PopWatch Entertainment Weekly's PopWatch Blog

Category: Movies (81-90 of 7331)

Here's what it's like to attend a Nicolas Cage-themed art show


Around 9 p.m. Saturday night in Los Angeles, a small but eager group stood in a building entrance lit only by Christmas lights and the flashlight of a lone security guard. A large, service-like elevator hit the ground floor, and soon, they slowly ascended to what’s called The Syrup Loft for an event seemingly ridiculous in theory, but executed with unbridled commitment: The Nicolas Cage Art Party Los Angeles.

It all started earlier this year. While working the night shift at Bed, Bath & Beyond, producer/curator Ezra Croft had an epiphany: He should hold a Nicolas Cage-themed art show.

“I was like, we’re going to take something that the Internet thinks is a little silly, but really has a good fan base, and we’re going to make real art out of it,” Croft said.

He put out feelers on Craigslist, hoping to gather submissions for the art show. The internet promptly imploded.

“The art started pouring in, and I thought oh my God, we hit gold here,” Croft explained. “It’s been a roller coaster ever since.” The first Nicolas Cage-themed art event took place in San Francisco’s Mission District on April 12, 2014. The works featured various mediums and styles, messages and tones, but all of which had Cage as their subject. Soon, he began planning a second show in Los Angeles.

What’s so fascinating about Cage? What warrants an entire art show dedicated to this particular actor? In Croft’s words, “He becomes the character; he tells the story. It might not be a classically polished, Hollywood movie, but it’s an interesting thing. He’s not afraid to make the less-than-popular decision. It’s cool to see that. It doesn’t always make for an amazing movie but he’s doing it. He’s a chameleon.”

Inside the eclectic loft, the works were divisive: Most were taking Cage seriously, while some brought popular Internet memes to the canvas. (Note: If you have not checked out Nicolas Cage on Google images lately, do yourself a favor.) The divisiveness with the art makes sense because with Cage, there is always the question of whether he is a good actor, a bad actor, a good actor who is self-aware and in on the joke, or all of the above.


One artist—who goes by Tormented Sugar, and whose “#IHeartSugar” was featured in the show—believes there’s a parallel between the variation within Cage himself and the art he inspires. “As an artist, Nicolas Cage is appealing for the fact that he can play as many variations of characters as there are possibilities to mix colors on a palette, which to me is almost infinite,” Sugar wrote in an email. “Nic Cage is to pop culture what an artist is to canvas.”

One artist to treat Cage more seriously is Steven Holliday, whose illustrator-made portrait, “The Cage,” depicts the actor in a muted palette, looking off canvas, seemingly deep in thought. Between Cage’s over-the-top acting style, which doesn’t always work, and a handful of not-so-great films he’s acted in, Cage has become humorous to some. But Holliday wanted to step away from that, portraying the other half of Cage: a respected actor.

“Every actor, every artist in general, has a bad day, some more than others, but we have to also remember that Nicolas Cage is an Academy Award-winning actor,” Holliday said. “It’s something that people don’t really remember. That’s one of the things that I wanted to bring to the serious portrait because I do view him as more of a serious actor who can also make fun of himself.”

[Note: Cage won an Academy Award in 1996 for Best Actor in Leaving Las Vegas.]


A goal for Croft was to play with Cage’s iconography without making fun of him. As a result, most of the artists featured in the show treated Cage with revery, not irony. That being said, there was quite a bit of humor in the show, indicated by a number of lighthearted pieces. Consider Cage as Sailor Moon, Elvis, and even as a great white shark (twice). Plus, in “It’s a Trap” by Sharon Welchel, Cage was depicted as Star Wars’ Luke, Leia, Han Solo, and Obi-Wan Kenobi.

Perhaps most interestingly, though, quite a few pieces depicted Cage as a religious entity of sorts. “The Lamentation of Saint Wickerman” by Anne Walker Farrell presented Cage as both Madonna and child, being attacked by bees, in the vein of Cage’s 2006 film, The Wicker Man. “Cameron Poe’s Last Supper” by Rebecca Gonsalves acted as a play on Leonardo da Vinci’s “The Last Supper,” with Cage’s face inserting itself into all of those present at the biblical event, even Christ himself.

