Zchill in his natural habitat; animation.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Selling Out

Nicolas Cage is pretty good at acting. He's even better at selling out. I tried to defend him a few weeks ago, but that never really worked. I think his winning an Oscar was merely step one on the road to selling out. Why am I so harsh on him? Well, I saw The Weather Man recently and was kind of impressed again at his acting. Which happens, I really did like him in Leaving Las Vegas, and Adaptation was great in its own quirky way. But his career isn't defined by those handful of movies in which he acts: it's in the National Treasures and Ghost Riders... you know the movies he sells out in. Let's go...

What I liked: It wasn't a badly told story. But then again, it wasn't great. The director is kind of mired in mediocrity. Who directed this, you ask? Pirates of the Caribbean's Gore Verbinski. Yeah. I had fun with those movies for the most part, though I had to turn off large sections of my brain to do it. Johnny Depp is kind of the only reason to watch them. Right, tangent over! So, this movie was decently told about an awkward weather man! (That's crazy right? How can a weather man be awkward, they're so friendly!) Honestly, there wasn't a lot to like about this. It was a standard story with Nick Cage acting against type (by acting), just reminding us that he can act but he chooses not to act. This is like a big middle finger to moviegoers: "I'd rather sell out and name my first born son Kal-El!" Crazy.

What I didn't like: Well, the movie was riddled with product placements. This isn't really that big of a deal, as most of it is seen negatively, but the products are mentioned by name, repeatedly. Just when it seems like Nicholas Cage is actually going to act after being a squinting action star, he surprises no one by making sure the movie would get him paid. He has completely sold out, folks. When he turns 50 and is more gray and can no longer be an action hero anymore, maybe he'll try to regain some prestige. As it stands, this year's The Sorcerer's Apprentice (live action Fantasia spin-off? WTF?) was kind of a bomb. I guess we'll see.

Watch this if you like Michael Caine enough to see him in a supporting role. He's good in it, and this movie isn't terrible, it's just forgettable. Also, if you doubt that Nick Cage can act, but don't want to go back further than five years to prove it, this is for you.

Watch this instead: I don't know, this is like if Napoleon Dynamite were a drama. Also, this movie reminded me of Falling Down--which is weird, as I haven't even seen it. Really, there is no point to this movie. It's a bunch of things that happen to a decently likable guy. I've got it! Watch A Serious Man. It's directed by the Coen Brothers, so there is some talent behind the movie. It has the same themes and the same kind of non-story, but is presented in a much better context. Trust me. I knew I saw a movie that was similar to this, I just couldn't place it.

Okay, no one really impressed me in this movie.

Nick Cage: is not an action star.

Michael Caine: is Alfred in the Batman movies.

Product Placement: has appeared in a number of movies. Check out The Italian Job (remake), it's got a huge billboard of a drink that they no longer make. True story.

Bottom line: this is a ho-hum movie.

Also, I've been away for a bit as my interests have shifted and I'm more focused on school at the moment. But I've found a balance, and I like writing about movies, so I'm going to continue.

Because this is the internet I'm ending with a meme:


  1. Nick Cage is pretty good at selling out... not gonna lie. Glad you're back!

    Nick looks better with bird-hair... Just saying.

  2. I want to see the full length feature film of My Hair is a Bird: Your Argument is Invalid.

  3. I TOLD you that picture exists. What movie is that from, or is it just Photoshop?

  4. It's just photoshop. Until they make a live action movie based on the infamous picture. Also even though you TOLD me that you should know by now I don't pay attention to you.