Ghost Rider (2007)

Morning, Bonehead

I consider today’s review to be a preamble (of sorts) to a review from the near future.  I plan to see the recently released sequel to this movie in theaters, but I really have no idea why.  I’ve seen today’s movie before and (though I have purchased it 3 times) do not actually like it.  I’m an enigma.  Besides that fact, I have never been that big of a fan of the comic books this movie is based on, so far having only read a 6 issue story arc and one other comic this character made a cameo in.  And yet, I remain hopeful that the sequel I intend to see would be the awesome movie to fix the pile of shit today’s movie was … even though Rotten Tomatoes actually rates the sequel lower than this one.  It makes me very afraid to see the sequel, having just found that out.  But I remain resolute and won’t be swayed.  Today’s movie is the first part, a movie so mockable that I’ve taken more notes on this movie than any other movie I’ve reviewed, totally one and a half pages of mostly angry nerd thoughts.  But, since it would be too easy and lame to simply post my notes as a review, I am forced to write a full review of Ghost Rider, written and directed by Mark Steven Johnson, and starring Nicholas Cage, Wes Bentley, Peter Fonda, Sam Elliott, Eva Mendes, Matt Long, Raquel Alessi, Brett Cullen, Donal Logue, Lawrence Breuls, Matt Wilkinson, Daniel Frederiksen, and Rebel Wilson.

In the old Westie times, the Devil himself, Mephistopheles (Peter Fonda) tasks his bounty hunter, the Ghost Rider, with retrieving a contract worth thousands of corrupt souls from a town called San Venganza.  Knowing it would give the Devil too much power, the Ghost Rider runs away and hides the contract.  150 years later, Mephistopheles has not yet learned from his mistakes and decides he would like to make another Ghost Rider, choosing a 17-year-old motorcycle stunt rider, incredulously named Johnny Blaze (Matt Long).  Blaze sells his soul (kinda) to the Devil in exchange for curing his father of cancer.  Apparently, no one ever told him to be very careful with his words when making deals with the Devil, because he just gets the Devil to agree to cure his dad’s cancer, saying nothing about him living a long, full life.  Johnny’s dad dies that same day in a motorcycle crash.  Lesson: always read the fine print.  Johnny’s curse makes him decide to ditch his girlfriend, Roxanne (Raquel Alessi), not wanting her to get caught in some loophole he was too dumb to pay attention to.  As he tears off down the road on his dad’s motorcycle, he (unfortunately) turns into Nicholas Cage.  Nowadays, Johnny’s a somehow successful daredevil stunt man who practically never lands his jumps, but survives anyways.  One day, he gets interviewed by a reporter who turns out to be Roxanne, now (very VERY fortunately) turned into Eva Mendes.  He manages to talk her into a date, but ends up standing her up again because Mephisto comes back and tells Johnny he needs to kill Mephisto’s own son, Blackheart (Wes Bentley), who has come to Earth to find the contract of San Venganza in order to overtake his father with it’s power.  Johnny turns into the new Ghost Rider to do it, and away we go.

