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Nicolas Cage as
Johnny Blaze / Ghost Rider


Eva Mendes as Roxanne Simpson


Peter Fonda as Mephistopheles


Wes Bentley as Blackheart / Legion


Sam Elliott as
Carter Slade / Phantom Rider / Caretaker


Donal Logue as Mack


Brett Cullen as Barton Blaze


Matt Long as young Johnny


David Roberts as Captain Dolan


Rebel Wilson as Girl in Alley

Raquel Alessi as young Roxanne

Matt Norman as Team Blaze


Visual Effects

The film's visual effects supervisor, Kevin Mack, and the visual effects team at Sony Pictures Imageworks handled the difficult task of creating computer-generated fire on a shot-by-shot basis.

Ghost Rider's skull flames were designed to become smaller and blue to display any emotion other than rage.

Kevin's Team at Imageworks also created computer-generated motorcycles, chains, water, black goo, dementors and buildings.


To pull off such unbelievable effects like the living morph where the hardtail chopper ("Grace") comes alive to become the "Hell Cycle" Sony enlisted teams of animators, models, effects artists, lighters & "Flame" artists.

The department supervisors for these teams at Imageworks included Kevin Hudson, Brian Steiner, JD Cowels, Marco Marenghi, Joe Spadaro, Joanie Karnowski, Vincent Serritella & Patrick Witting.


Patrick's team bore the brunt of the work as they created the fire using a custom pipeline that automated the set up starting with Maya animated geometry driving Maya Fluids, imported into Houdini and then rendered & composited on top of the live action plates.

Patrick and his team set up the fire process and much of the front end automation was set up by Scott Palleiko and Joe Spadaro. The fire was then tweaked and manipulated to look and move believably by Patick's eleven man Houdini effects team. All of this was enabled by effects producers Daniel Kuehn and the Digital Effects Supervisor Kee-Suk 'Ken' Hahn.

The digital version of the hell cycle was modeled in detail by Kevin Hudson and based on the practical prop used in the film, it included animatable skeletal hands that came alive to wrap the gas tank during the supernatural transformation scene.


The transformation scene was animated by Max Tyrie and finalized by Joe Spadaro. Each part of the "Grace" geometry had to match up and morph with a piece of geometry on the "Hell Cycle"

The bullet time like scene where Ghost Rider on the "Hell Cycle" jumps from a building cutting to slow motion with the flaming chain was the brainchild of animator Maks Naporowski. Kevin Mack, was looking for what he called "shoe leather" to tie the two scenes together.


Maks & Marco came up with this incredible concept that went on to become one of the most impressive scenes in the film & on the trailers. Ghost Rider's voice was manipulated by sound designer Dane Davis, who won an Academy Award for Sound Editing for The Matrix.

Davis filtered Cage's line readings through three different kinds of animal growls that were played backwards and covered separate frequencies. Davis then amplified the dialogue through a mechanical volumizer. Director Johnson described the sound as a "deep, demonic, mechanical lion's roar".


Reception

Ghost Rider has received mostly negative reviews from critics. On Rotten Tomatoes, Ghost Rider has a 27% overall approval out of 131 reviews from critics with the critical consensus stating: "Ghost Rider is a sour mix of morose, glum histrionics amidst jokey puns and hammy dialogue".

The results were mirrored in Metacritic reviews as well, displaying a ranking of 35 out of 100 based on 20 critical reviews. Additionally, Michael Ordoņa of the Los Angeles Times and Jeannette Catsoulis of the New York Times expressed disappointment in the movie

Ordoņa cited the "satanic references" and "judgemental" elements of Cage's character, and Catsoulis denoting how Johnny Blaze is "more funny than frightening".


Although Eric Alt of the Chicago Tribune praised the computer-generated effects of the film, he also criticized it, calling it a "clumsy, lifeless outing". IGN named the film the worst comic book movie of the decade. The film was nominated for one Razzie Award for Nicolas Cage as Worst Actor.

Ghost Rider was commercially released in the United States on February 16, 2007. The film grossed $15,420,123 on its opening day, while earning $45,388,836 for its opening weekend.

The film earned $52,022,908 over the four-day President's Day weekend, with a per-theater average of $US 14,374 in 3,619 theaters. The film's total earnings were $228,738,393 worldwide of which $115,802,596 was from the USA.




Resources: Wikipedia.org, imdb.com





Ghost Rider - 2007
Story and Screenshots


The movie opens with the voice of the Caretaker relating the legend of the Ghost Rider - a damned soul condemned to walk the earth and obey the Devil's orders. A Ghost Rider had been sent to collect a parchment known as the Contract of San Venganza, which holds the power of 1000 evil souls. The Ghost Rider knew that this Contract was pure evil, so he betrayed his heritage and outran the Devil himself.

