Actor Nicolas Cage has a lot in common with his superhero counterpart Ghost Rider featured once again on the big screen in the pseudo-sequel Spirit of Vengeance. Much like the daemon-infested crime fighter Cage has the power to make anything he touches explode into a wild blazing inferno thanks to his unique performance techniques. Cage does not simply deliver a line he detonates it; He does not simply react to his co-stars he executes an interpretive dance; He does not simply throw a punch he unleashes physical armageddon. Occasionally the style provokes unintentional laugher but in Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance anything less would be unrealistic.
The new adventure finds Ghost Rider aka Johnny Blaze a former stunt man cursed after begging the Devil to save his father's life hiding out in Eastern Europe where he believes his soul-sucking alter-ego can remain silent. But Blaze's TLC session is cut short when Moreau (Idris Elba) an Algerian priest with connections to the Devil's latest diabolical plan arrives. Seems Satan who walks the Earth under the alias Roarke is hellbent on inhabiting Danny the young son of Nadya who made her own deal with the Prince of Darkness. If he succeeds Roarke will continue existing in the world of man—so of course it's up to Ghost Rider to put the kibosh on the end-of-the-world scenario.
If you didn't see the first Ghost Rider movie don't fret; the sequel isn't confined by any established mythology nor is it that concerned with the logic of its own story. Directors Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor employ a manic eye for action displayed in earlier films like Crank and Gamer shooting motorcycle chases shootouts and flaming skull transformations with adrenaline-infused camerawork that should leave anyone susceptible to motion sickness running to the bathroom. The 3-D transfer of the movie is a non-factor the post-convereted stereoscopic effects rarely intrude on the zippy camerawork. Unlike the Crank films Ghost Rider contends with its script dragging when the movie tries to explain what the heck is going on and only picking up when the directing duo and Nic Cage are allowed to play.
A host of solid supporting actors breath traces of life into half-baked villain and characters—Ciaran Hinds stands out as Roarke playing him like a forgotten Dick Tracy baddie—but at the end of the day Spirit of Vengeance is all Cage's show. With the fire of hell burning inside Blaze is in a constant fight against himself and Cage embodies the monstrous struggle with cockeyed rage and growling vocals. Neveldine and Taylor make the most of their larger-than-life lead and Cage spends most of the film teetering on the edge ballistic fury. That's not to say the movie doesn't take its quiet moments–a scene between Cage and Elba where Blaze begs Moreau to remove the Ghost Rider curse is surprisingly dramatic—but the movie has goals: to rattle you at 100 miles per hour.
Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance isn't as fun flashy or poignant as some of its recent comic book contemporaries but for 90 minutes Neveldine and Taylor revel in the ridiculous wringing their character and lead actor for every ounce of mayhem. This is a greasy gritty grunge Ghost Rider purposefully disgusting and low-fi. While a stronger emphasis on story would only help the spotty action flick Spirit of Vengeance proves a decent alternative to the faithful boyscouts and friendly neighborhoood superheroes that fill our big screen blockbusters. Ghost Rider belches magma pisses fire and plays nasty—you probably already know if this movie is for you.
Sony today released a new poster for Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance, its upcoming comic-book sequel starring Nicolas Cage as the titular undead antihero:
Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance co-stars Ciarán Hinds, Violante Placido and Idris Elba, and is directed by Crank helmers Brian Taylor and Mark Neveldine. It opens everywhere February 17, 2012.
Who wins in a fight: a dude with a flaming skull on a motorcycle or an immortal Scottish swordsman? We're about to find out.
Christopher Lambert -- star of Highlander -- is in talks to take a role in Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance. However, the actor kept mum on exactly who the character is and what their specific spot is in the plot. If he does sign on, he'll join a cast that features Nicholas Cage, Ciaran Hinds, Violante Placido, Idris Elba, and Johnny Whitworth. The film is set to release on February 17, 2012.
So, what's our reaction to this news? One, big, fat resounding "eh."
Here's the deal. Ghost Rider sucked. It was a lame excuse for a movie and was a perfect example of how Nicolas Cage has regurgitated his character from Con Air in at least three different films a year since its release. All he needs is that stupid long hair, a sequence of him running from explosions, and a disposable female character to absorb his lame-ass one-liners.