I feel so conflicted about this movie.  Not about my opinion of the movie, mind you.  It’s crap.  But it’s crap that looks good at times, like one of those diamond encrusted craps that I’m sure we’ve all seen at one time or another.  Let’s talk story, since the people that wrote this movie obviously didn’t.  The story of the Ghost Rider is a dark and badass one.  They got the main story points in here, including the selling of the soul, the Devil’s betrayal and the death of Johnny’s father, the guy with his head on fire, it’s all here.  What they apparently decided to do with their dark story of the Devil was to try to make it light-hearted and funny whenever they could, failing on the funny, of course.  The only way for me to do this in any coherent fashion is to just go through the movie chronologically.  First, the premise is good.  I like the idea of the contract with all of the souls that would make the Devil come to Earth to claim it.  That’s all well and good.  But when we jump into Johnny’s story (mind you, this happens 5 minutes in) it goes to Hell.  Not literally, that would be too awesome.  It just starts with the sucking.  One thing I noticed was, as a smoker myself, I would recommend that Johnny’s dad not think that the answer to a coughing fit is to grab a cigarette.  Next, the contract thing is complete bullshit!  Sadly, this is the foundation that the movie sits on.  Johnny NEVER AGREED TO THIS CONTRACT!  Since when does holding a contract and getting a papercut count as a legally binding contract?!  I know we shouldn’t expect the Devil to play fair, but if this is within his power he can go up to anyone and say “Sell me your soul.  Oh, you didn’t say no, GIMME!”  Speaking of which, how the Hell is Johnny so surprised when the Devil fucks him over?  I have a very good friend that’s an Athiest, but I’m sure even he’d agree that (if there was a Devil) one would not give him your trust lightly.  When we jump into Nicholas Cage as Johnny, it somehow gets worse.  What’s lower than Hell?  ‘Cause I kind of already blew my load preemptively with that …  Either way, it gets retarded pretty quick.  The first thing that started to piss me off was the fact that Johnny Blaze was a super popular and famous daredevil who apparently made a habit of never landing his fucking jumps.  I understand that there’s a certain level of hoping to see a cool crash and all, but if I go to see a daredevil jump something, that’s what I want to see.  If all he does is fail, I’m out.  I don’t think the Faces of Death videos are so popular with people that he could get that large of a crowd that only want to see him die.  And, if the chances were high that he was only going to fail anyways, why not just have him jump his motorcycle into a wall instead of wasting money to get cars and helicopters for him to jump over?  Also, it’s a bit contradictory of me to say this since I’ve complained about movies setting up obvious and stupid things early in the movie that pay off with obvious and stupid things later, but this movie sets up those things to no effect whatsoever.  Why does Johnny drink Jelly Beans out of a martini glass?  What is his fascination with monkey movies?  Why does this movie have such a strong anti-smoking and anti-drinking message but they’ll have Johnny Blaze riding, and doing tricks on, his motorcycle without a helmet?  Later on, another thing occurred to me: shouldn’t we get on top of making better body bags?  Every time someone is being wheeled away in a body bag in a movie, their arm falls out of the side.  Those are some shoddy zippers.  When Roxanne comes back to Johnny, one should think that there should be SOME reason for her to do so.  He stands her up as a teenager (a grudge she is still holding), but he manages to talk her into going on a date where she gets stood up again.  She tells him off (as he rightly deserves), but then shows up at his house and starts making out with him.  He’s done nothing to deserve that!  ::SPOILER ALERT::  Near the end of the movie, when it’s revealed that Sam Elliott was the previous Ghost Rider, he apparently has only one more transformation into the Ghost Rider left in him.  How does he use it?  He transforms to ride side by side with Johnny Blaze through the desert in some Ghost Rider money shot, then tosses him a shotgun and leaves.  That’s how you use it?  Also, what the Hell were the sins of that little lizard you barbecued when you were riding through the desert, Ghost Rider, protector of the innocent?  I’ll say only one nice thing about the story: I actually liked the way they beat Blackheart.  At first, Ghost Rider’s Penance Stare was ineffectual on Blackheart because he had no soul.  Once he’s absorbed the souls from the contract of San Venganza, he’s got plenty to go around, and Ghost Rider burns him to death with those.  That was actually fairly clever.  Granted, the did kind of piss on that by having Cage deliver some soliloquy reminiscent of Mighty Mouse (something like “Wherever innocents are suffering, wherever evil does bad things, Hercules will be there with his Legendary Journies”).  ::END SPOILERS::