The action changes to a carnival, where the father-son stunt duo of Barton Blaze and his son Johnny are performing on ramps for the crowd. After the show, Barton chastises Johnny for showing off and being extra reckless in an attempt to impress his girlfriend Roxanne Simpson.


Later that day, Roxanne and Johnny meet under a tree, and Roxanne tells Johnny that her father is sending her away. Johnny decides to pack up and they will run away together. They share a kiss before departing. Johnny goes back to his house to find his father asleep, holding a piece of paper. It is a report from a doctor, and the news is not good- he's been diagnosed with terminal cancer.

Crushed, Johnny goes out to work on his motorcycle, when he is approached by Mephistopheles who asks if Johnny will perhaps one day ride for him. Mephistopheles mentions Barton's illness, and offers to help. Johnny asks what he could give in return, and Mephistopheles says "Your soul." Johnny, thinking the man crazy or sarcastic, responds "OK."


Mephistopheles offers Johnny a contract, and Johnny cuts himself when opening it. Mephistopheles accepts this blood drop as an appropriate signature. Johnny wakes up in bed with Barton energetic and cheerful. Barton confesses to Johnny that he had been sick, but now feels "heathly as a horse." Johnny is stunned.

Barton attempts a new stunt at the show the next day (jumping through a ring of fire), but he comes up short and crashes. Johnny tearfully watches his father die while Mephistopheles laughs ominously. Johnny sees Roxanne at the hilltop tree, but does not join her and rides off into the distance. Mephistopheles approaches Johnny, promising that one day he will come for Johnny's services when needed.

We fast-forward to 10 years later. Johnny is the most famous daredevil in the world. He is attempting a new stunt at a sold-out stadium, jumping over a row of parked semi rigs. Johnny clears the targets on the field, but comes up short on the landing, wrecking his bike and sending him crashing into a wall. Johnny's pit crew, led by his best friend Mack rush to his side and find Johnny dazed but uninjured. The crowd roars with cheers as Johnny gets back up.


Later, Mack suggests that maybe Johnny has a guardian angel, and Johnny mildly suggests that "Maybe it's something else" as he looks out the window, and momentarily sees his face turn into a skeleton with a flash of lightning. Mack and the crew watch a TV advertisement for Johnny's next stunt, taking place in his old hometown. Johnny will be attempting to clear an entire football field, jumping over 50 cars in the process.

Meanwhile, another strange figure in black, Blackheart, arrives at a Hell's Angels club out in the desert. He proceeds to kill nearly all of the members with a single touch. Mack and Johnny arrive at Johnny's apartment, where Mack tries to talk Johnny out of doing this new stunt because it seems too risky. Mack is worried because Johnny is becoming increasingly reckless while delving into strange interests (Johnny's apartment has a lot of strange books about the occult).


Johnny responds that he is merely looking for "a sign and a second chance." Back at the Hell's Angels bar, Blackheart is approached by three elemental spirits; Gressil (earth), Wallow (water) and Abigor (wind) and recruits their help in finding the Contract of San Venganza. The spirits agree even though they are afraid of Mephistopheles (a name that angers Blackheart). Johnny is getting ready for his new stunt when he is approached by a reporter for an interview.


To his shock, it is his old girlfriend Roxanne. Johnny is so stunned by her arrival that he cannot answer any of her interview questions. Roxanne breaks off the interview and leaves before Johnny begins his jump. Mack joins Johnny on the ramp, feeling relieved now that Johnny has agreed to take the cars out of the jump. Johnny then reveals that he thought of something else to put in, and the stadium roof opens to allow six Blackhawk helicopters to descend in.


Mack is angry about this change and demands to know what prompted such an idea. Johnny explains that his father Barton thought it would be cool. Johnny sets up his bike, though his mind is obviously still focused on Roxanne. Without warning, he throttles up and heads down the ramp. After a few tense seconds, Johnny makes it across with a perfect landing. Johnny waves to the crowd and then speeds off.


Roxanne and her news van are riding down the expressway when they are confronted by Johnny. Johnny pulls a few stunts to get the van to stop so he can talk to Roxanne. Roxanne relents, telling Johnny to meet her in the restaurant of her hotel later that evening. A group of motorists angry at the stop of traffic storm over to see what is happening, but when they find out that Johnny Blaze is on the freeway they swarm around asking for autographs.

