bad nicolas cage movie

Further Signs You Are Watching A Bad Nicolas Cage Movie

That beacon of movie magic, that icon of cinematic excellence, that scion of taste and culture, the one the looney Nicolas Cage is releasing a new movie this week. It’s called Trespass, about a family held hostage in their own home, so that robbers can use Nicolas Cage to give them access to some crap worth some money, but then he fights back and probably yells and twitches a lot in that way that he does. Also, natch, his hair looks terrible.

Oh, what’s that, you had no idea this movie even existed, two days before its release? That’s because it’s SO bad the movie studio wants to release it Direct-to-DVD (not even Blu-Ray, cause that shit’s reserved for the GOOD crap), despite the flick co-starring Oscar Winner Nicole Kidman (who knows a thing or two about making a kick ass trapped in a house thriller), and noted ab-haver Twi-villain Cam Gigandet. Did I mention Joel Schumacher directed it? I know, get excited!

Should we really be surprised by this turn of events?

Some of you out there may still have faith in Nic. You might be hoping that one day Quentin Tarantino decides to bestow his Comeback Magic on the Cagester, or that Tom Hanks graciously offers to step aside and let Nic star in one of those war movies he and Spielberg like to make on the weekends. And that may very well happen. For now, though? We’re smack dab in the era of full-time Nicolas Cage dreck.

To help you better sift through the mounds of movie garbage Nic is regularly delivering to the landfill that is The American Cinema, here is another edition of that handy guide known as “How To Tell You Are Watching a Bad Nicolas Cage Movie”.

- If Nic’s primary mode of transportation is anything besides a car, say a magical metal eagle or a witch carriage or a plane flown and operated by convicts, then you should drive yourself, angrily or otherwise, the hell away from the movie.

- If Nicolas Cage is playing someone considered “the best in their field” be it in driving, assassinating, magicking, acting like a human being, et al, you are watching a bad Nicolas Cage movie.

- Unless you’re looking at that creepy picture of Potential Civil War Vampire Nicolas Cage, any appearance of The Cagester in a movie set pre-1950 should be considered an automatic bad Nicolas Cage movie.

- Who directed the movie? Oh, it’s the guy who made Batman & Robin? Yeah, I’m SO sure he’s the guy to make a good Nicolas Cage flick. Except, oh wait, NOPE.

- Does the hot girl in the movie desperately want to bang Nic Cage? Then gross! Can you even imagine someone having lascivious feelings toward this guy?

- Is the title only one word? Best be adding a ‘The’ to it, otherwise you are watching bad Nicolas Cage movie.

- Are you watching a YouTube video of a gothic faux-ninja who vaguely resembles Nic Cage, doing spinkicks outside of a club and/or getting their ass beat in broad daylight while people stand around and watch cause the dude probably deserves it? Then congratulations, you’re NOT watching a bad Nicolas Cage movie, you’re watching a FANTASTIC viral video starring Nic’s idiot son! Good life choices you’re making right now, truly!

- Is Nic’s female co-star a former Oscar winner? Then you are watching her slum it hard (and/or pay for an addition to her house) in a bad Nicolas Cage movie.

- Is Nic’s female co-star the bad guy? Then chances are you are watching a bad Nicolas Cage movie, and some bitch is about to drop a bucket of bees on our boy!

- Is Nic’s female co-star January Jones? Then you are without a doubt watching a bad Nicolas Cage movie.

(NOTE: That last point is actually applicable to any January Jones movie co-starring anyone.)

- Is Nic still trying to pay off his massive IRS debt, cause he bought 14 houses, 92 cars, an island and a whole bunch of medieval swords, and then gave a whole bunch of power to his scumbag money manager in what is maybe the worst financial management decision since Rocky Balboa let Pauly give power of attorney to some idiot Philly lawyer who then bankrupted the Balboa’s and forced Rocky to fight dumb Tommy Gunn in the street until he hears that bell? Then you should maybe focus on paying off your student loan debt or your credit card bill, or hey, buy your Mom something pretty, cause you’re just encouraging Nic to make more shitty paycheck flicks, and you’re wasting money way more egregiously than him by watching said shitty paycheck flicks. (NOTE: Rocky 5 sucks worse than any Nicolas Cage movie ever made or will ever be made.)

- The movie was shot 3D. Three dimensions of Nic Cage SUCKITUDE!

- Does Nic Cage literally piss fire in the trailer? Then you will soon to be seeing a shitastic sequel to a craptacular comic book movie.

- Did Nic Cage’s character escape from hell in the movie? Then you need to escape the hell that is the movie theater you are currently in!

In all fairness, I truly hope Nic solves his financial woes, and can start being a bit more discerning about his movie choices. Much as I like railing on all the truly terrible flicks he keeps making, I’d far rather have the interesting character actor who lends his weight to get daring indie flicks made (like Adaptation and Red Rock West), or even the charming in-on-the-joke action non-star he gleefully became for a few years after his Oscar win. Here’s hoping that time comes soon, because we’re quickly heading to a point where it will be impossible to even make a Good Nicolas Cage Movie.

And by “heading a point”, I of course mean “we are already there”.


More Signs That You Are Watching A Bad Nicolas Cage Movie

As the day approaches for yet another Nicolas Cage magnum opus (it’s treasure protecting time!), I felt it might be high time to brush up on our “How To Tell If Your Watching A Bad Nicolas Cage Movie” skills. Use these lessons as a guide to determine just how much of a sucker you really want to be when considering paying green kaysh money for National Treasure: Book Of Secrets.