This is probably going to go a little long, people, ’cause now we’re talking dialogue.  SHIT!  The only thing muttered during any action scene in this movie was one-liners so bad that you could only see them coming if you had just taken a tire iron upside the head.  These phrases were along the lines of, or downright verbatim, “You’re going down”, “I don’t think so”, “I’m all out of mercy”, and “You not do bad things no more.”  That last one might have been residual brain damage from the tire iron.  In the few comics I read of the Ghost Rider, he barely ever spoke, and when he did, it was some pretty awesome version of “I’m going to kill the shit out of you right now.”  He’s a demon, and should most certainly never be heard to mutter “YEEHAW” while he’s roping a helicopter out of the air with one of his chains.  Of course, a lot of the things Nicholas Cage said, if they weren’t awful already, were made so by the country accent he decided to use.  Take, for instance, when he asks Roxanne if she “still likes Eye-Talian” food.  Some of the lines in the movie may have been made worse by the editing, though, like when Johnny was psyching himself up for his date with Roxanne.  He’s in the mirror saying “You deserve a second chance” to himself, but the editing is cutting to scenes of Roxanne sitting in the restaurant waiting.  I don’t know if you know this, movie, but that KINDA indicates to the audience that these events are happening simultaneously, and if Johnny is still psyching himself up for the date that he’s already 20 minutes late for and he hasn’t even left his house, then I would argue that he does not, in fact, deserve a second chance.  Of course, I think the pinnacle of awful lines in movies has to be one that the writers were apparently so proud of they actually used it in the trailer: when Nicholas Cage says “I feel like my skull’s on fire, but I’m good.”  When I saw this movie in theaters and this line was excreted, it made my testicles hurt.  I can’t remember the occasion that well, but I’m sure one of my friends would tell me that I yelled “OOOOOOoooooooWWW” when this happened.  That is not a common phrase, movie!  I have never heard ANYONE say (unironically) that they felt like their skull was on fire.

I’ll give you guys a bit of a respite and talk about something I liked … briefly.  The look of the movie.  The Ghost Rider looked appropriately badass.  At first, he looked pretty awesome with Johnny Blaze’s normal attire, but when he upgraded his leather jacket to one with spikes all over it – and a matching gauntlet – he became pretty epically badass.  I thought it was strange, though, that when a cop runs up to the guy who is a skeleton with a flaming head and cracks him in the face with a nightstick, he seems to only get shocked when the flaming skull head guy puts his dislocated jaw back in place.  Cops see flaming skull head dudes every day, but ones that can relocated their jaws?  UNHEARD OF!  His motorcycle was also the tits.  I cannot really bring myself to complain about any aspect of the Ghost Rider himself.  Blackheart, on the other hand, just looked like a pasty emo boy that occasionally had a little demon face peak through.  He was never that intimidating.  Mephisto was a little better, but not much.  When Blackheart became “Legion” after absorbing the souls from San Venganza, he actually looked LESS cool, just having glowing red eyes and shitty dark-elf-from-World-of-Warcraft makeup.  I confused myself a little bit when I took great issue with the stupidity of the Ghost Rider riding on water, yet when he rides up and down the sides of a skyscraper, I said to myself “I’m with you.”  I don’t think I’ve ever made the claim that I make sense.  I didn’t like a couple of things in the fights, either.  First, when Ghost Rider defeats the air elemental demon by creating some silly vortex of fire with his chains, that wasn’t really interesting.  Even worse was what happened to the water demon, who just pulled Cage into the water, struggled with him for a bit, and then died when Cage turned into Ghost Rider and yelled at him underwater.  It seemed as if they finished the movie and realized “Ooops, we forgot about the water dude.  Just toss something in.  Who’s gonna care?  Have you seen the rest of this crap?!”  Then, in the final battle, Cage unloads on Blackheart about 8 times with the shotgun, never doing any significant damage.  When Eva picks up the gun, she shoots his head off by the second shot.  Should the damsel in distress really be a better shot than our hero?  I guess, since his big move a little earlier was to peg Blackheart with snowballs made of fire like a schoolyard bully in A Christmas Story.

One more description paragraph to go.  I still need to talk about the performances … unfortunately.  It occurs to me that I really should try to watch a Nicholas Cage movie that isn’t shit, but that could take a lot of looking that I don’t feel like I have the energy for right now.  He was pretty shitty in this movie.  He was apparently going for a horror movie style performance, but he landed at a horrible movie style performance.  That’s why you read these things, people: my stunning mastery of wit.  His transformations into the Ghost Rider start off good, but then go way overboard into him laughing maniacally like a demented little boy torturing a cat.  But later, he gets possessed by that cat as he’s transforming in a jail cell and starts almost hissing and lashing at the other criminals like he was trying to fend off a big dog.  I’d say the first transformation was reminiscent of him burning alive in The Wicker Man, but my brain won’t allow me to recall that movie.  Eva Mendes was a breath of fresh air that I needed in this movie.  Her performance wasn’t anything special, but she was smokin’ hot, so I at least had that going for me.  Even her younger self, Raquel Alessi, was smokin’ hot AND very reminiscent of Eva.  A lot of the bad things to Eva’s character probably weren’t her fault.  She just played it regular, but things were probably just written stupidly.  First off, who brings a Magic 8 Ball on a date?  Secondly, how fuckin’ gay was the waiter that she asked “You think I’m pretty, right?” and got “Meh” out of?  I remember her saying that she put on a little weight to make Roxanne more of a “real girl”, but if that’s true it just made her look better.  Also, how the Hell does she look at the Ghost Rider and automatically think “…Johnny?”  Eh, that’s just nitpicky.  Easily the worst part of the cast was Rebel Wilson.  I know my friend Mike fell in love with her fat, goth girl character, but I wanted to punch her in the face.  Yeah, she was only in it for a minute, but it made me angry.  I have not the words to express how I feel about this pointless little character.

