Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance

2012year_worst

Years from now, cinema fanatics will probably look back at 2012 fondly, remembering that this year brought us new films from Spielberg, Bigelow, Anderson (P.T.), Haneke, Affleck, Anderson (Wes), Van Sant, Arnold, Tarantino, Johnson, and many, many more. But amidst all the good stuff (and, rest assured, there was plenty of good stuff to go around), there were plenty of rotten, silly, messy, sloppy, boring, and insulting films to fill our theaters and empty our heads. The worst, if you will. Just the worst. Settle in, gird your loins, and prepare yourself for The 12 Worst Films of 2012, as determined by your faithful Rejects. Oh, 2012, you really packed some doozies.

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The Reject Report - Large

Four new movies are hitting theaters this weekend, all of them fixed with their own pros and cons. In one corner, we have Amanda Seyfried, Jennifer Aniston, and Tyler Perry. In the other corner, we have the Navy SEALs. It’s not a fair fight no matter how you look at it. All four spark with different demographics, as well, making for an interesting melting pot of genres, varying star power, and even a little bit of brand loyalty. This weekend comes down to which of these films had the best resonance with its marketing, and one of these films clearly has the edge over the others. Yes, guns and live ammunition help.

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The Reject Report - Large

It took its second weekend – and even Saturday and Sunday of that – but Safe House slipped by the competition this President’s Day Weekend, just edging past The Vow‘s second weekend take and Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance‘s debut. The Denzel Washington starrer might find itself down a notch when the actual numbers are revealed. When the numbers are this close, it could be anyone’s ballgame until all the numbers come in. For now, though, it remains at #1. This is Washington’s first film to hit #1 at the box office since American Gangster debuted in 2007 with $43.5m. Not surprisingly, that film remains Washington’s biggest domestic earner to date with $130.1m. Safe House‘s chances of toppling that are not completely out of reach. The film dropped just over 40% from last weekend. That’s not great, but it’s definitely below average. With a few more solid weekends such as this, the film could very easily get past that $130m mark. I’m sure Ryan Reynolds would appreciate that, as well.

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What is Movie News After Dark DRINKING? It’s what happens when Neil leaves and Kate Erbland and I joke about me doing this column drunk and then don’t realize that’s probably a bad idea until the next day. So hello and welcome to maybe the only installment ever of Movie News After Drinking, brought to you by Old Crow Bourbon. Old Crow Make it a Double! (Note: We should get paid for this). I think my introduction needs to be longer before I put that page break thing here and before I get fired for making a mockery of this column. Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance came out today and it should come as little surprise that most people hate the movie. Our boy Jack Giroux reviews the flick over at TheFilmStage where he politely points out that Jerry Springer jokes are old enough to be getting paternity tests themselves (that means they’re like 15 years old).

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Kevin Carr

This week, Fat Guy Kevin Carr takes the week off because the studios didn’t screen the new releases anywhere near him. In fact, he was specifically told not to come to one particular screening. And that can’t be a good sign, can it? What else can you expect for the movies in the weeks leading up to the Oscars, ‘cause the new ones in the theaters don’t stand a chance of winning anything next year. To take away the pain of not seeing movies this week, Kevin makes a deal with the devil, selling his soul for the ability to set his skull on fire whenever he sees a bad movie. Unfortunately, the light from said flaming skull got him kicked out of the theater because someone thought he was using his cell phone to pirate the film.

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It’s easy to predict one’s response to Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance. You either accept the idea of a flaming-skull Nicolas Cage sucking the souls out of leather jacket-clad baddies, or you don’t. You relish Cage in full-on, over-the-top crazy mode – weird twitching and all – or you’re sick of his penchant for CGI-heavy junk. This isn’t rocket science. That being said, the Ghost Rider franchise, such as it is, has come a long way since the mediocre original flick, which opened in 2007, or approximately 100 Cage movies ago. Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor (Crank), masters of speed-freak cinema, have taken over the directorial reigns and amped things up with fast motion, quick cuts, some artful comic-book stylistic digressions, slick pseudo-religious imagery and a much-needed helping of humor.

