I'm not trying to be a hero! I'M FIGHTING THE DRAGON!!

Ghost Rider Presents Spirit of Vengeance

tn_GRSoVAlmost exactly 5 years ago when they released the first GHOST RIDER picture (directed by the writer of the GRUMPY OLD MEN pictures) I thought it looked so hilarious that I couldn’t help going to the first showing. I remember it was before noon at an AMC theater on a Friday, which I discovered was their window for what counts as a matinee, so it cost 5 bucks. Good deal, but small consolation for the unfortunately boring movie and the guilt of having participated in making it a surprise hit even though nobody liked it.

So on Friday I found myself facing down part 2, this time from Nevildine/Taylor, the giggling-camera-wigglers-on-rollerblades legally and morally responsible for CRANK and GAMER. Against 22 different styles and colors of better judgment I found myself compelled to the first showing of this one too. The matinee costs 6 bucks now. But that’s fair – it’s at least a dollar more enjoyable than part 1. Probly $1.50 even.

mp_GRSoVCage returns as the ’70s Marvel Comics character Johnny Blaze, a motorcycle daredevil who made a deal with the devil and now is forever cursed to occasionally turn, werewolf style, into a rampaging demon that he can’t control. The demon has a skeleton head and hands and is covered in flames. I believe there is something about he can shoot chains also.

I forget if they explained in part 1 when he turns into the Ghost Rider. It’s not on purpose, it’s not when he gets angry, it’s not always at night. Maybe they recapped that in this one but if so I missed it. I couldn’t figure out what makes him change. It just happens sometimes.

In many ways SPIRIT OF VENGEANCE feels like a DTV sequel. It’s all shot in Romania and Turkey, in remote locations without alot of people. I’m pretty sure there are no vehicles ever seen on the roads that are not driven by the main characters. The camerawork is self-consciously hyperactive, there are Avid fart scene transitions, Christopher Lambert shows up without a damn thing to do (although he does have his face covered in tattoos, so points for that I guess). It doesn’t give the impression that alot of thought was put into the writing, with at least one character (Idris Elba’s wine-drinking, asskicking French priest sidekick) showing up out of nowhere with no explanation of who he’s supposed to be or why Ghost Rider trusts him.

Several scenes try to hide their low production values with shitty-looking stylistic conceits like gratuitous blur effects or all black backgrounds in place of sets or locations. One (I think) intentionally cheap-looking scene has Cage in front of sped up driving footage making goofy faces with a bunch of jumpcuts and cartoony digital facial distortions reminiscent of 1994’s then cutting edge THE MASK. (Judging from the credits most of the digital effects were outsourced to India.)

still_GRSoV1
In an attempt to make it fun and crazy they have little animated parts explaining who Ghost Rider is and etc., and they’re well designed, but what ever happened to animating the animated parts? They did it for example in NATURAL BORN KILLERS, CREEPSHOW 2, ONE CRAZY SUMMER, THE DANGEROUS LIVES OF ALTAR BOYS and TANK GIRL. Now it’s usually just still drawings that they sort of move around in a computer. They pulled this shit in JONAH HEX too. You’d think comic book people would know cartoon people they could convince to work on their movies.

I sort of got a kick out of the scrappy low budget feel of the thing, so I was pretty surprised to read that even with Cage agreeing to a pay cut to get it made they allegedly spent $75 million on it. That’s like $20 million more than it cost to make BLADE 2, $40 million more than PUNISHER’S WAR ZONE. It’s approximately 5.3 UNIVERSAL SOLDIER: REGENERATIONs. Can you believe that? Red Bull must cost a fortune in Romania.

On the positive side it doesn’t have a DTV-style convoluted plot (in fact I think it’s a little too simple), it has some color in it, not that gloomy washed out look that so many movies have, and the effects on the titular flaming skeleton guy are good. I don’t remember him looking this cool in the first one. His jacket is melted (sometimes bubbling) and he looks pretty real driving around on dusty roads in the daylight instead of on those generic night time soundstages from part 1.

BLADE’s David S. Goyer gets a story and co-writing credit along with TV writers Scott M. Gimple & Seth Hoffman. Apparently those two rejiggered it from an old script by Goyer which was intended as the first GHOST RIDER movie, from BLADE director Stephen Norrington, but the studio dumped it because it would’ve had to be rated-R. Now of course it’s a sequel (sort of – the origin is brief, but changed so that he made a deal with the devil on purpose not by accident, and the devil is Cieran Hinds instead of Peter Fonda). And it’s PG-13 now, which maybe explains why Johnny Blaze keeps mentioning how dangerous it is to unleash the Ghost Rider because he’s judgmental of everybody and will kill even the people Johnny loves, but then this never comes up other than one part where the skeleton stares at the girl but doesn’t hurt her. Following through is strictly for 14 and up.

It’s been pointed out that the story is basically TERMINATOR 2. A dangerous, inhuman force with a leather jacket and motorcycle is sent to protect a streetwise kid and his battle-worn mother from forces that intend to kill him because of what he’s fated to grow into. They even have the part where it’s said that this non-human killer is a better role model than mom’s various ex-boyfriends. It’s kind of interesting that it’s a reverse T2 though: in regular T2 the evil machines from the future want to kill the kid before he becomes the savior of humanity. In this one it’s basically the good guys, the priests, who want to kill the kid before he becomes the guy who destroys the world. I mean, the priests got a good point. But Ghost Rider wants to save the kid because he believes in giving an antichrist time to change.

It should go without saying that it’s a mistake to set up your movie to be compared to T2. Any movie is gonna have a hard time competing, and this one in particular pales in spectacle, in emotion, in characterization and everything else. While T2 goes to great lengths to establish John Connor’s antisocial lifestyle (tearing around on a dirtbike, stealing from ATM machines, running from cops, gun training in the desert) GR2 introduces mom and son as Roma pickpockets, then never references that again or has them do anything but get protected by Ghost Rider. And despite all the advancements in technology the action is nowhere near the scale or excitement of the real T2. I mean, the big scene is on a construction site, like a Cannon movie. There are a few cool ideas, like the bad guys buy bunker busters and shoot them at him, without much effect.

There’s a couple new Ghost powers too. He claims to piss fire “like a blowtorch,” but we only see an imagined version of it (which is good because everybody knows from A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET 4: THE DREAM MASTER that peeing fire brings Freddy back to life. Or maybe that’s only when dogs do it). Also we learn that any vehicle he drives will be wrapped in fire, including dumptrucks and construction equipment. They joke about different things it would be funny for him to ride (a camel, for example) but don’t actually show it. I would like to see him on a flaming Segway or SmartCar. Or taking public transportation.

I did not come away with the feeling that this was a good movie, but I sort of had fun with it. It’s weirder and shorter than the first one, though it drags a bit in the middle. I wish one of Ghost Rider’s powers was to smoosh his own movie together with DRIVE ANGRY 3D. That was an overall more entertaining and coherently photographed (in real 3D) movie, but it had a disappointingly restrained performance by Mr. Cage. It could’ve been great if he was Ghost Rider in that one.

I can remember two things I liked about part 1:

a) for some damn reason Cage made it that Johnny Blaze loves eating jelly beans and watching monkey movies.

Unfortunately there are no references to that in the sequel.

2) the whole movie served as a metaphor for Cage’s career, that he signed a Faustian bargain and is forced into bad things that he has no control over but he’s occasionally able to breathe fire and do wheelies in the form of mega-acting.

Unfortunately this reading was hurt by the fact that whenever he transformed into Ghost Rider it was an animated character and obviously not the real Cage. It was kind of defeating itself because every time he turned into the skeleton you would wish he would just stay as Cage. You should be excited every time he does it. I’ve seen alot of reviews that still felt that way about this sequel, but not me. I thought they solved that problem the way they addressed it in the sequel. This time I was excited whenever he made the transition to boniness.

"But there was a writer named Brian Bates who wrote a book called The Way of Weird, and also The Way of the Actor and in that book he put forward the notion that all actors, whether they know it or not, come from a long, distant past of medicine men and Shamans, pre-Christian in these villages. And what the Shaman would do is he would go into an altered state of consciousness to try and find answers and solutions to give to the village people. In this day and age that person would be considered psychotic but when you think about it, it was a way of channelling the imagination to either talk with spirits to give answers to the village. So, they would wear masks, or they would gather objects that had some magical relevance, and so I thought, well because I’m dealing with this supernatural character why don’t I try a little bit of that and see what happens?  "So, I would paint my face with black and white make-up, so it looked like a skull, like some sort of Afro-Caribbean voodoo icon, or a New Orleans voodoo icon by the name of Baron Samedi, who looks like a skeleton but he’s very finely dressed. He’s the spirit of death. He’s also a spirit that loves children and he’s a very lusty kind of voodoo icon. So, I would paint my face and I would put black contact lenses in my eyes to look more like a skull, so you couldn’t see any pupils or any white in the eyes, and I would sew some ancient Egyptian artefacts into my costume, get some rocks that had alleged frequencies - who knows if it works or not - but the point is it stimulated my imagination to think I really was this character...  "…Sometimes I would start talking in what I thought was a Wodenic/Norse dialogue, or some sort of Enochian Angel speak, or something - who knows what was coming out of me, but it was a fun experiment. What you see is really in camera."  Nicolas Cage http://www.viewhull.co.uk/cinemas/nicolas-cage-ghost-rider-2-interview-feature-interview-4382.html
“But there was a writer named Brian Bates who… put forward the notion that all actors, whether they know it or not, come from a long, distant past of medicine men and Shamans, pre-Christian in these villages. And what the Shaman would do is he would go into an altered state of consciousness to try and find answers and solutions to give to the village people. In this day and age that person would be considered psychotic but when you think about it, it was a way of channelling the imagination to either talk with spirits to give answers to the village. So, they would wear masks, or they would gather objects that had some magical relevance, and so I thought, well because I’m dealing with this supernatural character why don’t I try a little bit of that and see what happens? “So, I would paint my face with black and white make-up, so it looked like a skull, like some sort of Afro-Caribbean voodoo icon, or a New Orleans voodoo icon by the name of Baron Samedi, who looks like a skeleton but he’s very finely dressed. He’s the spirit of death. He’s also a spirit that loves children and he’s a very lusty kind of voodoo icon. So, I would paint my face and I would put black contact lenses in my eyes to look more like a skull, so you couldn’t see any pupils or any white in the eyes, and I would sew some ancient Egyptian artefacts into my costume, get some rocks that had alleged frequencies – who knows if it works or not – but the point is it stimulated my imagination to think I really was this character… Sometimes I would start talking in what I thought was a Wodenic/Norse dialogue, or some sort of Enochian Angel speak, or something – who knows what was coming out of me, but it was a fun experiment. What you see is really in camera.” –Nicolas Cage to viewhull.co.uk

He doesn’t turn into Ghost Rider as much as you’d think, and even loses the curse for a while (I hope that means the Indian FX artists got to take weekends off). But when he does Ghost out it is Cage doing the motion capture, and you can tell. He got really into it. You can read about his, uh, unorthodox methods in the caption to the right here, and hopefully they’ll have some footage of that when the movie comes out on the home video. In fact there could be a feature length documentary about him channeling ancient Egyptian powers and voodoo gods and scaring everybody on set.

Instead of just seeming like a video game, this time the Ghost Rider character made me think of one of the best uses of motion capture of all time, which is in the unreleased-in-the-U.S. Michael Jackson video GHOSTS when he tears off his own skin, becomes a non-flaming skeleton, then does a big dance number (including a moonwalk). You watch that and you know immediately that it’s not frame-by-frame-animation because you know nobody could make it move like that except the real Michael.

Cage’s movements aren’t as distinct as Michael Jackson’s, of course, but they are recognizable. He does his rock star thing. You know how in VAMPIRE’S KISS and DEADFALL he throws in all those Mick Jagger poses? This demon does some of that. The first time he’s skeletal he stands in the middle of some villains and intimidates them with a little bit of Elvis swagger – or at least that’s what I thought it was, but later I read that he based his performance on the movements of some cobras he had as pets until his neighbors complained. But it doesn’t matter that I had no idea what the fuck he was doing. That was some good, weird shit.

mega-acting_GRSoVHe doesn’t get to bust out a full-on “AM I GETTING THROUGH TO YOU. ALVA!?” freak out, but there are traces of it. Occasionally he seems like Castor Troy with his face all the way off. You sense Cage’s presence even without the aid of facial expression. Or eyes. And there are a few bits of mega-acting in scenes where he gets to have a face, in particular the one where he talks about feeling the skeleton thing inside him itching to get out. There’s even a scene where he wakes up in a hospital, flirts with a nurse and then starts demanding painkillers. It seemed like a self-homage to THE BAD LIEUTENANT, although there are no lizards in the scene.

You know, I hope they keep making these Marvel Comics b-movies. Yeah, some of the ten-billion-dollar-superstar-cast-state-of-the-art-CGI-summer-tentpole-franchise-trademark-property ones from the side of the Dr. Pepper cans are alot of fun, but if this super hero thing is gonna be a real genre there should be some more down and dirty ones too. Of course the first two BLADEs are the best comic book movies ever made, and the three PUNISHERs are fun, and then I’m okay with these ones existing although I would prefer something of a high quality. You gotta miss some before you hit ’em I guess.

