In any given year 300 or so movies will be released into theaters. And on average, roughly 47 of them will star Nicolas Cage. With so many kooky, Cage-alicious movies to choose from it can be hard to tell which are worth your time and which would be best viewed on TNT, muted, and in the background while you work on your computer, many, many years after its release. With a new Nicolas Cage movie due out next week (Ghost Rider), I figured the time was right to release this handy guide to determine the quality of Nic Cage’s movies.
So, if you’re watching a Nicolas Cage movie or considering watching a Nicolas Cage movie, and can’t quite decide if it’s bad or not, these 21 sure-fire red flags will make your decision for you (unless you’re watching The Wicker Man. Then you don’t need red flags, because it just sucks.)
(Ed. Note: I do like Nicolas Cage and his movies. I just don’t like some of them. Please bare that in mind.)
- If Nic’s hair is longer than four inches, you are watching a bad Nicolas Cage movie.
- If Nic is mumbling his dialogue in an accent other than his own, you are probably watching a bad Nicolas Cage movie.
- If you turn on a Nicolas Cage movie and you notice Rosie Perez’s name is in the credits, you should probably watch something else. Otherwise you’re just gonna sit through a bad Nicolas Cage movie.
- If Nicolas Cage is playing a musical instrument of some kind, let’s say a Mandolin for example, then you are watching a WAY bad Nicolas Cage movie.
- If at any point during the movie you hear this phrase: “Put the bunny down”, you are watching a bad Nicolas Cage movie. Don’t be fooled, this isn’t meant to be hip, ironic or in on the joke of its own badness. It’s just bad. Walk away.
- If Samuel L. Jackson is prominently involved in any way, you are watching a bad Nicolas Cage movie.
- If you’re watching a Nicolas Cage action movie and notice that John Cusack is playing his sidekick, only he’s wearing fucking sandals instead of shoes like a normal person, because he’s pretentious and rebelling against the iron fist of creativity held by the major studios who make this crap (the same major studios who happen to be paying him millions of dollars to be in said crap, by the way), yet the fact that someone wearing fucking sandals instead of shoes (especially Lloyd freaking Dobler) can not ride a motorcycle, climb on top of a moving fire truck or help dispatch an uber-violent John Malkovich doesn’t give you pause, then you are watching a bad Nicolas Cage movie. And are also mentally retarded.
- Do you like watching snuff films? Then why would you want to watch Nicolas Cage watch a snuff film? Put the bad Nicolas Cage snuff film DOWN!
- If his role requires him to have any muscle tone, for whatever reason, press stop on the DVD player and go watch some Family Guy reruns, because you’re watching a shitty Nicolas Cage movie.
- If even the sight of a blonde, dreadlocked, lips-to-11 Angelina Jolie can’t distract you from how boring, clunky, unfunny and out and out awful Gone in 60 Seconds really is (especially when Nic is getting chased by Master P. Like, huh? And also, shut up Giovanni Ribisi!), then it’s a bad Nicolas Cage movie.
- Do not be fooled by the credit “Directed by Martin Scorsese”, you are still watching a bad Nicolas Cage movie. Turn it off and go watch The Departed instead.
- If Nicolas Cage is punching guys out, using double guns in slo-motion, blowing shit up and generally acting like a reject from Rambo-land, but the movie is NOT directed by Michael Bay, then why are you wasting your time? It’s just a bad Nicolas Cage action movie.
- Oh, hello Helen Hunt, good to see you. And what are you up to today? Appearing in a Nicolas Cage movie? Well, that’ll be bad then, won’t it? Don’t forget to powder the eight-head before your close-up. Wouldn’t want to blind the camera guy, now would we?
- If the director was stupid enough to let Nicolas Cage go blindly improvising into the night (Snake Eyes, I’m looking right at you), then you are watching a bad Nicolas Cage movie.
- If you’re watching any Nicolas Cage movie where he’s wearing army fatigues, immediately get up, go down to the local army recruitment center and apologize for what you’ve done. Not only were you watching a bad Nicolas Cage movie, you were also taking a metaphorical dump on the U.S. military.
- If the Nicolas Cage movie you have on has the word “Man” in the title there’s a better than average chance you’re walking away disappointed. So make sure you either really like Tea Leoni (fat chance), have a soft spot for Wicker and/or Weather (Michael Caine softens the latter one), or are in the dire need of a Sam Rockwell fix (and really, who isn’t?), before proceeding with the watching.
- If Nicolas Cage is playing the brothers of Dana Carvey and Jon Lovitz, well then… do I even need to say it?
- If the movie is a crappy remake of a crappy horror movie that nobody even liked in the first place, then you’re watching a crappy Nicolas Cage movie (another red flag: the involvement of Leelee Sobieski in said crappy remake).
- Angelina Jolie couldn’t hottie her bad Nicolas Cage movie into a good one (or even a watchable one). Nor could Patricia Arquette, Carla Gugino, Gina Gershon, Monica Potter, Tea Leoni, Amber Valetta, Diane Kruger, Penelope Cruz or Meg Ryan (to some extent), respectively. So honestly, what chance does Eva Mendes have? Be forewarned.
- If you’re watching the trailer for the new Nicolas Cage superhero movie and find yourself thinking “Nicolas Cage, really? Was Ben Affleck not available?” and don’t immediately freak out that you’ve chosen Ben Affleck over Nicolas Cage, then don’t bother with Ghost Rider. Seriously. Save your money. Catch up on your TiVo. Go see one of the Academy Award movies (other than Babel). Hell, just go back and re-watch Daredevil. At least that superhero flick had a drunk out of his mind Colin Farrell walking around being bald, psychotic, and killing random bar assholes with toothpicks (not to mention an in-her-prime Jen Garner and a cameo by Coolio). And even Ben Affleck as a blind lawyer / red-leathered crime fighter isn’t nearly as ludicrous as Nicolas Cage playing a 45 year-old motorcycle stunt man who makes a deal with the devil to turn into a burning skull of fury (literally) and fight evil (played by Wes Bentley. Yes, that Wes Bentley, the plastic bag kid from American Beauty. I’m not even kidding. That’s the bad guy. Apparently Elijah Wood wanted too much money.). Yikes, is this moviegonna be bad, or what!
- Basically, if Nicolas Cage isn’t drunk, overweight, moony, exceedingly eccentric in a particular way (like, say, he steals babies for Holly Hunter), or bantering with Sean Connery, then you are watching a bad Nicolas Cage movie.
Thus endeth the lesson.
If you use these signs to determine if you’re watching a bad Nicolas Cage movie, you’ll never go wrong. And you’ll save money. Just another service we provide here at TheJay.com. Helping audiences avoid bad Nicolas Cage movies at all costs.
(Follow me on Twitter @jasonamatthews)