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April 2007

April 2007: Travel

Gallery

Columns

  • EMG News:
    News for April
  • Healthy Green Artists:
    Dye Trying
  • Behind the Art:
    Vector Art in Flash
  • Myths and Symbols:
    A Harmonic Connection of Body and Soul
  • Wombat Droppings:
    Studio Space

    Features

  • Creative Commons
  • Traveling for Inspiration

    Fiction

  • Fiction: Travel Advice
  • Fiction: Pieces of Who I Used to Be
  • Fiction: ALCAN Daisy
  • Fiction: The Path

    Reviews

  • Movie: Hantu Jeruk Purut
  • Movie: Ghost Rider


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  • Ghost Rider
    Movie Review
    by Georgette Tan

    Genre: Action / Fantasy / Thriller
    Director: Mark Steven Johnson
    Language: English
    Cast: Nicolas Cage, Eva Mendes, Donal Logue, Wes Bentley, Peter Fonda, Sam Elliott.
    URL: Official Website

    Ghost Rider is cool in the action film kind of way. There are plenty of stunt, explosions and special effects. It's an easy to follow plot and Eva Mendez's character doesn't seem to own a shirt that buttons up over her cleavage. A winning combination all around.

    The first half of the prologue tells of a rider who made a deal with the Devil and acted as a bounty hunter for wayward souls. There was something about a contract involving thousand souls of some dusty old town, which the first Ghost Rider finds so horrifying that he "outran" the Devil instead of handing it over.

    We're not sure why the Devil didn't smite him down right there and then, maybe he only knew as much as we do about the contract... which is (a) there are 1000 souls, and (b) it is horrifying.

    In the second half of the prologue, Young Johnny Blaze (Matt Long) makes a deal with the Devil to save his father's life. In exchange, his soul belongs to Mephistopheles (Peter Fonda), who called him the best rider he's ever seen and that Johnny will be called to serve him when the time comes.

    Johnny only realises what he did when his father is cured of cancer, but proceeds to die during one of his stunts. The tragedy of that and that his soul is no longer his own drives him to abandon plans of eloping with his sweetheart Roxanne Simpson (Raquel Alessi). He leaves town.

    And we finally get to the present, only to find that Johnny Blaze didn't age well because he grew up to be Nicholas Cage with hair. He is the most exciting stunt rider of the time, packing huge stadiums with people who want to see him do his death-defying jumps. He also has his eccentricities, like eating jellybeans out of a martini glass and getting mentally prepped up for his jumps with a blast of The Carpenters.

    Roxanne, all grown up as Eva Mendez, strolls back into his life. It is established that they are both still in love and want to get back together. Unfortunately, Mephistopheles chooses that moment to intervene, sending Johnny to stop his son Blackheart (Wes Bentley) from finding the contract and... I dunno, stop him from ruling the world too, I suppose.

    The son of the Devil is assisted by a team of henchmen, fallen angels who each rule an element of earth except for fire, which is claimed by the Ghost Rider. Together, they look like a Goth version of Captain Planet and the Planeteers.

    At night and in the presence of evil, Johnny goes from stunt biker with a history to a fiery skeleton with a hot bike and an attitude problem. His first jaunt against the boys of the dark side is a feast to the eyes.

    Johnny finds himself at a church graveyard at the end of his first outing as Ghost Rider. The Caretaker (Sam Elliot) seems to know an awful lot about his new alter ego and steps in as the role of mentor.

    Between juggling a night job as Ghost Rider and trying to win Roxanne back, Johnny has his hands full. Nicholas Cage actually doesn't look too bad with that hairstyle. Too bad it goes up in flames every night.

    ,

    Georgette Tan writes for a Malaysian newspaper. She is fond of movies, long walks on the beach and clichés.
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