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Movies: Past, present and future

Category: Nicolas Cage

Adam Sandler dominates the Razzie nominations

February 25, 2012 |  6:00 pm

Adam Sandler's "Jack and Jill" earns Razzie nods


In a dubious achievement, Adam Sandler broke all records Saturday evening, earning 11 Razzie nominations for his various work as an actor, a writer and a producer on three 2011 movies: "Jack and Jill," "Bucky Larson: Born to Be a Star" and "Just Go With It."

The nominations for the 32nd annual Razzie Awards, honoring the worst accomplishments in film, were announced on the eve of the Academy Awards. The Razzies have traditionally been presented the day before the Oscars, but co-owners John Wilson and Mo Murphy have moved the ceremony this year to April Fool's Day to give the Razzie voters “additional time to see the dreck" before casting their ballots.

Sandler's gender-bender comedy "Jack and Jill" — in which he portrays both title roles — earned 12 nominations, including worst film, actor and actress for Sandler, supporting actress for Katie Holmes and supporting actor for Al Pacino (yes, you read that correctly).

Rounding out the worst film nominees are "Bucky Larson: Born to Be a Star," which Sandler co-wrote; "New Year's Eve"; "Transformers: Dark of the Moon";  and "The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn, Part 1."

Sandler earned a second worst actor nomination for "Just Go With It" and will compete against Russell Brand for "Arthur," Nicolas Cage for three films — "Drive Angry 3-D," "Season of the Witch" and "Trespass" — Taylor Lautner for "Abduction" and "Breaking Dawn," and Nick Swardson for "Bucky Larson."

It was a good year (or perhaps a very bad one) for men in drag at the movies. In addition to Sandler, a few other actors earned nominations in the actress categories. David Spade is up for worst supporting actress as Monica in "Jack and Jill," while Martin Lawrence is nominated for worst actress in "Big Mommas: Like Father, Like Son," and Brandon T. Jackson from that film is in contention for supporting actress. 

Joining Sandler and Lawrence in the worst actress category are Sarah Palin in "Sarah Palin: The Undefeated," Sarah Jessica Parker for both "I Don't Know How She Does It" and "New Year's Eve," and Kristen Stewart for "Breaking Dawn."

Rounding out the supporting actress category after Spade, Jackson and Holmes are Nicole Kidman for "Just Go With It" and Rosie Huntington-Whiteley  for "Transformers: Dark of the Moon."

Competing with Pacino for worst supporting actor are Patrick Dempsey in "Transformers: Dark of the Moon," James Franco for "Your Highness," Ken Jeong for four movies — "Big Mommas," "The Hangover: Part II," "Transformers" and "Zookeeper" — and Nick Swardson for "Jack and Jill" and "Just Go With It."

Vying for worst screen ensemble are the casts of "Bucky Larson," "Jack and Jill," "New Year's Eve," "Transformers" and "Breaking Dawn."

Worst director nominees are Michael Bay for "Transformers," Tom Brady for "Bucky Larson," Bill Condon for "Breaking Dawn," Dennis Dugan for "Jack and Jill" and "Just Go With It," and Garry Marshall for "New Year's Eve."

Nominated for worst prequel, remake, rip-off or sequel are "Arthur," "Bucky Larson," "The Hangover: Part II," "Jack and Jill" and "Breaking Dawn."

Vying for worst screen couple are Cage and "anyone sharing the screen with him in any of his three 2011 films," Shia LaBeouf and Huntington-Whiteley in "Transformers," Sandler and either Jennifer Aniston or Brooklyn Decker in "Just Go With It," Sandler and either Holmes, Pacino or himself in "Jack and Jill" and Stewart and either Lautner or Robert Pattinson in "Breaking Dawn."

Worst screenplay nominations went to Sandler, Allen Covert and Swardson for "Bucky Larson"; Steve Koren and Sandler with story by Ben Zook for "Jack and Jill"; Katherine Fugate for "New Year's Eve"; Ehren Kruger for "Transformers"; and Melissa Rosenberg from the novel by Stephenie Meyer for "Breaking Dawn."


Movie Review: Adam Sandler's 'Jack and Jill' is a drag 

Movie Review: 'Bucky Larson: Born to Be a Star

— Susan King

Photo: Adam Sandler's "Jack and Jill" earned 12 Razzie nominations. Credit: Tracy Bennett/Columbia Pictures 

Box office: 'Ghost Rider' sequel latest Nicolas Cage flub [Video]

February 20, 2012 |  3:21 pm

Ghost Rider Spirit of Vengeance was a let down at the box office this weekend
Nicolas Cage suffered another setback at the box office this weekend, as "Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance" failed to meet industry expectations.

Heading into the weekend, pre-release audience surveys had indicated the 3-D sequel would premiere with at least $30 million over the four-day holiday. Instead, the Denzel Washington film "Safe House" rose to No. 1 during its second weekend in theaters, collecting an additional $28.4 million. "The Vow," another holdover from last weekend, also performed well, taking the runner-up position with $26.6 million.

