#29 Drive Angry

#29 Drive Angry
Year: 2011
Director: Patrick Lessier
MPAA Rating:
Epic Co-stars: Hot bi-sexual, William Fichtner, Billy Burke
Running Time: 104 mins
Cage Time: ~98%
Cage Kills: 42; all of them glorious
Cage Flip-outs: 0
James' Review: When I sat down for this film I wasn't sure what to expect which is pretty much the best place you can be just before getting your MIND FUCKING BLOWN!  Drive Angry now carries the title of being the #1 unexpected sleeper hit so far on my Cage adventure, and I don't see it being topped anytime soon.  Unfortunately, if you have a vagina you may not share my extreme excitement for this (see ratings below).  But if a set of testicles and a penis are a decent description of your mid-section then you should probably cancel whatever worthless plans you had tonight, round up a couple other people with similar genitals, and watch this film.  

Returning to earth from hell sometimes results in eye damage.  And inspirational artwork.
Nic Cage plays John Milton, an undead badass who escaped from hell to avenge his daughters death and save his granddaughter from a deranged cult of Satan worshipers who plan on sacrificing said granddaughter in an arbitrarily short period of time.  As I said, whatever plans you had tonight are now worthless.  Anyone fresh out of hell needs a little company, so Milton picks up a hot waitress (Amber Heard) and does her a favor by killing her fiance before hitting the road again to try to allude the spawn of Satan know as the Accountant (William Fichtner)  who has set out to drag him back to hell.  Start thinking of excuses now.  I could go on describing each and every amazing detail of this film, but I think we both know you'd be better off just watching it yourself.  

Driving angry sometimes results in damaged windshields.  And seeing red.

What you do need to know is that this film is a perfect execution of the Grindhouse genre and has the power to turn even skeptics (of the genre) into believers.  The execution is a bit less blatant than recent films (Tarantino and Rodriguez) that have re-popularized the genre making it feel a bit more genuine despite it's completely ridiculous subject manner.  
Escaping hell sometimes results in ultra-badass firearms.  And carrying cases presumably made of  human flesh.

Dr. Cage (as usual) executes flawlessly here.  His passion for each individual role coupled with the supreme Nouveau Shamanic style result in pure excellence.  All of his 25 kills are carried out with such precision and deliberateness that each of them is just as (if not more) pleasing to view than the last.  This, coupled with three sets of boobs and one of the most beautifully executed grindhouse scenes in cinematic history*, makes Drive Angry a definite standout in a long series (68 at the time this review was written) of impressive Cage performances.

*Kills multiple people without pulling out; one with a bottle of whiskey in his hand.  Another guys machete was shot by Cage, driving it into the center of his forehead.

Movie quotability:
  • "Hell already is walking the earth. You tell him I'm coming. Tell him I'm coming to get her back."
  • I Brake 4 Pussy
  • "I don't disrobe before gunfire."
  • "I need to reload.  You drive."
  • "It's still in there.  The bullet, I can feel it."
  • "It's not about your suffering, your burning.  Its about the suffering of those you love.  It's all you see..."
  • "Burning is nothing, compared to watching your child's head get torn off."
  • "Even in hell, there is compassion."
Plot Holes:
  • Air conditioner face wound heals in a few hours.
  • Infinite bridge defies the laws of physics.
  • Every aspect of the movie, which makes it totally wonderful.
  • Most ridiculous ending scene ever!

Exceeds Expectations
Exceeds Expectations
!Tapped out of the Cage!

An Ode.

