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The 10 Nicolas Cage movies you need to see before Jiu Jitsu

July 8, 2019 at 4:27pm

Nicolas Cage was in Cyprus in June for the shooting of the upcoming sci-fi martial arts movie Jiu Jitsu.

The movie will see the Academy Award-winning actor teaming up with Alain Moussi to fight an alien that comes to earth every six years.

Shooting of the $24m film is planned to take place exclusively in Cyprus. It will be the first high profile production under recent incentives aiming to establish Cyprus as a filming destination under the name Olivewood.

Marinos Nomikos compiled a list of the top 10 Nicolas Cage films, you should watch before Jiu Jitsu.

Wild At Heart (1990)

Before he became one of Hollywood’s most popular actors, Cage had a breathtaking performance as Sailor, a murderer who kills for honour in David Lynch’s psychedelic Wild at Heart. After being released from prison, Sailor takes his lover Lula, played by Laura Dern and goes on the run from her mother and the gangsters that she sends to kill him. The film won the Palme d’Or at the 1990 Cannes Film Festival.

It Could Happen To You (1994)

In this film, Cage plays a well-meaning police officer who promises a waitress (Bridget Fonda) to give her either double the tip or half of his prospective lottery winnings the next day using a ticket which has numbers he regularly plays. He wins $4 million ($6.8 million today) in the lottery the next day and keeps his promise, despite his wife’s (Rosie Perez) protests.

Leaving Las Vegas (1995)

The role that Cage was born to play was that of the alcoholic scriptwriter Ben Sanderson, who decides to move to Las Vegas and drink himself to death in Mike Figgis’ pessimistic drama. His performance earned him a Golden Globe and an Academy Award for Best Actor.

The Rock (1996)

A pioneering action movie that set the norms for the genre in the 90s. Michael Bay’s The Rock established breath-taking pace, unrealistic stunts and special effects. Criterion Collection, a distributor of primarily arthouse films it categorises as “important classic and contemporary films” and “cinema at its finest.” It also established Cage as an action-movie star.

Con Air (1997)

Fresh from The Rock success, Cage returned next year with the popular Con Air as a paroled-convict who tries to stop other prisoners from taking control of an airplane while they are being transferred to a supermax prison. Although not Academy Award-material, Con Air is an enjoyable movie with great performance by Cage, John Malkovich and Steve Buscemi.

Face/Off (1997)

Often cited as director’s John Woo’s best film, Face/Off earned critical acclaim for its acting performances, stylised action sequences, its musical score, emotional depth, originality, humour, direction and stunts. John Travolta and Cage literally play each other in an over-the-top action movie.

Adaptation (2002)

Being John Malkovich duo Spike Jonze and Charlie Kaufman created this comedy-drama which explores the creative process. Cage as Kaufman and his fictional twin brother Donald. It is based both on Susan Orlean’s non-fiction book The Orchid Thief and Kaufman’s experience attempting to adapt the book into a screenplay while suffering from writer’s block.

Bad Lieutenant: Port Of Call New Orleans (2009)

Cage meets eccentric director Werner Herzog in this praised crime-drama. In one of his best roles of the last decade, Cage plays a a corrupt policeman. Bad Lieutenant was nominated for a Golden Lion at the 2009 Venice Film Festival.

Spider-Man: Into The Spider Verse (2018)

Named by Esquire as the best film in the Spider-Man franchise, Into the Spider-Verse is one of the most funny, imaginative and enjoyable animations ever-created. Combining CGI with ‘classic’ animation, it might be the only superhero film to-date that fully embraces the art of comic books. Spider-Man joins forces with other Spider-type heroes, one of them being Spider-Man Noir, a black and white character voiced by Cage. He is so good that he needs his own spin-off!

Mandy (2018)

One of Cage’s craziest, trippiest performances, a real candidate for the Golden Joint. A couple lives in their cabin in the forest until they are visited by a Manson-esque hippie cult and then all hell, combining surrealism, psychedelia, horror and rivers of blood, breaks loose. Cage is able to do what he does best by playing a paranoid role. Probably his best movie this decade.

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Nicolas Cage arrives in Cyprus (photo)