Nicolas Cage: 5 Bonkers Performances We Love

Open it! Jim! Open it! Open it! Open it! Open it! Open it! Open it! Open it! Open it! Nicolas Cage makes so many crummy movies each
year (seriously – we’ll let you look up the trailer for “The Humanity Bureau” yourself)
that it’s hard to remember what a terrific actor he is, capable of great range, deeply
felt humanity and subtle nuance. But we’re not here to talk about that today. Instead, we’re celebrating the terrifically
off-the-wall Cage, the one who Andy Samberg brilliantly parodied on Saturday Night Live
and whose sheer electricity could power most major American cities. So, without further ado, here are 5 of Nicolas
Cage’s most delightfully bonkers performances. 1990’s “Wild at Heart” It’s no surprise that Cage found a kindred
spirit in the similarly gonzo American filmmaker David Lynch, and it’s a shame the two have
yet to reconnect. (Could you imagine him popping up on last
year’s “Twin Peaks” revival? Because we sure could.) In “Wild at Heart” he plays Sailor Ripley,
an outcast with a penchant for violence whose snakeskin jacket represents his individuality
and his beliefs in personal freedom. “Did ever tell you this here jacket represents a symbol of
my individuality and my belief in personal freedom?” See, I told you 1997’s “Face/Off”
Amazingly, Cage starred in “Face/Off” and “Con Air” in the same summer and while some
could argue that his “Con Air” role was more agreeably bizarre, those people are wrong. It’s “Face/Off,” which allowed Cage to go
into full berserker mode and then shift wildly to something approaching schmaltz, It’s a
more fully formed, totally mental performance. And we loved every minute of it. 2006’s “The Wicker Man” Talk about a movie that was destined for meme
immortality, this weird-as-hell remake of the original, beloved “The Wicker Man” cast
Cage as a detective investigating a disappearance on a strange, Wiccan island. To say things get weird would be perhaps the
overstatement of a man whose career is populated almost exclusively with overstatements. Can we just run the bee clip already? Not the bees! (screaming) They’re in my eyes! My eyes! (screaming) 2009’s “Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans” Cage teamed with excellent documentarian and
hit-or-miss narrative filmmaker Werner Herzog for a pseudo remake/sequel/something to Abel
Ferrara’s 1992 film “Bad Lieutenant.” This is Cage at his most gleefully unhinged,
with a showing that frequently borders on becoming a full-on performance art piece. Rarely is over-the-top Cage this brilliant. But here, he shines. 2012’s “Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance” This was the first time that the actor who
played Johnny Blaze also did the motion capture for his supernatural alter ego the Ghost Rider,
and seeing Cage as a computer-generated spirit with a flaming skull for a head is one of
the movie’s many delights. Publicly Cage attributed his performance to
something he described as “nouveau shamanism,” whatever that means, wherein he would have
ancient talismans sewed into his wardrobe to give him some kind of otherworldly oomph. It paid off. This movie and Cage’s accompanying performances are bananas. Thanks for watching, be sure to head over
to to search showtimes and to buy tickets for a theater near you.

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