Reviewing one movie at a time…

Ghost Rider (2007)


Ghost Rider (2007)

Running Time:  1 hr 54 mins – Action, Fantasy, Thriller

Starring Nicolas Cage, Eva Mendes, & Sam Elliott – Directed by Mark Steven Johnson

Big JD (Host)

From the opening sequence you know that you are going to get a Motorcycle Cowboy flick.  That Genre style is something I think they nailed.  Hell, they created the whole story around it.  They changed the origin a bit by skipping the whole adoptive family (Roxanne’s family) and brought Barton Blaze straight into the mix.  Dying of cancer no doubt.  Side note:  It was Roxanne’s father (Crash Simpson) that had the cancer.  I could probably write another couple page’s talking about what Mark Steven Johnson left out in terms of source material so, let’s just move on to the review.  Peter Fonda plays Mephisto aka The Devil.  Peter Fonda adds credibility to a motorcycle Cowboy flick due to his role in Easy Rider?  Sure he does.  I loved Sam Elliot’s narration and the fact they brought Carter Slade (The original Ghost Rider) into the story.  Without Carter Slade, Nicolas Cage would still be pointing at himself in a mirror somewhere.  (I’m meaning that the character helps push along the storyline … get it?)  What about the main character?  Johnny Blaze is played by the sometimes maniacal Nicholas Cage.  In this vision of his character Blaze is a huge star in the stunt bike circuit.  For some reason he has decided to channel Elvis Presley.  Ok, Cage we know that you like Elvis.  Don’t taint my favorite Marvel character with your jellybeans & love for Karen Carpenter.   Black Heart could have been so much more than the c-list villain he is.  He played more like an “un-caring” Dark Heart instead of Black Heart.  … Look it up Care Bear.  Although sucking people dry would be useful at times.  He manages to assemble a couple f-list fallen angels  Gressil, Wallow, Abigor to help in his fight for the contract of San Benganza.  Actually they are so F-List that this is their first appearance in any type of media including comic books.  Making up character’s when there is a plethora to choose from is a big no-no in my book Mr. Johnson.  Eva Mendes as Roxanne Simpson?  I’m still trying to understand how that happened.  Her nervous “I love you but can’t say it” act is horrible.  At times it’s like she’s still playing her character from Hitch.  God she’s horrible!  As for Ghost Rider?  Probably the saving grace throughout this movie.  I thought he was done well minus the stiff, Frankenstein moments.  And I could have done without the “crazy-cage”.

I wish Ghost Rider would have had more screen time.  But when your competing for Nicolas Cage’s facetime you will always lose.  Badass Bike though.  Loved the melting pavement bit.

Let’s be clear here.  The Penance Stare does not kill anyone.  I don’t think the director got that point across.

With all the things I disliked about this movie it all comes back to the simple fact that It’s Ghost Rider.  And for that reason alone is what keeps me watching this movie.  Ghost Rider on screen… that’s what’s important.  When you’ve grown up with a character and you finally get a movie with said character it really doesn’t matter how bad or good it is.  Just seeing that character in a movie is special enough.  Oh, and seeing the Old GR riding with the new GR while playing “Rider’s in the Sky” is  a nice touch.  I gotta go now, Nicolas Cage is pointing at me and it’s freakin’ me out.

Comic Book Movie Plus:  Nicholas Cage – Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance, Kick-Ass

‘s

Ran-Dizzle

–DIOS MIO–

So before giving my review I figured I would give you a little back story, Feb 14th 2007 this movie was Released in Mazatlan, Mexico. I know I was there, I was with my fiance at the time and we went to see this, mind you I thought this would be in Spanish with English subtitles, oh no it was in English with Spanish subtitles, it didn’t bother me until Eva would say “Oh my God” because then the bottom of the screen would say Dios Mio, It got really annoying, now it’s a running gag anytime I say “Oh my God” around my friends they tend to say Dios Mio… With that said here is my review.

–Ghost Rider —

Young Stunt man Johnny Blazes gives his soul to the Devil (Mephistopheles) to save his father, He becomes a body to host the Ghost Rider a Supernatural Bounty Hunter of the Wicked and Evil, Durring the Day he is Johnny Blaze World’s Best Stunt Man, when around the Wicked and Evil he engulfs in flames and becomes the Ghost Rider. Now Blackheart has come from Hell and the Ghost Rider must send him back.

I am not a Ghost Rider Connoisseur but to me this was fairly decent comic book movie so I can’t really judge this on it’s storyline , I felt that they were trying to cram too much of the comic into to this movie. I think Nicolas Cage did a fair job however I think a couple other people might have played a better Ghost Rider but he did ok. Eva Mendes also not bad, but there wasn’t much to her character other then the history between her and Johnny any girl could have really played that part. Wyatt from Easy Rider was in it also….Yes Peter Fonda himself played Mephstopheles. Which he did very well as the devil.  Blackheart was ok for a demon offsping of the Devil.