Then there’s Rachel McPherson’s “Saint Nicholas of Cage” (see main image), which looks like your average portrait of a saint. The piece could almost pass in a church, if not for Cage’s signature look, but McPherson maintains that the piece should not be taken too seriously.

“One can’t read too much into my painting,” McPherson wrote in an email. “Nicolas Cage is indeed an icon and an interesting person, but ‘Saint Nicolas of Cage’ is a play on words and I felt that it gave me the imagery to create a striking painting.”

By no means do Croft or the artists involved hold Cage to a literally (keyword: literally) saint-like, or even God-like, esteem, but the imagery poses an interesting idea. One should take the domain name of the event’s website—www.nicolascageisgod.com—into account. Whether artists were taking Cage seriously, portraying him as a talented actor, or respectfully poking fun at some of his notoriously bad films, they were still elevating Cage, furthering his iconography and legend. (Yes, legend.)

The Nicolas Cage Art Party Los Angeles was a singular event, but it speaks to a greater fascination with Cage. For Croft, the fascination is in the development of Cage, as an actor and as a personality. “He’s had these legendary highs and lows,” Croft explained. “The evolution of Nicolas Cage is just really interesting because there’s not many other actors out there who can do that.”

Croft will next be hosting The Murray Affair: A Bill Murray Art Show on August 8 at SF Public Works.

What does Beyonce have to do with 'Fifty Shades of Grey'?

This Thursday, Fifty Shades of Grey fans will get their first peek at the film when its trailer finally debuts. But much like its teaser, the full-length trailer won’t premiere on any website. Instead, it will debut on the Queen of Pop’s Instagram account, which prompts an important question: What does Beyoncé have to do with Fifty Shades of Grey?

So far, the only connection between Beyoncé and the film is her Instagram account, and the fact that she can be heard singing what sounds like a slowed down, sultry version of “Crazy In Love” at the end of the teaser. Could that be her only connection to the movie? It’s a possibility. But just in case it’s not, we’ve come up with a few more theories: READ FULL STORY

See New York Rangers goalie Cam Talbot's 'Ghostbusters' mask

New York Rangers’ Cam Talbot is a fan of Ghostbusters—such a fan that artist David Gunnarsson makes Zuul-covered masks just for the goalie.

Celebrities remember James Garner on Twitter

On Saturday, Hollywood leading man James Garner died of natural causes in Los Angeles. He was 86.

When the news broke, celebrities immediately took to Twitter to remember the man behind Maverick, The Rockford Files, and so much more. Here are just a few of those tributes: READ FULL STORY

This is how 'Dawn of the Planet of the Apes' was going to end (and where the sequel might start)

Have you seen Dawn of the Planet of the Apes yet? You should! If not, you should stop reading this right now, since this post is absolutely full of SPOILERS for the Apes prebootquel, including SPOILERS for stuff that didn’t actually wind up happening in Dawn but will wind up happening in the sequel. SPOILERS! READ FULL STORY

Kurt Russell says he's filming Quentin Tarantino's 'The Hateful Eight' next year

2014 will go down in history as the year Quentin Tarantino almost made The Hateful Eight.

The filmmaker was bullish about filming another western after his Oscar winning hit Django Unchained—but after a script leak and an ensuing lawsuit against Gawker, Tarantino seemed to cool on the idea. But at a live read of the Hateful Eight script, he announced that he was in the process of redrafting the screenplay–presumably adding in a character named Dick “The Gawker” Nenton, who suffers various horrific-but-hilarious limb-removal procedures. READ FULL STORY

Guillermo Del Toro says 'Hellboy 3' is probably not happening

It’s a busy time for Guillermo Del Toro. The filmmaker just debuted his new TV series The Strain on FX and is currently finishing up next year’s horror film Crimson Peak. He also recently announced a pair of films: a small black-and-white movie, and the complete opposite of that. Del Toro is so busy that he actually needs to publicly announce when he’s not making a movie.

