Trailer: Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance


Ok, the first Ghost Rider wasn’t what one would call something great or even good. I’d say that in the scheme of how we judge films that one was quite awful. Yet, it also had a certain charm which made watching it on cable. Maybe not paying to see it makes it more enjoyable in a “guilty pleasure” sort of way. The fact that 2007’s Ghost Rider actually made a profit is why we have this sequel now set to come out in a couple months.

Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance was suppose to be a sequel, but people involved in the project say it’s a sort of retooling/reboot. Whatever they need to do to make themselves justify this second film is ok by me as long as it’s entertaining in the end. From looking at the trailer, Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance has less of the camp of the previous film and is all about action. Some of the action scenes look to be ludicrous, but cool looking and having directing-duo Neveldine/Taylor of Crank series and Gamer controlling the project means be prepared for even more over-the-top action.

If this film can be entertaining in a grindhouse way despite it’s flaws (like another early year film of Cage’s in 2011, Drive Angry) then I’d say making this second film would’ve been worth the price of admission (at least a matinee-ticket).

Lisa Marie Is Too Annoyed To Show Off Her Golden Globes


I would offer to show you a pair of  golden globes but, quite frankly, looking at this year’s Golden Globe nominations from the Hollywood Foreign Press Association has filled me with a soul-crushing sense of ennui.  The other critics groups and the SAG have at least been interesting and unpredictable.  The Golden Globe nominations, however, appear to be the result of the usual combination of Bandwagon hopping and celebrity ass kissing.  Seriously — the Ides of March for best film?  And George Clooney for best director?  I guess they were really anxious for him to show up.  And don’t even get me started on Rooney Mara’s nomination.  (Seriously, I’m sure Rooney Mara is very sweet for a girl who has never had to actually work a day in her life.)

And, for that matter, just who the Hell is actually in the Hollywood Foreign Press Association and how did they get to be the big Oscar precursors? 

Anyway, here’s the major nominations with some short, vaguely angry commentary from yours truly:

BEST PICTURE: DRAMA

“The Descendants”

“The Help”

“Hugo”

“The Ides of March”

“Moneyball”

“War Horse”

(I haven’t seen War Horse or the Artist yet so obviously, my big angry complaint here is the nomination of The Ides of March.  Seriously, what total BS.)

BEST PICTURE: COMEDY OR MUSICAL

“50/50”

“The Artist”

“Bridesmaids”

“Midnight in Paris”

“My Week With Marilyn”

(I’m happier with these nominees, despite the fact that I think Midnight in Paris was way overrated.)

BEST DIRECTOR

Woody Allen (“Midnight in Paris”)

George Clooney (“The Ides of March”)

Michel Hazanavicius (“The Artist”)

Alexander Payne (“The Descendants”)

Martin Scorsese (“Hugo”)

(Really?  So, if you’re a celebrity, you can get a best director nomination even if the film you made was a turgid, sexist, condescending mess of a movie.)

BEST ACTOR: DRAMA

George Clooney (“The Descendants”)

Leonardo Dicaprio (“J. Edgar”)

Michael Fassbender (“Shame”)

Ryan Gosling (“The Ides of March”)

Brad Pitt (“Moneyball”)

(Was the HFPA so determined not to show any love for Drive that they had to nominate Ryan Gosling for The Ides of March instead?)

BEST ACTRESS: DRAMA

Glenn Close (“Albert Nobbs”)

Viola Davis (“The Help”)

Rooney Mara (“The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo”)

Meryl Streep (“The Iron Lady”)

Tilda Swinton (“We Need to Talk About Kevin”)

(I hate to say it but I’m really starting to resent the fact that I’m going to have to actually sit through The Iron Lady.)

BEST ACTRESS: COMEDY OR MUSICAL

Jodie Foster (“Carnage”)

Charlize Theron (“Young Adult”)

Kristen Wiig (“Bridesmaids”)

Michelle Williams (“My Week With Marilyn”)

Kate Winslet (“Carnage”)

(I’ve been hearing terrible things about Carnage but I guess if the Ides of March is one of the best of the year, than Carnage must be pretty good.)

