Nerd shit

tn_batmansupermanOkay guys, since every conversation lately seems to turn into Batman or Superman, here is a thread to do it without derailing important The Phantom or fighting owls analysis. This could be kind of like the potpourri thread except limited to comic strip movies and what not.

To show that I’m not above it I will comment on the news that set off the recent Superman conversation: that Zack Snyder is on a list of potential directors for the new Superman picture. I thought about it and I think actually Snyder might work well with David S. Goyer, who wrote the script, so I’m for it. Also on the list is David Bowie’s son Duncan Jones, who did MOON. I have no idea if he can pull off a big studio movie, but he seems like the most interesting director on the list.

Also they’re saying Darren Aranofsky now. I’d see that. It could be Matt Reeves (CLOVERFIELD, LET ME IN, co-creator of an old TV show called Felicity). And Jonathan Liebesman (TEXAS CHAINSAW reprequel) most likely based on the alien invasion movie he has coming out, but he’s also supposed to do CLASH OF THE TITANS 2: THE RE-CLASH.

But the rule is they always go with the worst guy on the list, so congratulations to Tony Scott, who will direct the first Superman movie where nobody can tell if the guy is supposed to be flying or not.

This entry was posted on Tuesday, September 28th, 2010 at 11:27 am and is filed under Blog Post (short for weblog). You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

501 Responses to “Nerd shit”


    You will believe subtitles can kind of wiggle distractingly.

  2. “so I’m for it. Also on the list is David Bowie’s son Duncan Jones, who did MOON. I have no idea if he can pull off a big studio movie”

    Vern – Don’t you think its strange how you could have used the same very words back in the early 2000s? you know back when that Nolan dude just did that low budget backwards-memory-loss thriller and that modest-scale Alaskan murder mystery and he’s given BATMAN. Can he pull off a big studio movie? Weird because in some ways history is repeating itself here with Duncan Jones possibly getting hired by Nolan much like Soderbergh and Clooney hired Nolan for INSOMNIA.

    And your endorsement of Snyder is…well, its like if you were endorsing Michael Bay back then. Harsh but really Snyder is a slightly more respected Bay, both guys who despite all the money and CGI in the world, they can’t direct compelling comprehensible action worth a shit.

    As I said elsewhere, imagine Snyder’s SUPERMAN in all its green screen jackass jerking off. How fucking unappealing this side of bread pudding. Who wants to see that bullshit? If Bay has explosions explosions explosions, Snyder has awkwardly “cool” (when really its the opposite) mid-motion freeze.

    Matt Reeves isn’t a bad idea either, but lets see with his new remake how he does without shakey cam. Its getting good reviews so far. Which means it might be good, which means it’ll flop. If we’re going by 2010 good vampire pictures tracking like DAYBREAKERS.

  3. I think the only comparison between Snyder and Bay is that they’re both slick commercial directors. But their styles are very different. Obviously I hate Bay’s for its lack of rhythm or comprehensibility. Snyder’s I like – it looks beautiful but still has clear, exciting action scenes in all of his movies so far. I personally like his use of slo-mo because it flies completely opposite of what’s popular now, trying to make sure you see exactly what’s going on instead of trying to make sure you have no way of seeing what’s going on.

    And of course tonally they’re very different too. All four of Snyder’s movies take their concepts seriously. Bay fills his movies with hundreds of lame jokes at the expense of any drama. Now that you make the comparison, I guarantee you Snyder could’ve made a much more enjoyable (although not as insane) version of a Transformers movie. There would be none of that wisecracking, the fights I’m sure would be easy to follow and he’d probly treat the robots with the respect he does his, uh, owls and stuff. Damn, now I can kind of see the potential of a Transformers movie.

    As far as greenscreen, I’m not sure what that means. Do you think somebody else is gonna hang Superman off a helicopter and fly him around? Snyder did 300 with green screens but created a fully realized three dimensional stylized world, unlike Sin City which often looked like flat backdrops. For Dawn of the Dead and Watchmen he shot on locations and sets. Plus I don’t see producer Nolan wanting to help out with a Sky Captain type movie.

    Like I said, I wish Snyder had a little more smarts, but after enjoying all four of his movies so far I gotta admit he has something.

  4. They’re making a CLASH OF THE T2TANS? Fuck the “first” was a rare BATMAN & ROBIN/BATTLEFIELD:EARTH level big budget distater to me. I know everyone who read that instantly thought “no way dude”, but, no, I mean it.

  5. The new CLASH OF THE T1TANS was just boring. I really can’t stand that joyless approach to old-fashioned adventure. Everybody acts like saving the world from giant monsters is such a chore. Try working for a living, buddy.

  6. I feel like Snyder could compose some really compelling action scenes, but if he were directing then Nolan’s script better be out-of-this-world, and Nolan should probably be keeping an eye on the actors, too. I think darren aronofsky is the best choice of the one’s above, and he and Nolan have similar backgrounds, but if Nolan is godfathering this thing then a more up-and-coming director likes Jones might work better. We sort of don’t know just how involved Nolan will be, which could determine whether they go with someone younger and fresher, or someone more established (who may not enjoy having Nolan over his shoulder the whole time).

  7. To be fair, the original CLASH OF THE TITANS wasn’t that good either. I usually refer to it as the prototype of the modern hollow blockbuster, that has nothing to offer than effect shots and suffers from bad actors and a mindnumbingly stupid script.

    And in terms of Zack Snyder: I still don’t care for anything he does, so I guess if he makes a Superman movie, I won’t watch it. (The scars that 300 caused are still hurting.)

  8. And I still hope that the Nolans browse one day through the internet and come across that old AICN post, where Moriarty suggested a Superman movie that takes place in the 1930’s and is made by the Coen Bros.

  9. Vern – You really like Snyder’s slow motion nonsense?

    I dunno his bullshit comes off like way too many guys after they saw several John Woo movies and wanting to replicate, but of course missing the entire point. The stop motion in itself isn’t “cool,” but how it relates to the rest of the narrative’s visual aesthetic storytelling. A master, or used to at least at this sort of shit was Mr. Brian DePalma. Would you at least agree with me that DePalma is better at that one aspect than Snyder?

    As for green screen….you need to see that trailer for Snyder’s new movie SUCKER PUNCH. Then tell me again I’m being silly.

    Why am I getting worked up? Why am I being an asshole? Snyder aint gonna be hired. WB might want him because 300 was a big hit, WATCHMEN was a big disapointment* and if SUCKER PUNCH goes like the last few geek chic-tailored-hyped-up-the-ass comic con favorites, it won’t do shit in theatres. Otherwise I don’t see Nolan hiring/backing him, and if he does end up employing him….I’ll eat crow.

    I don’t see Darren A. happening, not out of questions about his possible merits, but I can’t picture WB getting behind him for such a big dollar project with real jobs on the line. Plus I doubt he’s interested in it, though he did cook up that infamous crazy-ass BATMAN: YEAR ONE script where Alfred was a black mecanic, the batmobile was a souped-up cadillac, and Batman at one point wears a hockey mask in his early escapades. Great director though so who knows?

    PacmanFever – Yeah it was shit and somehow made a big pile of money so…hooray for hollywood? Talk about a movie made by guys after they just played GOD OF WAR. But instead of Kratos I get AVATAR guy. That’s not much of a trade-off.

    *=INCEPTION, another bigass budget movie with a similar long running time made more money in America than WATCHMEN (based off a “classic” book with all the inherit adapted advantages attached) did in its entire worldwide run.

  10. CJ: Yeah, but at least you could laugh at it. There’s nothing worse than a bad movie that isn’t even funny.

  11. Hell yes. The Coens would make an incredible Superman movie, though I can’t picture them coming in and doing it from someone else’s script. A period-piece would be cool, too, but I think it’s more important to get a modern, relevant Superman film. With all the shit going on in the world today, it seems like it shouldn’t be too hard to make something that can really connect with audiences.

  12. CJ Holden – Sure why not? Isn’t that where Bale got the Batman gig?

  13. I am Vern's Message Board

    September 28th, 2010 at 12:33 pm

    Vern starts a thread just so you nerds can stop cluttering up movie reviews with Superman talk and what do you do? Use it to talk about Clash of the Titans.

  14. RRA – actually I believe Frank Miller wrote the script for Aronofsky’s Year One. Thank god that never got made and they went with Nolan instead.

    Also, if you this interview (http://www.comicbookmovie.com/fansites/rorschachsrants/news/?a=22918) says Snyder already passed on Superman.

  15. Lets instead talk about The Phantom. ;)

  16. Sorry for the incomprehensible grammar in that last post.

  17. At least nobody is gonna mention THE WIRE in here…

  18. Levon Swift – OK thanks for the correction. Thanks for the link.

    BTW off topic but why has Miller just plain lost his damn mind in the last few years? From being one of the great influential (or too influential to hack writers/artists in 1990s with the violence and gritty nonsense) comic book people of the 1980s, he’s really shit in his legacy bed lately aint he?

  19. Mr. Majestyk: Sorry, but I couldn’t even laugh at the original CLASH. It was just a fucking bad movie, that can’t even be watched with nostalgia or Hey-old-movies-are-cheesy-MST3K-mindset (Which I don’t have anyway.)

  20. CJ: It’s not one of my favorites, but I got a lot of love for the creatures in that movie. Plus, that soft-focus, shot-through-a-screen-door look they got going on is always hilarious. It makes everything look like a Barbara Walters interview.

  21. Well, Miller’s always been insane. He just doesn’t have the filters (most of them probably external) that he used to have anymore.

    Same thing with Alan Moore. He used to have editors who could keep him in line, but now everything just goes straight from his head to the paper, and it’s a damn mess.

  22. RRA, I have to agree with Vern. I think Snyder is a talented but flawed film maker. He may have a lot of room to grow as a director, but he is no Micheal Bay. Snyder, directs great action sequences, but makes somewhat shallow films that lack emotional resonance. Bay doesn’t even direct good action sequences and his films are heartless big budget commercials. However, I very much agree with your observation about Duncan Jones. I really enjoyed MOON.

  23. Frank Miller has lost his damn mind. I read All-Star Batman & Robin the Boy Wonder, and I gotta say man it was almost heartbreaking to read something that seemed to understand Batman so little by a writer who helped define the modern interpretation of the character.

  24. By the way, I was talking to RRA, there. Don’t want to confuse anybody.

  25. I agree. I still don’t see why he’s often called “visionary” , especially when most of his work is a translation of somebody else idea , but Snyder’s movies are more easy to follow than most of today action-driven “cinema”. I think he’s somewhat stuck in the Matrix nineties , but , hey , slow-mo is good enough for me , I can follow the action better .

    Since this is the nerd channel , thanks for The Phantom (1996) review. I had a lot of fun with that , an ultra-silly movie not afraid of what it is. One of my favorite scenes is James Remar ( playing an Indiana Jones clone ) trying to stike his Asian child sidekick with his elbow . Good stuff . In fact , so good , that I’m currently trying to find some Phantom comics , but good lord I don’t know where to begin , the character started his publishing career in the 30s and never fucking stopped !

  26. That “Visionary” label is fucking hubris at its most awesome, like when DePalma was declared “Master of the Macabre” for DRESSED TO KILL.

    Of course DRESSED TO KILL was actually pretty good and in some ways DePalma does deliver in that hype but hey MOVING ON we’ve made our stands, crossed our lines on the sand, all that.

    Speaking of DePalma….what the fuck happened to him on REDACTED? Its like he had a mid-life crisis, pissed at Iraq and made that sort of whiney experimental movie with bad acting you would expect from a college short film.

  27. The new Clash deserves all the hate it gets, but it is worth checking out this article about how studio melding is most likely the reason it sucked so bad.


  28. Frank Miller also really liked the Daredevil movie.

  29. You can hate Snyder for any reason and say his action isn’t compelling, but I don’t think you can say it isn’t comprehensible. You always know who is doing what to do, and where everyone is in relation to each other. The action is clear. He’s one of the few guys out there making clear cut action flicks, I like him. Like Vern, I like that the guy isn’t ironic or winky or putting in stupid jokes like every other dumb blockbuster. He plays things straight.

  30. I loved the action in 300, and I think Snyder’s action can be very clear and compelling, but I thought that his style was all wrong for Watchmen.

  31. Hey RRA, if you are still here, i wanted to say that i had to create a new email and MSN account, so please let us find a way to get into contact with each other again.

  32. … and would be all wrong for Superman, too, though not really for the same reasons. I mean, a Snyder-shot slug-fest between Superman and Darkseid would be pretty badass, but the subtlety is too important.

  33. With that said, I would rather let Snyder direct every Superman movie from now until the end of time then see Tony fucking Scott anywhere near this thing.

  34. “I like that the guy isn’t ironic or winky or putting in stupid jokes like every other dumb blockbuster. He plays things straight.”

    Jones – Oh you’re right about that, especially since he didn’t have to on 300 because that movie was a complete joke.

    AsimovLives – I guess Witness Protection failed me again.

  35. I like Aronofsky a lot, but I think he’s all wrong for Superman. Supes should be a beacon of light, not a wallow in the muck. That’s why I think Snyder is a great choice. There might not be much subtext going on in his movies, but that’s fine. It makes him an earnest filmmaker whose work seems to exist solely in the moment, giving him a really strong command of the beat-by-beat dynamics of cinematic storytelling. I think he truly believes in the power of pop art imagery. With his instincts for the iconic, I think he’d give us some truly super and heroic superheroics for a change.

  36. Levon Swift – Let me guess. Snyder isn’t cartoonish, but Scott of the last decade is? That’s like hating Looney Tunes but liking Disney.

    I just don’t get it, and I’m obviously fucking outnumbered in this debate this side of Seagal in UNDER SIEGE. Without badass killing methods or akiidoo skills. So I guess I’m the chick then. Without the nice titties.

    Tony Scott making SUPERMAN is another depressing thought. I mean jesus enough dude, your UNSTOPPABLE looks like a retarded actioneer remake of the wonderful RUNAWAY TRAIN and you want to do the same for THE WARRIROS.

