Episode 54: Con Air (1997)

Strap in, because it’s going to be a bumpy flight this week for 1997’s action classic Con Air. As with any other movie starring Nic Cage, most of the conversation is dominated breaking down his legend, but they also discuss whether a film like Con Air is worthy of critical discussion in comparison to something that’s considered to be a little bit more serious. They quickly decide it’s probably not worth it and talk about Nic Cage’s southern accent, his hair, his BMI, magnetism and more. They attempt to place Con Air in the pantheons of ’90s action films, which is really a genre all its own.

Con Air (1997)
Director
Simon West
Stars
Nicolas Cage, John Malkovich, John Cusack, Ving Rhames, Dave Chappelle, Steve Buscemi, Danny Trejo

Selected By
Clark

3.2

Aired Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Strap in, because it's going to be a bumpy flight this week for 1997's action classic Con Air. As with any other movie starring Nic Cage, most of the conversation is dominated breaking down his legend, but they also discuss whether a film like Con Air is worthy of critical discussion in comparison to something that's considered to be a little bit more serious. They quickly decide it's probably not worth it and talk about Nic Cage's southern accent, his hair, his BMI, magnetism and more. They attempt to place Con Air in the pantheons of '90s action films, which is really a genre all its own.

Episode 11: Raising Arizona (1987)

The guys discuss the Coen Brothers’ classic 1987 screwball comedy Raising Arizona, a film which helped not only solidify the Coens’ signature comedic style but also put Nic Cage on the map. The young Cage and Holly Hunter play off of one another perfectly while surrounded by a typically incredible cast of satellite characters (including Coen mainstays John Goodman and Frances McDormand) that give the film its life and humor, and the guys talk about just what it is about the juxtaposition of the Coens’ elevated writing and down-in-the-dumps characters that brings the comedy out of the situation. As Cage is one of the Bit Players’ collective favorite actors, the guys discuss their other favorite roles of his as well as what their vehicle of choice would be should they find themselves in a position of the lone rider of the apocalypse.

Raising Arizona (1987)
Director
The Coen Brothers
Stars
Nicolas Cage, Holly Hunter, Trey Wilson, John Goodman

Selected By
Brian

4.2

Aired Friday, June 19, 2015
The guys discuss the Coen Brothers' classic 1987 screwball comedy Raising Arizona, a film which helped not only solidify the Coens' signature comedic style but also put Nic Cage on the map. The young Cage and Holly Hunter play off of one another perfectly while surrounded by a typically incredible cast of satellite characters (including Coen mainstays John Goodman and Frances McDormand) that give the film its life and humor, and the guys talk about just what it is about the juxtaposition of the Coens' elevated writing and down-in-the-dumps characters that brings the comedy out of the situation. As Cage is one of the Bit Players' collective favorite actors, the guys discuss their other favorite roles of his as well as what their vehicle of choice would be should they find themselves in a position of the lone rider of the apocalypse.

Despite All His Rage, He is Still Just a Nic in a Cage

We all know the old adage. It’s a statement that rings truer than anything Confucius ever said, and philosophy’s greatest thinkers (somehow) never saw it coming. Nicolas Cage is the John Coltrane of acting. It’s not “old” in the technical sense — fellow Bit Player Clark spewed it out after a wine-fueled viewing of Season Of The Witch about two years ago — or an “adage” in the traditional sense — I’m fairly certain that to be an adage, more than one person has to have said it — but that doesn’t make it any less true.

We all know the old adage. It’s a statement that rings truer than anything Confucius ever said, and philosophy’s greatest thinkers (somehow) never saw it coming. Nicolas Cage is the John Coltrane of acting. It’s not “old” in the technical sense — fellow Bit Player Clark spewed it out after a wine-fueled viewing of Season Of The Witch about two years ago — or an “adage” in the traditional sense — I’m fairly certain that to be an adage, more than one person has to have said it — but that doesn’t make it any less true.

The reasoning is simple (I think): where John Coltrane constantly shifted his style and helped revolutionize jazz music, Nicolas Cage constantly shifted his hairstyle and helped revolutionize bad film.

To be fair, Cage wasn’t always associated with bad film. Raising Arizona, Moonstruck, Wild At Heart, and Leaving Las Vegas all colored his early career with promise and even an Oscar — not to mention stone-cold action classics like Face/Off, Con Air, The Rock toward the middle of his reign — but for every Kick-Ass or The Weather Man later on in the game, there’s about five or six Drive Angrys, at least three Bangkok Dangerouses. However, Cage is the one actor who has actually profited off of his hilariously awful choices in films. While stars like Brad Pitt or Tom Cruise — heroes of ’80s and ’90s film — seemingly never recovered from their Troy or Valkyrie choices later in their careers, Cage has only grown more revered.

Groups of friends much like my own will gather around a television and watch objectively awful movies such as Knowing or Ghost Rider simply because they feature Nic Cage. Entire sites are dedicated to the actor, placing that million-dollar face on just about anyone or anything’s head, turning his can’t-turn-down-a-role reputation into a recurring joke. He seems to take it all in stride, however. In fact, I would argue that he relishes in it.

I have nothing to prove that, except the fact that the man simply keeps taking these roles. Just a cursory glance at Cage’s Internet Movie Database entry shows he has nine films planned between now and the end of next year. It would be a shock if even one of them was good, yet they’ll make millions of dollars and the world will eat them up. The point is, we relish in it.

I really couldn’t tell you why, either. I think it’s just to do with how unabashed Cage is about selecting these movies. I don’t think he’s read a script before signing on in about fifteen years. It’s also of import that Cage hasn’t taken a short-haired role in just as long. It’s really best not to question it. Just throw on The Sorcerer’s Apprentice and enjoy. Here’s your hero.