For The Love Of Film is a weekly column from film nerd and lover of all movies Justin Proper. Sometimes you need some help to figure out how to enjoy movies, and we are here to help! No longer will you need to fear movie night because your friends have no taste in film. With this column you will be able to love even the worst gems to ever grace the silver screen.
It is a bittersweet occasion for me this week. On the one hand I get to write about my favorite “bad” movie of all time. On the other hand this is the last entry in Nic-Cage-November. What a month it has been. Hopefully by now you have realized that Nic Cage is, in fact, one of the greatest actors in cinematic history.
My love for Nic Cage (and movies that are so bad they are good) really started with one film. You know what, let me go back. I have this friend that I hung out with a lot in high school. We drifted apart when I went away to college (he loved drugs and I did not because I was dumb) but when I became seriously ill (whatever, my heart does not work right) we reconnected. One of the first times we hung out we played Magic: The Gathering and watched a movie. That movie was The Wicker Man and our love for the film solidified our friendship. Recently he sent me a picture from his work. This picture displayed an error code that was meant for a lover of all things Nicolas Cage to see.
I guess what I am trying to say is that this movie is not only one of the greatest “bad” movies of all time, it also brings people together.
The Wicker Man is a remake of the 1973 movie of the same name. You know what? You can IMDb the movie yourself. I just want to get into the meat of this movie. Long story short, Nic Cage heads to an island to find a girl (whom he later finds out is his daughter) but ends up super-murdered to death by a crazy woman cult. Oh, SPOILER ALERT.
Critics hate this movie. Seriously, just go check Rotten Tomatoes. It is sitting at 15%. You know what has a higher score than 15%? Star Wars: Episode II – Attack Of The Clones and I think we can all agree that no one wants to sit through that atrocity again. For the record, I find all the Star Wars movies to be greatly overrated, but that one is definitely the worst. Anyways, people say that The Wicker Man is terrible because Nicolas Cage over-acts. They also say that it fails as a horror movie. I have to admit that the latter complaint is completely correct, but that is fine. The Wicker Man completely succeeds as the most unexpectedly great comedy of all time.
The first and second acts of this film are pretty straightforward. Other than NiCa’s (that is what I call Nicolas Cage when I imagine us married in my dreams) sarcastic remarks there is not much humor. Then the third act hits and everything gets crazy. No, not regular crazy. I mean NiCa wearing a bear suit and assaulting women crazy.
Now the question of whether or not Cage is over-acting always comes up when discussing this movie. Most people seem to think he is. Those people are wrong. This seems like an opinion type thing where there are not any wrong answers, but that is also wrong. Cage’s character is led to believe that his daughter has been kidnapped and is about to be sacrificed in a ritual if he does not find her in time. I am not a parent, but I am fairly certain that anyone who thinks their kid might be seriously sacrificed by a crazy cult is bound to act more irrationally than someone who has no stake in the matter. Of course he is going to go around screaming at people and punching women, he has to if he wants to save his daughter. No one said Mel Gibson was over-acting in Ransom did they?
Nic Cage was absolutely brilliant in The Wicker Man. I refuse to accept any other opinion, because regardless of the script (which was the real problem) Cage gave his all. This is probably due to his incredible acting method, which he developed himself. It is called Nouveau Shamanic. No, really, google it yourself. Knowing Cage, Shamanic probably has something to do with shamanism. He did try to channel some spirits with ancient relics to actually become Ghost Rider and achieve perfection in his role (which he absolutely did). The bottom line is Cage is serious about his acting, and it shows no matter what movie he is in.
I hope you guys and gals (especially the gals) enjoyed Nic-Cage-November. It really was a passion holiday over one year in the making. I hope that my (and to a lesser extent, Dane’s) column made you realize how amazing Nicolas Cage really, truly, honestly, is. Without him Hollywood would be a whole lot less exciting and fun. Please don’t just enjoy this secretively as a guilty pleasure. Spread the word of Cage and all his fantastic films. Correct the naysayers and be sure to bring up the fact that the man has won an Academy Award for Best Actor. Most of all, go watch some great movies and live your life to the Cageiest. Yeah, that’s a word now.