    Tony, you’re an asshole. Sad thing is, unlike a Snyder or Bay, once upon time you were a decent director Tony who made some decent movies. TOP GUN was garbage but hey you made TRUE ROMANCE and REVENGE. And fucking HUNGER.

  37. RRA, so how are we to do this? Is there any place you know of where you feel safe to tell me your email again? or for me to give my new one?

  38. I just mean that at least in Snyder’s film you’d be able to see where Superman is and what/who he is punching. I’m not sure Scott could deliver that much. I don’t think Snyder’s a great choice either; Jones or Aronofsky would be my picks. Personally I think they should scrap the whole thing and have Superman in Batman 3, but for some reason Nolan is intent on keeping them separate.

    I’d also like to take this opportunity to jump on the Jon Hamm as Superman bandwagon.

  39. Nobody denies that a slow motion shot is better than shaky cam and epileptic editing, but even slow motion needs timing and pace. And if 300 taught me anything, then that Zack Synder got no idea when to use it or how. (To be fair, he might have improved by now, because I neither saw Watchmen or the owls movie, but just hearing that he is is still using lots of slow motion shots in his movies makes me doubt it.)

  40. Watchmen was a step down from 300. 300 is still his best movie, so if you don’t like that…

  41. “But the rule is they always go with the worst guy on the list, so congratulations to Tony Scott, who will direct the first Superman movie where nobody can tell if the guy is supposed to be flying or not.”
    Featuring the line “Is it a Bird? Is it a Plane? No, seriously, what the fuck is it?”

    Snyder’s slow motion/speeded up alternating style actually when you think about is a really logical choice for Superman action scenes. If he’s taking down, let’s say, a bunch of robots at Superspeed, then it’d made sense to go from him blurring from one to the next, then slowing it right down to show him landing his blows in detail and let the power be shown. Smallville does something like that all the time, and I thought this scene from last season was a pretty nice example:

  42. Levon Swift – The reason for SUPERMAN is that by order of court over a lawsuit with the Siegal/Shuster estates (dudes who created Superman), WB effectively has until 2012 I believe to make a new SUPERMAN movie before the film rights lapse back to those estates.

    And yeah, I quite dig the Hamm/Supes idea too.

  43. I’m all for Hamm because I prefer my Superman to be a grown-ass man, but if they go younger like you know they will I nominate that tall dude from THE OFFICE. Especially if they go with that (possibly imaginary) Coens Bros one set in the thirties. Watch LEATHERHEADS and tell me I’m wrong.

  44. That tall dude was almost Captain America. I thought he’d have been perfect, and I wasn’t sure about Evans, but recent set picks show him looking exactly fucking like Steve Rogers.

  45. Also, Stu, that tag line is hilarious.

  46. I am with Mr. Majestyk, as much as I like Aronofsky he is the wrong choice for Superman. Superman is not Batman, he is not dark or brooding, and I worry that an Aronofsky directed Supes would tread in the same melancholy and joyless waters RETURNS did. Superman is like a Greek god among men, and his adventures should be larger then life and fun with a touch of humanity.

  47. Mr. Majestyk – Makes sense. I like the Hamm casting in idea because it ties into less youthful, more mature Superman that was prevalent in Golden Age comics and the George Reeves TV program.

    But really, I would use that 90s cartoon as something of a role model of how to do Superman.

  48. RRA, check out your escape ny email, see if you got my email, please. thanks.

  49. Yes to using the 90’s cartoon as inspiration. The whole Timm/Dini animated universe is great.

    Anybody wish we could’ve seen a Spielberg Superman movie? With everyone worrying about Aronofsky being too dark (which he generally is, but that doesn’t mean he couldn’t do something like this too), it just got me thinking about how Spielberg’s style could’ve been so perfect. Of course, he’s the perfect Captain America director, too, and Marvel must know that since they hired Joe Johnston (i.e. Spielberg-lite).

  50. Speaking of Tony Scott, anybody else think RUNAWAY TRAIN ON FIRE (I’m trying to make it the new PORT OF CALL NEW ORLEANS. Work with me here) looks potentially not shitty? Sure, Tony’ll probably get flop sweat over it and fuck the whole thing up, but the trailer makes it look like a throwback to early-nineties high-concept A-list action. It could work if somebody makes sure Tony gets his nap so he’s not all overstimulated.

  51. The wrong man for this job is already named, and it’s Zack The Hack Snyder. I’m even suprised that Vern is so easy on him. That guy all kinds of wrong for a Supermanmovie, as much as Tony Scott. As i see it,. there’s only two really interesting choices right now: Duncan Jones and Darren Aronofski. And if people are worried that Jones is not enough experience,d well, he’s currently about the start a medium budget movie, so he’s raising in the ladder. And Darren never made a big budget movie either. But so it was with Christopher Nolan with BATMAN BEGINS. There’s always a first time for everything.

  52. Mr. Majestyk, that Tony Scott train movie will be crap, and the fact that Nu Kirk actor is init doesnt bode well either. I’m starting to seriously dislike that dude, as much as i’m starting to seriously dislike Zoe Saldana too.

  53. I’m terribly suspicious of the positive reviews that ELT ME IN, Matt Reeves’s latest movie is getting. I think those positive reviews are either from the people who never watched the original movie, or they are those that Jar Jar Abrams bought for his long time dedicated ass slave.

  54. I am just going to throw it out there, but Eric Bana would make a badass Supes, and so would Tom Hardy if you wanted to go younger. They both could pull it of physically, and are very good actors. Hardy carried BRONSON, and was one of my favorite parts of INCEPTION. He already has the Nolan seal of approval.

  55. I gotta disagree about Hardy. He was a total badass in Inception, but he just doesn’t look like Superman to me.

    Also, and I suppose this could be debated, but I think it’s important to have an American actor play Supes, as important as it is to have an American play Cap. That’s part of why I like Hamm so much – he looks like he could actually be from Midwest America (because he is).

  56. I agree that a Superman movie should not be like a Batman movie. When I watch a superman movie, I just wanna have a good time. A superman movie should be more like the 1st Spiderman movie than the Dark Knight. Bright and colorful, but not completely brain dead. I also agree that the Superman remake was completely dull. Bad casting too. I like Kevin Spacey but come on, him as Lex Luthor?

    As far as Snyder, I really feel this guy is on the verge of genius but I don’t think he’ll ever get there. Visually this guy is incredible. There were moments in Watchmen, especially the Vietnam segment, where I got a pit in my stomach (you know, when a scene is so well put together yet the content is so disgusting you’re conflicted emotionally) that only guys like Kubrick used to give me. Yet, in the end, his movies are a little too emptyheaded to really consider him in that league of filmmaker. In the end, he just makes popcorn movies. The one time he took real risk and made something different (Watchmen) it flopped big time (though I really liked it).

  57. Majestyk – Couldn’t you argue the same for Tony’s lackluster as fuck PELHAM remake? The original is a tight mean thriller, remake is the slacker son rebelling against dad.

    Asimov – try my hotmail account. You know, the one with my real name in the address?

  58. RRA: The PELHAM remake just looked crappy from the outset. I love the look and feel of the original so making it shinier was never going to appeal to me. I never saw it though so it might be an underappreciated classic for all I know.

  59. RRA – OK, i’ll try that, if i can recall it. Memory and old age, you know?

  60. Since we have a new thread, I would like to openly apologize for derailing the Phantom thread a few days back. That said, I was not trolling, I honestly find vigilante justice to be a deeply troubling concept and not something that should be inherently seen as “kid’s stuff.” To me at least, it is clearly not. I feel so strongly about the subject that I actually wrote my senior thesis project in film school on the subject. It’ a hardcore action film that deals directly with these themes and a pretty good agent is reading this weekend. I also just made a phone call today and found out that I could probably get it to, no shit, Steven Seagal.

    In any case, I will henceforth refrain from getting into Nietzsche on these boards.

  61. Here’s an article where they choose 14 directors who they think Nolan should pick:


  62. When will Tony Scott finally realise he became a living joke? When people who defend Zack The Hack Snyder can piss on Tony Scott, that’s when you know you have hit rock bottom.

  63. Hunter D., so you are the one to blame, hem?

  64. Levon Swift, Hamm is not a bad choice. He does have an oldschool Christopher Reeves quality about him, but he lacks the physical presence Superman needs. And, I don’t buy that an American needs to play Supes. Bale, is a great Batman even with his silly growling line delivery. Actually, the more I think about it the more I think Hardy is perfect for the part.

  65. One of their potential choices is Bay. They dismiss the idea, and I would really like to, were it not for a troubling interview with Nolan’s cinematographer Wally Pfister in which he says that Nolan really likes Bay’s movie (Pfister also says it’s one of the things they often disagree about).

  66. I don’t think an American needs to play Batman though. I think Superman and Cap are the only two. Plus, the Waynes are clearly descended from British aristocracy.

  67. I also don’t buy that Hamm lacks the physical presence. Yes, he’d have to bulk up a bit, but I think his performance on Mad Men shows why he’d be perfect. In fact, one of the more intelligent commenters over on comibookmovie.com (there aren’t many of them) made a very valid point about how in many way Don Draper is like a dark reflection of Superman. Draper hides the farmboy past he’s ashamed of so that he can appear to be the man he wants to be, thinks he should be, while Superman really is that man, but he’s hiding in the guise of this normal average farm boy.

  68. Levon Swift, interesting point about the Waynes, but I am sticking with my nomination of Hardy. Tell me you wouldn’t go see a Jones directed Superman starting Hardy.

    It is funny that Jones and T Scott are up for the same job because Jones reminds me a lot of Ridely Scott.

  69. I give my vote to either Snyder, who is unparalleled as a visual stylist these days, and I’m sure could deliver a great movie if he had a great foundation, or either Matt Reeves or Duncan Jones, just because I think it’d be sweet to have a low-budget auteur take a stab at it.

    Dream director? I’m gonna agree with Moriarty that a Coen Bros. Superman movie would be fucking amazing, and would be totallly different from anything else anyone is making.

    Why not just rehire Brandon Routh? SUPERMAN RETURNS had many, many problems, but he wasn’t one of them. The dude inhabited every aspect of the character perfectly, and if they actually let him play the Man of Steel, he has ‘All Time Greatest’ in his sights.

  70. I’d be okay with re-hiring Routh, who I felt was good maybe capable of more, but I just don’t see them going with the actor from the last movie that flopped that this is re-booting.

  71. Wait…what? You guys like Watchmen but hate Man on Fire? Seriously?

    I anxiously await each new Tony Scott film. I think he really pushes the medium. For all the shit that it gets, Domino is a work of unbridled genius. You just have to keep in mind that the whole film is a fractured narrative told by someone who is coming down from a serious, unintentional mescalin high and it comes together quite nicely. Only introducing the fact that the narrator has been high the entire time late into act three is a daring choice. A subtle unreliable narrator ploy that I put on par with the reveal of Tyler Durden’s true nature in Fight Club. I’m dead serious. By far the best thing Richard Kelly has ever written. (And by the by, what the hell is up with Kelly? His screenplays read so damn smoothly but the dude cannot tell a story for the life of him!)

    Meanwhile, I found Watchmen to be nigh unwatchable. Longest 3 hours of my life. I knew I was in for a bumpy ride when I saw that awful, cartoonish Nixon makeup about 4 minutes in. I can’t remember ever being that disappointed by a movie. I can’t find the review I wrote, but I remember the title was something along the lines of “BLUEKAKI!” and my lead was “When it was first announced that My Chemical Romance would be doing a cover of Bob Dylan’s ‘Desolation Row’ for Zach Snyder’s adaptation of ‘Watchmen’ many assumed it would be the worst element of the film. Sadly, it turns out to be one of the best.”

    The problem for me was that Snyder just doesn’t “get” Watchmen at all. I listened in on the last 30 minutes of his live director’s commentary on the Director’s Cut at Comic-Con 2 years back and the dude said that the “Real question of Watchmen is, if you were in Ozymandias’s shoes and you knew you could ensure world peace through killing, would you?” And this is, of course, way, WAY off base. The point of the novel is that Rorschach is a horrible, fascist leaning bastard of a human being who is morally reprehensible, and completely right and Ozymandias is an enlightened, liberal-minded fellow with humanities best interest in mind, and he is completely and totally wrong. The only way the alien attack will ensure peace is if he continues massive population purges every few years. It boils down to an argument about Locke and Hume and the wisdom of Malthus and I’m pretty sure that Snyder doesn’t even know who Malthus IS.

    That said, I met Snyder once and he was really, really cool to me. I think he has a great sense of visual style and that he is an exceptionally nice guy, but that he’s about as deep as a thimble. And the lack of depth would be fine, except that he keeps making movies with inherently political concepts.

    Post Script: Expect Sucker Punch to bomb, hard. Female lead action films that market themselves on being sexually provocative don’t play well. The moment of faux-feminism Riot GRRL aesthetics has past. Furthermore, I write about movies for a few websites and I read all the trades every day and I have literally NO IDEA what the hell the plot hook for Sucker Punch is. And just like Scott Pilgrim (which I also disliked after a superb first half hour) any time you make a youth culture movie with an unclear plot hook in the trailer, it dies on the vine.

  72. Hunter – I agree about Watchmen. I was sooo disappointed. You’ve almost convinced me to give Domino another shot too.

  73. I don’t hate MAN ON FIRE or DOMINO. I like to watch them like they’re lava lamps and just let the visuals wash over me without trying to make sense of them. I just don’t want to see that kind of gonzo approach applied to every movie, whether it warrants it or not.

  74. The only reason Snyder might work is that Nolan could balance his flaws. Really, they could balance each others flaws, since the fight scenes in Nolan’s Batman movies are usually the weakest part.

  75. I didn’t like WATCHMEN, though, although I don’t blame Snyder. All the problems I had with it were problems I had with the book, e.g., overlength, unsympathetic characters, general sadsackery. It started out great but by the fourteenth or fifteenth hour I just wanted it to die.

  76. Out of that Hitfix list that Levon linked to, I would give my vote to Kathryn Bigelow (If she leaves the shaky cam in the hurt locker), Danny Boyle (Who is changing the film genres he works in more often than I cut my hair [WAY more often], so it’s about time that he does a big budget comic book action movie) and Gore Verbinski (Who I consider at this generation’s Richard Donner [Someone who constantly delivers very solid and enjoyable work, without making the material his own]).

