My name is Ed, and I am attempting to win the National Lottery by watching every Nicolas Cage film, in order, and picking lottery numbers based on each film.
Cage’s latest, The Trust, is coming out on DVD next week, so Comedy Central have asked me to skip ahead for a special topical edition of Winning The Lottery With Nicolas Cage.
The Trust (2016)
Why do I think watching Nicolas Cage films is a good way to try to win the lottery? Well, a Nicolas Cage performance is, in itself, a ritualistic act of magic - the man himself refers to his performance style as ‘the nouveau shamanic’, and has been known to sew ancient Egyptian artifacts into his costumes.
In performing my own bi-weekly ritual, I’m attempting to tap this power and bend reality in order to allow me to pick the six winning lottery numbers. Some people have been a bit cynical about whether this is actually going to work: guess they’re not going to get a go in my swimming pool, or on my Sega Game Gear with ALL THE GAMES.
The Trust is the feature debut of music video-directing brothers Alex and Ben Brewer (best known for covering Justin Bieber in paint and fan art, I expect), and is the tale of two disaffected Las Vegas cops who decide that they’ve had enough of sitting back and watching the criminals coining it: they want in on more lucrative action than filing reports and labelling evidence.
Cage is Jim Stone, who figures out the location of a safe where a local gang keeps all their loot; he ropes in junior colleague David Waters (Elijah Wood) to help rinse the baddies for all they’re worth, via that ever-reliable cinematic method: a heist.
Cage is sometimes looked upon as having his best work behind him: in The Trust he brilliants demonstrates that this certainly need not be the case - Jim Stone is a brilliant creation, initially leaning on standard Cage ‘charming eccentricities’, before being revealed to be something altogether darker.
Imagine meeting a fun weird dad at a barbeque, who then flips out and tries to smash your head in with a bag of charcoal briquettes because you took one of his special sausages.
Elijah Wood makes a fine foil to this - the man was born to play roles to which one can apply the adjective “long-suffering”. The film opens with Waters having some spectacularly passionless sex, and he’s dragged into his boss’ plans out of boredom as much as anything else.
Cage and Wood make a surprisingly good double act, and I hope they reprise it in something less anti-heroic at some point. Maybe Wood can step in if Justin Bartha doesn’t want to make National Treasure 3.
The only problem with the film is almost everything else in the film.
That’s not to say any element of this is bad, it’s just… extraneous. Jerry Lewis plays Stone’s dad, but I’m not really sure why, other than to prove that he's still alive.
There’s a sub-plot with Ethan Suplee off of My Name Is Earl as another corrupt cop who helps Waters get some money together for heisting supplies, which is neither dramatically necessary or particularly interesting in and of itself. There’s nothing wrong with the basic story of The Trust - it’s just not really 90 minutes of story - it wouldn’t lose much if you cut half of it out.
I understand why, you don’t really get to release 45 minute long feature films in the cinema, but couldn’t they have just lied and tacked on a loop of that Justin Bieber video onto the end to pad it out?
As I personally have no evidence of where a secret pile of criminal loot is, I have no choice but to continue to the play the National Lottery.
As I said, while watching each film I note down numbers that occur and then pick 6 in the range of 1 and 59 either based on those or other numbers that are somehow connected with the film (e.g. while making ambulance-based film Bringing Out The Dead, Cage got through an average of 10 shirts a night because of all the blood and sweat).
So, here are the numbers I picked using The Trust:
3 - A woman Stone and Waters end up holding hostage during their heist tells Waters that she has a 3 year old son, in an attempt to gain sympathy. Waters is a sap, so this works.
10 - The fancy German drill required to crack the safe costs Stone and Waters $10,000 each.
20 - The events of the film kick off when Stone notices that a recently arrested drug dealer was bailed out for $200,000 in cash. Stone decides that he would like $200,000 in cash. You should try watching Nicolas Cage films and playing the lottery, you idiot!
22 - The first number of the safe's combination is 22. The second one is 81 and the third is unclear but is something like 9, in case you happen to need to open a fictional safe.
24 - Stone acquires some guns off a man he meets outside the World's Largest Gift Shop, a real place you can visit in Las Vegas if you want to buy any one of 10 million items of tacky crap. It's located at number 2440 on the Las Vegas Strip.
36 - Cracking the safe involves drilling a hole through 36 inches of steel, hence the need for the fancy German drill.
An UNPRECEDENTED 3 numbers! Under modern National Lottery rules, that means I win TWENTY FIVE ENGLISH POUNDS.
It turns out crime does pay, but only if it is fictional crime and you just use it pick National Lottery numbers. Now I just need to get three more numbers than that right on one of the twenty or so Nic Cage films I still have to watch, and I will be a MILLIONAIRE.
The Trust is out now on Blu-ray™ and DVD.