After a lengthy summer break Cage Rage is now back in action. To kick things back off it was the turn of another Francis Ford Coppola movie, this time a time-travelling romantic comedy starring Kathleen Turner with Cage as her major love interest. And as you may have noticed in the picture above, Jim Carrey also makes an early appearance. The story begins with Peggy Sue and Charlie (Turner and Cage) on the brink of divorce but when Peggy Sue wins the title of Prom Queen at a High School Reunion she feints and wakes up back in her senior year of high school where she is forced to re-evaluate her love life. The story does sound like a predictable, boring and unimaginative one but going in I thought we had every reason to be optimistic, with Coppola as director and and decent score on iMDB I thought this coould well be an enjoyable watch.
Unfortunately, though, it may be best to steer clear of this film altogether. One of the first things to mention about Peggy Sue Got Married is the fact that none of the characters look any different in their 40’s than they did at high school, and in fact even the characters that you only see in High School still look about 20 years too old to be there. The acting is just as jarring as this major filmic error, there is not a single point where any of the actors appear believable and this whole project just comes off as a bizarre attempt at romantic comedy as it goes along. Carrey pulls some of his usual schtick within his very limited screen time and Turner is hideously wooden as lead girl Peggy Sue but Cage gives us something different. This movie marks Cage’s strangest performance so far on his filmography, as he tries to pull off the image of a glossy tv presenter whose real passion lies in music, his greatest and maddest moments come in the scene pictured above where he sings the lead in a barber shop quartet. yes, you heard that right and yes, it is definitely worth YouTubing.
Peggy Sue Got Married is probably one of the most jarring movies I’ve ever sat through, but it has provided me with the first iteration of true Cage madness. His performance here is completely strange, over-the-top and downright hilarious. Hence it has provided us with a momentous occasion: the first ever 4/5 CAGE RAGE rating!
My latest stop on my Cage mission saw me stop by another Francis Ford Coppola movie with 1984’s The Cotton Club. It tells the story of he famous Harlem jazz club of the same name. Tying in with organised crime, politics and culture at a very interesting time in American history, all the while entertaining us with music and dancing.
The Cotton Club was one of the more enjoyable films I’ve watched so far for CAGE RAGE it’s well produced and has some great, tense scenes of action. However, ultimately I felt the film didn’t flow quite right. The story seemed disjointed and just as you though something good was about to happen you were shown another over-long scene of dancing that, although amazing, doesn’t progress the plot in any way and after you’ve seen a couple of these scenes they get a bit tedious and stop the film from flowing properly. Overall I found the film enjoyable but overly flawed and lacking in the bite that a number of similar films have. When it comes to Cage there wasn’t really enough of him for my liking, he did do some pretty cool stuff though he does go slightly crazy and he’s laying a mob member which you can’t really complain about.
There are a couple of good Cage bits, and some of his best scenes so far on my filmography tour but in the end there just wasn’t enough screen time to make The Cotton Club worthy of being the first 3/5 on the Rage scale. As a film it’s a worth a watch but don’t expect anything classic.
As CAGE RAGE continues the second step on my stairway to Cage heaven was Francis Ford Coppola’s Rumble Fish. A stylish black-and-white street gang movie. Cage only provides support here as the lead roles are taken by Matt Dillon and an unrecognisable, young Mickey Rourke. Dillon plays Rusty James a character who is misunderstood by both his older brother (The Motorcycle Boy, Rourke) and his father (Dennis Hopper). Rusty James lives constantly in the shadow of his elders, his brother is some kind of legend on the street, but whenever Rusty James tries to be like him it goes drastically wrong.
Shot entirely in black-and-white, until a few flashes of colour at the very end the best thing about this movie is how it looks. There are a number of outstanding fight scenes where some of the shots will get any movie fan excited. The story’s an intriguing one as well and while the main idea of the plot is fairly run-of-the-mill the way events pan out is clever and gives the movie an unexpected emotional kick. The performance from Dillon is strong and leaves you wondering why he’s only really gone on to star in mediocre cinema, he’s both believable and sympathetic as the insecure little brother and you really feel for him when he is belittled by his older brother. Rourke is something special here too. As for Cage, though, there really is not quite enough of him, when he is there he’s great and he is involved in the odd fight scene but once the film reaches its mid-point he is more-or-less out of the story altogether, which is greatly disappointing.
As a film I found Rumble Fish an enjoyable watch, not without its flaws but artistically filmed and very well acted creating an emotional and gripping story with an empowering end. For CAGE RAGE it, sadly, doesn’t give us quite what we’re wanting, a great shame.