I must’ve been ripped to the tits when I saw this movie back when it came out because I don’t remember it being so bad. It was 1999 so odds are that I was well into my cups before queuing up this gem. The film does answer on very important question though, as was made clear by watching it again tonight. That is, is Martin Scorsese capable of making a bad movie?
The answer to the above question is, sadly, yes. What did it take for Martin Scorsese to make a terrible picture? Have a look at the photo above. It’s not even really clear if it was just a shit project from the start, doomed by a bad screenplay or whatnot. The book it was based on, a first novel by a guy named Joe Connelly, was brilliant. Nicolas Cage though was so incredibly weird that it just overshadowed everything else. It might have been compelling enough to watch but there was always this strange, lurching creature in the middle of everything reciting lines in a Xanax haze monotone. Maybe it even would have been Oscar-worthy if they had tried a real actor in his place.
And when I say peak Nicolas Cage, I mean that fucking guy from the memes. I mean the Freneticstein Monster from Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call. Sure he’s related to all the famous people and that but should that always count for something? Apparently so, because there are more bad Nicolas Cage performances than there are Nicolas Cage memes.
And there is a whole shit ton of memes.
I loved the book this was adapted from so much. I really wanted it to be genius. It’s possible that I’m missing the point. Bringing Out the Dead has a grindhouse quality to it that you don’t often see with Scorsese. Or I could just be trying to hard to find redeeming qualities. Criticizing Marty is like popping shit about the Pope, It just doesn’t feel right.
But fuck Marty. He was the one that chose Nicolas Cage. Maybe he owed the Coppolas a favor.