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The Reject Report - Large

There’s a lot of anger in that headline, which should be noted since this is the week of Valentine’s Day and all that. Three new films find release, and while the Reese Witherspoon rom-com doesn’t exactly live up to the explosive nature of its title, we’ve also got Nicolas Cage to make things a little crazy out there. Don’t you just love it when the box office goes full Cage? I know I do. Throw in the latest from Studio Ghibli, and you’ve got a nice little storm of separate demographics, except for that one guy who’s a monster Nicolas Cage, Reese Witherspoon, and anime fan. You know you’re out there. It’s the Reject Report, and, before it’s all said and done, someone’s gonna be peeing fire.

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What is Movie News After Dark? It’s the ketchup on your ice cream. Good evening and welcome back! We’ll begin with a piece from film critic and feline advocate Scott Weinberg who’s compiled a list of the best foreign action films to hit our shores in the last few years. Prompted by a recent screening of festival darling The Raid, which should be assaulting American eyeballs in the next month or two, Weinberg runs down plenty of ass-kicking titles to feed your Netflix queue. Head on over to Movies.com for the full piece.

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Bruce Wayne in The Dark Knight Rises

What is Movie News After Dark? … um, it’s about movies. And it takes place after the sun goes down. We begin this evening with another new image from The Dark Knight Rises, one of several that worked their way onto the web today thanks to Entertainment Weekly. Unlike all the previously interesting shots from the film, this one does not involve Bane. It’s Bruce Wayne (Christian Bale) standing in front of the bat-suit. I love that bat-suit.

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There has long been a debate in the comic book world about what’s fair as far as creator’s rights are concerned. If you self-publish or work for one of the smaller companies, it’s possible to maintain the rights to any characters that you create while working in comics. If you want to work for one of the big guys like DC or Marvel, however, what you’re doing is work for hire. That means you’re just an employee of said company and any of the characters that you create while writing a Marvel or DC book are not your property, but the property of the company. While young comic creators are more than happy to agree to terms like this when they’re starving and hungry for work, regrets can sometimes develop later on if a character gets popular and starts to bring in huge amounts of revenue. This is especially true now that comic book properties are routinely being developed into big budget films that bring in hundreds of millions of dollars. DC has famously had troubles dealing with the estates of Superman creators Jerry Siegel and Joel Shuster, who have been trying to get back control of the Superman pie for many years, and recently Marvel has had its own batch of troubles thanks to a man named Gary Friedrich. Friedrich worked as a freelancer for the House of Ideas back in the early 70s, and part of his output was the creation of a character named Ghost Rider, a […]

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You’ll forgive me, dear reader, if I admit something to you now – I have never seen the first Ghost Rider. Trust me, this was not out of some misdirected hatred of Nicolas Cage-starring schlock (if Con Air is airing on television, I will drop everything to watch it – everything), it was just the way it shook out. And it looks like I might never have to see that film, as Brian Taylor and Mark Neveldine‘s next installment of the film appears to have just one thing in common with that first crack on the hellion superhero – star Nicolas Cage. That’s really all you need. When FSR hit Comic-Con earlier this year, our own Jack Giroux learned a number of things about the new film, including first and foremost, that this is a standalone story. Consider Ghost Rider removed from my Amazon Wish List for this holiday season. The full trailer for Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance has now careened its way online, and it doesn’t even remotely give a fuck about your stupid rules of the road. Hell, it doesn’t even care that much for the basic rules of mortality. This newest look at the film does not include Cage pissing fire (a shocking letdown), but it does include him vomiting it and whipping it. There are also a bunch of monks with tattoos and a lot of fighting and car-crashing and leather and ugly dudes, so yeah, it’s a Neveldine/Taylor film. Put on a helmet and […]

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Wow. The trailer for Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance contains a lot of chain whip cracking, a lot of skulls on fire, and that wacky flaming vomit/urine combination that got Fure so hot under the collar. Considering the history of the movie and the weight of the first film’s failure that Vengeance carries around its neck, it’s probably a great idea to watch both trailers side by side to see what each production was going for. And whether they achieved it:

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This week, on a very special episode of Reject Radio, Jason Momoa talks Conan, director Joann Sfar talks Gainsbourg, concept designer Jerad Marantz talks rising Apes and Spidey’s costume, and action icon Renny Harlin discusses his latest film 5 Days of War. Plus, our old friend Scott Weinberg goes up against FSR’s own Gwen Reyes in a Movie News Pop Quiz that leads us to talking about sexy animated characters. Don’t judge. You know you think Ariel is the bee’s knees. Listen Here: Download This Episode

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San Diego’s Comic-Con has come and gone once again with 2011 marking my fourth straight year of attendance. Living in Los Angeles, it’s easy for me to shoot down there for the weekend, but beyond that, I actually like Comic-Con, seemingly unlike the majority of my colleagues. It’s only been three days since the Con ended, which means the memories are still fresh and the bones still ache, so it’s a perfect time to pop some Advil and reflect on SDCC, on the good and on the bad. Without further words to flush out the introductory paragraphs on the homepage, I present to you Comic Con 2011: 10 Things I Liked, 5 I Didn’t.

