' ' Cinema Romantico: How Does Val Kilmer Expect To Become Governor Of New Mexico?

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

How Does Val Kilmer Expect To Become Governor Of New Mexico?

Recently I saw the trailer for "Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans", the latest film from the maddest of mad men, Werner Herzog, and at its end something rather disturbing took place.

First things first, though, this movie looks mighty promising, albeit unique. Set in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina (Note: all films set in New Orleans for the next 10-15 years will happen either during Hurricane Katrina or in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, so just deal with it) it follows a detective (Nicolas Cage) who appears to start out as a hero, injures his back, becomes addicted to painkillers, then begins to go loony as he falls in line with drug dealers and make believe iguanas and I'm quite curious to see what else. As Neil Miller at filmschoolrejects.com so eloquently puts it: "As far as I can tell from a distance, this movie and everyone involved in it is completely bat---- crazy."

The cast includes not only Cage but Eva Mendes as his girlfriend, Xzibit, the rapping "icon", as a drug dealer, as well as fringe players like Faizura Balk and Michael Shannon (a recent Oscar nominee, though his character in that was just like his characters in pretty much everything else - nuts) and Jennifer Coolidge (the busty Christopher Guest mock-doc staple). And, last but definitely not least, playing Cage's partner.....Val Kilmer. Which makes me wonder why in the world Val Kilmer and Werner Herzog have never made a movie together until now. Shouldn't these two be peas in a pod?

In fact, depending on how the film is received Herzog could have found his new Klaus Kinski, the Uma to his Tarantino, if you will. Kinski, if you didn't know, was an absolute unhinged holy terror of a crazed nutjob, an actor who summed up his craft via the following words: "I sell myself for the highest price. Exactly like a prostitute. There is no difference." He was so relentlessly over the edge that the legend goes during the making of "Fitzcarraldo" a few local indians on the crew approached Herzog, offering to kill Kinski for him. Literally. (Herzog declined.) Wow. Just wow.

Now Kilmer isn't that sort of crazy, of course, but he is crazy - in a more of a, shall we say, meta way. I picture the beginning of a beautiful friendship. Which is why it disturbed me so much that at the end of the "Bad Lieutenant" preview when listing its cast it flashed the name of Cage, of course, and then the name of Mendes and then the name of Xzibit and then....nothing more.

Wait, where's Val? Val Kilmer doesn't get top billing? Has he really fallen this far? The guy once played Batman, for God's sake, not to mention Tom Kazanski (i.e. Iceman, "because that's how he flies - ice cold"), and now Xzibit is getting billed before him?

This is just wrong. Val Kilmer is line to be The Enchantment State's Governor, remember? Which we here at Cinema Romantico unconditionally support. But you know his future opponents are gonna pull this out as the trump card. "If you can't get billing over Xzibit, how can you possibly expect to govern a state?"


Wretched Genius said...

In fairness, watch the trailer again. All of the Val Kilmer shots appear to be taken from two, maybe three scenes, tops. My prediction is that his character will be killed early in the film, and the grief will contribute to Cage staying on painkillers.

Nick Prigge said...

How in the world did I not think of that?! He's the partner! Of course, he's going to die! The partner always dies!

Maybe Werner Herzog, though, won't to stoop to that cliché? Possibly? Hopefully? Oh, well, it still looks entertaining.

Whatever happens to his character, Herzog & Kilmer need to become a frequent team.