Wow.  I just did a Harry Potter-length review on this movie.  I grant you that this movie is much more tolerable than Thankskilling or Transmorphers, but when you shit on comic books it just hurts me that much more.  This movie took a great, dark ass-kicker of a character and made him into a backwoods hick of a joke.  The story is good when they stole it from the comic books, and there is a vaguely clever part to the ending, but the rest of the story is just awful and the dialogue just matches it.  If nothing else, the Ghost Rider himself looks pretty awesome, but it’s hard to notice when he’s spitting out shitty lines.  Even though I purchased it three times, I recommend you purchase it three times less.  You don’t even really need to concern yourself with viewing it at all.  Fingers crossed for part two, but I’ve got a bad feeling about this.  Speaking of which, Ghost Rider gets “I feel like my skull’s on fire” out of “I’m the only one who can walk in both worlds.”  By the way, I probably could’ve done at least one more paragraph, so I’ve actually used some degree of restraint.

Hey, peeps. Why not rate and comment on this as a favor to good ole Robert, eh? And tell your friends! Let’s make me famous!

8mm (1999)

If There Was No Honor Among Perverts and Pornographers, the Whole Fucking Business Would Fall Apart

I’ve been informed that a lot of the people that read my reviews prefer that I make fun of a bad movie to when I rave about a good movie.  But I could not abide watching a bad movie EVERY day, so I feel I should try to split up the bad and the good.  While trying to think of a bad movie I could watch, my mind instantly went to one place: Nicholas Cage.  The man barely ever lets you down … or up, I guess.  Either way, today I watched 8mm, written by Andrew Kevin Walker, directed by Joel Schumacher, and starring Nicholas Cage, Catherine Keener, Myra Carter, Amy Morton, Joaquin Phoenix, James Gandolfini, Peter Stormare, and Christopher Bauer.

Tom Welles (Nicholas Cage) is a private investigator with a wife, Amy (Catherine Keener), and a little daughter.  He’s contacted by recently widowed Mrs. Christian (Myra Carter) who found a film in the possessions of her recently deceased husband.  She asks Tom to watch this movie and tell her if it’s real.  The film turns out to be a snuff film.  Now, if you’re not a member of the violent pornography culture as I am (please don’t believe that), I’ll explain.  A snuff film is a sex film where a person gets killed.  Most are fake, but Sister Christian wants to be sure.  She pays Tom to look in to it.  The rest of the movie follows Tom into the seedy underbelly of the pornography community, introducing him to adult video store employee Max California (Joaquin Phoenix) who helps him go further down the rabbit hole.

YAY!  I was right.  This wasn’t a very good movie.  It set it’s intentions towards some thrills and suspense I never really felt it accomplished, but what really made it bad was the subject matter and the look.  It should be expected out of a movie about snuff films that it would be gross and dark but, on the other hand, no one really needed a movie about snuff films.  The subject matter takes us to all the icky places that none of us want to go into in real life, so I don’t really want to go there in a movie either.  The story itself plays out like a mystery without a great deal of mystery.  It pretty much goes in a linear fashion with no surprises at all.  It’s not like there’s some guy that’s been in the movie since the beginning that we find out is the bad guy at the very end.  We pretty much find out who the bad people are once they’re introduced.  The biggest mystery in the movie is why no one in this movie owns a man-sized gun.  Everyone used James Bond-size baby guns.  The most interesting side of the story is Cage’s dilemma over punishing the guys that did it, although, to me, if jail wasn’t really a concern, there wouldn’t really be much of a moral dilemma.  The world may be a little better off without the 3 people Cage had to take out.  Now, the person hanging on the wall in the background of one of the climactic scenes, I don’t know.  There was a body hanging off the wall in the big scene with Gandolfini, Joaquin, Stormare, and Cage that was never explained, never mentioned, and just hung there.

