Marvel Studios is a massive, many-headed entertainment beast with big ambitions and a slate planned up to 2021. The film side of things is getting ready to debut their Phase Three, which includes Captain America: Civil War, Doctor Strange, Black Panther, Spider-Man, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, and more. Each new Phase heralds in a new slate of sequels, some new characters, and new tent pole features like the Avengers films.
Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance easily surpasses it’s predecessor, but not by much. They definitely ignored events of the first one and started from scratch, getting straight to the point with the opening sequence. Given that, it still seemed like the filmmakers were sort of relying on you having seen the first movie so you had a better understanding of what the Rider is even though they explained everything in five minutes. Nicolas Cage is at his quirky best in the film, acting half crazed in several scenes as he struggles to keep Ghost Rider within himself.
The plot of the movie reminded me a lot of the plot from Drive Angry, another Cage starring flick involving a satanic cult attempting to take a child that will be used to bring the devil to our world and create hell on Earth. The premise was the same in Spirit of Vengeance, but the execution was less ridiculous than it was in Drive Angry. The devil himself walks the Earth in Spirit of Vengeance, played by Ciarán Hinds. Hinds, who has most recently appeared in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 and Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy seems to be wasted in the role of the devil. (Or Roarke as he is known in the movie) I remember back to when Rome was still on HBO and he played the role of Caesar and just can’t pinpoint why he would accept this role except for the cash. The same could be said for actor Idris Elba, but he seems right at home in the role of Moreau, the French, wine drinking holy man who assists Johnny Blaze in trying to regain his humanity in this installment of Ghost Rider.
Nicolas Cage used to be a great actor, but now he has become a sort of caricature of himself in many ways. It’s known that he had financial troubles in recent years and it’s now common knowledge as to why he releases nearly six movies every other year. I’m not saying I won’t go see any Nicolas Cage movies anymore, I’m just saying he’s no longer the actor he once was, we just can’t expect anything spectacular out of him anymore performance wise.
Even though the movie’s plot was dog crap and typical of many supernatural movies in recent years, the special effects in regard to Ghost Rider himself were excellent. The first time you experience him in the movie he is definitely a creepy sight to behold as his movements as he walks toward a victim are choppy and erratic. His head tilting and screaming were also a bit disconcerting. This wears off later in the movie, but I thought they couldn’t have done a better job with the character who is pretty one dimensional in the comics anyhow. The action sequences weren’t all that bad either and was one of the main things that even kept me awake during the movie. I loved the concept of the Rider being able to change any vehicle he rides into a flame spewing death machine.
I never looked much into the origin of Ghost Rider aside from his human host making a deal or being cursed, but in the movie we are treated to one. It turns out the Rider was formerly an Angel called Zarathos, the Spirit of Justice, who was sent to Earth to help mankind. Unfortunately he was driven mad after being captured by the forces of hell and now in his form as Ghost Rider he punishes everyone no matter the severity of their crime. I thought that was an interesting take on the character.
Overall I give Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance 2 out of 5 grizzlies.
It wasn’t as good as I expected, but it was definitely better than the first Ghost Rider movie. I honestly hope at this point that they might be done with trying to make Ghost Rider something more than he is. I wouldn’t think they would make yet another movie to attempt correcting the things wrong with this movie, but it is Hollywood so you never know. I think Ghost Rider is in the same boat as Punisher, he has a faithful following but not enough to elevate him into the box office smash hit like Spiderman or Iron Man. It was a nice try for the studio to make up for the first Ghost Rider though.
What’s this? Another brand new comic feature here on Grizzly Bomb? But Supascoot, we already have Hero Express and The Griz Bin, why on earth would we need another one? Well, why not? Hero Express covers the movies, The Griz Bin covers the web, so we need something to cover the actual comics!
Welcome to Comic Rack! Your weekly look at all the comic news from across the industry!
Welcome back to the Hero Express, your one-stop sometimes SPOILER filled shop through the news filled world of superhero’s in Film, TV, Video Games and whatever else floats your boat. This is the Hero Express for October 19th, 2011
On Thursday it was revealed that Patty Jenkins, who most notably directed Charlize Theron’s award-winning role in Monster, will be behind the camera on Thor 2. Jenkins has also had a hand directing episodes of several great TV shows, including Arrested Development and The Killing. The sequel is slated for a November 15, 2013 release date.
