I have to admit to liking Nicolas Cage as an actor. It may be un-cool now, but he still interests me. Plus when a director known for epics like Ridley Scott takes on a small, character driven piece, it turns out to be much better than it had any right to be nine out of ten times. Not a must-see for me, but I was interested in seeing it.

0:00 – Things are starting off on the right note with a cool jazz shuffle. Reminds me of one of my favorite film scores of all time – “Glengarry Glenross.” That fit the mood of the movie perfectly.

0:01 – There’s a shot of a ceramic dog here that is making me think of the way prizes were picked on “Wheel of Fortune” years ago. Players would accumulate cash and then pick gifts from a huge spinning showcase. Inevitably they would have $50 left over that they would have to spend on some tacky ceramic deer. The look on their faces as they did this was unbelievable.

0:04 – I’ve been thinking about this now: Is there a bad performance in “Glengarry”? If so, I couldn’t begin to guess what it is. One of my favorite lines is Kevin Spacey saying over and over again, “Will you go to lunch?!” I still use this one.

0:05 – Shots of all the lawn sprinklers going makes me think about Victoria Tennant’s line from “L.A. Story”, “If you turned off the sprinklers, it would turn into a desert”.

0:06 – Hey! It’s Kevin James’ mom from “King of Queens”!

0:09 – What’s the best con movie? “Dirty Rotten Scoundrels”? “Double Indemnity”? I can’t decide.

0:12 – All kinds of shots here of large sliding glass doors and I’m waiting for Annette Bening to show and clean one shortly before having a nervous breakdown.

0:13 – Nicolas Cage’s character apparently has the same fanaticism for actual records that his character in “The Rock” did. “These sound better”.

0:16 – Still sunny and 72 degrees in L.A.

0:18 – Cage just admitted he has a lot of ticks and I’m thinking that pretty much describes his acting style since about “Leaving Las Vegas.”

0:21 – Does everyone here have at least one instance in their childhood where they called up a member of the opposite sex they liked only to hang up the moment he or she answered the phone? Thought so.

0:26 – I really wish Nicolas Cage would stop winking at me. It’s making me very uncomfortable.

0:28 – Is it possible to have a scene set in a diner and not have the audience expect Paul Reiser and Daniel Stern to show up in the background?

0:31 – The term “Gentlemen’s club” has got to be the greatest euphemism known to man. How you make strip joint sound like something you go to and enjoy an excellent port wine while discussing your latest shipment of books from Great Britain is a fantastic leap.

0:34 – Alison Lohman just said Cage looks old. Thank goodness for all of us she looks as young as she does.

0:38 – What’s the general opinion on which was funnier, the cartoon or the live action “The Tick”? I’m going to cast my vote for the cartoon since the laws of physics and budget did not bind it. Chairface Chippendale is hilarious enough in his own right. The live-action version does have Patrick Warburton, though. Tough call.

0:40 – Really getting tired of the shots of the ceramic dog. I realize it will obviously play a major part in a later plot twist, but spare me for now, OK?

0:41 – How much money did the makers of Chicken of the Sea pony up that that’s the only food Nicolas Cage is seen eating so far? Was it more or less than what they paid Jessica Simpson for being a brain-dead twit? I wish I could go back in time to a place where I didn’t know her name.

0:43 – I may be wrong, but I think Cage is getting paid dependent on the number of times he moans in this movie.

0:44 – Sorry, but I keep waiting for Cage to go into a restaurant and only sit in Helen Hunt’s section.

0:45 – Maybe it’s just the lighting of this scene, but I think the ceramic dog has a ceramic crank.

0:48 – “Goodbye! Have fun storming the castle!”

0:51 – Alison Lohman vaguely reminds me of Kirsten Dunst. This is in no way a bad thing.

0:52 – I really liked “Jerry Maguire” the first time I saw it, but have found it isn’t holding up well for me over the years. It works for me a little less each time I see it nowadays.

0:54 – Every dad should teach his son or daughter that he has just met and barely knows how to be a con artist. Why aren’t there more self-help books in the “Make An Estranged Child Into a Criminal” genre?

0:58 – I’ve never had an occasion to use a coin laundry location outside of an apartment or dorm. Can’t really say I feel like I missed out on anything by not experiencing this.

Time for an intermission. Let’s continue in part two of MOVIES ON THE BRAIN: “MATCHSTICK MEN”>>>

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