Ever since Sony first started talking about a Ghost Rider sequel, it sounded like a terrible idea. Sure, the first movie made $228 million worldwide, but it satisfied neither fans nor critics, and left no one with any interest in seeing the story continued. But after choosing Crank directors Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor to take over the reins, the franchise now seems to be doing a complete 180. The footage from Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance that screened at the San Diego Comic-Con this year had a lot of people buzzing, and word on the street is that it's 100 times more violent and badass than Mark Steven Johnson's first film. This week a few official photos from the movie have turned up online, and although we don't get a glimpse of Ciarán Hinds as The Devil, we do get to see some new flaming skull effects and Idris Elba, who plays "an alcoholic warrior monk tasked with finding Ghost Rider." I trust that Neveldine and Taylor know how to use Nic Cage to his fullest potential, and with any luck this movie will deliver the gritty over-the-top mayhem that I was hoping to get from Drive Angry. Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance also co-stars Christopher Lambert, Johnny Whitworth and Violante Placido, and it hits theatres on February 17th, 2012. Check out the photos after the jump.
Western meets sci-fi flick is full of 'nifty scenes,' but 'unappealing' overall, critics say. By Terri Schwartz
Harrison Ford and Daniel Craig in "Cowboys and Aliens" Photo: Universal
With a concept as inspired as "Cowboys & Aliens" and an A-list cast that brings together James Bond and Indiana Jones themselves, it's hard to imagine what could possibly have gone wrong between bringing the movie from the production room to the big screen. MTV's Splash Page blog found a lot to love about the movie despite its flaws, but other critics have not been so kind.
Maybe it was the fact that director Jon Favreau took the summer blockbuster too seriously. Fans hoping for a tongue-in-cheek mash-up of a Western and an alien movie are in for a straight-laced action flick without a lot of room for humor, like in Favreau's "Iron Man" films. Even the movie's charismatic leads couldn't rescue "Cowboys & Aliens" from its identity crisis, critics are saying.
Still, there was plenty to love about the movie as well. "Cowboys & Aliens" is certainly a fun ride to take this summer, so before you head to the multiplex this weekend, take a gander at the "Cowboys & Aliens" reviews we lassoed up for you.
The Story "The whole aliens-on-the-frontier incongruity never comes to much, really. There are nifty scenes, like the horseback riders battling silvery skeletal airplanes, but what 'Cowboys & Aliens' lacks is a good story. Basically, the characters — [Daniel] Craig's enigmatic outlaw, [Harrison] Ford's scowling boss, a tribe of Apache — must put aside their differences to form a posse and defeat the invaders. Who do we care about onscreen? For all of Craig's edgy charisma, no one. 'Cowboys & Aliens' has fun moments, but it's a plodding entertainment because it mostly tastes like leftovers." — Owen Gleiberman, Entertainment Weekly
The Leading Men "In Daniel Craig, the movie has what feels awfully like the second coming of Steve McQueen. Maybe it's the laser blue eyes under the broad forehead, or the laconic refusal to speak except when absolutely necessary, but Craig has a presence here that feels downright mythic. ... The chance to be as mean as he wants to be energizes [Ford], whose storied crankiness finally finds a home. It's a character part, and you can sense Ford's relief at letting another man shoulder the load. Consciously or not, there's a generational passing of the baton just under this movie's surface, and it helps immensely that Craig's up to the task." — Ty Burr, The Boston Globe
The Cowboys and the Aliens "In Hollywood's ancient prime, maybe a third of all movies were Westerns. But those days are as dead as the horse-mounted cavalry; in the past 30 years, the genre has been resuscitated only when some powerful director wanted to make a movie like the ones he grew up loving. So 'Cowboys & Aliens' has got to get to the aliens pretty damn quick. Even here, Favreau and his crew sprinkle a few memorable moments: the aliens' low-flying scout planes, looking like 10-winged titanium dragonflies and lassoing the townspeople for abduction; a desert vision of an upside-down steamship, which momentarily summons the ghost of Werner Herzog's 'Fitzcarraldo'; and the recurring image of Craig retrieving his cowboy hat, whether he's fighting off human varmints or escaping from the aliens' stronghold. A man ain't a man without his Stetson." — Richard Corliss, Time