"Spirit of Vengeance" is the latest in a string of flops for the 48-year-old Cage, who has appeared in a whopping 14 films since the original "Ghost Rider" was released in 2007. His last three films, "Drive Angry," "Season of the Witch" and "The Sorcerer's Apprentice," all underperformed at the multiplex.

Why didn't audiences respond to his new movie? Check out this week's box office video report for details.


Box office: 'Safe House' surprises, 'Ghost Rider' disappoints

'Safe House': Director Daniel Espinosa doesn't take safe route

'The Vow' writers: A tale Tatum and McAdams could appreciate

— Amy Kaufman


Photo: A scene from "Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance." Credit: Sony Pictures.

Week in review: 'Ghost Rider's' back; challenges of 'This Means War'

February 17, 2012 |  4:21 pm

It's been five years since 'Ghost Rider' caught fire at the box office, earning $115 million when it opened in February 2007. The sequel debuts today, and the lag time hasn't seemed to dampen audiences' enthusiasm for the Marvel property. And while its star Nic Cage often has a spotty track record, his role as Johnny Blaze seems still to be a winner, enough so to outshine the box office lure of Reese Witherspoon, who appears alongside up-and-coming young actors Chris Pine and Tom Hardy in the McG action-romance "This Means War."

Times reporters Nicole Sperling and Steve Zeitchik discuss the marketing challenges of the Witherspoon comedy and the strange career of Cage.


Movie Projector: 'Ghost Rider' sequel to scorch competition

'This Means War': Hybrid's grueling battle

Photo credit: A scene from "Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance." (Columbia Pictures-Sony) 

'Tower Heist's' Ferrari: Inspired by Nicolas Cage's living room

November 15, 2011 | 11:02 am

The "Tower Heist" Ferrari
Twenty-five years ago, Matthew Broderick took a spin in a vintage red Ferrari and ran into some big trouble in “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.” Now he’s back in “Tower Heist” — in which another red Ferrari plays a similarly pivotal role (and comes in for a different yet equally memorable bruising).

“Tower Heist” director Brett Ratner said any similarities to the 1986 John Hughes classic and his film were subconscious for him. Instead, he said he was inspired by seeing a luxury car on display in the living room of actor Nicolas Cage, whom he directed in 2000’s “The Family Man.”

In “Tower Heist,” the audience meets the 1963 Ferrari 250 GT Lusso in the penthouse apartment of Arthur Shaw, a Bernie Madoff-type character played by Alan Alda. (The car in “Ferris Bueller” was a 1961 Ferrari GT California.)

The Ferrari becomes central to the “Tower Heist” plot as characters played by Ben Stiller, Eddie Murphy and Broderick conspire to rob Shaw after his Ponzi scheme is exposed. In the movie, Shaw says the car was previously owned by Steve McQueen.

The "King of Cool" really did own a 250 GT Lusso. But the rare sports car sells for around $1 million at auctions, so Ratner, et al. didn’t have the luxury of getting the real deal. Ratner had two replicas built, both without engines to make them lighter and rigged for stunt shots.

At one point in “Tower Heist,” Stiller’s character smashes the windows of the car with a golf club. Even though everyone knew it was a replica, “it was painful” to watch, Ratner said, “especially for my Italian cinematographer.”

The windows of the replica car used for that scene were replaced after filming. Universal Pictures owns one of the fake Ferraris, and Ratner took home the other. He also owns the Corvette from his movie “Rush Hour” and a car from the 1995 crime film “Dead Presidents.”

Though the Ferrari replica will reside in Ratner’s garage, he hopes it will also inhabit the minds of wheels-loving boys who see “Tower Heist.”

“I want it to be what the ‘Risky Business’ Porsche was for that movie. I had that poster on my wall when I was [young],” Ratner said. “That would be the ultimate — I hope to do for 12-year-olds seeing this movie what that car did for me.”


'Tower Heist': Is Eddie Murphy's tank finally on empty?

Brett Ratner's Oscar debacle: Hollywood hypocrisy?

Academy president: 'I was appalled' hearing Ratner on Howard Stern

— Emily Rome

Photo: The replica 1963 Ferrari 250 GT Lusso in "Tower Heist." Credit: Universal Pictures

Toronto film festival adds Jennifer Hudson, Nicole Kidman movies

August 16, 2011 |  7:00 am

The already-crowded 2011 Toronto International Film Festival lineup just got more packed with the addition Tuesday of eight galas and 18 special presentations, including "Winnie," the biopic of South Africa's Winnie Mandela starring Jennifer Hudson and Terrence Howard; "Trespass," a  Joel Schumacher thriller starring Nicole Kidman and Nicolas Cage; and the French film "Beloved," starring Catherine Deneuve.

Oscar-winning screenwriter Geoffrey Fletcher ("Precious") will unveil his directorial debut, "Violet & Daisy," featuring  Saoirse Ronan ("Hanna"), Alexis Bledel ("Gilmore Girls") and James Gandolfini. Meanwhile, Rebecca Hall, Dominic West and Imelda Staunton will star in Nick Murphy's thriller "The Awakening."

