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Post Info TOPIC: DVD / Blu-Ray Reviews | Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance


NIColicious Enchantress

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Date: 5:08 PM, 06/15/12
DVD / Blu-Ray Reviews | Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance
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I think, that is a pretty good bluray-review:

flaming

http://www.craveonline.com/film/reviews/190505-blu-ray-review-ghost-rider-spirit-of-vengeance

flaming



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"When you think about magic, it is imagination plus willpower focused in such a way that you can create a conscious effect in the material world..."

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the mystery master

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Date: 8:31 PM, 06/16/12
RE: Blu-Ray Review: Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance
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I see, that is Johnny Crazy Cage, I should say Craveonline is a great site, also I was wondering why Blackout can eat twinkies, why they didnt carbonize

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NIColicious Enchantress

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Date: 12:03 AM, 06/17/12
RE: Blu-Ray Review: Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance
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LOL. Indeed! Well, maybe they are the only things, that resist such a decomposing touch from Blackout?wink



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Nicalicious

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Date: 3:39 AM, 06/17/12
RE: Blu-Ray Review: Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance
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Becasue twinkies have so many additives and cancer-causing chemicals in them that they never rot.



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NIColicious Enchantress

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Date: 3:57 AM, 06/17/12
RE: Blu-Ray Review: Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance
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Sounds plausible! Thanks, for the explanation, Lady T.! :)

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"When you think about magic, it is imagination plus willpower focused in such a way that you can create a conscious effect in the material world..."

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Nicalicious

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Date: 11:22 AM, 06/18/12
Blu-ray Review: Ghost Rider - Spirit of Vengeance
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Apologies if this has already been posted, I didn't see it anywhere. I like this review quite a bit, I agree some of the things he has to say about the movie and Nic's performance.

http://blogcritics.org/video/article/blu-ray-review-ghost-rider-spirit/

Blu-ray Review: Ghost Rider - Spirit of Vengeance

We now have two Ghost Rider movies and aside from Nicolas Cage, they do not seem to have all that much in common. It is a sequel, albeit a very loose one. Spirit of Vengeance strips away a lot of unnecessary chatter, takes it down to the basics. It is a movie that gets a lot of things wrong, is far from the perfect Ghost Rider movie, and is sure to rub a lot of people the wrong way. Not me. It doesn't hurt that Ghost Rider is not exactly a traditional hero, his supernatural basis opens a lot of different doors to explore for what is still a comic book superhero movie.

Let me be straight with you, if you don't like this movie, I don't care. If you hate this movie, I don't care. I feel downright giddy as I watch this explosion of nonsense unfolding before my eyes. It is a pure stream of consciousness craziness that could only have been told by Neveldine/Taylor, the duo behind the creative, absurdist insanity of the Crank movies. They take their hyperkinetic sensibility and filter it through the supernatural themed comic book and B-movie schlock and throw it up on the screen for all to see. The end result is something to behold, more of an experience than a movie.

Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance is a movie that speaks to the B-movie lover in me. You know, the old B-movies and grindhouse movies where they have cool concepts paired with low budget executions with wildly mixed results, the old Corman films are a good example, with their exploitation actioners and rip offs of A-list movies (think Galaxy of Terror, originally conceived as an Alien knock off). The B-movie landscape has changed, gone are the days of filmmakers making these low-budget gems and taking them out on the road to go on the big screen. These days we have major studios who make A-list budgeted movies to feel a bit like an old B-movie. This is an interesting example of a movie with big intentions but a definite B-movie feel.

This is a movie whose internal logic and plot flow are all over the map. The story tells of a secret religious sect protecting a boy whose existence means something important over the next few days as a prophecy is about to be fulfilled. Well, bad guys with guns storm the Eastern European compound (shot on location in Transylvania) and the boy escapes with his mother, followed by an agent of the sect named Moreau (Idris Elba).