If they want to make more BLADE movies but they’re gonna be assholes about it and not use Wesley I think Idris Elba gives a pretty good audition here. I’ll approve it if they promise to give some other character to Michael Jai White.

But if they ever make a GHOST RIDER part 3 I think it really is time to see The Rider integrating into society more. Don’t fear the absurd. In this one I thought it was funny just to see him carrying a kid (it looked like the kid’s hair would catch on fire). Now I think it’s time to see him buy hot dogs, carry balloons, get arrested, testify to a Senate subcommittee, give an old lady a supportive back rub during a murder trial,  etc. In a tribute to MATCHSTICK MEN and BAD LIEUTENANT the Rider should flip out while trying to pick up Johnny Blaze’s painkillers at the pharmacy. Cage is getting the hang of this character and the movie around him has plenty of room for improvement. I’ll be there for the matinee.

APPENDIX 1: dimensionality notes:

still_GRSoV_NTNeveldine/Taylor’s style is kind of like if Michael Bay mixed his sperm with a bunch of pixie sticks sugar and used it to impregnate South Park or Family Guy. They’re more interested in doing a stunt while holding the camera than in aiming it at something. They like doing quick cutaways to little smart ass things they think are funny. But they don’t like ever calming down, building suspense or tension or paying any attention to rhythm.

Brian Taylor, to digitaltrends.com:

“So we might be our own worst enemy in terms of [us being] so bored by everything all the time that we’re always cutting and going faster. It’s kinda become our thing. We’re always talking about how on the PlayStation 3 you can watch a movie at 1.5x speed with sound. It’s perfect.”

“That’s how I watch all the DGA and WGA screeners every year. I just watch ‘em on 1.5x,” Neveldine chimed in, completely serious.

“So an hour and a half movie you can watch in 60 minutes. That, to us, is perfect. If we could break the 60-minute barrier and actually come out with a one-hour feature film, that’d be perfect for us.”

Because of the spastic camerawork and editing of their previous joints I was convinced that this would be the 3D movie that would actually cause serious eye injuries to viewers and throw the industry into chaos. On the other hand there was a chance that Tayveldine, being professional camera operators, would take the challenge of 3D seriously and try to photograph the movie in a way that humans could watch and understand using eyes. Or if not they would at least have a hard time with the heavier cameras and would have no choice but to keep them kind of steady instead of tying them to bungee cords and shooting them out of slingshots and shit.

But of course they took the coward’s way out, just shot the thing the same stupid way they always do and let some other asshole worry about trying to make it into fake 3D in a computer. So I continued my boycott of fake 3D and saw it with only two Ds.

I tried to ask around and most people said the fake 3D version looks as flat as most fake 3D, so hopefully I made the right decision. I can’t imagine the opening scenes, where the camera wiggles and shakes all over the place (I think they did it on rollerskates again), could be anything but painful if they actually looked 3D. The only part I regretted seeing flat was an animated part where Ghost Rider’s eyes project spotlights into the audience to search for illegal downloaders.

(Yeah, they occasionally throw really lame jokes in here, but most of them are 15-20 years more dated than that. There’s actually a joke about Jerry Springer being the devil. Nothing about Judge Ito or Monica Lewinsky, I’m afraid. Maybe they play funnier with the glasses on, though.)

APPENDIX B: My proudest moment since flipping off Dick Cheney

As I’ve mentioned a couple times before, I am a long time subscriber to the Fangoria horror magazine. Magazines were a type of paper product that was used before you guys were born but believe me, it was awesome. In the past year or two Fangoria has undergone major changes and in my opinion is starting to get real good, they have interviews with surprising people and do alot more retrospectives of the classics and what not.

Last month’s issue (February 2012, Fangoria #310) had a cover story on “Nicolas Cage: Master of Horror.” They have a good interview with him talking about SPIRIT OF VENGEANCE, his love of WAR OF THE GARGANTUAS and some other movies throughout his career, including VAMPIRE’S KISS. When the issue arrived I skimmed it and had it sitting around for weeks, then one morning before work I finally got around to it. At one point in the interview Cage talks about the differences between Ghost Rider in part 1 and part 2:

He’s on the lam in Eastern Europe, he’s been living with the curse for years and he’s not as innocent; he’s much more cynical. And this time I really got to experiment with that kind of “mega-acting” I do, when things go into an operatic display.

Did you see that shit? That’s right, Cage used the word “mega-acting,” which I coined to describe his style of acting. I had read that he didn’t like being called “over the top,” and I realized that calling what he did “overacting” wasn’t accurate since it was a deliberate artistic choice to act at that level. It wasn’t over, it was a direct hit. He just aimed at a different target than most actors do.

Frequent outlawvern.com commenter Mr. Fred Topel was kind enough to ask Cage in an interview about the phrase and if he thought it was accurate, and apparently he must’ve liked it enough that he remembered it a couple years later while at home in the Bahamas enjoying Bloody Marys and snail dicks with the guy from Fangoria. I mean, it would be pretty cool if he used it in Time Magazine or US News and World Report or something, but for it to be in Fangoria is almost like a personal thank-you to me from the Lord.

(it is possible that he has also used it in those magazines, but I don’t read those magazines, I read Fangoria.)

It’s a good interview, I recommend it. It also continues in this month’s issue, the one with Vincent Price holding Peter Lorre’s severed head on the cover. In part 2 “mega-acting” is used twice, once in a caption about FACE/OFF and once by the interviewer.

So, you know, I think it’s time to take this writing thing to the next level. I am a word coiner now. I demand to be taken seriously. Please send money and jobs.

fangoria_niccage

VERN has been reviewing movies since 1999 and is the author of the books SEAGALOGY: A STUDY OF THE ASS-KICKING FILMS OF STEVEN SEAGAL, YIPPEE KI-YAY MOVIEGOER!: WRITINGS ON BRUCE WILLIS, BADASS CINEMA AND OTHER IMPORTANT TOPICS and NIKETOWN: A NOVEL. His horror-action novel WORM ON A HOOK will arrive later this year.

This entry was posted on Tuesday, February 21st, 2012 at 3:01 am and is filed under Comic strips/Super heroes, Reviews. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

188 Responses to “Ghost Rider Presents Spirit of Vengeance”

  1. Y’know, if I had something to say over at Hollywood, I would totally let you write GHOST RIDER 3. Just to see the Rider on a Segway.

  2. That’s a spot-on review, Vern.

    I share the Elba-as-Blade thing, too. Whilst watching SoV last night I found myself wishing theydd had the balls to have made his character Blade.

    And yeah, the single, solitary decent bit of 3D was indeed the eyes for headlights bit.

    Inspired.

    The rest, not so much.

  3. Griff – That commercial has nothing on the craziness of this one here

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nVMziCNFF1I

    I just love that “grrrrrwaarrrgarrhoedown” explosion from Cage out of nowhere. Classic mega acting.

  4. Rehydrated Dehydrated Pirate Paul

    February 21st, 2012 at 7:06 am

    I’m ecstatic about Cage finally recognising “Mega-Acting” as a concept. As for this film, I have no plans to see it and I didn’t see the first one.

    But a fourth “Blade” movie? No thanks. Weren’t the third and second bad-fanfiction-y enough? Yeah, I know people don’t agree with me about “Blade 2”; but you gotta admit that, whether you think it works or not (I would obviously say “not”), it definitely comes off as being written “by committee”.

    And the third was just plain awful in a deeply uninteresting way. Also written by committee, but at least a vampire death squad led by Ron Perlman COULD have worked. I don’t see how the heck they were ever gonna get two teenage vampire-hunter prodigies into a Blade film – one of whom is played by Ryan Reynolds, an actor whose films I’ve grown to learn to avoid out of sheer pavlovian instincts – in any way that could’ve been any good. (Not that teenage vampire hunters couldn’t work… I’m sure there’s an example of this somewhere… but in a “Blade” film?)

    But yeah… Idris Elba would be a great choice for Blade… but they’d need to bring in some fresh talent to make it work. “Blade Begins”, perhaps.

  5. Rehydrated Dehydrated Pirate Paul

    February 21st, 2012 at 7:14 am

    Ok, I should qualify that for the “Blade 2” fans.

    Yeah, I agree that the love story of that movie was perfect. Worked really, really well. It was obvious how it would turn out, sure, but it’s like a Greek tragedy. Yeah, you know he’s gonna have to kill her eventually, but the appeal of the journey is getting to that point. I would prefer if they didn’t introduce the two with a shitty vampire-ninja CGI fight scene, but hey, that’s fanfiction for ya.

    So what I’m saying is, “Blade 2” isn’t terrible. I didn’t enjoy it, but it’s certainly not close to being as bad as #3. But while “Blade” had a multi-layered vampire society that we see a great deal of, “Blade 2” had a mad patriarch and a sewer level. That’s not an improvement.

  6. that’s awesome about cage having adopted “mega-acting” for his own usage, congrats! and i can fool myself into thinking that we here played some small tangential role in it, since we witnessed its coining and helped spread it’s usage. as far as watching this movie, i am torn between my interest in the mega-acting arts and my unfettered hatred for CRANK…

    anyway, good work, vern! now go watch PEGGY SUE GOT MARRIED!!!

  7. Has anyone seen Seeking Justice yet? Its not actually a Seagal movie, its a 2011 revenge movie starring Nic Cage and Guy Pearce and its really, really bad. There is one scene where Cages character lectures on grammar which was truly inspired and must have been improvised, but the rest of the movie was insipid.

    Interestingly January Jones co-stars as his wife and is nowhere near as glazed over as usual, while Cage gives the blandest performance I can remember (I saw Captain Corellis Mandolin). Got to be Newtons 3rd law in action.

  8. First off, congrats to Vern for being the MEGA-ACTING guy. Neveldine, Taylor and Cage used that term all the time during interviews for this movie and I thought it was appropriate.

    Secondly, I enjoyed this movie a lot more than I thought I would. I can’t really say it’s a “good” film (the story is way too simple and the characters talk about the simple plot way too much), but it was entertaining. I thought Cage delivered as Johnny Blaze and especially Ghost Rider. Seeing his performance as Ghost Rider makes me dislike Mark Steven Johnson even more. How could you not let Cage play Ghost Rider in the first movie?? I was riveted by Nic’s twitching, rockstar posing and COBRA SWAYING. He even levitates and slowly rotates at one point. Added to that, Ghost Rider is much more successful as a visual effect this time around.

    I also thought this was Neveldine and Taylor’s most watchable film yet. After Gamer and Crank 2, I was getting sick of their HYPER-ADD SHAKY CAM style. They toned that stuff down a bit in Ghost Rider 2 and I actually understood what was going on most of the time! Plus I think their “dudes on rollerskates” works pretty well with motorcycles.

    As for the Ghost Rider “rules”, I think the first one said he would change “at night, in the presence of evil”.
    In this one he seemed to change “day or night in the presence evil”.

    And as for the budget, Sony is now saying the price was 57 million, not 75 million.
    …because some guy made a typo lol.

  9. Paul: I actually agree with you about BLADE, at least the first two (I didn’t see the third one), but I’m pretty sure it’s not so much a question of the quality of the films as it is irreconcilable differences in our temperaments. Too many cool people are willing to attest to the strengths of those films for me to dismiss them outright. Motherfuckers like us are always skating uphill et cetera.

    I also agree with Vern that it should have been Blade’s sunglasses, not Thor’s hammer, that they find in a crater of pure awesomeness at the end of IRON MAN 2.

    Also, is it just me or is it the weirdest thing to know that Vern is watching all these movies that fail to capitalize on Idris Elba’s talent without having seen The Wire?

  10. Vern, congrats on Cage embracing and owning the term and idea of “Mega Acting”, and for him to do it in one of your favorite publications is awesome! It is well deserved. That had to have been a surreal moment when you first read Cage’s quote.

    Your story reminds me of one from my childhood, but mine has no Nic Cage in it, has nothing to do with Fangoria Magazine, and is nowhere near the accomplishment or awesome. I went to an alternative school for the arts in Seattle called Summit K-12. Since the school was for grade levels Kinder through 12th when I was in high school and I took the bus home I would have kids of all ages on the same bus. One day it dawned on me that I was surrounded by all these impressionable children and as one of the “older kids” I could use my status to make up all kinds of crazy stuff they would believe as gospel. This was my chance to create and urban legend. If I could influence all the kids of various ages on my bus to believe my nonsense they would then spread that belief like a virus among the other kids in their various grade levels. I had an audience, but I needed an Idea. It had to be something equally ridiculous but believable. It was then that the “P Spot” was born. The P Spot is like a G Spot except for it is not found in a women’s Virginia it is in your butt. It is a spot that if you hit it just right during anal sex it causes the person to shit uncontrollably. The kids on the bus believed every bit of it, and it became a regular topic of conversation. My urban legend was alive and I was a proud papa. I spent years talking up and growing the legend of the P Spot, then one day when I was a senior in high school I was talking to some younger kids I had never meet before and one of them brought up the P Spot and asked if we had ever heard about it. I almost wept I was so overcome with pride and accomplishment. My years of hard work had paid off. The P Spot was not real but the idea was and it was growing. I would like to think the legend of the P Spot is still alive today.