The festival, which runs from Sept. 8-18, will feature the British film "Page Eight" as the closing-night film. Starring Bill Nighy, the spy pic from director David Hare also features Michael Gambon and Rachel Weisz.


Bono, U2 doc will open Toronto International Film Festival

George Clooney, Brad Pitt highlight Toronto film festival lineup

Toronto Film Festival documentary lineup includes Herzog, Spurlock

-- Nicole Sperling

Photo: Jennifer Hudson, left, and Terrence Howard in a scene from "Winnie." Credit: Toronto International Film Festival.

'Devil's Double': When one actor takes on two roles in the same film

July 27, 2011 |  4:51 pm

Actor Dominic Cooper plays two roles in the new movie “The Devil’s Double”: Uday Hussein, the sadistic playboy son of Saddam Hussein, and Latif Yahia, whose resemblance to Uday landed him the unwanted job of his body double. Besides double vision, the movie may inspire a sense of déjà vu in viewers — after all, making an actor do double duty is a time-honored Hollywood tradition.

Often, the roles are twins: Hayley Mills played separated twins of divorced parents in Disney’s 1961 film “The Parent Trap,” while Margot Kidder took it to a whole new level as a woman shadowed by her psychotic former conjoined twin in Brian De Palma’s 1973 thriller “Sisters.” Jean-Claude Van Damme played twins who were separated when their parents died in 1991’s “Double Impact.” Jeremy Irons played twin gynecologists in 1988’s “Dead Ringers,” and thanks to digital face-replacement technology, Armie Hammer was able to portray the Winklevoss twins, Cameron and Tyler, in last year’s “The Social Network.”

Later this year, moviegoers will get to see Adam Sandler play twins — a male and female set — in “Jack and Jill.” Check out our double vision gallery to see more.


Dominic Cooper does double duty in 'Devil's Double'

The most famous comedian in Spain will be Adam Sandler's lover

Armie Hammer to play Winklevoss twins again -- on 'The Simpsons'

— Mark Olsen

Photo: Dominic Cooper stars as Uday Hussein (left) and Latif Yahia (right) in the movie  "The Devil's Double."  Credit: Lionsgate

Critical Mass: 'Season of the Witch'

January 7, 2011 |  3:47 pm


Just when it seemed like Nicolas Cage had managed to take his gonzo acting for the back-row style of performance in ever-schlockier productions and turn it into a career asset, "Season of the Witch" comes along and throws a curveball at everyone expecting another goony hoot fest.

Hard as it may be to believe, Cage appears to be taking this story of 14th century knights escorting an accused witch to a monastary totally seriously. Or at least in a more muted manner than his nicely packaged YouTube highlight reels would lead you to expect.

Now it's the critics who seem to be having a Cage-level freakout on Cage himself, who most say is reason No. 1 why this swords-and-sorcery romp is a collosal waste of time.

And not since "The Social Network" or "Toy Story 3" have the critics been this united in a single opinion on a film. Unfortunately for "Season of the Witch," that united opinion isn't positive.

"What's most disappointing, though, is how Cage seems to be sleepwalking through so much of it," writes Times reviewer Mark Olsen. "There are only occasional glimmers of Cage's singularly eccentric line-readings or moments when he turns conventional reaction shots on their head. Mostly they crop up just enough to serve as a reminder of their absence."

Continue reading »

Nicolas Cage: Hair-raising performances from 'Peggy Sue Got Married' to 'Season of the Witch'

January 5, 2011 |  4:56 pm


Over the course of a freewheeling filmography that spans nearly 70 titles, Nicolas Cage has shown himself capable of astonishing range. He's delivered Oscar-caliber acting but also oddball affectations and scene-stealing surrealism.

Pretty much the same can be said of Cage's hair.

NicThanks to his love of cutting-edge grooming, extensive use of extreme wigs, bizarro manscaping and distracting dye jobs, the 46-year-old actor -- who it should be noted is himself, ahem, follicularly challenged -- has time and again conjured characterization through coiffure.

Cage's latest movie, the fantasy-thriller "Season of the Witch," arrives in theaters Friday. Click the gallery at right for a rundown of Cage’s greatest hair hits and worst comb-overs.

-- Chris Lee

Photo, top: Nicolas Cage in "Season of the Witch." Credit: Egon Endrenyi / Relativity Media

Nicolas Cage's Christian Bale moment [video]

December 13, 2010 |  6:10 pm

It's not clear what (the man who appears to be) Nicolas Cage is getting angry about in this video — maybe it's over the recent movie montage of him getting angry? — but it's fun to ponder. Tax and real-estate problems? Toupee rumors? A lack of Oscars for "National Treasure"?

The actor is shooting the "'Ghost Rider" sequel in Bucharest. But this video will make you feel his Cage-ness as though it was right in front of you. Apart from the killer closing line "I'll die in the name of honor," it's hard to make out much of what the actor says. But according to the Romanian translation that runs beneath it, his rant includes such YouTube-able phrases as  "Look in my eyes,"  "Don't touch me" and "This guy should respect me," all expressed in the particular cadence of Cage Rage. You won't find such gems anywhere, well, outside a Nicolas Cage movie.

— Steven Zeitchik



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