An animated sequence then reintroduces us to Johnny Blaze, telling of the bad deal he made with the devil and what happened to him because of it. We catch up with him on the run, isolating himself, fighting the Rider from coming out, knowing what his coming out means. Moreau tracks him down and says that the Ghost Rider is needed to track down the boy before the Devil, now called Roarke (Ciaran Hinds), and his cronies find him and cause bad things to happen. Blaze reluctantly agrees to help, in exchange for a little help with his unique bi-polar situation.

Bad guys and good guys collide, Ghost Rider takes out those who are evil and tries to save the boy. That is about as deep and involved as it gets. Seriously, this is not a complicated movie. What it does have is a combination of tones, simultaneously goofy, comical , and also very dark. On top of that, it is all wrapped up in a crazy visual explosion that can only be created by Neveldine/Taylor.

Spirit of Vengeance is all flash, what you see is what you get. There are nicely done interludes of animated mythology to fill in a few of the blanks, just try not to get too hooked on the details. There are plenty of leaps of logic to navigate here, it is better to just let it be and go along with it, it makes the movie a lot more fun.

This movie is constantly moving, when the characters aren't moving, the camera is. There is an unstoppable energy to this piece of entertainment. It doesn't hurt that the design of this movie is a big step up from the prior film. Ghost Rider, himself, gets a nice makeover that makes him look more like a charred skeleton and the leather he wears like suitably worn and burned. The bike is no longer a big shiny chopper, it is a massive and old looking bike that feels and looks a lot better to me. The flames now give off smoke and the effect looks great on the screen. It really is an awesome look, it is much creepier and makes him seem more imposing, threatening, and downright evil (in a heroic sort of way).

The performances are good enough for the material. Idris Elba with the weird accent he takes on is very good and Violante Placido is fine as the boys mother. Ciaran Hinds has a suitably evil presence, and Johnny Whitworth is fine as his lacky, Carrigan (I believe he is meant to be Blackout, but I am not sure). There are also appearances from Anthony Stewart Head and Christopher Lambert, a couple of pleasant surprises.

The one guy who brings it all together is Nicolas Cage, the guy so many love to hate. I used to among the anti-Cage-ites, but I must admit that he is winning me over. I mean that. He takes over the top acting and mugging to a whole new level. His work here is hilarious, intense, hypnotic, and bizarre. This is not something that just anybody can do and no one does crazy quite like him.

No, this is not a perfect movie, it is not even a good Ghost Rider story. However, it did touch on a lot of things that I love, the crazy tone, nonstop action, the reckless forward motion. It is a tale that seems to have some internal logic but also defies it at every turn, and does it with a nice visual intensity. This really is a movie to have fun with. I found any desire to pick it apart to be buried before it even started.

Audio/Video. The video is presented in its original aspect ratio of 2.35:1 and looks really good. This transfer shows off what high definition can look like. This movie has a nice mix of dark and light sequences with some very sharp colors and the transfer is more than up to the task of showing them as they should be seen. The flames and resulting smoke look great, there is also a great level of detail seen in closeups, just look at the skull and the burned leather. In the night sequences there is a strong black level and no loss of detail. Very nice to watch.

The audio is up to the task, matching the excellent video. It is  DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track that does a nice job of enveloping the listener, displaying its power across all channels while not downright pummeling your ears. The dialogue is always clear and nicely centered, the score fills out the soundfield with a nice hard rock feel, and the various effects, gunshots, fire, screeching tires, all well directioned. I really liked the first appearance of Ghost Rider, the crazy sounds from the distance mixed with the surprised character reactions and finished with the score paired with the slow reveal of our hero. There is also some great sound mixing done at the quarry scene with the big rocket and the hellfire strip mining machine.

Extras. It should be noted that the 3D Blu-ray release actually has 2 disks, one 3D and one 2D. The extras are actually split between the disks, with the commentary, deleted scenes, and behind the scenes documentary on the 2D disk and one brief featurette about the 3D on the 3D disk. (plus, the 3D disk will play 2D as well, although it doesn't quite look as good).

