CAGE RAGE: Zandalee

Zan1Zandalee looked very much like a promising venture for Cage. Featuring one of the most insane Cage meltdowns and casting the man himself as a manic artist who acts on impulse and is, supposedly, really sexy. What ensued however was one of the worst things I have ever witnessed in my life.

The plot, if you can call it that, follows Zandalee (Erika Anderson) who is having marriage problems with her poet husband, Thierry (Judge Reinhold). Being such an emotional sol Thierry has deemed himself unfit to have sex with Zandalee anymore, this is explained through his ridiculously non-sensical and just plain boring dialogue. It actually beggars belief just how absolutely awful his dialogue is, its as if with every line he’s attempting to speak poetry but none of it sounds good nor has any meaning. After watching this film for ten minutes you learn that it’s actually impossible to pay any attention to any of the dialogue because its such utter drivel. So, anyway, Zandalee and Thierry are having their problems and then Cage turns up and Zandalee falls for him eventually leading to a sexual fling. After a couple encounters between the pair Thierry catches on to what’s going on between them and starts to go about dealing with the issue in a really bizarre way. There are ridiculous scenes in which he talks in his strange anti-poetry and explains that he should be angry with someone for sleeping with his wife but is actually grateful that he’s satisfying her in a way that he can’t. When things draw to a climax the three of them go on a trip away with a speed boat and things kick off in what is possibly the lamest resolution ever written. After this Cage has his meltdown, in which he covers himself in black paint.

As great as the meltdown is this makes up for five minutes of an hour and forty of completely awful shit. This may well be the worst film I’ve ever seen, perhaps, even worse than Stolen and not even a Cage meltdown can save this, its a wonder anyone involved in this movie went on to have a career in the business.

CAGE RAGE RATING – 4/5 (begrudgingly)

CAGE RAGE: Wild at Heart

wild-at-heartFollowing Raising Arizona, Wild at Heart is only the second film on Cage’s filmography that I’d seen before starting this project so going in for a second viewing I knew what I was going to be facing. And simply I couldn’t wait to get back into David Lynch’s Bonnie and Clyde-like road movie. Wild at Heart follows Sailor (Cage) a convicted killed who brutally beats a man to death in the opening scene after having a knife pulled on him and his girl, Lula (Laura Dern). After serving his sentence Lula comes rushing back to him against her mothers demands and the pair of love birds go on a wild escapade across the vast plains of America in what seems to be a particularly strange, Lynchian interpretation of our modern day world.

This film is one of the reasons why I love Lynch so much, its packed to the brim with his unique, stylish, yet awkward and uncomfortable hyper-realistic style. Wild at Heart has a more understandable plot than other Lynch films but that’s not to say its normal by any stretch. There are a number of scenes that don’t seem to have any bearing on the actual storyline, and lots of cryptic lines and shots that are difficult to read and understand. Out of these cryptic tendencies comes one of the films most intriguing themes, the constant reference to The Wizard of Oz, of course, this is partly a nod to one of cinema’s greatest achievements but it’s also an acute and incredibly well thought-out metaphor for what’s going on with these bizarre central characters. As they spiral out of control in a burst of sex, violence and crime it’s as if they’re trapped in this strange new world with larger than life characters. As the film goes on the references become more explicit to the point where Lula even taps her red heels together three times and wishes to go home. There is no escape for her though and she is trapped in this chaotic and haunting place, stuck in a particularly unusual relationship with Sailor. Before going into Cage’s performance it’s important to mention just how brilliant Willem Dafoe is in this movie as Bobby Peru, a slimy wheeler dealer who isn’t introduced till late in the proceedings. He has a habit of saying particularly disturbing stuff before laughing it all off as a joke, but his yellow-stubby braced teeth and crazed eyes show us a bubbling insanity and a dark core at the centre of another strange metaphorical character in Lynch’s vision. Cage is simply exceptional in this film, too. He is perfect casting for Lynch’s over-the-top and almost cartoony world. Every move cage makes, every line and every action is just a bit more hammy than you’d expect and it really gives Wild at Heart it’s all-important mood.

In terms of Cage Rage rating this film has to get top marks, with a scene of hideous violence at the hands of Cage to kick things off the insanity doesn’t let up throughout. While this may not be Lynch at his absolute finest Cage is a perfect match for the director and it’s a real shame the two haven’t worked together since. A great watch and the second 5/5 rating.

CAGE RAGE RATING – 5/5

 

CAGE RAGE: Wings of the Apache

tumblr_lexlhmBqx81qz4vbaWings of the Apache is perhaps one of the most dreaded films on the Cage list, with a score of 4.5 on iMDB and the most bland set up for a film you could imagine. Basically the government has offered its services to other countries that need help in the war on drugs, Cage who is training as an Apache pilot is considered one of the best potential fliers in the business and is set to work to learn to fly the Apache and take down an evil drug baron who also flies a fighter helicopter. Cage stars alongside Tommy Lee Jones.

Also known as Fire Birds this Cage outing is a copy cat affair. Following in the footsteps of Top Gun and blatantly attempting to recreate pretty much everything in that movie this film is devoid of any kind of originality. The script is one of the most dire things you could possibly imagine and the majority of it is taken over by a hideous cliched romance btween cage and the only other woman in the Apache school. It becomes apparent that the pair have some previous but that Cage is not going to take no for answer so for many of the scenes in the mid-point he simply reels off hideous chat up lines and innuendos in an attempt to woo her. It’s pretty creepy really until there’s one scene were suddenly he just wins her over with no real explanation. The only other major plot point is to do with Cage having a dominant left eye which means he has trouble guiding the helicopters as you can only view through your right with the aid of an eye piece. However this issue which for much of the film appears to threaten his chances of ever getting to fly for real, is solved in one five minute exercise that involves Cage driving a Jeep with a pair of pants on his head. And that’s not even a joke. Tommy Lee Jones is distinctly average with some dreadful dialogue that he proceeds to just spit out in his monotone voice. Despite all this horror when it comes down to the final action sequence I found that actually hadn’t hated the film at all. It had been awful but there was something really fun about it. Objectively awful but subjectively actually not bad.