    PS: Vern, please don’t take any offence from me comparing your awesome achievement to my juvenile little story. I am not trying to make light of what you have accomplished. It just reminded me of one of the highlights of my adolescence.

  11. Give me Idris Elba as Black Panther and Michael Jai White as Luke Cage and I’ll be a happy man.

    I’d love it if these darker B-movie Marvel characters could have their own Avengers event in the form of a Marvel Knights movie. We already have Punisher, Blade and Ghost Rider films. All they need to do now is make R-rated Moon Knight, Black Panther and Luke Cage movies and let them all build towards a Marvel Knights team-up. Maybe toss a Daredevil reboot in there as well.

    Would never happen, though, since the movie rights to all these characters belong to different companies.

  12. Give me nobody as Luke Cage. That character fucking sucks. Would love to see a Punisher/Daredevil movie collabo though; too bad it’s not legally possible. Or even a Ghost Rider and Doctor Strange one since those were always pulpy fun in the comics

  13. If I may be permitted to copy and paste my potpouri comments, I will;

    “I liked GR2, but it could have been better. It’s definitely no BAD LIEUTENANT or even DRIVE ANGRY; DRIVE ANGRY fell frustratingly short of realising its true potential in much the same way, but it had more going on than GR2, and I suspect I’ll grow (even) fonder of it on repeat viewings.

    In fairness I should probably disclose that I came to GR2 almost entirely as a student of mega-acting, and I’m probably the only person on the planet who was more excited for this than for the forthcoming Bat, Spider and Norse God/Frozen Dude/Greenzo/Rich Prick/Whoever else films put together. So I’ll accept that I probably had overly high expectations for a cheapo sequel to a film no one liked, made mostly to hold on to rights. But I still think a collaboration between the CRANK guys and Cage should be more memorable than SPIRIT OF VENGANCE. I know they were working within a PG-13 Marvel licence, but I have to say I think that should have helped in many ways, as it does keep Neveldine/Taylor from their most purile excesses, while still giving them room to indulge much of Cage and their eccentricities.

    I do think there is something about Ghost Rider (as opposed to Johnny Blaze) that just makes for a poor action hero. I know there aren’t as many Cage fans around here these days as there used to be, but surely there aren’t that many people prepared to pay for one of his films who are genuinely glad everytime he turns into a CGI flaming skull with almost no personality. He’s also ridiculously invulnerable; yes, I know that might seem hypocritical from a Seagal fan, but at least his characters always had the *pretense* of vulnerability.

    In some ways Cage actually got more of his own touches into the first movie. The whole jellybean/monkeys/Carpenters thing is a distinctly Cageian touch I don’t think was matched in this movie. Even lines like Johnny Blaze saying he plans to become a Motorcycle cop after he quits being a daredevil had a bit more of the je ne sais quoi I want from Cage than anything I can think of from here.

    But I want it to be clear I did enjoy it, and I can give you some reasons too. Having Cage do extra face spasms before he turns into the Rider was definitely a good move, and there will almost certainly be a few good clips for any updated/new “losing his shit” video. The “he’s at the door” scene is a classic, as discussed. The cast was good across the board; always nice to see Lambert and Hinds, but I probably most enjoyed (outside of Cage, natch) Johnny Whitworth. I also feel this in N/T’s best filmatism to date; it’s distinctive without being obnoxious, a lot of nice touches, but a lot of scenes where they just let it be too. They were kind of like a low-rent DePalma here, and that’s not an insult in my book.

    So I enjoyed it. But remember I quite enjoyed SEASON OF THE WITCH too”

    On the Cage front, he has at least got a reunion with Charlie Kaufman lined up; something called FRANK OR FRANCIS. I was excited for his seial killer flick THE FROZEN GROUND until I found out Cusack was playing the killer; kind of sick of me to have been excited about Cage playing a serial killer anyway I guess. And despite my better judgement I’ll almost certainly end up paying full price for a copy of Trespass when it hits DVD in the UK next month.

  14. You just don’t like the fact that Luke Cage is man enough to wear a tiara.

  15. Idris Elba is an anagram of I IS BLADE.

    Sort of.

    Holy shit.

  16. Saw it on sunday(in 3D, didn’t have the luxury of a 2D option round here), as my first cinematic experience of Nic Cage in a starring role, I thought it was pretty solid. I think the moment where it’s most obvious Cage is doing the mocap is when the Rider is in the construction thing, and does the same wheezy, raspy laugh Blaze did earlier.

    “Give me nobody as Luke Cage. That character fucking sucks.”
    http://i.imgur.com/ux3tU.jpg

  17. I already wrote a little about this one in potpourri. I agree with Vern’s review. I wouldn’t call it a good movie, but it is a fun movie. It does have a real DTV feel. I would have to say that I actually prefer GR2 to DRIVE ANGRY. DA is a better film, but it is not Cagey enough. GR2 is a much better use of Cage’s talents, and more enjoyable because of it.

  18. I like GHOST RIDER’S SPIRIT OF VENGEANCE better than DRIVE ANGRY, both because of Cage’s far superior performance and because DA seems to be winking at me. Every frame is saying, “Can you believe they’re letting us get away with this shit?” when, in fact, the shit they’re getting away with is not all that out there. I recognize that GR2 is not really much of a film, but to me, at least, it feels like an actual story (not a great one, but an actual one) that somebody cared enough about to attempt to tell in an earnest fashion without putting everything in quotes. I can’t say that about DRIVE ANGRY. It’s a “movie.”

  19. If this movie was fake 3D, then I probably prefer fake 3D. It was relatively unintrusive and didn’t hurt my eyes, but there was actually some feeling of real depth sometimes. The 3D trailer for Spider-Man played before the movie, and THAT looked terrible. It made my eyes go blurry any time there was major camera movement, and still scenes had that horrible Viewmaster effect where rather than actually looking three-dimensional, it looked like a diorama with flat figures. Fuck that noise.

    But even though I actually quite liked the 3D in Ghost Rider 2, it added absolutely nothing and I would’ve preferred to see it in 2D. Still not impressed with the format in general.

  20. The 3D is probably one of the reason why GR2 didn’t open that well. You really expect people to pay $18 to see Ghost Rider? At this point, the 3D scam should only be reserved for must-see blockbuster event movies.

    And I agree with Mr. Majestyk about Drive Angry. It’s an “Isn’t this outraaaageous????” movie that’s full of the same stuff we’ve seen in all of the other recent ‘grindhouse’ films. And yes, Cage is too low-key in it.

    I thought he was a lot more ENGAGED in Ghost Rider 2. Plus, even when he isn’t MEGA-ACTING, he’s kind of funny.

    “it would probably be nice on a salad.”

  21. The first Blade was almost perfect except for the fight at the end, and the scene with the vampire kid doing kung fu. The second one was ok, but you could tell Guillermo del Toro didn’t give a shit about the character and he was just trying to show the studio he could handle a big budget action movie. There were way too many moments where they tried to “lighten” Blade up. The fact that it seemed like every single vampire in the movie knew kung fu was just stupid. The third movie was a complete disaster. They screwed up Blade Trinity so bad with that Wesley sued the studio. This is one character I would love to see rebooted and Idris Elba would be good for it, but I’d like to see them think outside the box and get an actor like Chiwetel Ejiofor. He already has shown with Redbelt that he can play a complete badass. He would be perfect for either Blade or Black Panther. I’m not saying Idris wouldn’t be good as Blade, I just think Ejiofor would kill in that role.

  22. I really enjoy the 3D format when used properly, but films that are converted to 3D in postproduction at best always seem flat and don’t do the format justice. I know Vern, wrote about it in his PHANTOM MENACE 3D review, but the film industry’s greed is really hurting the 3D format. They keep doing postproduction conversations to every major release so they can release it in 3D and cash in on the format, but it is a short sighted decision. The problem is most postproduction 3D is underwhelming at best, and the general public does not understand there is difference between a film shot with 3D cameras that best utilizes the 3D format and a film that is shot in 2D they attempted to convert to 3D. The 3D in GR2 was not bad, but it didn’t add anything to the film and was not worth the extra price of the ticket. This creates a situation where Joe Public goes to the movies to check out the new action blockbuster in 3D not knowing that it is not really in 3D, and when he is underwhelmed or bothered by the lame postproduction conversation he blames it on the technology and instead of the greedy assholes that tricked him into paying for a movie that was never 3D in the first place. Then Joey P never wants to spend the money to see a movie in 3D again even when one is shot in 3D because he unaware there is a difference. In marketing terms they are damaging the brand of “Real 3D” (or whatever they call the new 3D technology).

    As a side note I do think some of the film industry’s short sightedness come from the desire to fight piracy, because you can’t bootleg the 3D experience at home, you have to go to a theater to truly experience it. Also, most film studios are owned by major corporations that also have a stake in the success of the 3D format for home electronics, and they need to create 3D media to fill the void in that market so they can sell 3D TV’s and 3D Blu-ray players. The reality is we are in for a major boom in 3D home electronics. In the very near future there will be affordable 3D HD video cameras for home use, and that means in the very near future you will be able to make your very own 3D vacation videos, and your own personal 3D sex tapes. Of course, you will need a 3D TV to watch the videos you shoot. Trust me it is coming and the narcissistic & voyeuristic aspects of our culture that make things like Facebook so popular will drive the 3D home tech boom.

  23. The Blade TV show was very good, however. Really brought it back to the world of the first movie and revived it’s badass gritty spirit.

  24. There is talk of a tv show based on the exploits of Luke cage’s wife who is a p.i.

    The idea is to use that show to showcase “street level” characters like cage, iron fist, etc. With a view to possibly spinning them off into their own film/show.

    It’ll probably never happen but let us join hands and keep the dream alive.

    Didn’t wesley snipes hold the rights to black panther for years?

    I’d like to have seen that.

  25. Rehydrated Dehydrated Pirate Paul

    February 21st, 2012 at 5:17 pm

    Jareth and Chitown – THANK GOD I’m not the only person who sees the problem with “Blade 2”. Although I don’t hate it, by any means… when it comes to criticism, I’d rather watch a film that has too much stuff thrown at it (Ron Perlman-led death squad, vampire ninjas, mutant super-vampires who feed on other vampires, a mole on Blade’s camp, etc) than has nothing interesting about it.

    And I wish we’d had the “Blade” TV show over here. Everyone is saying it’s very good. Would’ve loved to have seen what they did with it, but oh well.

    Although I just thought… there’s a really weird corollary in quality between the “Die Hard” and the “Blade” movies. You’ve got the first movie, which is great. Then you’ve got the second movie, which is ok but kinda comes off as something of a parody of the first (“Blade 2” had something like a five-second shot of Blade putting on his shades to thumping music, which is nothing if not corny). Finally you got the third one which starts off with what sounds like an interesting idea but just completely loses it once the main villain makes his entrance.

  26. I don’t know how you guys can say Blade is better than Blade II. The first Blade is OK, but Snipes makes the movie. Blade II is a superior film in about every way. It is a much more skillfully crafted film on every level. It has better direction, art design, and production quality than the original. It also has more action, and all the action is more elaborately staged and better executed. I am not trying to change your guys opinions, I just can’t understand where you are coming from. It’s not that Blade is bad, but it is nowhere near as good as the sequel.

  27. http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/aw/d/B0013MYNZ2/ref=mp_s_a_1?qid=1329871095&sr=8-1

    Paul – here’s the uk blade DVD set

    Hope the link works; I’m typing this on an iPod and the keys are so small i feel like a giant

  28. Rehydrated Dehydrated Pirate Paul

    February 21st, 2012 at 5:43 pm

    More Blade stuff:

    Karlos: “Idris Elba is an anagram of I IS BLADE. Sort of.”

    Actually it’s an anagram of “I IS BLADE. R.” Which I believe is a line from a deleted scene of “Blade 2” where they had Blade board a pirate ship to hunt down Antonio Banderas, playing a wisecracking vampire pirate. Because they have absolutely everything else that nerds love in that film (cyberpunk techie guy, vampire ninjas, Ron Perlman, Luke Goss), I can’t believe they didn’t think to include pirates as well.

    Charles – I will repeat the legend of the P-Spot to every eight-year old that I see. To honour your accomplishment, of course.

    (Actually that came off as so much more creepy than intended… but anyway…)

    “I also agree with Vern that it should have been Blade’s sunglasses, not Thor’s hammer, that they find in a crater of pure awesomeness at the end of IRON MAN 2.”

    Blade’s sunglasses were only awesome in the first movie. After that they became very much a case of blue mohawk syndrome (read Vern’s “Domino” review for an explanation of that one. Actually read Vern’s “Domino” review anyway, it’s hilarious.)

    I find it difficult to explain why the famous “Ice-skate uphill” line from the original “Blade” still works, against all reason or precedent that I can think of; yet the shot of Blade donning his glasses in slow-mo towards the finale of “Blade 2” looks as corny as one of John Woo’s slow-mo shots of Tom Cruise’s hair in “MI:2”. Maybe for the same reason that “Bond, James Bond” sounded badass in “Dr. No” but just evokes comfortable familiarity now. Still… there’s NO WAY that “ice-skate” line should work. And yet it does. Dunno how the hell that happened.

