Consider Nicolas Cage.
Any Nicolas Cage. Ghost Rider Nicolas Cage. Fancy Nicolas Cage. Nicolas Cage in a wifebeater. It doesn't matter which one. Nicolas Cage with a mustache.
As you'll soon see, no matter which Nicolas Cage you choose for this particular experiment, the outcome will remain the same.
Do you have your Nicolas Cage? You do? Good.
(It's mustache Nicolas Cage, isn't it?)
I caught the trailer to Nicolas Cage's next movie, Knowing, the other day, and I've reposted it below.
There's nothing too remarkable about this movie on its surface (well, apart from Nicolas Cage's absurdly boastful claim to his son that he's going to make sure he never lets his son die. Not to doubt your parenting skills, but telling your child that he's never going to die is a lie, no matter how you spin it). The trailer is otherwise a typical modern action-thriller. To be fair, I watched it with the sound off and while also watching something else on television, but I caught enough to conclude that it's a movie about Nicolas Cage saving, solving or destroying the world using math.
I watched the trailer and evaluated the different circumstances that would be required for me to watch that movie. I concluded that:
A) I would never pay a dime to see that movie.
B) I would never actively pursue that movie, nor rearrange my schedule in any way to catch it.
C) If it came on television somewhere down the line (probably TNT), I would watch some of it if and only if I didn't have any new movies, it was too late to go out and House wasn't on.
I felt safe in this conclusion because, since House is rarely not on, it seemed unlikely that I would ever see Knowing, and I decided that if I died having never seen Knowing, I could easily consider it a life well lived. Reaching this conclusion brought on a startlingly realization: I had the exact same brief mental conversation for all of the Nicolas Cage movies that existed in my immediate memory. Sure, I know he did some earlier stuff that maybe wasn't terrible, but it became immediately apparent that for maybe the last 10 or 15 years, Nicolas Cage has made the same movie over and over again.
You may not believe me, but I want you to consider these scenes, and try to guess which Nicolas Cage movie is depicted:
Got it? Come on, think about all of the Nicolas Cage movies you've seen. This is the one where he's got that grey t-shirt and the jacket, and the longish, awkward hair, and he looks intense and does a whole lot of running. I mean, it would have to be a whole lot of running, because he's clearly running in the daytime and the nighttime, so to suggest he's been running steadily for several hours.
Which movie, of this versatile actor, are those scenes from? Well, here's what got me:
They're two different fucking movies.
You still might think that's unremarkable. "No big deal," you're probably thinking. "So they're from National Treasure 1 and 2. No mystery, they're sequels." Which is understandable. After all, I could probably throw up three or four pictures of Indiana Jones from any of his four movies running or whipping something and it wouldn't cause a stir; he's playing the same character, so the similarities are intentional. Nothing shocking, it's a sequel.
But you're wrong again. The one on our left is from Knowing, his new one, and the one on our right is from Next, which is like Knowing except I think they play with time instead of math. Still, you might think I'm making too big a deal out of two vaguely similar photos, but take a closer look. It's not just about Nicolas Cage running that hits me. Look at the picture again. Really drink it up.
See that? It's the clothes, yes, and the hair. The look of intensity. And it's the right leg up. The near identical positions of the arms. The fact that his jacket is blowing in the wind with the exact same intensity in each picture. How does something like that even happen? He's even going to the same destination in two different movies. One more time, with my notes now.
This might not be mind-blowing to you. There's a slight chance that I'm a little bit obsessed with Nicolas Cage. Okay, there's more than a slight chance, because it's clear that I sat around, watching a ton of Nicolas Cage movies searching for patterns, as if I was perversely recreating what I think is the plot from Knowing. So, yes, maybe I'm a tad obsessed with trying to find what makes this wide-eyed maniac tick.
I just feel like he did great work in, for example, Adaptaion, and then he took all of his ability and focused on making one movie for, I guess, the rest of his career. Which would be okay, except the movie he keeps making sucks. I'm sick of seeing it: He's in a race against time, he needs to get to the truth, nobody believes him, some explosions happen and he's extremely intense. Also, something will happen at one point that will necessitate his having a flashlight.
