There’s no denying that Nicolas Cage is something of an enigma. He’s arguably one of the best actors in Hollywood (there are arguments to be made for a lot of Cage’s acting choices, but that’s another article), and continuously relegates himself to starring roles in some of the – if not worst – most weirdly misguided projects possible. Many say it’s a result of Cage’s spending habits, which have landed him in deep trouble with the IRS on more than one occasion, but I don’t buy it.
In the next step of the bizarre and steadily busy acting career of Nicolas Cage, it was announced today that he would be joining Color Out Of Space, officially adding an H.P. Lovecraft story to his lengthy resume.
The story, which was first published by Lovecraft in a 1927 issue of Amazing Stories, and told the story of a meteorite that crashed to Earth and started poisoning the nearby area. Plant life grew large but tasted odd, animals developed abnormalities, and people were driven to insanity.
I have a shameful confession to make. I have not seen The Expendables 1 or 2. It’s unforgivable, I know. As much as I love ’80s actions movies and the stars in them, I just haven’t gotten around to seeing either film. More accurately, I haven’t gotten around to seeing the first one, and my nerd-completion neuroses have kept me from seeing the second without seeing the first. Fortunately, I’m fairly positive they’re exactly the kind of movie that is made for me. I’m a big fan of all the greats of ’80s action cinema; Commando, Universal Soldier, Cobra, First Blood, Roadhouse. All classics.
What with The Expendables 2 making a buttload of money at the box office, they’ve essentially given the green light for Expendables 3, which leads to speculation of just who will be joining the cast for the third movie. Well, it looks like Sly himself is letting us know at least one. [CMP]
“We are preparing the film with the same passion and commitment as the previous two. We have confirmed Nicolas Cage, a master actor who gives a veneer intellectual group. Hopefully we can realize to Harrison Ford, Wesley Snipes and Mickey Rourke. That is the great mission of the producer. We will continue with the same narrative scheme, the agility and the frenzy, which are inherent to the saga. What will definitely be the last? I can not guarantee. In principle it would be two deliveries, but the affection of the people encouraged us to work on a third. I guess as long as we amused ourselves by offering fun and people, we can continue playing ‘The Expendables’. For now we are not as expendable as it should and as some critics want.”
Sly’s weird grammar aside, that sounds pretty awesome, because I’m a huge fan of Nicolas Cage. I know most aren’t, (people liking what I hate, and vice versa, is a running theme in my life it seems), but I sure do love the guy. I see a self-referential, hilarious, capable actor with range and no sense of pretension whatsoever, where most see a washed up overacting blowhard. To me he’s the kind of guy who is challenged by every kind of role imaginable, especially genre roles. Rather than settle into being typecast, he’s consistently defied everyone’s expectations with a range of movies unlike any other actor. He’s the kind of actor who also understands his audience, knows what they expect of him, and plays into those expectations by either subverting them, or parodying them. He’s the ultimate mega-actor, trolling all of us and having a damn fun time doing it.
Say what you will about Cage, but every single movie he’s in is at least entertaining, if still awful. Those National Treasure movies are terrible, but man do I find them watchable. The same can’t be said for other actors who may have lots of prestige, but consistently star in boring, pretentious snoozefests. Meryl Streep is a great example I can immediately think of.
I guess it’s about time I catch up and watch these movies soon, because I’ve yet to miss a single Nicolas Cage movie in theaters since Matchstick Men, and I don’t wanna break the streak just yet.
I was born in 1983, which means that by the time I was old enough to watch and actually understand what was happening in movies, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sylvester Stallone were the 2 biggest names in Hollywood. Those two were churning out some of the greatest action movies of all time, stuff like Predator, Conan, Terminator, the Rambo series, and the Rocky movies. However, they were also rolling out crap like Cobra and Red Heat too. As young as I was, I couldn’t really tell which ones were destined to be remembered as classics and which were fated to be forgotten (Raw Deal? Lock Up?) but I loved all of them. I was just a kid, but I can remember many an evening spent on the couch with the old man watching Rocky IV or The Running Man and through that, I grew attached to the genre and its stars. The action movies of the era were totally over the top (get it?) and I couldn’t get enough.
As the ’80s came to a close, a third action icon would emerge – Bruce Willis. His breakthrough role in Die Hard, still arguably the greatest action movie in existence, placed him rightfully in the conversation with Arnold and Sly, and for years, that was the hierarchy. But, as with every hero, age took its toll. Stallone did Cliffhanger in ’93 and Arnold had True Lies in ’94, but after that they both turned out a series of near unwatchable garbage – The Specialist, Assassins, Daylight, End of Days, Collateral Damage, The 6th Day – the list goes on and on. While Willis would find success in a few more Die Hard movies, even he started to shy away from the genre for a while. That is until 2006 when Stallone, desperate for a hit, went back to the role that made him with Rocky Balboa. At 60 years old, he proved he could still draw audiences and he repeated the feat 2 years later with a 4th Rambo movie. Suddenly, the gears started turning and the movie I had prayed for 20 years earlier began to take shape…
In 2010, Stallone started recruiting his aging contemporaries to make a star-studded action movie that revolved around the idea that they could all still fire guns and blow shit up, and it was great. Ok, so maybe not ‘great’, but it was entertaining as hell and pure nostalgia was often enough to power you through the weak dialogue and thin plot. Then on Thursday night, August 16th, at about 11:55 pm, I loaded myself into a theater seat and got ready for the sequel to begin. I was not disappointed.
