Tuesday, 25 March 2008

Tuesday 25 March 2008

getting out of bed
i carry dreams down the stairs
to feed to the birds

Our Festival of The Goddess Estra went quite well. The Wise Woman of Wigan came over to visit on Saturday, having given the SF Eastercon at Heathrow a miss. One of the featured authors there was a Ms Paigan Stone, a name unfamiliar to me. Having googled her, it seems she was sacked from a Christian School for writing vampire novels and selling them on t’internet, which seems a trifle harsh. Christians don’t really seem to have got the hang of this Christian thing at all, even after two thousand years.
Ms Stone is also a singer (a soprano, no less) and has performed in such exalted venues as the Gracie Fields Theatre and the Rochdale Classical Circuit, so I’m understandably well impressed by such credentials.
This suddenly brought to mind Nicholas Cage, whom we watched last night in ‘Ghostrider’. I’m wondering what first attracted the director to the nephew of Francis Ford Coppola as the lead role in this movie, but I guess it’s just the sheer overwhelming talent of the man.
‘Ghostrider’ is the latest in a long line of Marvel adaptations, although I don’t recall ever seeing the original comic.
Anyhoo, the Devil, played with rather apathetic menace by Peter Fonda, is looking for a new Ghostrider, i.e. someone who will sell their soul and become the Horned One’s messenger boy, courier and assassin.
Young Johnny Blaze (played by an actor who looks like he will never grow into the horse-faced bat-eared Cage) signs the Devil’s contract in order to cure his father of cancer, which he does. Unfortunately, his father – an Evil Knievel type stunt rider, fails to get through the hoop of flames and dies, leaving Johnny so full of angst he drives off and leaves his girlfriend standing under a tree with all her worldly goods in a circus bag.
Years later, Johnny (now with fully grown ears and the stretched face) has his own reputation as a stunt-bike rider and is now called upon to do the Devil’s bidding. He is told to hunt down Blackheart (the Devil’s son) and his elemental henchmen, who have escaped from Hell and need to be sent back.
Johnny can now transform at night into a skull-headed burning beastie riding through the night on a skeletal chrome motorcycle which sets fire to the road as he drives over it.
It’s not a bad film, although it would probably have improved immeasurably if a lead actor with some concept of energy had been cast. Cage seems to spend the film looking either confused or stoned. The character only seems to come to life, ironically, when he transforms into the CGI burning-skull-head biker.
Sam Elliott’s very good though.

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