  29. Paul, thanks for keeping the legend alive.

  30. @Rehydrated Dehydrated Pirate Paul- I never saw the Blade TV myself, so I can’t vouch for how good it is. Having Sticky Fingaz take over for Wesley didn’t sit too well for me. Maybe one day I’ll get past that and actually watch it.

    One of my biggest issues with Blade II is that fact he is fighting with a “team”. The entire reason people love the character of Blade is he is a loner who doesn’t really work with anyone, except for a select few. Throwing him into a team takes away form the sheer badassness that is Blade. I have no clue why studios always want to change what is best about characters like Blade. Del Toro was really the biggest issue the movie had in my mind. He didn’t care about the character and pretty much said so in all his interviews for the movie. He was just a hired hand who was trying to get to bigger and better things. The CGI in that movie was terrible and completely overused. The kung fu went way overboard when the main villain actually started doing flips and kicks. I believe that the right director could have made a much better movie then what we got. The movie that was made is a good time waster but it doesn’t hold a candle to the original.

    I could go on and on about Trinity. Blade is basically a supporting character in his own movie. Drake is the worst kind of euro-trash villain possible. I never thought I would see a movie that made Dracula the lamest villain possible. Ryan Reynolds basically smirks and wisecracks his way through the entire movie. Even people that I know who like anything, hate Trinity. That was a great way to kill a franchise.

    I hope that eventually a director realizes how great a character Blade is and we get a real trilogy. Blade is the Batman of vampire hunters. There’s got to be a Christopher Nolan out there somewhere.

    On a side note, there is a Blade anime that is being shown on G4 that isn’t bad. I’m not a big fan of anime at all, and this has some of those anime things like finishing moves when Blade fights. For anyone that likes Blade it’s much better then Trinity.

  31. So Vern inspired me to coin an anti-3D slogan:

    “Why 3D when you can stare at Double Ds?”

    or something like that

    Vern: next stop, Oxford English Dictionary my man!

  32. Rehydrated Dehydrated Pirate Paul

    February 21st, 2012 at 6:15 pm

    Karlos – holy fucking shit, three pounds ninety-four? For a box set??!!!

    Damn, I’m booking that one RIGHT NOW. Thanks very much.

    Charles: “Blade II is a superior film in about every way.”

    …And this is why differing subjective opinions are good. To keep us on our toes.

    See, I was disappointed with “Blade 2” as a whole, although parts of it definitely worked. If you’ve ever seen “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” (the TV show) then I would compare “Blade 2” to season six of that show. That’s the one where the main antagonists for nearly the entire season are a group of three nerds who drive around in a van with a giant death star painted on the side. “Blade 2” had that same air of fan-fiction for me, complete with author-insert character (who of course turns out to be a villain, because fan-written plot arcs always insist that the nerd character gets to play both sides of the conflict). You’ve got all these “cool” elements but they never really work together, apart from the love story. Which I fully agree is fantastic.

    And I don’t think it’s that well-crafted either… the first Luke Goss fight is hectic and incoherent, the CGI vampire ninjas are just crap, and Ron Perlman’s death I think is supposed to come off as “awesome” but ends up being a huge letdown. The pacing is really, really slow considering there’s so much action in this film… literally a third of the film is spent in a sewer. Who thought this was a good idea? I preferred the art design of the original (the ancient Egyptian theme had less of a videogame feel to it) and I’d gotta go with the original for production quality as well. I really love the vampire society as portrayed in the original, which we see at all levels – from the nightclub hedonism of the youth element to the political backbiting at the top – and I felt that was completely lacking from the sequel.

    Sheesh, sorry, I’m bitchy tonight. Dunno why, I don’t even object to the film that much. I “got” the film, I just don’t “get” why it’s so popular.

  33. I think I’d be more interested in seeing Cage as a voodoo avenger in a skull face paint than another Ghost Rider movie. The CGI just gets in the way of Cage. And it’d be a hell of a cheaper film too.

    It’s a shame where his career has been going. I really like him. The guy obviously has his heart in the right place and he tries to push himself and do all these personal little touches, but the projects he signs up for simply stink. I don’t know if it’s because of his reported money problems, but he is way too eager to jump on board any movie if the check clears. That’s not a good long term career move.

    Hopefully he manages to find the right combination of material and director before his clout (and money) runs out. Once he gets stuck in that direct-to-video purgatory, he’ll have one hell of a hard time trying to climb back up. TRESPASS and SEEKING JUSTICE were the warnings shots. If he doesn’t make some drastic changes to what projects to pick, his career options will soon rapidly diminish into shooting formulaic thrillers in Eastern Europe.

  34. The romance in Blade 2 was stupid, though mostly due to how they wrote the Vampire Princess Lady. They try to make a bit of a deal about her telling Blade off for not accepting what he is, when she’s done the same, yet the film totally fails to support this by having her do anything resembling a vampire. She doesn’t drink blood, she doesn’t act arrogant or behave like she thinks she’s better than humanity, which you think she would, given her upbringing. The only reason that romance “works” is because she doesn’t do anything that would repel Blade. Also, after displaying fighting abilities early on that gave Blade a bit of a challenge, she’s rendered incredibly inept and useless as a fighter for the remainder of the story.

  35. Whoops, Blade 2 rant is supposed to go here.

    The negative criticism of Blade 2 around here is pretty surprising. I thought for sure everyone here agreed that, as Vern put it, “Blade 2 is the Godfather 2 of Blade movies.” I’m not a Blade fanatic. I’ve never read the comics or anything, so maybe I’m ignorant but Blade 2 blows Blade 1 out of the water. The first Blade is a good movie, but the second is a fucking classic. Whatever it lacks in acting, story, etc., it makes up for in pure awesomeness. It’s basically Del Toro saying, “Fuck, it. I’m throwing as much cool shit into this as possible.” I loved the look, loved the rivalry between Blade and Ron Perlman, the cgi is very well done (except for the snake dance fight about a half hour in), Blade fucking suplexing a vampire through glass, cool looking bad guys who’s mouth separates to eat its victims, Donnie Yen and Vincent from The Fast and the Furious, etc. There’s just so much cool shit here it overrides any of the movie’s weaknesses. My inner 15 year old boy loves the fuck out of Blade 2. You could go through and nitpick the shit out of it by why do that? Just let the awesomeness wash over you.

  36. Rehydrated Dehydrated Pirate Paul

    February 21st, 2012 at 7:42 pm

    Stu – well that’s the one bit of the film I actually liked. Although I definitely agree with the criticism of her as a vampire, when compared to the rest of her species. (As for the criticism of her as a fighter, I try to pretend that the ninja fight never happened, and that definitely improves things.)

    ThomasCrown – blue mohawk, man. Blue mohawk. This film tries just SO HARD to convince us it’s awesome. I can see the meeting where Del Toro and his cronies decided what would be in the film:

    *

    “Ok, Blade 2, we gotta make it big so the fans come back for more. Hit me with those ideas, guys. Let’s get the creative juices flowing.”

    “Well first off, the nerds love ninja chicks. We gotta get some vampire ninja chicks in there.”

    “YEAH! That’s PERFECT! Come on, what else do nerds love?”

    “Ron FuckMothering Perlman, that’s what! I say we have Ron Perlman in this movie…”

    “That’s good, but I need more. More!”

    “…And he’s the head of an elite vampire hit-squad dedicated to killing off Blade.”

    “Now THAT’S what we want! Give me more!”

    “How about a race of super-vampires that thrive on vampires?”

    “And Blade teams up with them?”

    “No, Blade teams up with the hit squad that’s supposed to kill him. And he meets them thanks to a traitor in his own team who he inexplicably keeps around despite the fact that he knows
    exactly who the traitor is from the start of the movie and the traitor’s only use to Blade is to let the vampires into his house, plus giving him the drop at a crucial moment on a guy he could’ve killed five or six times over already anyway.”

    “That makes no sense whatsoever, but we’ll go with it! What else?”

    “Well, the traitor is a genius cyberpunk tech guy.”

    “Wasn’t WHISTLER a genius cyberpunk tech guy?”

    “Well, yes, but who wants to some old guy played by Kris Kristofferson in that role? Nope, it’s gotta be a young guy that nobody will recognise or remember after the credits roll.”

    “YES! Now we’re talking. And what else?”

    “How about we have Dracula in there? And Ryan Reynolds and Jessica Biel who play two teenage vampire-hunters who kill the vamps while wearing iPods to give them the perfect beat?”

    “Ok, now that’s just retarded.”

  37. “Also, is it just me or is it the weirdest thing to know that Vern is watching all these movies that fail to capitalize on Idris Elba’s talent without having seen The Wire?”

    Dude, YES. But consider that if Vern starts watching The Wire, he’ll disappear for like three weeks and we’ll be deprived of his wisdom for the duration.

    I just started watching the series again for the third time. Man, shit is about to go down with that kid Wallace … rip my fucking heart out why don’t you…

  38. HT:

    Neveldine and Taylor said the Blu Ray will include Ghost Rider scenes with Nic in his Baron Samedi Voodoo makeup. Can’t wait for that.

    I give the animators credit, though. I could FEEL THE CAGE when Ghost Rider did all of that weird shit.

  39. “Well, yes, but who wants to some old guy played by Kris Kristofferson in that role? Nope, it’s gotta be a young guy that nobody will recognise or remember after the credits roll.”
    Two things with that
    1. II specifically brought him back to life and back into that role, so this hypothetical dissing of him seems rather unlikely.
    2. That’s Daryll from THE WALKING DEAD you’re talking about. Admittedly, he was a BOONDOCK SAINT too, but let’s forget that.

  40. Wow, thats funny. Right when Neveldine/Taylor started filming Ghost Rider, I said to them to make sure you have some ‘Nic Cage “Mega-Acting” taking a qoute from Vern, probably a coincidence but funny though they used it.

  41. I’m very glad to have played a role in making Cage aware of mega-acting. He likes to call it Nouveau Shamanic but mega-acting actually seems more descriptive.

    $75 million??? That’s nonsense. No way should this cheap knockoff cost that much. It does not look it. Even $57 mil, maybe if that includes 10 for Nic but it’s literally all abandoned locations! I would actually prefer to see Cage do flat out DTV movies and just go wild. Who cares how he acts, it’s just going to be on Netflix?

    I enjoyed watching GR2, probably more than I’ve enjoyed most movies all year, because man I got to see the “scrapin’ at the door” and rock star poses. But also marvel at how badly made it was and boring. I called it a student film by Neveldine and Taylor. Nice of Cage and Elba to help some promising young boys out, but not an actual good film. Meaning, a student film starring Nicolas Cage is going to be awesome. It’s not going to be good, but it’s going to be awesome.

    The shots of Neveldine/Taylor hanging from wires with cameras is thrilling. The shots it produces are dead. There’s just no energy in them. And why didn’t they go flat out CRANK: HIGH VOLTAGE? One tweaker montage where he’s making faces on the bike, a few newsreel clips intercut and he doesn’t actually use fire piss ON the bad guys???

    Honestly, why bother having any story at all? It’s a sequel nobody wanted shot cheap in Eastern Europe. At this point you really need the pretense of “well it’s about the story and characters?” Just do the Johnny Blaze character study where he wanders around Romania having random encounters and flaming up every now and then. The Jim Jarmusch GHOST RIDER movie. Maybe for part 3.

    Maxio, spot on on SEEKING JUSTICE.

    wadew, exactly right on DRIVE ANGRY. It’s like they wanted to be in on a joke but they didn’t even get the joke. Still it’s about people from hell chasing each other so I like that part of it.

  42. One of my favourite moments of BLADE 2 is when after WALKING DEAD- Daryll explodes, Whistler says ” and I just started to like that kid..”

  43. The sudden BLADE 2 backlash saddens me. I expect this from AICN, but not from you guys. *runs away crying…LIKE A MAN*

  44. CJ – Yeah, tell me about it…. talking trash about BLADE 2…..you guys should be ashamed of yourselves…

  45. Yes, take it from the German, the Swede and the Norwegian, you guys are way out of line! Blade II rocks!

  46. European Blade 2 Defense Squad! Assemble!

  47. In America, we hate everything Guillermo del Toro directed…

  48. renfield Choose your next words wisely….yyou have been warned…

  49. Rehydrated Dehydrated Pirate Paul

    February 22nd, 2012 at 3:10 am

    Hey, I’m British. I know us uncouth islanders don’t have the same cultural awareness as you cosmopolitan mainland types, but there’s no need to rub it in my face!

    And Stu, I presume they brought Kris Kristofferson back for contractual reasons. Didn’t seem to be any other reason for him to be in the movie. *smiles evilly, then runs and hides from the angry mob with pitch-forks…*

  50. What I want from each and every one of you is a hard-target search of every gas station, residence, warehouse, farmhouse, henhouse, outhouse and doghouse in that area. Checkpoints go up at fifteen miles. Your fugitive’s name is Paul….go get him!

  51. Rehydrated Dehydrated Pirate Paul

    February 22nd, 2012 at 3:18 am

    Fred – so what you’re telling us is that the guy who came up with “the famous Chev Chelios penis” tried to write a character-driven movie about a guy who rides a motorcycle and turns into a flaming-skulled demon whenever evil is nearby? That is… depressing.

  52. I seriously don’t get the Blade 2 dislike either. Blade was awesome no doubt, but 2 was better in, well, pretty much every way.

