Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Wild at Heart

So, last night, I watched the first part of this really entertaining film called Wild at Heart. This film was recommended to me way back when I was still in college I think. It came out in 1990, so this was certainly plausible. For whatever reason, I never had occasion to watch it, but saw it was being included on some cable channel as part of a Nicholas Cage retrospective, which was kind of fascinating in itself.

First off, Wild at Heart is directed by David Lynch. I have never really watched too much David Lynch, but his work is always being praised by people whose opinions I respect, including the great Charles Bukowksi, so it was probably time I gave something of his a full-fledged try. And Wild at Heart was definitely worth it. A lot of good energy, sex, music, sexual energy, sensual energies, one liners, style, etc. And Nick Cage really does a great job personifying all this.

Which brings me back to my thoughts on a Nick Cage retrospective. Valley Girl, which came out in 1983, was also part of that retrospective. That was Cage's first major role and turned into a cult classic, which we, as high schoolers at the time, loved. I'm sure I saw it more than once. I watched the second half of it the other night and it seemed kind of stupid, but Cage is certainly the strongest player in the movie.

Move forward seven years to Wild at Heart and he is really still bringing it, with the help of David Lynch of course. By that time he had also made Raising Arizona with the Coen Brothers, not to mention being the nephew of Francis Ford Coppola. So, Cage certainly had the opportunity to learn from some top notch and innovative directors.

He made some other mildly interesting flicks in the early 1990s, before really hitting a home run with the role of the drunk lead in Leaving Las Vegas, for which I believe he won the Best Actor Academy Award. As far as I'm concerned, it's been all downhill for him since. I think I've seen him in three entertaining movies since: Adaptation, Con Air, and Gone in 60 Seconds, but while they were all fun movies, Cage didn't have same energy be brought to his early flicks. What happened to it? Probably life just wore him down. I know he had a highly publicized bankruptcy and was said just to be making movies just to pay his bills for awhile. Cage's bankruptcy was always a bit confusing, because, as often happens in these cases I guess, you find yourself wondering how somebody that could be so good at something like acting (which you are assuming, perhaps incorrectly takes some intellectual ability) be so bad a managing their money.

Anyhow, I guess I'll just enjoy the rest of Wild at Heart and stop wondering about what happened to Nick Cage. At least he gave us a few good movies, which is more than most people can say.

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