo with “Face/Off”) and knows how to milk a truly inspired performance from it.”

      – Chris Eggertsen

      He can be very funny (“Raising Arizona”) and even moving (“Face/Off”), but no error, his response to a standard role is to camp it up mightily.


  38. 10 Actors Who Get More Hate Than They Deserve:

    1. Nicolas Cage

    Nicolas Cage is awesome.

    People complain about him due to the myth that he’s a bad actor – a myth perpetuated by his insistence on doing lots of terrible, big-budget movies such as Bangkok Dangerous and Ghost Rider. The thing is that Cage is bankrupt and he needs to make these movies in order to feed his ridiculous (but awesome) money-spending habits. The man built a miniature pyramid in his back garden to be buried in, just because.

    That sort of thing doesn’t come cheap. Plus, he’s clearly always looking for an excuse to ride a motorbike, whilst wearing a suit.

    Then there’s the odd occasion where he actually puts some effort in. When this happens, he usually demonstrates that he can act phenomenally well. Watch Leaving Las Vegas or Bringing Out the Dead before you criticize him based on acting ability. Did you know the man has won a Best Actor Academy Award?

    Even in defense of Cage’s poorer efforts, he’s consistently incredibly engaging and captivating. Vampire’s Kiss may not be a good film by any stretch of the imagination, but you can’t argue that Cage didn’t throw himself into it head first and bring something to the film that would otherwise be completely lacking without him. It’s an extremely watchable movie and that’s purely down to Cage.

    Anyway, this is moot because you’re not supposed to love Nicolas Cage because of the actor, you’re supposed to love him because of the crazy. The man is a constant source of bizarre and surreal entertainment.


    • 10 Reasons Why Nicolas Cage Is The Perfect Hollywood Movie Star:

      What makes a true Hollywood star? Better yet, what makes the “perfect” Hollywood star? One might argue that no such thing exists, especially when you consider that everybody who sits down to watch a movie has different tastes, all of which depend on who they are, why they watch movies, and how seriously they take the industry and its associations.

      And that’s fine, because a difference in opinion is what keeps things interesting. But what if we were trying to find a movie star who pushes all the buttons? And I don’t mean purely from a “great acting” perspective, or going on the fact the they’re polite in interviews and always well-groomed.

      No, I’m talking about a “real” Hollywood star: somebody who operates on and showcases every avenue of what it is to be an actor in Hollywood. That’s all encompassing of a variety of traits, then, both negative and positive. And though superstars like George Clooney and Leonardo DiCaprio are arguably “definitive” examples of proper Hollywood stars, they still don’t capture all the diva-ness, the grit and the inherent mania of their industry.

      There is one man, however, who does. His name is Nicolas Cage, and I think he might just be (ahem) the definite Hollywood star. Now bear with me.

      I used to dislike Nicolas Cage a lot. Back when I started getting serious about movies as a teenager, I couldn’t believe that Cage was an actor and that people paid him and cast him in their movies out of choice. I thought he was absolutely terrible in everything he did. Wooden, consistently chewing the scenery, playing the same characters over and over again – and not to mention, from a tonal point of view, completely bewildering in places.

      Only as I’ve got older (and taken in the majority of the man’s work) have I seen Nicolas Cage for what he actually is: the definite Hollywood star. Why? Because when you look at all of the aspects that define Hollywood’s elite (and I mean all of them), Cage exemplifies every single one. Seriously. Once you look into it, you won’t believe how many boxes Cage actually ticks.

      Now this article isn’t some bizarre pro-Nic Cage article that sets out to argue that he’s Hollywood’s greatest actor or anything like that, because he’s far from even one of my personal favorites. That said, here’s 10 reasons why Nicolas Cage is the perfect Hollywood star (and likely the only one working in Hollywood today).


  39. 10 Nicolas Cage Performances That Could Prove He’s Either The Best Or The Worst Actor Ever:

    There doesn’t seem to be another actor who can do the things Nicolas Cage can do. Maybe it’s better said that there isn’t another actor who is crazy enough to, first of all, come up with the ideas Nic Cage employs on a regular basis, and second of all, think of them and say “yeah, that’s something I should probably try.” His choices are uniquely his own, for better or for worse.

    One thing you can’t say about Mr. Cage is that he gives anything less than 100% in any given role. On one hand, there’s something admirable about this. His level of commitment to a part is, dare I say, quite possibly on par with someone like Daniel Day-Lewis; it’s just that his taste in roles is slightly less, shall we say, discerning. It seems like he’ll do anything. And he’ll do it as if it’s the role he’s wanted to play all his life. Then again, when someone is performing in a bad movie, part of us wants some indication that they know what they’re doing is completely stupid, some sign that they’re laughing along with us at the pitiful quality of the film before us. Nicolas Cage does not do this. I wonder if he believes there is such a thing as a bad movie. Or a bad performance. He’s like a gambler who goes all in on every bet, and every now and then it’ll pay off in a big way for him, but most of the time, especially recently, he loses his shirt, his shoes, his dignity, all of it.

    I don’t think it matters at this point whether he’s pulling a fast one on all of us and the latter half of his career has been a big, weird performance art piece, or whether he’s just crazy enough to be in a movie like The Sorcerer’s Apprentice and play it as straight as an arrow. All that matters, to me and other Cage-obsessed weirdos, is that he is consistently incredible to watch. Here are 10 performances in particular that show he is someone with a set of skills that no one else can, nor wants to touch, making him perhaps the best actor of all time, or the worst, or the most bizarre combination of both.


    • 10 Terrible Movie Stars Who Just Can’t Act At All:

      9. Nicolas Cage

      Nicolas Cage seems to have two default settings…

      1. Creepy, calm neurotic guy.


      2. Super angry crazy guy that will tell you over and over again about how super angry and crazy he is.

      That’s it. There’s literally nothing in between. Despite Cage’s terrible choices as far as movie gigs go in the last few years he is usually a joy whenever you see him, even in the blandest of movies. Cage seems to be self aware at this point (or you have to hope he is anyway) and pretty much just portrays every one of his roles as a parody of himself to varying degrees of success. That surely has to make him more entertaining than he would be if he could act.

      It wasn’t always this way – way back before the dark days, Cage was a dependable indie actor (after an inauspicious start) but his head was turned at some point, and he clearly decided being slightly bonkers and making poor films was a better approach.

      If you enjoy Cage’s signature style, you’re in for a treat when The Expendables 3 creaks around the corner next year, which is a gig I’m guessing he landed thanks to the national treasure that was Ghost Rider.


      • 10 Actors Who Have Become Parodies Of Themselves:

        4. Nicolas Cage

        Known For: If you need an actor to play crazy, nobody better fits the bill than Nicolas Cage, who has proven himself a go-to-nutter in variety of films, from Vampire’s Kiss, to Face/Off, to Bringing Out the Dead.

        The Parody: Around 2006, Cage basically seemed to stop giving a s*** about his work, and began starring in a series of increasingly bizarre films that allowed him to harness his inner-crazy but little else, essentially becoming an exaggerated version of the type of actor he was already known as.

        Roles such as The Wicker Man, Bad Lieutenant (the good one of the bunch), Season of the Witch (in which he sported crazy hair) and Drive Angry helped foster a resurgent cult of popularity around the actor, leading to the now famous montage videos of Cage freaking out on YouTube.

        Every so often, Cage will return with a great performance, but it’s normally peppered between several utterly insane ones.


        • The Battle For Relevancy: 15 Stars Struggling To Stay Popular:

          Speaking of legitimate actors, Nicolas Cage has certainly stretched the limitations of that term as far as an Academy Award winner can. In recent years the Leaving Las Vegas star has practically murdered his credibility as a serious actor by starring in a series of increasingly ridiculous films. We won’t trot them all out here– anyone who has avoided them in recent years (all but the most devoted Rage Cagers) knows which films we’re talking about. Yet with his latest profile in The Guardian, Cage has assured fans that he’s in on the joke that his brand name has become. Also in the interview Cage reiterated that he sees himself as a performer, rather than an actor, one with an against-the-grain sensibility. True to form, Cage will next collaborate with David Gordon Green for the Southern drama Joe… before segueing into Russian mob dramas and the Christian epic Left Behind next year. Will Cage experience a comeback? He seems to be enjoying his status as a internet joke too much to actually care.


  40. Reading comments on WTHHT, I see a lot of “he/she should need Tarantino”. To his merit, Nic Cage is the one that definitely does not need Tarantino. He doesn’t need a unorthodox script, he is able to elevate single-handedly a straight script to heights of weirdness.
    According to me that’s why he gets always jobs. When you have a crappy script, who would you call? Sure, he can misfire and sink further an already sinking ship, but his “unconventional” style can also elevate mediocre material. Put a straight action hero type in “Ghost rider” and forget about the likeliness of a sequel: Nic Cage was able to turn this abysmal movie profitable.


    • Well, I think everyone who can work with Tarantino should. But I’m a big Tarantino fan. I wonder if Will Smith is done kicking himself for turning down Django Unchained?

      You’re right about Cage though. He is usually better than his material. I could give endless examples but the one that springs immediately to mind at this moment was his deadpan Adam west impression in Kick Ass. Easily, the best part of that movie.


      • I think you guys are touching on an important point that many of us overlook at times. Cage is a performer that can actually transform a movie from something that may have been unwatchable. And he seems to be able to do this regardless of who he is working with onscreen.


        • I think that is because he is off in his own little world. He shows up on the set and just does whatever interests him. Like on Kick Ass. He hadn’t told any of his co-stars or the director that he was going to do an Adam West impersonation for the whole movie. At first, they were all a little freaked out by it. The young costars didn’t know what the hell he was doing. And I doubt Cage gave a damn. He just did his own thing.

          The guy makes a lot of movies. He has to know some of them are crap. But he finds a way to keep himself interested. He can rarely be accused of phoning in his performance. And that’s interesting to watch.


        • Tell you what, if I were an actress, he would be my #1 choice for the leading man. Why? There is just something indefinable about his personal brand of chemistry that really brings out the best in the women who play opposite him. I mean, Bridget Fonda, Cher, Kathleen Turner, Sarah Jessica Parker, Jessica Biel, Elisabeth Shue…. there are good actresses on that list of course but even Biel, who normally I find lackluster, turned in a more intense performance in Next. Women who play opposite him pick up on his chemistry and it really seems to help the movie. Women in the audience can sense the chemistry. Cage is sort of like the anti-Cruise, who has a different brand of magnetism that does not leave room for the lead actress, with the result of less screen chemistry. But Nic Cage, yes, despite not being a classically handsome leading man, is one of my all time faves. It’s almost enough to make me get the straight to DVD he did with Kidman except I can’t handle horror flicks, to see how that worked.


        • Trespass was awful. It’s not scary, but it’s just not pleasant. You feel trapped, but probably not in the way the filmmakers intended. Do yourself a favor and watch just about anything else Cage has made instead.

          As a leading man in romances, he can have great chemistry with his co-stars. Certainly he did in Moonstruck and Leaving Las Vegas. I think people are divided over Peggy Sue Got Married or City of Angels. Sometimes, he’s so caught up doing his “weird” thing he seems like he’s in a different movie from his co-star. I think if I were an actress, I might be worried about being upstaged. Or would he do a weird voice or affectation. You just never know what to expect from the guy. That can be good or not so good.

          As a viewer, I usually find I like Cage’s unpredictability. He makes dreck like Drive Angry a lot of fun. It’s hard to imagine anyone else starring in his Bad Lieutenant “remake”. Or going back, the nuttiness he brought to Kiss of the Vampire. He just brings something other actors don’t.


  41. The Nicolas Cage Podcast:

    Zack and Nick chat about the career and personal eccentricities of actor Nicolas Cage. Like Cage, this episode goes from stoic and straight forward to outright bat-s*** insane. This episode is one for the ages!



    To be fair, Nicolas Cage is just as well known for making terrible movies as he is for anything else these days, but that still doesn’t stop people from giving him piles of money to make them. The most egregious example of this came just this past year when he was paid twelve million dollars to star in Seeking Justice. You all know Seeking Justice, right? What’s that? You’ve never heard of it? But how can that be? After all, it stars A-List superstar Nicolas Cage! You just must not see a lot of movies because it made… oh, oh Jesus. It only made $390,000? Where are the rest of the zeroes? $390,000! That’s it! Look, that’s the sort of thing that winds up with an executive living on the street, dumpster diving, while his business partner ends up buried in the Las Vegas desert. Nicolas Cage pretty much robbed that studio. He stole from them. Sure, he occasionally sprinkles in a blockbuster that people actually go see like National Treasure (which is the only thing keeping him from being higher on this list) and the kids go wild but for the most part his movie choices look a lot more like Seeking Justice or Stolen or Trespass or Season of the Witch or… I think you get the point.


    • re: $390,000! That’s it! Look, that’s the sort of thing that winds up with an executive living on the street, dumpster diving, while his business partner ends up buried in the Las Vegas desert.

      Y’know, that’d make for a good movie-about-a-movie – just like at the ending of “Casino” wherein “the bosses” decide to cut their losses and “remove/relocate” any potential liabilities. We here at WTHHT sometimes hear/read of an actor falling on seeming hard times, such as appearing in movies with Lou Ferrigno,Tara Reid or Jan-Michael Vincent, but what of the writers, producers and studio execs that green-lit or facilitated the disasters? True, Joe Esterhas, Mr. Good Grooming, goes on to write a “I used to be some-body, I was a contenduh” book about how he wrote bad movies (think about that for a moment) but what of the OTHERS, the ones that go on to be drug mules for a would-be executive producers or a gaffer in porn movies?

      PS: There WAS a Kath Heigl/Tom Sizedmore movie that grossed $30 or something & has some interesting trivia:


      • Audiences often forget about the army of people it takes to make a movie. The actors and sometimes directors usually get all the glory. Few know who the screenwriter was. Fewer still the cinematographer or the make-up artist, costume designer etc. I’m sure there are a lot of dramatic stories to be told about “the little people”. If you ever get a chance to talk to the people who work on the sets, they usually have the best stories.


