We should be grateful that mainstream entertainment has evolved enough for an animated tale of a prehistoric family not to be solely defined by how many times the work “rock” is prefixed to other nouns. The new DreamWorks film, THE CROODS, is about a primitive clan — led by cautious father Nicolas Cage — facing their own evolutionary upheavals, including a rebellious teen daughter (Emma Stone), a brainy stranger — he’s got shoes! (Ryan Reynolds), and a little thing called the continental drift. Cinefantastique Online’s Steve Biodrowski, Lawrence French, and Dan Persons saw this fanciful tale of survival, and got together to discuss the awesome production design, the occasionally-serviceable, occasionally-better comedy, and when we’ll see it’s-all-about-family plotting finally collapse from total exhaustion.
Plus: Dan discusses the low-budget horror film, A RESURRECTION; what’s coming to theaters; and Steve vanishes into a temporal rift, only to emerge later in the week for a Laserblast episode.
In a pair-up as enticing as a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup, GHOST RIDER: SPIRIT OF VENGEANCE combines the rich, nutty goodness of Nic Cage with the tasty junkiness of the Neveldien/Taylor directing team. Transporting Marvel’s tortured, soul-sucking biker to Eastern Europe, the sequel has him joining forces with Idris Elba and Violante Placido to save a young boy from the clutches of Satan — here portrayed by Ciarán Hinds — and his minions. As befits a GHOST RIDER story, much road-based action ensues; as befits CRANK-masters Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor, much frenetic craziness gets layered onto that.
Cinefantastique Online’s Steve Biodrowski, Lawrence French, and Dan Persons rally together to discuss whether the Neveldine/Taylor style is enough to overcome the script’s stock elements, and whether even the extensive depth of the 3D screen is enough to accommodate a Nic Cage performance. Also: Steve gives his capsule review of THE SECRET WORLD OF ARRIETTY; and what’s coming in theaters and on home video.
Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor, the directors of GHOSTRIDER: SPIRIT OF VENGENCE, admitted to MTV that they’re not exactly sticking to the spirit of the Marvel Comics that inspired the character of Blackout, played in the film by Johnny Witworth.
The character in the film will be a mortal villain who is transformed by the Devil (Ciaran Hinds) into Blackoutbook, a demonic creature with powers that “cancel out” the Ghostrider (Nicholas Cage).
In the Ghostrider comics, Blackout was a human-demon hybrid, cursed from birth. A light-sensitive albino, the character had superhuman strength and speed, and the ability to negate all light in the area around him. He had metal fangs and claws, with the implication that these were mechanical implants the product surgery at some point in his lifetime.
Co-director Brian Taylor revealed “We didn’t really honestly do a lot of research into the comic book version of Blackout… We kind of just took the visual of him and went from there.”
Well, it’s a honest admission, at least. It remains to be seen whether the decision will adversely affect the film’s box office in a significant way. Certainly, it will alienate hard-core fans.
Sony/Columbia’s Official Trailer for Marvel Knights’ GHOST RIDER: SPIRIT OF VENGEANCE seems to offer a wilder ride than his first cinematic outing.
Directed by Mark Neveldine & Brian Taylor. Starring Nicolas Cage, Ciarán Hinds, Idris Elba, Violante Placido, Johnny Whitworth, and Christopher Lambert.
Due in theaters Feb. 17th, 2012.
From Empire magazine via SuperheroHype comes these two official (one presumes) pictures from GHOST RIDER: SPIRIT OF VENGEANCE.
This new Ghost Rider film takes Marvel Comics’ Johnny Blaze (Nicolas Cage) to Europe where he’s driven towards thwarting the plans of the Devil to become incarate.
Directed by Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor (CRANK) from a story by David S. Goyer and screenplay by Scott M. Gimple and Seth HoffmanSeth Hoffman screenplay.
Also starring Ciarán Hinds, Johnny Whitworth (CSI: MIAMI) as Blackout, Idris Elba, Violante Placido, and Christopher Lambert.
Due out Feb, 17th, 2012 from Columbia Pictures Studio, the film is not a direct sequel to 2007’s GHOST RIDER, but a kind of “soft reboot”, keeping lead actor Cage, taking place “eight years later”, but more or less ignoring the details of the first film.