An Ode to the Hair of Sir Nicolas

The hair of Nicolas
Is not ridiculous
No matter what you say

When you observe the Cage 
A true Shamanic sage
You'll begin to see the way

In Red Rock he Kicked-Ass
(He was also in Trespass)
He Drives Angry, but Never on Tuesday

His hair has charisma
It reeks with machisma
With one look, his tresses can slay

#28 The Sorcerer's Apprentice

#28 The Sorcerer's Apprentice
Year: 2010
Director: Jon Turteltaub
MPAA Rating: PG
Epic Co-stars: Alfred Molina
Running Time: 109 mins
Cage Time: 80%
Cage Kills: 0? Really?
Cage Flip-outs: 0
Shauna's Review: 
At first glance, this movie may seem like an epic let-down for fans of The Cage. No flip outs, no kills--in fact, an oddly calm and self-possessed Cage who never lets an f-bomb fly. However, consider the true depth of Mr Cage's investment   in each and every role, including this one as a steampunk reinvention of a cartoon wizard. Also his devotion to the principles of Nouveau Shamanism, which, let's face it, uniquely qualifies him to become a wizard of the highest caliber in any film, Disney or otherwise. 

Nicolas Cage as the greatest wizards of film. Gandalf, Dumbledore, and Balthazar.
In case you found the fact that they have the same damn title to be an insufficient clue (not naming names, you know who you are), this movie is loosely based on the Fantasia piece of the same name, which was in turn inspired by and set to the musical piece of the same name. If you need a refresher, Mickey gets a bit power-mad and floods his master's man-cave while attempting to use magic to do his chores. Although it seems to last indefinitely, it actually only goes on for 10 minutes, so obviously they needed to expand upon the story line somewhat to stretch this premise to 109 minutes. 

The resemblance is clear, I think.
Mean, mouse-spanking Wizard is reinvented as a kindly but sarcastically awesome Balthazar (Nicolas Cage), complete with semi-historical wardrobe and what I can only assume is real magic. In AD 740, Nic Cage's girlfriend is possessed by the evil Morgana, so he traps her and various other malevolent wizards in a Russian nesting doll set until he can find the Prime Merlinian, Merlin's successor. [Yes, we did spend most of the movie wondering why the kid would be called the Prime Meridian.] Of course this turns out to be some obnoxious kid who gets more screen time than Nic Cage, much to the movie's detriment. Balthazar mentors Kid (the titular "apprentice") who can then for some reason defeat Morgana and assorted baddies despite being unable to control a mop. [Yes, they recreate the original premise in what is undoubtedly the worst scene in the movie. Best to leave these things in the twentieth century, folks.] Nevertheless, Nic Cage does get to drive several very fast/ expensive cars, which seems to be his main prerequisite before agreeing to any (every) project. 

Witness the power of the Nouveau Shaman!

The trailer makes it look like part of the Batman franchise, but it shares a director (Turteltaub) and producer (Bruckheimer) with National Treasure, and the similarities can be seen in the film's humor and tone. As someone with juvenile taste in movies (or what I like to think of as "a childlike sense of wonder"), I enjoyed both. Nic Cage seems to get a kick out of playing this wry, laconic, determinedly optimistic sorcerer and mentor. I mean, he gets to wear a leather fedora and a badass cloak, so I think the appeal is pretty straightforward. This movie won't make the top 10 or the best quotes list, but it's amusing to watch-- easy without being simple. 

Movie quotability:
  • Dave: "How'd you know my name was Dave?" Balthazar:  "Because I CAN READ MINDS! ... It's on your backpack."
  • Dave: "These are old man shoes." Balthazar: "Excuse me."
  • "What ever happened to 'don't touch anything'?"
  • "I had a dream. You were insulting me, Dave. Repeatedly."
  • Skyler: "'Hey, Nic Cage, do you want to drive a badass car?' 'Yes, what do I have to do?' 'You're a sorcerer.' 'I don't give a shit.'" 
  • James: "This movie is actually pretty good."

Plot Holes:
  • Somehow elementary school teacher finds Dave after he wanders many blocks away in NYC, down side alleys and INTO a fucking BUILDING, OUT OF SIGHT. 
  • Shouldn't Balthazar be able to beat Horvatz in a battle, since he has had 1600 years to practice getting better at magic, while Horvatz has been stuck in a doll?
  • Dave fixes the radio station by pushing buttons on a scope. 
  • Train doesn't stop at train station.
  • Undergrad physics student has incredible funding that allows for a secret lair and a bunch of probably expensive techy-Tesla-stuff.
  • Evil sorcerers run away from pipsqueak.
  • Horvath doesn't use the parasite spell on Dave, so he shouldn't get his power.
  • College student radio plays top pop music.