Was this a good idea for a movie? Well it can’t be worse the Daredevil or Elektra. Overall all Comic Book movies to me are a good idea it’s just how they are presented to the audience is how bad or good it can be, to me the key to the comic book movies is follow closer to the story lines of the comic your choosing…good example The Avengers. (But that’s for another time)

4 ‘s

Willie Good-Cook

–My god!–

When ok could have been great.

This movie had a lot of really good things going on. There were some draw backs however. I felt the cast as a whole did quite well. I did not like Nick Cage and Eva Mendez was not stellar either. To be honest I would have liked the movie better if they would have stuck with the actor/actress playing the kid versions. Nick Cage’s on again off again southernish accent drove me crazy. And the actor playing Black Heart? WTF?!!!! “We are legion, we are many!” So bad. He did not seem like the son of the devil to me at all. Adam Sandler was closer in my opinion. Who ever cast him as Black Heart should be fired. He should have been the waiter at the restaurant Eva was eating at.

I agree with Ranny about someone else playing Johnny. Maybe a relative unknown actor. That seems to work best. Case in point Green lantern vs Capt. America. I also was not a fan of him constantly pointing at people. I get it. It is from the comic book. I think they could have played it down a little, or limit it to when he is doing his penance stare thingy.

There were some good points to this movie. I did enjoy the story and the plot was decent enough. Pretty much every other member of the cast I loved. The devil was great. The wardrobe was also a nice high point. And seeing Ghost Rider with the flaming skull riding on his motor cycle was awesome. I thought the origins story was also enjoyable. The CGI was really cool. It wasn’t over done and I felt it enhanced a movie like CGI should. Not make it seem fake (Sorry Green Lantern.) Overall it was decent. It could have been great with a few minor tweaks and maybe a couple cast changes.

Suggestion: If you haven’t seen this go red box it. Don’t buy it. And make sure you take it back the next day. It isn’t worth $2.

3‘s (A generous 3…should have given it a 2.5)

P.S. The fact Randizzle gave this a higher rating than Smoking Aces makes me want to cut him….I just may.

….

For Those that have seen this movie.  What did you think?

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3 responses

  1. I went back and found an old review I had written on this movie back in 2007. It was for the DVD release. As you will see, I think I’ve been hardened in my older age.

    Ghost Rider 2-Disc Extended Cut (DVD)

    From the comic pages to the big screen and now Ghost Rider is riding into the DVD medium. Released on DVD June 12, 2007 which happens to be three days before the release of “Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer”. We’ll call it Marvel week. Along with the extended cut many other options were available for the average fan. For example, an Exclusive Bonus Disc that also included 3 cell phone wallpaper images & an official Ghost Rider Bandana. Now, the extended cut was all that you needed unless you are really into bandanas. The first disc contains never before seen footage. (Hence the “extended cut” version) There is commentary from Producer Gary Foster, Director/Writer Mark Steven Johnson & Visual Effects Supervisor Kevin Mack. The second disc contains Three “Making of” documentaries and a featurette on the Origin & history of the Ghost Rider. This is probably my most favorite of all of the “extra” stuff. They break it down by decade: 70’s, 80’s, 90’s & 2000’s. If that wasn’t enough they also crammed in Animatics to show the development of the Live Action Ghost Rider to film. Over two hours of special features helped me justify the extra Four bucks.

    The extended cut didn’t really differ from the original theatrical release. This isn’t a drastic change opposed to Mark Steven Johnson’s other Marvel movie “Daredevil”. The amount of footage was hardly noticed. There were a few times when I noticed the extra footage and I felt that they could have done without it. They say that it was 20 extra minutes but I only noticed it a couple times so, if you want to save some a couple bucks go for the original theatrical release. Now if you’re in it for the bonuses hit up the extended cut because I’ll be the first to tell you. It’s worth it if you’re a fan of the Spirit of Vengeance.

    Johnny Blaze (Nicolas Cage) made a deal with the devil when he was a teenager to help save his father. Time passed and Johnny became a famous stunt biker. He often wondered if it was all him or if it was the will of Satan himself. When he ran into his ex-girlfriend (Eva Mendes) he figured that this was his second chance to begin anew. That is when Ghost Rider was born (again) or should I say that is when the Devil came to cash in on their deal. His mission was to defeat the son of Satan and catch any thing that had escaped from hell and send them back.

    Straight out of the pages of Marvel Comics Ghost Rider has been around since the 70’s and doesn’t seem to be slowing his speed. This is a darker adaptation then many are expecting from the Marvel Universe. Ghost Rider may be a questionable watch for those under 10 years of age. Only because he is primarily dealing with Satan, Demons, Fallen Angels, and well… he is on fire. If you are over 10 years of age I do suggest you see Nicolas Cage portray one of the finest Marvel characters ever to come to the big screen.

    July 9, 2012 at 4:14 pm

  2. Pingback: Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance (2011) « The Movie Crew

  3. Pingback: » Movie Review – Ghost Rider Fernby Films

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