Nic vs. Nic

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RAISING ARIZONA
  • Raising Arizona

People have strong feelings about Nicolas Cage. He's a versatile actor with an impressive filmography. See? Feelings already. From his early films (Fast Times at Ridgemont High, Valley Girl and Rumble Fish), to action hits (Con-Air, The Rock and Gone in Sixty Seconds) and a smattering of artful endeavors (Adaptation, Wild at Heart and Bringing Out the Dead), Cage's impact on cinema and cinephiles is certain. So, which is your favorite — Action Nic or Art-House Nic? Not sure? Neither? Both? Well, OK then.

The Eureka Theater offers you a chance to sort out your complicated relationship with him this Friday, Jan. 26 when it presents Cage Match: Raising Arizona vs. Face/Off at 7 p.m. ($8 double feature).

In this corner, Cage stars as H.I. McDonnough in Raising Arizona. With his put-upon puppy dog eyes, shock of unruly hair, colorful Hawaiian shirts and heartfelt soliloquies about the sweet, simple life that open and close this quirky Coen brothers film, this is perhaps the most likeable Nic Cage (conciliatory nod to you, Moonstruck Nic). But a darling Nicky is not everyone's cup of tea. For those who prefer their Nic a little cagier, enter director John Woo and the brilliance that is Face/Off. A close-shorn Cage plays opposite deeply dimpled John Travolta in a cat-and-mouse game where cop and villain literally exchange faces amid over-the-top explosions, gunplay and engaging chemistry between the two leading actors. It's like looking in a mirror. Only ... not.

Doors open at 6:30 p.m. for cocktails, beer and wine, not to mention the cheapest theater concessions around ($2 popcorn!). Raising Arizona starts at 7 p.m., with Face/Off at around 8:45 p.m.

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