I watched Ghost Rider over the weekend and loved it.
I feel slightly guilty for loving it, though, kind of like I feel when I think about how much I love The Scorpion King or Hercules: The Legendary Journeys or (whisper it) seaQuest DSV (God, I can’t believe I just admitted that in public). They’re celebrations of stupidity, the lot of ’em; big piles of cheesy guff that aren’t trying to be anything other than daft entertainment. There’s not a malicious, cynical bone in Ghost Rider‘s body. It’s exactly what you expect it to be: a movie in which Nicolas Cage rides a big flaming motorcycle with his head on fire. The cheese in his case is well and truly melted.
I also watched The Da Vinci Code, which I thought I’d hate, because I loathed the book so much I left it on a train in disgust after reading two chapters. (The description of one character, Silas, as a “hulking albino” will haunt my dreams forever as a prime example of terrible writing. Terrible in that it was written in all seriousness, unlike my other favourite example of terrible writing, seaQuest‘s glorious: “You must leave here! You’re in imminent peril!”, uttered as Commander Ford tries to clear people off an island about to be attacked by a giant lizard. Class!)
Anyway, back to the point: flashbacks and overblown soundtrack aside, I actually quite enjoyed The Da Vinci Code. It was a bloody good story, which explains why the book was such a hit in the first place; if you can excuse the awful prose, Dan Brown really knows how to spin a yarn. I did think Tom Hanks was hugely miscast, though, and I couldn’t understand a word Audrey Tautou said, and I’m still reeling from the sight of Paul Bettany’s buttocks. I’m glad I hadn’t seen that film before I interviewed him last year because I wouldn’t have been able to look him in the eye.
And speaking of buttocks: I saw Ray Winstone’s botty cheeks on Friday, not to mention Angelina Jolie’s, in glorious 3-D. I’m still not sure if they were real buttocks or not but they were part of the 20-minute preview of Beowulf Warner Bros kindly displayed to a room full of journos looking silly in coloured specs. What a strange 20 minutes they were, too… I’m really not sure what I thought of what we saw, possibly because it was out of context, so I need to see the rest of the film to figure it out. It certainly looked amazing, there was some brilliant phallic imagery (always a Brucie bonus) and there’s a scene between Winstone’s Beowulf and Jolie’s monster that will stay with me for a while. But I’m still on the fence with this one, I think. Bring on the rest of the movie so I can make my mind up!
Beowulf is released in November, so if you want to check out Ray or Angie’s bottoms for yourself, you’ve got a bit of a wait. Sorry and all that.