Exceeds Expectations
!Stayed in the cage with One Republic!

#27 Red Rock West

# 27 Red Rock West
Year: 1993
Director: John Dahl
MPAA Rating:
Epic Co-stars: Dennis Hopper, Lara Flynn Boyle, Craig Reay, Dwight Yokum
Running Time: 98 mins
Cage Time: 99%
Cage Kills:
Cage Flip-outs: 4 
Skyler's Review: 
This movie was absolutely great. If you are even thinking about watching it, you should: drop what you are doing, stare at the Nic Cage one-handed push-up 10 times, and go plop this movie into your DVD player. You will be entertained.
I mean, look at him doing those push-ups; he is the definition of masculinity.

This is my daily workout too. I drive out into the country, take my shirt off, and do many one handed pushups.

Dr. Cage plays a ex-marine drifter named Michael who is looking for work. His friend finds him some, but Michael writes on the employment form that he has a bum leg. This man has principles, and won't bend on them. They won't give him the job, so he goes looking for work in Red Rock, Wyoming. Once he gets there, he goes to a bar, and the bartender mistakes him for "Lyle from Texas," the hitman the barkeep hired to "take care" of his wife. 

Michael is always buying gas.

Michael doesn't correct him, and takes the money and the job. The rest of the movie is full of plot twists and Michael is continually tested with more and more tempting offers to see if he will bend his principles a second time. Everyone has their price, what is Michael's?

We were generally enthralled for the entire duration of this film. Nic Cage in tight jeans and cowboy boots looks like a god. Martine dreams of straddling Cage while doing one handed pushups. There is a PG-13 sex scene with Nic Cage where it clearly looks like his dong is on screen. We thought "No way! This has to go on the internet!" and backed up the DVD and watched the scene again. Then in slow-mo. Then we finally paused it on the frame so we could get a good look. It was his belt buckle, sorry folks. We know that would be gold for all you Cage fans. But one wonders, if we had to do all that to identify his belt buckle, was strategically placed there on purpose?

Dennis Hopper is not happy with Nic Cage's driving.

In conclusion, this wasn't just one of the best Cage films we've seen, is was one of the best films we've seen, period.

Movie quotability:
  • "Does that tickle?  Because it won't if I pull the trigger."
  • "Fuckin' story of my life..."
  • "What do you say we put a cap on the HORSESHIT?!"
  • "Why don't you just blow me."
  • "You want it?  Go get it."

Plot Holes:
  • Nic Cage doesn't just take the $5,000 and leave town.
  • Nic Cage drives with no headlights.
  • Letter to the sheriff?  Give me a break...
  • 125 lb woman can consume endless amounts of alcohol and never get drunk.
  • Belt buckle strategically placed in shadow to look like Cage's dong.
  • All graveyards are filled with ominous mist and smoke.

Exceeds Expectations
!Stayed in the Cage!

#26 Windtalkers

#26 Windtalkers

Year: 2002
Director: John Woo
MPAA Rating:
Epic Co-stars: Bobby Cox, Carl Hungus, Lucius Malfoy, Hard Harry
Running Time: 134 minutes
Cage Time: 
Cage Kills: 73
Cage Flip-outs: 2
Shauna's Review: 
This is one of my previously-seen Cage treats. I couldn't remember if it was a genuinely moving and thrilling war movie or a classic Cage camp-fest. I wasn't left in suspense for too long. Native American soldiers kiss their families goodbye and head off to poorly acted code-talking classes. Nic Cage appears in a scrappy skirmish somewhere in Japan. After getting hit with a grenade, Nic Cage suffers ear damage. He broods over a partially shaved eyebrow in a marine hospital until he is permitted back into the fight. He's assigned with Christian Slater to protect one of the Navajo code-talkers. He's bummed to miss out on "killing Japs" although I would think that anyone in his position would get to kill plenty of people. Plus, he's Nic Cage. Goes without saying.