  43. Nic Cage has changed life for the average person forever. He’s brought joy, memes, overacting, etc… I’ve always thought of him as a cult figure. He’s a great actor, yet is always from some other movie like in Peggie Sue Got Married. Personally, he was my favorite in that movie. It’s sad, but I actually skipped prom to have a Nicholas Cage movie night with friends and we pretended to be him and acted out scenes from Vampire’s Kiss and Zandalee. Best prom ever:)

    I know he’s had financial problems and he picks the weirdest movies like Season of the Witch, but his overacting in terrible movies actually makes it worth your money. I didn’t like the second National Treasure at all but he had some weird moments in there that made it seem like the zany Cage is still somewhere there.

    His movies still probably make money because the guy’s a legend! He has enormous star power and his acting is always excellent and hilarious. He has so many dedicated tumblrs dedicated to him and his roles. The guy is hilarious and I’m ashamed to say I actually did watch Ghost Rider. Terrible movie but I he did make the movie slighly better than what it actually was.

    As for his foreign success: That could be a result of public persona as well as foreign audiences don’t cast of actors as fast as we do. The public has trends in what they do and don’t like. In the 90’s, romantic comedies were everywhere= Meg Ryan and Julia Roberts. America loved them and left them for Teen movies in the late 90’s. America is fickle whereas foreign audiences are more loyal. Now it’s superhero movies!

    Other than blockbusters which surprisingly do well in America, his other projects tank. We as a culture are so obsessed with blockbusters that Hollywood can’t stop pumping out Superhero movies because they know it’s a big draw. And Micheal Bay movies make millions of dollars? That right there could be the answer. Hollywood doesn’t fund the actual good projects or promotes them as much as the sure fire blockbusters. And the public always spends money on lousy movies like Superman or Adam Sandler. So we can blame the public for this because I will never understand how there have been so many Iron Man movies and a sequel to Grown Ups. For this decade, Cage has made several blockbusters that have allowed him to stay on the A list. Were they good? Not really. But they made money for him to stay relevant in the public eye and get money. And he keeps doing them.

    Con Air is the moment he really started to do blockbusters and go off the deep end. His character is bland, but the hair, bunny, and one of the worst southern accents ever make it somewhat funny if you watch it for its comedic value. It’s still a terrible movie and is no way near his indie films. Would you say that Sean Penn would need a WTHH article? The last movie he was in that I can think of was Milk. He had a ton of movies in the 80’s and even married Madonna.

    At the end of the day, Cage will keep making Superhero movies since he loves them so much. And Hollywood will keep pumping out brainless superhero movies since that guarantees them a hit. It’s the degeneration of pop culture. Instead of making movies with good scripts and acting, Hollywood wants a quick buck. So they make brainless things that try to be as unfunny as possible and still make money like The Hangover. Earlier decades had timeless movies and songs, but this current decade has the likes of Justin Beiber and Iron Man 3.

    That is the end of the tirade. I sound like a parent warning their kids about Elvis but it’s fascinating how there really are not any more A list actors anymore since people will not just come based on star power. Rather than go to the theaters to watch a movie, the public would rather watch CGI and Superhero movie.Tom Hank’s Larry Sanders movie struggled too a couple of years ago.

    Thanks for the awesome article!


    • Thanks for an awesome comment/tirade. You won me over with the first line. The hyperoble is appropriate when discussing Cage.

      I have often discussed the state of Hollywood movies and the decline/disappearance of the A-list. High concept, expensive pre-sold CGI-filled “tent pole” movies are definitely the way the biz is moving. I like these movies as much as anybody when they are done well. And no one loves a good super hero movie as much as I do. But these days, the multiplexes feel like a restaurant that only serves dessert. It’s too much of a good thing (only usually it’s not so good.)

      At the moment, I am very interested in Disney’s reaction to the failure of The Lone Ranger. Disney has very publicly adopted a stance of “we only make tent pole movies.” They have officially given up on the mid-sized movie that used to be Hollywood’s bread and butter. Every movie they make is a high stakes gamble. They went bust on The Lone Ranger (and John Carter last year). And yet, they remain dedicated to this stratgey.

      Disney’s official explanation for the failure of The Lone Ranger was that the pre-sold franchise was too old to appeal to today’s audiences. To that, I say bullshit. Yeah, The Lone Ranger isn’t as relevant as he was during the Clayton Moore hey day. But you had one of the most bankable actors in Hollywood working with the creative team that made a theme park ride into an international franchise in a genre that was considered dead at the time. If the movie had been good, it could have been a hit.

      The problem was that Disney (and most studios) put the cart before the horse. They announce a release date before a script is even written and then build a movie around it. That will pan out maybe one time in twenty. The rest of the time you get The Lone Ranger.


  44. 10 Huge Hollywood Actors We All Loved (But Now Hate):

    6. Nic Cage

    We Love You Moment: The Rock (1996)

    The immensely enjoyable actioner The Rock came 15 years into Nic Cage’s career and represents the peak of his popularity. Everybody loved the kooky and talented Cage and he could do no wrong. What an innings those first 15 years were as audiences were treated to such cinematic delights as Rumble Fish, Raising Arizona, Moonstruck, Vampire’s Kiss, Wild At Heart and his Oscar winning turn in Leaving Las Vegas.

    He chose interesting projects in different genres and went from indie darling to serious actor to Oscar winner to action hero culminating in, arguably, one of the best action films of all time.

    We Want A Divorce Moment: The Wicker Man (2006)

    Over 15 years have passed since The Rock and faster than you can say ‘not the bees’ Nic Cage’s popularity is at an all-time low. The reason? He couldn’t pick a decent script if it came behind him and smacked him on top of that crow’s nest he calls hair.

    Since The Wicker Man he has made Ghost Rider I & II, Bangkok Dangerous, Knowing, Season Of The Witch, Drive Angry, Justice and Trespass (I know, I haven’t heard of those last two either). This once versatile and gifted actor has now, unfortunately, become a walking-talking parody of himself. His most notable contribution to entertainment in recent years? The below video. Be warned; it’s hilarious.

    Chances Of Getting Back Together: Doubtful. This national treasure has driven us very angry.


  45. 10 Most Wildly Inconsistent Actors In Movie History:

    Nicolas Cage

    Well, here he is: the King of Inconsistent Performances, and the one actor who truly deserves a place on this list for the frankly astounding number of conflicting performances that he’s given over the course of the past 30 years. Many are shocked to learn that Nicolas Cage has an Oscar under his belt (he won, deservedly, for his role in 1994′s Leaving Las Vegas). But after he won that Oscar, it almost seemed as though this talented actor had achieved his goal, and felt as though it was all right to slink off into mediocrity.

    That’s to say, there have been great Nic Cage performances (Adaptation, Raising Arizona), serviceable Nic Cage performances (Face/Off/Con Air), and downright insane Nic Cage performances (The Wicker Man, Ghost Rider), none of which seem like they’re coming from the same place. Which is really what acting is all about, to be fair. The saving grace here is that Cage’s performances are never not entertaining – the good, bad and ugly ones all have a strange, inherent like-ability to be associated with them.

    So as we sit back and watch Cage as he flitters like an injured bird between movies he genuinely cares about, movies he’s doing purely for the cash, or movies that even the man himself doesn’t know how he ended up in, there’s a certain element to be treasured here. In recent years, with the rise of the internet and such, Cage has become a sort of twisted, semi-ironic icon – even his past detractors seem to have admitted that there’s something contagious about his giddy, never-ending mania. And they’re right: in this case, inconsistency is totally the brand.


  46. Nic Cage = the new William Shatner ? YOU be the judge!

    Like Shatner, Cage can overact wildly yet do so in an entertaining manner. Like Shatner, he’s done lots of “paycheck” roles and some AWFUL movies. They both can be “jokes” yet pull out a really good performance from time to time (Denny Crane, the good Cage roles). They can seem intelligent and also seem like loony egomaniacs. (REALLY, Nic, did you NEED a castle in Bavaria?!? If so, then you DESERVE your financial woes.)

    I recommend for a “must-see” lesser-known Cage role: He has an unintentionally [?] hilarious supporting role in the early ’90s movie “Deadfall.” Herein, Cage out-Shatners Shatner…he truly SHATtnERS it to bits!


    • I can watch both Cage and Shatner in almost anything. Although that sitcom where Shatner played a dad with a blog was unwatchable.


      • re: sitcom where Shatner played a dad with a blog was unwatchable.

        As Cage to “Firebirds,” so BillShat to whatever that piece o’ shite was called.

        Imho, one of the most unwatchable things I’ve ever seen on TV was a sitcom starring and produced (and I think written) by Lori Perry…also, the sitcom starring Geena Davis and Mimi Rogers.


        • I reached my saturation point with Lori Petty during A League of Their Own. She grated on my nerves so much, I have never been able to watch her in anything since. It was a running gag with my friends in the 90s how I loathed Lori Petty. I can’t imagine watching her on a sitcom. I did try to watch the Geena Davis show I think. It didn’t hold my attention. Run of the mill sitcoms never do.


  47. Eillio Martin Imbasciati

    Nic Cage is another of my favorites. His characterizations are unpredictable, so I’m always fascinated on viewing where he’s going with his performance. Two of my favorite films he stars in are “Valley Girl: and “Leaving Las Vegas” (never knew about his drinking binge in Dublin; talk about prep work), which are two completely different film from two completely different decades.


    • Nic Cage is one of those performers: When he’s good, he’s VERY good — but too often he goes on “autopilot” (like Bruce Willis) and phones-in his performance or is so mannered and/or over-the-top he can give Shatner a run for his money in the Overacting Sweepstakes.

      A few years back MAD TV had some good parodies of Cage including a “trailer” for “Leaving Metropolis,” projecting a film where Cage actually played Superman (as he was once rumored to do, playing Clark Kent/Superman as an out-of-control alky).


  48. re: Nic’s obsessions, with acting among them, are something of a novelty, and he’s given very little thought to the eventual fallout. Well, thanks to a hell of a lot of reckless spending and willful blindness on Cage’s part, the guy can’t really afford to quit working in the next several lifetimes or so. Now, he just needs to keep working purely for the money.

    Gosh, ya think so? [sarcasm] Cage, De Niro, and Michael Caine are charter members of the “If the check clears, I’m in” club of actors. Trouble is, if one appears in too many shite movies, one can be ” forever associated” with shite movies. (Ask Michael Keaton, Tara Reid, and Lori Petty.) Can any-body think of any ACTRESSES that can’t say no…to a movie offer, I mean…?


  49. 10 Silver Linings To Godawful Comic Book Movies:

    1. Ghost Rider (2007) – Crazy Cage

    It’s always a bad sign when studios withhold press screenings until 24 hours before a film’s release, so expectations were’t exactly high for Marvel’s Ghost Rider. To be fair though, the odds were always stacked against anyone successfully adapting the story of a demonic stuntman who rides a motorbike and has a flaming skull for a head, but even so, Ghost Rider is a truly terrible film. The bad reviews didn’t stop Sony Pictures from producing a sequel though, one which somehow beat all the odds to become even worse than the original.

    There is one saving grace for these films though… and that’s Nicolas Cage.
    Don’t believe me?

    Once upon a time, Cage was heralded as a phenomenal character actor whose energy onscreen made him one of Hollywood’s most promising young stars. However, after he won an Academy Award for his role in Leaving Las Vegas, Cage turned insane. Each performance became more ridiculous than the last and suddenly, over acting became his signature move.

    Ghost Rider and its sequel, Spirit of Vengeance, contain some of Cage’s craziest acting moments yet, including screaming frenzies that make Cage look like he’s constipated and these scenes have since developed a cult following among ardent fans who follow Cage’s every bizarre acting choice with fervent anticipation.

    Cage claims that he has developed his own method of acting, which he has coined ‘Nouveau Shamanic’. For those of us who aren’t pretentious and deluded, it basically means act like a douche bag in every scene, hamming up each line like it’s your last… goddammit he sure is entertaining though.


    • Actors whose careers have fallen low and fast:

      The thing with Cage is when he gets a well written role and puts effort into it he can be great. His whole problem is that he just seems to accept any role that’s tossed at him and doesn’t filter out what is and isn’t s***. I think he’s got some pretty big financial issues that make it necessary for him to take whatever roles he can though too so that’s probably a lot of it.


  50. Finally You Can Watch Nicolas Cage As Superman!

    The Death Of Superman Lives reveals new production footage of probably the worst casting decision in comic book history.




      Even though Nicolas Cage was on a streak of box office gold with Leaving Las Vegas, The Rock, and Con Air, almost nobody wanted to see him in those famous red shorts. Keep in mind, this was before he did National Treasure, when a switch in his head flipped from “do good movies” to “get money.” The test footage of Cage as Supes that leaked years later didn’t do him any favors either, as all anybody could think was “Wait, why is Superman balding?” In defense of the rest of the casting, there were inspired choices like Kevin Spacey as Lex Luthor and Christopher Walken as Brainiac, as well as rumors that Michael Keaton would return to play Batman. All of that would have been great, but could they overcome the spectacle of Castor Troy as Superman? Not likely.


      • I remember my friend Matt telling me about the Superman role (same person who told me about the “New” Guns ‘n Roses album. Well, you can’t win them all;-).


      • 10 ‘What If?’ Scenarios That Almost Changed Comic Book Movies Forever

        Superman Lives Is A Thing That Exists

        One of the most famous movies never made, the story behind what the hell happened with Superman Lives is absolutely nuts. Based on how the project was shaping up behind-the-scenes, this may have genuinely been the final nail in the coffin for the comic book movie in the wake of Batman & Robin.

        After countless rewrites to lower the projected budget from $190m to $100m, paying director Tim Burton and star Nicolas Cage $5m and $20m respectively on a ‘pay or play’ basis and spending an estimated $30m on pre-production before canning the entire thing more than a year into the process, Superman Lives was a mess from top to bottom.

        Based solely on the testimony of those who worked on the doomed project and the information readily available online, it was shaping up to be an absolute disaster. Initially set for release between 1998 and 2000, at what would turn out to be a pivotal time for the superhero genre, had Superman Lives bombed critically and commercially the effect on the comic book movie could have been catastrophic.