  53. I don’t actually DISLIKE Blade II, but I do think the original was better and there were squandered opportunities in the sequel. Also, it loses points just by association with the infamous Harry Knowles review.

  54. Stu- It´s kind of funny, kind the opposite way I feel about BLADE- The original. Cool hero, cool backstory but wasted oppurtunities. It took Del Toros comic book sensibilities to actually launch Blade into that crazy realm of awesome sause!

  55. Whoa, guys, really? Really? Really?

    Blade 2 is amazing.

    I’d argue the point but you’d just be better off rewatching Blade 2 and shutting up about it.
    http://i.imgur.com/TTO45.gif

  56. Vern, congrats on “mega-acting” hitting the lexicon!

    Said most of what I wanted to about GR2 in the Potpourri thread, but also wanted to add: (SPOILERS)

    1) I really had Transformers movies on the brain when I went to see this (from all the talk in the news about the impending TF4) and I think that played a huge part in why i enjoyed the simplicity of the story. Just good old fashioned Good vs. Evil comicbook stuff; no Harry Potter-esque Macguffin chasing or Underworld-style family-tree mythology nonsense. And no mole/traitor (something I think everyone found refreshing about MI:4). The closest thing is Lambert’s character, but he’s still a good guy and was probably doing the right thing.

    2) For some reason I liked that GR fought (mostly) thugs with guns for most of the movie, and that he was still able to be hurt by conventional weapons, like Robocop. GR1 gave him a ton of supernatural enemies to fight, and then gave them nothing to do but literally stand there and get whipped. I also kinda dug that the Devil was just a normal guy who could be easily dispatched like anyone else.

    3) I didn’t really think Idris Elba was particularly good (or bad) just basically acceptable. But then after SPOILER his character exits, I realized I liked him and cared about him more than Qui-Gon Jin.

    4) I love me some Superman II, but let’s be honest – the way he gets his power back makes no fucking sense (theatrical cut). The way Ghost Rider gets his power back was actually really clever and in front of us the whole time. I loved it.

  57. I enjoyed BLADE 2 and all, but….are we locals possibly overrating it? I mean let’s not confuse a blow bang with a gang bang.

  58. Gang bangs are overrated. Too much pressure. There is constantly yelling someone at you: “Hurry up, hurry up!” And you know what’s gonna happen when 25 guys with a boner are standing in line, but the last one trips? Most unpleasant domino ever!

    Apart from that: We are just defending Blade 2’s honor. We are not saying “ZOMG* THAT IS THE MOST FUCKING AWESOME MOVIE EVER, we are just saying it’s a seriously damn good movie, that doesn’t deserve the hate is suddenly gets on here.

    *What’s the Z for anyway?

  59. I cannot fathom the two words BLADE2 and overrated being in the same fuckin sentance. I´m gonna shut up about this topic, but for me it catered more to my sensibilities than the first one. My biggest problem with the original was the lack of good action.AND the lack of action. THERE… I said it. It´s been suppressed inside me since the original came out, because between the opening kickass introduction to the fantatsic showdown in Vampire Temple of Doom…I …mean…seriously? Vampire..SUNBLOCK?!!! Do I really need to elaborate..?

  60. Rehydrated Dehydrated Pirate Paul

    February 22nd, 2012 at 10:15 am

    Shoot – well Blade 2 has plenty of BAD action sequences. the Luke Goss fight scenes are bad. The sewer “action” scenes are overlong and dull. The vampire ninjas are frankly pathetic – it’s like watching somebody else play a videogame. They even screwed up Ron Perlman’s death. And that’s supposed to be an improvement?

    Holy fucking shit, guys, are we even talking about the same movie here? I’d ask if there were different European and American cuts, except I seem to be on the same page of the majority of the Americans and disagreeing with my fellow Europeans right now.

  61. “Vampire..SUNBLOCK?!!! Do I really need to elaborate..?”
    At least they acknowledge it’s kinda silly, but “it’s a start”, and it makes more sense than how a UV Grenade explosion produces LIGHT that someone traves ROUND a bending tunnel.

  62. Rehydrated Dehydrated Pirate Paul

    February 22nd, 2012 at 10:19 am

    Jeez, and now I come across as hating the movie, which I don’t, at all. It’s an average action movie. It completely misses the point of what made the original good. It tries to cram way too many “cool” things in, but doesn’t do anything really interesting with any of them. Parts of it are good. Parts of it are way too corny, and parts of it just suck. Overall I can’t say I regret watching it, but it really didn’t do much for me.

  63. I can agree that the CG-shit in BLADE 2 is …well complete shit. If you are talking about that shot where the vampires are breaking into Blade´s lair? Yeah,that´s shit….But the rest? Overlong?! Now, really? How can you complain about actio …ok…fuck..let´s just agree to disagree and we will live long and happy..well..less miserable lives anyway…..

  64. Also guys, really? First the titty fucking and now gang bangs? Won’t someone please thing of the children?

  65. Rehydrated Dehydrated Pirate Paul

    February 22nd, 2012 at 10:23 am

    On the other hand, this:

    “Gang bangs are overrated. Too much pressure. There is constantly yelling someone at you: “Hurry up, hurry up!” And you know what’s gonna happen when 25 guys with a boner are standing in line, but the last one trips? Most unpleasant domino ever!”

    …should not have been written. Seriously, CJ, I cannot stop giggling at this image. Also you are a bad bad person. :)

  66. Stu- as far as I am concerned I have a much more of a hard time accepting vampire sunscreen, than how all that hi-tech shit I don´t understand anyway works.

    But as i mentioned in my last post; let´s agree to disagree, because this conversation could go on forever.

  67. Rehydrated Dehydrated Pirate Paul

    February 22nd, 2012 at 10:24 am

    Shoot… THEY SPEND A THIRD OF THE MOVIE WANDERING AROUND A FUCKING SEWER. WHO THE FUCK THOUGHT THAT WAS A GOOD IDEA??!!!!

    *calms down*

    Yeah, agree to disagree it is.

  68. Rehydrated Dehydrated Pirate Paul

    February 22nd, 2012 at 10:27 am

    BTW I wrote that last post before seeing your last post. Too many posts.

  69. Also, Paul, did you know in the comics, Blade is british, and over a hundred years old? But they decided for the movies he’s in his 30s and from Detroit? The fucking nerve.

  70. I remember reading a few Dracula comic books when I was a kid and apparently Blade was a character in that which I don´t remember at all and then I saw the lame-ass design of him in a dvd-documentary, I´ll know why I didn´t remember him…..

  71. Rehydrated Dehydrated Pirate Paul

    February 22nd, 2012 at 11:00 am

    Stu – now you’re just trying to get me riled up. And it will not work. You hear me? IT WILL NOT WORK. RAAAAAARGH!! RAAAAAAAAAAAAAGE!!!

    (Seriously though… that doesn’t bother me in the slightest. I didn’t grow up with comic books, didn’t read ’em, not my medium.)

  72. Good,Paul. It keeps our differences to a minimum.

  73. You want a real whack opinion? I liked CONSTANTINE more than the first two BLADE movies. But not by much.

  74. Paul, no. They just went with the conventional plot. I was suggesting they might as well throw all convention out the window, but they didnt.

  75. I still want a MORBIUS THE LIVING VAMPIRE movie one day.

  76. Dammit I pressed enter by mistake; what I meant to continue saying is so I definitely agree with Vern that we need more b-level Marvel shit out there. There is so much potential there with the likes of Dr. Strange, Deathlok and Moon Knight. It’s a shame they don’t have the movie rights to Namor or Daredevil though. But yeah more moderately budget insane shit would be nice. Not everything has to be some AVENGERS tie-in.

  77. Until this happens: Here are Spider-Man and a light brown-ish Blade with a light saber fighting Morbius!

  78. Michael Jai White is NIGHT THRASHER. Dammit Marvel make this happen.

  79. Man looking at that clip really shows how horrible that show aged. Shit animation and stilted voice acting. When I was 11 I thought it was the shit and now at almost 30 I think the cartoon from the early 80’s aged better.

  80. When did this become a site where we praise ‘batteries not included’ and diss Blade 2. I hope Michael Dudikoff comes to your houses and sticks ninja swords through the roofs of your cars.

  81. Michael Dudikoff and ridiculous ninjas as portrayed in even more ridiculousler Cannon-productions should be able to leap out of television screens at command. I wish I had that kind of mystical magical qualities flowing inside my veins. I´d even go for David Bradley.

  82. I smell a new superhero franchise here. About a guy who can summon Dudikoff and a bunch of Ninjas whenever there is trouble. He is DUDIKOFFNINJAMAN!

  83. I don’t personally dislike Blade 2 either, but it’s not a better movie then the original. How can anyone look at that horrible cartoon cgi and not be taken out of the story? The scene where Wesley stands in front of the spotlights and turns into some weird cgi version of Blade is terrible. I still remember people in the theater laughing at that scene. I’ve watched Blade 2 a few moths ago to see if maybe I would feel differently about it, but I pretty much felt the same way. Blade is not a team player and should never be put on one. It’s like putting Spiderman on the Avengers, a terrible idea. He needs to work alone, he’s an outcast and a loner. Blade 2 is a good time waster, it’s not bad like Robocop 2, it’s got some good moments but the moments don’t all come together like they should.

    On another note, Ghost Rider 2 must really be bad since hardly anyone here has actually discussed it yet,lol It seems like everyone is longing for a good down and dirty superhero film like Blade. Ghost Rider could have been in that more adult category if the studios weren’t so scared to take chances.

  84. There was talk last year of the DEADPOOL movie possibly being R-rated. It’d certainly fit that if done right, not to mention if they have him masked, they could bring back Scott Adkins to do a lot of the action scene work.

  85. Chitown, I saw BLADE II in a packed theater and no one giggled at the special effects. It has been a few years since I watched BLADE II, but I don’t remember the CGI being that bad for the time it was released, especially considering BII’s budget.

    Of course Blade is not a team player, part of the drama of the story is the conflict created by the lone wolf having to work with a team.

    Also, I have to say that I am not that big of fan of the Blade comic book character. He is OK, but he is a member of the Marvel Universe B team that gets a lot of shine because the success of the movie franchise, and the success of the movie franchise is thanks to Snipes portrayal of Blade. I guess what I am trying to say is that it is Snipes that has made the Blade character Iconic, and I don’t know if a Blade movie without him can be as good. For example the character of Batman will always be more Iconic than any actor that plays him, but I don’t think you can say the same about Blade.

  86. I don’t even know where or how to insert my 2 cents into this ridiculous conversation, except to say that it pains me to see a couple talkbackers go the way of Paul on the vital issue of whether BLADE II is a great movie.

    The BLADE II CGI in the fight scenes is both seamless and obvious. It’s smooth but also cartoonish. So a movie wants you to accept that a “daywalker” half-vampire badass exists as the sole force keeping an underworld of anti-human vampires in check, and it wants you to accept that its high-flying kung fu wasn’t all performed by human actors. So what?

    So fucking what, motherfuckers?

    The greatness of the rest of the movie speaks for, nay, *kicks ass* for itself. Y’all motherfuckers would have to be blind or Paul not to see it. Or maybe there’s tension between the comic nerd version & the filmic version; I wouldn’t know about that. You get a free nerd pass to dislike it if that’s the case, I guess.

    The only qualm I have with it is: How exactly did Whistler make his way to the room of the final fight?

    In conclusion, it’s good to hear Nic Cage has embraced “mega-acting.” Congratulations, Vern. And special thanks to Fred Topel as well. Glad I was around for this historic event.

    In further conclusion, go watch BLADE II again.

  87. @Mouth-What? You have to be a nerd not to like Blade II? That’s too funny. I guess you’d have to be Ray Charles not to notice the rubberband man effect when Blade is in front of that spotlight. That’s the exact point where the audience giggled when I saw the movie. I don’t think anyone said Blade II was the worst movie ever, just that there some serious flaws to it. Just in case you may have been temporarily blind here it is:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aTQghIn2vgQ&feature=player_embedded

    Right at about 2:07 is the worst CGI this side of the Scorpion King in The Mummy Returns. There’s also some terrible shots of CGI Ninja’s before this. The worst part is what the hell was the point in making any part of this sequence CGI? It could have been a great scene without the rubbery effect that kill the effect of the fight.

  88. Paul has weird rubriks for what movies need to do to succeed. I think there are millions of potential films to make about hanging out in the sewer. Or maybe at the end of a skewer.

    Shoot: You do realize I was being sarcastic?

  89. Yeah thanks Mouth for putting in a word of sense in this shit.

    The deal is, what planet are you from where, like, “flaws” have anything to do with how good a movie is? That’s like saying, there is such a thing as perfection, and movies can be measured by how closely they come to achieving it. It’s barking up the wrong tree utterly in my opinion.

  90. Fred-

    SPIRIT OF VENGEANCE sets up a couple of things that could have made the movie very unconventional and possibly full-on Crank. But I guess Marvel didn’t want that kind of insanity.

    1.) Blaze implies that it doesn’t take much for Ghost Rider to SUCK OUT YOUR SOUL. They could have made a Ghost Rider movie that was constant stream of Nic Cage freakouts and Ghost Rider transformations.