Shot in various Eastern European locations, notably Romania and Turkey, it remains to be seen if the relatively modest-budgeted film will find more favor with fans than the inital cinematic outing.
Talking to GHOST RIDER: SPIRIT OF VENGENCE co-director Brian Taylor (CRANK) Movieline.com reports the following intriuging information.
“We basically completely re-envisioned the whole start of the character, and actually had to re-engineer the origin of the Ghost Rider. 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 of the Ghost Rider into something new.
We’re just looking at it as an evolution. 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. And the mythology that went behind it is stuff that never got delved into in the first movie, anyway.
Like, they don’t talk about who the demon is from when Johnny Blaze becomes the Ghost Rider. We get into that and really get into who that guy is, what his story is, and what makes GR the way that he is. “
Well, it certainly sound different from the first film. Whether the changes will work for comic book fans and help make for a good supernatural-action movie remains to be seen.
Previous reports have mentioned that Nicolas Cage will also be playing the demon Zarathos that Brian Taylor spoke about above, and that an exorcism may take place. In the comics, Johnny Blaze and Zarathos were eventually split, freeing him from the curse of the Ghost Rider—for a time, anyway.
Twisted metal, slow-motion explosions, outrageous gunfights, and more bodies than you can count – some naked, some bloody, some both – and all of it in 3-D! It’s a rip-roaring trip down the Road to Hell as the Cinefantastique Podcast crew (Dan Persons, Lawrence French, and Steve Biodrowski) hitch a ride with Nicolas Cage for DRIVE ANGRY, the movie that dares to reveal what Satan really thinks of Satanists. Is this the film that GRINDHOUSE tried (and failed) to be? Listen in, and find out!
Summit Entertainment releases this action-packed fantasy film, starring Nicolas Cage (THE SORCERER’S APPRENTICE) as one of the damned, who escapes from the infernal region hoping to redeem himself by preventing his granddaughter from being sacrificed by a cult. Amber Heard (ZOMBIELAND) plays the requisite hot, tough girl who decides to help out Cage’s character, and William Fichtner (THE DARK KNIGHT) is the demonic “Accountant” sent to retrieve the wayward soul and return him to the Devil. Unlike too many recent 3D movies, DRIVE ANGRY was actually shot in the stereoscopic process. Director Patrick Lussier and co-writer Todd Farmer previously gave us the enjoyably over-the-top MY BLOODY VALENTINE 3D, so we expect similar fun here.
Marvel Movies! Facebook page is featuring a gallery of picture from the GHOST RIDER: SPIRIT OF VENGANCE shoot on location in Cappadocia, Turkey.
First off, is that Nicolas Cage himself in white greasepaint and motion-capture cap and jacket? Might be.
There’s plenty of pics of a mellow-looking Cage possing with Turkish oggicals visiting the location, which includes some very photogenic hills and what looks like a monastery or stronghold. Monstary might be the ticket, and the plot deals with Johnny Blaze enlisted to fight the Devil himself (Ciaran Hinds, ROME, RACE TO WITCH MOUNTAIN).
There’s also a shot of actors in what might monk’s robes. One seems to have a tattooed forehead.
Whatever directors Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor have in mind for the screenplay by Scott M. Gimple and Seth Hoffman screenplay (from a David S. Goyer story) , GHOST RIDER: SPIRIT OF VENGANCE promises to have a different vibe than it’s predecessor.
Due out February 17th, 2012 from Columbia Pictures and Hyde Park Entertainment.
Nic Cage’s latest, SEASON OF THE WITCH — about two knights who seek to redeem themselves for their participation in the Crusades by transporting an accused witch to a monastery for trial — has been roundly burned at the stake by most critics. But is this film truly deserving of such condemnation? Heedless of the warnings, CFQ’s Steve Biodrowski, Lawrence French, and Dan Persons have braved exposure to the first genre film of 2011 and emerged, if not enriched, then at least more entertained than any of them expected. In this episode they discuss what works, what doesn’t, and whether it’s time to end the pile-on on Mr. Cage’s career.
Also on the slate: news and theatrical and home video releases. Click on the player to hear the show.