Contradicting Popular Opinion:
An Enquiry Concerning Why Your Favorite Movie Sucks
Intro, Uptight Maggie
Here is a cartoon for you. (Sadly, I feel that I might need to explain which songs are being combined to my younger readers.)
Mash ups are easier than they probably should be. One can account for this by examining the narrow spectrum of that which is done in popular music. It’s a world of 4/4 time, verse-chorus-verse-chorus etc and so on. Unlikely pairs become comparable because, both literally and figuratively, there are only so many notes to be played.
The same can be said for the world of cinema.
While some folks draw a distinction between films and movies based on whether they are considered high or low art, we will do no such things here at CPO. Oscar winners and so-called exploitation films are very often made of the same parts. If you are watching a slasher movie, you should know that the sexually active woman is going to be punished. Is you are watching Forrest Gump, you should know that Jenny is going to punished for her sexuality. In the end, isn’t Jason Vorhees a more humane killer than AIDS?
Q: What is the real difference between a TV “Movie of the Week” and a big budget prestige biopic?
A; Money, and the title. The latter have names like A Beautiful Mind and The Aviator. The former have names like Satan’s School for Girls or The Positively True Adventures of the Alleged Texas Cheerleader-Murdering Mom.
This of course brings us to:
Ghost Rider VS The Departed
We’re just going to do a little compare and contrast here. You at home can decide who wins the war on points.
The Departed: A trilogy of Hong Kong gangster flicks originally released from 2002-2003.
Ghost Rider: The classic story “Faust” by means of Marvel comic books.
The Departed: A loner who is still struggling with his father’s, not very recent, death. He straddles the line of good and evil, becoming a reluctant anti-hero.
Ghost Rider: A loner who is still struggling with his father’s, not very recent, death. He straddles the line of good and evil, becoming a reluctant anti-hero.
The Departed: Oscar nominee Leonardo DiCaprio is poorly cast here and spends the movie doing an ugly Boston accent.
Ghost Rider: Oscar winner Nicolas Cage is poorly cast here and plays Johnny Blaze as if he were a lethargic Elvis Presley.
The Departed: A plot device of questionable necessity. She isn’t particularly memorable or developed as a character. Editing her out of the film wouldn’t change the story noticeably. You might have seen the actress before in a Denzel Washington movie.
Ghost Rider: A plot device of questionable necessity. She isn’t particularly memorable or developed as a character. Editing her out of the film wouldn’t change the story noticeably. You might have seen the actress before in some Denzel Washington movies.
Evil Father Figure
The Departed: Easy Rider‘s Jack Nicholson.
Ghost Rider: Easy Rider‘s Peter Fonda.
Honorable Father Figure
The Departed: Gettysburg‘s Martin Sheen.
Ghost Rider: Gettysburg‘s Sam Elliot.
The Departed: Sullivan, he’s like an evil and less masculine version of our protagonist.
Ghost Rider: Blackheart, he’s like an evil and less masculine version of our protagonist.
Pudgy Guy who was going to be helpful to our hero before being killed off unceremoniously
The Departed: Anthony Anderson, known for his comedic roles in movies and on television.
Ghost Rider: Donal Logue, known for his comedic role in movies and on television.
What does the film profess to be about?
The Departed: The subtle distinctions between the good guys and the bad guys, and the dangers of exposing oneself to the world of evil for the purposes of good.
Ghost Rider: The dangers of exposing oneself to the world of evil for the purposes of good, and that each of us is responsible for our own redemption.
What is each film really about?
The Departed: Cutesy violence and misanthropy/ emoting into cellphones.
Ghost Rider: Cutesy violence and property damage/ a flaming skeleton with S and M gear.
Number of “goofs” listed on IMDB
The Departed: Currently, thirty-seven
Ghost Rider: Currently, four
The lesson here: I enjoyed Ghost Rider way too much. Sure, it sets up rules only to break them, and Eva Mendes is outacted by her own cleavage, and the villain is that kid who thought a plastic bag was dancing just for him, and Ghost Rider defeats enemies in the least inspired ways possible, and there’s gratuitous jelly bean drinking, and, then there is the whole time dilation portion of the flick. You see, Young Johnny Blaze broke up with his girlfriend Roxanne. They were about the same age. In their years apart, Johnny Blaze spent his time as a stuntman. Meanwhile, Roxanne was traveling on a spaceship that moved at no less than half the speed of light (0.5 c). When they met again, twenty years later, Roxanne had only aged ten years. It’s never addressed on camera, though.
The whole movie is goofier than a pet coon, but damn is it fun, nearly Action Jackson levels of fun.
I’ve got an idea for a sequel. We start with Ghost Rider being badass for like 5 minutes with the Henry Rollins song “Ghost Rider” blasting at full volume. Then we jump into one of the classic Ghost Rider stories like …
Wait, wait, don’t tell me.
Maybe we could just have him fight velociraptors that also happen to be Nazis! Velnaziraptors!