I’m pointing out the music now, so you know there was something interesting about it.  The most interesting thing about it was how little it fit the scene.  For some reason, they decided that the best music for a murder mystery, dark, icky movie was the same music they use in Bollywood.  One scene of Cage looking through a bunch of missing person’s files was music I would expect to instead be playing as someone rode a camel through the Serengeti.  It was mostly music for Bollywood, not Hollywood.

The performances were off-putting, but usually in a way that seemed to serve the purpose of the movie.  To that end, the actors should not be blamed for this movie; just the writers.  Cage was pretty low key for most of the movie but broke into the classic Nick Cage overact near the end of the movie.  His movie-wife, Catherine Keener, performed her part well, but I hated her character.  She made no damned sense!  In the beginning, she see’s Cage packing his gun for this investigation, but he assures her he won’t need it, so she says “So leave it here.”  What kind of a wife is that, writers?  You predict that you won’t need it but, if the event arises that you are in a life-threatening situation and you DO need it, I’d rather it was here being useless.  Also, she doesn’t know what he’s investigating and she gets all pissed at him for endangering the family.  Look, I understand not wanting to endanger your family, but is that Cage’s fault?  It’s his job and it just went too far in a way Cage couldn’t really stop.  It’s like if I went in to work and the building burnt down.  Should I have known better than to get involved?  Technically, he was more interested in finding closure for the mother of the murdered girl.  That’s noble, bitch!  Gandolfini is in the movie as well, and he plays a version of the same character I’ve seen him play many times: quasi-Italian scum bag.  The same could be said for Peter Stormare, exchanging “quasi-Italian” for “indiscriminate Eastern European” and “scum bag” for “creepy person”.

This movie will, very likely, either make you feel dirty or horny.  I don’t claim to know what you’re in to.  The performances are mostly fine, but they act in support of a movie nobody should want to watch about ickiness and badness.  Also, I’m pretty sure whoever put the music in this was watching the wrong movie.  Either way, skip it.  It’s not the worst movie ever, but it doesn’t have many redeemable qualities either.  8mm gets “All I’m saying is … it can get to you” out of “There are some things that you see, and you can’t unsee them.”

Hey, peeps. Why not rate and comment on this as a favor to good ole Robert, eh? And tell your friends! Let’s make me famous!

The Wicker Man (2006)

Okay, so this is my first review request being realized and at present time I am in a great state of resentment towards my friend Loni for her request for my review of The Wicker Man, starring Nicholas Cage. I’ve made my feelings known about Nicholas Cage, so it’s no secret that I’m skeptical of movies that he’s in, and this movie may be the reason. So here is my review of the very first time I’ve ever watched this movie without having it’s pain reduced by the hilarious cast of Mystery Science Theater 3000 making jokes throughout it with their Rifftrax awesomeness. Also, keep in mind that I will not only review this movie, but I will not refrain from spoiling it so that you will not feel the need to watch it in it’s entirety.

The Wicker Man is the story of a cop (Cage) who witnesses a car accident that kills a woman and her lousy bitch of a doll-tossing daughter. Good riddance, says I! Anyway, he gets all sad like about it, then he gets a letter from a former girlfriend saying her daughter is missing and no one’s helping her find the girl. He gets on over to this isolated island to look for her. He keeps having visions of the girl being hit by a truck like the opening one; one such super goofy instance is seeing a little girl on the bow of the boat, probably proclaiming herself to be the king of the world or something, and as punishment for this overused joke, she’s hit by a semi. But it’s just a vision. A really goofy vision. He gets to the island that is mostly women, and really bitchy, unhelpful ones at that. He meets this fatty barmaid that gets all mad when he kills a bee (’cause he’s allergic) and their entire community is based on honey farming. He then meets the ex that sent the letter, a fish-faced woman who they named Willow, but I will call Guppy. He also meets LeeLee Sobieski, who is hot but plays a small part of a peculiar girl in the village. Why fish face and not hot ass Leelee for the romantic lead? ‘Cause it certainly wasn’t for her acting.