Regardless, I guess it'll be interesting to see Lambert in a role outside of Highlander, since that's pretty much all he's known for. Hopefully the writers of Spirit of Vengeance are smart enough to not give him a sword. But let's get real, they probably aren't.
Source: Coming Soon
Anton Corbijn’s absorbing new thriller The American is based on a novel entitled A Very Private Gentleman which quite aptly sums up its main character Jack (George Clooney). A veteran assassin-for-hire Jack’s life bears none of the trappings that we’ve come to associate with men who kill people for a living. There are no exotic cars or high-tech gadgets no boisterous comrades-in-arms not even a precocious 12-year-old to help pass the time. Exiled to a small town in Italy while he waits for the heat to subside after a job in Sweden gone awry he spends the bulk of his time alone confined to his plain apartment pausing between sets of pushups to peer anxiously out his window where scores of invisible enemies no doubt lurk waiting to strike.
When he does venture out it’s either to pay a visit to Father Benedetto (Paolo Bonacelli) a friendly and inquisitive local priest or to enlist the services of Clara (Violante Placido) an enchanting young prostitute. Jack makes for a reluctant social companion talking little and smiling even less and yet his two acquaintances seem inexorably drawn to him. Jack tries to keep them at a distance — he’s learned from experience that relationships can be hazardous to men in his line of work — but after years of allowing professional considerations to trump emotional ones his resistance is no longer as stout as it once was. Having gotten a taste of love he decides he rather likes it — so much in fact that he tells his boss (Johan Leysen) that he wants out of the death-delivery business for good as soon as he completes his latest assignment: the construction of a highly specialized firearm for a beautiful and mysterious would-be assassin (Thekla Reuten). But exiting such a profession is never a straightforward task especially when there are angry Swedes vying for one’s scalp.
Director Corbijn shuns much of the conventions of modern thrillers in The American employing a style as spartan as his protagonist’s. Though the film contains several references — both overt and implied — to the spaghetti westerns of Sergio Leone it might be said to have more in common with 1992's Unforgiven Clint Eastwood’s acclaimed deconstruction of the well-worn genre. Corbijn prefers long static shots to the quick-cut shaky-cam chaos of the Bourne films and their analogues and his muted aesthetic makes even Italy’s scenic countryside seem a bit drab. There are no high-energy pop songs to be found on the soundtrack only Herbert Gronemeyer’s haunting piano-heavy score which Corbijn employs sparingly. Instead pervasive in The American is a kind of unnerving quiet that effectively underscores the film’s most potent scenes. How frightful a single gunshot can be when bracketed by near-complete silence.
Clooney is characteristically superb as the paranoid tormented Jack a role that calls for a tremendous degree of subtlety if not range. Corbijn tasks him along with co-stars Bonacelli and Placido to carry a determinedly minimalist film that boasts no fancy tricks up its sleeve and they deliver admirably. Audiences who go to see The American expecting a conventional Hollywood spy thriller will no doubt be disappointed to find out they’ve stumbled into an art-house film — and an unrelentingly grim one at that — but those seeking relief from the inanity and bombast of the summer movie season will be pleasantly surprised.
The actress plays Clooney's love interest in the film, which tells the story of an assassin who takes a break from hitman duties to spend time in a quiet Italian village.
The pair plays lovers in the picture, and Placido admits her co-star felt apprehensive about shooting the saucy bedroom scenes.
She tells People.com, "He confessed... that he didn't do lots of sex scenes. I felt like this was in a way something new to him, he wasn't that experienced.
"We had to find a way to make it natural and let your body speak somehow. We were very open to one another to try and make it work. We just said 'Let's trust each other' and we did. I felt like we had to let ourselves go. It had to look real."
George Clooney is an assassin in next week's suspense thriller, The American. The film hits theaters on Wed, September 1 and also stars Violante Placido, Thekla Reuten and Paolo Bonacelli. You can check out the trailer here and the film's official site here.
To celebrate the release of this film, we've got a nice little prize pack to give away to one lucky spy winner.
The Prize Pack
1. $100 American Express Gift Card
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That's all there is to it! Now get to it and good luck!