Ever wonder what happens to actors and filmmakers who stop making good films and start releasing bad ones? They land themselves in Movie Jail! JoBlo.com readers will act as the jury to hold celebrities accountable for the diminishing quality of films, while still taking into full account their entire career. While they won’t actually spend any time behind bars, this is a fun way for you to voice your opinion as to whether a few bad movies discredits an entire career. So, read through the evidence on both sides and let us know in the comments whether this week’s defendant deserves to go to MOVIE JAIL!
The Defendant: Nicolas Cage
Nicolas Cage (aka Nicolas Coppola) is hereby charged with heinous crimes against cinema including multiple charges of Redbox mediocrity, falsely advertised starring roles, cash grabs, and numerous cases of overacting. Mr. Cage is being held without bail due to the frequency of his crimes while his case is pending.
EVIDENCE FOR THE PROSECUTION: VAMPIRE’S KISS, DEADFALL, SNAKE EYES, WORLD TRADE CENTER, THE WICKER MAN, NEXT, BANGKOK DANGEROUS, KNOWING, SEASON OF THE WITHC, GHOST RIDER, GHOST RIDER: SPIRIT OF VENGEANCE, DRIVE ANGRY, RAGE, LEFT BEHIND, THE TRUST, USS INDIANAPOLIS: MEN OF COURAGE, DOG EAT DOG, ARMY OF ONE, ARSENAL, LOOKING GLASS, THE HUMANITY BUREAU, 211, RUNNING WITH THE DEVIL, PRIMAL
Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, the case against Nicolas Cage is one that I deliver with a heavy heart. Part of the Coppola filmmaking dynast, Mr. Cage’s contributions to the art of cinema are widely known and yet his crimes against it are equally reprehensible. Known for his wanton disregard for financial security, Mr. Cage has become indebted significantly and owes money all over the world. in order to pay back those debts, he takes film work that would otherwise be considered below him. It may not seem fair to judge a man for tryng to fix his mistakes, but by doing so he has created a black mark on the history of film.
It has been seven years since Nicolas Cage received top billing on a wide release studio film (GHOST RIDER: SPIRIT OF VENGEANCE) and has since appeared in no less than five movies each year. With an output like that, there was no hope for success with only one film a year (if that) being of a quality that is representative of his earlier successes. Mr. Cage has repeatedly made movies that have gone straight to On Demand outlets, each of which is either so bad that it is embarassing to his legacy or features him with top billing despite an insignificant amount of screen time.
Even when discounting the Redbox output from Mr. Cage, his most successful years also featuring embarassingly bad films like the remake of THE WICKER MAN, KNOWING, and NEXT. Even Cage’s directorial debut, SONNY, was a colossal flop both critically and commercially. While the few bright spots in his recent output may point to a turnaround for his career, do not ignore the half dozen other movies he makes that are virtually unwatchable. Mr. Cage needs to be held accountable for his poor choices and found guilty.
EVIDENCE FOR THE DEFENSE: VALLEY GIRL, PEGGY SUE GOT MARRIED, RAISING ARIZONA, MOONSTRUCK, WILD AT HEART, RED ROCK WEST, LEAVING LAS VEGAS, THE ROCK, CON AIR, FACE/OFF, 8MM, ADAPTATION, MATCHSTICK MEN, BAD LIEUTENANT: PORT OF CALL NEW ORLEANS, KICK-ASS, JOE, MOM AND DAD, MANDY, SPIDER-MAN: INTO THE SPIDER-VERSE
Nicolas Cage is a National Treasure. Not just because he starred in NATIONAL TREASURE, but because he is one of the most unique actors in Hollywood history. Changing his last name to avoid the potential nepotism in sharing the last name of one of the most accomplished directors of all time, Cage has earned himself multiple Academy Awards nominations amongst a slew of other recognitions. From his breakout role in MOONSTRUCK to his gut-wrenching turn in LEAVING LAS VEGAS to his meta-role in Charlie Kaufman‘s ADAPTATION, Cage has shown he is able to play in every genre and do so unlike any other actor in Hollywood.
An unlikely action hero, Nicolas Cage began a run of films in the 1990s that include three of the most memorable in the genre’s history: THE ROCK, CON AIR, and FACE/OFF. When filmmakers found a way to channel his intense performances (BAD LIEUTENANT: PORT OF CALL NEW ORLEANS), the results were manic brilliance. Over the years, Mr. Cage has been superheroes, villains, animated characters, family men, and average joes. Few actors are able to achieve so much varied success for such a long time.
While recent years have found Nicolas Cage taking paycheck jobs, he has turned in some powerful performances in cult classics like JOE, MOM AND DAD, and 2018’s sleeper hit, MANDY. This does not seem to be changing as Cage has no less than seven films on the slate for 2020 including the already buzzworthy COLOR OUT OF SPACE. There was also the recently announced meta-film THE UNBEARABLE WEIGHT OF MASSIVE TALENT which may see Cage playing Nicolas Cage. When you reach the point in your career where playing yourself is the biggest challenge you will face, that is a feat rarely achieved by anyone. For that alone and his classic films, Mr. Cage needs to be found not guilty.
Nicolas Cage is clearly a talented actor and one whose proclivities towards intense and bizarre characterizations can both sink or swim a film project. With so many films on his resume, Mr. Cage clearly has a deep enough list of offenses to make a fair judgement as to his mental state and whether he is competent enough to stand trial. Whether or not he is guilty due to conscious choices or a more deep seeded mental illness is up to you to decide.
*The cases for and against a defendant going to Movie Jail by the author are not necessarily his views and opinions but they are some of the beliefs that one would use to effectively make an argument for both sides. Not quite a devil’s advocate but you get the point. Anyway, this is all in fun so don’t take it too seriously. We have a separate jail for those people called “Troll Tower” and believe me you do NOT want to go there.
WHAT SAY YOU: GUILTY OR NOT?
Here is your change to make your voice heard. You are the Jury! Let us know in the comments below whether you find Nicolas Cage INNOCENT or GUILTY and we will share the verdict in two weeks! Remember: this is all for fun. No celebrities have been harmed in the creation of this column.
LAST WEEK’S VERDICT: GUILTY
While the jury deliberated for quite some time on this case, the end result was that Ms. Jolie was guilty of crimes against cinema. While all jurors mentioned the select films of quality she has made, her overwhelmingly mediocre runs of films over the last decade was too damning. Ms. Jolie is hereby sentenced to stay at least 100 yards from any independent film projects and must work with a mediator to analyze the quality of any upcoming projects she selects lest she be permanently incarcerated without possibility of parole.