Max Headroom, Face Off, & Gitmo Spies: News Bites

In the words of Graham Greene: “Media is a word that has come to mean bad journalism.” Now some news bites:

Movie Tagline, “No Animals Were Harmed” Means Absolutely Nothing
Example: Bengal tiger used in Life of Pi – nearly drowned during production; The American Humane Association gave the movie its stamp of approval.

New Password App Recognizes Faces
Apple bought “FaceCrypt” – a password manager app using face-recognition technology. Looks like the making for a sequel to  the Nicholas Cage flick, Face Off.

Obama Confronts Heckler and Pushes Immigration

You have the power to stop all deportations!” the heckler yelled, to which Obama answered “Actually, I don’t.” The president then turned away from the camera and addressed the man directly.

Husband Broadcasts Drunk, Naked Wife On Playstation 4
Big Brother is watching you because he’s your douchebag husband.

Max Headroom Television Hack
Chicago TV station interrupted by appearance by the 80’s icon.

US Turn Gitmo Prisoners Into Double Agents

The program was called Penny Lane; Guantanamo Bay prisoners were offered freedom, safety for their families, and millions of dollars from the agency’s secret accounts – in exchange for becoming a double agent back home. American public and The Beatles should be outraged.

Nicolas Cage Seeks Justice in ‘Seeking Justice’

Another year, another slate of paint-by-numbers Nicholas Cage action vehicles. In Seeking Justice, he’s a man trying to take revenge for an attack on his wife, played by January Jones. A shadowy syndicate offers him the opportunity to get his vengeance nut, but the rabbit hole goes deeper and deeper: he’s asked to kill a sex offender, is maybe framed for murder, and is eventually forced to go after the group he thought was helping him out. There’s as hilarious beat in the trailer when Cage comes home to find out that someone has spelled "choose" on his refrigerator with magnetic children’s letters, and the music screeches to reflect his inner paranoia. I’ll be first in line, of course. These movies are always entertaining, so why not?

Fun facts: Seeking Justice was originally titled The Hungry Rabbit Jumps, it’s produced by Tobey Maguire, and director Roger Donaldson previously helmed Dante’s Peak, the wonderful Pierce Brosnan volcano disaster flick. Consider something else: what if all these Nic Cage movies — Drive Angry, Next, Knowing, Bangkok Dangerous, etc. —  are about the same character? Much like Clint Eastwood’s Man with No Name spiritually stretching across several decades and movies, Cage’s overarching archetype is a powerless, confused dude always trying to do the right thing. It makes sense if you (get preposterously stoned and) think about it. Calling all grad students! Jones is perfectly fine at playing the shook wife (really, it’s the only thing she can do) and Guy Pearce fits into any role as a vaguely evil baddie, so I’m sure it’ll be a ripping time. It opens on March 16.

New ‘Ghost Rider’ Trailer Released & We Smell Oscar!

The trailer for Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance is out, and if you haven’t seen the original Ghost Rider, let’s recap: Nic Cage plays a Scottish woman who is shipped to New Zealand to live with Alistair Stewart, a wealthy land owner. Cage is a talented piano player, and his playing woos Alistair’s rival. When he finds out about Cage’s betrayal, Alistair cuts off his finger so he can never play his piano again. Wait, that was actually a recap of The Piano starring Holly Hunter; Ghost Rider is that movie where Nic Cage has a flaming skull for a head and hits people with chains and says things like, “I’m alright, my head kinda feels like it’s on fire, though.” 

 

Has Ghost Rider finally met his match? Are the stakes higher for Ghost Rider now than ever before? Will Ghost Rider break his pledge to never help anyone in order to save that little boy? Is Nic Cage doing this movie just so he can pay off the debts he incurred from building an underwater dojo? The answer to all those questions, of course, is “yes."

 

Morning Links: It’s a Boy for January Jones, Brad Pitt Didn’t Mean to Call Jen Boring

● January Jones welcomed to the world son Xander Dane Jones yesterday. So now they can get going on Mad Men, right? [People] ● Fashion Week is not all fun. At the V magazine party, Rachel Zoe lost her diamond bracelet, a girl “spurting blood” was carried out on a stretcher, and Lindsay Lohan was liable to chuck a drink — glass and all — really at any moment. [Page Six] ● Before there was Lady Gaga, there was a blond-wigged girl from New York who dropped by Kat Von D’s shop for a little ink. Now she’s a superstar and there’s this video of Kat Von D tatting-up Lady Gaga. [DailyMail]