    2.) Ghost Rider can ‘hellify’ anything he touches. They could have gone nuts with that.

  91. @mouth and renfield-It’s always funny to me when someones basic argument is your right I’m wrong. All movies have flaws, I think we all know this. Blade 2 has huge flaws that take me, and others, out of the movie. That’s our opinion, nobody is thumbing there nose at you for thinking its the greatest movie since the silent era. I love Darkman and it had huge logic holes and bad blue screen effects, but I still love regardless of what anyone thinks. That doesn’t make it a movie everyone will love, and I get that. Saying that flaws have should have no bearing on your enjoyment of a movie defeats the whole purpose of discussing movies in the first place.

  92. Well, allowing Paul’s poor opinion of a great movie to stand defeats the whole purpose of the internet, so.

  93. Well, I’m in just the sort of mood to say shit like this, so here you go:

    1) I’m right and you’re wrong can be a valid argument if you can back it up (not that I have in this instance, I haven’t said anything substantial whatsoever about Blade 2). I don’t subscribe to the idea that all opinions are equal. If you wanna listen to soul, Marvin Gaye is definitely better than the Backstreet Boys. You can disagree, but you would be incorrect.

    2) Backstreet Boys aren’t worse than Curtis Mayfield because of “flaws”. I think with music it’s easier to see. How do you call music flawed? It’s an artistic expression. Over the centuries we’ve developed a language for evaluating music’s impact, but I don’t think we’ve nailed down the equivalent culture yet for film, which is a rather new artform.

    3) I could type you a story about people who did things other than be in a sewer, and my story would not have shitty special effects. If you guys were correct, my story would be a better movie than Blade 2. Similarly, people bitch about a film not being sophisticated. Well someone could write a more sophisticated essay than Rise of the Planet of the Apes, but Apes is still a better movie than the essay. Because the essay isn’t a movie.

    I dunno, it’s my theory, it’s a work in progress…

  94. I think it’s kind of funny to see the BLADE 2 backlash. I watched it recently and thought parts of it didn’t work, but oh well, time moves forward. Renfield, your paragraph about flaws and their place in movies is brilliant. You’re probably being sarcastic but I actually think that’s dead on right.

    The ultimate indictment of GHOST RIDER: SPIRIT OF VENGEANCE is that it’s meh. They couldn’t even be memorably awful, though some of the incompetence is student film-worthy. But it’s not crazy enough and it’s not generic enough.

  95. I was slightly dismissive toward Chitown. Shame on me, but I guess I feel that we’ve covered this ground before.

    The DARKMAN comparison is apt. Ish. I think it’s just as self conscious & upfront about its narrative’s absurdity as BLADE II is about its ultra-fighting cartoonism. Is this a flaw in each movie? Or a deliberate artistic choice? Seems obviously the latter to me in both cases. I don’t go into a movie based on either a vampire funny paper or a “darkman” with magic skin expecting neorealist verisimilitude or some shit. I can live with some sub-perfect CGI or some blatant body doubles at the base of a helo-ladder during the action climax & still enjoy the shit out of the movie.

    But the thing is, the drama in BLADE II works. The shot of Nomak pulling apart the doorway in his father’s compound is gorgeous, dramatic, meaningful, badass, and cathartic. The relationship between Blade & Whistler is wondrously efficiently conveyed with sparse dialogue, triple-meaningful glances, pregnant silences, and ambiguous interactions with other characters around them. There’s serious *soul* to the Blade-Whistler friendship & professional partnership.

    The “drama” in DARKMAN is trapped below several layers of ironic detachment and deliberate comic cartoonishness. It still has a chance to work on you on some level, but you’re likely to laugh more than you react honestly to the sentiment conveyed by the filmatism.

    I forgot where I was going with this. Oddly, DARKMAN, along with A SIMPLE PLAN and the Gene Hackman parts of THE QUICK & THE DEAD, is the only Raimi joint I like (big time disagreement with Vern & others on his wackass filmography), and BLADE II is the only del Toro directorial joint I fully enjoy (I dislike CRONOS, don’t like HELLBOY 1, HELLBOY 2’s not bad, MIMIC kinda sucked, PAN’S LABYRINTH is good but overrated, and I seem to remember liking DEVIL’S BACKBONE but not well enough to, uh, remember it….) .

    So it’s not del Toro fanboyism that’s making me effusive about BLADE 2. It’s my eyes, ears, & brain. And possibly my testicles, if you ask Harry Knowles.

  96. Oh, that 1.5 speed thing is brilliant. Totally emblematic of Nev/Tay. I use 1.5 speed sometimes to get through homework movies, that I want to have seen but really don’t want to get through. And sometimes it bails me out of movies that don’t pan out but I still hate to give up. But not the good movies that I actually want to experience. I want those to last longer.

    Or even I could understand using 1.5 speed to ingest more movies. There’s certainly decades of film history I still need to experience and that will help. But don’t make the movies that way, seriously.

  97. I’ve been planning for a long time to do BLADE as an entry in my not-really-off-the-ground-yet “Loose Canon” series. Clearly the shameful events of this comment thread prove that I should re-watch parts 1 and 2 and write about them both in more detail.

    I have to as strongly as possible disagree with Chitown’s idea of the CGI in BLADE II being bad, especially for the time. I remember it too and that CGI was absolutely groundbreaking. Besides JURASSIC PARK who was so thorough about combining practical effects with digital ones? What he did with the Reapers’ mouths was unprecedented, and so was the use of digital doubles for Blade and the “vampire ninjas.” Maybe we don’t like it now, but before that nobody had had a live action character switch into an animated character, it only became common after SPIDER-MAN. But Del Toro was still unique in the way he used the real actor and the double in the same shot. It was a brilliant way to bridge the gap between live actors and drawings on a page.

    Personally I love that he makes it so stylized, makes the movements cartoonish. Otherwise it would be stupid not to use real people. He creates a heightened physicality for superhuman characters. I believe on the commentary track Del Toro complains about that very shot you’re complaing about as the part he thinks is terrible, but I love it. If I was in that theater you misinterpreted my laugh, that was my “that was awesome!” laugh, similar to the one I gave after the Punisher shot the heat-seeker at the parkour guy.

    It seems to me like some people demand for special effects to be absolutely photo-real, which of course they never are, and the more they know it’s an effect the more they think it’s “bad.” Of course there are ways that FX can take you out of a movie in a bad way, but for me this is not even remotely the case with BLADE II. To me those shots you’re complaining about are more like the stop motion in ROBOCOP. Doesn’t look real, but has so much more style than reality. I think the effects in that movie are classic, and they are low on the list of why the movie is so great.

    In conclusion, watch BLADE II again, and Paul is grounded.

  98. @Vern- Exactly, after Spiderman all types cheesey effects were common. Yes, the reapers mouth effects were good, but unless your blind you know those effects in that ninja fight were terrible. Again, I never said everything was bad, just the rubberband man and the cartoon Ninja’s.

    Stop it, effects do not have to be photo real. They only have to match the rest of the movie. CGI, with the wrong director, doesn’t always achieve that. Blade II was a practice run for Hellboy(which I like).

  99. If Paul is grounded, then Chitown should at least be sent to bed without a full dinner.

  100. I love how we talk about how real special effects look. What the hell do we know? One time at work a man got shot nine times right in front of me. It didn’t look anything like it does in the movies, kinda stupid and disappointing really, but now I know that no movie I’ve seen has gotten it completely right. Still it doesn’t prevent me from enjoying John Woo and Sam Peckinpah’s movies.

  101. Can’t we all just get along, and agree that Die Hard is a piece of over-rated 80s garbage?

  102. I just rewatched Blade II the other day, and if my opinion means anything (and it doesn’t), then that film still kicks ass.

    Anyway, I have to back up Vern’s statement that Marvel needs to make more b-movies. The superhero narrative has become increasingly familiar these days. I think we need ninja superheroes and horror movie superheroes to break the monotony. I remember hearing about David Goyer writing a script where Green Arrow is locked up by the police because he’s a vigilante. But of course he’s locked up with some of the same super villains that he’s put away. It sounded like it was a mash up of a prison movie and a superhero film. The film never got made, but it sounded pretty cool on paper. We need more crossbreeding like this in our superhero films.

  103. Rbatty – the Green Arrow script was called Supermax, and later Escape From Supermax, and I had the damn thing til my PC blew up. It was pretty good and the premise was fantastic.

    Wish it would’ve gotten made.

    If anyone knows if that script is online, please let me know.

  104. Awww… Paul has been grounded. Will he ever learn?

  105. Another take for GREEN ARROW that could be good and more gritty would be to adapt his origin/Year One story. The plot was he’s a spoiled billionaire orphan with a fetish for Robin Hood, who gets shipwrecked on an island. He learns to survive, creating a makeshift bow and arrow set, and soon discovers that the island is home to a drug manufacturing plant, which uses slave labour. I know some people find the idea of a superhero who just uses a bow a silly concept(yet no one complains about Rambo doing so, or all the modern action heroes who carry swords), but in that setting, you could have a gritty survivalist, guerilla fighter action story.

    There’s also the SUICIDE SQUAD movie that was supposedly in development, which is basically Supervillains as The Dirty Dozen.

    Or how about a CATWOMAN heist movie? There’s already a possible source material for that called “Selina’s Big Score”, which gives her a mentor/old flame who’s a Parker homage.

    Of course, Marvel are planning on possible solo movies for Nick Fury and Black Widow, so if that comes about we’d getting some spy movies. Though I suspect a Nick Fury one would be less a solo story and more a SHIELD movie with him as the main character.

  106. Stu – the makers of the new Green Arrow TV show are saying they want to explore what happened to him on that island but they’ll no doubt bland the shit out of it like most other CW shows.

    I loved the GA YEAR ONE comic and yeah, a film of that would’ve been great.

    I never caught the SMALLVILLE ep where they did his origin – any good?

    Still need to read Darwyn Cooke’s CATWOMAN run and it’s nice that there’s a character in there based on Parker as Cooke, of course, is doing the books as graphic novels.

    SUICIDE SQUAD would be my choice for a film out of the ones you mention – so long as it’s based on the excellent Ostrander 80s incarnation and not the current “Nu52” monstrosity.

    Shit, what they’ve done to my man Floyd is just depressing.

    Marvel wise, I’d really dig a WINTER SOLDIER film right about now.

  107. To bring this back to GHOST RIDER 2: Here you can find an unused story pitch by the DRIVE ANGRY guys, which was according to them loved by pretty much everybody, but wasn’t used because Avi Arad said it was too violent:

    http://wendago.com/2012/02/17/ghost-rider-what-if/

  108. “I never caught the SMALLVILLE ep where they did his origin – any good?”
    I don’t remember too much about it, really, though I was disappointed that they didn’t take the opportunity to have him sport the goofy goatee during his stay there.

  109. I always thought Matthew McConaughey would have made a great Green Arrow. GA was one of my favorite characters for a while, but eventually shit just got too complicated (marriages, divorces, dead sons, resurrected sons, murders, betrayals, etc.) and I ditched him along with the rest of DC.

  110. I’m glad Mouth brought up Hellboy because I think it’s a good example of what I’m (actually non-sarcastically, Fred Topel) trying to get at.

    There exists a theatrical and director’s cut of Hellboy. Now, for all I know Mouth’s opinion is informed by seeing the director’s cut or both, but whatevs. For me, the theatrical Hellboy was quite lackluster and mediocre, whereas the director’s cut was a sublime work of genre filmmaking.

    Thing is, it’s not one of those director’s cuts where there’s a whole bunch of new scenes. There might be one or two, but the real difference is that a huge number of the original scenes have been slightly altered. I haven’t done a proper side-by-side study, but I get the sense that it’s a matter of subtleties that affect the rhythm and flow of the piece. The camera lingers for a few moments longer or something. The result, for me at least, was a very different film, one that seemed to greatly respect/have enthusiasm for its subject matter.

    Jim Jarmusch was talking about the editing process of DOWN BY LAW. He noted that, in the initial stages of editing, you are cutting and rearranging entire scenes, and it doesn’t seem to have as much of an impact on the work as a whole compared to further down the road when you are making the fine-tuning cuts, which in turn seem to make a huge difference in breathing life into the picture.

    This is why I think bitching about macro-scale decisions a film makes is barking up the wrong tree. It’s much easier to talk about so I understand the temptation, but it excuses you from a close examination of the language of cinema. It’s a cop out, I think. I’m constantly guilty of it myself to be sure.

  111. It’s been about 5 years since I regularly read a GREEN ARROW comic book and I still actively buy comics every week. It’s such an easy cocnept to execute too and yet NOBODY seems to fucking get it. Oh well I’ll always have THE LONGBOW HUNTERS.

  112. RENFIELD YOU DON’T GET IT THERE WERE SEWERS WORST MOVIE EVARRR!!!!!1!1!!!

  113. I think being too conscious while watching the movie and not just “giving yourself” to the movie and letting it do it’s job has a lot to do with it too. In the age of the internet of course this is more common than usual with all of it’s self appointed arm chair critics.

