Winning The Lottery With Nicolas Cage #45

My name is Ed and I play the lottery using numbers picked from Nicolas Cage films because I require enough money to disappear entirely but comfortably from human society.

Nicolas Cage is topical at the moment because the film The Rock is mentioned in the Chilcot Report so loads of journalists have had the chance to show off the fact that they can’t spell Nicolas Cage’s name. Speaking of Nicolas Cage and wars:

Lord of War (2005)

War, what is it good for? Making mad bank for arseholes, apparently! Lord of War is sort of a biopic, in that it follows the life of an arms dealer who while fictional, is purportedly based on several real people. Cage is Yuri Orlov, one of the meerkats from those brilliant adverts, who becomes an arms dealer after a hilarious misunderstanding! Simples!

Actually, he’s a Ukrainian-American who figures that you can make more money selling guns than from running restaurants, and takes advantage of various world events including the Lebanon War and the fall of the Soviet Union to prove that. The flashy life Yuri’s work buys him back home in America is contrasted with the hairy situations selling weapons to warlords tends to get you into. Simples!

Lord of War is a certainly slickly made film with some memorable moments — the opening sequence where we follow the ‘life’ of a bullet, a time lapse of Orlov watching helplessly as his plane is stripped to its component parts, the entire segment of the film where Orlov wanders around Liberia off his head on a drug cocktail that includes his own gunpowder. It’s got Ian Holm in it (as a rival arms dealer) and it’s nice to see Ian Holm in a thing. Even Jared Leto is vaguely plausible as Cage’s younger brother.

Cage doesn’t play Orlov as a ridiculous caricature, which is in some ways a fine choice — monstrous acts aren’t necessarily done by people who are obviously monsters, but unfortunately there isn’t really much of character underneath that. He is what he is: a salesman peddling a particularly nasty product.

And the film also avoids the Wolf Of Wall Street trap of celebrating its reprehensible protagonist, but ultimately despite the worthiness of the endeavour it never quite connects as drama. There’s just not much to be teased out because arms dealing is so clearly bad, regardless of whether it causes Jared Leto to get shot in the head.

Here’s a weird thing I found while looking up something about Lord of War: there’s a version of IMDB entirely about the firearms that appear in movies called IMFDB and I am really scared of everyone who posts on it complaining that actual it was the 1982 model of Uzi that was used to shoot all those people, not the 1983 one god dad can’t you get anything right? Anyway, the people on there love this because there’re so many different guns you can spot and write down in your book of guns, so it’s nice that there’s a film for them.

THE NUMBERS:

9 — Orlov’s plane carries the ID number 9Q-CIH.

10 — Orlov’s Interpol nemesis tell him he’ll spend 10 years getting from a cell to a court room before he even starts his sentence. He’s wrong because the military industrial complex comes to bail him out.

12 — In the opening monologue, Orlov informs us that there’s one firearm for every 12 people on planet.

27–998 TM 27 is the number plate of the car of Orlov’s rival Simeon Weiss.

42 — Orlov’s pilot came 42nd out of 43 at his Moscow flight school.

47 — According to Orlov the AK47 is Russia’s greatest export, followed by vodka, caviar, and suicidal novelists.

THE RESULT:

1 stinking number. Sorry world peace, you’ll have to wait. Who wants to buy this big box of guns?

NEXT TIME ON NICOLAS CAGE:

The Weather Man. Which I assume is based on that Corrs song.

PREVIOUSLY:

Apparently Medium makes it quite hard to find previous instalments of this so I have made a sort of index thing, here.

DISCLAIMER:

Do not spend your money on lottery tickets because you think watching Nicolas Cage films will enable you to win the lottery. The only real winner in the lottery is the lottery, bad artists, and people who actually win the lottery.

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