#44 City of Angels

#44 City of Angels
Year: 1998
Director: Brad Silberling
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Epic Co-stars: Meg Ryan, Andre Braugher, Dennis Franz (RON SWANSON CAMEO!)
Running Time: 114 min
Cage Time: 90%
Cage Kills: 2
Cage Flip-outs: 1 (meh)
Shauna's Review: 
Just to give you a little background here, I am a female person. Therefore, I like Meg Ryan movies. (I am watching Sleepless in Seattle at this very moment, no joke.) I kind of couldn't believe that I had never seen this movie before, given that it stars both Lord Cage and the aforementioned Ms. Ryan. I even considered "pre-watching" this one prior to movie night, so that I could actually hear the dialogue (it's like watching movies with Statler and Waldorf). Boy, would that have been a waste of 114 minutes. 

This wallpaper is an accurate representation of the quality of this film. 

Within two minutes, it became apparent that this movie is stupid. What tipped me off were the hundreds of poorly photoshopped men in black trench coats, sitting on billboards all over Los Angeles. Nothing could be lamer than a movie that desperately announces, "This is esoteric and interesting! This is deep and cool!" No, it's not. Just because you talk about death doesn't make you deep, and unfortunately, just because you managed to snag Dr Cage doesn't mean that you have made a good movie (boy, have we learned that lesson). Granted, I only heard about 30% of the dialogue, but that was plenty. 

The basic premise of the movie is as follows: Seth (Cage) is one of hundreds of angels who, dressed like Neo, stalk invisibly around Los Angeles, both saving people and leading them down (literal) hallways after they die. He meets surgeon Maggie (Meg Ryan) at a hospital and is impressed with her determination to save her patient, as well as her anguish when the patient dies. Seth becomes convinced that Maggie saw him in the operating room, and stalks her. He allows himself to become visible to her, and she becomes equally (inexplicably) infatuated with him . Seth, being an angel, is unable to truly sense anything-- touch, smell, taste, etc-- but he learns that he has the choice to fall to Earth (literally) and become mortal. Will he choose such a fate? WHO CAN SAY?? 

Watching. Always watching. 

Fortunately, Cage made this movie in what I consider his "peak hotness" years (the Rock-Con Air-Face/Off era). Unfortunately, he is a creepy Watson. (James considers this Cage's creepiest role, even surpassing Eddie)The scenes in this movie are wildly repetitive, in that they are usually something like this: open on someone (usually Meg Ryan) in the kitchen/ bathtub/ operating room, talking to someone/ taking a bath/ performing surgery, pan out and see Nic Cage standing behind the refrigerator door/ sitting in a chair next to the tub/ watching from the corner. Basically, you may not see Cage at first, but you know he's there, lurking in the corner and watching, creepily.

Nicolas Cage gets me all hot and bothered.
Even if you buy all this lame hokum about angels and death, blah blah blah, the fundamental premise of this movie as a chick flick is deeply flawed. Meg Ryan plays a successful cardiothoracic surgeon. Her boyfriend is kind of lame, but she could definitely find another one because she is rich, young, and attractive. She meets this weird guy who says he works as a messenger; he lives in a library, he doesn't blink, he never changes his clothes, and he talks in a quiet voice about death all the time. Then Meg Ryan takes a bath and drinks Rolling Rock while fantasizing about this guy, who must be the creepiest guy she ever met. What? Now you're in love? What? Also, WATCH OUT, HE'S BEHIND THE FRIDGE! 

Movie quotability:
  • James: "Is he an angel in this movie, or Batman?"
  • "You've definitely been beeped."
  • "What are you, like a bike messenger?" "I am a messenger for God."
  • Skyler: "He's going on some kind of man date with this... fatty."
  • James: "That's a sweet-looking dog. Never mind, that's just a fucking yellow lab."
  • "Why do you wear the same clothes all the time? Why won't you give me your phone number? ...are you married?"
  • "Where are you from?" "Up."

Plot Holes:
  • Nic Cage says, "What do you like best?" And the girl says, "Pajamas."
  • Room full of babies (I guess that's called a "nursery") is completely quiet. 
  • Angels steal library books. 
  • Nic Cage and Meg Ryan go to a farmer's market. Can people see him now? He's carrying a basket. Do they just see a basket bobbing around in mid-air?
  • I wasn't watching this movie very closely, but it seems weird that Meg Ryan would go to Dennis Franz and say, "I don't understand a God who would let us meet if there's no way we can be together," if she didn't know that Dennis was also a fallen angel, ie. someone who had an understanding of what the fuck she was talking about. 
  • Wait, Nic Cage gets to keep her house? Did they get a quickie marriage that we missed out on? Sometime between the tender lovemaking at the steamy shower scene?

Stayed in the Cage.

1 comment:

Steve M said...

I have seen this movie twice before and found it somewhat enjoyable, but I can safely say I have no plans to see it more than three times. I'm not sure what I found to enjoy before, but this time around the only joy was found in the soundtrack and chuckling as my RN wife described how wrong everything was in the heart surgery scene, something she helps perform a couple times a day.

This is what, the third movie in a row I've felt like could have been a good 30 minutes shorter and not suffered for it. Ah well, at least I enjoyed the sound track. Oh yah, Cage did a pretty good job at whatever it was they wanted him to do which I think was to act amazed at everything.

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