Nicolas Cage's character hurts his ear.
At any rate, Cage is told to "protect the code at all costs... we can't let the code get into enemy hands, etc." (So he's supposed to keep the guy alive if possible, but kill him if he might get captured). If you've ever seen a movie before, you can probably predict where this is going. The Navajo (Adam Beach, also seen on SVU) is eager to become friends with Cage, who is predictably sullen and cranky, what with the having-to-kill-this-guy-someday-maybe thing and the having-flashbacks-to-war-whenever-there's-a-fan-nearby thing. I'm writing this only 35 minutes into the damn thing, and I can already tell you, he's going to warm up to the guy whether he wants to or not, so he should just stop being a dick.

The music is completely ridiculous for this movie. James Horner is a fine composer, but the mood is all wrong. The action is all Saving Private Ryan, but the soundtrack is sheer Indiana Jones. All melodramatic, sweeping strings and insouciant trumpets. There should be a man in a fedora kicking ass or a couple of furry little Ewoks shrieking as they fall out of trees. It definitely seems like WWII was a significant enough event to merit a more serious soundtrack. Probably.

Nicolas Cage's character likes shouting.
On the one hand, this movie is very silly, which is kinda odd for a war movie, especially one that is clearly trying to be moving and significant. The fake blood is super red, and the purportedly gory injuries are uber-fake (including one guy who gets a hand cut off). We spent most of the movie going, "What the hell? Why would they do that? What is this?" On the other hand, Nic Cage's character is nut balls war-crazy and he has a few fine freakouts. This is a fine example of Cage's no-smile policy.

Movie quotability:
  • "You're a mess, Joe. You're not fooling anybody." "No, HE's a mess."
  • "I Nava-know how to use a cup."-Skyler
  • "She walks right up to me and asks me if I'm hungry, 'cause she's having a weenie roast... Now I'm in Saipan with this giant Zippo on my back and I'm burning human beings."
  • "I'm here to kill Japs, not Marines."
  • "How's that for ignorant fool, huh?"
  • "You done good on that hill today Yahtzee."
  • "What a magical pile of Navajo horseshit."

Plot Holes:
  • Like anybody would have the last name Van Holt.
  • War. What is it good for?
  • Cage can easily get on the opposite side of the enemy line when they are infiltrating the Japanese.
  • Nic Cage gets shot in the heart but takes minutes to die. (Spoiler)

!Tapped out at first blood.!

Coming up: STOLEN

Are you ready for some fresh, new Cage magic? And by "fresh, new" I of course mean "pretty fucking familiar" but still damn awesome. Nic Cage plays a thief, recently released from a ten-year stint in prison and extorted by a former colleague for bunches of money, the spoils of an old job. To ensure Cage's compliance, said compatriot (Josh Lucas, HAWT) is holding Cage's daughter (Malin Ackerman, HAWT) ransom in the trunk of his taxi cab. To pay the ransom, Cage has to rob a bank. Chaos and furrowed brows ensue! 

So much HAWTness in one film... so many Nic Cage meta-references. Ignoring the obvious comparisons to a similar movie of a synonymous name... it's like Trespass meets Gone in 60 Seconds meets Con Air meets Face/Off meets Red Rock West! Plus half a dozen other Nic Cage movies that don't immediately come to mind. Help me out here, folks.

PHOTOS if you can't wait for Cage's handsome mug to haunt your screen.

#25 Rumble Fish

#25 Rumble Fish
Year: 1983
Director: Francis Ford Coppola
MPAA Rating:
Epic Co-stars: Laurence Fishburne, Matt Dillon, Mickey Rourke
Running Time: 94 min
Cage Time: 5%
Cage Kills: 0
Cage Flip-outs: 0
Martine's Review: 
Wow, I didn't know what to think when watching this one.  It's like the filmmakers were trying to blow my top with all of the artsy-farts black and white film and strange camera angles.  But after you sort through all of said artsy-fartsiness all your left with is a stagnant story line, a few poorly executed metaphors, and some boobs.   

