Easy Rider (1969)

Director: Dennis Hopper

Writer: Peter Fonda, Dennis Hopper, Terry Southern (Screenplay)

Starring: Peter Fonda, Dennis Hopper, Antonio Mendoza, Phil Spector, Jack Nicholson

 

Plot: Two counterculture bikers travel from Los Angeles to New Orleans in search of America.

 

Runtime: 1 Hour 35 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Wonderful Cultural Event

 

Story: Easy Rider starts as our two hippies Wyatt (Fonda) and Billy (Hopper) pick up their parcel in LA, which leaves them to set out on their adventure to New Orleans for Mardi Grad. Along the way they spend time with fellow hippies before finding themselves in jail.

George Hanson (Nicholson) the town drunk lawyer gets them out of jail and gets invited along to New Orleans with the two and as they continue their journey they must deal with being treated differently.

 

Thoughts on Easy Rider

 

Characters – Wyatt is one of the two friends travelling, he is the more laid back of the two keeping Billy in line when he starts to question moments and never finding himself too out of it on the drugs. Billy is the friend that just wants to get the job done, though when he stops he takes more grass than he needs to have. George Hanson is a lawyer that has a drinking problem, he helps the two get out of jail and joins them on their adventure across country enjoying the drugs for the first time.

PerformancesThe performances from Peter Fonda and Dennis Hopper are both great, they completely embrace their characters with their own unique look to defying the hippie era. Jack Nicholson in the supporting role is great too showing just the talent he was going to show us all.

StoryThe story here shows us two hippies travelling across America, which for the time of release would have been one of the truest movies you could see in a story, but not it feels like a glimpse into the past events in America, which once again shows us how American can’t treat people equal. If you have never studied the hippie era you won’t understand most of the story if I am being honest because it is an moment that doesn’t connect to all.

AdventureThe adventure the two friends go on does take them across America, but it is hard to figure out which state they are in for the most part.

SettingsThe settings are hard to tell about in this film, the only one I could pick out was the airport in LA at the beginning.


Scene of the Movie –
The first night the three are together.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Not understand the direction of their trip.

Final ThoughtsThis is a film that was cultural relevant for the time of release, it hasn’t dated by the best standard and now leaves us watching a time that if you never lived through you wouldn’t understand.

 

Overall: One of the culture books.

Rating

 

 

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Ghost Rider (2007)

logoDirector: Mark Steven Johnson

Writer: Mark Steven Johnson (Screenplay)

Starring: Nicolas Cage, Peter Fonda, Brett Cullen, Wes Bentley, Eva Mendes, Sam Elliott

Plot: Stunt motorcyclist Johnny Blaze gives up his soul to become a hellblazing vigilante, to fight against power hungry Blackheart, the son of the devil himself.

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

Verdict: Just For Fun

Story: Ghost Rider starts by telling us the legend of the Ghost Rider who has to collect souls for the Devil but one Ghost Rider decided to go against the Devil and run, but enough about legends and stories for now. It is time to meet a young Johnny Blaze (Long) a young stunt bike rider getting taught about the trade by his father Barton (Cullen). Young Johnny gets a visit from Mephistopheles (Fonda) offer Johnny a deal to save his fathers life. Naively Johnny signs the contract which will give Mephistopheles his soul when he is ready for it, but we know the Devil always plays games and it is only a day before Mephistopheles cashes in his debt threatening to come back for Johnny in the future after he kills Barton. Johnny has to leave everything including his love Roxanne and start his own life alone.

Johnny (Cage) now a world famous stunt rider who has been cheating death every time he gets on his bike as he waits for Mephistopheles to come back and cash in. Mack (Logue) is Johnny’s best friend and only person who Johnny will remotely listen to about advice and when Johnny plans his next jump Mack has to try to talk Johnny out of it. Blackheart (Bentley) turns up from nowhere heading right for a biker bar but Blackheart just so happens Mephistopheles son who has plans to take over the world betraying Mephistopheles.