Blackheart and his gang confront Mephistopheles, the man in black who made the contract with Johnny. Mephistopheles warns them about trying to take the contract of San Venganza, and threatens them with the Ghost Rider. Blackheart is unafraid. It is revealed through this conversation that Blackheart is Mephistopheles' son. Johnny is preparing for his date with Roxanne when he notices his hands glowing bright red. He washes them only to observe steam rising off his palms.


Johnny goes out into the alley to find a brand-new motorcycle revved up and waiting for him. Mephistopheles appears, revealing that he has decided to invoke Johnny's services. Mephistopheles explains that he has been keeping Johnny alive all this time so that this day could come. Mephistopheles compels Johnny to get on the new bike and sends him off after Blackheart, offering to return Johnny's soul if he is successful.

Johnny's new bike sets off at such a speed that it burns a trail of fire and destruction through the town. Blackheart and his gang arrive at a train yard where they are confronted by the night watchman. Blackheart is curious, stating that this land was once a cemetery. The watchman explains that the graves were moved by St. Michael's Church, and Blackheart kills him. Johnny arrives and dismounts the bike, thrashing in pain.


Fire erupts from his feet and hands, as Johnny roars with a mixture of pain and evil desire. Finally his head bursts into flame, revealing a skeletal skull. Johnny Blaze has become the new Ghost Rider. Blackheart confronts the Ghost Rider and sends in his elementals to fight. Ghost Rider grabs some chains off a nearby wall to use as weapons but ist stopped when Gressil drives a truck into the building.


Ghost Rider erupts from behind the truck, lighting one of his chains on fire and ensnaring Gressil. Gressil screams in pain as he is turned to stone and dissolves. Ghost Rider whistles and his motorcycle appears. He touches the gas cap and the motorcycle transforms into a firey skull-and-chain entity, much like the Ghost Rider himself. He rides through town and spots a young woman being mugged.

He grabs the mugger (who stabs him, but the knife merely melts off in Ghost Rider's body). Ghost Rider commands the mugger to "Look into my eyes." The mugger screams in horror as his memories of past crimes come back to haunt him. When this torture is finished, Ghost Rider tosses the mugger aside. Ghost Rider ends his drive through town on the outskirts, obviously growing weaker by the oncoming morning.


He arrives in a cemetary and slowly but painfully changes back into Johnny Blaze. Johnny collapses at the headstone of his father, Barton. Roxanne, angry at Johnny for standing her up, reports on the chaos in town. The police find a license plate during the investigation that belongs to one of Johnny Blaze's bikes. Johnny is found by the Caretaker, who offers help. Johnny is skeptical at first, but relents.

The Caretaker explains that the Ghost Rider is essentially "the Devil's bounty hunter," who must hunt down anyone escaping from hell. Furthermore, the Ghost Rider only appears at night or in the presence of evil. Johnny remembers what he did to the mugger, and the caretaker explains that that was the Ghost Rider's greatest weapon - the Penance Stare. It makes anyone who feels it experience the pain of every sin they have caused.


The Caretaker explains the story of the last Ghost Rider, and the town of San Venganza's souls. He also reveals that the spirits following Blackheart are The Hidden- fallen angels cast out of Heaven. Johnny leaves to take care of some business, which the Caretaker advises against (Blackheart and The Hidden cannot come onto sacred ground such as the cemetery, so Johnny would be safer staying there). Johnny looks at the devastation caused by last night's events.

He meets Roxanne, who is very mad at him. Johnny goes back to his apartment and does some research about "fire elements," and is able to display a minor degree of control over his new powers. Roxanne arrives and asks him what has been going on with Johnny. Johnny decides to be honest with her, but Roxanne does not accept his story (selling the soul to the devil and becoming a bounty hunter), thinking he is either lying to keep her away or has gone insane.


Johnny walks outside and the police arrest him, thinking him responsible for the previous night's murders. Johnny denies any involvement, and the police throw him in a holding cell. The inmates recognize Johnny, and decide to attack him out of revenge for never seeing him fail in his stunt shows. One young inmate stands up for Johnny but he is knocked aside. The remaining inmates jump on Johnny, who effortlessly transforms into Ghost Rider and defeats them all.

Ghost Rider steals the lead thug's jacket and gloves, making small spikes emerge from the metal detailing. Ghost Rider proceeds to burn through the cell bars and leaves. He hesitates for a minute in confronting the young inmate who stood up for him, then proclaims the young man to be "Innocent" and walks off. Blackheart is seen at St. Michael's Church, asking the minister about the Contract of San Venganza. The minister denies any knowledge, so Blackheart kills him.


