I think it’s important to note for this review that I’ve always been a major detractor of Nicolas Cage. His paper thin, overtly dramatic performances always had me wondering just what the hell people were smoking when casting him in all these lead roles, when I could think of ten other actors that would’ve delivered better performance ten fold. It’s only recently with ADAPTATION and MATCHSTICK MEN that I’ve really begun to see what a good actor he is. Good. Not great. So re-watching this after seeing it sometime in the early 90’s, when I vehemently despised every Nicolas Cage movie (still hate Leaving Las Vegas), I was completely engaged by Cage’s performance. He comes off as Mr. Cool in a snakeskin jacket from the opening scene where he, in self defense, pummels a guy in such a raw and brutal way it’s one of the most intense opening scenes I’ve ever seen. Really it is. What follows after is a Wizard of OZ tale (no, really) full of odd ball characters including a dirty cop, a psycho mother, an equally psycho hit man that has a love jones for her and Willem Dafoe with the scariest demeanor this side of his role in THE LAST TEMPTATION OF CHRIST (?!)
The film itself is pure Lynch with stunning visuals and colors, the sounds and soundtrack that in certain moments explodes through the speakers in a haunting way reminiscent of old Hitchcock and not to mention the lovely Isabella Rossalini in all her mysterious glory. Character development unfolds in a familiar narrative device where Sailor and Lula, on their road trip, relate the stories of their lives and find out they’ve been connected far before they ever became a couple. This kind of storytelling device, not exactly groundbreaking or new, parallels the present story with the flashbacks and is perfectly executed.
Oh, and did I mention that Willem Dafoe is really f*cking creepy?
Dell’s Lunch Counter: An interactive menu gives you the option of four or five different scenes to select from which gives interviews with the respective actor in the scenes and Lynch commenting on the how’s and why’s they did certain things. Informative stuff.
Specific Spontaneity: Focus on David Lynch – Basically everyone strokes off David Lynch and shit. But why not? The man’s a genius.
Original EPK Featurette: This is a short, seven minute featurette that originally aired during its release. Novelty, the above featurette covers the same thing and more.
David Lynch: On the DVD – The man himself discusses the technical aspects of post production and how MGM was kind enough to fork over the loot to get a decent transfer to DVD. Way to go MGM, money well spent!