Pop Rocks

Pop Rocks: The Long, Strange Trip Of Nicolas Cage

Nicolas Cage was arrested in New Orleans last Friday for domestic abuse, disturbing the peace, and public drunkenness (or as we call it in my house, The Wife's Undergrad Spring Break Trifecta). Let me repeat that: Cage was arrested in New Orleans, a city with streets washed clean each night by the vomit of a thousand frat boys and bachelorettes, for public drunkenness. If that isn't a sign of the End Times, I'm going to have to rethink my conversion to Q'uq'umatz worship.

And yet, Cage's little outburst can't be much of a surprise to anyone who's been paying even the slightest bit of attention to the man's doings and transpirings over the last several years or so. His latest brush with The Crazy is either the end of the line or one of the final stops on what has become Cage's decades-long road trip of bad decision making. Here are a few highlights.

1. He Changed His Name From "Coppola" To "Cage" To Avoid Charges of Nepotism

And then did absolutely nothing to hide the fact he was Francis Ford Coppola's nephew. I never understood the subterfuge, mostly because it was anything but. I remember reading something about the family connection in a magazine around the time Valley Girl was released. Even in 1984 it was the worst kept secret in Hollywood.

So great was his concern at disguising the connection, in fact, that he went on to appear in three of his uncle's films (Rumble Fish, The Outsiders, Peggy Sue Got Married). Small wonder he never replaced Pierce Brosnan as 007.

2, He Bought Two Castles

Among the ill-advised purchases Cage has made over the years - including a 40-acre island in the Bahamas and a "flotilla of yachts" - were Schloss Neidstein in Germany and Midford Castle in England. This in addition to his 15 other residences.

I mean, one castle...sure. Two is just extravagant.

3. He Named His Son "Kal-El"

Maybe I'm old fashioned, but I think parents have a responsibility not to give their kids stupid names, and there's no upside to Cage bestowing Superman's Kryptonian birth name on his son. If the boy doesn't change it the nanosecond he turns 18, perhaps he can join a support group that consists entirely of celebrity children with unfortunate monikers, where he'll by joined by Pilot Inspektor (son of Jason Lee), Moxie Crimefighter (daughter of Penn Jillette), and Harley Quinn Smith (daughter of Kevin Smith).

4. His Resume Since National Treasure 2 Consists Of...

Bangkok Dangerous, Knowing, G-Force, Astro Boy, Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans, Kick-Ass, The Sorcerer's Apprentice, Season of the Witch and Drive Angry. I understand mortgage and tax obligations to the tune of some $14 million are nothing to sneeze at, but really? G-Force? Drive Angry?

We should probably consider ourselves lucky he isn't into vampires. He's about the right age to have played Bella's dad in Twilight.

5. He Thought Tim Burton's Superman Was A Good Idea

Remember the pre-Planet of the Apes/Charlie and the Chocolate Factory days when people actually looked forward to a Tim Burton movie? Ponder, if you will, a Superman movie with: Courteney Cox as Lois Lane, Chris Rock as Jimmy Olsen, and Tim Allen as Brainiac. Yeah.

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Peter Vonder Haar writes movie reviews for the Houston Press and the occasional book. The first three novels in the "Clarke & Clarke Mysteries" - Lucky Town, Point Blank, and Empty Sky - are out now.
Contact: Pete Vonder Haar