This time around, we were given not only Stallone (66) and Jason Statham (45) again, as well as much larger roles for Willis (57) and Schwarzenegger (65), but we also get the return of Jet Li (49), Dolph Lundgren (55), Randy Couture (49), and Terry Crews (44). Not to mention the inclusion of Chuck Norris (72 years old!), Thor’s little brother (22), and a 52 year old JCVD! It was awesome. Norris told a ‘Chuck Norris’ joke while going by the moniker ‘Lone Wolf’ (like Lone Wolf McQuade), Van Damme did multiple roundhouse kicks as the villain named ‘Vilain’, and Dolph Lundgren’s backstory was that of his real life – a chemical engineering degree from MIT…it’s like Stallone was writing the script while watching an action marathon on SpikeTV and reading Wikipedia.
The movie also featured Nan Yu, who’s mostly Chinese resume I’m unfamiliar with. While she wasn’t bad, I would’ve gone with Maggie Q instead. With her resume already boasting adrenaline fueled flicks like Live Free or Die Hard, Mission Impossible: III, and the action-packed TV show Nikita, it just felt like a missed opportunity to grab the biggest cast they could. However, Nan Yu probably has more global pull and that could be why the decision was made. That being said, Yu did kick some ass in here.
This was a movie that didn’t take itself too serious and delivered on the action. There were a few parts that might have come off as cheesy dialogue-wise, and it’s doubtful many people under the age of 18 could really appreciate most of the references, but for me, at the wise age of 29 – I was thrilled. The Expendables 2 delivered exactly what was promised and didn’t try to be something it wasn’t. The ‘R’ rating is barely warranted as the language wasn’t super harsh, there were zero female chesticles exposed (as Aaron pointed out), and much of the violence was so stylized it wasn’t intensely gory.
There is also something I want to give them credit for – something that seems to be a lost art form in most newer action movies – HOLDING THE GODDAMN CAMERA STILL! Ever since Spielberg wow’d everyone in ’98 with the opening scene of Saving Private Ryan, directors have been shaking the camera around so much you can’t tell what is happening. Perfect example would be ALL of the Bourne sequels. This time around the camera stayed stationary long enough for us to actually see the action happen – so thank you Simon West (Con Air, The Mechanic).
Overall, while the plot was a little thin and, quite often, the characters just seem to appear out of nowhere for the purpose of delivering a one-liner, this movie was a fun ride, and I think trumped the first movie easily. I give it 4/5 Grizzlies for delivering on its intended purpose and staying fun.
Despite the movie only being out a day in its spread its seed of unabashed 80s magnificence, there are already rumors that for the 3rd movie Harrison Ford, Clint Eastwood, and Nic Cage are all wanted.
As sweet as Eric Roberts and JCVD were in the first 2 movies, Nic Cage could be the greatest villain since Hans Gruber if written correctly (Editor’s Note: Honestly, he’d be the best villain ever if written incorrectly, which is what I’m rooting for.-C Tan). PUT HIM IN A BEAR SUIT!!!
Personally, I’d like to maybe see Linda Hamilton or Sigourney Weaver pop up as they were the baddest ass action heroines around when I was a kid. You could also see if Uma is busy, let her do some more sword play as it will have been over a decade since Kill Bill…
And, it may just be my movie-riddled mind drawing connections where there are none – but I spotted references to all the following movies – did anyone catch one that I missed?
– Good Guys Wear Black (1978)
– Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)
– Conan the Barbarian (1982)
– First Blood (1982)
– Lone Wolf McQuade (1983)
– The Terminator (1984)
– Die Hard (1989)
– Total Recall (1990)
I’m sure there are more, I just have to go see it again…
So it’d seem that Charlie Sheen has temporarily gained enough wherewithal to admit he was pretty goddamn insane all of last year, and along with landing a new gig as the lead in FX’s Anger Management, has also gotten a role in Robert Rodriguez’s sequel to Machete.
The basic outline of the plot for the sequel is pretty out there. It involves Machete being hired out by the US to find a bad arms dealer guy who plans to launch a weapon into space. Because Robert Rodriguez is an insane person, he’s decided to throw space weapons in a movie about a guy who uses knives as his primary weapon of choice. I know, I know, machetes aren’t knives, but bear with me.