  51. he better in indies like matchstick men and leaving las vegas hes needs to forgot lame action flicks he will never be an action star.He needs to go back to early cage who took risks. Hanks is starring in a cold war project directed by speilberg that just what cage needs it would be perfect for cage. Cage can take a tip from hanks. Every actor in the site can take a tip from the way hanks chooses roles he has a perfect resume captain phillips proves he still got it


    • The problem is Cage is in financial trouble and has to accept just about every paycheck that comes his way. The same thing happened to Billy Zane. When you can’t say no, your career is going to suffer. Cage has to make those lame action movies because they pay better than anything else. He can’t afford to make Leaving Las Vegas any more.


      • 10 Actors Who Didn’t Realize They Were In Crap Films:

        1. Nicolas Cage – The Wicker Man

        Nicolas Cage has become an absolute joke among the film community. Taking whatever project comes his way, no matter how inane, his filmography is as inconsistent a it is massive; sitting right next to praised roles in Kick-Ass and Bad Lieutenant are the likes of Ghost Rider, Bangkok Dangerous and, worst of all, The Wicker Man.

        The reason for all this is that Cage can’t afford to stop working. Due to tax issues (that we’ll not go into because we’ve learnt from George Lucas people aren’t into that) Cage has large amounts of debt that only taking every project offered (and selling his prized possessions, like a copy of Action Comics #1) has any hope of abating.

        All of which makes it incredibly shocking that some of his most derided projects he actually thought were going to be good (and not just top up the coffers). The Wicker Man, a film now treated by many as a comedy, was one of those, with Cage seemingly deluded to its faults in interviews. We could summarize what he said, but it wouldn’t compare to actually seeing what he said:

        It’s gothic, it’s scary, it enabled me to work in the horror genre in a way that didn’t rely on pop-ups and the cheap thrills, blood and guts that so many of these horror films do. It was about performance and making it real.

        He’s since claimed he and director Neil LaBute were well aware that the film is flat out ridiculous, which sounds more than a little revisionist if you ask us; the film is ninety minutes of tedium on top of the five minutes of unintentional hilarity everyone knows.


  52. he should not chooses over the top roles going back to matchstick men he excels in characters quiet yet eccentric


  53. he should do a clooney and do one big budget film for studio one artsy film for him


  54. looking at his list of movies seems he hasnt learned and tried turning into an action star. Hes making same mistakes stallone made his dramatic part in rocky for some random reason made the attempt to go to action star and stallone althought brings people in with action movies is considerd a joke of an actor mathstick men shows he has potental indies and ocassional comdies are things


  55. he pulled a stallone instead being respected actor went for lame action films


  56. croods was a hit lebeau


  57. i noticed macadams is on the list too


  58. poll her career is doing shes appearing in hits still vow


  59. In defense of Nicolas Cage…

    As seems to happen whenever Nicolas Cage releases a commercial movie such as Knowing, the critics and pundits are bitterly asking just what happened to this once brilliant, artistically inclined thespian and why oh why has he sold out? Guess what folks? Nicolas Cage is still Nicolas Cage and he’s always been the same quirky, half-insane goofball who would eventually name his son Kal El (yeah, I love Batman, but I didn’t name my daughter Selina, Pamela, or Talia). The difference is one of expectations and selective memory.

    Nic Cage was making movies for about thirteen years before he won the 1995 Best Actor Oscar and became a mainstream player. In between Fast Times At Ridgemont High and Leaving Las Vegas, this allegedly fallen star made such high-brow, intellectually simulating entertainments as Trapped In Paradise, Valley Girl, and Amos and Andrew. Yes, he also made such movies as Red Rock West, Raising Arizona, and Peggy Sue Got Married. He was a working actor who alternated between occasionally lousy studio movies and often artistically superior low profile entertainments. Some of these movies made money, many of them did not. What we forget was that, prior to Leaving Las Vegas, Nic Cage was never all that respected as an actor. He was an offbeat performer, someone who often added a little color to the films he appeared in. Every time he gave a solid dramatic performance in something like Red Rock West, critics acted a little surprised. When he stole the show with his manic villain in Kiss Of Death, critics raved about a new high for this cult actor.

    Leaving Las Vegas was a revelation for many, but in retrospect, it was partially just Nicolas Cage doing his shtick in a toned down version, for a film of genuine quality and morose contemplation. It was Nic Cage being Nic Cage, but with an entire film worth of back story and context to give his antics ‘deeper meaning’. After he won the Oscar, he did three big-budget action films in a row. Why? Because he was a geek at heart and he wanted to do action films dammit! It helped that all three films were of a respectable quality. More importantly, it wasn’t ‘action star Nicolas Cage’. It was ‘Nicolas Cage… in a big budget action film’. The Rock is still Michael Bay’s only great film, Con Air was a terrifically entertaining acting treat and quasi genre spoof, and John Woo’s Face/Off was and is a masterpiece, and it contains what I still feel is Nic Cage’s finest performance. I’ve always said that Face/Off’s acting and dramatic scenes were so good that it would still be a great film without the shoot outs.

    After Face/Off, Nicolas Cage got serious. And it’s here that critics started to gang up on him. City Of Angels, a pretentious and overly somber remake of Wings Of Desire, was arguably the turning point. The film was a hit, but it contained an unusually gloomy Nicolas Cage performance. Personally, I feel that it’s main offense was casting then-TV super cops Andre Braugher and Dennis Franz and failing to give them any scenes together. Super serious films with super glum Nic Cage performances would alternate with the quirky, goofy vibrating-head Cage or ole. He was nutso in the ambitious but mediocre Snake Eyes, but he was sober in the disappointing 8MM (great first half, terrible second half). He was a little of both in Martin Scorsese’s vastly underrated Bringing Out The Dead, which closed out the 1990s. After getting panned for palling around with Martin Scorsese, is it any wonder that Cage retreated to the safety net of producer Jerry Bruckheimer? Cage started out 2000 with one of his very worst films, Gone In 60 Seconds (or as I like to call it… ‘the action film with no action scenes’). It is this decade that detractors claim that Nicolas Cage ‘sold out’. They point to admittedly terrible films like Captain Corelli’s Mandolin and The Wicker Man as signs of crossing over to the dark side. There are two problems with this argument.

    First of all, if you look at Cage’s filmography in this decade, you’ll notice that he actually has a somewhat decent batting average. You have studio garbage like Ghost Rider, Next, and Bangkok Dangerous. But you also have genuine art like Adaptation, Matchstick Men, Lord Of War, and The Weather Man. If critics and audiences ignore Lord Of War and then take notice of Ghost Rider (a terrible film with plenty of Nic Cage quirk), they can’t then say that Cage is a sell-out who only does big studio confections. As it is, if you recall, many of the reviews for The Weather Man seemed to criticize Paramount for releasing such a character-driven, small scale drama (how dare they release an intelligent drama for adults, instead of passing it off to Paramount Vantage!).

    As for the uber-successful National Treasure series (by far his highest grossing films), I kinda like them. They are, if I may, incredibly stupid but genuinely fun, with lots of good actors (Sean Benn, Ed Harris, Jon Voight, Helen Mirren, Harvey Keitel) getting paid a solid sum to engage in historically-based PG-rated, family friendly adventure. I wouldn’t want every film to be National Treasure (just like not every home should have a bowl of freshly cut lemons in the refrigerator), but I’m glad there is one series that fills that void. Random anecdote: I took a private school principal on a first date to see the first National Treasure (somehow Kinsey didn’t seem appropriate) and I’m convinced the reason I didn’t get a second date was that she was offended that I had taken her to an education-based movie that was so willfully dumb.

    Nicolas Cage has made sixteen live-action films in this present decade (counting Knowing and not counting his ten-second Grindhouse cameo). About half of them have been big studio genre pictures that haven’t been well received. The other half have been either well-received studio films (I hated World Trade Center, but I’m in the minority), or artistically inclined pictures that mostly flopped. So, for all the huff and puff, Nicolas Cage still seems to operate on the ‘one for them, one for me’ principle. He is a working actor who is undeniably past his prime, but still makes interesting choices regardless of whether the films work out in the end. And, for those who think that Cage has gotten dull… answer me this… could any other actor have made a film as awesomely terrible as The Wicker Man?

    In the end, Nicolas Cage suffers from a very simple problem. He alternates between big budget studio genre pictures and smaller, more artistically inclined films. The issue is that critics and pundits inexplicably choose to ignore the smaller stuff and then use the mainstream tripe to nail him to the wall as the poster boy of an ‘actor who became a performer’. They ignore Lord Of War and focus only on Next. They call him a sell-out because National Treasure was a smash hit, forgetting that Adaptation was not. They forget that Nicolas Cage will always do whatever film Nicolas Cage wants to do. Maybe, just maybe, Nicolas Cage always wanted to be a movie star, as opposed to a ‘serious actor’ (why else do you think Cage followed up an Oscar with three slam-bang action films?). And really, what’s wrong with that as long as he does what he wants to do? We should all be so lucky.

    Nicolas Cage is not the best actor in Hollywood nor is he the worst. He doesn’t have the worst track record of any major star nor does he have the best. He has a varied filmography, with various genres, many interesting directors, and far more smaller-scale pictures than you’d think from all the hand-wringing. He may not be worth idolizing, but he is not the poster boy for anything wrong with Hollywood or the movies in general.


  60. The Dying of Nicolas Cage’s Career:

    At this point, Nicolas Cage’s movie titles have become a running commentary on the state of his career. Left Behind. Outcast. And now The Dying of the Light. (You could throw in Stolen, Rage and The Frozen Ground, too.) His descent from Oscar-caliber actor (Leaving Las Vegas, Adaptation) and box-office superstar (Face/Off, The Rock) to direct-to-VOD punchline seems complete.

    dying-of-the-lightDying seems an especially sad case, because it also marks the nadir of another onetime cinematic powerhouse, writer-director Paul Schrader (Taxi Driver, Affliction). True, Schrader has protested the final cut of the film being taken away from him by posting a photo of himself (as well as Cage, co-star Anton Yelchin, and exec producer Nicolas Winding Refn) wearing t-shirts featuring the language from the non-disparagement clause of his contract. But it’s hard to imagine how any amount of editing could redeem this standard-issue potboiler.

    Cage stars as an aging CIA agent who’s suffering from an aggressive form of dementia but determined to take down the Osama Bin Laden-esque terrorist who tortured him 20 years earlier and has long been believed to be dead. Yelchin—who’s put to much better use in the upcoming rom-com 5 to 7—plays his protegee, who accompanies him on a mission to Kenya to track down his prey.

    Cage chews the scenery, as is his wont, and not much happens until the final 10 minutes of this 94-minute (including 6 minutes of closing credits!) time-waster. Believe it or not, this is even less entertaining than Schrader’s last film, the Lindsay Lohan porn vehicle The Canyons. You’d never even know this was a Schrader film but for the line, “What in the name of Jesus Christ on the cross are you doing here?” (Among Schrader’s obsessions, aside from porn, is Christianity; he also wrote The Last Temptation of Christ.)

    But that’s not even the screenplay’s worst line. I’d give that dishonor to “You’ve got your head so far up Obama’s ass, all you can see is shit!” That’s all I could see when I was watching this movie, which is why I rage, rage against the Dying of the Light…


  61. 15 Things You Didn’t Know About Nicolas Cage:

    Ah, Nicolas Cage. Whatever your thoughts of Cage as an actor, you can’t argue the fact that he’s consistently entertaining, whether he’s appearing in an art-house indie like Leaving Las Vegas or a no-brain action blockbuster like Drive Angry or Con Air or The Rock or Bangkok Dangerous or…well, we could go on and on here.

    Cage was always special, even as a kid when he used to dress up as a character called ‘The Spirit’ and prowl the alley behind his house in the early hours of the morning. Even then, there was something a little ‘off’ about the charismatic Cage.

    He got into acting at an early age, aided no doubt by his connection to the Coppola family. Early roles such in films as varied as Peggy Sue Got Married, Vampire’s Kiss, Moonstruck, Raising Arizona and Wild At Heart alerted Hollywood to the enigmatic actor’s talents.

    Cage became a bona fide Hollywood A-lister thanks to his appearances in several big-budget action films and troubled personal life. Many thousands of column inches have been dedicated to covering the off-screen exploits of Cage.

    There is no doubt that he is a very talented man, despite his recent penchant for signing on for any old role (he denies he does it just for the pay check). But that talent comes with a very eccentric personality and, oftentimes, Cage creates headlines for all the wrong reasons.

    His financial collapse and erratic behavior have been well-documented but there are still plenty of things about Nicolas Cage that you might not have heard about.

    Here are fifteen things about Nicolas Cage that you (probably) didn’t know.


  62. 11 Actors Who (Hopefully) Killed Their Careers In 2014:

    1. Nicolas Cage

    Nicolas Cage has had one of the most bizarre and strangely intriguing careers of any Hollywood actor in history. Despite winning a Best Actor Oscar and working with practically every director worth working with, his enormous tax bill has seen him star in increasingly blatant paycheque roles over the last 5 years or so, even deigning to join the depressing straight-to-DVD and VOD action flick club. His only real success of any kind this year was with the release of a carry-over from the 2013 festival circuit, David Gordon Green’s Joe, which earned Cage his best reviews in years (86%), though still failed to make back its $4 million budget

    As for the rest? Rage (previously known as Tokarev) went straight-to-VOD in most territories despite a $25 million budget and was largely panned (14%), while biblical disaster flick Left Behind is one of the worst-reviewed films of the year (2%) and made $19.7 million in box office reciepts, just marginally above its budget. Finally, there’s Dying of the Light, which suffered huge production issues as writer-director Paul Schrader wrestled with producers over the final cut of the film, causing Cage, Schrader and others to publicly disown the released product. It was, again, destroyed by reviewers (5%), such that it’s difficult to believe Schrader could’ve ever made anything good out of it at all.


  63. How Nic Cage’s Decision To Become A Comedy Leading Man Saved — And Almost Ruined — His Career:

    The knock on Nicolas Cage in recent years is that he will seemingly take any role. This is supported by the drecky state of his IMDB page, which features a few jewels and a ton of rote thrillers and action joints that have muddled the legacy of a man who was once (in quick succession) Hollywood’s foremost on-screen weirdo, an amazingly immersive and gifted actor, and the high-octane king of the box office.