Which he did, unfortunately, during a Reddit AMA over the weekend. Del Toro has long promised a third Hellboy movie, which would wrap up the saga of Ron Perlman’s curiously lovable demonspawn. But when asked about the prequel’s status, Del Toro said, “We have gone through basically every studio and asked for financing, and they are not interested.”  READ FULL STORY

PopWatch Confessional: I don't regret not seeing 'When Harry Met Sally'


When crafting a romantic comedy, there are a few films that are widely considered to make up the gold standard—and believe it or not, they’re not generally associated with Nicholas Sparks. When people discuss the greatest romantic comedies of all time, they often talk about  Sleepless in Seattle, Annie Hall, and, inevitably, Rob Reiner’s 1989 rom-com When Harry Met Sally. With Billy Crystal and Meg Ryan in the title roles, When Harry Met Sally gave viewers a lot more than a catchphrase (“I’ll have what she’s having”). It gave viewers a love story for the ages. And it’s one I have never experienced, because I have never seen When Harry Met Sally.

It’s a fact that I’m reminded of today, on the 25-year anniversary of the film’s limited release, when Vulture claims the film “revolutionized the romantic comedy” and Indiewire says it created a new standard for romantic comedies by being “as close to perfect as a latter-day example of the rom-com can be.” EW gave the collector’s DVD a great review in 2008. And yet here I sit, completely clueless—and honestly, not feeling that bad about it.

Sure, you could claim that my getting through a film minor and writing for Entertainment Weekly without ever having seen When Harry Met Sally is some sort of travesty or mistake. Why didn’t I rent it for my 13th birthday party? Why didn’t I watch it on Netflix in college? Why don’t I watch it right now? The answer is three-fold.

First, I can’t say that I ever felt that I needed to see When Harry Met Sally in order to be able to join a conversation about romantic comedies, or about movies, or about love, or about, you know, life. I’ve only seen the “faking it” scene from the film, but considering that that’s what people reference about 95 percent of the time, I rarely find myself feeling out of the loop.

Of course, I’ll never claim that [insert movie here] is the greatest rom-com of all time without seeing When Harry Met Sally first. I’m not crazy. But until the day comes around that I’m asked to identify the greatest rom-com of all time, I’m perfectly happy with my minimal WHMS experience.

Second, I’m now at that point where not watching it has made me feel like a rebel. So it’s likely I’ll keep not watching it solely because everyone and their mother wants me to.

But mostly, it’s because I’m not sure how I feel about Billy Crystal in a romantic role.

To me, Billy Crystal is a comedic genius and the host of all hosts, but I can’t quite handle the thought of him as a romantic lead. Blame my age, but I’ve only ever really experienced a purely comedic Crystal—and I’m not sure I’m ready to add romance to the equation. It has nothing to do with being attracted to Crystal. It’s more so that I feel that my love for him is so established that making him even the least bit romantic in my mind might throw everything off-balance. Pop-culturally, I kind of look at Crystal as my favorite uncle: I want to go to lunch with him, and I want him to make me laugh, but one thing I never want to do is watch him make out with someone. (And I’ll dare to say it: I’m not the biggest Meg Ryan fan, either.)

So if you add together all the aspects of When Harry Met Sally that I feel less-than-enthusiastic about, you might get a better idea of why I haven’t gone out of my way to spend two hours of my life watching it. Being less-than-enthusiastic about a film, even if it’s a classic, doesn’t make me all that likely to try and track it down on DVD. (And this is partly a side effect of my chosen line of work: As someone who sees a very large quantity of movies and is constantly going to the theater, I need a real reason to watch something that’s 25 years old as opposed to seeing something new.)

All this being said, I do understand that this is a classic film that I will watch one day and maybe fall madly in love with. I could very well look back at this post and think “Who was that person?!” I get it. Truly. But for right now, I’m perfectly fine not having what she’s having.

Video: Why 'Frozen' scared Bob Saget


The title of Bob Saget’s book, Dirty Daddy: The Chronicles of a Family Man Turned Filthy Comedian, shouldn’t surprise anyone who’s familiar with his career. But his answers to our Pop Culture Personality Test will. Watch it below. READ FULL STORY

Entertainment Geekly: An appreciation of 'Beneath the Planet of the Apes,' one of the silliest, bleakest movies ever made


It is entirely possible that Planet of the Apes has the best batting average of any long-running movie franchise. In 46 years, there have been good Apes movies, and fascinatingly bad Apes movies, and at least one legitimate Hall of Fame masterwork (the original film, one of the most brutally cynical adventures in Hollywood history). The first film was based on a novel by French author Pierre Boule about a monkey planet—but the sequels set off in fascinating, frequently goofy, always energetic new directions. READ FULL STORY

Latest Videos


From Our Partners

TV Recaps

Powered by WordPress.com VIP