Last week news came out that the director of the Judge Dredd remake, Peter Travis, had finished shooting when the project’s screenwriter Alex Garland (28 Days Later) kicked him out of the editing room. Travis was supposedly kicked to the curb and refused access to the rest of the film’s post-production. Well, the two have released a rainbows-and-unicorns joint statement claiming these reports were completely false:
“During all stages of the filmmaking, ‘Dredd’ has been a collaboration between a number of dedicated creative parties. From the outset we decided on an unorthodox collaboration to make the film. This situation has been misinterpreted. To set the record straight, Pete was not fired and remains a central part of the collaboration, and Alex is not seeking a co-director credit. We are all extremely proud of the film we have made, and respectfully suggest that it is judged on viewing when it’s released next year.”
However nowhere in the statement did they mention that remaking Dredd was in any way a good idea.
If you’re anything like me, even the balls-out kooky Nicolas Cage didn’t save the first Ghost Rider, so word of a sequel didn’t exactly sound like a great idea. With that in mind, New York Comic-Con got a completely different impression on Spirit of Vengeance, at Ghost Rider 2‘s movie panel. In addition to behind-the-scenes clips and some footage already released in the first teaser for the film, the audience got to see some new stuff – Really freaking cool stuff, by the sound of it.
A couple notable examples:
“- A gang of thugs start shooting Ghost Rider, over and over and over. One guy freaks out and runs up to his face and starts shooting right into his skull. Ghost Rider fire barfs all over him.”
“When [Blaze] becomes the Ghost Rider, spikes pop out of the jacket, it all felt a little 80s,” Taylor explained. “What if the jacket was like a werewolf and it transforms from leather to this black bubbling tar?” “More visceral less Melrose,” Neveldine chimed in.”
Spirit of Vengeance keeps pushing the idea of a ‘re-imagining’ in the sequel, which looks to be the right move. More details on the panel here.
Quick and dirty final story: Frank Miller announced at NYCC that he will be working on new Sin City books in collaboration with Dark Horse. This news came as part of a pretty deep Legendary Comics panel, which in addition to Sin City, discussed Miller’s 9/11-based comic, Holy Terror, and a new ambitious Legendary series titled The Tower Chronicles. That’s all for this week! I can’t believe the most interesting part of this week’s HE for me is Ghost Rider 2. Until next time!
Lets be honest about the first Ghost Rider movie not being very good. It failed me in almost every way. Sure Ghost Rider looked cool, but the story was weak, the villain was weak and Nic Cage was super weak. But hopefully all of that will change with the upcoming sequel that’s not a sequel called Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance. Now personally, I thought this is the type of movie that could have went straight to DVD but Hollywood has other plans. Ghost Rider has a new look in this one, his skull visage still aflame but completely charred black. He looks a lot more no nonsense as he thrashes bad guys with his chains even while they’re driving and spits bullets into their faces. That sounds terrible but just watch the trailer to see:
As you can see this one seems to be a bit more violent, which is good because there isn’t anything too cuddly and nice when it comes to Ghost Rider. For me he’s like the Punisher in supernatural mode. The part at the end with him peeing fire kind of killed it for me but I’ll still be at the theater checking it out when the time comes.
The impression Ghost Rider left with me as youngin’ is about the same as Moon Knight. He looked cool as hell, but I didn’t know or really care to know anything else about him! What else was there to know about someone who has a flaming skull head, rides a motorcycle and uses chains as a weapon? That sounds like my perfect Sunday for God’s sake! Of course later in life you find out a little of his back story, but by then the novelty he had when you were a pre-teen has sort of worn off. Then he gets a relaunch, and I use the word “he” loosely because it looks like the next Ghost Rider incarnation will indeed be a female!
Now that doesn’t mean that Ghost Rider will have pigtails made of fire or wear fishnet stockings while on the awesome motorcycle. Hell, by reading the interview with the team who will be tackling this thing I don’t even think Ghost Rider will have boobs. It’s explained a little better in these two excerpts from an article at CBR:
Our first dose of Marvel Comics movie starts with the God of Thunder and his sweet look hammer Mjolnir. The cast includes veteran actor Sir Anthony Hopkins as Thor’s father Odin, the excellent and now Academy Award winning Natalie Portman, relative newcomer Chris Hemsworth as Thor himself, and Tom Hiddelston as the villainous brother Loki.
After numerous trailers, it keeps looking better and better. It almost looks like Masters of the Universe, but not total crap. My optimism is of course guarded because I hate disappointing myself. Here is the (still) most recent trailer:
The X-men have a slew of updates flooding the web. In case you’re not familiar with the story, the movie is about a young Professor Xavier and Magneto starting a school for gifted youngsters (Muties!) together.
