• A Review Page For Those Movies You Watch At Home!

    Couch Potato Movie Reviews is, obviously, a blog that exclusively reviews movies. What makes this blog different is the fact that all of the films we are reviewing are all movies that are available on home movie rental companies such as Redbox, Netflix, Blockbuster, and your quickly disappearing neighborhood rental store. This blog is designed to take a more detailed look at those movies that either were sent straight to DVD, received a very limited release in the theaters, or were distributed through the art house or film festival circuit. We will also review those big Hollywood films, but only after they are available for home viewing.

    All the reviews are written by fans of the great art of film making rather than some newspaper reviewer or stuffy film student. We don’t know everything about film but we do know what we like, and we are more than happy to share our opinions with you. What you do with those opinions are totally up to you, although comments are welcome and encouraged.

    Each film review has a one to five star rating at the end of the critique. Here is what those star ratings mean for you couch potatoes:

    * * * * * : Five stars: go and buy this one, don’t just rent it!

    * * * * : Four stars: put this at the top of your rental list.

    * * * : Three stars: average, not bad just not great either.

    * * : Two stars: only rent if you have to see everything.

    * : One star: don’t waste your time with this.

Ghost Rider

TITLE: Ghost Rider

YEAR: 2007

GENRE: Superhero/Comics

Ever since the advent of computer generated special effects there have been truly spectacular looking comic book adaptations released to the market. Back in 2002 or 2003 these films were looked at by fans in amazement, but by 2006 superhero films with high tech CGI were becoming a common occurrence and fans wanted more from the film makers. The main aspect desired by the die-hard comic book fans would be a quality storyline that is faithful to the comic book legends. As a result, there are some superhero films that may be high on budget and effects but rank low in overall quality and storytelling, and let us be honest in that storytelling is the most important aspect of film no matter how flashy the finished product may be. Unfortunately Ghost Rider is one of those comic book adaptations that may have a fantastic look but lacks in quality writing. 

Johnny Blaze (played by Nicolas Cage) sells his soul to Mephistopheles (Peter Fonda) in order to save his father from the ravages of cancer, Mephistopheles does not collect on the debt at the time of the signing but promises to return someday to complete the contract. Blaze is now an adult and a world-renowned motorcycle daredevil managed by Mack (Donal Logue). Mephistopheles’ son Blackheart (Wes Bentley) comes to earth with several demons to find his father’s contracts and to take over the planet. In order to combat this Mephistopheles turns Blaze into the Ghost Rider, a mythical figure who is judge, jury, and executioner over the evil souls on Earth. Assisted by The Caretaker (Sam Elliott), the Ghost Rider must destroy Blackheart and his demons in order to save the planet from demonic forces as well as winning Blaze’s soul.

Ghost Rider has all the bells and whistles in terms of the special effects and has some awesome effects such as when the Ghost Rider screams down the streets on his supped-up skull chopper, but the movie is missing the basic storytelling element that are essential in a truly good comic book adaptation. Many of the characters are fairly one-dimensional and missing maturity especially Blackheart who lacks any character development such as his intentions or any background. Another wasted character is reporter and Blaze love interest Roxanne Simpson (Eva Mendes) who does little more than look pretty and show ample cleavage. Although there are the usual big explosions and fairly creative death sequences throughout, Ghost Rider does not come across as very exciting or even interesting at times and just does not have the attitude that the great superhero films have. It is just there, and Ghost Rider needs to be more than a simple theatrical existence in order to be more engaging to the fans.

Ghost Rider was a financial success for Columbia and a sequel called Ghost Rider: Spirit Of Vengeance starring Cage (who happens to be a giant fan of the comic book franchise and campaigned heartedly since the inception of the first film’s initial idea to be the lead character) has been green lighted and is due to hit the multiplexes sometime in 2012. I know that many fans are hoping and to an extent praying for a better version of one of Marvel’s more obscure characters, and this version of Ghost Rider is just a movie that is there. I wish I could give a deeper and more meaningful review, but Ghost Rider does not create a special response in one way or another. The superhero film genre is a fierce and extremely competitive market, and films like Ghost Rider are left in the collective dust. Ghost Rider is only for the die-hard comic fanatics who have to see literally everything.

* *

–Mark

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