• Guy Jeffries

*Star Profile: Nicolas Cage*


The first of my Star Profile blogs, a segment that will cover actors, directors and even composers featuring TEN of the their most iconic roles or films and not necessarily their best but for what they are most recognised and remembered for. Maybe take an unresearched guess at what the films might be.

I'm hitting Nicolas Coppola first, before I get swamped with jokes and semi-serious requests about my least favourite actor. And why do I dislike the Nic Cage? Well, I think it started with him winning his Oscar in 1995 and his reinvention as an action super star. Maybe it's related to who his family is, I'll go into more detail during the blog, and I'm not saying I personally hate the guy, hate is a strong word for me, and some of his films are my favourites like Family Man, Weather Man, Wild at Heart, Lord of War, World Trade Centre and Knowing. He has however, a long list of terrible movies with comical acting, especially his recent growing list of B-Movies.

Being an avid comic book fan he took the stage name after comic book hero Luke Cage and is something we both agree on, comics being today's modern mythology. He's even named his youngest son Kal-El after Superman/Clark Kent's real name which seems ironic having Tim Burton's Superman Lives film scrapped. Really? Cage as Superman?

The first Nic Cage film is '87 Oscar winning Moonstruck, starring opposite Cher, Olympia Dukakis (who both received Oscars for this) and Danny Aiello. He was Cher's accidental romantic interest playing the passionate and emotional brother of Cher's soon to be second to be husband.

Going down the of romance road, Cage took over Tom Hanks' job in wooing Meg Ryan in City of Angels (1998) playing an Angel who falls in love and strips his wings to a tragic end. Has such a great soundtrack.

Now, not just one, but spawned two films of the Marvel comic hero Ghost Rider. First time in 2007 and then returning as the flamed Johnny Blaze in 2011 with The Spirit of Vengeance. On your bike Cage.

2003 Cage stars in one of my favourite con films in Ridley Scott's Matchstick Men oppose Sam Rockwell playing an OCD, anxiety stricken grifter who comes to terms with newly found teenage daughter. As if his OCD wasn't enough already.

In 1996 Cage goes to Alcatraz with Sean Connery in Michael Bay's The Rock, as geeky Stanley Goodspeed clearly out of his depth. A little unbelievable, but that's Bay for you. It was a good actioner.

Next we see Cage don a graphic novel hero playing Big Daddy to Chloë Grace Moretz in Matthew Vaughn's awesome 2010 smash hit Kick-Ass. Not a convincer for Batman though.

A guilty pleasure of mine, Disney's National Treasure we see Cage take on the role of Ben Gates not once, but twice as the conspirator, treasure hunter and wannabe Indiana Jones.

Cage then takes the face of Castor Troy, or was it Sean Archer??? Cage playing Troy playing Archer? Opposite John Travolta in John Woo's Bullet fest Face/Off in 1997. He does a good psychopath, I give him that.

And then comes the Oscar for playing drunkard Ben Sanderson who goes to Vegas to drink himself to death in Mike Figgis' Leaving Las Vegas 1995. Now, I'm not saying his acting was bad because it wasn't, he plays a great alcoholic. But it's a role I could see anyone play, maybe better and for me Oscars should go to actors when you can't see anyone else play that role. Especially when we had Sean Penn for Dead Man Walking and Anthony Hopkins for Nixon in the running. There was part of me thinking it had something to do with his Uncle, Francis Ford Coppola, now having a family of Oscar winners.

And finally there is the reinvention of the action hero. A bulked-up, long-haired southern talking Cage as Cameron Poe (wait! Poe Dameron? No...) in Simon West's Con Air (1997.) I know this is a guilty pleasure for many, and especially with Steve Buscemi, but Cage just doesn't cut it for me as an action star. Arnie gave us "I'll be back", Stallone with "Adddrrain!" and Willis with "Yippee Ki Yay", and along comes Cage? Well "Put the bunny back in the box" isn't exactly great action hero diction.

So, there's my first Star Profile and watch out for more coming to a blog near you. Please suggest who you would like me to feature by commenting here or tweeting me @MrNiceGuyReview thanks for reading.

#NicolasCage

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