Sunday, December 06, 2009
Sunday, August 09, 2009
Michel Gondry directing the new Green Hornet movie - - and Jay Chou as Kato - - -is what boosts its stock but it's in the bag if it's anywhere near as fun as this. You can almost forgive Seth Rogen being in it.
Dig Bruce Lee beating the shit out of Burt Ward.
Asterios Polyp ,then.
Quite possibly the Mazzuchelli masterwork we've waited years for. Looks like there's enough here for an entire pull list.
Also, not a single silly superhero for miles. That could well be the biggest perk of all.
Thursday, June 25, 2009
Saturday, May 23, 2009
Directed by Zack Snyder
Written by David Hayter and Alex Tse
From the Comic by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons
"There are things that we did with Watchmen that could only work in a comic, and were indeed designed to show off things that other media can't." - Alan Moore
Alan Moore was right. Zack Snyder's Watchmen is an epic redundancy. A doppelganger stitched together with hubris and airplane glue but hollowed out, bereft of soul. A dummy twitching on the lap of a ventriloquist with no voice to throw so he throws someone else's. An impostor bursting at the seams with all the digital pretty that money can buy licking your eyes over and over and over until you give and have its baby - - -I looooove you, Zack Snyder's Watchmen ! You're so sooooo pretty! - - - as if the whole point of steeping yourself - - - and to a virulent degree at that - - - in both the lore and the form of comic books is to someday see them blown up at 24 fps, as if the whole point of comic books is to be glorified shooting boards for comic book movies, as if the whole point was not the comic books.
None of this is puritan fanboy outrage, mind - - -there's no blasphemy in getting a comic book movie wrong. And are there still puritan fanboys out there and if there are, have they been out of the house lately? And no, this isn't a disappointment funk,either. Exasperated as I am about lowering my expectations to armor myself from deficient over-hyped blockbusters, it would have been profoundly foolish to come to this with my head in a more heightened space so I expected little from Zack Snyder's Watchmen and got exactly that.
Superheroes, for ages the hot ticket of comic books , have become the hot ticket of theme park cinema. And Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons' Watchmen is only the Citizen Kane of superhero comics. Viral and monolithic but unfilmable - - -that was the recurring prognosis. Too colossal. Too grim. Too dense. Too expensive to mount. A whole litany of too's. But the most crucial "too" is the most neglected out of it not being readily apparent: too self-contained. The nine panel grid was not for the hell of it. The work fed off its medium. This was not Iron Man or Batman or Hellboy where Favreau, Nolan, Del Toro - - -dork, craftsman, genius - - - took characters from another medium then retroactively folded them into theirs. Watchmen demanded more taking apart, more toil, more translation. The last thing you want to do with it is use the comic book as a shooting board. That's the first thing Zack does.
And who is Zack Snyder exactly? What's his aesthetic? What's his stance? He undercranks his fight scenes. That's it. That's my only peg on him as a filmmaker. That's everything he has to say about the world: combat is like ballet when slowed down. Does anybody making a popcorn movie need to say anything about the world? No, but that's just it, Zack's not making a popcorn movie anymore, is he? And before you pull out that haggard art vs.entertainment card - - - Zack sort of said that, not me. Only he doesn't really do much. He undercranks the fight scenes - - -he would. And bloats them into set pieces that go on and on and on- - -when short and sharp and shocking is what they are. He also makes the superheroes super - - -missing the whole point that, apart from the glowing blue dick of Dr.Manhattan,these were little more than kooks empowered by a silly costume and the balls to wear them. He shortcuts his nuances with some of modern cinema's most painfully obvious musical cues - - -The Times They Are A Changin' during the rather wonderful opening montage showing how . . .um, the times are. . .um, a-changin'. Duh. Mason Hood is peripheral. Ozymandias becomes a fascist caricature. The gigantic squid is 86'd - - -well, that one I can let slip. He upsets the dynamic. The feel is off. The plot is lost. Oh, he nails Rorsharch - - - but only a buffoon would not nail Rorsharch and Zack isn't a buffoon by any measure, just in over his head.
His Watchmen is a glorified motion comic. Epic. Redundant. And that's my beef,really. Everything I take from his movie I've already taken from the book. Or maybe I don't. I just fill blanks in my head. That sequence with Dr.Manhattan striding across Vietnam rice paddies shooting death rays from his hands to decimate Cong had me palpitating,sure. And there are about half a dozen other sequences here that do that,too - - - and those undercranked fight scenes of his do have a supple beauty even if they have no bearing, make no sense. Thing is, they all had me palpitating on the page, where they also had the conspirational throb of context. Here, they're just money shots. Eyecandy. Digital pretty licking your eyes over and over and over.