  77. Also, I just want to say Thank You Vern for giving me a place to talk about all this shit that ISN’T comicbookmovie.com, a website which is full of people who think Jon Hamm is too old to be Superman (but Tom Welling is perfect!), hate the next X-Men movie already (even though it’s from a solid director with a promising cast and written by the guy who made the first two good ones), and don’t have any idea how to construct a coherent sentence (and seem to be spelling all their words phonetically).

  78. @ CJ – I always kind of thought of Martin Campbell was the modern Richard Donner.

  79. Sorry about complaining about bad grammar and then saying what I just said. I’m a little bit drunk.

  80. Can’t really comment on Martin Campbell’s Donnerbility. I only know his two Bond movies and VERTICAL LIMIT. But I would say Verbinsky is the better new Donner, because he seems to be able to deliver a solid entry in every genre, budget or rating. So far the genres he worked in contain broad slapstick, quirky comedy, moody horror, low key dramedy and loud and colourful fantasy adventure. If you compare that to Richard Donner’s filmography, you will find some similarities.

  81. Hunter D., I give you props because you have some balls to call Domino genius. I don’t hate Tony Scott, and I don’t think that Domino is the pile some label it, but to call it genius is a stretch of Reed Richards proportions. Watchmen is a flawed film with a flat ending, but I would rather watch it any day over Domino. I disagree with you that Snyder did not understand Watchmen. I think that despite his best effort the film even at a 3 hour run time could not support the density that is the Watchmen story. In trying to cram as much in as he could and stay true to his source material he struggled to build the sense of dread and hopelessness the book achieves in it’s final chapters and it hurt the end of the film. If he were willing to brake away from the book more and add more with Nixon, other world leaders, and news clips in the later half of the movie he could have done a better job creating that feel of a countdown to doomsday necessary to set up the power of the ending.

    And, for those that hate on the makeup in Watchmen, you have to understand they were not going for realism the were going for the feel of the art of the book. Nixon looked like Gibbon’s Nixon not the real life Nixon, and that was by design. I understand if you don’t like the choice, but you have to except that it is not the result of poor craftsmanship.

  82. I think Man on Fire is a very intelligent movie. One of my favorite revenge films. Some racial issues to be sure, but not a dumb movie by any means.

  83. Hunter, I will agree with you about Man On Fire. I really enjoy that movie.

  84. One more thing before I go to bed, considering Tony Scott and Pelham 123: His remake is not THAT bad. To be honest, the first half is even pretty good. Unfortunately it starts pretty quick to paint by numbers and by the end I didn’t even care for anything that happened. It also lacks the mix of humor and gritty thriller, that made the original so great. (Which I won’t hold against the remake. Putting humor into a thriller without making it feel out of place is very difficult, so maybe the writers of the remake decides to don’t even try.)
    On a more positive note: Tony Scott seriously restrained himself from abusing his AVID. After an opening sequence that looks exactly like we expect a new Tony Scott movie to look like,

  85. (damn, hit accidently the submit button)
    …he uses his typical avid farts on very few occasions (as far as I remember. And I don’t remember any after the first five minutes.)

  86. I will agree that the Nixon make up was really, really well done. It was just a poor artistic choice, in my opinion. As for Domino, I tend to think of it as a 60 million dollar experimental film. Scott was playing with expectations and genre and really going for it. Sure, it’s not perfect, but it’s certainly more ambitious than 90% of the films I see coming out during any given year and I tend to appreciate films with a reach that outdistances their grasp. They get extra credit from me. Of course, I haven’t seen Domino in a few years, so perhaps you’re right and I should revisit it before branding it with the “genius” label.

    I also contend you could make a brilliant Watchmen movie…if it was nothing at all like the book. Take the tone and the themes and do a deconstruction of the comic book movie instead of a deconstruction of comic books…as a movie.

  87. Hunter, I agree with both your your points. I would rather see a film maker get burned for flying to close to the sun then play it safe and make a boring movie. An ambitious failure can at least still be interesting or though provoking, and you can’t knock it out of the park if you don’t swing for the fences.

  88. Also, Vern; thanks for this thread. I was a bit worried I was about to be chased from my favorite websight with pitchforks after the Phantom debacle. Glad to see that everyone here remains levelheaded.

  89. Mr. Majestyk – You know what Charles Bronson would do in your shoes? Go watch RUNAWAY TRAIN before seeing the (inferior) remake. RT is a no-bullshit movie, and Bronson was no-bullshit. Don’t dishonor Paul Kersey.

    CJ Holden – No the PELHAM remake wasn’t technically a bad movie, but watchable in a mindless sort of fashion. You know, like most television. $100+ million spent, you had a solid timeless story for basis and two stars who can be (if not reliably) very good. And that is the best they can do?

    Vern – You might have created a monster with this thread.

  90. Maybe I liked Watchmen because I never read the book. Is this one of those movies that people who read the book hated it and people who didn’t read the book had no idea what was going on? Kinda like Hitchiker’s Guide to The Galaxy?

    As far as Domino and Man on Fire

    Man on Fire : Grew on me after a few viewings and now I really enjoy it. Scott actually made the avid fart style of editing work here since the movie is supposed to be somewhat disorienting (I could still tell what was going on) and I felt suited the material.

    Domino: What a piece of crap. The movie is completely incoherent. This is avid fart editing for avid fart editing’s sake. Even the “haha its brian austin green and ian zeiring” scene (which I heard about beforehand and thought was going to be at least a little amusing) was uninspired. The only saving grace was Keira Knightley looking just ungodly sexy. Other than that, this film is a mess and a waste of a good cast (Dabney Coleman!)

    I used to really like Tony Scott. The period from Top Gun to enemy of the State is pretty strong (though The Fan sucked).

  91. Not having read Watchmen might’ve helped, because, having read it numerous times over the years, I couldn’t help but imagine how great it could’ve been (especially back when Greengrass was attached and they were going to change some things and make it more realistic and less stylized).

  92. … so I wasn’t able to enjoy how kind of okay it was.

  93. Ok, offering my opinions on everything bar the kitchen sink, in response to various people:

    I’ve never read “Watchmen” and I liked the film, although parts of it did drag.

    I’ve never seen “Domino” (thanks, Vern!) or “Man on Fire”.

    I thought “Enemy of the State” was a bad waste of a good concept. It’s not terrible, but it’s not particularly good either.

    I liked X-Men 1 and 2, hated X-Men 3 and Superman Returns, and thought all three Spiderman movies were so much tosh but enjoyable in a “so bad they’re good” way nonetheless.

    The original “Taking of Pelham 1 2 3” is one of my favorite little-known movies. I haven’t seen the remake and don’t plan to. I’ve seen enough so-called “good” remakes of great films to know that I don’t want to waste my time or money on another one.

  94. Y’know, in regards to the Spider-Man movies, I really loved 1 and 2 when they came out, and then I really hated 3, but now when I see 1 or 2 on TV I can’t help but feel like they’ve aged really badly. They’ve got good moments but there’s a whole lot of crap in there.

  95. I think that Arronofsky could do a good Superman without it being moody. I think he’s bright enough to get the tone of Superman.

    That being said I would rather both Arronofky AND Duncan Jones keep doing what they’re doing. They should be making great originals and not wasting their time with a comic book movie (possibly a trilogy) that someone like Zack Snyder could do a fine job on.

    I think Zack Snyder could make a good Superman movie and given his track record (remake, comic book, comic book, owls) I don’t feel like we would be missing out on something like The Fountain, Moon, or The Wrestler.

    Consider that Sam Raimi was making some pretty good Spiderman movies (I even liked the third one) but none of them was as good as Drag Me To Hell or A Simple Plan or Darkman. The point is these guys are only going to be making a finite amount of movies in their career and I would rather see them use their creativity to make something original and leave the comic book and remakes to guys like Snyder who, while very competent in my opinion, don’t seem to have or want to express the talent to make something that is creative, original, and personal.

    Popeye was a good movie, but now that Robert Altman is dead and we don’t get anymore of his movies, don’t you kinda wish he did something else?

  96. Just as long as its not Tony Scott, I’m fine with it. Please, dear god, don’t let it be Tony Scott.

    I was with him up through Man on Fire, but I just recently watched his Taking of Pelham remake, and the man has completely lost his mind.

    Vern, I dare you to sit through his Pelham remake and review that piece of shit.

    I knew it wouldn’t be as good as the original, but I thought that they might at least have some fun with the premise and use it for
    some modern day action scenes. Problem is, that movie seriously has the most obnoxiously
    terrible stylistics of anything I’ve ever seen. You’d think the reason to remake that movie would be to do an awesome 10 minute
    car-chase set-piece as they have to rush the money across town. Instead, Tony Scott just randomly cuts away to some blurry shots of cop cars driving fast
    every couple minutes between dialogue scenes. And then when they get to the big climax where the train is supposed to be going 100 miles an hour,
    he shoots it from a distance and blurs the camera for NO FUCKING REASON, which makes the train look like its going 10 miles an hour.
    Just completely retarded, random shit. Not to mention the opening 10 minute montage of random editing bullshit that makes you want to punch the screen.

  97. Levon, I have never seen Spider-Man 3 because I don’t know a single person that liked it, and I do not want it to tarnish my admiration for Sam Raimi. I think until THE DARK NIGHT RETURNS came along and stole it’s crown Spider-Man 2 was the best comic book movie ever made. I have watched both Spidey 1 & 2 recently and think they hold up well, but the tone of both films are so much lighter and cartoonish then the comic book films being made now. Spidey 1 & 2 may not be dealing with as sophisticated or dark ideas as The DN RETURNS or Watchmen, but they are excellent movies.

  98. hamsline – that would be an interesting point, if Nolan weren’t kind of an antithesis to it. He gets to make increasingly good comic book movies with even better originals in between.

  99. Charles – I try to appreciate that fact when I watch them, but I think Iron Man kind of proved that you can make a great comic-based film that is fun in that popcorn blockbuster kind of way but still avoids the cheese that Spiderman has heaping helpings of.

  100. Hunter D: I am being dead serious: How is Domino playing with genres and styles? There’s nothing in it that you couldn’t see from any of the ten thousand post Pulp Fiction movies that have been shat out over the last two decades. The only thing that sets Domino apart is the visual style that ensures that the viewer has no clear sense of place or character or tone or rhythm.

  101. He’s what I like to call “an asshole for fucking up my theory”. I could do without Batman Begins (It was good but it was my least favorite of his movies) but The Dark Knight was tits.

    I don’t think that Snyder could have made something as great as The Dark Knight but once Nolan is done making movies I’ll still wonder what two (three once Batman Ends comes out. I guess you should also count Insomnia, being a remake and all) amazing worlds that Nolan never created would be like.

  102. Levon – By the by, not that it’s a big deal or anything but it’s hamsliMe with an “m” or you can just call me Erik (you can use a “c” or a “k” it won’t hurt my feelings any) since that’s my real name.

  103. I would also say that Nolan taking a break between Batmans to make great original films (actually Prestige is an adaptation of a book, but… wait, is Inception is only original film?) is part of what keeps him fresh for each new installment. Raimi should’ve done the same.

  104. Sorry hamslime/erik/eric – as I said above, I’ve been drinking tonight.

  105. The funny thing is that I went to a night class in between where I said that earlier and where I fucked up your name (and that “is Inception is” instead of “is Inception his”).

  106. Iron Man is somewhere between the Spidermans and the Batmans which to me is why its the most consistently satisfying comic book movie in a long time. I can be in any mood and enjoy Iron Man while the Spidermans and Batmans, I need to be in a certain mood. Though I think, overall, Dark Knight is the best movie out of the Iron Mans, Spidermans, and the Batmans.

  107. I guess his first film, The Following, is from an orginal script, but after that:
    Memento – adapted from a short story by his brother
    Batman Begins – comic
    The Prestige – novel by Christopher Priest
    The Dark Knight – comic
    Inception – original

  108. You may be right about The Prestige but for whatever reason I don’t usually look at book adaptations the same as remakes or comicbooks even. Book adaptations are remakes in a way I guess, but since books require you to use you imagination to create the world you are reading about maybe that’s where the distinction lies with me.

    I also think Memento was an original work. I can’t find Following so I haven’t seen it nor can I really comment on it.

  109. I don’t think you can count Memento as an adaptation then. If it was someone other than his brother, then yeah, but I think he gets a pass for that one.

  110. Actually, Nolan’s track record looks real similar to Snyder’s. Perhaps he should lay off the comicbook movies as well and start creating some original work as well. I guess he’s doing that with Sucker Punch, so good for him.

    The heart of this though is that as entertaining as comicbook movies are there’s just some filmmakers that I would rather see avoid the trap. Another example I’ll bring up (although, different rules apply since it’s a different medium) is Between The Buried and Me’s, The Anatomy Of album. It was interesting to hear their versions of songs that inspired them but it wasn’t as great as any of their other albums.

  111. JUst for the sake of argument: is anyone who hates Snyder under 35, or even 30? I sort of think to a certain extent, that a guy like him is one of those generation gap type of filmmakers, like how the old folks didn’t understand Easy Rider. Like all of the 36 year olds who post on AICN and hate anything with CG effects.

  112. Charles – I ‘m probably the only person who liked Spider Man 3 more than the first two, because it seemed fully conscious of how ridiculous it was, whereas Spider Man 1 and 2 just took themselves way too seriously for the most part. I felt that Spider Man 1 really, really wanted me to believe in a villain that could best be described as “Alien Xenomorph Barbie” as set to some of the worst dialogue and scoring I’ve ever heard. (Seriously, what was up with Danny Elfman’s operatic music?)

    Whereas SM3 had an emo-Spidey, a musical interlude, half a dozen different super-beings and an epic battle involving some bloke made of sand. I think by then the series had learnt that if you can’t command respect, you might as well try and make people laugh.

  113. The weird thing about that is everyone on comicbookmovie.com hates 3D, but I’m pretty sure they’re also all high-schoolers.

    I actually know about Between the Buried and Me, so that reference is not lost on me, though I haven’t heard their covers album.

