December 27th is our annual day of totally irredeemable, tackle to the wind movie madness. As some of you know, every other year it’s the complete extended Lord of the Rings
. In the off years, we strive to come up with other challenges… AND WHAT COULD BE MORE CHALLENGING THAN SITTING THROUGH HOURS OF LATE NINETIES ACTION FILMS STARRING NICOLAS CAGE okay, I admit that there are more challenging things out there, but it’s a day off.
Film 1: Gone in Sixty Seconds (2000)
Actually, it takes a full 118min for this film to go, but on the way we get lots of cars (I’ve never really understood that), some women who like men who like cars (that one is also hazy), and a bit with a car jumping over lots of other cars in slow motion (which I totally get). As a bonus, there’s the pleasurable experience of a British character who isn’t posh or a cockney! But he is the baddie, so it’s still only half points. This film was a caprice, an aside, a handful of haribo, a mere limbering-up for the more serious Cage action which was to follow.
Best line: “They call him The Carpenter”
Film 2: The Rock (1996)
Ed Harris (+1), assisted by lots of disgruntled marines (+1), takes over Alcatraz island (+2). The only person who can disarm his rockets, which are now pointing at San Fransisco, is chemical weapons expert Nick Cage (+4). But how to get on to the island? ONLY WITH THE HELP OF FORMER PRISON INMATE SEAN CONNERY (+400bn). Directed by Michael Bay, produced by Jerry Bruckheimer, and with a score by Hans Zimmer, this is truly a monster.
Best Exchange: “Hey man, you just fucked up your Ferrari” “It’s not mine”
Film 3: Face/Off (1997)
Maybe it’s the third-movie slump, maybe it’s the rising nausea caused by the acres of snacks we’d been conveyor-belting inside ourselves, or maybe it’s the fact that John Woo is the worst mainstream director ever to have lived, but this film just didn’t stand up with the others. We were promised arch-nemeses John Travolta (goodie) and Nick Cage (baddie) swapping bodies for no good reason in order that they could have speedboat chases, threaten each other’s families, and run through loads of doves in slow motion while shit blew up. What actually happened, though, was that arch-nemeses John Travolta (goodie) and Nick Cage (baddie) swapped bodies for no good reason in order that they could have speedboat chases, threaten each other’s families, and run through loads of doves in slow motion while shit blew up. A disappointment.
Best Line: “I’d like to take his face………….. off”. This was such an easy choice I’m adding a new award category for this film, THUS:
Least interrogated psychological problem: Why does Travolta’s character keep doing that thing where he runs his hands slowly over the faces of people he likes? That’s really, really, really weird. Especially when his daughter does it at the end to the new brother which the family unquestioningly adopts with no warning or consultation EVERYONE IN THIS FILM NEEDS REALLY EXTREME THERAPY
Film 4: Con Air (1997)
The atmosphere was turgid after the final speedboat chase of Face/Off, but fortunately some respite was in store. Con Air is a film in which John Malkovitch and Nick Cage play two people who dislike each other. BUT ON A PLANE, where disliking is always so much more intense! To accompany them, we have: (a) Steve Buschemi as a creepy serial killer who escapes at the end and that’s portrayed as a good thing even though he killed like thirty people apparently, (b) John Cusack, who isn’t actually on the plane but he and Cage get on adjacent motorbikes in sync so that’s fine, (c) Colm “Chief Fucking O’Brien” Meaney as your traditional ‘character who doesn’t understand that you need to just let Nick Cage and John Cusack do everything if you’re in a film with them’, and most importantly, (d) Nick Cage’s SOUTHERN ACCENT – certain to sway ladies of any nationality. AM I RIGHT LADIES?
While the deafening silence following that last question reverberates around the room a bit, let me sign off by saying that although I cleaned my teeth for several hours to get all the bits of chocolate and popcorn out afterwards, no cleaning process will prove adequate for detarnishing my soul, which will be stained forever with memories of this dreadful day. It was fantastic. See you all next year!!!
Oh, I almost forgot:
Best Line: “Make a move and the bunny gets it”
More of Nick Cage’s classic moments!