    In-between the height of Cage’s powers as an uber-method actor who famously ate a cockroach on camera for his role in Vampire’s Kiss and his Oscar winning performance as an expiring drunk in Leaving Las Vegas rests what may be the oddest Cage era: his two-year stint as a light comedy and rom-com leading man.

    At the time, the transition seemed to make a lot of sense to Cage, who had followed his breakout performances in Raising Arizona and Moonstruck by playing tortured characters in little seen projects like Time to Kill and Zandalee.

    Here he is in a 1994 interview explaining his conscious effort to move away from his “quirky” roots.

    “I’ve decided that people respond better to me in comedies than all that quirky stuff I did in the past,” he says.

    “It’s funny, when I was a kid I used to like to make people laugh. I was in a very tough school and it became sort of a survival mechanism for me. But then I saw James Dean in East of Eden and I decided I wanted to be like him.

    “I made a lot of angst-ridden pictures and found myself approaching bankruptcy. So I decided to go back to what came naturally to me – being funny rather than unconventional.”

    It would be easy to look at those words and all the films that have followed and assume that Cage abandoned his comedic pursuits for big budget spectacle films and the like as soon as he found high ground again in his career. But did he? To me it seems Cage embraced Sean Penn’s biting assessment of him as a “performer” by continuing to go over-the-top in a way that feels comedic. As Cage has said before, he is in on the joke.

    Look at Castor Troy in Face/Off, his work in The Wicker Man, and even the Ghost Rider films. At their heart, these are full-throated performances from someone who is both trying to get a reaction out of the audience and trying to keep himself from being bored. You know, just like a hyperactive kid who is trying to make people laugh.

    Ironically, some of Cage’s early ’90s comedies don’t possess that kind of energy. In fact, some don’t seem to possess any energy at all.

    Honeymoon in Vegas

    From the pen of Blazing Saddles and Fletch screenwriter Andrew Bergman, Honeymoon in Vegas is the best of Cage’s straight-up comedies thanks to a great performance by James Caan and a premise that seems like it was made to be the perfect spoof of Indecent Proposal (save for the fact that it came out before the Demi Moore film). Bottom line: this is just a fun, screwball comedy filled with flying Elvises and one man’s journey to reclaim his lost love. Cage has his moments and his ability to draw comedy from a put-upon moment serves the film well.

    It’s also set to become a Broadway musical in the very near future. So I suppose that’s some indication that it has stood the test of time.

    Amos and Andrew

    It’s easy to see why the role of habitual criminal Amos Odell appealed to Cage. On paper, this looks like a movie that was built to smartly lampoon racial stereotypes, but instead it mostly falls flat and the lack of chemistry between Jackson and Cage doesn’t help the situation or the forced buddy-comedy feel of the film. Some things get better with age. This is not one of those things.

    Guarding Tess

    This isn’t a romantic comedy, per se, but it matches some of the rhythms of the genre as Cage’s secret service agent learns to tolerate and care for Shirley MacLaine’s demanding former first lady. The movie isn’t really funny, but it isn’t a stab in the eye either. I actually re-watched this last night to freshen my memory, and I can confidently say that this is a perfect in-flight movie — boring and benign. With that said, Cage does come alive briefly at the end when MacLaine’s character is put in harm’s way and it’s actually powerful. Because that’s what Nic Cage is capable of, even when he’s wearing mainstream shackles in a mom comedy just five years after sharing a smoke on-screen with a chameleon and six years after Vampire’s Kiss.

    It Could Happen To You

    Another Andrew Bergman collaboration, this one seemingly channels Frank Capra to tell the most charming fairy tale about adultery that I have ever seen.

    Cage is turned ALL-THE-WAY down for this one. He plays an “aw shucks” good-guy cop who honorably keeps his promise to a waitress (Bridget Fonda) and gives her half of his lotto winnings ($2 million) as a tip.

    Say what you will about Cage, but the guy has range. A year later he would be dead-tossing a stiff out of a truck in Kiss of Death, but here he’s starring in a film that makes While You Were Sleeping look as gritty as Black Rain.

    Trapped In Paradise

    This is essentially a saccharin and snow coated version of Bill Murray’s woefully under-loved Quick Change. Here, Cage plays a hesitant criminal who teams up with his ex-con brothers (Dana Carvey and Jon Lovitz) to rob a bank in a small town that they are utterly incapable of leaving in one piece. Hilarity does not ensue as the trio gets cozy with the townsfolk, but never fear, a happy ending is just around the corner.

    According to Jon Lovitz, filming wasn’t a pleasant experience for the cast. And it shows. Cage, to his credit, didn’t mail in his performance, but the role and the project were far beneath him and it seems likely that he recognized that and saw the film as a bellwether for the kinds of roles that would have continued to come his way had he not forced another course correction. And in 1995, Cage did exactly that when he turned down an overture from Jim Carrey to be in Dumb and Dumber, choosing instead to star in Leaving Las Vegas.

    For some actors, such a ballsy decision would be worthy of divided praise between their instincts and the Gods that allowed them to be right, but Nicolas Cage’s career choices aren’t guided by the Gods. Luck has nothing to do with it. Instead, everything seems deliberate and constructed to please or intellectually titillate him.

    This is a curious and well-read practitioner of performance. Someone that comes off as a little (or a lot) weird, but someone who seems to always see some value in each role that he plays. Whether that value is seen or appreciated by others is another question, but Cage is also the kind that doesn’t seem to care about the critics, and he’s certainly the rare and durable type of actor who is always threatening to alter our perception of what he can do with just one role. So I suppose we should keep watching… at least until he makes Left Behind 2.


  64. I saw this just now: and I feel like a WTHH for Darth Vader himself, Hayden Christensen is coming at some point


    • Hayden Christensen isn’t Darth Vader. David Prowse and James Earl Jones are Darth Vader. Christensen played some whiny butthead I don’t recognize as having anything to do with the bad ass villain.


      • I like how you get all worked up.


      • I’ll raise a glass to that. George Lucas may have said that films are never finished, they are abandoned, but boy, I wish he would’ve had some abandonment issues with the “Star Wars” franchise at some point.


        • I saw on Twitter over the weekend he had plans to direct Star Wars 7 himself and THEN try to sell the franchise. Hoo boy! I can’t see a Lucas-directed 7th movie increasing the value of the franchise. Good thing Disney stepped in when they did.


        • Oh, that’s his new take? He’s funny: once he said he planned to go with 12 “Star Wars” films (to make it something of an old school matinee serial), then I believe he said 9, now 7? He must be losing his ambition.


        • Lucas has changed his tune so many times I barely pay attention. But I don’t think this was him claiming that he was always going to make 7 movies. I think he was worried that Disney (he only ever planned to sell to Disney) would see the film franchise as completed. So he intended to make one more movie and leave it open ended to show Disney that there was more to do with the franchise. I think he hoped that would increase the value of Lucasfilm before he sold. Of course Disney already had plans to make Star Wars 7, so he didn’t need to worry about bumping up the price with another movie.


        • That actually makes a lot of sense.


        • Wasn’t it after “Empire Strikes Back” that the IV, V, VI designation was announced, together with the scheme to go back and film the first triology and then VII, VIII and IX?
          I never watched anything after VI.


        • Basically, yes.

          There is a website called The Secret History of Star Wars. It contains the most detailed accounting of the history of Star Wars I have ever seen. If you are a true Star Wars fan and you want to know what REALLY happened, I consider this website required reading.

          The site contains several in-depth articles. This one covers the history of the Star Wars sequels and how Lucas frequently changed his tune about how many movies there would be. Since I’m on the subject, here’s a couple other favorites of mine. This article deals with how Lucas changed the motivation for Anakin’s turn to the Dark Side after filming on Revenge of the Sith was completed! And this one covers how Lucas dropped a subplot of Revenge of the Sith that was set up during Attack of the Clones because he suddenly realized he didn’t have room to pay it off. The two articles together really paint a picture of how poorly the prequels were planned and why they just didn’t work.

          The site is just loaded with goodies for any Star Wars fan. I guarantee you will learn something from it.


        • Indeed that is a great site for SW history. At the time I so remember how everyone was dying for more and it was unthinkable to us that Lucas wouldn’t be making more. I remember the 3 trilogy plan, never knew that it was even thought of as 4 for a total of 12!


        • I remember reading about the trilogy of trilogies for a total of 9. I don’t remember the 12 picture plan. But it sounds like that one wasn’t on the table all that long.


  65. Lebeau I’m so glad to see you mention The Secret History of Star Wars. I bought the book by Michael Kaminski a couple years ago and found it to be a highly enjoyable and informative read, even for someone like me who thought I already knew most everything there is to know about Star Wars. The website is great fun to read for anyone who is into Star Wars. Which is most of us.

    As far as the 12 film series goes, Lucas began stating he wanted to make 12 Star Wars films right after Star Wars exploded in summer of ’77. They would be episodic in nature, each one focusing on different characters and different eras. 12 may seem like a random number but the Flash Gordon and Buck Rogers serials from the 1930’s and 40’s that Lucas grew up on and was heavily influenced by typically ran weekly at theatres in a run of 12 episodes. Aha! When Lucas began writing the second draft of Empire Strikes Back on his own in early 1978, for the first time he came up with the idea of having the main villain (Darth Vader) be the father of the main hero Luke Skywalker. In the first draft of Empire the ghost of Anakin, Luke’s father, visited him to talk to him. Now in the second draft, Lucas combined the two characters into one. Vader is Luke’s father! It was when Lucas came up with this admittedly brilliant idea that Star Wars would change forever. Now, Star Wars had a real focus. It wouldn’t be a series of episodic adventures spanning different characters and eras, now instead the series would focus on the Skywalker family. Lucas now started saying there would be 9 films, a set of three trilogies. That’s the story in a nutshell.

    Of course since Disney bought the Star Wars property we are now getting a sequel trilogy along with 3 more side-films, so in a way we actually are getting 12 Star Wars film ultimately.


    • Yeah, I heard Disney rejected a script Lucas proposed to them (It’s their right anyway), along with some of the ideas he had for the future installment. I say let Disney have a crack at it, since i think Lucas has been spinning his wheels for years anyhow. If Disney doesn’t get results, then so be it.


      • Actually Lucas wrote story treatments for episodes 7, 8 and 9, which he spent a year writing and were regarded as a large part of the sale to Disney back in late 2012. That marks the end of his direct involvement in the writing process, as Michael Arndt and then later JJ Abrams and Lawrence Kasdan worked on the shooting screenplay for Episode 7. So no doubt things have changed from the treatment Lucas wrote to the shooting script over the past couple years. What Lucas may be speaking of lately is the rumored shift in tone: rumor has it Lucas’ treatment focused heavily on the new younger group of characters from the start with Luke Han and Leia as supporting characters, whereas once JJ came on board he wanted Episode 7 to focus heavily on the classic cast of Luke, Han and Leia with the new cast taking more of a back seat. At least, that’s what I gather from rumors, and who knows right now how much of Lucas’ original treatment is still in the final film. We probably won’t know until after the film releases what – and how much – is different. I would suspect the characters/locations/basic story is probably still in there, but that is completely speculation on my part as there have been 3 years of re-writes and re-rewrites going on since 2012, who knows Lucas could be right and it’s all completely different. We’ll see.


        • I have found that Lucas tends to represent his notes to be more substantial than they really are. He gave the makers of the Star Wars Holiday Special volumes of notes. Mostly, they were about Wookie culture which is why large chunks of the SW:HS consisted of Wookies roaring at each other. Back in the 70s, he made it out like he had detailed plans for the entire saga. But when he actually filmed the prequels decades later, he still hadn’t sorted it all out. I’m sure Lucas handed Disney copious notes which he considered to be story treatments. The idea that it was a “large part of the sale” strikes me as a lot of PR spin. My guess is no one at Disney was ever married to Lucas’ ideas. They would look them over and use them if they liked them. Which apparently they didn’t. Given Lucas’ output post 1983, I am totally cool with that. For 6 years, he had a Midas touch. Since then, he hasn’t done anything worth seeing.


        • That’s something that The Secret History of Star Wars cleared up definitively for me. Lucas likes to make it sound like he had it all figured out from the beginning, but it was always a work in progress for more than 30 years. Despite what Lucas says now, Vader wasn’t always Luke’s father, not even in the original Star Wars film. Leia wasn’t always Luke’s sister. In the first draft of Empire, the ghost of Father Skywalker tells Luke that he has a twin sister named Nellith Skywalker that is being trained as a Jedi on the other side of the galaxy. That was the “other” that was being alluded to by Yoda in Empire but eliminated when Lucas decided to wrap everything up in Jedi, making Leia the sister instead. Interesting, right? There’s plenty of other examples of stuff that got changed over the years during the writing process, but I find the creative process interesting and I think Lucas should embrace it.

          It’s actually pretty brilliant to come up with the idea that the existing villain in the first film is actually the father of the main hero, a young man who already hates said villain for supposedly murdering his father in cold blood and wants revenge. I think that’s bloody brilliant, and from a creative standpoint that actually is more impressive – that he turned a character we already knew and turned it on its head – than having come with it from the beginning. The Secret History of Star Wars uses old quotes from Lucas himself and other insiders, along with early drafts that were leaked, to show the true story behind how the films were written. Both TSHOSW book and website should be must reads for all Star Wars fans who are interested in the creative process behind the films. And for the record despite it all I still respect Lucas a great deal, probably more than most do these days.


    • I think we will end up with a lot more than 12 movies when it’s all said and done. Now that Disney owns Star Wars, it’s going to be like the James Bond franchise. Or maybe more like the Marvel movies. We’re going to get regular installments until we are all sick to death of Star Wars.

      I am surprised more SW fans haven’t read TSHoSW. It’s a terrific resource. As obsessed as SW fans tend to be, I would think more of them would be interested in the true stories behind the series. There is just a ton of history there.


    • In a word, guys, well, WOW. There is a lot of history there. Fascinating stuff.
      It’s so weird to look back. In spring of 1977 I was a HS sophomore when the original Star Wars hit the big screen. Now this is one pop culture gap RB doesn’t have. It was an instant phenomenon. At first, listening to mostly guys at school talking about the adventures of Luke Skywalker it didn’t sound all that compelling. But soon everyone saw it in the theatre and back then, with no home video…. it was all about, not whether you saw Star Wars but how many times you returned to the theatre. Conversations would go like this: “I’ve seen Star Wars three times in two weeks.” “Big deal. I’ve seen it eight times!”


