Tag Archives: Nicolas Cage

Flashback Friday: National Treasure (2004)

The idea that our ancestors hid treasure across the world has been a potent idea for generations, sending many on an adventure to find it before someone else does.

The 2004 movie, National Treasure, is based on this concept. Benjamin Franklin Gates (Nicolas Cage) comes from a long line of historians and treasure hunters. As a boy, he was told about a treasure that has been hidden since the founding of the United States. According to the legend, there are clues scattered across the country. When his former associate Ian Howe (Sean Bean) betrays him, Ben turns to his partner Riley Poole (Justin Bartha) and a reluctant Abigail Chase (Diane Kruger). Their goal is to figure out what the clues mean and find whatever it is they are looking for before Ian does.

This is the kind of film that you watch because it is on, but it is merely background noise. I would describe as an almost second rate American version of Indiana Jones. While it is reasonably entertaining, I wouldn’t call it memorable.

Do I recommend it? Maybe.

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Throwback Thursday- Superhero Double Feature- Spiderman (2002) & Ghost Rider 2007)

Every ten to fifteen years or so, Hollywood dips into it’s vault and releases new adaptations of films or television shows that have long since left the big or or small screen. The superhero genre is no different.

In this post, I’m going to talk about two 2000’s superhero movies and why they either worked or didn’t work.

The first movie is Spiderman (2002). Peter Parker (Tobey Maguire) is your average academically overachieving, social underachieving high school student. He has a crush on Mary Jane Watson (Kirsten Dunst), the girl next door. But she does not see him. When Peter is bitten by a genetically modified spider, he becomes Spiderman and must learn the lesson that every Spiderman fan knows: “with great power, comes great responsibility”. Can Peter, with his new power, find the man who killed his uncle and prevent an eccentric billionaire from terrorizing the city?

I’m not normally a fan of the genre, but I liked this movie. Every character is well cast and fits well into the Spiderman universe. Unlike his superhero brothers in arms (Batman, Superman, etc), Spiderman is the boy next door/average Joe/underdog. He does not have the fortune that Bruce Wayne has, nor does he have the extraterrestrial powers that Superman possesses. Rather, he uses his intelligence to fight and create the persona that is Spiderman.

The second movie is Ghost Rider (2007).

When Johnny Blaze (Nicolas Cage) finds out that his father is dying from cancer, he makes a deal to save his father. Johnny will give up his soul to prevent his father from dying. The deal is soon made with Mephistopheles and broken when his father dies in a motorcycle accident. Heartbroken, Johnny walks away from everything and everyone, including his girlfriend, Roxanne (Eva Mendes).  Years pass and Johnny becomes a famous motorcyclist. He runs into Roxanne, who works as a TV reporter. But Mephistopheles is not done with Johnny. If Johnny is willing to become the “Ghost Rider” and defeat  Mephistopheles’s evil son Blackheart (Wes Bentley), then Johnny will be free of the contract he signed years ago.

What can I say about this movie? It’s not good. Nicolas Cage has not made a decent movie in years. The poster, especially the depiction of Ghost Rider carrying who the audience might perceive to be an unconscious Roxanne is not taken from any specific scene. Riding on the coat tails of it’s fellow superhero movies, this film and it’s sequel (which is just as bad) just does nothing for me as a film goer.

Do I recommend them? Yes and no. I do recommend Spiderman, but not Ghost Rider

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