Ghost Rider

Given all the Marvel Comics superheroes who’ve yet to make it to the silver screen, Captain America, Thor, and Doctor Strange among them, it’s hard to believe that a movie like “Ghost Rider” ever got made. The character, a ridiculous flaming-skulled emissary of Satan, rides around and metes out infernal justice while on…a tricked out motorcycle. On the ludicrous-o-meter, the concept is just a notch above the Silver Surfer, a silver guy who flies around on a…surfboard (look for him in a theater near you this summer). I never thought much of the Ghost Rider comics, especially during the quote unquote Ghost Rider revival of the ’90s.

Unfortunately, comic book movies have a magnetic pull on me. I…simply…can’t…resist. For the same reason I saw both “Swamp Thing” movies and own “Elektra” on DVD, I found myself in a theater yesterday, Cherry Coke in hand, watching the shockingly bad movie unspool.

*”Easy Rider” Peter Fonda’s in it, though he’s doesn’t ride a motorcyle. Not once.
*Avowed comic book fan Nic Cage stars in it, though his acting chops can’t redeem the awful dialogue.
*The effects can’t help but look cheesy. CGI fire isn’t convincing to start with, but it’s especially fake-looking when it encircles a talking skull.
*Johnny Blaze/Nic Cage strikes lots of arm-outstretched, Elvis-like, poses for no obvious reason.
*Blackheart, the even-badder-than-the-Devil bad guy, looks like he should be a 20-something publicist for Epitaph Records or Fueled By Ramen, not evil incarnate.
*The story? Filled with more holes and illogical turns than a season of “Smallville.”

“Ghost Rider” scored big at the box office last month, February traditionally being a soft time for both movies of quality and ticket sales. Because of the success, I fear that we may have to endure a sequel (though similar success didn’t do much for the prospect of a “Constantine II”).

While I’m at it, here’s my Top 10 list of comics properties I’d love to see turned into movies:

1. Green Lantern
2. Thor
3. Fables
4. Captain Marvel (Shazam)
5. Walking Dead
6. Death Note (which was already made into a movie in Japan)
7. Justice League of America
8. Nick Fury (maybe something without David Hasselhoff, this time around)
9. Shadowpact
10. Iron Fist (or even Power Man/Iron Fist)

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