      • My parents probably wouldn’t have stood for us trying to see a movie more than once at the time. I don’t think I even would have asked. Instead, I busied myself with acting out the movie using whatever action figures I could get my hands on, reading the comic book adaptations and pouring over the collector’s cards that were floating around. In a way, the mystery of it almost intensified my thirst.


        • I can top that. I didn’t even see the movie until it was rereleased in 1978. The trading cards were all I had to go on for a year. The mystery was killing me!

          I remember seeing C-3PO on a trading card and thinking he was the coolest thing I ever saw. Because visually, he was striking. When you see what a fussbucket he is in the movie, the coolness is drained from the character rather quickly. But when you just have a trading card to base your decision on, he was a shiny vision of the future.


        • The trading cards! I had forgotten about those! Should have hung on to them 🙂 I admit it does sound weird to be talking about multiple trips to the theatre given what ticket prices are today. In the 70s though we had dollar matinees and it was routine to spend Saturdays at the movies, often staying for 2 features. Not only could I not afford for my kids to do this today, I wouldn’t feel right dropping them off at the theatre and saying I’ll pick you up in 4 hours. Things are just so different.


        • They are different indeed.

          And I have a shoe-box full of those trading cards in my basement.


        • I too have a box full of those old Topps Star Wars trading cards. Those were some interesting years in the 70’s and 80’s, when popular movies and tv shows regularly had trading cards. Anybody remember trading cards for Three’s Company, Dukes of Hazzard, Battlestar Galactica, Saturday Night Fever, Close Encounters, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Moonraker, Rambo II, Mork & Mindy, Superman: The Movie, CHIPS, Empire Strikes Back, etc.? It’s funny to think back on it now, but I used to buy some of those as a kid. I get why I bought Dukes of Hazzard trading cards, because come on it’s just cool to see the General Lee flying through the air, even on a trading card, but why did I feel the need to buy Three’s Company trading cards as a kid? Strange times back then, but I wasn’t alone in that. Kids today would probably scratch their heads trying to wonder why anybody bought tv and movie trading cards back then.


        • We didn’t have iPods and such. Heck I’m pretty sure I had Happy Days trading cards!

          Liked by 1 person

        • When I tell my kids about growing up in the late 20th century they are horrified. No DVR. No internet. No devices.


        • I think a lot of those are also on the shoebox. There’s also lots of Superman 1 & 2. Surprise surprise. I think there’s some Jaws in thete too.


  66. If Nicholas Cage ever visits this page, he is going to wonder why we’re spending so much time on his page discussing Star Wars and old tv and movie trading cards. I could see him saying, “Aren’t you supposed to be talking about me?” ha ha

    Liked by 1 person

  67. i had a similar thought this morning. You know what, I bet Cage would like his WTHH !
    We have not stopped discussing him and that can’t be a bad thing.

    Liked by 1 person

  68. 12 Terrible Movies That Killed An Actor’s Winning Streak:

    1. Snake Eyes – Nicolas Cage

    The Streak: Nicolas Cage’s streak began in spectacular fashion when he won the Best Actor Oscar for Leaving Las Vegas and followed it with four consecutive box office smashes in action flicks The Rock, Con Air and Face/Off, as well as romantic drama City of Angels.

    The Film That Broke It: Brian De Palma’s strangely tedious conspiracy thriller boasted plenty of nifty directing tricks and a solid Cage performance, but they couldn’t paper over a snoozy premise that it was almost impossible to care about. The movie grossed a disappointing $103.9 million against its bloated $73 million budget, and was largely dismissed by critics, bringing Cage’s streak to an end.

    Current Status: Cage has never had a boom period like this since, though up until a few years ago, he was still incredibly bankable. Nowadays, he stars in a lot of straight-to-VOD movies, with his last seven live-action starring movies flopping in depressing succession. Upcoming sequels to The Croods and National Treasure will surely serve him well, but his career is absolutely on the skids for the most part.


  69. croods made money joe got great reviews i think less action films he would do better


  70. lebeau, I say do some Star Wars articles/podcasts. Based on this thread alone there seems to be interest. I’m a bit surprised you guys didn’t post anything around the new trailer and all that stuff.


    • Funny you should mention that. The previous poscast episode which I have yet to edit deals with Star Wars extensively.

      I loved Star Wars as a kid. But I am not terribly excited for Star Wars 7.


    • Nicolas Cage praises Hayden Christensen’s “edgy, dangerous” Star Wars work:

      Hayden Christensen’s portrayal of Anakin Skywalker has few friends – but Nicolas Cage is one of them…

      Hayden Christensen proved in the film Shattered Glass that he was a far better actor than you’d necessarily think by the end of the much-maligned Star Wars prequels. Heavily criticized for his portrayal of Anakin Skywalker in Star Wars Episode II: Attack Of The Clones and Star Wars Episode III: Revenge Of The Sith, to be fair to Christensen, not too many people came out of those movies with their acting reputations enhanced.

      But he did have one notable fan of his work on Star Wars. And that’d be Nicolas Cage.

      Cage has been promoting his new film with Christensen, which goes by the name of Outcast. And chatting to IGN, he revealed he’s quite the fan of his co-star’s Star Wars work.

      “George Lucas is a dear friend of my family,” Cage told the site. “I watched George’s movies and I saw the work that Hayden did with George.”

      Cage liked it, too.

      “I was very impressed with Hayden’s sort of edgy, dangerous, dark and still soulful performance. I thought it was superb, so I really connected with him. Plus he has a look in his eyes that I respond to… he’s got the sad thing going on that I’ve always been accused of having in my eyes.”


  71. he should do less action he got lucky with few action hits in 90s but hes not cut to be action star hes ment for serious acting.


    • What celebrities are tarnished for good?

      Post by Hit Girl on 9 hours ago
      Nicholas Cage’s star has fallen significantly over the last 10 years through terrible role choices (with the exception of Kick Ass) and his bizarre behavior.

      And it’s a shame, because the guy was very charismatic and talented as a lead actor. He was utterly brilliant in Leaving Las Vegas, and he had three blockbusters in a row with Face Off, The Rock and Con Air.


      • Why is Nicolas Cage considered a joke?

        Post by Red Impact on 15 hours ago
        He’s done so many movies that his weird performances were all sort of undersold parts of his filmographies, while his biggest performances were really a lot more normal. He had an awkward style in his normal movies, but nothing that’d really draw that much attention. I think when that Wicker Man thing started to get huge more peopl ejust started to go back and see the Vampire Kisses rather than the Con Air’s and Lord of War’s.

        Post by sUpErSwEeT on 15 hours ago
        Even before The Wicker Man or seeing some more of his more hammy movies, dude has always looked like sort of a punchline. Like he looks like the unlikeliest Hollywood actor, let alone Hollywood A-Lister, let alone Leading Man Action Hero. Like dude has always looked really weird, always looked 40, had bad teeth, has a receding hairline with many variations of the goofiest haircuts ever, has a weird distinctive voice, skinny lanking pale dude, has the oddest fashion choices in his personal life and film, over the top facial expressions, looks fing weird with facial hair, like nothing about him suggests he should be a successful household name actor or even just a general public figure but yet he somehow does it with his really weird charisma and unique eccentric presence. It doesn’t make any sense really. It also doesn’t make sense to the casual audience he has a stigma of being a really bad actor in bad films but yet he’s one of the biggest Hollywood Success Stories both Critically and Commercially. HE’S SERIOUSLY A fING ANOMALY!

        He’s a f***ing anomaly even before The Wicker Man. He was one of my favorite actors growing up just because he was so distinctive and makes bland or bad movies always memorable.

        Post by hossfan on 6 hours ago
        He’s made quirky acting choices and life choices. There is the Elvis/Lisa Marie thing (being a huge fan of the former before marrying the latter). Also, it didn’t help his rep that he was forced to work in several bad movies for financial reasons.

        Post by Clash the Cookie Monster on 6 hours ago
        Cage puts the same amount of effort in bad scripts as he does for the good ones he receives. He just refuses to be boring.


        • Movies remembered for one thing:

          Post by eron on about an hour ago
          The Wicker Man (2006) – When does an unnecessary bastardization of a classic thriller become a surprise must-see? When it features an insane, over-the-top Nic Cage screaming at the top of his lungs about bees and burnt dolls, and beating up straw feminists while wearing a bear suit.


        • Look, I like Nic Cage (I was sold with “Valley Girl”, and the whole eyes of a stranger deal; When they looked into each other’s eyes and The Payolas song played, :-), but the remake of “The Wicker Man” has to suck . I like actresses like Molly Parker and Ellen Burstyn, but c’mon, that film has to be recycling fodder.


        • What roles saved/ruined an actor’s/actresses’ careers?

          Well, before National Treasure, Nicolas Cage was considered to be a pretty good actor. He’d won an Oscar for Leaving Las Vegas, enjoyed a comfortable action hero star role in fun movies like The Rock and Con Air. He worked with Scorcese in Bringing Out the Dead and played a really great role as Charlie Kaufman in Adaptation.
          Then he makes National Treasure, which is a huge box office success, but critics didn’t think much of it. Suddenly he’s made the studio enough money that they let him do whatever he wants, and he’s pretty much set for life. Cue The Wicker Man, Ghost Rider, more National Treasure, and then the descent ends with him in movies like Season of the Witch, Left Behind, and the Croods.

          AnalTyrant 17 points 7 months ago
          You also have to keep in mind that he got screwed over by his business manager several years ago, and lost a ton of money. That kind of forced him to start taking any role that came his way, in order to keep making money. That’s why he’s all over the place in the roles he takes, and the quality of the films he acts in.
          Every time I see a trailer for something he’s in I just think “what a shame that he’s been reduced to this.” Like you said, incredible talent in the 80’s, 90’s and early 00’s with some great memorable roles (Raising Arizona is probably one of my favorite comedies) but he’s just been forced to do garbage now, just to get by.


  72. 10 Most Polarizing Actors Of All-Time:

    Nicolas Cage

    The best thing to do when somebody throws out a comment about Nicolas Cage’s inability to act (“He’s the worst actor ever,” for example) is to let them know that Cage actually won an Oscar for Best Actor back in 1995; then watch every face in the room drop as people’s worlds begin to fall apart, unable to cope with the fact that such a thing is inarguably true.

    And it is true, by the way. It doesn’t make much sense that the actor behind such “classics” such as Season of the Witch, The Wicker Man and Ghost Rider is also capable of taking home the greatest acting honor of all, but he did: for his actually brilliant turn in 1995’s Leaving Las Vegas, Cage was presented with Hollywood’s highest award for acting.

    He deserved it, but it seems like a far cry from his recent slew of performances; that’s to say, pretty much everything he’s done since, which – for the most part – have laid claim to his questionable acting chops. Cage has delivered a few great performances in that time, but most of what he offers up seems rushed, unfocused and the very opposite of self-aware – and it’s that last point that has given rise to his reputation as the definitive terrible actor.

    And yet he has a huge fan base regardless, and continues to pull in the pundits. Indeed, there’s something mesmerizing about his brand of over-the -top, “I don’t care how this looks on the screen” style. As a result, Cage’s tendency to polarize is near unrivalled in Hollywood. Still, it can’t be denied that he must be doing something right.

    Also, he’s insane?


  73. Cage (along with Hilary Swank, Jim Carrey and Nicole Kidman) makes WatchMojo’s list of Top 10 Celebrities Who Never Graduated High School


  74. Nicolas Cage Slams “TMZ Culture” and the Decline of Film Criticism:


  75. Nicolas Cage Has Some Strong Feelings About The Decline Of Film Criticism:

    Nicolas Cage Has Some Strong Feelings About The Decline Of Film Criticism
    BY ANDREW ROBERTS • 08.14.15

    Nicolas Cage is ready to ignite audiences in The Runner (possibly a literal thing, you never know), but not all is well in the realm of Cage. It would seem that a man with the refined tastes and interests that run the engine we know as Nicholas Cage is troubled by the current state of film criticism. Gone are the days where films apparently stood on their own and critics chose to adhere to the academic standards of their craft while critiquing the work.

    Now we have an endless cycle of news and attention, with people devouring even the most mundane portions of someone’s life (or the hair they choose to wear on their head). That’s where the problems come into play for Cage in a recent interview with Time. The old ways of criticism are gone and now it’s all based on what happens off the screen apparently:

    I think that there was a period in film commentary where it was like the gold standard—I would cite someone like Pauline Kael or Roger Ebert or Paul Schrader—where they were really determining based on the work itself, the film itself, the performance itself. And now, with the advent of this kind of TMZ culture, it sadly seems to have infiltrated the vanguard of film commentary. I see these reviews sometimes where I think, well, you have a right to say whatever you want about my work, and I will listen whether it’s good or bad and see if there’s something that I might work with, but personal issues don’t have a place in film commentary.

    If this was Nicolas Cage of the early 1990s, saying these things around the release of Leaving Las Vegas and on his way to Oscar glory, I might be willing to buy it. Instead we have the version of Nicolas Cage that has starred in numerous off kilter films, including two National Treasure films, Bangkok Dangerous, two Ghost Rider films, a remake of Left Behind, and an infamous remake of The Wicker Man. This is not a man who would be treated well for the cinematic value of his films. And I say that as a guy who enjoys Nicolas Cage on an ironic and genuine level.

    Wild At Heart is a bad ass movie, Raising Arizona is hilarious, Face/Off, Con-Air, and The Rock are action perfection, and Leaving Las Vegas is great. Plus there’s so much more. But then he does Season Of The Witch and it all goes to hell. Just don’t expect Nicolas Cage to say that:

    They’re all my children. Whether they worked or didn’t work, I grew by taking risks and dealing with critical backlash. I was OK with it because I felt that I was still finding things in my instrument that made me remain fresh or excited. I got into film acting because I wanted to be James Dean. We lost him at a very young age—he was only 24—but I’m 51 going on 52, so there’s only so many times you can act like James Dean. I had to find new ways of expressing myself that kept me fascinated with film performance.

    I just find it really hard to believe that he was fascinated with his performance in Left Behind. It was hard to watch even on Christian film standards. And on the flip side, fascination is the only reason anybody watches The Wicker Man.


