Willy's Wonderland - Nicolas Cage Keeping His Mouth Shut

I haven’t seen it, but Mandy is 90% on Rotten Tomatoes. It’s supposed to be one of the good ones.

The first half is good, the second half is garbage.

It was still interesting to me. I’ll take an ambitious and weird failure over a boring by-the-numbers low budget action film. It’s the same with Color Out of Space. Even if it’s not your cup of tea, it’s so dang weird and Cage’s acting so bonkers that it’s compelling and fits together. When Cage is hamming it up as a generic tough cop looking for his daughter in a Taken ripoff, it doesn’t work so well.

I did love the vision of the radio tower.

(15) Abed’s impression of Nicolas Cage - Community Season 5 - YouTube

I will always have a soft spot for Nicolas Cage. I may not watch all his films (in fact, I definitely won’t) but I’ll watch the hell out of the clips that go up on Facebook/Twitter.

Wow, the title of this thread is literally true!

Cage has no dialogue in Willy’s Wonderland .

I did that since he never spoke in the trailer!

It’s now out to rent. Is anyone going to take the plunge? I’m tempted, but my wife and I are on an Alien movies marathon. Not sure this is worth interrupting it for…

Shouldn’t take you two too long to make it through Alien and Aliens, the only two Alien movies that exist.

Hehe. I’ve been debating that. My wife had never seen Alien 3 and I think it has some redeeming features.
But do I want to taint the experience by moving past the high mark?

Alien 4, well, I’m normally a fan of Jeunet, or was before that thing. But yeah. I don’t think I’ll acknowledge that one…

I’m going in.

I’m curious to hear what you thought. How did it feel to be stuck in there with Cage? :)

This one is a bit of an odd duck.

There are basically two sometimes overlapping parts.

  1. The story of a tiny town in the middle of nowhere that, for reasons the movie lays out, has a Chuck-E-Cheese like restaurant where the animatronic things eat people. This is almost filler, really. Beth Grant as the Sheriff is the best person in this part, although she doesn’t have a ton to do before she exits the proceedings violently.

  2. Nicholas Cage, and his complete indifference to any of that bullshit. Except when one of said puppet thingies tries to make a meal out of him, at which time he will brutally and utterly destroy said puppet before dutifully returning to his job (cleaning the place for the night).

They overlap at parts. This only works insofar as it’s amusing to watch the teens who wind up stuck inside with Cage’s character The Janitor (never named out loud) try really hard to convince him he needs to get out now because [absolutely insanity]. He doesn’t care. It’s never there in his eyes or in his manner. Cage is cleaning the joint like he was born to do it and the only things that can get in the way of that are (1) puppets trying to kill him (2) someone pointing a shotgun at him and (3) break time.

Once we get through the very brief setup (car accident, no way to pay, so he’ll work it off), Cage is generally only cleaning or killing or taking breaks. It’s the latter where the movie is, uh, it’s most supremely Nicholas Cage-est. Cage carries in his car a case of “Power” canned drinks. A giant fist on the front of can is sort of punching outwards in case you missed it with the title. Somewhere over one side it says “pop”. Later we’ll get a glimpse of some marketing text on a can explaining that Power has all the caffeine you will ever need (or somesuch). Cage will carry his sodas with him into Willys after priming us with one while waiting for help after the car accident. I lost count of how many he consumes but let’s say he pops the tabs on 8-10. He drinks these sodas (I’m no “pop” type, sorry) the way a farmer out on the frontier might, after a hard but productive day on the farm. He consumes them wholly, mind, body, and soul. We always know when a Power is finished because Cage crushes the can with a practiced ease that suggests his character has consumed 10,000 such drinks in his life, all in the same general fashion. Knowing Cage, he probably practiced crushing soda cans for a week for this. Power cans are always deposited in a waste receptacle or I believe back in his car (the first). This movie is really about Cage, and Power, and hard work.

The #1 parts will come weaving in and out, and occasionally distract us, and like I said it’s mostly filler.

Oh, the movie is also about Pinball.

Cage knows it’s break time because of an alarm on his watch (which also informs him of when break time is over). Cage DOES NOT veer from this schedule, to mildly amusing effect in one case. The pinball machine in question, which of course is a Willy’s Pinball Machine, is sitting in the corner in the kitchen. Cage doesn’t uncover it until Break #2, I think. I’m not even sure he starts playing it until Break 4. I think there are at least four breaks where Cage plays Pinball (whilst finishing those Power sodas).

Every Cage movie contains within it’s own personal Rubicon. Is this going to be the right amount of “Cage”, properly channeled? Or is it going to go too far? I’m not sure if this movie crosses that or not. But Cage is being Cage the most when he’s playing pinball on the later breaks, and it’s something that escalates as we go from break to break. Am I reading too much into it when I say these scenes are like a self-parody of Cage performances in any number of movies over the years? How can I even answer that question? It’s Cage. Every answer is correct and exists in the same point of space-time, and also in all points of space-time simultaneously. What I’m saying is I sort of got that vibe.

I wouldn’t advise anyone pay money to see this. Cage’s performance is entertaining, but this is no Color Out of Space (although I’m pretty sure there’s a wink to the latter). But Cage fans will probably enjoy a watch if they can catch it for free.

I feel like I need to see this asap, damn good write up @peacedog


How spoilery is that write up?

Quite in depth.

Hold my beer! I’m going in!

10 minutes in and we already have a Raising Arizona reference. I think I’m going to like this.

Ok. First, that was gloriously terrible and Nic Cage is my hero. Second, I need more beer.