I have an ongoing debate with a friend of mine about Nicolas Cage. He feels that he is one of the greatest actors of his generation and I feel he's a giant cheeseball who hasn't lived up to his potential.
Depending on your tolerance for Cage and his ouevere, I suspect we're both right. But it does call into question just how we view films and what we get from the experience.
What's most important to us...the project as a whole or the individual components that make up the whole. For my friend Travis, the presence of Nicolas Cage in a film supercedes the overall quality of the film itself.
I know where he's coming from...I love many movies for individual performances or moments rather than for how "good" the film itself is. But I also know folks who don't care about great writing, directing or acting if they don't like the mechanics of the movie.
Neither opinion is 100% right or 100% wrong. How any work of art affects us is a matter of perception and that is filtered through the prism of the viewer's life.
When I hear people say they didn't "get" a movie or it wasn't "about" anything, I think they're more interested in the big picture rather than the parts of the whole.
But I still think Nicolas Cage has been coasting since "Leaving Las Vegas", but I guess a brother's gotta eat. Anyone up for "Con Air 2"?