In a nut shell, here's how things go down:  The 1983 version of James Franco (Matt Dillon) kisses the 1983 version of Julia Stiles (Diane Lane).  Things seem to be going okay between the two, but you can kind of tell that Julia Stiles is losing interest because James Franco is sort of a loser.  James Franco (Rusty James) is the leader of a crappy gang with Nic Cage who is sortof a nice boy caught up in the wrong crowd and the 1983 version of Jonah Hill (???  Maybe Jonah Hill's grandpa or something) smoking cigarettes.  Together with the help of a rival gain they reenact the 1983 video "Beat  It", but without the music.  Then Mickey Rourke (The Motorcycle Boy) rolls in looking like a child and steals the show.  It turns out that poor Rusty James has been living in his brothers shadow for years and is generally a miserable bastard with no meaningful relationships.

Nobody messes with the Wild Deuces!  Except for me.  After checking out that pant/belt combo I'll mess with this little troublemaker anytime!
Cut to Rusty James' family life!  Rusty James' mom left when he was yougn and his dad (Dennis Hopper) is a total worthless drunk.  The Motorcycle Boy (Rusty's brother) has just returned to town from a hiatus in California, but isn't quite living up to the legend he left behind; you guessed it, total drunk.  Oh and one other problem of Rusty's that I forgot to mention before, turns out he's a total drunk...  From here the film gets stuck some sort of purgatory where all of these people act miserable, realize they are miserable f-ups, and then are miserable due to their miserable realizations.  Some deep stuff is thrown in there about being your own worst enemy in life and some colors are flashed on the screen at key times to keep your brain in motion, but none of it really carries enough weight to compensate for the fact that Nic Cage is in less than 10% of this movie.

Now lets put aside from all the extremely mediocre parts of this film and concentrate on what really matters: my delicious little Cage man.  In the precious few minutes he is in this film, Mr. Cage does a wonderful job at both acting, and looking like a hot little piece of MILF bait.  His hair is very tall and feathery and his little teenage attitude of not giving a crap about anything makes me want to give him a spanking in order to straighten him out a little bit.  I didn't really like that he was #2 in the gang and was taking orders for Rusty James, but in the end I think we'll all agree who the bigger man is.  Despite this movie being pretty lame in most regards, everyone (including Cage) does a pretty damn fine job in the acting department.  It's just the script their acting out that leaves much to be desired.  Overall I would say only the die-hard Cage fans need to see this film and not those of us who were just looking for a quick fix.

Cage is a tough little punk with an ego as big as his hair.  So bad it's good.

Movie quotability:
  • "Something something something Rusty James Rusty James."
  • "You've got a bad habit of getting attached to people, man." 
  • "What are you doing? That must hurt!"
  • "He looks really old, like... 25 or something."
  • "You fuck other girls and all you do is shit on me!"
  • "Hey what are you gonna do?  Work me over with your night stick?"
  • "Black and white TV with the sound turned low."
  • "That was me at my 5 year old birthday party.  I was good lookin' even back then."
  • "Nobody wants to be killed."
Plot Holes:
  • Random cabin has HUGE liquor cabinet.
  • Random smoke pours down streets for no reason.
  • Equal amounts of black people and white people attend the same carnival.
  • People in this movie actually believe being color blind means seeing black and white.
  • Cops shoot guy for killing Betas from pet shop, but don't care when second guy steal.
  • A hundred people show up in the middle of the night to see who 

!Tapped out (early) of the cage!

