It's been two months or so, I figure it's high time to rant about Nicolas Cage's next new movie (this topic could get old quickly, considering how much the man works - detailed here), brimming with sarcasm and negativity. Such are the effects brought on by Mr. Ghost Rider.
Next, coming to a theater near you on April 27th, is brought to you by the acclaimed (or not) director of Die Another Day and xXx: State of the Union, Mr. Lee Tamahori. In it, Cage plays a Las Vegas showroom magician (get used to the gig, Nic) who can see two minutes into the future. Blah blah blah, he will use this gift to save the world (I'm assuming). None of this should sound all that strange to Cage fans (or haters) - it's practically a stock character in a stock film - he might as well be Ben Affleck starring in John Woo's Paycheck.
Funny (not really) that I should mention Paycheck. It, like Next, was based on a Philip K. Dick short story (this one called "The Golden Man). Though I've never read a Dick story, the list of "good-great" films made from his stories is impressive (among them: Total Recall, Blade Runner, A Scanner Darkly, and Minority Report). However, the list of "bad-terrible" films from Dick stories is gaining ground, what with Paycheck, Screamers, Impostor, and (naturally) Next making up that list.
If there's one common link that stands out, it's the director - the "good-great" films mentioned have, as their respective directors, Paul Verhoeven (talented, if embattled), Ridley Scott, Richard Linklater, and Steven Spielberg. Contrast that with, also respectively, John Woo (whose English-language filmography can be best described as "gawdawful"), Christian Duguay, Gary Fleder, and the aforementioned Tamahori.
I think it's safe to say that Next will stink up the joint, regardless of Cage's presence.
Speaking of actors, the real enigma that is baffling me has nothing to do with Nic. Nope - it's his costars. The only recognizable names in the credits outside of Cage's are:
* Peter Falk (literally turns 80 years old this year - you are forgiven.)
* Jessica Biel (Hi Jessica. You know all that good career momentum you might have had after The Illusionist? Guess what - it's all gone now.)
* Most egregiously....Ms. Julianne Moore.
Julianne, are your kids going hungry? Mortgage a payment or two behind? I hope so, because I can't think of many other valid reasons to be vaguely associated with this film, much less co-starring in it. For shame - I don't care how much you might be able to class up a joint, pouring perfume on a turd is just going to make it smell like a fancier turd.
(See, I wasn't even that hard on Cage. Just on others for being associated with him. It's all relative.)