- If at any point of the movie Nicolas Cage tricks himself into forgetting that he is an Academy Award-winning actor widely praised for his subtlety and character work, in order to put on a Bad Acting Clinic where his skills are free, you are watching a bad Nicolas Cage movie.

- Any time he yells a ludicrous, only logical in-context request like “Step away from the bike!” or “Put the bunny down!” or “300 Feet! Pretty neat, pretty neat!” or my personal favorite “We’re more like treasure protectors!”, you are watching a bad Nicolas Cage movie.

- I didn’t buy it when Sam “The Man” Jackson and Samantha Caine outran a fireball, why would I buy it when Nicolas Cage does?

Nic Cage outlandishly runs from a fireball in Con Air.

- If Nicolas Cage’s love interest plays the entire movie two corset breaths from swooning (ahem, Jessica Biel in Next) or with only her lips and spicy latina fire (hola, Eva Mendes in Ghost Rider), instead of you know, actually acting, then you are watching a bad Nicolas Cage movie.

- Speaking of which, Nicolas Cage is 18 years older than Jessica Biel. He should never EVER be playing her lover in a movie. This isn’t necessarily a sign of a movie’s relative merits, I just wanted to point out how creepy it is. In the immortal words of Chris Cocker, seriously Nic, LEAVE JESSICA BIEL ALONE!

- The presence of Giovanni Ribisi is the immediate tip-off that you are watching a bad Nicolas Cage movie. Not even a scuffed looking Angelina Jolie can fix the problem (though the “Donny, Low Rider. Low Rider, Donny.” scene helped)

- If this shows up in the trivia section of a movie’s imdb page: “Nicolas Cage wrote sections of the script”, well then, do I even need to tell you?

- Any time a scene calls for Nic to scream in pain, prepare yourself, as you are about to lay witness to a bad Nicolas Cage movie.

- If Nicolas Cage can see EXACTLY two minutes into the future, then you should have been able to see a full NINETY, cause you’re watching a bad Nicolas Cage movie and you didn’t do shit about it. How’s that college degree working out for you now, kid?

- Two Nicolas Cage’s can be a good thing (see: Adapation), but a baker’s dozen Nicolas Cage’s can NEVER be a good thing (see: Next, the end of).

- If a prominent actor shows up half-bored and obviously slumming it a low rent Nic Cage affair (Julianne Moore in Next, Ellen Burstyn in Wicker Man, Peter Fonda in Ghost Rider, Robert Duvall in Gone in 60 Seconds, et al), trust the “cha-ching” look in their eyes and triple bloop the hell outta there.

- If his hair looks rattier than Tom Hanks’ in Da Vinci Code then you are watching a bad Nicolas Cage movie.

Nic Cage looks ridiculous in Next.

- Any time you have a big, splashy CGI-enhanced comic book movie extravaganaza starring a huge A-list action star in the title role, it might be a good idea to have a big, tough, believable bad guy. As in, not the wimpy emo kid from American Beauty who liked to film plastic bags and spend time with Kevin Spacey. Cage was playing a dude with a skeleton head on fucking fire, OF COURSE he could take out the d-bag in blue face paint and gelled hair. C’mon!

- As a rule, anytime the director decides to show us Nicolas Cage’s abs, thereby confusing us for the rest of the movie as to why they were so inexplicably ripped for such a freakishly weird dude and then you get into a heated debate with your friends about whether or not he was wearing a Wrath of Khan-style chest plate, he’s trying to distract you from the fact the movie he’s making with Nic Cage SUCKS BALLS.

Bottom line, Nic Cage is always playing it straight, and I respect him for it. He makes no apologies for his style. His very essence is a heightened piece of sincere slapstick. Hell, I’m not sure he even has the ability to be tongue-in-cheek. You never have to worry that he’s winking at you, because he’s not. He’s flat out waving you down like John McClaine at the end of Die Hard 2 (“Here’s your fucking landing lights!”). The worry is whether the movie he is in is playing it straight.

nicolas cageNic Cage is out of his mind crazynuts in Adaptation, but the movie respects what he’s doing and runs with it. Same goes for Raising Arizona, The Rock, Leaving Las Vegas and to an extent, Peggy Sue Got Married. His crappy movies are the ones where you get the sense the filmmaker is making fun of him. The Wicker Man is a pile of shit, no doubt, but Nic is trying hard, you can see it. I got the sense that at the end of the day Neil LaBute went home and giggled himself to sleep that he got Nicolas Cage to scream bloody murder about bees. The entirety of Next seems like an on-set dare to see how far they can push Cage into absurdity.

Bottom line time… if you disrespect what Cage is bringing to the table, your film will suffer. And that’s the real sign you’re watching a bad Nicolas Cage movie. Nic will come off looking like an idiot and the audience won’t need my guide to see that the movie is bad. It’ll be all too easy to tell.

Here’s hoping Bruckheimer let Cage drop the crazy thunder on National Treasure 2. It’ll be nice to say I liked a Nicolas Cage movie for a change. It’s only been a half decade since I had the chance.


(Follow me on Twitter @jasonamatthews)

How To Tell If You’re Watching A Bad Nicolas Cage Movie

nicolas cageIn 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.

nicolas cage

- 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.

nicolas cage

- 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.

nicolas cage

- 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.

nicolas cage

- 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 Helping audiences avoid bad Nicolas Cage movies at all costs.


(Follow me on Twitter @jasonamatthews)