He starts inquiring about, and searching for, the little girl. At one point, whilst searching a barn, the floor breaks under his feet conveniently above a box full of pitchforks pointed up. He catches himself and the island bitches’ overly convenient trap is wasted. The women of the island are in some kind of religious, crazy Amish cult thing and do not recognize the law because the island is private property. If I was Cage, I’d ask if they recognized the authority of my gun, because no one would ever know if I killed everyone on the island, so best start answering my questions! Well they don’t answer his questions and basically lead him on a goose chase through the island looking for this girl that they rarely admit exists, then say she’s dead and the mom won’t accept it. Then Guppy tells Cage that the girl is his daughter.

Still looking for the girl (That’s like 90% of this movie), he walks into a beehive, then runs through a field of beehives running from the initial bees, running into more beehives and adding to his bee dilemma. You’d think he’d be more careful, right? I mean, I’m not even allergic to bees and I avoid them like crazy. He is rescued by the island’s doctor and finally meets Sister Summersisle, named for the island they’re on. She runs the show here, and adds to his goose chase. He goes and digs up where Rowen (The girl) is supposed to be buried. Surprise! She’s not there. Then he gets locked in a crypt. Guppy lets him out in the morning, and Cage has had enough. Time for some Rage Cage!

He goes back to the inn and finally reaches the point I would have about 5 days earlier in the movie, Wayne Brady’s gonna haveta choke a bitch. He bitch smacks the Barkeep to take her bear costume. LeeLee get all mad and attacks him. Does this stop Cage? Nuh uh! Karate kick to them sweet LeeLee titties, knocking her into a wall and subsequently unconscious. Cage, now a bear, follows the harvest parade through town to where they have Rowen tied up. He unties her and runs off with her, then runs into the whole town blocking him, but Rowen runs to her mom. Turns out this whole charade is to lure him to the island to sacrifice him to the Wicker Man (which is literally a giant man made of wicker) so they can have a better harvest. Sister Summersisle has her face painted half blue now for the ceremony of Braveheart that will now commence. They break his legs, hoist him into the Wicker Man via a pulley system that pulls Cage up through the Wicker Man’s taint, then burn Cage alive inside Pier 1 Man. The last scene on some versions of the movie is LeeLee and Guppy back on the mainland, they get hit on by James Franco and Jason Ritter, then they invite them back to their pad. The implication here being that the cycle will start again. THE END.

First, let’s focus again on Cage. Cage seems as disinterested in being in this movie as I was in watching it. Only barely becoming interesting enough to pay attention to when he goes bat shit crazy at the end. There’s a scene where he kisses Guppy that is so awkward. It seems like right after he first kissed her, he tasted something but couldn’t figure out what it was, so he goes back in to investigate. After his conversation with Sister Summersisle, he gets mad at her and has to storm off. But, since there are no cars on this island (which you might not be aware of while watching the movie because of all the tire tracks), Cage finds out that it is very difficult to storm off from something atop a bicycle. When they finally catch him, to prepare him for his sacrifice, they break both of his legs with a sledgehammer, presumably so he can’t run off. But it’s hard to find the emotion they intended in the scene while Cage is still wearing the fuzzy bear slippers.

I would say the worst part of the movie (if I could pick one) is that I have next to no idea what was going on. A good thing, then, would be that the movie’s not really predictable. Also the production value is decent. The biggest confusion is why the car crash death in the beginning (which they keep implying may not have happened) was there at all. It served no real purpose to the entire movie. Also, at one point a cop friend says “An ex girlfriend? The plot thickens? I didn’t know you had a plot” to Cage. Probably not a good idea to mention lack of plot in your plotless movie. It’s hard to tell whether the off-putting acting by the sister ladies was intention or not. And, because of the nihilistic ending where Cage dies, there’s not much of a climax. But since there’s not much of a build up, it makes sense.