  • Director's Expanded Video Commentary. I must admit, this is one of the more fun commentaries I have experienced in awhile. There are your usual talky commentaries and ones that include video embeds that take you behind he scenes, but this one is different. It is a full on multimedia show. We get behind the scenes clips, interview clips, picture in picture bits, and traditional commentary bits that take you right into the production, letting you in on some of the secrets and tricks of the trade. Neveldine and Taylor seem like a couple of fun guys who had a blast making this movie. Definitely check this out.
  • Deleted Scenes. A selection of cut bits that wouldn't necessarily hurt the movie, but would definitely alter the pace.
  • The Path of Vengeance. This is broken into six segments and runs for nearly 90-minutes. It features interviews and behind the scenes footage and covers many aspects of the production, from the genesis of the story, to putting together the script and cast, to shooting and the difficulties  it brought, as well as post production and the finishing of the film.
  • Riding into Another Dimension. This featurette is exclusive to the 3D version. It takes a look at how they went about making the desire to shoot 3D a reality and still allow these mad men to shoot the way in which they are accustomed.

Bottomline. I like this movie, a lot. It is crazy and irrational and I am all right with that. You do know it is all right to just enjoy a crazy piece of cinema on its own terms, right? This goofiness broke down my defenses. There is some downright hilarious stuff here, including classic Cage freakouts. There is some good action and I like the effects. I think this would make a nice double feature with Drive Angry.





 



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Faery Queen of Cagealot Castle

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Date: 9:21 PM, 06/20/12
Blu-ray Review | Ghost Rider:Spirit Of Vengeance | Liveforfilms
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 Interesting review, and I enjoyed reading this opinion on Nic!

http://www.liveforfilms.com/2012/06/20/blu-ray-review-ghost-rider-spirit-of-vengeance/

Blu-ray Review – Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance

 

Ghost Rider Banner

Ghost Rider: The Spirit of Vengeance once again sees Nicolas Cage reprise his role as Johnny Blaze/Ghost Rider. Directed by Neveldine/Taylor (Crank) we find Johnny hiding away somewhere in Eastern Europe, still struggling with his curse as the devil’s bounty hunter. When Moreau (Idris Elba), a rather unorthodox leader of a group of rebel monks, offers him a chance to rid himself of the curse forever, in exchange for saving a young boy (Fergus Riordan) from the devil played by Ciarán Hinds, Johnny has to decide if he is willing to take another ride on the highway to hell.

The first thing I feel worth mentioning is that if you haven’t seen the previous movie, fear not, there is a quick montage towards the start of the film that is specifically designed for you. It’s a rather artistic story telling of how Johnny Blaze makes a deal with the Devil and Ghost Rider is born. Although a rather nice visualisation, it’s a storytelling vehicle, somewhat reminiscent of a Fanmade movie you’d expect to pop up on YouTube, that is used a few times in the movie with varying success as it stands out somewhat against the rest of the films style. That said, it does beat the alternative of a rather obvious plot recap by a key character in the film.

One main difference this time round is that Cage plays the part of the CGI enhanced Ghost Rider on-set. At a press conference Cage mentioned that he painted his face in the style of a voodoo skull, carried small ancient Egyptian artefacts and rocks with alleged mystic powers to help stimulate his imagination to believe he really was the character. Add to this the donning of burnt leather duds and accessorising with heavy flaming chains, it’s clear this all went a long way in helping Cage embody The Rider’s persona.

Cage’s portrayal of Johnny Blaze is great. You really feel the conflict within Blaze, who has been able to conquer the thirst from The Rider by living in isolation. A recluse from the outside world, “justice” has not reared it’s ghostly head for some time. However, when thrown back into the real world, the fight for control is on and he walks a dangerously fine line.

On one side he is a man who’s pissed at the world, his motivation is purely selfish, he doesn’t want to be involved in helping anybody but himself, his gravelly, emotionless voice and off the cuff humour, reflects the lonely journey he has traveled, and that’s the lighter side of his character.

The other side (The Rider) is full on crazy, he loves what he does and he has missed it, so when the opportunities arise you can be sure he’s going to take them and cherish every moment. It’s here where Cage pulls out all the stops, the conflict of Blaze trying to suppress The Rider, soon takes centre stage as the manifestation changes from internal to external. There is a wonderful scene (spoilerish – skip to the next paragraph) where Blaze is interrogating a bad guy and allows The Rider to warp and manipulate his face as he momentarily changes and then brings it back, whilst ranting like a mad man on the edge of self-control.

