“Bad” out of Hell?

Ah, February… the true time of cinematic nirvana. The month when discerning movie audiences once again venture back into the multiplexes to enjoy the plethora of Oscar-nominated flicks currently fighting for screen time. Oscar season is a veritable Indian Summer for movie buffs; you can always be sure something good is playing, or at least something deemed worthwhile by our Arbiters of Taste in Los Angeles.

So with the scent of cinematic culture permeating the air all over the world, what’s been the biggest film at the box office for the past two weeks? Why, a CGI-heavy motorcycle flick in which Nicholas Cage’s face catches fire and melts off. More than once, even.

Best thing that could happen to it, really.

This whole Ghost Rider thing intrigues me. Not the movie, you understand, but the phenomenon. Amidst some of the most scathing reviews of the year, this cornball little genre film has destroyed box-office records for February, racked up insane riches for the studio that financed it, and continues to pack in audiences all around the country. But with that said, I’ve yet to talk to anyone who’ll admit to actually liking it… so where are these box-office figures coming from?

Are people really so afraid of subtitles that they’re passing up the visual splendor of Pan’s Labyrinth and the lyrical majesty of Letters from Iwo Jima just to watch a CGI replica of Nic Cage ride his bike around?

Probably. That’s people for you.

-CSJ

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