While many movie studios chose to stay out of Hall H at Comic Con International this year, Sony Pictures brought four of their upcoming titles and monopolized the better part of two and a half hours in the room. During that time they showcased some amazing footage of Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance, 30 Minutes or Less, Total Recall and The Amazing Spider-man. Admittedly I was in attendance to catch a glimpse of the new Spider-man flick I was genuinely surprised at the footage that was shown of the other films.

Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance was the first up that started with a sizzle reel of the intense shooting style of Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor. The directing duo’s previous work includes the Crank films and Gamer so Ghost Rider seems to continue in their signature frenetic style. The footage really captured the hands-on approach the two take to their movies where they often become the camera operators themselves. Occasionally you see them strapping on some rollerblades and hanging on to the back of a motorcycle putting their bodies on the line to get an exciting and memorable shot.

After introducing the panelists they rolled the first official footage showcasing the film’s new take on the character. This time around Ghost Rider looks to be more violent and Johnny Blaze seems to be a much more tortured character. Nicolas Cage said that Johnny has been walking around with his head on fire for about three years now and is as a result, has more of an edge.

It should be noted that this film flies under the flag of the Marvel Knights brand in contrast to the Marvel Studios brand producing the Avengers films. The last film to be released under this banner was Punisher: War Zone which was decidedly more violent and gory than it’s predecessor. The visual FX are head and shoulders above the last film and the action seems fittingly frenetic and exciting. Many of the shots showcase the new Hell Cycle and Ghost Rider’s flaming skull. The film was shot in 3D and from the footage shown so far seems to be used appropriately. Don’t get me wrong this is no Avatar, but for a visually stimulating movie such as this, expect good things.

Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance opens February 22, 2012 Starring Nicolas Cage, Claran Hinds, Idris Elba and Johnny Whitworth.