Unfortunately the film seems to stumble from set piece to set piece, there are some good action scenes, with the obligatory “slowmo” falling/shooting/fighting thrown in for good measure. The story is a rather underwhelming, saving kids, breaking deals and falling in love. It all seems just a little obvious and unoriginal.

One saving grace of the film (the other being the talent of Nicolas Cage and his well documented love of the Marvel Comic – he even has tattoo of the character) is by far the visual effects. The Rider is bad-ass and looks über realistic – one issue I had with the original was the whiter then white skull, yes it follows the same style as the comics, but it’s always bothered me there too – this time round it’s, grungy, charred, burnt, oily and downright more fitting of somebody who’s head is on fire, you can almost feel the heat coming off the screen. We also witness the ability of The Rider to transfer his fiery Flames of Hell to other vehicles then just his own Hell Cycle, this works great as it brings another dimension to the myth and provides some great opportunities for the effects guys to really show off the CGI flames they have perfected since the previous film.

The action runs fast and the flames hot, but just when things seem to be picking up, we slow right back down again as more plot and character building come into play. Its all very stop, start, stop, start. The rest of the cast seem to pale in significance against Cage, they are there but 15 minutes after the film has ended you don’t remember much about there roles and although Idris Elba throws in a good turn as Moreau as with the rest it’s all somewhat forgettable. It is nice however to see Christopher Lambert pop up on screen as a Tattooed Priest in a semi cameo role.

Ghost Rider Spirit of Vengeance is an entertaining film, but for my liking it hasn’t quite got the strengths of many of the comic book adaptations produced of late, it lacks sophistication and true direction. I don’t think this will be on the top of many “must see” lists, but if you want to see Nicolas Cage having fun with a role he feels very passionately about and have a spare hour and a half, give it a try.

Reviewed by Mark Wassmer.

Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance is out on Blu-ray in the UK from 25th June.

The transfer is great although Neveldine and Taylor’s trademark raw graininess carries over so be warned. The Rider pops of the screen and you just wish there were more scenes involving him as he looks so good.

With over 2.5 hours of extras on the Blu-ray there is a lot of interesting things to see.

There is a 90 minute making of documentary which is worth the price alone. You can see that shooting in Transylvania was tricky and getting hold of the film equipment would have made a whole feature documentary. It involved travelling to India amongst other things. It is also incredible seeing how Neveldine and Taylor work. You will have heard of how they roller bladed and leaped off cliffs to get the shots, but to actually see it happening is incredible.

The best moments are seeing Cage as the Rider before the CG character is put in place. With his skull makeup and dark contacts he looks crazier than he has ever seen before. The cast and crew also mention that when he was portraying the Rider Cage did not speak to anyone as he stayed in character.

You can see genuine fear on some of the actors faces as Cage grabs them and pulls them closer to his face.

Blu-Ray Extras:

  • Back in Black: Stories from the Set
  • Vehicle of Vengeance
  • Riding into Another Dimension (in 3D)
  • The Path of Vengeance: Making Ghost Rider 2
    • Blazing a new path
    • Patience is not a virtue
    • To Hell and back
    • We will burn this City to bitter ashes
    • Walking in both Worlds
    • The Fires of Hell will purify you
  • Deleted and Extended Scenes


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the mystery master

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Date: 10:43 PM, 06/21/12
RE: Blu-ray Review | Ghost Rider:Spirit Of Vengeance | Liveforfilms
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Extremely delirious about this RATHER delicious, also the best review so far Lula! Only four days away before you get a copy, innit?

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Nicalicious

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Date: 7:02 AM, 06/22/12
RE: Blu-ray Review | Ghost Rider:Spirit Of Vengeance | Liveforfilms
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Yes, I enjoyed it too, and agree with much of what was said. It really is Nic's movie, he does dominate, but that is okay by me!



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