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Unlike Robert Fure, I’m excited for Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance. Like Nathan Adams, I dislike — not hate — the first film and its Myster Science Theater-esque enjoyability. Understandably, there’s a lot skepticism towards this Ghost Rider installment. I mean, who wants to see a sequel to a film that very, very few people actually love? Not many. Lucky for them, this isn’t a sequel. The fact alone that this is a Brian Taylor and Mark Neveldine “superhero” film already gives you a hint that this won’t be a run-of-the-mill action film. They’re out to deliver something dark, bizarre, and one of the few superhero films that doesn’t take itself too seriously. When directors has their lead pissing fire, the odds are something unique is getting made. Here a few things I learned about during the Comic-Con press conference that should make you excited about Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance.

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The fact that anyone would try to make a sequel to the Marvel comic adapting, Nic Cage starring, demon on a flaming motorcycle movie Ghost Rider is a bit of a head scratcher. I mean, that was one of the worst movies I’ve ever seen. Sure, the source material has some value. I can imagine a reimaging, a remake, or a reboot of the Ghost Rider character. But a sequel that brings Nic Cage back? No thanks. Or maybe it’s an idea so crazy it just might work. The first clue that this might be the case is that Spirit of Vengeance has ditched hack director Mark Steven Johnson in favor of a more interesting choice, Crank’s Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor. The second is that some footage from the film was recently shown at Comic Con that is getting a lot of positive buzz on my Twitter feed. Riding high off of that wave of positivity, Spirit of Vengeance’s marketing blitz continues with the first still images from the movie being debuted in the new issue of Empire Magazine. Thanks to some scans that showed up on comicbookmovie.com, we can all take a look.

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On the final big movie day for Comic-Con, Cole, Robert and Jack had their sanity tested and almost passed. Proof of this came at the end of the night when all three ended up delirious in a fancy hotel room watching the Resident Evil movies. What on earth could cause anyone to watch those movies? Exactly. This year’s Con was subdued in a great way. The movie content suffered because of it (in terms of blockbusters and big moments) but it also triumphed because smaller films were able to have their day in the sun. Day One was full of great toys and strange Twilight moments, Day Two had R-rated pizza guys and a Spielbergian explosion, so what did Day Three have in store?

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San Diego Comic-Con is a busy place. No one can cover everything, or even a significant portion of everything. Judgement calls must be made, like sleeping through panels or buying cool toys instead of waiting in line at Hall H. Or you know, just covering A instead of B. I found myself in that situation when it came time for the Sony panel that featured a lot of cool things, including The Amazing Spider-Man and Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance. Instead of suffering though the line at Hall H, which I gladly would have done, I caught up with Spartacus and then went off to see Jason Momoa, the next Conan. Luckily I was able to read all about the Sony panel on Twitter and, well… Shit.

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We’ve been planning hard for nine months, eating entire sheet cakes by ourselves, and now the fruits of our labor will burst forth onto the internet in just a few weeks. It’s Comic-Con season, and we plan to give birth to some incredible content and coverage. Then, we’ll wipe off the afterbirth and hand it to you with a bow on top. We’ll be tackling interviews aplenty, getting the inside information on movies we won’t see for another 3 years, and covering Hall H like pickle sauce on ice cream, but it’s a big job, and we won’t be doing it alone. Fortunately, Jordan Hoffman (champion Reject Radio Movie News Pop Quizzer and Editor over at UGO) has organized a handful of the best movie sites to share coverage. Here’s what we’re all excited for the most and what you can plan on seeing…

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The Nic Cage crazy train just keeps rolling right through the station. Already this year we’ve seen him playing a crazy old man in a wig who sword fights witches in Season of the Witch. Well, get ready to take things to the next level.

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published: 11.21.2014
D
published: 11.21.2014
B+
published: 11.19.2014
C+
published: 11.19.2014
B-, C


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