Kurt Russell and Nicolas Cage double features every Wednesday in April – you’re welcome.
Cameron Williams

3 Apr 2017 - 2:24 PM  UPDATED 19 Apr 2017 - 3:50 PM

All throughout April, SBS VICELAND is celebrating two legends of cinema: Kurt Russell and Nicolas Cage. Both broke out in Hollywood in the '80s; Russell, a former Disney child star turned serious actor thanks to his collaborations with filmmaker John Carpenter; and Cage, the nephew of director Francis Ford Coppola, who gave his brother’s kid his big break.

Both their careers are stacked with iconic performances and they’ve been mainstays in cinema for over 30 years playing a variety of tough guys, neurotic weirdos and wild men. Both are still working today with Russell last seen in Quentin Tarantino’s The Hateful Eight and featuring the upcoming The Fate of the Furious and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. Cage appeared in the biopic Snowden in 2016 but has become the direct-to-DVD king and the focus of several an internet memes.

But enough about the now, it’s time to get a taste of the awesomeness of the Kurt over Cage movie season.


Wednesday 5 April

The Thing


USA, 1982
Genre: Horror
Language: English
Director: John Carpenter
Starring: Kurt Russell, Wilford Brimley, T. K. Carter
What's it about?
Russell wears one of the most unforgettable beards in cinema history playing helicopter pilot, R.J MacReady, during his third collaboration with Carpenter. An Antarctic research base is infiltrated by an alien that can assimilate into other life forms, including humans, and spread like a virus. Tensions escalate as the male-only occupants begin to question their humanity and second guess every move they make. Claustrophobic masculinity retains its grip on the film and Russell plays the gruff, no-nonsense MacReady to perfection.



USA, 1999
Genre: Thriller, Mystery, Drama
Language: English
Director: Joel Schmacher
Starring: Nicolas Cage, Joaquin Phoenix, James Gandolfini
What's it about?
Private investigator Tom Welles (Cage) takes on a case that leads him to an 8mm film, which appears to depict a real murder. As Welles gets deeper into the case he encounters the underworld of illegal snuff films. Cage was at the peak of his powers in the '90s following his Oscar win for best actor for Leaving Las Vegas and decided to be an action man with Con Air, The Rock and Face/Off. 8MM is a return to darker material for Cage with a '90s thriller aesthetic under the direction of Joel Schumacher, who was rebounding from movie jail after Batman and Robin.


Wednesday 12 April

Death Proof


USA, 2007
Genre: Crime
Language: English
Director: Quentin Tarantino
Starring: Kurt Russell, Zoe Bell, Rosario Dawson 
What's it about?
After a career of playing morally ambiguous heroes, and then a detour into playing nice guys in the 1990s, Russell went to the dark side thanks to the twisted mind of Quentin Tarantino. Russell plays Stuntman Mike, a rogue driver who murders young women in staged car accidents using his "death-proof" stunt car. Tarantino landed on Russell for the part after having an epiphany as outlined in an interview: “For people of my generation, he's a true hero… but now, there's a whole audience out there that doesn't know what Kurt Russell can do. When I open the newspaper, and see an ad that says 'Kurt Russell in Dreamer,' or 'Kurt Russell in Miracle,' I'm not disparaging these movies, but I'm thinking: When is Kurt Russell going to be a badass again?” Tarantino has said it’s not his best film, but there’s no doubting Russell’s villainous turn is one of the film’s major highlights.

Death Proof Review



USA, 2002
Genre: Comedy, Drama
Language: English
Director: Spike Jonze
Starring: Nicolas Cage, Meryl Streep, Chris Cooper
What's it about?
Two Cages for the price of one! In a dual role, Cage plays Charlie Kaufman and Donald Kaufman in this meta film from director, Spike Jonze, and screenwriter, Charlie Kaufman. The film is based on Kaufman’s real experience adapting the novel The Orchid Thief in the '90s. Kaufman got writer’s block and decided to write a script about the agony of trying to adapt the novel instead. The result was Adaptation, one of the trippiest films about a film… about a film. Cage slides into the madness expertly and amps up the Kaufmans’ neurotic ways.

Adaptation review: It's funny with fabulous performances


Wednesday 19 April

Bone Tomahawk


USA, 2015
Genre: Horror, Western, Adventure, Drama
Language: English
Director: S. Craig Zahler
Starring: Kurt Russell, Matthew Fox, Patrick Wilson
What's it about?
Another beard and moustache combo from Russell for the facial hair hall of fame. Set in 1890, Russell is Sheriff Franklin Hunt, a man in charge of tracking down villagers who have been kidnapped by cannibals. It’s a gnarly western that mixes in horror elements. Russell is at his antihero best, once again; just make sure you don’t eat anything while watching this film because it could get icky. You’ll also never want to do a handstand ever again.

Kurt Russell stars in the 2015 western-horror hybrid Bone Tomahawk, showing this Wednesday 27th March at 8:35PM

No Cage movie due to Cycling: Fleche-Wallonne 2017


Wednesday 26 April

Big Trouble in Little China


USA, 1986
Genre: Comedy, Fantasy, Adventure, Action
Language: English
Director: John Carpenter
Starring: Kurt Russell, Kim Cattrall, Dennis Dun
What's it about?
All aboard the Pork Chop Express. One Russell’s iconic roles, truck driver, Jack Burton. Enter the mysterious underworld beneath Chinatown, San Francisco, where Burton faces an ancient sorcerer named David Lo Pan (James Hong), who requires green eyed women (Kim Cattrall and Suzi Pai) to release him from a centuries-old curse. It’s an action packed martial arts fantasy film with a few western elements thrown in and slapstick humour – it has it all.

Dwayne Johnson to Star in 'Big Trouble in Little China' Remake

Rumble Fish


USA, 1983
Genre: Action, Adventure, Crime, Drama, Romance
Language: English
Director: Francis Ford Coppola
Starring: Matt Dillon, Mickey Rourke, Diane Lane, Dennis Hopper, Nicolas Cage
What's it about?
After making his film debut in Fast Times at Ridgemont High (a cameo), followed by Valley Girl, Cage made Rumble Fish thanks to a casting assist from his uncle. Baby faced Cage plays Smokey, a loose friend of Rusty James (Matt Dillon), a revered former gang leader wishing to live a more peaceful life. Rumble Fish is Cage’s first big introduction to Hollywood in Coppola’s beautiful experimental black and white film. An essential film in Coppola’s career post Godfather and Apocalypse Now and the one to watch to see where it all began for Cage.


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