The biggest problem with this movie, is why it wasn’t 20 minutes. Their whole goal was to get him to the island to sacrifice him, right? So why the goose chase? Why the torture? He gets to the island in like 15 minutes. Crack him on the head, burn him. THE END! My movie would be so much better. Also, this movie was dedicated to Johnny Ramone, which is not a kind thing to do to a man so highly respected in the music community that probably had nothing to do with the movie and liked it that way.

So, I hope I don’t need to actually give a rating to this movie, but I’ll do it anyway because I’ve made it my bit. I give this movie “You don’t NEED to see it now, I just told you everything you needed … and it sucks out loud” out of “this movie blows”.

The Sorcerer’s Apprentice (2010)

One might be so bold as to assume that a collaboration between two Hollywood powerhouses such as Jerry Bruckheimer and Nicholas Cage could possibly be the greatest film in the history of man … but why would you think that? Are you insane? The producer of G-Force and the guy from Season of the Witch?

Such a concoction recently made it’s way to my computer via RedBox by way of The Sorcerer’s Apprentice. The Saucer’s Appendix is the story of an awkward boy named Dave (Jay Baruchel) who meets a sorcerer named Balthazar (Nicholas Cage) and becomes … wait for it … his apprentice! Cage was a pupil of Merlin (Yes, THE Merlin) and he’s been fighting bad sorcerers and trapping them in those little Russian nesting dolls, the center of which is his girlfriend (Monica Bellucci) who trapped Morgan le Fey (Some old broad) inside herself. Too bad the movie didn’t have as many layers as these nesting dolls, eh? Anyways, Cage meets Dave, who is a descendent of Merlin, and trains him up to fight Morgan and this one evil sorcerer played by Alfred Molina named Whore’sBath. Rotten Tomatoes claims it’s spelled Horvath, but I know what I heard! Also, at some point, Baruchel meets and falls in love with the pretty blonde girl from I Am Number Four.

I can assume I am not the target demographic for this particular movie. It seems like the kind of movie that would be enjoyed by younguns. By me? Not so much. I’m not sure that Baruchel is meant to lead a movie. He was fantastic in Tropic Thunder where he could be awkward in the background, throw in some funny now and then, and then fuck off. But he’s arguably the star of this particular movie. He plays the descendent of Merlin himself or, as this movie calls it, the Prime Merlinian. Yeah, they really called it that. But, being the Prime Meridian that he is, most of the movie is placed on his scrawny, awkward shoulders, and I don’t feel like the Prime Millennium was up to the task. There was one interesting scene that came forth because of him when the movie includes a long, fairly well done recreation of Fantasia, a movie where the Prime Mescalin was played by none other than Mickey Mouse himself. The Prime Masturbation sets mops and brooms to work cleaning his lab area so he can ready for his date. As you may assume, it does not go well, to the GREAT comic delight of the audience. Oh Prime Michigan, will you ever do anything right?

I had an odd thought during this movie, caused by the secondary lead Cage. He IS generally regarded as a great actor, right? I assume I just haven’t seen the right movies starring him. I hear the man puts on quite the performance in Raising Arizona and probably other movies, but I’ve not seen them. But of the movies I’VE seen the man in – Season of the Witch, Ghost Rider, Con-Air, The Rock, Face Off, and lest we forget Wicker Man – I’ve not been thoroughly impressed. And why is he in 8 movies a year, with only 1 that’s watchable? Oh wait, I just remembered I really like both National Treasure movies and Kick-Ass. Alright, Cage, you can keep making movies, but I’m watching you! Well … no, I guess I probably won’t be … but still!

Also, why was Monica Bellucci barely used in this movie? Not only is she a fine actress, she’s a FINE actress. She was shown only a few times in the movie and did not speak until the very end of the movie. Which, now that I think about it, is my preferred way of enjoying Monica Bellucci. Carry on, movie!

So, honestly, I don’t have much to say about this movie … cough … The movie is not the worst thing I’ve watched by a long shot, but it’s also something you’ll be fine going about your life not having seen it. I suppose if you have Harry Potter-obsessed 12 year old boys in your family, or perhaps in your basement, it’s a good way to stop them from screaming for an hour or two.

On a scale of 1 to 5 stars, you don’t need to watch this movie. Getting closer?