  114. I’d say something about swimming to the moon, but Jim Morrison actually said that before they did.

  115. “I actually know about Between the Buried and Me, so that reference is not lost on me.”

    I knew there was a reason I liked you.

  116. I go away for dinner and Outlaw goes red giant.



    that’s all. Thank you for listening.

  117. @Hamsline-Following is available via Netflix instant streaming.

    My favorite comic book flicks would def be, and in no particular order
    Howard the Duck

    OMG Just kidding fellas. I think we can all agree that those are the bad ones and I was being sarcastic and we all had a good laugh. To be fair,out of those movies, I’ve only seen Howard the Duck and I was no older than five. My five year old memory tells me it was amazing. But it also thought that about the Garbage Pail Kids movie and Punky Brewster, so you gotta take it with a grain of salt.

    Number 2’s all the way for me though, the best ones are always the sequel(Iron Man being the exception)

    X-Men 2
    Hellboy 2
    Blade 2
    The Dark Knight
    Spider-Man 2

    Those are arguably the five best comic book films we’ve got yet. Alot of people would probably switch Hellboy with Iron Man or Watchmen. But I find the second half of Iron Man feels rushed and rather empty.

  118. Dieselboy – we certainly can NOT all agree. You’re putting “Electra” in the same category as “Howard the Duck” and “Catwoman”? That’s a HUGE stretch.

    Considering I just spent half a freaking day arguing in “The Tournament” thread that that and “Electra” were essentially the exact same movie with a slightly different tone, I don’t really “get” the “Electra” hate (or the “Tournament” love, come to that).

  119. “Actually, Nolan’s track record looks real similar to Snyder’s.”

    hamslime – How so? In fact…..this doesn’t make much sense to me. Maybe I’m drunk on this one?

    Actually you might be onto something. Consider that both men had a superhit one-in-a-million (TDK, 300) and both were basically given carte blanche on their follow-up (INCEPTION, WATCHMEN) which were highly anticipated by the industry, and hyped up the ass by the nerds.

    Both won their opening weekend convincingly, both basically same amount (62 vs 55) but quickly afterwards WATCHMEN dropped like coke in a police raid, barely scratching to 100 in America. While INCEPTION….well you know what happened. Hell INCEPTION made more money overseas than TDK, believe it or not.

    Anyway, to put an extra shine on my dickery on our collective grand Snyderology: The big difference though between the two (among many others, but bear with me) if you ask me is that one needs computers. The other doesn’t.

  120. I can’t see HATING Electra, it was just the one of the most boring movies I’ve seen. But it was so dull and forgettable I can;t muster up the energy to hate it.

  121. RRA, computers are just another tool. Snyder could have made 300 like they did in the 60s and done it on a soundstage with painted backdrops. But it wouldn’t have looked the same.

    And really, comparing Watchmen to a Nolan movie is stretching quite a bit…the studio was insane to give the movie that kind of budget. Gruesome, violent, no happy ending…compare to Nolan who’s still making mainstream entertainments. Yeah, TDK was dark but we still get Comissioner Gordon at the end giving us a reassuring voiceover that Batman has done good.

  122. “But it wouldn’t have looked the same.”

    Believe it or not, its not the tools that was my problem with that silly cartoon 300. Besides with that logic I should have hated fellow computer-aided comic book-look-on-film SIN CITY, and I enjoyed that one. Haven’t seen it again since but hey at its essence it gave me what a movie should: Compelled me, made me give a shit what happens, some nice acting and action. Hell I might netflix it next week.

    Sad thing is, 300 is SIN CITY compared to THE SPIRIT. Jesus Christ…

    “the studio was insane to give the movie that kind of budget.”

    I love revisionism history, now its the studio that were the bad guys right? Am I understanding this right? They gave Zach the keys to the kingdom. And he lost it down the drain while he was taking a shower. Shit happens. If that movie had been good, surely it would have had some life and legs, even for a pretty dark nearly 3 hour movie?

    Besides INCEPTION, wasn’t that one pretty complicated, especially for a summer blockbuster thriller? You had to use your brain a little bit and it makes sense (well most of it) and if you view the ending one way, its a downer: The hero choosing fantasy over reality. Yet people clicked to it, and that fucker is still in the Top 15 weekly box office making money. Impressive.

    I get it, WATCHMEN and INCEPTION are apples to oranges. I think thats fair enough, just making my observation on those two respective careers right now. Whether one thought of WATCHMEN as a good movie if a financial miss, or an admirable miss,etc….still a miss. INCEPTION was a hit with critics, moviegoers, and quite possibly (if not a lock) it will score a Best Picture Oscar nomination.

  123. It is my opinion that any director of a major action or super hero film should be required to prove him (or her) self by first screening an action short in a hospital.

    If the short induces an epileptic attack, they should be banned from producing any action movie that involving a star other than Matt Damon or Denzel Washington.

  124. What revisionism? The only people who seemed to think Watchmen was going to be a gigantic hit were delusional nerds. If you were the studio, would you want to bet a blockbuster budget on an ultra-violent, somber, long movies with a depressing ending? The studio isn’t the bad guy, Snyder made lots of money for them and they took a chance, good for them…they gambled, they lost.

    And the feeling that if the movie were better than it would have done better at the box office is also delusional. When has quality ever equalled box office? Sometimes the two meet, like The Dark Knight or Inception, and sometimes we get Grown Ups making 160 million. If quality equalled money then Blade Runner, Citizen Kane and Office Space wouldn’t have been flops which turned into classics. I think Zodiac is a ton better than Watchmen but Watchmen beat its entire box office run in one weekend.

    Weird but SIn City is actually the movie I disliked. 300 was cool to me and Sin City should have been right in my wheelhouse…but it ended up seeming too digital and clean looking, and just hokey…typical of Rodriguez who’s about the laziest major filmmaker working.

  125. RRA – I was speaking more in terms of the amount of comicbook movies and remakes the both of them did.

    Snyder – Dawn of The Dead / remake
    300 / comicbook
    Watchmen / comicbook
    Legend of Guardians: Owls Going Bonkers / book

    Nolan – Insomnia / remake
    Batman Begins / comicbook
    The Dark Knight / comicbook
    The Prestige / book

  126. hamslime – That makes good sense then. Thanks for the clarification.

  127. Since this is a comicbook nerd page and all…Does anyone remember a comic called Plastic Forks? I remember reading it and liking it but I haven’t read it in ages. I was just curious if it’s as good as I remember it.

    There’s also another comicbook (it might be a children’s book actually, I read it in 5th grade) that was essentially a bunch of fairy tales like Icarus and whatever story had a cyclops in it but the main character (actually all the characters if I remember correctly) was a pig and he yelled OMIGOSH! once in a while. It was either some sort of battlecry or maybe a magic word of some sort. At any rate, if anyone remembers the name of that one I would appreciate if you would enlighten me. I’ve been trying to remember the name of that one forever and Google is failing me in that regard.

  128. RE: Brendan,

    As I said earlier, I haven’t seen the film in a few years, so it’s entirely possible that I remember it being better than it actually is, but I was quite impressed by the thematic consistency and the ingenuity of the way it displays and foreshadows the unreliable narrator elements of the mescaline trip stuff. Everything that doesn’t make sense, makes sense when you recontextualize it as the story of someone trying to put the pieces of her own fractured life back together in the midst of a heavy, heavy drug trip. It recreates the feeling of hallucinogens very effectively.

  129. General thought:
    Everyone complaining about adaptations should remember that pretty much every film Kurbrick ever made was an adaptation.
    Between the Buried and Me gave me a headache in under 30 seconds. Glad you like it, but I’d rather listen to *gulp* Owl City.

    RE: Jones,
    I don’t like Snyder that much and I’m 21.

    RE: dieselboy
    Ghost World and Batman: Mask of the Phantasm are both better than any of the films on your list, in my opinion.
    Men in Black
    Mars Attacks! (kinda…)
    Batman Returns
    Road to Perdition
    The Crow
    A History of Violence
    Josie and the Pussycats (shot by Matthew fuckin’ Libatique and featuring a soundtrack by Letters to Cleo, plus A+ performances from Alan Cummings AND Parker Posey),
    American Splendor
    All of these films are solid to great comic book movies in my estimation.

  130. Top 11 Comic Book Adaptations (In my opinion, and no order)

    Batman Mask of the Phantasm
    American Splendor
    Ghost World
    Josie and the Pussycats
    Hellboy 2
    Spider-Man 2
    Batman Returns
    The Crow
    A History of Violence
    The Punisher (Dolph Lundgren)
    Blade II

  131. M. Prestwich (no relation)

    September 29th, 2010 at 12:45 am

    I say give it to Jones, if for no other reason than Moon was so gd enjoyable. Of course what we think rarely matters so Vern is probably right and it will go to Scott.

  132. I wanna play. I choose A History of Violence, Barbarella, Blade 1-2, The Dark Knight, Ziggy 4: The Crackdown.

  133. As far as funny books to movies go, Garfield is pretty good. Bill Murray as Garfield. Genius. But why not a cartoon dog?

  134. – Hunter D.

    I liked Domino a lot, especially after reading up on the real Domino Harvey and her relationsship with Tony Scott. She was no doubt a very interesting and strong young woman, who also happended to be mentally ill, abusing drugs and obsessed with creating her own myth. I think the movie is quite profound as a portrait of her. But why on earth do you think that Man On Fire is intelligent?

    Watchmen (directors cut) just gets better and better everytime I watch it and I`ve read the comics several times. Znyder might not have the biggest brain in the buisness, but he definetly has the biggest balls. His use of slow-motion is quite baffling though. I doesn`t serve the story and it doesn`t make the action exciting. I can see why he went for it in 300, trying to recreate the iconic images of Miller and Lynn, but now he seems to be caught by his own hype and thinks it`s his stylistic trademark. The first 10 minutes of Dawn of The Dead is by far the best sequence he has ever done and it was stylistic as hell, without using slomo.

    My favorite cartoon-movies are BATMAN RETURNS, BLADE, HELLBOY, THE IRON MAN and SPIDERMAN. Oh.. And ICHI THE KILLER by Miike.

    And talking about Miike, he might have made the movie we all wanted The Expendables to be. Some critiqs even call it his first real masterpiece and ranks it along Kurosawa`s best. Yes, baffling, but since AUDITION is one of my favorite movies, I`m not that surprised. (It`s calles 13 assassins by the way. Oh, boy, am I excited. )

    I`m sure Vern has no idea about who I`m talking about, otherwise he would have reviewed a bunch of Miikes stuff. But he hasn`t. Not even a single movie of one of cinemas true outlaws have been deemed worthy of Verns critical writing of cinema.

    Just kidding, Vern. Please review some Miike. If you still enjoy cockfighting after OWLS 300, you might give CITY OF LOST SOULS a shot. Or maybe check out some of his classics; FUDOH, DEAD OR ALIVE, GOZU, GRAVEYARD OF HONOR, LEY LINES, VISITOR Q and SHINJUKO TRIAD SOCIETY.

  135. I believe the top six comic book adaptations are actually the Lone Wolf and Cub films.

  136. The best Superman and Batman movies are the animated ones. The Mask of the Phantom, Under the Red Hood, Superman Doomsday…

  137. – Caoimhín

    Agree! And Lady Snowblood!

  138. My top 10:

    1- Flash Gordon
    2- Mask of the Phantom
    3- Hellboy 2
    4- Hellboy 1
    5- Superman II
    6- Barbarella
    7- Oldboy
    8- Akira
    9- X-Men 2
    10- Diabolik

  139. Yeah, I just realized I forgot Lone Wolf and Cub, that’s the best. I also wanna put Popeye on there, but I don’t think I’ve seen it since the ’80s so it might not be how I remember it. Anybody remember if it was about Popeye?

    I thought I reviewed Audition, but I guess not. Mini-review: one of the better romantic comedies of recent years. Miike sizzles!

    As far as Mr. Snyder’s controversial slo-mo, I gotta defend him by saying that the scenes in OWL 300 are his best uses of it. The flying parts I mentioned in the review really are showing you the owl’s extreme perception of his surroundings. So although yes, it does look extremely fucking cool, it’s also being used to communicate something very important. And I think if he did Superman it would make sense to use it in that way too.

    But that’s irrelevant because obviously my choice for Superman would be Jodorowsky or Harmony Korine.

  140. Batman Returns is a great Tim Burton movie, but it is an absolutely awful Batman movie.

  141. Those Popeye films were pretty different from the source, what with Gene Hackman playing him as a cop and not eating spinach once.

  142. So any of you other nerds ever read this comic book series Preacher? I’m on volume seven and it’s basically the most addictive thing I’ve ever picked up. Supposedly Sam Mendes is attached to adapt it to the big screen but this thing would make The Watchmen easy to adapt by comparison. It’s part Western,part Horror, full of religious over-tones,some of the most fucked up caricatures imaginable(rhe Allfather anyone). I can’t recommend it highly enough to anyone who likes fucked up pulpy shit.

  143. After seeing the two hour flying scene in ENTER THE VOID, the producers are keen to get the services of Gaspar Noe for the next SUPERMAN film…

  144. Gaspar Noe SUPERMAN starring Vincent Cassel? I’d buy that for a dollar.

  145. – dieselboy

    Yep, I liked them a lot, but thought that the story ran out of steem towards the end. But great characters and one of the funniest comics I`ve ever read. I wrote a lesbian vampire script a couple of years ago and stole some great vampire-gags from Cassidys origin-story (.. eh.. paid homage to..you know.. nevermind, I cut it out again)

    I can`t remember the title, but I read a brilliant sci-fi-horror comic last year. It`s about aliens that invade a small town. The aliens are all beatiful naked young girls, who can`t talk, but wants to have sex with all the men and kill all the women and feed their corpses to a giant glowing sperm-cell, which makes a giant forcefield around the town. Oh, and the naked girls lay giant eggs with even more naked girls when they have been impregnated. I think the comic is called Girls, but I`m not sure. It`s pretty awesome and would make a great movie. I think.

    I like this nerd-shit-thread!

  146. I read some of Preacher. It was good and I could see why people liked it…and then came along this vampire. Which has to be about the most retarded thing ever. A VAMPIRE??? I just couldn’t get past it, it was too nerdy. If they ever make a movie or show out of it, leave out vampires.

