#2 Guarding Tess

#2 Guarding Tess
Year: 1994
Director: Hugh Wilson
MPAA Rating: PG-13 
Epic Co-stars: Richard Griffiths, Shirley MacLaine
Running Time: 96 mins
Cage Time: ~99%
Cage Kills:  0.1 
Cage Flip-outs: 6
James' Review:  Some sparks really fly (but mostly fizzle) when Doug Chesnic is placed on security duty for a miserable old iron-box bitch that happens to be the widow of a nameless/faceless former US president.  A young clean-cut Nick Cage does about all he can with the somewhat robotic role of a FBI security agent who appears to hate his job despite having literally no external friends, family, lovers or any other human relationships mentioned throughout the film.  

Early on as the story presented an unexplained and unwarranted affection the ex-first lady had for Mr. Chesnic, I found myself with a growing excitement that this was the ground work for an ultra-hot and raunchy inter-generational sex scene that would allow an exceptionally gifted actor such as Nicolas Cage to really show off his range as a performer.  Alas, this affection turned out to be the result of severely mediocre script writing that requires unexplained actions and emotions from the characters just to advance the story line.  

At the end of the day, I have to assume that Mr. Cage chose this role as a challenge to himself to see if he could turn water into wine, or in this case, mostly bull-shit writing and flat co-stars into a highly enjoyable 90 minute escape from reality for his fans.  And to this I only have to say, "Well Played Sir, you have done it again."

  • "I'd choose Mr. Ed in a second."
  • "I merely... removed the bud."
  • "Why don't you just go to hell... okay Douggie?"
  • "Get in the god-damned chair."

Plot Holes:
  • Frederick makes a 36 inch cheese sandwich and doesn't immediately consume it. 
  • SPOILER: Old lady said she had brain cancer within the first 5 minutes of the movie.
  • SPOILER: Old lady was followed by several agents to medical center for mysterious visit, but nobody inquired why she was there.
  • SPOILER: When old lady was dying in helicopter, the feds and locals had some sort of long and drawn out musical chair session where she seemed to be the last thing on anyone's mind.

Below Expectation
Below Expectations
!Stayed in the cage!

#1 The Rock

#1 The Rock
Year: 1996
Director: Michael Bay
MPAA Rating: R 
Epic Co-stars: Sean Connery
Running Time: 136 mins 
Cage Time: ~55% 
Cage Kills:
Cage Flip-outs: 7

Shauna's Review: In my mind, the only question is, “The Rock- great Nicolas Cage movie... or greatest Nicolas Cage movie?” The Rock is an ideal showcase for Nic Cage’s trademark intensity, witty/cheesy bon mots, and querulous eyebrows, making it (in my opinion) one of his best films.

In true Michael Bay style, The Rock’s simplistic script is merely a vehicle for dramatic camera angles, explosive car chases, and uber-dramatic moments (sprinkled liberally throughout). Nicolas Cage fits handily into this scenario with his constantly-furrowed brow, his near-whisper dialogue and his comically serious temper tantrums. Cage is perfectly partnered with Sean Connery, whose calm Scottish sarcasm provides an excellent counterpoint to Cage’s mega-acting. (Excellent actor Ed Harris is also in this movie, which makes you wonder... why is Ed Harris in this movie?)

If you’re a fan of comically ridiculous dialogue, hilariously thin plot lines, and seriously over-acted scenarios, you can’t go wrong with The Rock (see also: Face/Off). Movies where Nic Cage cracks a smile are highly overrated.

Nicolas Cage persona: Righteously indignant hero.
All he wants to do is find the Truth/ save the world, and the clock is ticking... so GET OUT OF HIS FREAKIN WAY, PEOPLE.

Range of facial expressions:
Minimal (ever-intense)
This is some serious shit. This is no place for smiles.

Movie quotability: 4/5
Favorite quote: “What do you say we cut the CHIT-CHAT, A-HOLE?!”
  • "How, in the name of ZEUS' BUTTHOLE, did you get out of your cell?!"
  • "I love pressure. I eat it for breakfast. "
  • "You know, I like history too, and maybe when this is all over you and I can stop by the souvenir shop together but right now I just... I just wanna find some rockets! "
  • "It's you. You're the Rocket Man."
  • "Well, gosh... kind of a lot's happened since then."
  • "FBI! Freeze, sucker!"

Plot Holes:
  • The "good guy" government officials risked the lives of millions in order to not spend $100M (minuscule by federal budget standards) on compensation for deserving families of fallen war heroes. Total Jerks.
  • When Dr. Stanley Goodspeed unscrews the rocket in the lighthouse, he turns the screwdriver the wrong way as made obvious by the constant ratcheting sound. What an idiot.
  • SPOILER: Although General Hummel redirects the rocket away from the football stadium to detonate "safely" in the San Francisco bay, wouldn't there still be some negative effects from this detonation, either in the water or spreading through the air from the point of impact, since the VX gas crystals are supposedly very fragile? While we're at it, why are the lights on at the stadium if it's noon?

Exceeds Expectations
!Tolerated the cage!