Upon learning that Ghost Rider is active again, Blackheart sends Abigor to deal with him. Ghost Rider reclaims his motorcycle and escapes from police custody. The cops quickly give pursuit, eventually trapping him in a dead-end alley. Ghost Rider merely tilts his motorcycle and proceeds to ride straight up the building! Roxanne, in a building across the block, is packing to leave when she looks out and sees the strange display.


Ghost Rider confronts Abigor on the rooftop, but they are ambushed by a police helicopter. Ghost Rider uses his chains to throw the copter away from the roof so they do not interfere. Ghost Rider then attempts to catch Abigor just like he did with Gressil, but Abigor uses his wind powers to escape. This gives Ghost Rider an idea: he ignites a chain and spins it, causing a cyclone that pulls in Abigor. After a few minutes of resistance, the Wind Spirit is destroyed.


The police attempt to apprehend Ghost Rider as he comes down from the roof. Ghost Rider attempts to resist, until he spots Roxanne in the crowd. The flames on Ghost Rider's head grow fainter as he approaches Roxanne. The police see this as an advantage and open fire with their weapons. Ghost Rider conjures a wall of flame and escapes, retreating to the cemetery.

The Caretaker finishes the story of the Contract of San Venganza by telling Johnny about the previous Ghost Rider - a former Texas Ranger named Carter Slade. Slade became corrupt and made a deal with Mephistopheles to save his life. When Carter Slade saw what was happening at San Venganza, he took the Contract and hid it. The Caretaker puts forth the theory that Carter was buried with it. Roxanne returns to Johnny's apartment where she meets Mack.


Mack talks about how Johnny has had weird interests recently and Roxanne begins to fip through some of Johnny's books. She is now convinced that what Johnny told her was true. Blackheart suddenly appears and kills Mack. Johnny returns to find Mack dead and Blackheart holding Roxanne captive. He transforms into Ghost Rider and attempts to use the Penance Stare on Blackheart. He merely laughs, explaining that the Penance Stare will not work on him because he has no soul.

Blackheat agrees to free Roxanne if Johnny brings him the Contract at the ruins of San Venganza by morning. Johnny returns to the cemetery, vowing to dig up the entire place if need be. The Caretaker shatters his shovel, revealing a rolled-up parchment in the handle. It is the contract. Johnny decides to take it and have a final fight with Blackheart. The Caretaker relents, thinking that Johnny's circumstances make him unpredictable and he just might have an advantage.


The Caretaker whistles, summoning a mysterious horse from the shadows. He climbs on and bursts into flames. The Caretaker reveals that HE is Carter Slade, the previous Ghost Rider. Both Riders head out to San Venganza. Carter escorts Johnny to San Venganza, but then collapses. Carter explains that the trip has exhausted the last of his Ghost Rider powers. Carter gives Johnny a shotgun and then rides off into the sunset, ready to face eternity for his actions.

Johnny is riding into San Venganza when he is ambushed by Wallow, the last surviving Hidden. Wallow pulls Johnny underwater, trying to drown him. Johnny counters by transforming into Ghost Rider and superheating the water, evaporating Wallow. Blackheart appears with Roxanne in custody. He lets Roxanne go as Johnny hands over the contract. Before Blackheart can take the Contract, Johnny transforms into Ghost Rider and attacks.


Blackheart manages to fight off Ghost Rider's attacks and reads the Contract, commanding the spirits within the town to join with him. The spirits emerge and unite with Blackheart, who then proclaims "My name is Legion; for we are many." Roxanne attacks Legion with Carter Slade's shotgun. It wounds him but does little to slow his advance. Johnny catches the shotgun and infuses it with his Ghost Rider powers, turning it into a hell-fire weapon.


The blast disintegrates Legion, but he effortlessly begins to reform. Johnny realizes that Legion now has all thousand souls from San Venganza trapped within him, and has made himself vulnerable to Ghost Rider's greatest weapon. He transforms into Ghost Rider one last time and traps Legion long enough to use the Penance Stare. Legion screams in agony as the sins of one thousand souls pass through his body.

Legion reverts to Blackheart and dies, the Penance Stare having succeeded once again. Mephistopheles arrives and congratulates Johnny on his success. He offers to take back the Ghost Rider powers, but Johnny refuses. He decides to keep the powers and use them against Mephistopheles' evil. He is angry but he cannot take back the power by force, and vows to make Johnny pay. Johnny and Roxanne share an emotional farewell as Johnny vows to head out and go wherever the road takes him.





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