Fun fact: 2012 marks the 30-year anniversary of Nicolas Cage, arguably one of our greatest living actors, and unarguably our "greatest living actor," in the world of filmed entertainment. Though he had bounced around a bit in years prior doing TV movies and working as an extra, Cage's appearance in the 1982 film Fast Times at Ridgemont High proved to be the true beginning of a career that would span more decades, genres, and haircuts than anyone could have possibly imagined. He's made us laugh, made us cry, and made us furrow our brow in utter confusion more than perhaps any other actor over the same time period. He's given us so much, and what have we given him back (besides millions of dollars in box office and DVD/Blu-ray sales)?
Well, for this Diamond anniversary of Cage's existence in film, I wanted to give something back. I wanted to do something to highlight the myriad delights (and yes, even the myriad demerits) of Cage's tumultuous, prolific, and downright amazing career in the movies.
Thus, today, I am announcing The Year of the Cage, a year-long celebration of the man's catalog in which I will view and write about all of the man's biggest, best, and most notorious roles in the order in which they were released (or, in some cases, at least completed). As it turns out, that actually makes up the vast bulk of the man's career, meaning scarcely a noteworthy role shall be left unattended to.
The essays I intend to write will look at each film from a pure performance perspective, as well as examine the point in the actor's career it took place. Cage's various personal exploits are perhaps as noteworthy as his actual acting roles, and they have often guided him to projects that perhaps aren't, shall we say...up to the man's remarkable pedigree.
This is what makes Cage's career so utterly fascinating. More so than nearly any other major actor, there is an air of sheer unpredictability as to which film he'll choose to participate in next. Any given week, he could suddenly wow audiences with a prestigious role alongside a heralded director, or end up in a barely-released piece of B-movie junk that for some reason becomes incredibly popular in the outer-reaches of Estonia. There is no rhyme to Cage's career, but there is an undercurrent of reason to it, even if it's reason that only makes sense to Cage himself.
Given that I have 53 weeks to work with, I will be eschewing a few films in the man's catalog, as well as condensing a few roles into other pieces. None of Cage's animated film performances are being considered, because for this feature, I want the fully-formed, physical presence of Cage to be there at all times. Likewise, a few of his cameos and smaller roles won't be rolled up into the meat of this feature. New posts will be appearing every Monday in 2012, a schedule that I'm quite certain won't totally bring me to the brink of madness by the time March rolls around.
With all of that out of the way, I now present to you the full schedule for Year of the Cage.
- January 2 - Valley Girl, with a brief look at Cage's all-too-brief appearance in Fast Times at Ridgemont High
- January 9 - Rumble Fish
- January 16 - Racing With the Moon
- January 23 - The Cotton Club
- January 30 - Birdy
- February 6 - Peggy Sue Got Married
- February 13 - The Boy In Blue
- February 20 - Raising Arizona
- February 27 - Moonstruck
- March 5 - Vampire's Kiss
- March 12 - Time to Kill
- March 19 - Fire Birds
- March 26 - Wild at Heart
- April 2 - Zandalee
- April 9 - Honeymoon In Vegas
- April 16 - Red Rock West
- April 23 - Amos & Andrew
- April 30 - Deadfall
- May 7 - Guarding Tess
- May 14 - It Could Happen to You
- May 21 - Trapped In Paradise
- May 28 - Kiss of Death
- June 4 - Leaving Las Vegas
- June 11 - The Rock
- June 18 - Con Air
- June 26 - Face/Off
- July 2 - City of Angels
- July 9 - Snake Eyes
- July 16 - 8mm
- July 23 - Bringing Out the Dead
- July 30 - Gone In Sixty Seconds
- August 6 - The Family Man
- August 13 - Captain Corelli's Mandolin
- August 20 - Windtalkers
- August 27 - Adaptation
- September 3 - Matchstick Men
- September 10 - National Treasure
- September 17 - Lord of War
- September 24 - The Weather Man
- October 1 - World Trade Center
- October 8 - The Wicker Man
- October 15 - Ghost Rider
- October 22 - Next
- October 29 - National Treasure: Book of Secrets
- November 5 - Bangkok Dangerous
- November 12 - Knowing
- November 19 - Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans
- November 26 - Kick-Ass
- December 3 - The Sorcerer's Apprentice
- December 10 - Season of the Witch
- December 17 - Drive Angry
- December 24 - Trespass
- December 31 - A recap of Cage's 2012 films, including (depending on scheduling): Stolen, Justice, Black Butterfly, Frozen Ground, and Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance
My great hope with this feature is that it will help bring a greater understanding of what Nicolas Cage's bizarre and wonderful career means to the world, but if all it does is provide you, the reader, a year's worth of entertainment, then I'll settle for that too.
I do hope you'll take this journey alongside me with as much enthusiasm as I have for it. Whether this turns out great, disastrous, or a combination of both, I cannot wait to take the plunge.