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Ghost Rider (SE)
DVD disk
Jun 29, 2007 By: Sturdy
Ghost Rider (SE) order
Director:
Mark Steven Johnson

Actors:
Nicolas Cage
Eva Mendes
Peter Fonda

Rating:
Movie:
Extras:
Overall:

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WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
Many years after making a deal with the devil to cure his fathers cancer, Johnny Blaze is called upon to fulfill his end of the bargain and must become the Ghost Rider. He must learn to control his new powers, defeat his enemies and save the woman he loves.
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
GHOST RIDER reminded me a lot of DAREDEVIL in the sense that theyre both good movies with good lead actors, but they fall short of living up to their potential. The problem may be that both of them featured Mark Steven Johnson in a writing and directing capacity. Both films stalled at times and were a bit too predictable and unoriginal to be noteworthy films. The standard beginning stories of superheroes have been told so many times before that now they have to be told with some innovation and originality. Unfortunately, GHOST RIDER lacked in both departments.

Overall, the film felt very flat to me. The entire time, I felt like I should be getting excited or looking forward to a big action sequence, but it never came. The movie failed to build suspense or build anticipation. It was still fun to watch, but it lacked the flow and excitement a great comic book movie should have. It was also pretty heavy on the cheese factor with many scenes making you turn your head and wince.

Despite the fact it wont go down as a great comic book movie, GHOST RIDER was still a fun ride. It was a blast to watch him on the big screen and weve all seen worse CGI. I thoroughly enjoyed watching the Ghost Rider ride up buildings and wield his chain on his foes. The Ghost Rider is just a cool character and I was pleased that his coolness transpired nicely on the big screen. Of course, that may be the comic geek in me coming out.

I also really enjoyed Nic Cage in the role. He did a great job, but much like Affleck in DAREDEVIL, suffered from bad writing and average directing. I know Cage has been a big comic book fan for a long time and you can tell he understood his character. The shame of it is that he never got enough time to fully explore the role. The film would have been better off with more scenes of him and Sam Elliot and more of an exploration of him trying to control his powers.
THE EXTRAS
Commentary with Mark Steven Johnson and Kevin Mack: Sometimes Mark Steven Johnson comes off as a jerk to me. Im not sure if its just me, or if he really is like that. In this case, it bugged me how he wanted to put the blame for the movies lack of success on everyone but himself. My mistake was probably watching this track after I watched the featurettes because at this point, I was pretty sick of Mark Steven Johnson.

Commentary with Gary Foster: I appreciate studios trying to pile on content, but this track was not necessary. Gary seems like a nice guy, but this was extremely similar to the above track. He makes a lot of observations about the film, but doesnt really give any details. Its not bad, its just not necessary.

Spirit of Vengeance (28:59): This is a pretty decent featurette detailing how the movie came to be. Mark Steven Johnson once again tells us what a fan he is of comics and how he reads them all the time. I would have liked to hear more from Nicolas Cage, but it was still pretty decent.

Spirit of Adventure (29:54): Obviously, this featurette deals with the stunts in the film. Its a little long and the scenes tend to drag on, but it gives a lot of behind the scenes looks, which are always interesting.

The few added scenes and these two featurettes are the only items not found on the regular version of GHOST RIDER.

Spirit of Execution (22:53): The last of the trilogy of featurettes focuses on visual and sound effects. Again, this one is a bit long and we end up watching a lot of guys standing around talking. I found this one to be the least informative.

Sin and Salvation (36:05): These are actually four little featurettes chronicling Ghost Rider over four decades. This is pretty cool for comic book fans and is well worth a watch if you dig Ghost Rider. I enjoyed the focus on the comics and not the movie.

There are also some Previews
FINAL DIAGNOSIS
I think GHOST RIDER has enough to offer mild action fans. It was fun and had some neat special effects, but it just felt like weve seen it before. The name and recognizable faces will justify the rental, but Im not sure this special edition merits a purchase.
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