  147. No one ever mentions Dolph’s PUNISHER (1989).

  148. What on earth are some of you people talking about? Snyder isn’t a right choice for Superman because he doesn’t understand subtext and makes juvenile movies?

    We are talking about SUPERMAN here. It’s an escapist fantasy about a guy who can fly, is super strong and shoots laser beams from his eyes. He is a 100% earnest, good-hearted, brave, all-American hero. You don’t need subtext with Superman. You just need a lot of ass-kicking and iconic, heroic moments. With a lot of slow-mo.

    Snyder is a PERFECT choice for Superman. His juvenile tendencies are exactly what a Superman movie needs.

    Mind you, there are some other directors in the list that I would prefer to do the film… But they would most likely do a modern, “dark”, realistic version of Superman. Which would not really be what Superman was originally intended to be.

    As far as capturing the silly, pompous, cheesy, juvenile, heroic essence of Superman, Snyder is a great choice. He understands stuff like that.

  149. You guys are all too young to remember when slo-mo was considered the thing that was going to ruin action movies then? I know that it’s a while ago and that it seems like a hopelessly quaint idea right now, with the current generation of avid-fart-shakycam practitioners, but there are still a LOT of movies out there, especially late Woo, where the slo-mo just gets in the way. Heck, “Face-Off”‘s only weak point is exactly this. And just look at “Lord of the Rings”. A very good three-hour movie stretched out to ten and a half hours by the injudicious use of helicopter landscape shots and slow-mo. Plus it’s an excuse to have ridiculously long movie deaths. (Sean Bean in “LOTR” / Chow Yun Fat in “Crouching Tiger” anyone?)

    Ok quickfire round.

    Hellboy 1 – Parts of it were a lot of fun, but it didn’t make a coherent whole. Suffered from weak villain syndrome. Ron Perlman was great.
    Hellboy 2 – See Hellboy 1, although I didn’t think the sequel was as good as that – and the first one wasn’t that great either. Erm… the gas guy was funny?
    Spiderman 1 – it has Alien Xenomorph Barbie as its villain, the scoring is one of the most bombastic, serious and overdone I’ve ever heard, Kirsten Dunst plays an irritating non-character, and Tobey Maguire’s death’s-rictus of a grin serves to outline the terrible, pompous dialogue, much of which is repeated several times. (What comes with great power again?) Other than that it’s great!
    Spiderman 2 – At least they got the mandatory “corrupt scientist father-figure” villain out the way in S1. There was NO WAY they were going to do that one again, right? Right? Oh fuck.
    Spiderman 3 – The first Spiderman film that recognized that it was part of a bad soap opera and embraced this fact. As such, far better than the first two. (Yeah, comic book fans are gonna have my head over that one.)
    Superman 1 – Fantastic, until Gene Hackman enters as Lex Luthor, a billionaire master criminal whose cover is property development (and who lives in a sewer with two morons). Basically every scene without these three idiots in it is pure gold. Every scene with these three idiots is pure shit.
    Superman 2 – Easily the best “Superman” film. Actually this is probably one of the best comic-book adaptations of the lot.
    Superman 3 and 4 – Not quite as bad as everyone says; but let’s face it, would you recommend either of them to anybody?
    Superman Returns – Apparently what the world really needed was another moronic Lex Luthor (played in a career-worst performance by Kevin Spacey of all people) and a cast of characters that are almost universally unlikeable, including Superman himself. Oh, except for the guy who gets screwed over at the end, he was nice. I HATED this movie.
    Flash Gordon – “I love you Flash! But we only have twenty-four hours to save the world!” Everything you need to know about this movie is encapsulated in that one quote. Brian Blessed really should’ve had a better death though. Come to think of it, Brian Blessed should’ve been the main villain – Von Sydow looks practically subdued in comparison. Still lots of fun though.
    Akira – Undoubtedly groundbreaking, but you’ve got to be “into” that sort of thing to really appreciate it I think. I thought it was brilliantly done, but it left me cold.
    X-Men – Everything before the last twenty minutes is gold. Everything after the X-Jet is revealed is pure shit – the character-driven drama gives way to horrible, horrible puns, in-jokes, and one-liners, and everybody in the film basically starts behaving like morons. It’s a pity because the build-up is so good.
    X-Men 2 – I loved it when I first saw it. Re-watching it on DVD has shown its flaws – it’s a little clinical in places, and some of the scenes are cut way too much. (The Magneto / Prof. X scene at the start should definitely have been one long scene without breaks.) That said, this is really, really good, almost a classic.
    X-Men 3 – Ok, let’s get one thing out of the way here. This film shouldn’t be despised because it’s a bad adaptation of a classic story or because it’s not similar enough to a comic book that everyone who’s read it practically worships. It should be despised purely on its own merits – it really is that awful. A classic case of “same actor, no character”. For the entire fucking cast.
    Batman – Still very enjoyable, although looks dated nowadays.
    Batman Returns – I’ve only recently realised just how much Michelle Pfeifer’s character brings this movie down. She’s like Famke Janssen in “Goldeneye” – a female “sexy killer”-type character whose every scene just sucks the life out of the movie. I think it’s ironic, given how much press she and Danny DeVito’s Penguin received, that the best villain is Christopher Walken’s Max Shreck. If you can get past Catwoman it’s a very good movie.
    Batman Forever – Still enjoyable despite being complete tosh. Not sure why the original “Spiderman” is rated above this one, considering they’re pretty much the same movie, but oh well.
    Batman and Robin – You can watch this one on TV and just laugh at every bad one-liner, absurd visual jokes (anybody else spot Saddam Hussein buying mutant plant hormones from Poison Ivy?) and everything else that’s wrong with this hilariously terrible movie. It helps if you have taken a lot of drugs first though.
    Batman Begins – A case of “brought down by producer intervention”. I presume that’s the only reason why the Batmobile and Katie Holmes’ character are in the movie, since both seriously drag it down and neither is really necessary to anything that happens. (I’m prejudiced against the batmobile – I just don’t see why a ninja needs a tank.) Other than this, I thought this was a fantastic movie. The antagonist is not so much a man as an entire society – the “league of shadows” – and is portrayed fantastically.
    The Dark Knight – I genuinely did not expect this to be as good as it was. If I have to criticize I’d say that the bit with Two-Face at the very end had some ropey dialogue, and the character of Two-Face hadn’t really been built up enough for it to work. But this is a fantastic movie nonetheless – for once it lives up to the hype.
    Mask of the Phantasm – the animation is VERY ropey, but the soundtrack is fantastic, the villain is great, and unusually in a Batman movie there’s a genuine whodunnit involved, which adds to the movie IMO.
    Watchmen – neither as bad or as good as you’ll hear it is from other people. Personally I thought it was frequently great but occasionally dragged.
    Ghost World – I think I have to watch this one again, since I didn’t really “get” it the first time. I didn’t like any of the central characters, which meant that I really wasn’t invested in what happened to them.
    Men in Black – very good. Haven’t seen the sequel but I enjoyed the first one. This is an adaptation?
    The Punisher (Dolph version) – So much better than people give it credit for. It’s gritty and looks rather cheap, production-wise, but I can live with that. It’s two intertwining stories – one of revenge, one of betrayal – and both work IMO.
    Blade – Suffers a bit from weak villain syndrome early on (Steven Dorff is never really established as a real threat until quite late on) but other than that it’s great.
    Blade 2 – Don’t share the love for this one, sorry Vern. The action sequences are really, really ropey, which wouldn’t matter if the story or characters were interesting. They’re not. Although Snipes’ scenes with Leonor Valera are some of the best in the Blade trilogy. On a side note though, it does that annoying thing where a character who’s just been “there” for most of the film and about who we know absolutely nothing turns out to be a rat traitor, and we’re supposed to care about it. And the point is…?
    Blade 3 – Has one really annoying unnecessary death and one of the lamest versions of Dracula I’ve seen on film. Although honestly I think Blade has its own particular mythology – why bring Dracula into it at all? Blade 2 was one good idea (the vampire hunter squad) done badly, this is one bad idea done worse. Not even bad enough to watch and laugh at.

    Phew, that was long.

    Ok, on a completely different subject: we’ve had one thread for the action buffs, and one thread for the nerds. Anyone else want to make requests?

  150. Vern’s done so much for us, I think we should take one for the team and let him have that FELICITY thread he’s been jonesing for.

  151. I’m gonna throw this one out there, but I think James Mangold would be a worthy director for a SUPERMAN movie. Actually, I was hoping he would do Deadpool. But after seeing Knight and Day, the guy can pull off action and charm pretty well. Also, he did 3:10 to Yuma, Walk The Line (A movie I thought surpassed RAY as the better biopic), and IDENTITY so he does have range in making something somewhat enjoyable and polished.


  152. Mangold’s an interesting choice… I kind of like that actually. He’s another Richard Donner, I guess (solid films, not an auteur).

  153. Any chance of some Animated Comic Adaption reviews, Vern? Aside from all the anime that’s adapted from manga (Afro Samurai has a score from The RZA, like you’re always pining for), Warners/DC put out a whole slew of ones, the best of which I’d say so far are:
    Wonder Woman (just a nice solid introduction to the character with some great action scenes and fun characters)
    Justice League: The New Frontier (Puts the characters in the 50s and has the issues of the time affecting them
    Green Lantern: First Flight (Part TRAINING DAY, part STAR WARS)
    Batman: Under The Red Hood (Batman deals with a new player in the underworld, while we look at how the death of a partner affects him and how his principle about not killing is challenged)
    Oh, and the game Batman: Arkham Asylum is basically the Batman equivalent of DIE HARD.

  154. rewrite – Not a bad suggestion. Too bad the boards hated KNIGHT & DAY, which I sorta enjoyed as a matinee diversion.

  155. DC has made some great animated movies. The Spectre and Green Arrow shorts are great too. I thought Under the Red Hood was underwhelming though, and New Frontier falls just short of greatness with the way they rush things at the end (I guess because they aren’t allowed to make these movies longer than 90 minutes).

  156. I was expecting a lot from Afro Samurai, but it didn’t deliver. For starters, he didn’t even have an afro, just a scraggly mass on his head. Not quite as irritating as Black Samurai Jim Kelly not doing anything even vaguely samurai related in that whole film, but still.

  157. There are many great films based on comic books that are not about super heroes. A HISTORY OF VIOLENCE, V FOR VENDETTA, 300, Sin City, and GHOST WORLD are a few excellent examples, but I am going to keep my list limited to the sub-genre of American superhero comics (sorry JUDGE DREAD).

    In no particular order my top ten are:

    The Dark Night Returns
    Iron Man
    Spiderman 2
    Superman 2
    Blade 2
    Kick Ass
    Watchmen (Yes I know it was made by Brits, but they where working in the American superhero comic sub-genre)
    Hellboy 2
    Batman Begins

    The runners up are (again in to particular order):

    Ironman 2
    The Incredible Hulk

    And finally the worst (in no particular order):

    X-Men Origins: Wolverine
    Superman 3 & 4
    Batman & Robin
    The Spirit

  158. Aw hell naw son you better not be hatin Ang Lee’s Hulk.

  159. Sorry, but I find the Ang Lee Hulk to be a joyless snooze

  160. Actually I completely understand that sentiment, I just think the movie is unfairly maligned. It’s an example of what someone was talking about above – a director swinging for the fences but not quite getting it there.

  161. but there definitely is too much HULK CONTEMPLATE! instead of HULK SMASH!

  162. Your right Lee did swing for the fences and I give him credit as an artist and film maker, but boy did he strike out bad. I find the film exceptional hard to sit through, but Nick Nolte is awesome in it.

  163. Tuukka, I totally agree. It seems kind of obvious to me that Snyder is the right director for a SUPERMAN film.

  164. Can we all agree that a Verhoeven SUPERMAN starring Dolph Lundren would pretty much rule?

  165. wouldn’t that have to be called UBERMENSCH?

  166. Top Ten (in no particular order)

    – Batman (89) – Almost perfect in my opinion.
    – Watchmen – I’ve already defended this enough.
    – Sin City – Some people didn’t like the use of green screen here but I thought it suited the material. Love the noir feel.
    – Dark Knight – I find it hard to believe that Batman and Harvey Dent are fighting over Maggie Gyllenhaal. Really? I don’t even think I could get it up for her.
    – Superman 2 – Terrence Stamp baby!
    – Iron Man – Just fun to watch.
    – Blade 2 – This one is just fuckin cool.
    – 300 – Love the look of this one visually.
    – The Crow – I think Brandon Lee’s performance is a little overrated but Michael Wincott is great.
    – Wanted – I really enjoyed the outright zaniness of this one.

    Close but no cigar:

    – Incredible Hulk – Could’ve been great but ended being mediocre. Would love to see the “Norton” cut
    – Daredevil – Maybe I’m in the minority here but the director’s cut is actually pretty good.
    – Spidermans and X-mens – Good films but nothing memorable.
    – Batman Begins – The action scenes are terrible. Everything else is pretty great.
    – Mystery Men – Thought this movie was hilarious.

    Bottom 10:

    – Hulk – The most boring comic book hero film I’ve ever seen. I remember Josh Lucas being particularly bad in this.
    – Ghostrider – One of the worst movies i’ve ever seen period. Almost so bad its funny. Also one of the worst villains. Thank god for Eva Mendes’ cleavage.
    – Batman and Robin – What else is there to say?
    – Fantastic Four – Other than Chris Evans as the Human Torch this film is laughable. Maybe kids like it?
    – LXG – Intriguing idea, terrible execution. Pretty much killed Stephen Norrington’s career (Though on IMDB it says he’s directing a Crow remake?)
    – Steel – Shaq? Ha ha.
    – Elektra – Watched the first half hour of this and changed the channel. That says it all. Did anyone want this to get made in the first place?
    – Catwoman – Sorry this is as bad as everyone says it is.
    – Constantine – Wow, i really wanted to like this one but its a complete mess. Keanu Reeves cannot play a burnt out, cigarette smoking, detective type. He just can’t.
    – Bulletproof Monk – Maybe the low point of Chow Yun Fat’s career.