When Johnny meets the grown up version of Roxanne (Mendes) he goes for his first interview before trying to rekindle his romance with her at the same time Mephistopheles decides to cash in his contract turning Johnny into the Ghost Rider. Mephistopheles wants Johnny to stop his son Blackheart’s plan to take over the world, as Johnny ends up having to learn how to control both sides of his new persona as the Rider only appears at night fighting crime and taking no prisoners.

Ghost Rider is a film that I only ever heard for bad things about this one so I went in with very little expectation. I was slightly surprised with the final outcome of this film, I found this an interesting fun film but just not to expect one of the overall spectacle that other comic book films. I liked the idea of the origin story for a comic book character I know nothing about but I did find the overall story slightly clichéd and very safe. This could be an easy watch and I do feel like it gets wrongly slammed, this is just fun nothing more nothing less. (5/10)

Actor Review

Nicolas Cage: Johnny Blaze is the world famous stunt rider who as a teenager sold his soul to save his father only be betrayed, after his father dies he goes onto become the icon he is but Mephistopheles has been waiting to cash in turning Johnny into the Ghost Rider. As the Ghost Rider Johnny must fight crime and stop Blackheart from taking over the world. Nicolas does give us a solid performance in a role he wanted to play. (6/10)jhnny

Wes Bentley: Blackheart is the son of Mephistopheles who has come from hell to try and take over the world, he goes up against the Ghost Rider who is sent to stop him. Calm and articulated he wants to talk his opponent to death but is equal as tough when it comes to combat. Wes gives us a standard performance but doesn’t reach the levels you would expect from his ability. (5/10)blackheart

Eva Mendes: Roxanne Simpson is a ghost from Johnny’s past and now a reporter trying to find out about the mysterious deaths happening around Texas, she tries to rekindle her romance with Johnny but his new identity cause problems with that happening. Eva gives a solid supporting role but ends up being the clichéd supporting comic book character. (5/10)roxanne

Peter Fonda: Mephistopheles is the devil himself who makes deals so he can have Ghost Riders take the evil souls that make deals with him, when his son tries to escape from hell he has to send his new Ghost Rider in search for his son and stop him from taking over his world. Peter makes a solid devil character but doesn’t get the most screen time. (5/10)mephitophelse

Support Cast: Ghost Rider has a supporting cast that includes Johnny’s stunt team, Blackheart’s side demons and The Caretaker (Sam Elliott) who advices Johnny through his transition.

Director Review: Mark Steven JohnsonMark gives us a solid entry into the world of comic book films, it isn’t on the level of Nolan but sure just gives us a good fun film. (6/10)

Action: Ghost Rider has very generic action scenes where the fights all work but give us nothing memorable. (6/10)

Fantasy: Ghost Rider brings us into the fantasy world of devils and demons along with a mythical Ghost Rider, it all works well but never giving us anything special. (7/10)

Thriller: Ghost Rider doesn’t give us much to wonder about because we know this is an origin story and they won’t pull too many surprises here. (5/10)

Settings: Ghost Rider keeps everything very simple in the settings side of the story but nothing that is used to make any scene memorable. (5/10)
Special Effects: Ghost Rider has solid effects with the creations of Ghost Rider and Blackheart most are clear CGI but they all would have been very difficult to achieve practical effects wise. (6/10)

Suggestion: Ghost Rider is one for the comic book fans to try, I feel they will enjoy the fun side of the story rather than the new serious side of comic book levels. (Comic Book Fans Try)

Best Part: First transformation.

Worst Part: Not the most original with the storyline.

Action Scene Of The Film: The Rider chases up the side of a building.

Believability: No (0/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: Has one sequel.

Post Credits Scene: No

Oscar Chances: No

Box Office: $115 Million

Budget: $110 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 54 Minutes

Tagline: His Curse Will Become His Power

Trivia: Nicolas Cage had to have his Ghost Rider tattoo covered with make-up to play Johnny Blaze.