And this, those of us grumbling in the corners are told, should suffice. Shame, that. Know what, maybe this is a bit of puritan fanboy outrage . Having steeped myself in the lore and the form of comic books to a virulent degree, I think I've earned the right to great expectations when a comic book movie rolls into town, to demand more from them than just the fleeting thrill of being gangraped by the digital pretty and to not settle for something just because they got Night Owl's costume right. * *
Monday, February 23, 2009
Given the obsessive-compulsive interconnected density of the Lost universe - - -and the obsessive-compulsiveness of its fans, myself included, in sifting for clues amidst the seemingly random matter- - - it's not that easy to dismiss the recent sight of Hugo reading a Spanish-language edition of Y: The Last Man, Vol. 3: One Small Step as just Brian K. Vaughan indulging in a bit of cameo self-advertising.
This particular arc ,after all, was about returning astronauts on an Earth radically and eerily changed and the race among factions to receive them. Before that, somebody was reading a Green Lantern comic with a polar bear in it and look where that led to.
So. Red herring? Or easter egg?
Monday, February 16, 2009
Finally! I would have loved a live-action movie though.
From the DVD's website: When the Amazon princess Diana [Keri Russell, Waitress, Felicity] escorts pilot Steve Trevor [Nathan Fillion, Waitress, Desperate Housewives, Firefly] home to the United States after his crash-landing on the mystical island of Themyscria, she must also deal with the ambitions of the Greek god Ares [Alfred Molina]. Ares intends to use an ancient artifact, the Hand of Rage, to plunge the world into a centuries long war that will also ensure his revenge against Themyscria’s Amazons. To save her people and the world, Diana must become Wonder Woman.
And the trailer:
Saturday, January 31, 2009
"During the Robotech Panel at Anime Expo 2008, the involvement of Tobey Maguire and Lawrence Kasdan was confirmed, with Kasdan writing the script for the live action movie. Tommy Yune also revealed that the movie is planned as a re-imagining of the original Robotech universe (with new updated mecha and character designs) and will take place several years in the future, departing from the original cartoon's 2009 setting. As of November 2008, Alfred Gough and Miles Millar are the set writers for the film."
Movie designs leaked out. Designs for the Zentraidi Mecha looks absolutely cool!
Beyond Hollywood said that Tobey Maguire will produce but may not star in the movie. There are rumors that he'll be Rick Hunter.
47. Pinky and the Brain
46. The Jetsons
44. Battle of the Planets
43. Samurai Jack
42. The Powerpuff Girls
41. Tiny Toon Adventures
40. Batman Beyond
39. Aqua Teen Hunger Force
37. Space Ghost Coast to Coast
36. Superman: The Animated Series
35. Avatar: The Last Airbender
33. Schoolhouse Rock
32. Liquid Television
31. Muppet Babies
30. The Spectacular Spider-Man
29. Speed Racer (1967)
28. Home Movies
27. King of the Hill
26. The Critic
25. Robot Chicken
24. Scooby-Doo, Where Are You!
22. The Real Ghostbusters
21. Star Wars: Clone Wars (2003)
20. Justice League Unlimited
19. G.I. Joe
16. The Maxx
15. SpongeBob SquarePants
14. Cowboy Bebop
12. The Ren and Stimpy Show
11. The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show
10. Neon Genesis Evangelion
9. The Flintstones
7. Family Guy
6. The Tick (1994)
5. Beavis and Butt-head
4. South Park
3. Looney Tunes
2. Batman: The Animated Series
Friday, January 30, 2009
And Neil Gaiman said he liked this trailer best:
From Chronicle Books:
Pride and Prejudice and Zombies -- Pride and Prejudice and Zombies features the original text of Jane Austen's beloved novel with all-new scenes of bone-crunching zombie action. As our story opens, a mysterious plague has fallen upon the quiet English village of Meryton—and the dead are returning to life! Feisty heroine Elizabeth Bennet is determined to wipe out the zombie menace, but she's soon distracted by the arrival of the haughty and arrogant Mr. Darcy. What ensues is a delightful comedy of manners with plenty of civilized sparring between the two young lovers—and even more violent sparring on the blood-soaked battlefield as Elizabeth wages war against hordes of flesh-eating undead. Complete with 20 illustrations in the style of C. E. Brock (the original illustrator of Pride and Prejudice), this insanely funny expanded edition will introduce Jane Austen's classic novel to new legions of fans.
Jane Austen is the author of Sense and Sensibility, Persuasion, Mansfield Park, and other masterpieces of English literature.
Seth Grahame-Smith is the author of How to Survive a Horror Movie and The Big Book of Porn. He lives in Los Angeles.