  76. lebeau i think if depp can bounce back mass cage can do the same. Like depp i think people grew tired of cages offbeat movies . A straight laced drama will do the trick


    • I think Cage is likely too far gone. Cage’s problem is he needs money so badly that he can’t say no to a paycheck. Once that happens, you end up starring in one crappy movie after another.


      • 10 Great Actors With Over 30 “Rotten” Movies On Rotten Tomatoes:

        Nicolas Cage

        No. Of “Rotten” Movies: 41

        Nicolas Cage is renowned for making bad movie after bad movie, presumably now because that’s what is expected of him and who the heck cares anymore, right?

        Not so much anymore, but – once upon a time – Nicolas Cage was seen as a great actor, however. Like, for real – with a straight face and everything. He even won the Academy Award for Best Actor back in 1995 for his role in Leaving Las Vegas, in which he gave a remarkable turn as an alcoholic on the brink of sanity – and death.

        When Nicolas Cage started out his career, he managed to produce 9 – that’s right, 9 – good movies in a row. And whilst the ’90s marked a period of ups and downs, that decade pales in comparison to the last decade and a half – a time in which Cage, desperate to pay off an astonishing tax bill closing in at $15 million dollars, seems to sign onto anything on the condition that it simply exists. 41 “Rotten” movies and he’s only 51-years-old? Whoops.


        • 15 Most Critically Hated Films From 2015


          Rotten Tomatoes Score: 6% (3.1/10)

          Why Critics Hated It: Nicolas Cage and Hayden Christensen playing warriors in feudal China? Is this a joke? Critics couldn’t take Outcast one iota seriously, and rightly so, considering that both actors are sporting hysterically bad accents, and Cage is only in the film for about 20 minutes, with clever editing used to make him seem more present in battles than he actually is.

          The action is all over the place, the plot is a bore, Christensen abjectly fails to carry the movie on his own during Cage’s absence, and the whole thing is just impossible not to chuckle at. Even for the standards of Cage’s straight-to-VOD efforts he’s desperately starring in order to pay off his huge IRS debt (how is that thing not cleared yet!?), this is just…embarrassing.




        For a while there, it sure looked like Nicolas Cage was building himself quite a career. From big budget action films like The Rock, Con Air, and Face/Off, to more introspective films like Adaptation and Matchstick Men, Cage seemed not only able to do it all, but willing as well. Unfortunately, he took that last part and forgot the first part, and pursued starring roles in some of the worst movies ever made. The Sorcerer’s Apprentice, two Ghost Rider movies, Next, Knowing, Drive Angry, and the truly abominable Left Behind—all of these movies seemed to be necessary to pay off Cage’s mounting debts. At the end of it all, one of Hollywood’s most promising and talented stars has turned himself into a meme-factory and one of the best parts of YouTube. That leaves one question: Is it bad that we actually prefer him this way?


        • 15 Movies That Would Have Been Better Rated R

          GHOST RIDER (2007)

          Adding some more violence and gore to 2007’s Ghost Rider wouldn’t have saved it, sadly. Only a total rewrite and change of focus could do that. Ghost Rider is a character that sells his soul to the devil, looks like a burning skeleton, and literally walks through Hell. It’s a waste of the character to even consider this property being watered down to a PG-13 rating. Much criticism has been laid at star Nicolas Cage’s door, and while some of it is highly justified, he was simply miscast. For a guy that has wanted to be part of a superhero franchise since before they were cool, he should have chosen one more wisely. Considering this is a movie starring (arguably) Marvel’s darkest character, this film should have been really, really scary. As it is, the storyline is oversimplified and toned down in order to garner mass appeal.

          What we needed was an honest to goodness (or is that badness?) horror movie! The audience deserved a comic book adaptation that was true to the source material, not one where they took a property they didn’t understand and tried to make yet another super-heroic origin story instead. While it isn’t too fashionable to use the word “reboot” at times, this is one Marvel property that deserves to be given another chance, and done right, even if it’s as a Netflix horror show. Just don’t cast Nic Cage this time.

          But with family-friendly Marvel back in control of Ghost Rider, don’t expect a hard-R-rated adaptation anytime soon.


  77. but cage can pull a clooney do one for the audience one for him. Basically balance crappy lame popcorn films he does occasional with hard hitting dramas. Last year he did Joe and gave amazing performance. I notice wiht cage for every few bad films he makes he will make few good films in between


  78. He has National treasure 3 ,croods and this interesting cop drama called trust coming out. I think he has hit on the way with these


  79. Nicolas Cage Turned Down Lord of the Rings and The Matrix:

    Nicolas Cage nearly starred in both Lord of the Rings and The Matrix, but ultimately neither of them came to pass. Cage spoke with Newsweek and revealed that he was offered the role of Aragorn in the Tolkein trilogy and a role in The Matrix, but was unable to take the roles.

    When asked why he turned them down, Cage said, “There were different things going on in my life at the time that precluded me from being able to travel and be away from home for three years. And I do mean it. I get to enjoy the movies as an audience member, because I don’t watch my own movies.”

    He added that, “But the thing is about those movies, I can watch them. I can enjoy them as an audience member. I don’t really watch my own movies. And so I genuinely do have the joy of watching these—especially with Lord of the Rings.”

    He also noted that he doesn’t have regrets about turning down any roles. “I don’t really have any regrets,” he said. “I think regret is a waste of time. I try to always move forward as opposed to dwelling on the past or the movies that might have happened. There certainly were movies that I probably would have benefited from if circumstances in my life allowed me to make them.”


  80. Good Bad Flicks: Knowing (2009)

    A look into the 2009 thriller, Knowing.


  81. cage has interesting projects coming out. he will be ok


  82. Lebeu costner has an offbeat movie called criminal coming up about lead CIA operative’s memories, secrets and skills are implanted into a former death row inmate in hopes that he will complete the operative’s mission. Costner plays death row inmate. The premise sounds dumb but we have to see trailer. I bring it up in cage forum because cage turned a down . I think it might be a good sign in his career he rarely turns anything down especially offbeat random ridiculous roles but saying no to this and looking at his upcoming roles hes on right track,


  83. Funny nic cage spoof to him saying yes to everyone.


  84. I remember someone telling me that michael caine was the cage of 80s he made some good films but also made some off beat crappy ones too. He was mocked for it . These films where cheesy like some of nic.



    Spike Jonze and Charlie Kaufman’s Adaptation saw Nicolas Cage on top form. We celebrate a brilliant modern film.


  86. Nicolas Cage: 5 Awesome Performances And 5 That Sucked

    We were spoilt for choice, really. On both counts.


    • 12 Worst Casting Decisions In Marvel Movies

      Nicholas Cage – Johnny Blaze/Ghost Rider

      It feels kind of wrong (and possibly dangerous) to slander the Internet’s one true god of acting, but it needs to be said: Nicholas Cage was absolutely terrible as Johnny Blaze in both Ghost Rider movies.

      As undeniably talented as Cage is, whoever cast him as a daredevil stuntman who rides around on a flaming motorcycle as the personification of hell on wheels was either a monkey or the world’s biggest Nic Cage fan boy. Whereas Johnny Blaze is meant to be a young and brash anti-hero who can be badass one second and incredibly scary the next. What everyone got instead was two movies featuring a middle-aged man channeling his best Nic Cage impression. Aside from looking completely wrong for the role (and requiring a hairpiece and CGI abs), Cage took Johnny Blaze from being a dark and serious character to a weird and campy caricature who twitches excessively.

      It was sort of heartbreaking to put Nic Cage on this list as he is a self-proclaimed big fan of Ghost Rider and comic books in general, but there are just some things that aren’t meant to be and Nic Cage playing any comic-book superhero is just one of many.


  87. Cinematic Excrement: Left Behind (2014)



  88. Cage’s brief union with Lisa Marie Presley makes WatchMojo’s list of Top 10 Short Lived Celebrity Marriages


  89. Fanboy Flicks: Pay the Ghost (2015)


  90. 10 Rubbish Movies Directed By Great Actors

    Sonny (Nicolas Cage)

    Nicolas Cage has starred in some brilliant films – Con Air, Kick Ass, Face/Off and Bad Lieutenant to name just four. He may have slipped into straight-to-DVD roles in recent years, but there’s no denying his talent and he still occasionally comes out with a top new film (2014’s Joe was his latest great one).

    His directorial career never took off, though. He had one shot – 2002 James Franco flick Sonny, which focused on a former male prostitute returning from time in the army and attempting to make a new life for himself – and he blew it. Cage directed, produced and co-starred in Sonny, but couldn’t make it into a good film.

    L.A. Weekly were again a hard bunch to please, calling Cage’s directorial debut “preposterous and tedious” as well as claiming it inspired “unintentional laughter that, unfortunately, occurs too infrequently to make the film even a guilty pleasure.” Other critics called it clichéd, bogus, silly and “an instant candidate for worst movie of the year.”

    Cage hasn’t dared direct a movie since, instead becoming even more prolific as an actor. Who could blame him, after a bashing like that? It wouldn’t be a big surprise if he never bothered directing again.


  91. Cage would do so well in an Nolan or Quienten flick weird he was never cast int those


  92. Cgae should take 1 or 2 years off Lay low until he find a good script.


  93. He could at least balance Character driven indies with popcorn flicks like he used to. He has National treasure 3 and croods 2 coming up those look like hits. He does have oliver stone flick snowden coming up it could be a hit given cage last movie with oliver was a hit.,


  94. Too bad cage is talented. At best he could be a successful character like michael Caine did when his leading man career in 90s diminished. HE won oscar for cider house rules which was start of him being successful character actor.


  95. Cage turned this doewn costner said. Lets see if its box office hit cage is officially idiot. lol Ryan reyondls is in it with deadpool upcoming success that could help matters for movies


    • 10 Actors Who Stupidly Turned Down Iconic Roles

      Nic Cage – The Wrestler

      The Role: Randy “The Ram” Robinson

      Despite making some intelligent decisions in his career – okay, so they’re few and far between – like Adaptation and Kick-Ass, Nic Cage has largely made himself a terrible reputation to wear in the past ten or so years, and he shows no signs of stopping, churning out unwatchable action dross that completely ignores the indie appeal he managed to build earlier in his career.

      Had he followed through with his initial involvement with Darren Aronofsky’s The Wrestler, that might have been an awful lot different, since Cage was attached to the role of Randy The Ram before Mickey Rourke (who the role was actually written for) stepped in and made it his own.

      Cage bowed out of the project when he realised that there was no way he had the time to bulk up to the necessary size to play a steroid-using wrestler, missing out on the chance to relaunch his image the way Rourke did, and becoming the darling of the critics.


  96. What roles saved/ruined an actor’s/actresses’ careers?

    Well, before National Treasure, Nicolas Cage was considered to be a pretty good actor. He’d won an Oscar for Leaving Las Vegas, enjoyed a comfortable action hero star role in fun movies like The Rock and Con Air. He worked with Scorcese in Bringing Out the Dead and played a really great role as Charlie Kaufman in Adaptation.

    Then he makes National Treasure, which is a huge box office success, but critics didn’t think much of it. Suddenly he’s made the studio enough money that they let him do whatever he wants, and he’s pretty much set for life. Cue The Wicker Man, Ghost Rider, more National Treasure, and then the descent ends with him in movies like Season of the Witch, Left Behind, and the Croods.

    [–]AnalTyrant 17 points 10 months ago
    You also have to keep in mind that he got screwed over by his business manager several years ago, and lost a ton of money. That kind of forced him to start taking any role that came his way, in order to keep making money. That’s why he’s all over the place in the roles he takes, and the quality of the films he acts in.

    Every time I see a trailer for something he’s in I just think “what a shame that he’s been reduced to this.” Like you said, incredible talent in the 80’s, 90’s and early 00’s with some great memorable roles (Raising Arizona is probably one of my favorite comedies) but he’s just been forced to do garbage now, just to get by.


  97. Nicolas Cage on WatchMojo’s Top 10 Celebrity Nerds


  98. Hey, Nic Cage and I have something in common: we once both worked for our uncles. Though being in “Rumble Fish” probably beats Mr. Lustre Care Wash, as fun as it was!


  99. Welcome to the Basement: Left Behind (2014)


  100. Nicolas Cage. No really. So it’s 1994 and Guarding Tess was his latest movie. Parts of it were filmed in Baltimore, where I lived, and they did a screening pre-release at the theater close to harbor. We had just finished Ace Ventura: Pet Detective and we see Nick with a bodyguard leave the Tess screening early. He was ranting about the audience and how they had no taste.

    We both were heading for the exit, and this theater had a weird parking garage, where it let you into the lobby for the theater but you couldn’t leave through that same door. You had to enter the garage from an outside. So I see Mr. Cage pulling on the door, making the same mistake that two dozen people make every day despite a large sign on the door saying NOT AN EXIT. Cursing and bitching.

    So I walk over to say the garage entrance is a few feet away right out the theater exit, and he spins around from the door and walks right into me. He screams at me to get out of his way, the bodyguard picks me up by the shoulders and flings me against the wall. No apology just roughed up for trying to help.

    TL;DR Nick Cage is a dick and his bodyguard threw me against a wall.


    • I saw that, though Nic cage was saving Vince Neil from making the situation worse. I heard he grabbed a woman by the hair and threw her down; I honestly don’t know what the deal was.


  101. 15 Actors In Desperate Need Of A Box Office Hit


    We always knew that Nicolas Cage was a mad genius, but we had no idea just how insane he was. Left Behind? Stolen? Seeking Justice (With Guy Pierce?!)? Season of the Witch? These are the types of films we’d expect from someone like Steven Seagal, not the star of Leaving Las Vegas and The Weather Man!

    If there’s one thing we can say about Cage, its that he’s managed to avoid typecasting. He’s a chameleon who treats all of his roles with equal respect, throwing himself headfirst into every single film in which he stars. Whether he’s Jerry Bruckheimer’s muse in films like Con Air, The Rock, and National Treasure, or he’s punching out strangers whilst wearing a bear costume in The Wicker Man, Nic Cage is a tremendous actor, no matter what role he’s playing, or how obviously terrible the movie might be.

