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Bad Movie Tuesday: The Cusack/Cage Conundrum

June 11, 2013

The Numbers Station

Gross Point Blank, High Fidelity, Say Anything, Being John Malkovich, One Crazy Summer, Adaptation, Raising Arizona, The Sure Thing, Leaving Las Vegas, The Rock, Serendipity, The Thin Red Line, Kick-Ass and Matchstick Men, John Cusack and Nicolas Cage have been in some of my favorite films. They’ve traversed the cinema landscape playing killers, heroes and Lotharios. Their movies have accumulated billions of dollars yet somehow they find themselves in puzzling films playing odd characters that are featured in cut rate posters.

Stolen movie poster


While watching The Numbers Station (curiosity,background noise) I couldn’t help but notice a trend starting to occur. It seems like they are becoming one person.  Both have headlined Charlie Kaufman films (Being John Malkovich, Adaptation). Cage and Cusack had competing War movies with Lords of War and War Inc.  Both have starred in rotten rated films with Nicole Kidman (Tresspass 2011, Paperboy 2012), They’ve acted with Jennifer Carpenter in DTV films (Seeking Justice 2012, The Factory 2011).   To top it all off  while watching Numbers I remembered that the two have acted in two very bad DTV films with Malin Ackerman (Stolen 2012, The Numbers Station 2013). Now, they are acting together again in the DTV thriller Frozen Ground. 

Notice how bored they both look. Hunters are becoming hunted and it makes you want to sleep.

The Frozen Ground movie poster

Both actors have their own unique talents and proved them time and time again. However, lately they’ve been teetering between overacting (yelling at Kidman) and underacting (I think Cage slept through Stolen). Their last movies Stolen. Seeking Justice, The Raven, The Factory, Trespass and Ghost Rider 2 have accumulated 19% on Rotten Tomatoes. I can’t even explain why The Number’s Station was made. The plot revolves around Cusack watching after Malin Akerman in a station where government codes are made. Cusack seems genuinely depressed and I don’t think he had it in him to create chemistry with Akerman.  I don’t remember anything else from the plot.

What I love about both of these actors is that their careers have become unpredictable roller coasters of entertainment. If you a compiled a top ten film list of their films it would challenge any other filmography. Their legacies are set and their acting unquestioned. They survived the 80s, 90s, 00s, and now have respectable movies coming up with The Butler, Salinger, Maps to the Stars, Joe and Expendables 3. They survive bad films, pop up in excellent cinema then go back to odd choices and bad hair.

John Cusack The Raven

You can never predict what is coming next from these guys and that is why it is a pleasure to have them around. I just hope they don’t become one person. The worst thing that these guys can become is predictable.

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