BEST ACTOR: COMEDY OR MUSICAL

Jean Dujardin (“The Artist”)

Brendan Gleeson (“The Guard”)

Joseph Gordon-Levitt (“50/50”)

Ryan Gosling (“Crazy, Stupid, Love”)

Owen Wilson (“Midnight in Paris”)

(At least someone finally showed Brendan Gleeson some love.)

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS

Berenice Bejo (“The Artist”)

Jessica Chastain (“The Help”)

Janet McTeer (“Albert Nobbs”)

Octavia Spencer (“The Help”)

Shailene Woodley (“The Descendants”)

(So, I guess it’s official now?  We’ve decided to honor Jessica Chastain for The Help as opposed to her better performance in Take Shelter? Then again, Michael Shannon wasn’t nominated for Take Shelter either.  Well, when you’re dealing with a cinematic masterpiece like The Ides of March, what hope does a little film like Take Shelter or Drive have?  Seriously, good job, HFPA.)

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR

Kenneth Branagh (“My Week With Marilyn”)

Albert Brooks (“Drive”)

Jonah Hill (“Moneyball”)

Viggo Mortensen (“A Dangerous Method”)

Christopher Plummer (“Beginners”)

(Odd.  The HFPA missed a chance to toss out another nomination to the Ides of March here.  Still, at least they gave some attention to Hill’s performance, which was the only thing that really made Moneyball a memorable film to me.)

BEST ANIMATED FILM

“The Adventures of Tintin”

“Arthur Christmas”

“Cars 2”

“Puss in Boots”

“Rango”

(Good thing that George Clooney didn’t direct a cartoon this year.)

Here’s the full list of nominees from the Toadsuckers themselves.

 

 

 

Lisa Marie Cries and Cries As She Watches A Dolphin Tale (dir. by Charles Martin Smith)


 

On Wednesday evening, Jeff and I went down to the dollar theater and we finally got around to seeing A Dolphin TaleA Dolphin Tale is one of those movies that I was really enthusiastic about seeing when it first opened in theaters but then, for whatever reason, I just never got around to seeing it.  So, I was happy to have a chance to catch it before it left theaters for a sure-to-be popular life as a video rental.  The film’s trailer led me to suspect that I would cry and cry while watching A Dolphin Tale and I was not disappointed.

This is going to be a pretty simple review because A Dolphin Tale is a pretty simple movie and that’s exactly why it’s a good movie.  The movie tells the true story of Winter, a dolphin who was horribly injured by a crab trap and who lost her tail as a result.  After almost dying, Winter manages to fight back and is soon able to swim again.  However, swimming with no tail is damaging her spine and, unless something can be done, Winter will eventually end up killing herself.  Luckily for Winter, there’s a dedicated and eccentric scientist (played by Morgan Freeman, who can make any line sound like an edict from God) who dedicates himself to building her a prosthetic tail.  Will Freeman be able to get the tail built before Winter has to be put down and, more importantly, will Winter be able to learn how to use the new tail before her new home, the Clearwater Marine Hospital, runs out of money and is sold off to a businessman who wants to turn the place into a hotel?

If you don’t already know the answer then you’ve never seen a movie before.  Yes, A Dolphin’s Tale is predictable and yes, it’s not very subtle about manipulating the audience’s emotions but I don’t care.  The movie is just so sincere and the film’s story is just so inspiring that I had no problem allowing myself to be manipulated.    This is a movie that has a good heart and it’s obvious that for director Smith and for most of the cast (which includes Ashley Judd, Harry Connick, Jr., and Nathan Gamble, along with Freeman) that this film really was a labor of love.  The true star of the film, however, is Winter, who plays herself in this film.

The film itself is in 3-D and yes, there’s about a hundred shots of Winter swimming straight at the camera that were obviously included just because the film was in 3-D but who cares?  Yes, it’s manipulative but it works.  At the film’s end, we see documentary footage of Winter actually being rescued and cared for by the real people who we’ve just seen recreated in the film.  Not a single one of them looks as good as Harry Connick, Jr. or quite as wise as Morgan Freeman but they all look like heroes to me.

Seriously, if this film doesn’t touch you then you have no heart and you are quite possibly a member of the walking dead.