DVD & Blu-ray Reviews

Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance, Blu-ray 3D/Blu-ray/UV Digital Copy (2012)

Not as good a sequel as the original and converted to 3D rather than original.

Published on June 25, 2012

Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance, Blu-ray 3D/Blu-ray/UV Digital Copy (2012)

Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance, Blu-ray 3D/Blu-ray/UV Digital Copy (2012)

Starring: Nicholas Cage, Violante Placido, Ciaran Hinds, Idris Elba, Fergus Riordan, Johnny Whitworth
Directors: Mark Neveldine, Brian Taylor
Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment  [6/12/12]
Video: 2.40:1 anamorphic/enhanced 1080p HD for 16:9
Audio: English, French, and Spanish 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio; Catalan DD 5.1
Subtitles: English SDH, English, French, Spanish
Extras: (3D Disc): “Riding Into Another Dimension” 3D featurette; 3D preview trailers for “Underworld: Awakening”, “Men in Black 3” and “The Amazing Spider Man” (2D Disc): Director’s Expanded Video Commentary; “The Path to Vengeance: Making Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance” six-part documentary; six deleted scenes; preview trailers for “21 Jump Street”, “Lockout” and “Starship Troopers: Invasion”; UltraViolet digital copy
Length: 96 minutes
Movie Rating: ***     3D Video Rating: ****
2D Video Rating: ****        Audio Rating: ****1/2

Johnny Blaze (Nicolas Cage) is a man, who after making a deal with the devil, suffers the fate of becoming a hellish creature called The Ghost Rider.  The Ghost Rider is the devil’s bounty hunter charged with finding evil souls on earth and then sending them back to hell.  Johnny is on the run in Eastern Europe trying to make sure that no one is hurt by his Ghost Rider alter ego.  Johnny is approached by a monk named Moreau who offers him a deal.  If Johnny helps deliver a certain boy into the protective custody of the monks, the monks will free Johnny of The Ghost Rider.  As the boy turns out to be the devil’s spawn, this is no easy task.  I am a big fan of both Nicolas Cage and superhero movies in general.  I also enjoyed the first Ghost Rider film so I had high hopes for this sequel.  Unfortunately, this movie was just average for me despite Cage bringing his usual ‘crazy side’ to the role.  On the bright side, the 3D presentation was pretty decent for a post-conversion transfer to 3D.  Recommended for those who are starved for new 3D material to add to their collections, while all others might consider renting before buying.

The overall high-definition video quality of the 2D Blu-ray disc is excellent.  Images are crystal-clear with razor-sharp detail.  Black levels are uniformly deep throughout the movie.  Colors are accurate and natural with well-saturated hues.  Picture defect mastering is near perfect with no major flaws or compression artifacts.  The 3D video is of the post-conversion variety.  Colors and black levels are a bit darker than the 2D presentation, but for the most part the 3D video exhibits the same excellent qualities present in the 2D version.  Dimensionality and depth are well done and create a nice sense of space.  There are a couple of small pop-out effects in the form of remnants that float in front of the screen but nothing that really jumps out at the viewer.  [Who wants that anyway?...Ed.]

The overall audio quality is also excellent with the English DTS HD-MA 5.1.  The soundtrack has a very active mix that makes fine use of all of the discrete channels.  Dialogue is crisp, intelligible and properly positioned.  The surround channels are aggressively utilized for sound effects and the music score.  The low frequency effects channel is active and provides considerable thump and rumble for the movie’s action scenes.

—Calvin Harding Jr.




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