    Honorable Mention:

    – Barb Wire – Nice look to it and pretty good wanking material. Other than, its pretty bad.

  167. dieselboy- I am constantly baffled by people trying to adapt Preacher. For one thing it’s simply not a movie, it’s choppy and episodic and there’s no real narrative throughline that you can cut to. With Preacher, the crazy, multi-issue digressions ARE the story. And that’s before you get into how offended 99% of the world will be when they see it. If a by-the-numbers potboiler like the Da Vinic Code can cite riots, there’s no telling what a legitimately angry and vicous attack on faith and patriotism could start.

    Plus, Arseface? How the fuck do you do Arseface? Would you WANT to do Arseface?

    PREACHER loses some steam in its last couple installments, I mean it’s never bad or anything, but it just feels like Ennis has constructed a world so thoroughly packed with people and places, in his attempt to pay lip service to all of them he loses sight of his core group, and then has to try and cram in the stuff that by all rights should be the center piece of the whole thing: The stuff between Jesse and Tulip and Cassidy.

    Even with all that said, PREACHER remains utterly unique and absurdly entertaining and actually bizarrely optimistic and upbeat, even as it portrays the most hideous dregs of society.

  168. Oh, uh, ranking comic book movies, my faves are, in a vague order

    A HISTORY OF VIOLENCE (has anyone else here actually read this comic? I’m not sure it’s possible for a film adaptation to have less to do with its source matireal then this one did)
    SCOTT PILGRIM (ridiculously entertaining, no matter what anyone says)
    IRON MAN (except for the final fight)
    BLADE 2
    V FOR VENDETTA (underrated)

    Also, I really enjoy INCREDIBLE HULK, SIN CITY and 300, I just don’t think they reach the same heights as these other ones. Also, I’d probably put THE INCREDIBLES near the top, except it isn’t based on a comic book.

    I’d also add that I think that CONSTANTINE and Lee’s HULK are both interesting, sort of underrated films, although seriously flawed in different ways. I actually really enjoy HULK, but it is impossible to ignore how slow and over-indulgent it is. Everyone except Nolte acts like they’ve just had a fresh injection of novacaine.

  169. Slight tangent from Preacher, Adam McKay is supposedly directing an adaptation of the Boys, Garth Ennis’s thing about basically a bunch of thugs kicking the fuck out of deviant superheroes. Which will presumably have Will Ferrell in it, like everything else he’s done. I have my doubts.

  170. The nice thing about THE BOYS movie is that Simon Pegg pretty much has them over a barrel. Let’s see them try to not meet his asking price when the artist drew the fucking main character to look exactly like him.

    The other roles are fairly easy to cast, too. Gerard Butler for Butcher, the guy from DELICATESSEN for the Frenchman, Devon Aoki for The Female, and Dennis Haysbert for Mother’s Milk.

    As for McKay, wasn’t THE OTHER GUYS supposed to have decent action scenes? Maybe he’s making a play to leave his Farrell days behind. Although I wouldn’t mind seeing him play one of the dickhead superheros. He wouldn’t be my first choice for The Homelander but I think I could live with it.

  171. The Original Paul

    Wow, that must have taken you forever to write. I must say I don`t agree with you. And I`m not sure if you succeed in mentioning every comic-book ever adapted into a movie. I applaud the effort though. Combining the obsessiveness of nerdism with substantial movie-commentism is.. ehh.. I`m not even sure which word that descripes it. Here`s my 2 cents:

    Danger Diabolik:
    It`s fun, but far from the classic I expected. Beastie Boys reboot was way better, funnier, shorter and had a kickass soundtrack. But it`s always fun to see what stylistic tricks Mario Bava comes up with.

    Baba Yaga
    Great titles and that`s it. The comic is lame too.

    Lone Wolf and Cup 1-6
    Classics, brilliantly directed and staged. Great characters, great stories, just totally awesome. Part six kind of goes insane, especielly when that zombiedude rapes his sister and the father kills them both. A shame, cause it didn`t really need that supernatural sexploitation stuff.

    Lady Snowblood 1 and 2.
    Even better. I think this is the movie Tarantino stole his un-chronological structure from. And the gimmick with the voice-over who suddenly becomes a character in the story, the unsuspected fourth act, the closing image, use of frames from the cartoon etc. It`s just brilliant. Part 2 is okay.

    I haven`t seen it since I was 8, but I remember that it had a very, very, very long title-sequence. It just went on and on and on and on…

    Heavy Metal
    Saw it twice in a row in some french art-house cinema and thought it was the best movie ever. It isn`t. Great soundtrack, though.

    The Punisher
    Saw it several times and can`t remember anything from it.

    One of the most overrated movies ever. Prince should be shot (I would have written castrated, but that would be pointless and a pretty bad joke too). Kim Basinger is boring. Jack Nicholson is giving mega-acting a bad rep and the action is stiff. Danny Elfman delivers, though. Amazing score.

    Batman Returns
    Tim Burtons best film. Danny Elfmans best score. Everything works. The scene with Batman and Catwoman dancing as the only non-masked guests at the masquerade ball chokes me up. Must be some deep psychological methaphor or something. And Daniel Walters screenplay is littered with brilliant one-liners. Still the best Batman in my book. And I actually have a book! Nevermind…

    Batman and Robin
    Everything that was wrong with Batman 1 times ten. Didn`t watch the fourth one.

    Really good, funny and original. Loved all the deadpan slapstick stuff. And great score by Elfman.

    Cool and beyond badass. Only a uninspired ending lets it down.

    Points for trying, but kind of underwhelming. They should have included a middle act. Great acting, though. Also notable for the worst one-liner ever. “Do you know what happens to toads when they are struck by lightning? The same that happens to everything else!” No, really?

    From Hell
    I liked it a lot. All movies should start with the main-character getting high and thinking back. They should also have a subliminal cut with a close-up of a bloodsoaked vagina. And the great Robbie Coltrane as a sidekick. The movie doesn`t really do the graphic novel justice at all, though.

    Road to Perdititon
    I don`t like Tom Hanks and the great Jennifer Jason Leigh is wasted. (Well, actually.. She is, but that`s not what I meant.) The comic is kind of boring too. But great shoot-outs.

    Blade 2
    Boring story with great fights, great characters and great sfx. And I love like the shakespearian drama that kicks in in the last 10 minutes. Could have been so much better with an actual story, but still one of the most entertaining marvel-adaptions of the decade.

    I love it and it still holds up. Kirsten Dunst is THE girl next door, the set-pieces are brilliant and the final fight is pure movie-magic, where sound-editing, editing, cinematography and sfx just clicks together. Sam Raimi might be a juvenilie prankster, but he`s the king of mise-en-scene (in that book I have)

    The Punisher
    Very decent old-school action. Thomas Jane is great and Rebecca Staminos or whatshername is georgeus without blue latex. Kind of underwhelming, but very enjoyable on a second and third viewing with lowered expectations.

    The directors cut is really really good. Also, this movie almost killed me. True story. I left the cinema in superhero mood, having flashbacks of the fantastic Frank Miller comic and all, when I noticed a drunk person walking out in front of a car. I rushed into the traffic, grabbed the dude, dragged him through the howling cars and dropped him on the pavement. The homeless guy just started yelling at me; “what the fuck are you doing, jerk, let go of me goddamit! Fuck you!” and I ran away. “Come back, you asshole, I`ll kick you ass…(etc)” Pretty embarrasing.

    Really slow, but once it gets going, it`s pretty great. One of the most intelligent and serious psychological comicbook movies ever. I even like the acid-trip at the ending. I tried that stuff with channeling pain and rage onto my mum, but it didn`t work at all. She still thinks that she was a great parent. She burned my comic-collection for fucks sake. ARGHH!!! DNA SMASH!! And she refused to let me play dungeons and dragons because it turned teens into psychos, who couldn`t tell the difference between reality and fiction. A goddamn feminist with a crush on James Bond. That is some twisted shit right there. What a brainless cow. James Bond treats women like shit and they lap it up. I don`t get it.
    Anyway, Hulk is pretty good if you are dealing with bad parenting-issues and have problems with rage.

    I love Frank Millers Electra and no movie shall tarnish my memory.

    A lot better than the first. Not as good as Batman Returns, Blade, Blade 2, Spiderman and Hellboy, but better than Blade Trinety, Spiderman 2, A history of violence, Aeon Flux, Batman Begins, Constantine, Fantastic Four, V for Vendetta, Superman Returns, X-men 3: The Last Stand, 30 days of night, FF2: Rise of the Silver Surfer, Ghostrider and Punisher War Zone. Kind of above average, I guess..

    It`s very good, just not as good as Lady Vengeance and Sympathy for Mr Vengeance. I guess I get turned off by the overly stylistic cinematography (it was just TOO stylistic) and I understood the plot long before the bad guy finished explaining it. He just kept yapping. I don`t think it`s that shocking either. He fucked his daughter, big deal, shit happens. Lady Vengeance is just beyond brilliant, but I won`t rate it since it`s not based on a comic. That movie makes me cry like a little bitch, though. Oldboy is just too damn clever for it`s own good.

    Blade Trinety
    Somebody complained about Batman being a part of the Blade-mythology, but Blade actually started as a character in the Dracula-comic, before he got his own comic. Dracula was a great comic. I collected them when I was a kid, but my mum burned them all. Dracula wasn`t a bodybuilder with a east-european accent though, so the movie kind of does it wrong.. No, scratch that. The movie does everything wrong. It`s horrible. Parker Posey should have played Dracula and it could have been a guilty pleasure, like Erotic Nights Of The Living Dead or Land of The Lost or.. anyway..

    The directors cut is really good. The visuels are amazing and I love the bit where the blue girl bursts into flames and Hellboy kisses her. I watched the theatrical version and it just didn`t work for me. The directors cut is kind of a perfect blockbuster.

    Spiderman 2
    The first one had a sweet innocent naive attitude, this one cranks that attitude up to elleven, nah.. twelwe! and turns it into bad soap. And does every bad guy have to be a brilliant scientist who goes insane? Still, great directing, fun characters, great gags (love the bit in the escalator) and great set-pieces. It just seems more like a great episode in a tv-show than a great movie in it`s own right.

    Misunderstood and underrated. Best description of a lsd-trip yet. Kind of stupid, though. Highly recommended.

    Sin City
    Just like reading the comics.. Well, I agree with Vern on this one. Very watchable, but not really a movie as much as a stylistic experiment. Rourke is the only element that brings any sort of life into this showreel for Rodriquez new green-screen.

    A history of violence
    I like it, but I expected more from Canadas finest. I mean, it`s a pretty interesting set-up for a movie, but it doesn`t go below the surface and is nothing more than a competent executed b-movie. I guess I don`t get it. One of Cronenbergs lesser movies, and a damn shame that critics calls it one of his best. It`s like they all heard that he was a great director and as soon as he makes a movie that doesn`t requiere brains or barf-bags, they hail him as a master of cinema. It`s the emperors new clothes, I tell ya!

    Batman Begins
    It`s good. Very entertaining. But Nolan doesn`t know how to direct an action-scene. Better than Batman forever.

    Pretty cool little flick. Great cinematography, interesting ideas and some pretty good acting. This is one of the better comic-movies, as long as you ignore that it`s based on a comic. If any movie ever deserved a reboot, it HELLBLAZER.. eh.. sorry.. CONSTANTINE!!

    Fantastic Four
    Shoot me, I like it. It reminds me of the eighties. It`s funny, colorfull, entertaining and stupid. And for kids, you know? A nice confident martinee like they made them in my youth.

    V for Vendetta
    Boooooooooring. We wondered why Warchovskys woundrous visuels were vanished without.. arh shit.. I try again.. Where were Warchowskys wonderfull visuels? Where?

    Superman Returns
    I liked the titles. They reminded me of the original. But Superman is so boring. Such a boyscout. I hope Rob Zombie makes the next. That would be cool. A whitetrash superman with a big beard. Skullfucking ensues. Nah, I actually liked it. I was pretty drunk when I watched it though. Maybe that helped. I liked they made him a superstalker. And Parker Posey should have played Lex Luthor.

    X-men 3: The Last Stand
    Terrible, just terrible. I mean, they shoot Mystique and Magneto turns his back to her? I know that he`s evil and wants to exterminate mankind and stuff, but betraying Mystique, the greatest character in the entire franchise, that`s just TOO evil and totally out of character. Like Blofeld choking his cat and feeding it to the piranhas or something. Well, actually all the characters seems pretty cold in this one. Cyclops gets snuffed and nobody cares, then why should I?

    30 days of night
    Huh? 30 days? Did they stay for 30 days in that attic? The movie made it feel like a couple of hours. They could have called it 3 days of night instead. Never read the comic, but the movie was quite boring. Some nice gore, but too much shakycam and that stupid monotone chords which a lot of directors apparently think is usable as a score. Because it`s moody or something.

    FF2: Rise of the Silver Surfer
    Okay, this guy destroys planets and kills billions of people, but it turns out that he`s a good guy cause he`s in love and likes to surf. Well, it`s still pretty entertaining as a matinee, as long as you ignore that the newest hero in the franchise makes Hitler look like a reasonable fella. It`s for kids, you know?

    Hmmm. The jury is still out on this one. I thought it was the worst movie I had ever seen the first time I watched it, but last week it didn`t seem that bad. I guess it ranks between worst movie ever and not that bad, then..

    Spiderman 3
    I don`t get the hate for this one. Parker dancing and being a dork? That`s funny! The soapy storylines from Spiderman 2 actually pays off. The action is great. Spiderman doesn`t fight another brilliant scientist gone mad and the score is sweet. And James Franco can actually act! Yeah, it could have been a lot better with just one or two bad guys, but it still delivers and it is a fitting chapter to a great trilogy. Better than average.

    One of the best comic-book movies ever. It also makes you smarter. Great cinema.

    Hellboy 2: The Golden Army
    It`s good, but not as good as the first one. The actors doesn`t live up to their performances in the original, the editing feels sloppy and the jokes feels tired. It seems rushed. But a Del Toro movie is still better than 90% of everything else, including cinema, so I shouldn`t be too harsh on it. The tooth-fairies are worth the price of admission alone.

