The Replacements

  • Directors: Howard Deutch
  • Producers: Dylan Sellers, Jeffrey Chernov, Steven Reuther
  • Writers: Vince McKewin
  • Genres: Comedy, Sport
  • Actors: Keanu Reeves, Gene Hackman, Brooke Langton, Jon Favreau, Orlando Jones, Brett Cullen

The film opens with Shane Falco, a former star quarterback at Ohio State University who choked in his final college game and failed to succeed in his only pro season, doing his job cleaning the bottoms of peoples’ boats. While underwater, he finds a football labeled “Shane Falco: All American” and pretends he is playing football again. Meanwhile, the fictional Washington Sentinels[1][2] are shown playing a game in which commentators John Madden and Pat Summerall mention a players’ strike taking place over salary disputes. As the game winds down, Sentinels quarterback Eddie Martel chooses to slide to the ground instead of scoring the game winning touchdown to avoid getting injured.

Later that day, the owner of the Sentinels decides to hire Jimmy McGinty, the Sentinels’ former coach who was fired after getting into a fight with the team’s star quarterback, to recruit replacement players during the strike and coach the team for the rest of the season. He tells McGinty that all they need is three wins out of their final four games to advance to the playoffs. McGinty tells the owner he’ll only do it if he promises not to interfere with his coaching style. McGinty recruits many different ragtag players, and eventually convinces Falco to come off his boat and play quarterback again. Falco soon becomes attracted to the team’s head cheerleader, Annabelle Farrell, who likes him as well, but doesn’t want to date him because of her stereotype that all pro athletes are prima donnas.

In the final game of the season, Martel has trouble connecting with the rest of the team and scolds the rest of them when he makes a mistake. At halftime, the Sentinels trail 17-0, and reporter asks McGinty what they’ll need to win the game, to which he replies “miles and miles of heart” meant as a message to Falco. Falco hears him say this and comes to the game during halftime, and the rest of the team kicks Martel out of the locker room. Falco runs onto the field at the start of the half and draws loud and thunderous applause from the fans. He apologizes to Annabelle and kisses her on national TV. Cochran is able to run for a touchdown at the beginning of the half before injuring his leg. The Sentinels then score again to cut the lead to 17-14. With only a few seconds left in the game, Falco tells McGinty he wants the ball, implying that he has gotten over his fear of choking with the game on the line. Falco throws a pass to tight end Brian Murphy for a touchdown, and the Sentinels win 20-17, advancing to the playoffs. The film ends with a voiceover from McGinty saying that when the players left the game that night, there were no endorsement deals or victory parades waiting for them, just a locker waiting to be cleaned out, but it didn’t matter, because they each got a second chance at glory, which lasts forever.

Ghost Rider

  • Directors: Mark Steven Johnson
  • Producers: Avi Arad, Stan Lee, David S Goyer
  • Writers: Mark Steven Johnson
  • Genres: Action, Fantasy, Thriller
  • Actors: Nicolas Cage, Eva Mendes, Wes Bentley, Sam Elliott, Donal Logue, Matt Long, Peter Fonda, Brett Cullen, Raquel Alessi

In the American Old West, Mephistopheles (Peter Fonda) sends his bounty hunter of the damned, the Ghost Rider, to retrieve a contract for a thousand corrupt souls from the town of San Venganza. Because such a large amount of souls would cause Hell on Earth, the Rider refuses to give the contract and escapes Mephistopheles, later to hide the contract and himself.

A century and a half later, Mephistopheles reaches out to seventeen-year-old stunt motorcycle rider Johnny Blaze (Matt Long/Nicolas Cage), offering to cure his father’s lung cancer in exchange for Johnny’s soul. Johnny inadvertently signs the contract when a drop of his blood lands on it. His father’s cancer is cured, but he dies that same day in a horrific bike crash. Johnny accuses Mephistopheles of causing his father’s death, but Mephistopheles considers their contract fulfilled. Years later, Johnny has become a stunt rider famous for surviving disastrous feats.

Before a particularly dangerous new stunt, Johnny meets his childhood sweetheart Roxanne (Raquel Alessi/Eva Mendes), now a journalist, and holds a dinner date with her that evening. During the same time, Blackheart (Wes Bentley), Mephistopheles’ son, comes to Earth to find the lost contract and use its power to overcome his father. To ensure himself allies, he enlists the fallen angels known as the Hidden, a trio of demon spirits who represent three of the four elements — the water-demon Wallow (Daniel Frederiksen), the earth-demon Gressil (Laurence Breuls), and the air-demon Abigor (Mathew Wilkinson). In response, Mephistopheles makes Johnny the new Ghost Rider, offering Johnny his soul in return for defeating Blackheart. Therefore Johnny confronts Blackheart at a train station where the contract was once buried and kills Gressil while the others escape. On his way out of the station he uses his ‘Penance Stare’, an ability to sear the pain felt by all whom a person has harmed into the wrongdoer’s soul, on a mugger, leaving the man catatonic.

Mephistopheles appears and gives Johnny his soul, offering to terminate the burden of Ghost Rider. Johnny refuses, saying that he will use his power against Mephistopheles, and against all harm that comes to the innocent. Infuriated of being robbed of the power, Mephistopheles vows to make Johnny pay, to which Johnny in response recites his favorite saying: “You can’t live in fear”. Mephistopheles then disappears, taking Blackheart’s body with him. Johnny and Roxanne share words and a kiss at a tree marked to symbolize their relationship, whereupon Johnny rides into the sunset. Slade’s voice then acts as narrator to close the film.