So while the original Machete was over the top example of faux-grindhouse, this looks to up the ante in ways that’ll make the original probably seem downright subtle. In those terms, I think Charlie Sheen is a great casting choice. Who else but Charlie Sheen would give a presidential decree to hire out an insane knife wielding ex-cop Mexican for international arms espionage? Combine that with the returning cast of Jessica Alba and Michelle Rodriguez, (Not a Lohan in sight, thank christ), and I think you’ve got the potential for a pretty great sequel here.
Now as long as Rodriguez is making real movies out of fake trailers, let’s get Werewolf Women Of The SS made already huh? Nicolas Cage as Fu-Manchu? BOX OFFICE DYNAMITE!
Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance easily surpasses it’s predecessor, but not by much. They definitely ignored events of the first one and started from scratch, getting straight to the point with the opening sequence. Given that, it still seemed like the filmmakers were sort of relying on you having seen the first movie so you had a better understanding of what the Rider is even though they explained everything in five minutes. Nicolas Cage is at his quirky best in the film, acting half crazed in several scenes as he struggles to keep Ghost Rider within himself.
The plot of the movie reminded me a lot of the plot from Drive Angry, another Cage starring flick involving a satanic cult attempting to take a child that will be used to bring the devil to our world and create hell on Earth. The premise was the same in Spirit of Vengeance, but the execution was less ridiculous than it was in Drive Angry. The devil himself walks the Earth in Spirit of Vengeance, played by Ciarán Hinds. Hinds, who has most recently appeared in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 and Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy seems to be wasted in the role of the devil. (Or Roarke as he is known in the movie) I remember back to when Rome was still on HBO and he played the role of Caesar and just can’t pinpoint why he would accept this role except for the cash. The same could be said for actor Idris Elba, but he seems right at home in the role of Moreau, the French, wine drinking holy man who assists Johnny Blaze in trying to regain his humanity in this installment of Ghost Rider.
Nicolas Cage used to be a great actor, but now he has become a sort of caricature of himself in many ways. It’s known that he had financial troubles in recent years and it’s now common knowledge as to why he releases nearly six movies every other year. I’m not saying I won’t go see any Nicolas Cage movies anymore, I’m just saying he’s no longer the actor he once was, we just can’t expect anything spectacular out of him anymore performance wise.
Even though the movie’s plot was dog crap and typical of many supernatural movies in recent years, the special effects in regard to Ghost Rider himself were excellent. The first time you experience him in the movie he is definitely a creepy sight to behold as his movements as he walks toward a victim are choppy and erratic. His head tilting and screaming were also a bit disconcerting. This wears off later in the movie, but I thought they couldn’t have done a better job with the character who is pretty one dimensional in the comics anyhow. The action sequences weren’t all that bad either and was one of the main things that even kept me awake during the movie. I loved the concept of the Rider being able to change any vehicle he rides into a flame spewing death machine.
I never looked much into the origin of Ghost Rider aside from his human host making a deal or being cursed, but in the movie we are treated to one. It turns out the Rider was formerly an Angel called Zarathos, the Spirit of Justice, who was sent to Earth to help mankind. Unfortunately he was driven mad after being captured by the forces of hell and now in his form as Ghost Rider he punishes everyone no matter the severity of their crime. I thought that was an interesting take on the character.
Overall I give Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance 2 out of 5 grizzlies.
It wasn’t as good as I expected, but it was definitely better than the first Ghost Rider movie. I honestly hope at this point that they might be done with trying to make Ghost Rider something more than he is. I wouldn’t think they would make yet another movie to attempt correcting the things wrong with this movie, but it is Hollywood so you never know. I think Ghost Rider is in the same boat as Punisher, he has a faithful following but not enough to elevate him into the box office smash hit like Spiderman or Iron Man. It was a nice try for the studio to make up for the first Ghost Rider though.
Welcome back to the Hero Express, your one-stop sometimes SPOILER filled shop through the news filled world of superhero’s in Film and TV.
Welcome to The Griz Bin, a weekly look at the world wide web of comic related nonsense.
– The 20 Most Ridiculous Batman Comics Ever Released: Featuring such equally ridiculous titles as ‘The Rainbow Batman‘ or ‘Dead Til Proven Alive’ with the Beatles! – [Cracked]
– Women of Marvel Sketch Cards: Awesome sketch cards featuring the Mighty Women of Marvel looking good and kicking ass! – [GeekTyrant]
– 10 Best Batman: The Brave and the Bold Episodes: In honor of the series ending, here are 10 good ones that you need to check out. Unless your like me and have seen every episode numerous times. – [Newsarama]
Bruce Wayne’s Medical Records: One man who will never get Health Insurance. – [League of Ordinary Gentleman]
The 5 Most Impractical Aspects of Superhero Costumes: Ever wonder where Catwoman keeps her whip? Or how they chase after villains in high heels and nipple tassles? Well, your not the only one… – [Cracked]
Girls in Their Undies vs. Zombies: I shouldn’t have to say anything else. A bunch of girls… in their undies… killing Zombies… – [GeekTyrant]
Wonder Woman is Having Plastic Man Issues: art by dominiquefam. This is why I could never be a superhero.