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 John Carter and Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengence

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Drogoth

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PostSubject: John Carter and Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengence   Sun Mar 11, 2012 11:06 am

John Carter

Overview: Gambit goes to Mars!

Good: If you have any love for Star Wars, Lord of the Rings or Flash Gordon then I suspect you'll like this. Beautiful looking, action packed and epic in scale, this film tells an old tale (both in source material and daring do) well. Gambit, sorry, Taylor Kitsch is a likeable lead, transported to Mars at the turning point of a civil war (Earth parrallels ahoy!). There, he meets a bunch of British characters actors who all do well in parts that range in size. The film is also very funny, working some nice humour in alongside the big fights (including a joke involving Carter's name...).

Lyn Collins, who you might also remember from Wolverine as Kayla Silverfox, also makes for a spunky Dejah Thoris, every part Carter's equal. There are also nice turns from Dafoe, Dominic West, James Purefoy and Mark Strong (even if the latter is equal parts Lord Blackwood and Sinestro!).

Bad: If you want to be over critical then you could argue that plot takes a back seat to adventure. Character motivations are fairly broad and nothing we haven't seen before. To me, though, that doesn't make it bad, as it's a fine example of it's genre. A little bit more time for West's Sab Than would have been nice.

Overall: 8/10. Excellent and enjoyable sword and planet movie. More please!

Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengence

Overview: Cage reboots his his flaming biker!

Good: Not much! The new look for Ghost Rider himself looks much better than the first one, giving him more of charred feeling. Blackout, who serves as the Devil's right hand man, equally looks the part, all decay and albino dreadlocks. There are also nice cameos from Anthony 'Giles' Head and Christopher 'Highlander' Lambert.

Bad: Where to start? How about the directors? In a bid to be 'hip' and 'real' Neveldine and Taylor made a big thing of how they'd hang off motorbikes and roller skate to get their close-up shots. They need not have bothered, as the editing means that you struggle to follow what's going on and their fancy shots are lost in the dirge.

Then there's the actors. I'm a big fan of Nic Cage. From his heavy weight stuff like Leaving Las Vegas to his more lightweight fare, like the mighty Con Air, I've liked much of his work. Even recent films like Season of the Witch and Drive Crazy had a cheeky charm about them. Sadly, in GRSOV, Cage simply phones it in. Equal parts 'look at me I'm crazy' shouting and sad-eyed gloom, Cage never really convinces with either. That Cage isn't the worst one in it says a lot about Violante Placido's terrible performance as an extremely wooden mother to the Anti-Christ. All very strange when you consider Cage was supposed to have been the one to get this made.

Neither of them are helped by a plot with more holes in it that a string vest. Anything that works is a cliched as the saying I've just used. Anything that doesn't, well, that makes up most of the rest of the film! Cieran Hinds is given very little to work with as a rather weak Devil, all face pulling and little substance. You never really feel there is a threat to the world, even when you're being told their is.

The secondary villian, Blackout, is equally poorly treated. In the comics Blackout is the half-demon vampire son of Lilith, complete with metal fangs and claws. Here he spends half the film as a standard heavy. When he does change he looks the part (minus the vampire parts) but his powers are inconsistent. The way he creates 'blackouts' around people matches the lore. The decay part, not so much. Plus he can either control his powers or he can't. If it's the former, then why does Blackout decay the food he tries to eat? If it's the latter, how can he use the steering wheel?

Weakest of all is the father-son relationship between Blaze and the boy. We're expected to believe that after one bike ride together they are bosom buddies, with Blaze willing to risk all to save the boy. Action movies tend to be a bit light anyway but it can be done - look at The Terminator and John Connor in Judgement Day. Here it's poorly thought out and insulting.

Overall: As much as I wanted to this to be good it wasn't. If this reboot was supposed to be the start of a new era, it failed on every front. Dull, chaotic and badly made, avoid like the plague!
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Drogoth

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PostSubject: Re: John Carter and Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengence   Sun Mar 11, 2012 11:06 am

Rating for GRSOV: 2/10
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PostSubject: Re: John Carter and Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengence   Sun Mar 11, 2012 11:12 am

I agree with everything you've said about Ghost Rider 2, but I'll also add another problem I had with the movie that you probably won't have noticed so much.

The bike. The bike in GRSOV is really poor. Its nowhere near as detailed as the one in the original movie, nowhere near as cool, and doesn't look like the one in the comics. The long chain and skull front end is entirely different, its a lot smaller, and it just doesn't carry as much menace and weight as in the first movie - once again another sign this was done on the cheap.

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