Published on March 4th, 2019 | by Kim Kurtenbach0
Addicted to Nicolas Cage
We feel like it’s time to seek professional help for poor Kim, who seems to have some sort of horrible, life-threatening addiction to Nicolas Cage.
Maybe you already know this about me, but I really like Nicolas Cage. Maybe you know this because you think, so what? Everybody loves Nic Cage. Some of us readily admit it while the weak or easily embarrassed do not; but everybody loves Nic Cage. What surprises me is that on Monday of last week, I found out that I’m actually addicted to his career.
I have begun to consume his work like an alcoholic with his vodka or a junkie with a hole in his arm. Sometimes the movies are good, sometimes they are terrible, but I keep going back for more, willing to watch Next in the hopes that it will be Bringing Out the Dead. I watch Nic Cage movies on the weekends, with my wife, with friends, and even late at night even if I have to work the next day. It doesn’t matter how I act, if I get angry when someone doesn’t want to watch Vengeance: A Love Story with me or who I hurt by suggesting we watch National Treasure 2. It’s to the point now that if I like him in the movie, the movie itself is of little issue. And when I’m watching a movie he’s not in that I like, I think about how it could be better with him in it. I can’t say that about a lot of actors.
I know you know what I mean. You have a favourite Nic Cage movie. Maybe it’s Face/Off or The Rock or Raising Arizona. That’s cool…that’s cool. But you’re basically bragging that you’ve tried beer and pot. I want to ask you about the hard stuff. Honeymoon in Vegas is nothing more than a gateway drug. Have you watched Knowing or Snake Eyes? Are you willing to go to that part of town, late at night in an alley and watch Left Behind or walk out into the desert and puke your guts out ‘til you see God while watching Dying of the Light? I didn’t think so. But you should. It’s a beautiful madness.
Nicolas Cage isn’t just an Oscar winner, he is a legendary real estate purchaser who once owned what many consider to be the most haunted house in America. He loves cars, and once owned Eleanor, the 1967 Shelby GT500 from Gone in 60 Seconds. He got Johnny Depp his first acting job, married Elvis’ daughter, spent a night in Dracula’s castle, got paid $20M a movie, bought a stolen T-Rex skull by accident, has his face on the package of a Japanese corn snack, maintained a close relationship with Johnny Ramone, did mushrooms with his cat (yes, as in they both did them), bought a 9-foot pyramid to be buried in, and once had a pet octopus to, “help him with his acting.” His uncle is one of Hollywood’s greatest directors, and also had bunch of weird stuff happened to him too.
In recent years, it’s been ubiquitous to slag or undervalue Nicolas Cage. They say he went broke, lost all his credibility making terrible movies and even worse financial decisions. He moved from being one of the biggest names in Hollywood, to making movies that were hardly embraced by the audience or praised by critics. But, he made a lot of them. Like a Kevin Bacon amount. As I work my way through his hundred-ish movies from the past 35 years, I can clearly see the wild range of risk and experimentation. What balls! Some turned out and some did not, but Cage just kept making his art, his way. And no matter how bad a movie was, Cage never destroyed a franchise or sacred character.
I presume that the audience frustration with his perceived career stability is that he bought two islands, thirty motorcycles and fifty supercars, blowing it all by acting as crazy in his personal life as some of his on-screen characters. But Cage himself is a supercar. Supercars are meant to be driven stupid fast, and doing so can lead to horrible crashes, but isn’t that really why people go to the Formula One races? To see the incredible crashes? With time and experience, Cage has become a skilled driver, weaving his way through conventional Hollywood while appearing to have an illegal amount of fun doing it. He finally seems to have mastered control of the ability to lose it on screen for cathartic necessity, and keep it together in his life for security. But incredible crashes? Yes. He has had many.
There are so many good Cage movies that are fun to talk about, guilty pleasures and unknowns in that savage resume of his. Of all the roles he took or didn’t take, here’s the most alluring divide: Nicolas Cage as the Man of Steel in Tim Burton’s Superman. About half of us think this would have been a great idea, and about half of us are thankful this never happened. I recall the same things being said prior to Batman (1989); it was a risk to cast Michael Keaton as the Caped Crusader.
If you’ve read this far, by now you’ve thought of one Cage movie that you love, one you hate, one you now want to see and one you refuse to watch. I’m curious which ones and why. Probably because my drink of choice these days is Nicolas Cage, and although I should probably attend the equivalence of an AA Meeting to seek help, I donwanna. I wanna go to a bar and order round after round with other Nic Cage minded people. So, what should I order next? If you can help me get this thread going – really going – maybe Nic will come to Regina. He’ll pick me up at the pub some night at 2 AM, drive me around in his Rolls Royce Phantom while quietly humming his favourite Elvis songs until I pass out in a total bliss. That would just be a normal day for him, and that’s the Nicolas Cage we all know and love.