#24 Seeking Justice

#24 Seeking Justice

Year: 2011
Director: Roger Donaldson
MPAA Rating:
Epic Co-stars: January Jones, Guy Pearce
Running Time: 105 mins
Cage Time: ~ 97%
Cage Kills: 1
Cage Flip-outs: 2
Skyler's Review: 
A man is going to the bathroom and someone kicks a cell phone under the door into his stall. The phone starts ringing. The man on the other end, in a raspy Batman-type voice says, "Leave the bathroom and go to the vending machine. Buy a Slim Jim. Then go onto the street and head toward the subway." This all seems very odd, but the man decides to comply. He presses B-4 to get the Slim Jim and heads upstairs and starts to head down to the subway. All the while, the phone pressed into his ear. "Stop halfway down the stairs," the raspy voice continues, "there is a flyer, someone looking for a musician. Take it, take the flyer. Then get on the Number 3 train." He does. "Get off at the next stop. Go back to street level. You will see a convenience store. Go down the alley." As the man walks into the alley, someone sitting on a stool stops him. "Hold on, where do you think you are go..." the person stops mid-sentence when he sees the flyer, "Ok, go on, the band entrance is on the right." He goes down the alley and the raspy voice comes back, "Don't take the band entrance. Go to the end of the alley and enter the last door on the left." His ears feel hot. Will the person on the stool notice he is not going in the band entrance? He makes it to the end of the alley and puts is hand on the doorknob. He pauses, before quickly opening the door and entering. Suddenly, a dog starts barking. "Give the dog the Slim Jim. Then follow the hallway to the stairs." He tosses the Slim Jim and the barking immediately subsides.

Do you see what I did there? I made the protagonist do some seemingly meaningless stuff, but in the end everything had a purpose in advancing the plot. This movie is much like the above, but the plot stops when you hit the italics.
The title: 'Seeking Justice' is a red herring. No justice is sought. Unless Justice is the brand name of cigarettes or candy or something.
A guy on a phone makes Nic Cage: 

  • Go to a vending machine and buy 2 candy bars
  • Mail a letter to Santa
  • Go to a convenience store and buy some gum
None of these serve any purpose, other than filling screen time.
In the end Nic Cage gets the guy back by doing the same thing on a phone and orders him to
  • Watch a monster truck rally
  • Go to the bathroom (He literally says "Go to the urinal. Take a leak.")
  • Buy a hot dog
In keeping with the theme, there was absolutely no reason for the man to do these things.

Cage phoning the writers. The script makes it seem like "sending the letter" is meaningless and has no impact on the plot. They assured him it would all make sense after editing. (it doesn't) It's all a big practical joke they were pulling,
a 17-million dollar joke.
The plot is supposed to be about an all-powerful, underground organization that punishes criminals by murdering them. The organization perpetuates itself as a pyramid scheme. They get a victim to agree to do a favor later if the organization murders the criminal now. The favor to do later is, obviously, to commit one of these "justice murders." The problem with this system, is how do you really know that your target is a criminal? (This is why we have courts and stuff) 
Nic seems to be as confused by the "plot" as we were.

The overall plot sounds really cool. The execution is terrible. They add so many red herrings to the plot that it trivialized every single action that the characters were taking. Moreover, at no point was I ever interested in finding out what was "really going on." It was pretty obvious, if you've ever seen a movie before. Don't get me wrong, Nic Cage acted the hell out of "mail a letter" and the impeccable "buy some gum" bit. It just would have been nice to see him chewing the gum or offering it to someone. It wasn't even brand name gum! At least get a sponsor! Maybe they tried and Wrigley said "No, we only sponsor movies that people will watch."

Movie quotability: 
  • "Who dat?!"
  • "No.  Murder, first degree."
  • "Take a leak"
  • "The hungry rabbit jumps"
Plot Holes:
  • DNA tests do not take 6 months to complete
  • Nic Cage and others needs to purchase snacks as part of every shady deal.
  • Amway has a secret hitman branch in their business model.
  • Nic Cage is married to a woman WAY out of his league.
  • Adult english teacher has children's magnets on his refrigerator.
  • Three city buses come to one stop within 2 minutes.
  • "Forever Bars"
  • Murderer stumbles upon his victim's wake.
  • Cage taps a cop car throwing it under a tractor trailer (which should have decapitated the cop) and cop climbs out of car unharmed.
  • Escalade is equipped with all knowing super computer.
  • Cage forgets about his wife and doesn't contact her for hours even though ruthless criminals are out to get him.
  • An abandoned mall is a thing.
  • All bald people are bad.

!Tapped out of the cage!