The Concept "Cowboys versus aliens is a concept that may make you smile in anticipation, but wipe that smile off your face before buying your ticket, because the film takes its subject seriously — deadly seriously in the case of Harrison Ford, who plays a nasty rancher with the snarls and scowls that have become his trademarks, as if in penance for being so charming in the past. One interesting twist has a posse of cowboys teaming up with the Apaches they fear in order to vanquish the aliens, but the storytelling, punctuated by incoherent flashbacks, is often inscrutable." — Joe Morgenstern, The Wall Street Journal
The Final Word "A leaden mash-up of western and science-fiction elements that ends up noisy, grotesque and unappealing, this Jon Favreau-directed film features five producers (including Brian Grazer and Ron Howard), six executive producers (Steven Spielberg and Ryan Kavanaugh among them) and six credited writers, led by 'Star Trek' rebooters Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci and 'Lost's' Damon Lindelof. No wonder the film plays like a business deal more than a motion picture. Listed as a producer, not a writer, is Scott Mitchell Rosenberg, whose concept for the original graphic novel inspired the film. That's right, 'Cowboys' doesn't even retell the story the graphic novel does; it sets out on its own. This is not a satisfying journey." — Kenneth Turan, The Los Angeles Times
HBO?s acclaimed fantasy series 'Game of Thrones' has pleased network executives ? but they are uncertain about how long the show can be on the air - given that author George R.R. Martin has yet to finish the books.
If this has been the summer or the year of the “good, but not great” movie, Cowboys & Aliens stands just a bit taller than most. It wears its spurs a little prouder. It slings its gun a little faster. Whichever metaphor you prefer, Jon Favreau has crafted a loving new vision of the Western [...]
Ahhhh, Comic-Con! It's a place for movie gossip, a place for celebrity sightings and, of course, a place for seeing full-grown adults dressed up in spandex superhero suits without so much as a hint of embarrassment. But, above all, it is a place for GEEKS. Which is why, when MTV News' Josh Horowitz got a [...]
With the sudden resurgence of anthology films over the past few years, it only makes sense that one of the ultimate horror anthology franchises would make a comeback as well. What doesn't make sense, however, is that they would change the popular format so that it is no longer an anthology! That's right, the Cryptkeeper himself is looking to make a return to the airwaves sometime in the near future, with a brand new Tales from the Crypt TV series being developed and pitched to broadcast networks shortly. However, they are pitching it as an ongoing series that will follow a group of characters from the comics "in a more modern context." Original Crypt series producer Gil Adler is teaming with Eureka co-creator Andrew Cosby to launch the new show. Based on the EC Comics from the 1950s, the original Tales from the Crypt series aired on HBO from the late '80s to the mid '90s and ran for 7 seasons. It eventually led to a couple of spin-off films (Demon Knight and Bordello of Blood) and even a Saturday morning cartoon for kids. It sounds unlikely that the new series would also find a home at HBO, although HBO's sister site Cinemax is being discussed as a possibility. While I'm sure there are a lot of horror fans who would love to see Tales from the Crypt on TV again, something about this new approach doesn't feel like Tales from the Crypt. They seem to be assuming that today's audiences want serialized shows with continuing storylines, but I don't think that is necessarily the case. If I'm not mistaken, Masters of Horror did quite well, and there's something about one-shot stories that allow for more experimentation and creativity. What do you think, would you watch a new Tales from the Crypt series that's not an anthology?
The SciFi Channel original series Stargate Atlantis has been off the air for two and a half years, but that doesn?t mean it?s forgotten to fans. (And kudos to us for appropriately calling the network SciFi instead of Syfy.) Now, the entire series is available on Blu-ray for the first time in a snazzy box [...]