Thursday, February 23, 2012

It makes my balls hurt.

Check your local movie times. Is there a movie starting in the eight o'clock hour? If your theater is anything like mine, the answer is most likely no, not at all you silly bastard. Last night, that was my window. My wife came home too late to catch anything in the seven o'clock hour and everything else would end too late. Logistically, one film fit. Just one. With an expiring free pass in hand, I halfheartedly headed to the 8:00 pm showing of Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance.

This is his last ride, right? Please.
Though I've seen the preview a million times (where he cracks his neck in slow motion on the ramp), I've never completed the original Ghost Rider. Some parts looked cool, but the actual Rider himself, for me, is hard to take seriously. I know that's a ludicrous statement on countless levels, but as badass as it may have looked in comics, it doesn't translate well to live-action. I mean, your main character, in a story relatively based in reality, has a flaming skull for a head. Nicolas Cage (who has drifted into caricature status) seems at home being knee-deep in ridiculousness, but I wasn't. I don't know about the other two people in Theater 1, but I was pissed.

Despite a few inspired sequences, the whole thing came off so unnecessary. Curse you, logistics! Why couldn't The Grey have started at eight, or even some highbrow stuff, like The Artist or, um, Underworld 4.

Before the breakdown, I think it's time I revisit my stance on 3D. I would say, generally, that I'm cool with it (it made Avatar good). But last night, it was atrocious. It added nothing at all to the flick. Nothing. Unless eye-popping sun glare is your thing.

Third dimension angst aside, let's take a flaming motorcycle ride over to the Yays and Boos. Do it for Johnny-style!
Pretty sure this guy's late for a match against Stone Cold.
  • The beginning is pretty rad. The camerawork/stunt work when Moreau shoots out the tire was inspired.
  • A superpower that allows you to make things decay? Great! Oh, but I get Malfoy's Dad's haircut with it? Hmm. Let me get back to you on that one.
  • The animated bits were solid. Imagine extended Twisted Metal endings.
  • Euro Mom was kind of hot (though extreme lack of cleavage makes this ultimately a boo).
That's his real hand. Remember Moonstruck?
  • Eating souls is oddly bromantic. He tenderly holds your face in his hands and gazes into your eyes. It's altogether flaming.
  • Hope you like overhead shots!
  • Bad Guy. If Kurt Russell and Bruce Campbell had a baby, you'd have this guy. Minus their groovyness, of course
  • Someone points a gun at Nic Cage's head. It should shock no one that he pulls the gun closer and begs them to just do it. It's like his go-to move.
  • Was this actually filmed in 1998? That's the only way to explain Jerry Springer's role in this. The only way
  • If you're outside with your friends and are convinced small aliens are scurrying about, wait. It's The Rider. That's what his approach sounds like.
  • They throw a flashbang at ol' Ghosty. I won't tell you what happens, but it is ridiculous. I mean ridiculous for this movie, for the actual world it's something much, much worse.
  • His whip kills on contact. Unless he whips the main bad guy. That guy can handle it. Because he has lines.
  • There's a conversation explaining how the Rider's powers transform whatever he's, well, riding. It explains Flaming Excavator and Flaming Army Truck, so fine. The kid asks him, "What if you ride a camel?" Cage on a flaming camel? That's the movie I wanted.
  • Christopher Lambert. You gravel-voiced bastard. Ever see The Hunted? Loved that movie.
  • Okay, Decay Guy. Everything you touch rots immediately. Except for the steering wheel of your van.
I have two free passes left. That should dramatically raise the bar for what I see theatrically.


  1. You're right about the odd dearth of 8:00 show times... every once in a while I see a movie or two show up in that time slot, but it's pretty infrequent. And when it does happen, it's usually early in the slot -- or at 7:55 or something like that. Then there's nothing until 9:15.

    Great review of Ghost Rider... been seeing nothing but negative reviews of this, which hasn't surprised me. Yours was particularly fun to read, though; a lot of the "BOOs" had me laughing.

    1. Thanks for stopping by...appreciate the kind words. As for the 8:00 start times, as a bit of a family man, I simply go to the movies when I have the green light...then see what's available. It's a crapshoot, but I don't mind.

      As for Ghost Rider? It really is pretty horrible. I honestly think that Cage (who was/is a great actor) has simply given up. They might as well have given him a $100 bill at the conclusion of every spoken line. It was just so obvious.

  2. Believe it or not I actually voluntarily saw this last Sat after Drive Angry, along with the first one. I dont even know why lol there is a scene I will share in today's RF that makes it worth seeing

    1. I'm starting to get concerned about your viewing habits. Rather concerned, in fact.

      Just kidding.


    2. Well my viewing habits lead to amazing stuff.

      Like you watching The Bad Batch