Cage is pretty average throughout with a couple of odd moments of shimmering madness and some bubblegum popping cheese that make this an enjoyable if not exceptional performance.

CAGE RAGE RATING – 3/5

 

CAGE RAGE: Tempo di Uccidere (Time to Kill)

tempo_di_uccidere_nicolas_cage_giuliano_montaldo_010_jpg_ybpjWhile looking through Nicolas Cage’s filmography Italian movie Tempo di Uccidere or Time to Kill in English is a particularly out of place entry. One that I had no idea what to expect from, does Cage speak Italian? Why is he in this movie? Why does this movie exist? All of these questions were not answered by watching the film.

First of all Cage is dubbed throughout with an Italian voice that you never get used to at all. On top of this the copy that we watched had some incredibly badly translated subtitles which often made no sense at all. While this obviously didn’t help us understand what was happening in the film I fear that even had the subtitles been okay we still would have come away thinking what the hell did we just watch. The plot, from what I gathered, follows Cage’s character, an Italian soldier whose been sent on his own to find a specific place (not a clue what this place actually is) however he gets slightly lost on the way and finds a naked African lady who he decides to rape. But after raping her she somehow falls for him and they have a weird cave romance, then there are some nasty creatures that appear in the night that Cage tries to shoot but the bullet ricochets and kills his new love. After this things get much harder to understand but with the aide of iMDB Cage believes that he catches leprosy and the rest of the movie is just a bizarre mess of things that I made no sense whatsoever. Needless to say this is really one-star fodder.

As far as cage goes it would be impossible to give this film a decent Rage rating because Cage’s all important voice is not used. However he does get a bit angry a couple of times so he manages to save the film from the lowest possible rating. Still if I were you I’d steer clear of this movie.

CAGE RAGE RATING – 2/5

 

CAGE RAGE: Vampire’s Kiss

vampire9After the major disappointment of Moonstruck hopes were high for this next Cage entry, the movie that contains some of the best clips included in the YouTube video that inspired this very project. Vampire’s Kiss tells the story of a lonely man with some mental health problems who starts to imagine he’s been bitten by a vampire and that he’s therefore turning into one himself.

The film is as bizarre as its plot sounds, perhaps even more so. It’s never clear what director Robert Bierman is ever trying to do. The tone changes drastically almost every scene. One second it’s comedy the next horror the next it’s trying to be an intelligent psychological drama. Needless to say it fails to be any of those but is instead just a mismatched mess of nonsensical stuff. That said Vampire’s Kiss is Cage’s purest platform yet to do exactly what he does best and really lose his shit. His performance is one of the most demented things I’ve ever seen. He’s so ridiculously over-the-top you’ll have fun trying figure out what the hell he was thinking, or anyone involved in this movie for that matter. The pacing’s completely off we’re never given any background to Cage’s character, he starts as a bit of nut-job ends as a complete and utter fruit cake and is seemingly driven to it because his work assistant lost an important document.

Vampire’s Kiss may well be one of the worst films ever made but Cage’s performance is complete genius and for that reason this is one of the funniest films I’ve ever watched. This is the reason why Cage Rage exists and it reminds you why this project was a great idea. BEHOLD….

CAGE RAGE RATING – 5/5!!!!

 

CAGE RAGE: Moonstruck

589568-moonstruck_sr_jpg_627x325_crop_upscale_q85So after the highs of Raising Arizona it was time for Cage to prove his rom-com ability again in the case of Moonstruck. Where he stars alongside Cher. The film tells the story of Cher gets engaged to marry a man who has an ongoing beef with his brother, when she goes to see his brother in an attempt to patch the relationship up she is greeted by a bitterly angry Cage who blames his brother for all his issues in life. However, as the film goes on Cher starts to fall for Cage, as I’m sure anyone would would.

Moonstruck has a good iMDB rating and has generally good reviews from all the critics which led us to think this may actually be a decent film. We could not have been more wrong. This really was one of the worst. In a film which is meant to be a comedy drama the laughs come unintentionally from the drama and the comedy leaves you wondering who in the world thought it’d be funny. This is obviously a film that took the majority of its inspiration from Woody Allen and it tries to perform a similar kind of light romantic humour with realistic character arcs and snappy dialogue. It fails on all counts, every other scene needs to be cut and the only watch-able moments come when Cage is around, which really is not enough. For a male lead in a movie his screen time is stupidly minimal. That said his performance is a fun one. Within five minutes of meeting Cher he’s lost his cool about what happened between him and his brother and a hilarious outburst ensues. Then as the couple get to know each other there is a really bizarre scene where Cher literally tells exactly who Cage’s character is in psychoanalytic terms, in film one of the golden rules is to show not tell and this is completely ignored here, we are told everything we need to know about his character within a couple of minutes and from then on the movie becomes more and more unbearable, not to mention the absolutely dreadful ending.

While I may not recommend the film, Moonstruck does provide us with some great Cage scenes and he does lose his cool a bit. However he doesn’t get enough screen time for this to really be classed as a great Cage movie hence…

CAGE RAGE RATING – 3/5