X-Men: First Class will delve into their beginning friendship and perhaps its eventual implosion. Let’s start with some pictures that were recently released at SuperHeroHype:
The movie will star James McAvoy as Professor Xavier, Michael Fassbender as Magneto, January Jones as Emma Frost, and Kevin Bacon as Sebastian Shaw, the leader of the Hellfire Club.
We’ll also get a look at characters such as Havok, Mystique, Azazel, and The Beast.
If one X-men movie wasn’t enough, FSR reports that two more and a spin are still to come in the form of X-men 4, X-men 5 and Deadpool.
Deadpool on the other hand will completely ignore any connection to the Deadpool character from X-Men Origins: Wolverine, which is a fantastic move on their part. Though I do worry about Baraka not having a job.
I wasn’t very pumped for Green Lantern in the beginning because of the studio’s choice to cast Ryan Reynolds, but my interest is in high gear ever since I read Blackest Night and became a Green Lantern faithful.
I’ll give Reynolds and the movie a chance. The trailer actually looked pretty good, particularly the shots of Oa, Sinestro, Kilowog, and Abin Sur. The film will of course star Ryan Reynolds as Hal Jordan. But we will also see Blake Lively as love interest Carol Ferris, Mark Strong as Sinestro, Temuera Morrison as Abin Sur, and just recently announced Michael Clarke Duncan as the voice of Kilowog. Playing big-headed villain Hector Hammond is Peter Sarsgaard.
Is it a reboot or a sequel? Like The Incredible Hulk (and, by the sound of things, the next Daredevil movie) it seems to be kind of both. “We’re just looking at it as an evolution,” explains Taylor. “The movie takes place years later. We’re not disowning the first movie but this Ghost Rider is an evolved form of the previous Ghost Rider. We basically completely re-envisioned the whole start of the character. The whole mythology behind the Ghost Rider that existed in the comic books never really made sense to me, so we sort of had to re-engineer the entire back-story into something new. That mythology never got delved into in the first movie, anyway, [but] we really get into that.”That enhanced focus on the demon Zarathos has involved a whole different approach to playing the character for returning star Nicolas Cage, who’s now playing Blaze and the Ghost Rider, instead of leaving the Flaming Skull up to the FX guys and the stuntmen. “Shooting action and car crashes and all that stuff is boring,” says Taylor, “but shooting a Nic Cage performance is a total adrenaline rush.”
The Avengers cast is all but assembled! Iron Man will of course be played Robert Downey Jr., while Chris Hemsworth fills the thunder god Thor‘s boots, and Chris Evans is our shield wielding patriot Captain America. The supporting Avengers are as follows: Jeremy Renner as Hawkeye, Scarlett Johansson reprising her role as the Black Widow, Mark Ruffalo filling in as Bruce Banner with Lou Ferrigno doing the Hulk voice. Finally Sam Jackson will once again be our eye-patched Nick Fury. Recently it has been confirmed at DisFanReview that the villains of the Avengers film will be comprised of two alien races; the Kree and the Skrulls. Also joining the fray from Thor will be Loki, played by Tom Hiddleston.
After so much speculation on which pretty boy would be the new Peter Parker, the powers that be selected Andrew Garfield of recent The Social Network fame. The villain he will face off against played by Rhys Ifans, has recently been announced to be none other than Curt Conners; The Lizard. I would say this film has inspired the Man of Steel to cast the hero’s parental figures with veteran actors, because Peter Parker’s Uncle Ben will be played by Martin Sheen, and Aunt May by Sally Field. Emma Stone will play Peter Parker’s love interest Gwen Stacy, as her father Captain Stacy is played by Dennis Leary.
THE BIG ONE. This is my (Doc.) most anticipated movie on the list. By far. That may be why this is the movie on the list that we have done the most coverage on thus far. This is the 5th article to at least partially cover the movie (Jan. 19th, Feb. 2nd, Feb. 14th, March 22nd).
