Friday, January 28, 2011

Rebel Fashion

Northern Africa and the Mideast are dealing with some serious shit right now. Tunisia's governmental collapse and subsequent turmoil in Egypt is scary. Scary. I don't wish to trivialize the upheaval and human suffering, but -with all deference- these protesters look AMAZING.

I stared at this photo for 10 minutes (Moise Saman- NY Times).  It's heartbreaking. But I'm Goddamned if this group of dissenters doesn't look beautiful... Do protesters in Egypt dress this well?


Is that an H&M hooded jacket? Purple tee (thanks Eugene) and hand-made balaclava? Fuck Yes. (Grace Kassab, AP)

This group of upstarts is so chic it's beyond words (Zohra Bensemra, Reuters). That keffiyeh is wicked cool. Hoods, ringed sweaters and black jackets are so fucking in right now.

Seriously; 80 million worldly, educated, principled people just lost access to Internet and cellular service in Egypt. They lost their voice. At minimum, pay attention:

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

The Nic Cage Song

Yes, in addition to watching St. Nic's movies, I will be collecting related ephemera, satire, mash-ups, odes, art and kitsch. Starting with the Nic Cage Song.

Thanks to Graham Linehan (@glinner) for the tip-off.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Season of the Witch

OK, yeah. You're reading a declared Nic Cage supporter. But "Season of the Witch,"  currently at 4% on Rotten Tomatoes, is not a 4% movie.

It's sins are obvious: fuzzy CGI, hammy acting, and bad dialogue, usually culminating in atrocious one liners.

But the movie is camp. It's supposed to be overacted and it's not supposed to be taken seriously. Yes, the wolves looked terrible, and the act v twist was incomprehensible, but the bridge scene felt genuinely thrilling and the landscapes were pretty. The makeup and costumes were solid. Nic's hair is good. And Ron Perlman's in it. What more do you want?

Some movies rated higher than "Season of the Witch" on Rotten Tomatoes:

"Gigli" - 7%
"Big Momma's House 2" - 6%
"Larry the Cable Guy: Health Inspector" - 5%

Oh, and "Bangkok Dangerous" - 9%

No fucking way was "Bangkok Dangerous" better than "Season of the Witch."

Season of the Witch - 2010
4/10 Nics


"Knowing" was a welcome follow-up to "Bangkok Dangerous." Not Cage's best, but a solid thriller. The philosophical scope of the picture was too high-minded, but it's a fun watch if you don't revisit plot holes.

"Knowing" has the best end-of-the-world visual effects I've ever seen, primarily because they approached the scene with simplicity. Cage is good in it, if a little understated. Following a crucial discovery, Nic's character is subject to an explosive surprise, that's filmed with an impressive long shot.

Knowing - 2009
6/10 Nics

Bangkok Dangerous

I fought a strong urge to fast forward through the final act of "Bangkok Dangerous." I'm willing to sacrifice substance for style - especially for an action movie - but BK has little of either.

I can't compare it to the original, Thai version, from the same directing duo, the Brothers Pang. Nic Cage plays a lifelong hit man who decides to call it quits after one last job. It's predictable, and maybe that's why the filmmakers make some bizarre choices. Cage's conscience is stirred by a romantic but sterile relationship with a Thai deaf-mute store clerk. She's remarkably adept at reading lips - in English - but the date scenes are strangely one sided.

As far as action - it's rote, quiet and boring. An gondola shootout/chase on a crowded river is the only scene that has any color, tension or originality. Cage's character possesses the superhuman traits of an action hero (never getting hit by the thousands of bullets fired at him), but none of the flourish that an exotic title like "Bangkok Dangerous" promises.

The end is a total head-scratcher. For an assassin who begins the film explaining how to be cold, calculating and inhuman, there's no explanation why his sudden conscience became so strong.

It wasn't a strong start for my year of Nic Cage. May "Bangkok Dangerous" make everything else look stellar by comparison.

Bangkok Dangerous - 2008
1/10 Nics

Saturday, January 8, 2011

2011 - The Season of the Nic

I've decided to take on my long-threatened Cage Match: a year of watching all of Nicolas Cage's credited titles. A point of contention in my household, my defense of Saint Nic has led to many fruitless arguments. I'm the first to admit he's been in some terrible movies, but he's amazing, right? That's the challenge - to endure the most loathsome titles in his ouevre.

But Cage has been in terrific movies too. It will be hard to top what's already my favorite movie of his: Adaptation is one of my favorite movies, apart from the Cage list.

Check in regualrly to learn about the best and worst of Cage's career. The must-sees and the avoid-at-all-costs. The mediocre might be the hardest to watch. lists 66 titles for Cage, including five in development or production, and one slated for release in February. There's a credit for his bit part in Rob Zombie's "Grindhouse" trailer and a few animated films he voiced. I'm putting the animated films on the bottom of my list, as I will consider it a minor ding on my record if I fail to see them.

The order is going to be haphazard, as I'll be choosing what to watch according to how I feel at the time and I don't want to get stuck with all the bombs at the end, or get hung up on titles I can't find. Anything out of print or arduously difficult to track down may have to be stricken from the record. Wish me luck!

I'm going to approach the challenge in order of preference.