● Good news! Outkast are on the move. L.A. Reid has taken them on to Epic Records where, hopefully, drama can be put aside and the two can get working on something new. [HipHopDX] ● Presented without comment: “Nicolas Cage awoken by naked man with Fudgesicle.” [Reuters] ● Brad Pitt didn’t mean to call Jennifer Aniston boring, he says. “The point I was trying to make is not that Jen was dull, but that I was becoming dull to myself — and that, I am responsible for.” Everybody else, however, they are mostly trying to call Jennifer Aniston boring. She can’t win, really! [THR]

Nic Cage to Fight Crime For Real

Every time I read some ridiculous news story on The Onion A.V. Club, I have to check it like five times to make sure those Onion tricksters aren’t pulling a fast one on me by sneaking some of their made up stories into the factual section of the site. Well I checked, and this story, which reports that actor Nicolas Cage made a speech in Vienna today about how he will use his bizarre new role as the UN’s Goodwill Ambassador for Global Justice to “stop being an actor and start taking action,” is actually real.

I usually don’t feel great about celebrities being granted figurehead political roles for PR purposes, but if there’s one actor I’d like to see fight actual crime it’s Nicolas Cage. Sure, he may have no “credentials,” but anyone whose ever seen The Rock knows this guy has brains and balls of steel. Or what about his snakeskin-wearing, Elvis-channeling, Laura Dern-loving sailor in David Lynche’s Wild at Heart?

Maybe I should make an admission. I really brought this up for the sole reason that it would allow me to make a tangential argument for the excellence of Nicolas Cage’s career between the years 1990 and 1995, which included starring roles in such classics as Leaving Las Vegas, The Rock, Con Air, Face Off, Snake Eyes, and 8mm. This man carry a movie! Now let’s see if he can carry the world.

Drive Fast & Angry: 3 Upcoming Movies About Cars & the Men Who Love Them

A trio of upcoming Hollywood projects share titles and plots that are so similar, we’re having trouble telling them apart. What we can tell you is that all of them loosely revolve around cars and the angry dudes who drive them. We know this because aside from spending hours re-reading plot synopses and watching trailers, they’re respectively called Faster, Drive Angry 3D, and Drive. (And no, none of these is related to the next Fast & Furious movie, due out next year.) They also all center around three pedal-happy individuals, who are either out for revenge, involved in a bank robbery gone wrong, or both. So for your benefit, and ours, we’re sifting through these projects to see which ones will be clunkers, and which ones you should be racing to see. (And to see how many car puns we can come up with.) Start your engines!

Faster: This revenge thriller has the benefit of a head start, hitting theaters on November 24, just in time to break up the monotony of intelligent awards contenders. It stars Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson as an ex-con looking for revenge after his brother is killed in a botched heist. Directed by George Tillman Jr., who last made the Biggie Smalls biopic Notorious, the movie costars Billy Bob Thornton as a grizzled cop on the verge of, what else, retirement. The movie’s trailer promises a lot of rubber burning, guns blazing, and jaws clenching. We counted six tire-skid sound effects in the sixty second teaser, and with a tagline that preaches “Slow justice is no justice,” Faster looks like it’s all about the engine. We have no idea why.

Drive Angry 3D: The first 3D entry in the speed genre stars Nicholas Cage sporting yet another miraculous hairdo. Coming to you from the director of My Bloody Valentine, the film features Cage as a father seeking revenge for the death of his daughter. Like Faster, the cars being used have a retro feel, probably in an effort to conjure up images of classic ’70s car-chase movies like Bullitt and The French Connection. The fillmakers held a panel discussion at last summer’s Comic-Con, where a really short teaser was revealed (Watch it here.) Needless to say, we’re less geared up for the three-dimensional car chases than we are for another hammy entry into the Cage canon.

Drive: Of the three films, this is the one we know the least about. It’s also the one we’re most looking forward to. Danish filmmaker Nicolas Winding Refn has yet to make a mainstream Hollywood movie, but his previous efforts (Bronson, Valhallla Rising, The Pusher Trilogy) have all been original, guttural works of art. Drive is still miles from a release date (some time next year), but what it does have is a cast, and what a cast it is. Ryan Gosling replaces Hugh Jackman as a stuntman by day and a getaway driver by night. When a robbery goes, you guessed it, horribly awry, Gosling must flea with an ex-con’s girlfriend, to be played by Carey Mulligan. Adding to the cast’s must-see factor are Christina Hendricks, Bryan Cranston, and Albert Brooks as the villain. So drive indeed, all the way to the movie theater.