    But that’s the thing about a wildcard like Cage: one can never count him out. His noteworthy turn as Big Daddy in Kick-Ass reminded us that, no matter how bizarre his career choices may be, Nicolas Cage is still one of the greatest actors of our time. There’s surely a method to his madness, but he’s the only one who knows what it all really means.


  102. Criminal Opened to today to bad reviews. The one smart move cage did turn it down . Costner accepted it. LOl i guess one mans trahs another man treasure


  103. Nicolas Cage’s Latest ‘National Treasure’ Sequel Takes Place on the USS Indianapolis

    You might not know this, but basically everything he makes is a National Treasure sequel. Big news: Nicolas Cage has a new movie coming out, and judging by its first trailer, released today, it’s yet another installment in the National Treasure franchise. If you’re thinking to yourself, “Wait a second, there are only two National Treasure movies and a potential third movie has been the subject of intense back-and-forth speculation and planning for almost ten years, so much so that all the rumors have their own considerably robust Wikipedia page,” you would be right. In the nine years since National Treasure: Book of Secrets was released, Cage has made an astonishing twenty-four movies, which is a number so high it should honestly be illegal.


  104. Movie Nights: Vampire’s Kiss (1989)

    He’s a vampire he’s a vampire he’s a vampire!


  105. Nostalgia Critic Real Thoughts On: The Ghost Rider Movies

    Can Doug and Rob really decide which one is worse? It’s a tough call. Is it Ghost Rider or Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance?


    • Why Marvel won’t give Ghost Rider a movie

      Nic Cage isn’t interested in coming back

      Even if the stars somehow aligned and Marvel did decide to tackle a third Ghost Rider film with Cage, the actor has indicated he’s not really all that keen to climb back on the motorcycle, given the chance. As he told Collider, “I’ve said what I have to say. I don’t want to say never…anything’s possible. But I doubt, highly, that I would be in a third installment of that.” It doesn’t get much more cut and dried than that. Cage certainly sounds like he’s done with the franchise at this point, and you’d imagine many Ghost Rider fans (at least those who are fans of the comics) aren’t complaining.


    • The 10 Worst Casting Decisions in Superhero Movies

      Nicolas Cage: Johnny Blaze/Ghost Rider, Ghost Rider & Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance

      Nicolas Cage – Ghost Rider 2 Spirit of Vengeance

      This was one of those that probably seemed like a stroke of genius at the time to the studio big wigs. After all, Cage is noted for playing characters that are a little off the wall, and the idea of a motorcycle stuntman with a flaming skull for a head thanks to a demon riding shotgun in his meat-suit is a pretty wild concept to anybody who isn’t super familiar with comic books. The fatal flaw here however is that Cage is a totally different kind of “out there” than what a supernatural crime fighter calls for.

      Cage is at his best when he is playing morally ambiguous characters that clearly have some screws loose and have a tenuous at best relationship with normal human emotions. That doesn’t exactly describe Johnny Blaze. Despite being one of the ultimate supernatural heroes in the Marvel lineup, Blaze is also a very emotionally invested character. Now ask yourself, when was the last time that Cage sold an authentic emotion other than confusion?

      The Ghost Rider films were visually impressive, but emotionally hollow, and that falls solely on the often dead-eyed performance of Cage. It had all the hallmarks of a classic Cage overacting affair. Intensity where none was required, lack of intensity when it was required (a lot of this however was mitigated by the fact that in most of those scenes he had the benefit of an impressive CGI flaming skull over his face) and more awkward annunciations than you can shake a stick at.

      Why the first one warranted a sequel is still a mystery, but the Robbie Reyes version of the Ghost Rider on Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D has fared much better than Cage’s version, and there are plenty of rumors flying around that the Johnny Blaze version may ride again in his own Netflix series at some point in the future, so with any luck, this should be one that we can leave in the dust.


  106. It is funny lebeau people complain that some of their favorite actor never pick good films but when they make good films their so called fan avoid the film and it flopped. When cage makes quality flicks like bringing out dead ,matchstick men,weather man and bad lieutant those movies flop. Then when he makes films people deem bad like national treature ghost rider gone in 60 seconds knowing , the rock and con air those films make a lot of money yet people still criticize him for those roles. In a way it is catch 22 people complain their favourite actor never make quality films but when they do people do not see them. So in a way their is not pleasing movie audience.


  107. Nicolas Cage and Wife Alice Kim Separate After 11 Years of Marriage

    Nicolas Cage and wife Alice Kim have decided to part ways.

    The actor’s rep confirmed to E! News that the couple, who have been married for 11 years, separated back in January. The pair have a 10-year-old son together, Kal-el Coppola Cage.

    Cage and Kim’s whirlwind romance was one for the books. The movie star met Kim when she was a waitress at Los Angeles restaurant Kabuki back in February 2004, and ended up putting a ring on her finger two months later! The couple tied the knot at a ranch in northern California in July of that year.

    A few years back, Cage explained that his seemingly sporadic decision to wed Kim, who is 20 years his junior, was so she could travel with him to South Africa while he shot the 2005 film Lord of War.

    “You can connect the dots; And we did it because we loved each other,” he told The Guardian.

    “I made a very clear decision to marry out of my own zip code,” he said. “I mean, way out of my own zip code. I married into another culture, and it’s interesting because in Korea they call me the Son-in-Law.”

    This was Cage’s third marriage. The 52-year-old was previously married to actress Patricia Arquette from 1995 to 2001, and then briefly wed Lisa Marie Presley for roughly four months in 2002, however their divorce wasn’t finalized until 2004. Cage also has a 25-year-old son, Weston, from a former relationship with model Christina Fulton.

    People was first to report the story.


  108. 15 Actors Who Desperately Need A Hit

    Nicolas Cage

    Google “wasted potential” and you’ll probably find a gallery of Nicolas Cage images. Despite winning an Oscar and having a wealth of box office smashes behind him, Cage is mostly in the straight-to-video doldrums these days, churning out weirdly expensive thrillers that largely don’t seem to recoup their cost.

    His only big theatrical hits from the last five years are animated film The Croods (which wasn’t sold on him showing up) and Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance…which was terrible enough that it pretty much killed the franchise regardless.

    Quite why a third National Treasure film hasn’t materialized yet, considering that the first two grossed over $800 million combined, is truly baffling. Nevertheless, Cage is far too talented to continue wasting his skills on bargain bin garbage, so hopefully he’ll bounce back over the next few years.


  109. joanne joplin

    Practical writing – Incidentally , people have been needing a a form , I encountered a template document here


  110. 15 Craziest Nicolas Cage Performances Of All Time

    Nicolas Cage has put in some strange performances of the years, so let’s take a look at some of the weirdest, craziest decisions he’s ever made.


  111. nic cage cage career is similar to michael ciane. both actors balance oscar winning films with ridiculous films that became iconic flop. Both actors name became associated with bad films . Nic could make a comeback like caine did b y taking supporting roles in top notch films


    • In life, it’s usually said about someone what they can’t ____ themselves out of a paper bag. Well, in Nic Cage’s case, he can act his way out of a paper bag rather easily. It just depends if he’s still taking paychecks to recoup his finances. We know he’s capable of weightier roles, it just depends on if and when that happens.


  112. nic can balance pay check role and popcorn flicks. but you can agree the similarit between his career and michael caine


    • Oh, I agree with you, but the thing is I think Caine took hack projects because he was uninspired and it paid well (I can’t argue with someone wanting to get paid anyway), whereas Nic Cage kinda has to. I mean, after that Jaws 4 nonsense, Caine went and did “Dirty Rotten Scoundrels”, which I think is a pretty cool film (Hey, I actually like 1986’s box office & critical bomb “Half Moon Street” too, even though it misses the mark, but I don’t think as badly as it was reported).
      Sure, Nic Cage could balance out his current filmography,, but who knows if he will, since a lot of his choices are on the edge, since he’s kind of on the edge to begin with (which probably lead to his money troubles). Well, some people are on the edge, and they like it there, I guess.


  113. caine grew up poor so that explains tkaing big pay checks he can. cage has always preferred off beat roles anyways .crorods 2 is coming out next year so that give him chance to attach his name to a hit


    • I mentioned “Half Moon Street” in my earlier message, but I forgot that Caine was in 5 films that were released in 1986 (which included a supporting oscar win for “Hanna and her Sisters” and a film I find interesting, “Mona Lisa”, which also starred Bob Hoskins & Cathy Tyson, and directed by Neil Jordan).


  114. I am sure caine was given a lot of flack for his choice of roles in heyday like cag e


    • Roger Ebert mentioned that Caine was in some of the worst films of the last 20 years in his 1986 review of “Half Moon Street” (which he gave 3 stars to; another great review by Ebert), but also said that he remained untouched by it due to his unshakable self-confidence and quiet good humor (yeah, that sounds about right).


  115. Caine has a hit film for every decade. I would say he had more hits then cage. caine is not afraid to joke about his flops. before cider house rules caine career was in the dumps though. After winning his 1st oscar cider house his first hit in 13 years


  116. had this site has been made in early 90s I am sure ciane would had a blog for him


  117. Nicolas Cage – A brief look at his career and the three upcoming films ‘In Army of One’, ‘Men of Courage’, and ‘Dog Eat Dog’


  118. Good Bad Flicks: Drive Angry (2011)


  119. 10 Actors Who Suffered The Most In 2016

    Nicolas Cage

    Nic Cage should be due for a comeback any day now, but 2016 did remarkably little to further that cause. He was in five (?!) in 2016 alone, four of which went straight to DVD. The only theatrical release – Snowden – was one of the year’s biggest bombs, and he only had a couple of scenes in it.

    Indianapolis: Men Of Courage somehow cost $40 million to produce, and earned less than a million back, in addition to a whole lot of terrible reviews. He made two crime movies, one called The Trust with Elijah Wood and the other being Dog Eat Dog with Willem Dafoe. Both movies actually got a few decent notices, but they didn’t cause Cage’s agent to get flooded with offers either.

    Finally, there was Army Of One, a true-life comedy where he plays a man who tried to track down Osama Bin Laden. It’s a movie where Russell Brand also appears as God, which should tell you all you need to know about the quality of the humor.


  120. Cage should take juicy supporting roles. a villian in superhero flick


  121. I came across this review of “The Wicker Man” that I cut out of The Buffalo News entertainment section back in the day, which was written by critic Jeff Simon, Here’s what Simon said:

    THE WICKER MAN. Nicolas Cage, Ellen Burstyn, and Leelee Sobieski in Neil LaBute’s remake of near-classic cult horror thriller about neo-pagans on an isolated island. “A creepy anddisturbing thriller that falls apart at exactly the point where the original is so strong- a finale whose apocalyptic imagery burns in your brain. In this one, it just snaps, crackles, pop and sputters. LaBute changed the isolated community to a goddess-worshipping matriarchy which caused all sorts of misgivings but he’s more a misanthrope than a misogynist. It may be a failure as a remake but it’s an honorable one, with Cage doing some of the subtlest work of his life in the first half”. 97 minutes (Rated PG-13 for scares and intensity) **1/2 (Jeff Simon)

    I posted this because Simon gave it a respectable 2 1/2 stars, and actually thought it was pretty good till the end. I GUESS Nic Cage was subtle in the beginning of the film here, but all I know is that later he wasn’t just off the chain, he ripped the post that was attached to the chain right off.


  122. Nicolas Cage is wondering whether the role of Ronald Reagan would damage his career


  123. tv might be a good fit for cage. a criminal mind like show.i could see himplaying a detective. or even a cable sitcom similar to episode mocking his real life persona


  124. he got a razie nom his career is sinking even stallone is oding better then him


  125. Dear movie bad guys: Please stop robbing banks near Nicolas Cage


  126. 2016: The Year in Cage

    We’re already almost a full month into 2017, and as we get dragged kicking and screaming into the future, there are probably a lot of people who don’t want to look back on 2016. It’s understandable. A lot of talented, influential people died last year, we got a trailer for a Cloverfield movie that turned out to not be a Cloverfield movie at all, and then there’s that whole current state of America thing. But, in all that mess, there were a lot of things people missed. Unemployment dropped to its lowest rate since Bush, and Nicolas Cage starred in his highest number of movies in one year since 2011. Unleashed upon us were two idiosyncratic crime stories, two historical biopics, and one, well, Army of One.


    • Off the topic of film for a second, I just think unemployment (or as a friend calls it, unenjoyment) numbers are a little sketchy, due to people losing their benefits or being off the grid. I guess things are better, but numbers can lie.


  127. PICTURED: Nicolas Cage’s son Weston, 26, arrested for DUI after crashing car into tree following police chase


  128. It’s Cage versus Travolta in the sublime overacting Olympics of Face/Off


  129. Top 5 Best Nicolas Cage Performances


  130. Top 5 Worst Nicolas Cage Performances


    • doggledispenser

      15 Terrible Actors That Played Iconic Superheroes


      Of all the people on this list, Nic Cage is the only one we could potentially put on both the worst and best actors to portray a superhero. He’s been fantastic in several films and won an Oscar for the always great Leaving Las Vegas, but he’s perhaps one of the most inconsistent performers going, as he’s been genuinely terrible in other projects. He’s a complete enigma. It’s no wonder the issue caused Community‘s Abed to have a breakdown when he tried to get to the bottom of it all.

      One issue that most people agree on is that his portrayal of Johnny Blaze aka the flaming skull-headed biker Ghost Rider belongs at the garbage end of the acting spectrum. Cage is a massive fan of comic books, even taking his stage surname from Harlem’s own Hero for Hire, but he just isn’t a good fit for the character. He both over and underacts, and it’s difficult to get any kind of sense of who Blaze is meant to be. The problems are compounded in the 2011 sequel Spirit of Vengeance, in which the directing team of Neveldine/Taylor doubled down on Cage’s more unhinged side, resulting in a film that was aggressively bad and considerably worse than the first outing. Luckily, the Robbie Reyes version of the character seen in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. has been met with a warmer critical reception.


