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Sep 24, 2008

CAGEFEST: The Nic Cage Film Festival - The Rock

CAGEFEST thinks San Francisco is a great, great town. For previous entries, click here.

Mixing it up one more time before the Cagefest finale. Frequent contributor Gaylord is back to give us his love for Cage and, specifically, The Rock. I've decided to tackle the CON position here, but since I don't have a ton of hate for The Rock, and since it's my site and like Cartman I do what I want, I'm eschewing the typical CON format. Instead, I'll rip into Gay's post, since he's so skilled and well-versed at ripping into others. And trust me, it's ripe for the ripping. Below is Gaylord's post, with my thoughts interspersed in bold.

The year was 1996 and Nic Cage was fresh off an Oscar, and riding high, hell Irwin M. Fletcher hadn’t even started his irrational hatred of this young promising actor. [This is true. Mr. Coppola had yet to fall from grace and sell out his career for paycheck after paycheck.] Cage had already reached the summit of acting; next, he set his sights on blockbusters, and after he was done the movie landscape would never be the same.

I’m talking about a little movie called The Rock, the first big blockbuster since Top Gun, a respectable $140 mm, and the movie that made action summer blockbusters trendy again. [Terminator 2, Jurassic Park, Batman - what do these have in common? Apparently, Gaylord has never heard of them or the 700 other movies that grossed more than The Rock between '86 and '96.] As Dr. Stanley Goodspeed, it was up to Cage to carry the movie, and of course he did, winning us over immediately as a Beatle maniac, chemical superfreak FBI agent, who goes home and bangs the prom queen every night. Obviously, everyone who’s not a moron [Let's just not tell everyone about the myriad typos, run-on sentences and comma splices in your post before I edited it.] knows the plot of the movie, it’s one of the 5 best action movies of all time, so I won’t rehash it for the .1% of Irwin’s fanbase that only watch gay indie films [Hey man - all of my fanbase watches gay indie films. All three of them. Get it straight.].

Connery and Harris, as an Oscar winner and Oscar nominated actor, respectively, play capable supporting roles to the powerhouse performance by the patron saint of the Blog Cabins. Cage and Connery are an electric team back before action movies got too corny, sure Cage made a joke about Elton John’s "Rocket Man" before shooting a rocket into an evil Marine, but he didn’t even have a “witty” line when he force-fed the last bad guy a VX ball or stabbed himself in the heart (“How’s this for breakfast” and “This’ll be like the time I got dumped in high school” might be what Brett Ratner would go with…). The movie overall was tight, with some early action scenes (terrorist gas package and a little car chase) [Note: Gaylord likes terrorists.], mixed in with some well done character development before the big faceoff, which did not disappoint with Connery and Cage delivering with crackling chemistry, great storyline, and of course, great acting.

Cage’s Dr. Stanley Goodspeed was really responsible for carrying the movie and advancing it from scene to scene, as the focal point of every scene, it was on Cage to make sure that his phenomenal script [Believe it or not, the three guys responsible for the "phenomenal" script were not nominated for any awards. Shocking, indeed.] lived up to its promise. Luckily, Nic made it happen, his actor VORP (for all the baseball nerds out there [I'm a baseball nerd - that stands for Value Over Replacement Player.]) was probably the highest of his career. Replace Cage with some non-Oscar winning, not as good looking, run of the mill, average actor like 1996 Oscar nominee Travolta [Or 1995 for '94's Pulp Fiction.] , and the movie tanks miserably. Maybe his legacy has been buried a little [Yeah...maybe. Heh heh.] by train wrecks like Next and The Weather Man, and of course jealous vindictive bloggers, but in his prime there was no one better than Cage [Except everyone. But seriously, NO ONE better? Sure, the guy was good, but where should I start?].

Remember that - he could always pull off any role, and always came across as likeable, plus there is a respectability that comes with winning an Oscar (well unless you're Cuba Gooding, Jr. - Snow Dogs, Boat Trip… seriously?? [Or Mira Sorvino. Or Whoopi Goldberg. Or Halle Berry. Or, well, Nic Cage.]). Cage won his Oscar, then he cashed in a bit [Note: Cage has approximately 10 flicks in the works...right now.] by headlining a spectacular stretch of action movies. Seriously, over a four-year stretch he knocked out The Rock, Con Air, Face/Off, and Gone in 60 Seconds; those blockbusters match up to pretty much the top four action flicks of anyone else’s entire career [If Gay is going for comedy, he's certainly hit the right chord here. Listing off those four flicks reminds me of the bad Michael Keaton flick Multiplicity - you know, the one where he keeps making copies of himself, but like a piece of paper that you keep copying the copies of, they keep degrading. Are you seriously citing Gone in 60 Seconds as a good flick?]. For example, here's the top four from two of the best of our generation…Cruise: Top Gun, Days of Thunder, Mission Impossible 2, Minority Report, and Schwarzenegger: Termintaor, T2, Predator, Total Recall. [Interesting that Gay chose Mission: Impossible 2, the worst of that franchise by far; no surprise that it was made by the same hack that made Face/Off - Mr. John Woo. And Ahnuld's foursome easily dominates either Cage's or Cruise's, by the way.]

Cage is one of the best, and The Rock was him at the pinnacle of his powers, great actor, great cast, great script, great, great flick. As Connery says in the movie with that classy English accent [I thought it was Scottish? No?], “Welcome to the Rock,” you and Nic can welcome me anytime Sean, I’ll catch you guys whenever you’re on TNT and of course on my DVD whenever I want to see one of the greatest action flicks of all time. [Kill me now.]

7 people have chosen wisely: on "CAGEFEST: The Nic Cage Film Festival - The Rock"

Doug said...

Very well done! Well done, indeed!

Anonymous said...

haha, fact checking is not one of my strengths dick. But honestly, who doesn't love Gone in 60 seconds?

you might have to extend CageFest for Pro/Con showdown on that baby, I'd take Memphis Raines for the win at -200...


Nic Cage said...

AMEN BROTHER! Totally in the top 10 of all time action movies.

Big Mike Mendez said...

Gaylords always whine about what's best. Winners go home and fuck the prom queen.

Sorry, but this movie is ALL Connery for me.

Dead Pan said...

Thanks Fletch, without your commentary, my eyes would have begun to bleed.

Jason said...

I hate Michael Bay. But I do love The Rock. Even if it is one of the chessiest action movies I have ever seen.

THN said...

This was a great movie, and is my favorite next to ConAir. One of the most underrated aspects of this movie is that some of the Marines, out to right the wrongs of the past, are played by guys who played soldiers in other movies. Including Dr. Cox and the "Have you ever had your [stool] pushed in" guy from Training Day.