Monday, July 19, 2010

'Drive Angry 3D' and Other Dark Movies from Nicolas Cage

There are a few plates of concept art for 'Drive Angry 3D' making their way around the web. I don't get it. The art looks fine -- we're in for a violent action-filled chase movie -- but didn't Cage just announce that he is through making dark violent movies? Didn't he say he wanted to make more family movies?

I thought the main reason 'The Sorcerer's Apprentice' did so poorly is because Cage has done so few movies with family appeal, or movies in which he portrays a nurturing father figure.

IMDb lists 'Drive Angry 3D' as an action thriller -- sounds like more of the same gritty material we're used to from Cage. Not exactly family fare. Okay, well, DA3D is in production, so maybe Cage hasn't had time to make an adjustment in the type of movies he does. Maybe the family movies he is planning to do are down the road a bit. So, I checked his upcoming projects on IMDb. Here are the titles and loglines:

'Season of the Witch': 14th-century knights transport a suspected witch to a monastery, where monks deduce her powers could be the source of the Black Plague.

Hmm...not exactly 'family night' at the movies, is it.

'The Hungry Rabbit Jumps': After his wife is assaulted, a husband enlists the services of a vigilante group to help him settle the score.

There's a loving husband. He settles the score. That's so sweet. Bring the kids.

'Drive Angry 3D': A vengeful father chases after the men who killed his daughter.

Another dad. Good.

'The Croods': Set in the prehistoric era, a man's position as Leader of the Hunt is threatened by the arrival of a prehistoric genius who comes up with revolutionary new inventions ... like fire.

Okay, this is an adventure-comedy that sort of ruins the streak of non-family movies. But, 'The Croods' is an animated family movie, so you won't see Cage's face just hear his voice and kids won't identify with him. So, in a way, the streak is unbroken.

So, then, continuing:

'Trespass': As they're held for ransom, a husband and wife's predicament grows more dire amid the discovery of betrayal and deception.

Here he plays a husband whose wife is, apparently, still among the living. Excellent! Save this one for when the in-laws come to visit. Book a whole row of seats.

'Office Paranormal': No logline, but listed as a horror movie in which Cage plays a detective. Not really for the kids.

That's it. Those are the titles currently in production. Except for the animated movie (which will only feature Cage's voice) none are remotely suitable for the entire family.

That's fine. Cage announced he was quitting movies with darker subject matter just a few days ago. Things take time. Give him a chance. Let's look at the projects he has in pre-production:

'National Treasure 3': Not for the younger kids. Rated PG, the series is a little too busy and the plot too tough to understand.

'Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance': No logline yet, but the title says it all. A guy who sold his soul to the devil rides a chopper and seeks the babysitter.

'The Courtship of Eddie's Father': The logline for the 1963 (comedy-drama) original with Glenn Ford is: Every boy needs a mother...even if Dad has to marry her!

So, Cage will do a role original played by Glenn Ford? And this will be in several years? After all the action-horror-revenge flicks he has yet to make? He's already pretty scary looking. By the time he gets around to playing Eddie's dad, will it even be possible for Cage to be credible as a father (who isn't seeking revenge for a family member's murder or has to sell his soul to the devil in order to destroy his enemies)? Won't kids just stare at the screen wondering what to make of this guy? They'll just sit there and stare, right?

Sorry, but I don't see Cage ever doing family movies. I'd love it if he proved me wrong, but...right now it's not in the cards.

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