Well since that last update we have 2 more casting bits. First, actress Juno Temple has been confirmed as “street-smart Gotham girl”. Wtf that is I don’t know, but maybe she’s a budding Harleen Quinzel or a young Barbara Gordon, or maybe shes just a nobody. Who knows…
Secondly when have ‘Used to be Relevant’ actor Treat Williams, who is best known (at least to me) for Things to Do in Denver When You’re Dead, and probably – more famously, for replacing Tom Berenger (Inception) in The Substitute sequels. Is that weird that he followed Berenger in those movies, and now he’s been offered a role in Nolan’s follow-up to Berenger’s last major role? Any way, this is news to…well, everyone. But Williams claims to have been offered a role in TDKR, as well as Quentin Tarantino’s upcoming western (more on that later), but will apparently turn down both films to do a TV show called Against the Wall. So this guy is choosing to do a Chicago set TV cop drama (because we don’t have enough of those), instead of what figures to be the last Nolan Bat-Movie and the next Tarantino flick. Good career move. This better be the best f–king show of all time…
ALSO – It would appear that Nolan is keeping the end of the movie SO closely guarded that he didn’t even put it in that script. He is instead verbally conveying it to the cast in hopes of keeping it secret. What it could be I don’t know, but it he kills off Batman…
There is also talk of rebooting the whole series after this installment to make a version of Batman who can better interact with the other superheroes. More on that at Moviephone.
For more on Batman, well…you can stay here. Batman is our territory.
Superman: Man of Steel – Opens December 2012
The newest incarnation of Superman directed by Zac Snyder is moving right along with almost the entire main cast selected. Newcomer Henry Cavill will play Clark Kent/Superman, with his Daily Planet partner Lois Lane just being announced to be played by The Fighter‘s Amy Adams. Ma and Pa Kent will be played by veterans Diane Lane and Kevin Costner respectively.
Now all that is left is the casting of a villain, which is still currently up in the air. Rumors right now are pointing furiously at Viggo Mortensen playing the villain Zod. EW is reporting that he has withdrawn from Snow White and The Huntsman to possibly star in the Man of Steel. This is undoubtedly the best decision he could have made in that regard.
Time will tell which Superman villain we shall see onscreen next and who will play them. We will of course keep a very close eye on any developments.
According to IGN, there has been word from Warner Bros. that they are set on re-inventing the Batman franchise after Nolan completes The Dark Knight Rises, and to also have a Justice League movie released by 2013. Let the speculation begin about how many JLAers will be in the movie!
I would expect to see an onslaught of DC movies coming out before 2013.
Iron Man 3 – With John Favreau leaving the Iron Man franchise, who knows if it will suffer greatly from the loss. They still have leading man Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark/Iron Man and the new director Shane Black has been announced as Favreau’s replacement [Ed. – A move I love]. This won’t be the first time Downey Jr. and Black have worked together, Black directed the 2005 cult classic Kiss Kiss, Bang Bangwhich Downey starred in.
Not much else has been revealed about Iron Man 3 except that it will not have any superhero crossovers, as Iron Man 2 did with War Machine and Nick Fury. The film will also thankfully take a different direction than the second film, so hopefully we won’t see Iron Downey Jr. drinking and laughing it up in his Iron Man suit at his party mansion.
Please give us the Mandarin in this one Marvel, his time has come.
The Wolverine – Oh what could have been Mr. Aronofsky. After the Black Swan director just recently bailed on the sequel to Wolverine: Origins, the obvious question is who shall replace him? Recent rumors say it could be David Slade, who is also reportedly attached to direct the Daredevil reboot. So will he ditch the ‘Man Without Fear’ for Wolvie, or can he do both?
Wolverine will be spending some time in Japan for this one although there are some delays at the moment due to the Earthquakes and Tsunamis that recently occurred there. If my expectations have dropped a little, they are still kept afloat by Hugh Jackman’s dedication to the character and the franchise. EW had a chance to catch up with the Wolvie actor who had this to say:
“So now we’re out looking for a director, We were pretty much ready to go. The script is fantastic — the best we’ve ever had, which is why it attracted Darren in the first place. His personal situation precludes him from doing it now, and I feel for him. But now we need to find a director.” Jackman wouldn’t cite any preference, but said the team is aiming for another prestige filmmaker, not just someone to yell “action” and “cut.” “We’re not going to settle. We’re going to find a director as good as Darren, if not better. Well, as good, Everyone is still pushing forward to getting it done.”
Daredevil – If there is any Marvel movie franchise besides Ghost Rider that is in desperate need of a reboot it’s ‘the Man Without Fear’. According to Screen Rant newly appointed director David Slade claims that the reboot will not have any connection to the Affleck Daredevil movie, and will be a “very strong character driven take” on the hero.