    Jeez, reviewing all the comic-movies I`ve ever seen was a pretty stupid idea. Not as stupid as 300 though. Here we go. 300 is pretty. The flow is bad. The nipples are good. The malenipples are acceptable. I love the credits. The trailer was awesome. Verns review was even better. But if I have a hangover and crave eyecandy, it delivers, as long as I press forward during the talky bits.

    The Dark Knight
    Scary movie about the nessecity of fascism. Brilliant acting. Brilliant screenplay. Okay directing. Overrated score. Not the finest of 2008, but damn close. Also, burning down a forest in order to get the bad guy is not very sympathetic. But terror makes people do stupid things, I guess. Hey, that`s clever. If that is what Nolan was trying to say, I`m all for it. Well, a blockbuster that made my brain hurt and despise people in general, must be worth something. I guess it`s a masterpiece, then.

    Iron Man
    Best superhero-movie of 2008. Snappy, exciting and exhilarating. Great score, great acting and great story. The best of the marvels.

    The Incredible Hulk
    Good action. Laughable romance. Bland charaters.

    Punisher War Zone
    It`s really stupid, in a bad way.

    Gets better everytime I watch it. I love the mood, the flow and the story. I`ve tried to show it to several of my non-nerd friends and they actually fell asleep. I just love the world Znyder has created and I care for the characters. And I`m pretty sure that the night-owl ejaculating fire is supposed to be funny. I hope so. I never expected a adaptation this epic and uncompromising.

    Iron Man 2
    As much as I loved IM 1, as much I despised the sequel. That`s not correct gramma. Anyway, watching the actors in IM 2 is like watching an actors workshop with actors having fun for their own sake. And in the end it all turns out to be a very long trailer for the avangers anyway. It does have some cool beats in it`s action-scenes, but I think that`s all that Kennedy guy from Samurai Jack and Powerpuff girls doing his magic action-beat thing. Damn, that guy knows how to make a kick-ass actionscene. But the director and actors think their shit doesn`t stink and doesn`t even try to hide it. They just smear it on the screen and orders another diet-coke (or what else induced their rampling let`s all talk at the same time and forget rythm, pace and beats and what else made the first one a classic.) I`ll have to say the movie dissapointed me.

    Good, dirty fun.

    I liked it when they beat up the nerd. It`s funny because it`s true. But that Hit-girl was way to sane for my taste. There`s nothing cool or funny about a little girl beating a grown man. She should at least had been traumatized. Like Lady Snowblood and Coffy.

  172. Brendan> Didn’t even know History of Violence was a funny book. Does it count? I mean Viggo didn’t wear a spandex suit or anything.

  173. Never heard of THE BOYS and haven’t seen THE OTHER GUYS yet, but Adam McKay is my favourite comedy director working right now and he already proved with TALLADEGA NIGHTS that he has a hand for surprisingly well done action scenes (even if we a re “just” talking about racing and car crashes). He’s my #1 candidate for a MEGAS XLR movie, if they should ever do one.

  174. Since a few of you brought up Constantine, I wonder why Francis Lawrence isn’t on that list? He’s pretty capable with a budget, he’s done a comic book movie, has WB to back him and he’s not bad visually. Although he might be Znyder-lite in some respects. Okay, maybe he’s not a good choice for superman but maybe something else. I actually think his music videos are better than his movies so maybe they should just do shorts with all of the directors BMW style.

    Actually, speaking of music videos, there’s also Jonathan (that guy who could be kubrick if we let him) Glazer. Not sure how interested he would be in doing a superman movie, but put him with Nolan and who knows what would could happen.

    As for the Boys, I really think Adam Mckay might be the wrong choice given the material. I mean the Boys is funny, but not SNL/absurd funny. If they really let him do what he wants with it then maybe it could work, though I doubt they’ll let him use at least 90 percent of whats in the comic. The closest we have with something like that would be like Hancock though times 100 with more blood, sex and less will smith. I really can’t think of a choice, but hopefully they’d get someone British. Nothing against McKay, but going by his track record so far he’s done three Will Ferrell Movies and has wrote for SNL so I don’t think he’s going to be changing up his style for the Boys anytime soon. But I’m hoping I’m wrong. The best we could probably hope for in this age is A-TEAM/Losers quality at best.

  175. I just read a rumor that Robert Zemeckis might be interested in Superman. I can’t believe none of us thought of that. That seems fucking perfect.

  176. Did anyone read the Die Hard: Year One comic? I skipped it, because I didn’t get the point in adapting Die Hard into a gritty 70s cop story. It’s not what people go to the franchise for.

  177. Zemeckis would be great . . . if we could travel back in time and grab the mid to late eighties Zemeckis. Sadly, I just can’t trust this guy to make a good movie anymore.

  178. There are a lot of things about Forrest Gump that, whether you love it or hate it, seem to indicate that Zemeckis could make a really great Superman movie. IMO.

  179. Stu: I read the first issue and liked it. Good art, good writer, although it read more like DIE HARD WITH A VENGEANCE: YEAR ONE. But then I fell behind. I have them all but haven’t gotten around to finishing it yet. I’ll let you know when I do.

  180. Didn’t realize we were playing in an international sandbox here. Revised list:

    Batman Mask of the Phantasm
    American Splendor
    Ghost World
    Josie and the Pussycats
    Batman Returns
    The Crow
    A History of Violence
    Blade II

    Were Mr Vengeance or Lady Vengeance comic books? If so, both of those belong on there.

    Haven’t seen Lone Cub. Wasn’t Aronofsky gonna remake this? Isn’t this basically being remade by Pixar right now?

    Also, whoever mentioned the dance scene in Batman Returns, EXACTLY! One of my favorite scenes ever. So many wonderful layers. They’re the only ones unmasked at the costume ball. They’re dancing like they’re fighting. The dance, like the fight, is foreplay. The interplay of sex and sexual violence (but not the bad kind of sexual violence), the whip smart dialogue. The beat where they both feel each other’s bodies sexually, only to discover the wounds from the night before and she looks up (in a stunningly beautiful shot) and says, “Does that mean we have to start fighting now?” So funny, so psychological. The single best moment of any batman film and possibly any comic book film. The second contender would likely be the scene with the joker at the end of Dark Knight (which is all over the place for me. Very uneven. What the hell were they thinking with Harvey Dent’s introductory scene in the courtroom? It was as bad as anything in Batman 3+4).

    I’m really disappointed to see that American Splendor gets no love here. That movie made me cry. A beautiful, hilarious, and deeply human story. Seriously guys, go see it. I’ve yet to meet the person who doesn’t enjoy it.

    On a completely different note, Josie and the Pussycats is worth a look too. It’s a movie so good that I didn’t even mind that Tara Reid co-starred. You got Rachel Leigh Cook in top form, Rosario Dawson back when she was a little more full bodied, Parker Posey, who I think is as hot as she is funny (which is to say, very), Alan Cummings as one of my favorite sleazy businessmen, a super catchy soundtrack full of surprisingly dirty lyrics, cinematography from the same dude who did REQUIEM FOR A DREAM, THE FOUNTAIN, IRON MAN (which I actually didn’t like the look of, but…), and a bunch of Spike Lee Joints, plus it’s from the same writer/director duo who did Can’t Hardly Wait, which is the most realistic and under appreciated teen sex comedy of the 90s. Sure, I may have a soft spot for it because it came out at exactly the right age for me, but I think it is a legitimately fun slice of popcorn joy. If I ever feel depressed, I pop the DVD in and I’m all smiles and giggles for 90 minutes. Plus, it actually has a good moral at the center.

  181. Zemeckis would be great if we could get him to use an actual camera again.

  182. That actually sounds like a really good idea. If we can’t have Spielberg, Zemeckis is probably the closest we’ll get in terms of feel. He’d get it right visually, and he also has love for the old time america so maybe that’ll bring his interest given Superman’s Character. He can pull action and effects pretty well, though sometimes i’m not so sure if he’s good by himself. He might need Spielberg or Nolan to convince him not to do the whole movie in Mo-cap. Actually, I’d take anything from Zemeckis if it meant he’d lay off the 3D once in awhile. Nothing wrong with him doing those movies, but as ThomasCrown put it, he’s not what used to be.

  183. CJ – THE OTHER GUYS is a really funny movie, but the action scenes are incomprehensible. Not that they’re done in a post-action type of way, it just seemed like he didn’t know how to get the right shots and edit them together. I love his movies for the laughs, but I would be surprised if his straight action movie was really good.

  184. Mr. Majestyk – if its 80s Zemeckis, GREAT IDEA. If its subsequent Zemeckis….


  185. Wow Hunter, some Josie and the Pussycats love? And Can’t Hardly Wait? In the same paragraph? Nice. Didn’t really like either of those movies but kudos to your defense of them. Actually, I kinda like Can’t Hardly Wait but it tries too hard to be a teen movie classic instead of just being one. On top of that, I just can’t buy Jennifer Love Hewitt falling in love with Ethan Embry in one night over a letter that he wrote.

  186. BTW, I thought Zemeckis was too busy with his (ill-advised) YELLOW SUBMARINE remake?

  187. Damn, hearing that about the action scenes in THE OTHER GUYS sucks. (I’m just glad that I’m not producing a MEGAS XLR movie or now I had to look for another director who can handle action and absurd comedy.)

  188. Well, there goes that idea.

  189. I like the stuff I like. And sometimes that stuff is diametrically opposed to what most other people like. But I’ve yet to change my opinion on something just because it’s popular or unpopular. I can most always defend what I like with reasoned arguments however, so I’m not too concerned with what others think. There isn’t an ounce of irony in my adoration for Josie or Can’t Hardly Wait, nor is there any sense of holier-than-thou in my dislike for say, Iron Man (which I thought was dreadful in every scene where he played superhero). Sure, some of my posts, especially in this topic, have been hyperbolic to say the least, but I’m pretty sure I meant all of it.

    But seriously, American Splendor is a good movie, not just by my wonky standards, but by any reasonable measure.

  190. DNA – gotta say, considering you don’t agree with me, you really don’t seem to disagree on that much. “Batman” is where we collide the most, and I will happily admit that even though I obviously enjoyed it more than you did, it’s no masterpiece.

    You picked up a few that I missed, but no biggie, I agree with you (and Vern, in the case of Sin City) mostly there as well.

  191. Oh yeah, and I love “V for Vendetta” despite its many flaws. A movie that’s much, much greater than the sum of its parts IMO.

  192. Also I think another Superman movie is a REALLY bad idea unless they can dump the Otis – Tessmacher – Luthor triumvate of suck. Plainly, as one who hated Superman Returns largely because the only remotely likeable character gets screwed at the end, I think this is also one case where movie justice is not only justified but mandatory.

  193. American Splendor didn’t click with me at all. Maybe it had something to do with never having read the source material, but I found it rather boring.

    Im picking up from this thread that I should prolly start The Boys next.

    In other comic book related shit, The Walking Dead starts in a few weeks on AMC. I know I know zombies have been done to death and now we’re all on swamp things or whatever but I’m still pumped for it. AMC is awesome. They put Danny Trejos head on a turtle for fucks sake.Now this?

    The trailers look really good and faithful to the first volume. I’m only on volume three with the comics but I really was digging them up until getting distracted by Preacher. I love that they got Frank Darabont to direct the first episode.I’m a giant fan of The Mist and The Blob.

  194. Jam, Marvel is probably giving Gasper Noe a call for Doctor Stange after seeing the live-action black light film that is Enter The Void, but after dna mentioning Blueberry, Jan Kounen would be perfect for Strange. Kounen is a master of modern film acid trip skills and he went to art school to become a comic book artist before moving into film.

  195. Hunter D, I really liked American Splendor too (RIP Harvey). I think it was an even better experience not knowing it had any relation to CRUMB, which I saw prior to that. I’m not sure if Vern’s reviewed it yet but I think it would be the perfect film for him, since it’s almost a companion piece to the zwigoff/cloves movies, though not directly related or as absurd. Which is weird I know, but fits perfectly in that world of independent comics. I think he’d really like it too, since it has one of those heroes he talks about, the normal working man trying do what he loves which in this case is “nerd shit” and jazz. Who knows maybe we’ll get a VERN movie American Splendor style in a few years, only with mambo socks, a Seattle setting, some hip hop and maybe even a lead role from Bruce.

    I also liked Can’t Hardly Wait. But its one of those things I’ll never forget, since its also the day me and my friends finally got to see BLADE. Which resulted in one of the longest known friendships I’ve ever had to this day thanks to those movies alone.

  196. – The original Paul

    I think we sort of disagree on Spiderman, Hellboy and Batman Returns.

    I left out Akira, thought it might turn into another anime-bashing thread, but for the record: I watched Akira when I was 15 and it blew my mind. It was the first anime I ever watched and I didn`t even care for animation at that point. But if Akira counts as a great cartoon-movie, I might also include Ghost in the shell, Nausica in the valley of the wind, Lupin the 3, Memories, Tekkenkonkrit, Little Nemo in Slumberland, Urotsukidoji etc..

    Oh, and Battle Royale was based on a comic too.

  197. On the topic of Batman Returns, I just have to sort of expand what I said above. It’s a really great movie, well-written, well-acted, funny, exciting, and psychological. The only problem is it isn’t a Batman movie. And I don’t mean in the “Batman is a supporting character” kind of way – that’s just sort of a consequence of having really great villains. The problem is that none of the characters bare any resemblance (aside from physical) to their comic-book counterparts. That IS NOT Catwoman, that IS NOT the Penguin, and that IS NOT Batman.

  198. This has nothing to do with nothing, but have you guys heard this fucking tearjerker from the EARNEST GOES TO CAMP soundtrack?


    You guys know I’m tough as tungsten but that shit about “a wounded warrior needs a place to hide” makes the room get all kinds of dusty real sudden like.

  199. Man this is a fun thread.

    American Splendor is an excellent comic book adaptation. One thing this post brings to light is how advanced and diverse the medium of comic books has become that there so much good source material out there with which to base a film on.

    Also, I don’t think anyone as mentioned it yet but BATTLE ROYAL is based on a comic book, and is a fucking great movie.

