BIRDY
1984, Sony Repertory, 120 min, USA, Dir: Alan Parker

Nicolas Cage and Matthew Modine play childhood pals who drift apart in high school, only to be brought back together by the emotional and physical devastation of war; after both men serve in Vietnam, Cage desperately attempts to bring his old friend back to life. Using an audacious flashback structure, director Alan Parker crafts one of the most moving, original character studies of its era and showcases career-best performances by Cage and Modine.


THE BAD LIEUTENANT: PORT OF CALL – NEW ORLEANS
2009, Millennium Entertainment, 122 min, USA, Dir: Werner Herzog

No choir boy to begin with, cop Terence McDonagh (Nicolas Cage) becomes addicted to painkillers after an on-duty injury and quickly descends into a mania of drug abuse and corruption in post-Katrina New Orleans. Not since Klaus Kinski has Herzog worked with an actor of such intensity, and costars Eva Mendes, Val Kilmer and Xzibit rise to the level of Cage’s mesmerizing performance. Ignore the “bad” title here (there’s little connection to the 1992 Abel Ferrara film) - PORT OF CALL is a wildly entertaining thrill ride, flecked with dark humor and bizarre flourishes.


THE ROCK
1996, Buena Vista, 136 min, USA, Dir: Michael Bay

FBI chemical weapons specialist Nicolas Cage and ex-convict Sean Connery (the only man to successfully escape from Alcatraz, aka "The Rock"), are enlisted to break into the former prison when a disgruntled U.S. general (Ed Harris) goes over the edge, seizing the island with his elite commandos and threatening to attack San Francisco if his demands aren’t met. Bruckheimer’s first film after splitting with partner Don Simpson, THE ROCK is a mega-octane action machine, delivered with characteristic skill and humor by director Michael Bay and acted by a superb cast including Cage, Connery, David Morse, Michael Biehn and William Forsythe.


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