I suppose that’s better than an Evanescence driven take. Thankfully the rumors of possible Robert Pattinson casting interest was debunked by Slade, who explained that the DD reboot is only in its early development stages so at this point the possibilities of cast members and villains are wide open.
So there we have it for now. Was that enough for one post?
Have you checked the Zodiac lately? Because it is of course the year of the sequel. That’s right, 27 major studio sequels to be exact. It must be the current Hollywood fad right now to give every movie a 3D sequel. Below are recently announced and upcoming movies that follow up other movies that did not warrant a sequel to begin with. Actually some didn’t even deserve to have a first one made, but let’s go over them:
Bad Santa 2
According to IGN Billy Bob Thornton is in talks to reprise his role as the foul-mouthed mall Santa from the first 2003 movie. But the biggest question is why? Do we really need a sequel to such a let down, crude movie starring an actor who hasn’t had a decent role since his only noteworthy acting turn in Sling Blade? Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for crude movies. I love ’em. But a sequel to Bad Santa eight or nine years after the fact seems like doing a sequel to Battlefield Eartha decade later. Admittedly, I may just be hating on Billy Bob because he effectively ruined any fantasy I could have about Halle Berry, after sloppily plowing her in Monsters Ball. Thank you Mr. Thornton, that is now burned into my retinas.
American Pie 4: American Reunion
I’m not really sure how this one will go, but I’m pretty sure they’ll have no problems rounding up the likes of Chris Klein, Jason Biggs, Mena Suvari and Tara Reid to do this movie. Lord knows they aren’t doing anything of note at this point in their careers. Eugene Levy and Sean William Scott are the only ones who will add any entertainment to this, the fourth entry into the American Pie franchise. Well, it’s the fourth if you’re not counting the four Direct-to-DVD sequels starring no one from the originals except Eugene Levy.
Ghost Rider 2: Spirit of Vengeance
The first Ghost Rider was so bad I honestly think I’ve somehow erased it from my memory, or aliens did because the recurrent nightmares I kept having from its suckiness interrupted their sleep study of me. This is one movie there should not be a sequel of. Reboot? Maybe. But a sequel, yet again starring Nicholas Cage? No! No! No! I don’t care if nothing from the first film is mentioned, because having to look at Cage’s face the entire time will only be a constant reminder of how much scum inhalation the first movie performed. (Basically the movie was a scum sucker.) Seriously Cage, turn Drive Angry into a franchise and get it over with.
Honestly, I did enjoy the 2010 version of Clash of the Titans. It was entertaining to me, and I saw it in 2D instead of that “slimy piece of worm ridden filth” (Thank you Han Solo) they tried to pass off as a 3D feature. Imagine how I would have enjoyed it if actors like Ralph Fiennes and Liam Neeson were utilized better, and the story didn’t seem like a fan fiction written by a 16-year old ‘Dungeons and Dragons’ fan. The effects and action were good, but I was hoping they would just end it with Clash of the Titans being an entertaining, dumb action flick. But no, they’ve come back for more. At least the story for Wrath of the Titans sounds decent, you can read about that here.
This Fast and the Furious sequel just got downright lazy. Maybe the next one will just be called Fast6, all bunched together like that. I was not a fan of the first movie, didn’t get a chance to see the second one, and flat out refused to see the Tokyo Drift. And though I actually enjoyed the fourth movie, Fast and Furious, Fast Five looks extremely entertaining to me, so I will be checking it out even if it wasn’t warranted. I mean come on, they are throwing Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson into the mix. However, if they had decided to end the franchise with number 4 I wouldn’t have cared at all.
Transformers 3: Dark of the Moon
Two words sum up Revenge of the Fallen for me; Colossal Failure. It took me awhile to come to grips with that, but multiple views at theater, and a purchase on DVD finally did it. That’s when I noticed more and more how terrible the film was when robots weren’t beating the ever-loving cybernetic crap out of each other. Shame on me. Even though the franchise should have ended with part two, it was a given with the amount of box office cash it raked in that a 3rd installment was inevitable. But that doesn’t mean it should be happening. This is another I will be seeing, giving Michael Bay a second chance to make something even comparable to the first Transformers. I may be setting myself up for a huge fit of gouging my eyes out at the theater, but that is a risk that I’m willing to take.
Now I understand I’ve committed to seeing half of the movies I just described as being ‘sequels we don’t need’, but I can’t do anything to stop them from being cranked out of the Hollywood machine. So I’ll just buckle up and hope the ride doesn’t suck too much.