Overall: Fun but not breathtaking addition to the comic book film.

Rating 55

Trailer Alert – The Harvest

Plot – A couple who keeps their sick son in a secluded environment find their controlled lives challenged by a young girl who moves in next door.

Release Date: Non Set for UK

Stars:

  • Samantha Morton (In America)
  • Michael Shannon (Take Shelter)
  • Natasha Calis (The Possession)
  • Charlie Tahan (I Am Legend)
  • Peter Fonda (Easy Rider)

 

Director: John McNaughton (Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer)

Highlight of the Trailer: Mystery is still kept like that.

What Looks Good? Concept looks interesting without giving everything away.

What Looks Bad? It was made in 2013 what is the hold up?

Summary: Any film that gets it’s released delayed really puts a big question mark over how good it really will be. I do like the idea that looks like it is filled with twists and turns that will keep us guessing.

Questions:

Will I Be Watching? Yes

Will You Be Watching?

My Anticipation Rating – 70%

My Guess Rating – 60%

Will It Be Number One In UK? – No

The Boondock Saints II: All Saints Day (2009)

logoDirector: Troy Duffy

Writer: Troy Duffy (Screenplay) Troy Duffy, Taylor Duffy (Story)

Starring: Sean Patrick Flanery, Norman Reedus, Billy Connolly, Clifton Collins Jr, Julie Benz, David Della Rocco, Brian Mahoney, Peter Fonda

 

Plot: For the last 8 years the brothers have been living with their father on a sheep farm deep in isolated Ireland. One day their uncle tells them that they have been framed for the murder of a Bostonian Catholic priest. The boys must return to Boston to not only clear their names but find the men who framed them.

 

Verdict: The Saints Are Back

 

Story: This time with the story we see how things have changed since the Saints have left, new crime bosses have raised up but the same cop are still there. The boys get tricked into returning to the city to avenge the murder of a priest in the style they used. The Saints return to clear their name and take down everyone involved. They have a new hot shot FBI agent after them and with her style the cops get worried they will be exposed for what happened in the first film. Everything comes together for a much bigger picture and the story is left open for another sequel. (8/10)

 

Actor Review

 

Sean Patrick Flanery/Norman Reedus: Connor and Murphy MacManus the original saints who have returned to Boston to clear their names and make the people responsible for a priest’s murder to rest. It is hard to look at these two separate as they are near identical and both give great performances. (8/10)

 saints

Billy Connolly: Poppa the boy’s father who was a deadly assassin which we met in the first film, we learn more about his backstory this time around. Good supporting performance given an equally as good as performance from the first film. (8/10)

 

Clifton Collins Jr: Romeo a hot shot Mexican who joins the boys in the newest killing spree, using his connection to expose the criminal’s location. Good performance turning up as Rocco’s replacement with good standard. (7/10)

 romeo

Julie Benz: Special Agent Eunice the student of Paul the FBI agent from the first film, she is an equal to him with her style and ability to dissect a crime scene. Good performance and welcome addition to the cast. (7/10)

 benz

Director Review: Troy Duffy – Continuing his Saints storyline well here keeping everything similar but telling a bigger story. (7/10)

 

Action: Plenty of action used throughout the film. (8/10)

Thriller: You always want to know what will happen next and what the bigger picture really is. (9/10)

Settings: Good settings used but also very generic. (8/10)

Suggestion: This is one for the action fans out there, I think if you like the first one you will enjoy this too. (Action Fan Watch)

 

Best Part: Introduction of a bigger story.

Worst Part: Bit similar to first one.

Action Scene Of The Film: Final Shoot out

Believability: No (0/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: Left open to another one

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: No

Box Office: $10 Million

Budget: $8 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 58 Minutes

 

Overall: Solid Action With Likeable Leads

Rating 75