Sunday, February 18, 2007

Quote of the Week -- Willie Waffle and Pajiba

I loved what my friend Willie Waffle had to say about "Ghost Rider" --

I kept hoping in the middle of the movie the Scooby Doo gang would come out, rip the mask off of Cage and reveal Ghost Rider really is crazy old man Ben Affleck!


I also enjoyed the review from Daniel Carlson on snarkier-than-thou Pajiba, which promises its reviews are scathing. Carlson delivers with the best dissection so far of the logical inconsistencies and howlers in this film.

Johnson is doing something deeply wrong here by refusing to give his fictional world its own constant reality, which in turn makes it impossible to believe in the characters, and their lives, and their actions, and their consequences.

Perhaps worst of all is Johnson’s curious take on the ins and outs of damnation. As J.B. says to the caretaker, “He may have my soul, but he doesn’t have my spirit.” The caretaker then responds, “Any man who sells his soul for love has the power to change the world,” before going on to pontificate that since J.B. sold his soul for the “right reason,” maybe that “puts God on [his] side.” Johnson’s wavering fictional universe is one where the devil is everywhere and God doesn’t show up much, and where Johnny Blaze hates the cursed monster he sees himself becoming but also won’t relinquish that curse when given the opportunity. Johnny pines for a second chance to fix his past, a shot at atonement to make things right, but he’d rather be the devil’s whipping boy than live free. If Johnson’s hero can’t even summon the courage to save himself, how can he save the world?

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