Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans [Blu-Ray] Werner Herzog

Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans [Blu-Ray] Werner Herzog
Nicolas Cage is fucking insane. Nicolas Cage is so insane in Werner Herzog's Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans that Val Kilmer, one of the most bat-shit-crazy actors in recent cinematic history, is relegated to playing the straight man. This gives Cage the space to unabashedly chow down on whatever scenery he happens to be occupying, and the results are kind of amazing. It sounded like a joke when it was first announced that veteran director Herzog was remaking Abel Ferrara's 1992 film Bad Lieutenant with Cage in the Harvey Keitel role. Nobody was more distressed, however, than Ferrara himself, who ranted on the internet about the production using some very incendiary language. When questioned about the matter, Herzog responded by saying that he had never seen the original Bad Lieutenant and wasn't entirely sure who Abel Ferrara was, which presumably led to Ferrara's brain exploding. As it turned out, Herzog's film was not a remake, but an original story that explored the same theme of a corrupt cop, although in a more darkly comedic manner (if Werner wasn't such a shit-disturber, he probably could have explained all this at the time). The "Bad Lieutenant" label stuck because the producer of the Herzog film owned the rights to the title and wanted to exploit the notoriety of the original. While it may not appeal to all tastes, Port of Call New Orleans is hard to ignore. The conventionally pulpy story of a corrupt cop working a murder investigation takes a back seat to the brilliantly lunatic performance of Cage and Herzog's bizarre sensibilities. From the titular character dropping the C-bomb on an old lady to the prevalence of imaginary iguanas it's like watching a bad TV movie through the eyes of a mental patient, but in a good way. Also, the gangster shootout set to Sonny Terry is one of the best scenes in Herzog's entire career. The Blu-Ray disc unfortunately doesn't contain a commentary track with Herzog, but it does have junket interviews with Herzog, Cage and Eva Mendes, as well as a half-hour making-of documentary, in which you'll see Herzog attending to an iguana bite and Xzibit perusing the prop department's array of crack pipes. (VVS)