  131. THE GOSSIP LIFE 05/23

    This legendary actor is in dangerous fiscal waters according to our source. His income has fallen to well below 7 figures and for an actor that once achieved 8 that is a big culture shock. ‘He’s grabbing every offer and venture offered to him with both fists,’ spills the source. ‘It’s a good time to be a salesman in the market of past-their-peak thespians.’ Who is our poverty-stricken actor? Nicolas Cage


  132. Con Air turned Nicolas Cage into the gonzo action star we never saw coming

    Cage is such a charismatic actor that he likely could’ve continued alternating between wonderfully stupid popcorn fare and genuinely great dramatic fare for the rest of his career, with an intact reputation for both. It’s what he did for most of the next 10 to 15 years: Here a Gone In 60 Seconds, there an Adaptation. But the dumb action gradually took center stage; by 2009, his terrific oddball work in a film like Bad Lieutenant: Port Of Call New Orleans already felt like the exception, not the rule. Some of this career downturn, we now know, is the result of economic necessity: Cage lost a lot of money in really dumb ways, and began taking as many gigs as possible to try to dig himself out of the hole. (This isn’t the same thing as claiming he’ll say yes to anything offered him, a gibe at which he takes great umbrage.) It’s resulted in a steady stream of subpar films (seven in 2017 alone!) from the actor, who sometimes can’t even be roused to deliver a reliably compelling performance. Still, for every interchangeable Stolen or Rage, there’s a Joe or a Kick-Ass to remind you he still has the ability to entrance in both realms.


  133. 10 Actors Who Really Need To Fire Their Agent

    Nicolas Cage

    Nicolas Cage has descended so far into self-parody these days that he is arguably more meme than man. Once lauded as one of the finest acting talents of his generation, that reputation has long been buried under a constant stream of cinematic garbage.

    On his day, the 53 year-old is still capable of reminding audiences of his natural gifts with a great performance, it just happens on an increasingly rare basis given his penchant for OTT histrionics instead.

    Taking every offer that comes his way after financial troubles reduced his net worth to ‘only’ $25m, the Nouveau Shamanic thespian has seven movies set for release this year alone, and is a regular staple of straight-to-video actioners. The likes of Bad Lieutenant and Joe have proven Cage can still deliver a fantastic turn when the occasion calls for it, he just needs to learn to say ‘no’ every now and again and stop coasting on autopilot before he completely tarnishes his legacy forever.


    • 10 Worst Performances In 2017 Movies (So Far)

      Nicolas Cage – Arsenal

      If you enjoy Nicolas Cage’s over-the-top, eccentric shtick, then Arsenal is the cinematic equivalent of an adrenaline-pumping skydive.

      However, if you’re desperate to see the actor regain a piece of that soul that made his performances in Adaptation, Kick-Ass, and Leaving Las Vegas so special, you’ll be sorely disappointed.

      Cage is in full-on ‘Internet Meme’ mode here. With his ’80s porn-star mustache, terrible wig, and whatever the hell that nose is supposed to be, he’s overacting his socks off, but the hilarity of the performance will not distract you from the fact that this is Cage at his laziest.

      He’s relying on his patented lunacy to get the job done, and he looks absolutely ridiculous while doing it. He speaks in an unintelligible, monotonous tone – like he’s just rolled out of bed and landed on set – which was clearly an attempt to give his character some added quirkiness, but that’s all the character has. It grows tiring, quickly.

      If you’ve seen The Wicker Man, Bad Lieutenant, or even Face/Off then you know what you’re getting here. Expect scenes from Arsenal to be added to all those ‘Crazy Nic Cage’ compilations on YouTube, if they haven’t already. Ten years ago this may have been an entertaining performance, but today, Cage’s crazy antics have long outstayed their welcome.


    • 14 Actors Who Desperately Need A Hit Movie

      Nicolas Cage

      Nicolas Cage has had one of the most fascinating careers of just about any actor. In the 1990s Cage was a force to be reckoned with, scoring hit after hit at the box office and even winning a Best Actor Oscar, but over the last decade his favor with audiences and critics alike has taken a colossal nosedive.

      Cage appears in more forgettable straight-to-video thrillers than theatrical releases these days, and so his last starring live-action role to actually make a box office dent was 2012’s Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance.

      Cage has an impressive six movies due for release over the next year, but not one of them seems likely to get an actual theatrical bow, so his depressing streak of duds seems destined to continue for the considerable future.



      Nicolas Cage

      Nicolas Cage’s CV pre-2003 speaks for itself, listing the Oscar-winning Leaving Las Vegas and and the Academy Award-nominated Adaptation among its highlights.

      The actor’s career since then as been more a story of Razzies than accolades, and part of the problem is how prolific Cage has been of late. In 2017 alone, he’s appeared in no fewer than eight movies, some of which are still in production.

      That’s pretty representative of how active he’s been in recent years, and when you’re making so many films, the occasional Bangkok Dangerous, Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance and National Treasure: Book of Secrets is inevitable.

      Cage’s obvious talent shone through in Moonstruck, Bringing Out the Dead and the aforementioned Adaptation, while more recent hits such as The Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans, Kick-Ass and The Croods are proof the actor is still capable of turning in a performance on occasion (even if it is only voice work).

      Although it’s clearly a challenge, Cage would do well to resist a paycheck every now and again in an attempt to strike a better quality-quantity balance in his recent output.


  134. Nicolas Cage Is the King of the Good Bad Movie

    He’s been in a ton of preposterous movies, wears the hell out of a wig, and is secretly a good actor: Nic Cage is the Good Bad Movie star we need


  135. A deep dive into ‘Face/Off’: the best, most absurd action film ever made

    You may have had some weird ideas. You may have entertained some strange notions. But for sheer balls-out absurdity, can even your most gleeful fantasy compete with the following?

    Obsessed with bringing terrorist Castor Troy (Nicolas Cage) to justice, FBI agent Sean Archer (John Travolta) tracks down Troy, who has boarded a plane in Los Angeles. After the plane crashes and Troy is severely injured, possibly dead, Archer undergoes surgery to remove his face and replace it with Troy’s. As Archer tries to use his disguise to elicit information about a bomb from Troy’s brother, Troy awakes from a coma and forces the doctor who performed the surgery to give him Archer’s face.

    That is the plot of the 1997 movie Face/Off. The film turned 20 this week. Let’s go.

    “Every studio in Hollywood was looking for the next Die Hard,” says Michael Colleary, who, along with Mike Werb, was the brains behind the baffling script. On the Independence Day weekend of 1990, five days after the second Die Hard came out, the two Mikes sat down and stroked their chins. The early 90s was an era of million-dollar spec sales, and the pair could smell the money. Inspired by the film White Heat, starring James Cagney, they imagined a plot in which their main character could survive a prison riot – an idea that mutated and evolved as the first draft took shape. This draft bore little resemblance to the insane film we know and love. Set around 100 years in the future, it was more out there but arguably made more sense by virtue of its futuristic premise: homeless people occupied a derelict Golden Gate Bridge, cars flew through the sky, and chimpanzees carried out all manual labour.


  136. Nostalgia Critic: The Sorcerer’s Apprentice (2010)


  137. The Misfit: Nicolas Cage Didn’t Fit Into The Brat Pack ’80s But Found Success Anyway


  138. Why Nicolas Cage doesn’t like the word “acting”: “I don’t act, I feel” #VarietyStudio presented by @ATT


  139. 18 Actors Who Had VERY Public Breakdowns


    Between the poor career decisions and out-of-context “freak out” YouTube clips, many people have forgotten what a uniquely daring and compelling actor he really is and have instead embraced him as a meme-generating human cartoon. Additionally, reports of stolen dinosaur skulls and dietary habits based on animals’ sex lives have done little to discourage that.

    However, not all crazy Nicolas Cage stories are so amusing, as evidenced by these two separate incidents in which the actor engaged in public behavior that suggests his Oscar-winning performance in Leaving Las Vegas was closer to his real self than we all imagined.

    The first incident occurred in December 2010 outside a nightclub in Bucharest during a break from filming of Ghost Rider: Spirit Of Vengeance; amateur video footage shows an angry Cage swearing at a man and two women and bizarrely boasting that he will “fucking die because of honor” as his bodyguards escort him back in his car.

    The second outbreak occurred on the 16th of April 2011 in New Orleans, where he was arrested on charges of domestic violence, disturbing the peace, and public drunkenness after an altercation with his wife. The charges were dropped three weeks later.


  140. 15 Famous Actors Who REALLY Aren’t Aging Well


    There was a time when Nicolas Cage was the biggest action movie star on the planet. Fromm 1996 through 1997, he starred in the holy trinity of Cage movies: The Rock, Con Air, and Face/Off. It’s a run that’s virtually unparalleled today and, Cameron Poe’s dodgy mullet in Con Air aside, it’s one that also saw Cage embracing his everyman status one of Hollywood’s few balding leading men.

    Something happened in the years that followed though. With Cage living an increasingly outlandish lifestyle that included purchasing dinosaur eggs and marrying Elvis’ daughter, it made sense that some absurd hairstyles would follow: it was clearly some sort of mid-life crisis. Overnight, Cage began sporting some rather luscious, long, jet-black locks out of keeping with what had come before. Did he get hair plugs? Possibly, though these days Cage has returned to something approaching his more rugged ’90s look, albeit with an entirely new hairline and far smoother face. Hmmm.


  141. When (or If) Did An Actor’s Career Tank?

    Cage had a fairly strong career up until 2005. Since then he has been in several decent films but this number is minimized by the number of bad films. Cage has been in financial trouble since 2009 due to owing back taxes and overspending. Lately, it seems like he’s been taking as many roles as he can for the paycheck.


    • The 10 Worst Movie Performances by Academy Award Winning Actors


      Nicolas Cage as Edward Malus (The Wicker Man)

      It is almost cheating to include Nicolas Cage in any list of terrible performances. With only a handful of good performances, a sizable amount of mediocre performances, and countless dreadful ones, Cage experienced a historical drop in terms of his popularity, going from an A-lister to box office poison.

      In yet another unnecessary reboot of a classic 1973 surreal horror, this 2006 film unintentionally became one of the greatest surreal comedies of the 21st century, solely thanks to the work of Academy Award winner, Nicolas Cage. Cage’s theatricality in The Wicker Man manages to make even the simplest of scenes beyond hysterical, with the famous “Not the Bees” scene rivalling even the likes of Tommy Wiseau.

      The uncomfortable sense of dread the old film achieved through the peculiarities of the island experienced through the main character’s eyes is replaced by peculiarities of the main character himself. The biggest mystery of the film is not the disappearance of the girl, but how Cage’s skill as an actor can fall so hard and so fast.

      With dozens of awful performances that can fill a complete list on its own, Cage’s performance in The Wicker Man manages to stand out from the bunch as uniquely horrendous.


  142. Nic Cage is lucky; my uncle is a phony jerk (ooh, a car wash).


  143. 17 Nicolas Cage Movies You Had No Idea Existed

    Thanks to the diligence of the Internal Revenue Service, Nicolas Cage has been the hardest-working actor in Hollywood over the past decade. Back in 2009, Cage was assessed with a gigantic tax bill, the result of famously extravagant purchases that included “the most haunted mansion in America,” two castles, and a Tarbosaurus skull (since returned to the government of Mongolia). Then he was hit with another, and another. By his own admission, Cage owed the U.S. government something close to $14 million.

    Since then, no script has been too bad for Cage to sign on to. In the past eight years, he’s appeared in a whopping 29 movies. If you’re a Cage fanatic, you treasure some of these films: You can recite every line from the Season of the Witch trailer, and you’ve reenacted the iguana scene from Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans more times than you can count. But there are countless more Nic Cage movies that never even attracted the internet’s derision. (One of them, the revenge drama Vengeance: A Love Story, just came out last week.) Some of them are good; most of them are bad. These are their stories.


  144. 12 Actors Who Did Career Worst Work In 2017

    Nicolas Cage (Inconceivable)

    Nicolas Cage has been imprisoned within the straight-to-VOD dungeon for quite some time now, but he may well have hit rock-bottom with this preposterous, Lifetime-esque thriller about a couple (Cage and Gina Gershon) trying for a baby, who find out that their surrogate mother (Nicky Whelan) is a boatload of crazy.

    Even ignoring how ridiculously tasteless it is to name a movie “Inconceivable” when one of the main characters can’t have children, this is a depressingly low-effort venture for Cage, who doesn’t freak out in a single scene (as his fans expect), and is just phoning his work in from start to finish.

    He’s also absent from huge chunks of the film and clearly just showed up for the bare minimum amount of time to be able to cash his paycheck. Cage has elevated many otherwise terrible films with his entertainingly eccentric performances, but here it really seems like he doesn’t care at all.


    • 20 Worst Movies Of 2017


      Sometimes it feels a little mean to keep taking shots at Nicholas Cage, but there’s legitimately never been an actor of his standing – and who has proved himself capable of great performances in the past – who so regularly slums it and seems to have adopted being bad as something of a gimmick.

      His latest addition to the bargain basement came this year in the shape of Arsenal, alongside John Cusack (who also has it in him to be both great and woeful). It’s cut from the same slab as Taken and all the other identikit familial vengeance movies and it’s really, really poor.

      It should really have just been straight-to-DVD, but the presence of Cusack and Cage gives it a sort of haunted relevance, and the fallacy of potential really doesn’t help it. If anything, it’s just distracting and makes promises nobody involved could possibly cash.


  145. 9 Famous Actors In Real Danger Of Becoming Irrelevant

    Nicolas Cage

    It wouldn’t be too harsh to say that the only reason Nicolas Cage remains a talking point in the movie industry is the sheer morbid curiosity that surrounds his descent into straight-to-video obscurity.

    An actor that once occupied the upper echelons of the Hollywood A-list as one of its most interesting actors and biggest box office draws now finds his career in a tailspin from which it may never recover. At one point able to command $20m paychecks and have his pick of the biggest studio projects available, Cage now finds himself signing on to everything that comes his way.

    By the end of 2018 the fallen superstar will have appeared in no less than twenty-four movies in five years, most of which don’t even get released in theaters. This is definitely a case of quantity over quality, because the vast majority of his recent efforts have been terrible.

    Still capable of rediscovering his old form in the right project, the 54 year-old now faces a pivotal point in his career. The human meme-generator still shows the occasional flash of his old brilliance, but not often enough and needs the right project to remind people of how great an actor he can be before its too late.

    Can’t we just get Quentin Tarantino to write something for him? Imagine that.


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