I don't know what the moral of this story is. I suppose it could be "Don't see Knowing, because you already did except it was called Snake Eyes, and instead of the end of the world, it was a boxing match, and instead of numbers being the answer, it was Gary Sinise." That sure as hell doesn't sound like a moral. Maybe there is no moral.
Regardless, all of the photo research that this article required brought me to my new favorite game that I'd love to share with you. It's called "Nicolas Cage." Unlike my associate, Gladstone's game, this one isn't complicated or Facebook-related (also, it's fun).
Here's how you play:
Step 1: Get a screengrab from a Nicolas Cage movie. Doesn't matter what movie or how much facial hair Nicolas Cage has.
Step 2: Think of a line of dialogue, [Two Sentence Maximum] for Nicolas Cage. This line must, in your opinion (A) sum up the movie and (B) be just retarded enough that it might actually be a real line from a Nicolas Cage film.
Step 3: Superimpose that line over the picture.
Step 4: That is the entire game.
Nicolas Cage: The Game, might not sound fun at first.
But I gotta tell you, I had a blast. First of all, images of Nicolas Cage acting are inherently hilarious. Everyone knows that.
And it's even more fun when you add in the adventure of summing up the movie in a maximum of two sentences. If the movies were any good, this should really be a challenge, but I realized early on that it's nowhere near as difficult as it should be.
I've just shown and told you everything you will ever need to know about the movie Face/Off. Bam. I could shorten Nicolas Cage's entire career to a few pictures and, like, 100 words, and that's a pretty liberal estimation.
Congrats, you've just seen The Wicker Man. I could literally do this shit all day. And, if you find some spare time, grab a picture of Nicolas Cage, add some friggin' words, and post a link below If I like it, I'll add it to this page [spoiler alert: I will definitely like it].
Edit:FUCK YES! I'm getting these emails faster than I can put them up. I'm posting (almost) every single one I receive. I don't have a problem dedicated literally all of my day to this project.
[Hilarious to me because I have no idea what movie this is and Nicolas Cage is clearly covered in vomit or poop or something.--DOB.]
By Count Baqula
[Works for me because, as Baq pointed out, the line is equally applicable to his film career.--DOB]
[Was Nicolas Cage a vampire in something?? That's terrific! --DOB]
By Steven O.
[What fucking movie is this? His costume looks straight outta local theater, this is absurd.--DOB]
[Author requests you read this out loud through clenched teeth.--DOB]
[ Those two above Wicker Man posters came in at almost the exact time from two different people. How fucking awesome is that? When people are told to summarize Wicker Man, they independently come to the conclusion that being dressed as a bear and punching women was the only thing that happened. I think this might be the most important work I've ever done. -- DOB]
By Cracked Super Intern Randall!
By CRACKED Writer Jeff Kelly!
[I think the best thing is that we all clearly have no idea what Captain Corelli's Magical Mystery Mandolin was actually about. --DOB]
By Jeff Kelly Again!
[Man, look at the face of the guy who isn't Nicolas Cage. He's totally thinking "You're right, I DO talk like the wind." Look at how appreciated he feels --DOB]
[Things I love about this one: a) Cage is clearly struggling to understand this very simple concept. b) A chick made this one. Hot.--DOB]
By Jeff Kelly Again!
By Cracked Writer Malcolm Christiansen!
By Eric M.
By Boonehams again
This trilogy by Malcolm Christiansen is incredible.
By Robert Brockway!
By Malcolm again!
[Not technically following the rules, but I love this one because the idea that Nicolas Cage has as hard a time as we do figuring out which of his movies is which is hilarious to me.--DOB]
By Dan R.
SUPER UPDATE: I've received over 250 pictures of Nicolas Cage in my inbox and I am officially burnt out. We're still playing Nicolas Cage in the Forums, but I won't be posting anymore here.
For now. This game is addicting.