    I personally could only really gauge how much I like a picture based on how it entertained me and that’s it. I can’t consciously sit there and pick it apart because if I did that then I probably wouldn’t like anything at all. The effects in GHOSTBUSTERS have aged pretty shittily but the jokes are so timeless that it never becomes a detriment to the overall picture. I mean even my favorite movie (BACK TO THE FUTURE) if I sit back and look at it logically I have all kinds of shit to gripe about

    1) How can George not notice that his son looks exactly like that guy in high school that inspired him to grow some balls?

    2) How can Lorraine not notice that her son looks like that guy who she crushed after that didn’t even get to hit it?

    3) Why would you hire the guy who tried to rape your wife to work in your house and have a key to the place?

    There is much much more all over the film if you look at it through a more logical perspective. But then that would suck all the fun out of the thing and that’s the thing it’s not neccessarily supposed to be logical it’s just supposed to be fun.

  114. Broddie: Call me crazy, but I still like Kevin Smith’s reboot of the character. It’s clunky, but funny and weird and kind of sweet. I liked that a lot of it was just Ollie reintroducing himself to his superheroic colleagues after a prolonged, um, death. Smith’s versions of all the big guns are respectful but just a little askance, the way I like ’em.

  115. I was sure that my (true) story about that guy being shot at my workplace would produce some what the hells, but this is a tough crowd.

  116. We’re not ignoring you, pegsman. We just don’t know what to say. I, personally, am a pretty snarky motherfucker, which makes it difficult to express myself when sincerity is in order.

    If you want to talk about it, though, we’re here for you.

  117. Mr Majestyk is right, I did not know how to react myself. The way you wrote it made me laugh, because you said you witnessed a guy getting shot nine times and described it like it looked nothing like in the movies, but stupid and disappointing. You can´t expect a guy keeping a straight face after reading that. On the other hand I thought you were being sincere, so I just waited until some other guy commented. Shit, man, that must have been tough.

  118. Yeah, reality sucks. From my old apartment’s 3rd story window one time, I heard some shouts & a scream, looked out, and saw a guy bloodied, crouched against a sidewalk storefront, holding a knife. People were giving him space, but also clearly unable to stop staring. Logic & visual clues of the moment told me that he had just attacked someone or been involved in a fight, but I couldn’t locate the other guy[s]. Then there was a police officer & EMTs and I headed out the door to Japanese class.

    But on the way downstairs, I ran into a couple of neighbors, the cute girls living below me. They were a wreck. Red eyes, distressed, and they asked me if I just saw what happened on the street. I sort of said yes but asked them what happened. They had had a better view of the incident, and had seen more of it. Turns out the guy was a construction worker walking off his worksite, pissed off, and he tried to harm & kill himself with random stabs & slices at his own body & neck.

    The screams I’d heard were reactions of horror from seeing a crazy suicidal guy, not just the usual “oh shit there’s a fight, let’s get out of the way” shouts, which are less intense, less nightmarish, less unnatural.

    I’m glad I didn’t see that, of course, but honestly the reaction from my neighbors as they recounted it was far more traumatic for me. I don’t have emotional reactions to human cruelty or irrational self-violence or murder, but when I see others react to it and struggle through tears, man, that gets to me bad.

    But that’s civilian talk. My professional experience the last several years has led me to a lot of nasty situations & disgusting visuals, too, like seeing grown men surrender & piss themselves when I point a gun at them, and putting 2 bullets through a guy’s neck at 20 meters, and responding up close to an ISR report of a gunman on a rooftop only to discover that he’s actually a bullet-ridden corpse who looks like a gunman in the prone because his gun is still in his grip and his top incisors are somehow perched on the head of a jutting nail.

    I never saw 9 bullets go into one dude, though. Yikes.

  119. I just want to make sure everyone understands that I an not the guy who thanks movies should be ultra realistic. I love all types of movies and really don’t mind if the effects are not perfect, one of the reasons I can love a movie like Darkman. My issue with the effects its Blade II stem from their complete uselessness(if thats even a word). Most of the fight scenes could have been done practically. Too much CGI changes the flow of a movie when directors go wild with it, and I think Del Toro overdid it. Whats strange is he did a much better job on Hellboy, but I’m sure that’s because he actually had a passion for the character.

    On a side note, I was actually shot in the shoulder when I was 19. I can tell you it’s nothing like the movies ,but why would I expect it to be? That’s a strange statement. Its like an astronaut saying that Star Wars doesn’t give an accurate portrayal of space travel.

  120. I do not envy any of you guys. Mouth; are you a police officer of any sorts? If so, how do you learn to cope with shit like that when you have to shoot a guy? And, pegsman, did you get counseling of any sorts afterwards and do you know why that shooting took place?

  121. I realize now that I sort of made entertainment out of the story. I didn’t mean to do that. It’s something that happened a long time ago and I’ve had so much time to process it that I tend to talk about in a casual way. I didn’t know the guy and he was a child molester who got shot by the victim’s boyfriend, so it didn’t affect me as much as it would have under other circumstances. I just did my job, talked to a shrink afterwards and went home to my wife. I hope I didn’t upset anybody here. I was just trying to make some point about special effects and the way they don’t look like anything in real life.

  122. I don’t have a problem with most movie depictions of bullet wounds & bleeding, even if they’re nothing like reality. Bullets do weird things in real life. Rarely a clean entry & exit. They bounce around off organs & ribs and come out at odd angles.

    One captain I know had a bullet hit him in the ballistic strike plate, ricochet up to his helmet, and somehow end up traveling down the other side of his helmet. He was unharmed. No one knows how it happened, but there are multiple witnesses to this. That shit would never be acceptable in a movie.

    One guy had a bullet spontaneously explode while it was in his magazine pouch. We came back from a mission, and I had to say, “Hey bud, what’s up with your IOTV there?” He hadn’t even realized what happened until I pointed out his uniform & equipment had some frayed, charred threads.

    And in the movies, grenades, bombs, & rockets’ effectiveness are wildly subjective. Sometimes a frag in the open sends 4 guys flying, and sometimes a load of semtex in an enclosed room doesn’t even injure a guy’s cochleas.

    Real life is weird like that, too, though, so I can’t nitpick. Sometimes a real grenade in a bunker will concuss & pulverize the innards of everyone inside, but then a 60mm mortar can land 10 meters from you and you’ll be totally fine as long as you have on goggles and maybe a helmet. I hit a 200 pound IED in a humvee once and it didn’t even flatten a tire. Zero injuries. I guess it was buried a little too deep? I can’t imagine seeing something so boring, tedious, & anti-climactic in any movie.

    So anyway, I don’t complain about phony effects or whatever, since real life ballistics is already plenty weird & hard to believe.

  123. @Mouth-That’s exactly right, what happens in real life wouldn’t be all that interesting in a movie. If all movies were realistic we would have never gotten the great image of Chow Yun Fat sliding down a bannister shooting 2 guns, or even using baby piss to put out a fire,lol

  124. I certainly don’t want to live in a world where we don’t have those things.

    WOO ZONE > reality

  125. @Karlos-Never putdowm Die Hard, it’s one of the greatest, if not the greatest, action movies ever put on film. I’ve watched that movie so many times over the years I can’t even count. I recently introduced my son to the original trilogy and he loved them all after initially acting like they were to old for him to watch.

  126. When I lived in New Orleans, I cooked at a restaurant that was located within a fairly seedy hotel. Now a good number of the residents of this hotel sort of did odd jobs around the place in exchange for room. Many of these were prostitutes and apparently had to pay the dues of their profession to the hotel’s owner, who was one of the most distasteful human beings I’ve ever met. Overall it was not a healthy environment to say the least. Still, rates being what they were, and it being located right on the edge of the Garden Dist. and downtown, we got a lot of tourists and other patrons who didn’t know the sort of situation they were checking into.

    Anyway one day, I’m cookin’ breakfast for a table of about eight elderly churchgoin’ ladies who were in town as part of some Catholic event. The night before, a young couple who lived at the hotel had had a problem wherein the young lady had suffered a drug overdose and spent the night in the hospital. She returned home from the hospital, opened her door, and found that her boyfriend had continued indulging in the same drugs that had landed her in an ambulance. He didn’t survive. So these old ladies were treated to the site of the paramedics rolling a body bag past our restaurant window, the hysterical girlfriend in tow.

    The point is, it’s a fine line between being me and the ladies, who can watch the whole thing without any personal investment and find it to be an entertaining/fucked up story, and say, the owners of my restaurant, for whom it was an annoying blow to the respectability of their business, and the girlfriend, for whom it was no doubt an utterly traumatic experience.

    I feel like I should leave the name of the hotel off of this, but shit, if you’re ever gonna stay in New Orleans, hit me up so I can warn you away from this place (hopefully you had better luck, Mouth). Don’t support hotel owners who force sexual favors from their patrons and allow an environment such as this to exist.

  127. Chitown – I was just kidding. It was a reference to the blade 2 debate; as in, here’s a film that no-one on here can possibly not love, right?

    For the record, I do indeed love die hard.

    And wow, mouth and pegsman, your posts were powerful stuff indeed.

  128. Speaking of the intersection of real life and cinematic violence, is anybody going to see AMERICA FUCK YEAH: THE MOVIE this weekend? I’m all for blatant jingoism and military propaganda in my motion pictures (I did grow up watching RED DAWN, after all) and I’m always down to see non-acting professionals ply their trade onscreen, especially when their trade is erasing motherfuckers from the chalkboard of life, but I’ve heard the action is pretty unsatisfying. Will this be a fascinating look into what the military-industrial complex wants us to think it thinks of itself, a camp masterpiece, or just another shakily shot post-action dirge? Thoughts?

  129. I’m scared it might suck, and I’m desperately trying to avoid all reviews (as I do with virtually all movies I intend to see & hopefully enjoy), but of course I plan to see it, possibly as a double feature with MEGA GHOST RIDER.

    At the very least, it should be an intriguing technical exercise. It’s an event film if only for the circumstances of its making & cast, obviously.

    How often do the stars of a movie actually have a better, more interesting life than that of being a major movie star?

  130. is it ok that I’m kind of disturbed by such bald faced propaganda being released in theaters?

  131. Well, something has to counter the blatant leftie leanings of THE LORAX.

  132. Too little too late if you ask me. This $100 million dollar franchise-starter financed and distributed by a multinational corporation to sell merchandising to children clearly hates capitalism.

  133. I haven’t seen the commercials for this ACT OF VALOR thing, except during football games & in the theatre. I didn’t realize it was blatant propaganda. Or, do you mean, the very act of filming SEALs accompanied by cheesy music necessarily automatically makes it all propaganda?

    From what I’ve seen, their work doesn’t seem to be glamourized at all (that would be silly), so, I don’t know, I guess people think any depiction of anything on the big screen is inherently “propaganda,” but they only articulate this when it’s military shit.

    Kate Hudson stars as a girl with a plush job at a fashion magazine — fashion industry propaganda.
    Omar Epps stars as a basketball player who falls in love — NBA lifestyle propaganda.
    George Clooney is a surgeon who saves lives — hospital doctor propaganda.
    Navy SEALs go on missions and kill bad guys — military propaganda.
    Justin Long plays McClane’s sidekick who saves the world with his thumbs & a smartphone — pro-nerd propaganda.

    Where the fuck does it end?

  134. Personally, I’d be much more concerned with the plague of party-guy / slacker lifestyle propaganda movies (anything by Judd Apatow or Todd Phillips, plus many tv shows, Homer Simpson & Al Bundy knockoffs, etc.)

    Why don’t people complain about the “bald faced” bullshit entertainment that inculcates in us the belief that all men are lazy, drunken oafs?

  135. @Karlos- I thought you were kidding anyway, especially if your reading reviews on this site. I just noticed nobody responded and I had to defend Die Hard,lol One of the main reasons I read reviews on this site is because Vern’s taste in movies is very close to mine(well…except for Blade II that is,lol).

  136. Chitown – I’m guessing everyone who read it treated it with the contempt it deserved :)

  137. I saw it in 3D (it was the only D available at the time) and it killed me. My old eyes have a hard time keeping up with this hyper-fast editing and machinegun-looking strobe action in the first place, and now everything was blurry and flying around.

    I think the worst 3D part was when Idris Elba was standing in that monastery, and there’s a bunch of arches behind him that have been rendered into 3D at an angle that kind of goes back from the screen — only it’s clearly a flat picture that’s been turned sideways, instead of each arch being rendered separately.

    I also made a list of things that have not appeared in either Ghost Rider movie yet, I am hoping that some or all them appear in the next movie, Ghost Rider 3: Ghost Ridest.

    http://threatquality.com/2012/02/21/a-list-of-things-that-have-not-appeared-in-ghost-rider-movies/

  138. Rehydrated Dehydrated Pirate Paul

    February 24th, 2012 at 12:04 am

    Can somebody please point me to the posts where it was claimed, by anybody, that:

    1) Blade 2’s only problem is its CGI;
    2) Movies have to be “realistic”, whatever that’s supposed to mean, to be entertaining?

    I don’t usually see “straw men” in debates on this site, guess something’s got people riled up…

  139. Rehydrated Dehydrated Pirate Paul

    February 24th, 2012 at 12:10 am

    Also: there are people who don’t like “Die Hard”? Even my mother thought that one was good…

  140. Well, I could point you to the post where our moderator describes “the shameful events of this comment thread,” except you’re grounded so instead I’ll shoo you back to solitary confinement.

