JD and I went to see Shark Night 3D last Saturday. I’m a sucker for shark movies, as long as they’re not on the SyFy channel. Just because computer animation is relatively inexpensive doesn’t mean it should look cheap. I like Jaws (discarding all sequels), Deep Blue Sea, The Reef, and Open Water. And now I like Shark Night 3D. Will I buy it when it comes out on DVD/Blu-Ray? Probably not. But I might request it from Netflix.
It’s a fun summer movie; just turn off your brain and slouch in your seat. The story (Louisiana rednecks somehow obtain a bunch of different shark species and dump them into a saltwater lake, where they seem to become abnormally fast and aggressive) is a bit, well, schlocky. It ain’t Jaws. And I don’t think bull sharks can leap out of the water; I know that great whites can, thanks to the Discovery channel, but I’ve never heard/read about bulls doing it. I do know that bulls can survive in fresh water, which is scary and would make a good story.
But before the movie started in our local theater, there were trailers. I wasn’t expecting much, seeing as how the prime summer season is over. Usually about this time, you get the feel-good holiday crap or the stuff that makes you say “meh.” I don’t remember any holiday crap, but I do remember saying “meh” a few times. To further prove my point, I recall only one trailer, and that was because it was so fantastically horrible I would have to pour bleach into my skull to wipe it out: Ghost Rider, Spirit of Vengeance.
I didn’t care for the first one, and I don’t particularly care for Nicolas Cage anymore (shame, because I liked his remake of Gone in Sixty Seconds), and I don’t know when this happened. When did he start making crap? Didn’t he win an Oscar once upon a time?
Anyway, Ghost Rider. Blurgh and meh. My dad had a few ’70s Ghost Rider comics back in the day, and I never really got into them. I was more interested in the other stuff he had: Jonah Hex; Kamandi, the Last Boy on Earth (rest in peace, Mr. Jack Kirby); the Avengers (back when Iron Man/Tony Stark wore his armor because of Communists, not terrorists); House of Mystery; Man-Thing.
Sometime in the ’90s, Marvel relaunched Ghost Rider, this time as a different character. It was hot for a while, but it was not-so-hot when the first movie came out. I saw it anyway and was not impressed. I just don’t think Nicolas Cage was right for the character. The special effects were okay. And flaming motorcycles are always neat.
When the second movie’s trailer came on the big white screen in that theater, I expected the usual glitz: fire, explosions, screeching of flaming motorcycle tires, gratuitous chain swinging. I saw all that, and something else. Something that immediately shoved this flick farther down the Don’t-Gotta-See list.
There is a scene, toward the end of the trailer, when some kid asks Nicolas Cage’s character, “What if you have to pee while you’re on fire?”
When I heard this, I knew–dreaded–what would happen next.
“Oh, it’s awesome,” Cage/Johnny Blaze replies.
No, no, I silently screamed.
The next scene–how hilarious! how anti-hero!–Ghost Rider, his back to us, pees fire like a flame-thrower. You can watch it on Yahoo! if you must.
Gee, what if he gets diarrhea?