    And don’t be playing video games in there, young man!

  141. I hate the fact that I sleep when you guys are logged on, and vice versa. Even if I sleep less than Dracula on a regular week I tend to miss a lot of the debates. My point with the ill judged shooting story wasn’t that I think movies should be like real life. I love a good movie shootout, the more unrealistic the better actually.

    Michael Cimino “stole” the idea for the head shots in The Deer Hunter from that famous 1970’s news clip of the Saigon police chief shooting that guy in the head and the blood coming out as a small geysir. But even if we know it’s a realistic scene, it looks fake. So I guess it’s just like Mouth wrote; they can pretty much do what they want on film, real life will always be stranger

  142. Mouth, Clooney played a pediatrician. Get your facts straight! ;)

  143. Braak- you don’t think all those hooded followers of the Devil in GR2 count as Satanists? Also, while there’s no chainsaw, there is a gigantic saw on a crane vehicle that goes on fire. That’s kinda like complaining an action movie didn’t feature grenades when it does feature RPGs.

  144. Pegsman- well I´m up at least and so is CJ, so discussions can be had even though most of the other motherfuckers are asleep now

  145. Mouth: Valid points all, as per usual. I think the primary difference between, say, fashion industry propaganda, and military industrial propaganda is NOT that the fashion industry isn’t currently or historically responsible for sending tens of thousands of (usually poor) men and women off to kill and/or die for often questionable reasons (although it does have its own crimes to answer for, i.e., child labor, shoulder pads on women, etc.) but that I am not interested in watching a movie about fashion industry propaganda, because, really, who gives a shit? They’re clothes. They keep your nuts from getting cold or catching on pricker bushes. Get over it. War, however, regardless of the ethicality of any particular skirmish, is an inherently interesting. It’s also a dangerous and difficult business, so it stands to reason that it would need some good marketing to make people want to get involved in that kind of work. For good or bad, THAT ONE TOBY KEITH SONG: THE MOTION PICTURE EXPERIENCE should be a fascinating document of what a highly dubious facet of our society thinks are its selling points, as well as (hopefully) an engrossing procedural of a highly specified and effective skill set that most of us are not usually privy to.

  146. ^ Majestyk, Meryl Streep’s character in Devil Wears Prada would pwn the shit out of you for saying that! You know, when Hathaway snorts about people giving a fuck about fashion, and Streep demonstrates that for all her attempts to be all aloof and above it she has played right into the industry’s hands.

    It sucks that DWP could have been a film about how there’s really this surprisingly interesting, rich culture of genuine depth behind fashion, but ends up being about how women should shut the fuck up and learn their place as some schlub’s housewife.

  147. I have no problem with clothes. I like to dress moderately fashionably within my meager means. But I have zero time for high fashion, which I consider a way for rich people to waste time and money that could be spent on useful things, like giving John Carpenter enough money to make ESCAPE FROM EARTH before it’s too late.

  148. I’ll be on my way to ACT OF VALOR (which I just realized yesterday is a wordplay on “active” valor, as in “active duty” cast) today. I assume Vern will be reviewing it, so I’ll stop blabbing until that post.

    The SEALs thing is cool, but honestly the main draw for me is that the chief filmatists are stuntmen, a profession that everyone here agrees deserves more credit & more pub.

    Taylor/Neveldine impersonate stuntmen with their camera tricks, but this SEALs movie is helmed by the real deal, including a guy who was uncredited for his stuntwork in the tragically underrated SCORPION KING. This is the kind of cinema personnel I like to support, even if their product is not great.

  149. Mouth – the difference between movies like Acot of Valor and Judd Apatow movies or whatever is that there’s not a Government organization that can and has had influence on movies centered around the military before

    did you know that the Pentagon actually had a say in the script for Top Gun? basically how it works is when filmmakers want to use real military hardware the Pentagon has to first “approve” the script or else it wont let you play with it’s toys

    so do you think a movie like Act of Valor got made without the help and approval of the military? I don’t think so

    Michael Bay got the approval of the Military to use Military stuff in the first Transformers for example and what did that movie do? make being a soldier in the Middle East look pretty damn cool

    and while we’re on the subject, you know how video games like Call of Duty are so popular these days? well crack open any issue of Gameinformer and you’re guaranteed to see an ad for the Military in it (and that’s not anything new either, there’s Military ads in older video game magazines as well)

    all I’m saying is that propaganda does exist in this country beyond actual recruitment ads and a lot of people probably don’t even realize it, I don’t mean to disrespect you or the Military necessarily, I’m not a total anti-Military guy, I think it’s a necessary evil I guess, but I’m not a total fan either (for one, I think we spend too much money on it)

  150. There’s not a government organization behind the drunken slacker guy movie/tv craze, but there’s a multi-billion dollar beer industry that loves it and has a cozy relationship with it.

    Hey guys, it’s okay to not be sensitive to women and their silly bullshit, to steal police cars, to stay at home and play video games and prank people instead of being a productive member of society, to rent a huge expensive Vegas suite for a night instead of building a college fund for your kid. It’s funny to be an aloof asshole! You should build a “man-cave,” it’ll be awesome. You know what goes great with a man-cave? Budweiser!

  151. well product placement is a totally different deal, I’m not a fan of it either, but for one movies are made by corporations, so a corporation having influence on movies is one thing, the Government is another thing entirely

    I mean there’s kind of a difference between buying a 6 pack of Budweiser and joining an organization where you risk your own life and potentially kill people, ya know?

  152. The need for barley to ferment beer created agriculture, which led to land ownership, which led to settlements, which led to government, which led to rich people, who paid their employees in beer. The need to measure the amount of beer that was paid led to math, which led to economics, which led to the military industrial complex. So really, we’re talking about the same thing here, Mouth.

  153. Griff: The US Army rejected to help Roland Emmerich for INDEPENDENCE DAY, because they hated that drunk Dennis Quaid makes the heroic sacrifice in the end and not Army pilot Will Smith, even though he wasn’t exactly portrayed as coward either.

  154. Rehydrated Dehydrated Pirate Paul

    February 24th, 2012 at 3:58 pm

    I actually kinda agree with Mouth on this one, but for different reasons. I find that archetypical “slacker” characters are frequently incredibly annoying to watch (this goes for 80% of all conventional American film “comedies” ever written, where you have the two lead guys, one of whom is a depressed sadsack who needs to find his zest for life, the other is a hyperactive manchild who needs to learn to behave responsibly. Why the hell these two guys would be friends in the first place is something that no “comedy” has ever been able to justify to my satisfaction yet. But they keep appearing again, and again, and again…)

    But case in point: Nick Frost in “Shaun of the Dead”. I fucking HATED this guy. When you consider “Hot Fuzz” (which is about a billion times better than “Shaun” in my opinion) and how he managed to be the “heart” of that film, you see how much a character like that can drag a movie down. Although my main problem with SotD is that practically EVERY main character in it is a complete asshole. The likeable ones only seem to exist as zombie-fodder.

    So… I don’t have a moral or philosophical problem with the “loveable slacker” but I do have a major problem in that I can’t think of a single example right now where he’s actually been loveable, and not just annoying as hell.

  155. I certainly think military approval is above board. No one doubts where TOP GUN, TRANSFORMERS of any of those movies with big toys are coming from.

    Propaganda is a thing. We’ll see how VALOR shakes out but it’s also nothing new. John Wayne made a lot of pro military movies. Also there are always filmmakers like Kubrick, Oliver Stone and Verhoeven who are the real deal war movies without selling out.

    Btw the Verhoevn movie I refer to is not BLACK BOOK or SOLDIER OF ORANGE but the great STARSHIP TROOPERS which could not exist without propaganda to spoof.

  156. In terms of military approval and propaganda: Say what you want about Transformers, but do you really think that anybody watched that movie and thinks “Wow, being a soldier and nearly being blown to pieces by giant robots must be awesome!”

  157. I think this is the first I’ve heard of ACT OF VALOR, so I don’t have much to say of it in itself, but why does it seem that despite all the other countries with military involvement in various current conflicts, America seems to have claimed this as their subject to keep tackling over and over again? There’s not nearly as many british movies or tv series based around current armed forces, and while you can maybe chalk that up to there just not being the money for us to do it properly, you’d think some facet of it would be getting explored more. You guys even use Iraq/Arghanistan in the plots of your detective shows a fair bit too. But why? Is it just on your country’s consciousness more because you’re the main drivers of these conflicts? Also, what are your recruitment ads like? I’d imagine they’re very focused on “serving your country”, whereas the ones we have over here are very job-focused. They tend to illustrate the training or the day to day and the variety of positions, and are often about attracting people who are “the best” or want to be challenged in some way, more than being focused on the cause you’d be serving.

    Yvan eht nioj.

  158. CJ – I thought the military backed out of ID4 because of the Area 51 shit?

    The funniest military-cooperated production story I’ve read is how the U.S. military helped STRIPES. You know, a comedy where soldiers are portrayed as unrulely, drunk, obnoxious, disrespectful of authority, and invade without authorization a foreign country that should’ve started WW3 (Czechslovakia was Warsaw Pact) but instead, came back home as heroes.

    I mean I love the movie, but logically you would think STRIPES would be the first to get the Reject stamp. (Though apparently as Army recruitment propaganda, it worked: Recruitment went up after the movie came out. Same with TOP GUN.)

  159. See I intentionally made sure everybody read my must-read analysis, I posted it twice.

    I wish we could delete our comments sometimes.

  160. I’ve always wondered if foreign governments could sue american film studios for misrepresenting them in their movies. Like could North Korea build a libel case out of the RED DAWN remake casting them as invaders?

  161. ^libel or slander. I dunno what the proper term is for a fictionalised portrayal.

  162. “Also, what are your recruitment ads like? I’d imagine they’re very focused on “serving your country””

    they are as a matter of fact, very much so

    “Yvan eht nioj.”

    lol

  163. It makes me so happy that “Yvan eht nioj” showed up here.

  164. Stu – NK could, but China would then slap them down like a bitch.

    Can’t wait for the ACT OF VALOR sequel…AOV 2: Tehran.

  165. Sequel: ANOTHER ACT OF VALOR

    RISE OF THE ACT OF VALOR

    ACT OF VALOR: REDEMPTION

  166. Rehydrated Dehydrated Pirate Paul

    February 25th, 2012 at 2:07 pm

    Fred – what?

    Where’d that come from? I get that it’s “Join the Navy” backwards, but who said it? Is it one of those weird Internet things I’m never going to “get”?

  167. JOIN THE NAAAAVYYYYYYYYY

  168. Speaking of backwards, I knew a girl in high school….there was nothing particularly remarkable about this young lady, average student and all that, but she had this property that you could say something to her, and she could repeat it back to you, backwards. Not like reversing the words, but reversing the letters of the words. It didn’t matter how long you went. You could say this entire paragraph and she could just as fluently recite it in reverse without hesitation. The only other person I know who could do that was Mozart in the movie Amadeus.

  169. (see, I clearly lack the gift…)

  170. renfield – there was a youtube video going around not too log ago that showed some teenage girl that could do that, it’s fucking weird, something must seriously be weird about your brain if you can do that

    also I’m not a big Simpsons fan, but I did see that episode

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Kmiw1NmIz0

  171. GrimGrinningChris

    February 26th, 2012 at 7:07 pm

    renfield…

    Did this hotel/diner have a BIRD in its name, perchance?

  172. Michael J. Anderson on TWIN PEAKS has the same talent. He used to run a business where you’d send him a text and a few bucks and he’d send you a recording of himself saying the text as if it was a missive from the Red Room.

  173. GrimGrinningChris: it did not. I think you may be demonstrating the fact that this is not a unique situation in NOLA.

  174. Today I heard that Nicolas Cage was up for the role of Harry in DUMB AND DUMBER. now that was a great role for Jeff Daniels but let’s all imagine a world where Nic Cage and Jim Carrey play together. And it’s Cage sitting on the toilet mugging to diarrhea noises.

  175. The Farrellys also wanted Gary Oldman for that movie at one point. Don’t know for what role, but imagine it would have been Carrey’s and DUMB & DUMBER had starred Gary Oldman and Nic Cage!

  176. Taht was a great read, very in depths….I hope I will come to a point where I can write that much about one movie….keep it up, love your site.

  177. Excellent post. I used to be checking continuously
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  178. Schrader on Cage:

  179. Cage as a CIA agent in the last stages of going blind? Holy crap, theres gonna be MEGA flying all over the place like a mad womans shit! I can’t wait.

  180. Im referring to Mouth’s post about Schraders new one with Cage, not Ghost Rider. It’s called THE DYING OF THE LIGHT. Being a Schrader joint it could bring forth a subdued performance from Cage.

    I recently saw Cage’s new one FROZEN GROUND with John Cusack as a serial killer, and Cage did NO mega acting!! He barely raised his voice the whole film.

    FROZEN GROUND is a pretty decent serial killer thriller set in Anchorage. I thought Cusack was really good in this. His serial-killer turn was a lot more sinister than his feral redneck in THE PAPERBOY.

  181. Now that everyone has seen GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY we can discuss how Ghost Rider Spirit of Vengeance comes out at the end and does a bunch of wheelies and shit. Also Red Sonja and Spider-ham

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