    Were LONE WOLF AND CUB & LADY SNOWBLOOD comics before they where movies?

  200. Oops, I need to pay attention DNA already mentioned BATTLE ROYAL.

  201. Agree on Battle Royale, apart from the cop-out ending.

    As long as you accept the Spiderman movies as a succession of bad soap-opera plots, they’re a lot of fun. The moment you start taking them as seriously as the first two movies at least seem to take themselves, their corniness becomes an issue.

  202. I have to agree with RRA about Zemeckis, the dude had a decent run in the 80’s but his misses out number his hits. I think he is kind of overrated. Maybe if you wanted to make a really cartoonish Superman movie set in 1950’s Zemeckis would be suitable, but otherwise no thank you. If your going to go the Zemeckis rout why not just get George Lucas to do it.

  203. What was cop-out about the Battle Royale ending?

  204. As far as the above directors go, my choice would be either Arronofsky or Zowie Bowie (aka Duncan Jones). I’m surprised by so many mediocre to bad directors on this list. It would be kind of funny if Warner Bros. went through all of this trouble to reboot the franchise and then ended up with a worse movie than Superman Returns (which I enjoyed).

    I would like to say that as I scan the comments, I’m happy to see so many people supporting Mask of the Phantasm. I know it’s a cartoon and all, but its easily my favorite Batman film. The movie does such a good job of telling its story visually, that I think a lot of live action directors should take notes from it.

  205. Looks like Zemeckis is out. Check it.


    I am glad he is no longer in the running. I just hope now Arronofsky finds another gig as well. As I have stated before the dude is very talented and has a great body of work but wrong for the material. Besides, as others have already pointed out his talents would be much better utilized on an original work instead of wasted on Superman.

  206. I know I spent like 500 words defending the honor of an Archie Comics spin-off movie, but I must say, Battle Royale is a total POS. It’s to Asian cinema what Dane Cook is to comedy. You’re having a perfectly good conversation with some friends about Patton Oswalt or Eddie Izzard, or Lenny Bruce and George Carlin, and then some dumb fratboy comes up and says something like, “Lenny Bruce? Isn’t he the fat black guy from those Popeye’s Chicken ads and XxX2? I guess he’s okay, but you know who’s really fuckin’ funny? DANE COOK!”

    That’s the same feeling I get when someone brings up Battle Royale. Of course, I’ve already exposed that my taste is questionable at best, so maybe It’s really me who’s the fratboy asshole.

    Also, Ghost in the Shell clearly belongs on my best comic book adaptations list. Does Fritz the Cat count too? Shit, am I really gonna end up with a list completely devoid of masked superheroes? I guess the girl in Ghost World does wear as Batman themed S&M mask in one scene…

  207. Hunter, why do you hate BATTLE ROYALE so much? I can see how it is not going to be everyone’s cup of tea, but what makes it a POS? Yes it is somewhat sensational, but at it’s core it is a brutal movie about how children suffer for the sins of their parents. The director Kinji Fukasaku witnessed this first in hand in his youth when Japan was bombed during WWII.

  208. I see Battle Royale as jingling keys in front of your face. I never really bought the politics. It always struck me as a thin validation of endless gratuitous violence. Perhaps it’s not even the film I dislike so much as the cult around it because frankly, like 5 out of ever 100 people who mention it even understand the WWII connection.

  209. Hunter, I can see your point. I am sure that there are many people who like it for the wrong reasons, and I am sure many of them are the same people who love HOSTEL and all the SAW films.

  210. I can see where you’re coming from Hunter, but I also think it’s sort of lame to hate a movie because of the fans. If annoying fans of specific media turned me off to things, I’d hate Star Wars and Firefly and Troma movies and a lot of horror in general. And if you have a problem with a movie being a thin validation of endless gratuitous violence, then you must hate a LOT of Japanese cinema.

  211. Here I am again, captain bad taste, but I not only like the Saw films, I’m also friends with several of the above the lines. Of course, I also read those films as socially important reactions to 9/11. You have sleeper cells, terrorist actions, a villain who wants to convert you to his way of thinking, everyday objects turned into weapons of mass murder, conspiracies, ect. I also kind of dig the goofiness of the incredibly intricate plot. I mean, the twist in part 6 hinged on a minor scene featuring a character who had been dead and absent from the series since part 3. You gotta respect that level of soap opera bullshit.

    I actually don’t like too much of Japanese cinema. I vastly prefer Korean cinema, which is my favorite national cinema in the world. And I generally avoid thinking about the fanbase of a movie before deciding if I like it or not. But I saw Battle Royale in probably the 9th grade after hearing ALL about it from kids whom I really didn’t want to be emulate. At this point I can differentiate, but my guard was lower when I was 13.

  212. Hunter, you and I seem to have very different tastes, but I hope you don’t feel like I am giving you shit. I may not agree with you but I respect your opinion, and personally I think you get a lot out of having a dialogue with people who share different views than yourself. With that said, I have to say I never heard anyone imply that there is even a shred of an intellectual subtext to the SAW films. To be far I have not seen them all, but what I have seen left with me with no desire to see any more. I would have found the ridiculous plot twist at the end of the first film intellectually insulting if I hadn’t already written off the story as an excuse to show violence and torture. SAW is a fake FACES OF DEATH strung together with a ridiculous narrative.

  213. Hunter, to your point about your reaction to BR being tainted by the fans of the film you knew, I had a similar experience with TRAIN SPOTTING. For years I refused to watch the film and wrote it off because I knew to many dipshits that liked it for the wrong reasons. I eventually I gave it a fair shot and thought it was a good film. As Jones eluded to in his post you can’t blame the artist for their fans reaction to their work. I know tons of idiots that love GOODFELLAS for the wrong reasons, but that does not take away from the quality of the film.

  214. I haven’t read any of the over 200 posts here but I agree with everybody.

  215. Hey who saw VENTURE BROS. this week? A very good episode, I mean you gotta love how Ghost Robot…a ghost in a robot body…isn’t really all that impressive. Or that the location of this Death fight tournament is an abandoned horsetrack.

  216. I’m not sure what to think of the last Venture Bros episode. The story was kinda poor, but the laugh ratio was the highest of season 4.5 so far. (By following the link in my name you get to my stupid random blog, which features a longer, but poorly written review of the episode. Sorry for the plug. I’m a jerk.)

  217. That Venture Bros episode was the weakest one in quite a while. There was just too much of everything. Having Toby Huss as Cotton Hill play the OSI general was a nice choice, but the writing just mangled the fun out of the character. Most all of the jokes in the episode were overdone. When the main story involves Billy Quizboy, Pete White and Henchman21 trapped in gladiator prison, it shouldn’t be necessary to pad the same shitty side-joke on top of itself repeatedly.

  218. Anybody care about this new Brian K Vaughan TV show?

  219. RRA, you know what else came from a comic book and has an unimpressive ghost robot? G Men From Hell, that’s what. William Forsythe makes a good Bogart.

  220. Preacher is my favourite comic ever.

  221. Loudabagel – “Worst episode EVER!”

    Sorry couldn’t resist. I think I probably agree with CJ, it was busy but it was FUNNY.

    Seriously you didn’t like that “sad tits” exchange?

  222. I really didn’t much care for the “sad tits” thing. Just take the two or three best lines and give us more gladiators.

  223. You wanted more Brock-kills-with-ridiculous-gruesome-methods, right?

    Well in that case, I agree.

    I can’t decide which kill was more creative: decapitation by shark or shoving guy’s own thumb up his own ass?

  224. I know I showed up late to this shindig, but here’s a list of my favorite comic book movies, in no particular order-

    Ghost World
    Spider-Man 2
    American Splendor
    Batman Returns
    X-Men 2
    V For Vendetta
    Blade 2
    Hellboy 2
    Sin City
    and Art School Confidential if it counts.

  225. I thought that last episode was easily the funniest one of the newest season (and I loved the sad tits exchange) but it did have a certain slapdash quality to it, it didn’t build to the dizzying level of insanity that most episodes do, but still, as individual moments, it was top notch. Plus, as a long time fan, how does the room not get kind of dusty when Rusty tells a disguised Hank just how much Hank resembles young Rusty? I get the feeling that this season is building towards some kind of huge, game changing event that will alter the landscape of the Ventureverse as heavily as the deaths of the clones did.

  226. Yeah, season 4 was so far all about change, with Brock leaving the Ventures, Hank and Dean growing up (kinda), Triana moving to her mother, #21 becoming a badass, Professor Impossible becoming a villain and Sgt. Hatred becoming a desperately-trying-to-not-be-pedophile bodyguard. It would be a shame if they would abandon this theme in the season finale.

  227. RE: Charles

    You never, EVER need to apologize for disagreeing with me. I come to this sight because it is the single best haven for true film fans that I have yet found. Everyone here is polite and actually interested. And no one ever calls anyone homophobic slurs. It’s also the kind of place I can make a half-baked comment about Nietzsche in a discussion of a Billy Zane movie…and get a half a dozen serious responses. So, no worries, dude. I should be the one apologizing for recommending films that no one besides me seems to like.

    Okay, time to get my film theory on!

    The Saw films are not politically important uninto themselves. In fact, I think the first film was written possibly BEFORE 9/11. Too, it was an Australian film made with American money. However, just as Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Last House on the Left before it reflected the trauma and turmoil of the Vietnam war long before a straight film could ever be made about the subject, I contend that the Saw films have resonated with the American public and captured the zeitgeist because they touch upon elements of the modern world that cannot be discussed in a literal fashion. Saw is popular for the same reason that the “(not on) Ground Zero (and also not a) Mosque” is controversial.

    I’ve actually written about this subject…a lot. In fact, I almost wrote my senior thesis project in college on “The Politics of Torture Porn.” But then I wrote a screenplay instead.

    In any case, here are some of the articles I wrote while forming what would have been my thesis…

    I was in high school when I wrote most of these so please forgive the sometimes wonky use of punctuation and the slight misspellings.

  228. Well, I just wrote a fairly long explaination of why I think Saw is culturally relevant…and it’s “under moderation” because I linked to a bunch of articles I wrote. So…if you care, click on my name and it will take you to one of the articles I did for Collider on this subject.

  229. I Always seem to come to the good topics late. Oh well, gotta say I think we’re gradin Mr. Snyder’s action style on a pretty steep curve friendos. I don’t think he’s a hack or anything, but come on guys. As far as the Greengrassian nonsense has dragged down action filmaking, lets not come to the point where mere comprehensibility earns a diretor a gold star. The choreography of the battle scenes in 300 would’ve been all the more visceral if it hadn’t been buried under a bunch of “style”. Compare the battle scenes in 300 to the ones in “Braveheart” or “The Last Samurai”. 3 words: no friggan contest. I just think theres something to be said for getting the hell out of the way and letting the action speak for itself. I also think we could extend a little more slack to Mr. Scott. I think he’s a solid director whose simply overindulged some bad habits of late. But “Beverly Hills Cop II”, “Top Gun”, “Crimson Tide”, “Man on Fire”, “Days of Thunder”, and “Spy Game” are all classics to me.

  230. I think that Battle Royale is more culturally significant if you live in Japan. Apparently it was hitting some hot-button topics over there at the time.

  231. Hunter, thanks for the link. I can’t really argue with anything you wrote. I guess I just fail to see the value in the films you that you do. Also, I have no interest in fanning the flames of the torture/violence porn debate, but to me that label has less to do with sadomasochist sexual undertones in a film and more to do with a film that features a structure and/or plot that is an excuse for a visual gimmick or pay off. Obviously pornography is about sex, and more often then not everything else in a pornographic film like story or character plays a secondary role to the sex, if they are even present in the picture at all. The films you refer to as “gorno” often resemble pornographic films in that they place the same value or lack there of on story, narrative, and/or character. Also, I would also argue that not only can horror films be violence porn but so can action films. There is no blood or guts in Transformers 2 but it is like a porno film in it’s treatment of narrative and story. Bay merely uses them as excuses to bombard our senses. It is part of the dumbing down of cinema that is often debated and discussed on this sight.

  232. Loudabagel – I can’t think anybody who’s actually been to art school would have any respect for “Art School Confidential”. I mean, I’m glad you and Vern liked it for the sake of you and Vern, but it’s not a film I would ever recommend to anybody. It stinks of someone who’s either never been to art school or just has no idea of how to make a realistic portrayal of it, doing a movie about art school.

    As to the ending of Battle Royale – three of them survived the island. Three. There’s no fucking way that should have happened. And to get it to happen, the plot has to go where I believe the technical term is “batshit bonkers” and have the kids – who are monitored at all hours and are wearing exploding neck collars to stop a rebellion – somehow stage a successful coup against the adults. Sorry, but NO. This is as much of a cheat as “Elektra” is or “The Tournament” is or any of the other films I mentioned in that overlong analysis of “The Tournament” are.

    In short – if you have a setup as great as the one in “Battle Royale”, stick to it. Don’t wimp out and stage a completely implausible twist towards the end, for no fucking reason that I can see other than these are the “nice” kids and the “nice” kids have to survive, or some such bullshit. Don’t ruin a grittily satirical character piece with a dumb-as-shit piece of “movie justice” at the end.

    And to make this clear, for the vast majority of “Battle Royale”, I freaking love it. The kids are such relatable, intricate characters that I really empathised with the situation they were put in. I just find the “revolution” ending completely out of sync with the rest of it. It doesn’t fit, it undermines the rest of the film, it leaves a sour taste in the mouth, it cheapens the deaths of all the other kids who we’re supposed to care about. Sorry, but FUCK that shit.

  233. Also, why the fuck is Greengrass getting the blame here? The “Bourne” films – at least the first and third – were great. I found the second almost unwatchable due to the constant shakycam, but Greengrass seemed to realise this and toned it down in #3. Does he have to take shit for learning from his own mistakes?

    I don’t think you can blame Greengrass for bad action sequences by other directors, any more than you can blame Gloria Gaynor’s “I will survive” for inspiring a whole generation of insipid multi-racial female “R&B stars”. And why pay to hear a group of lurching semi-doped women endlessly bitch about their menfolk? I can go home and get it for free.

  234. Greengrass toned it down on part 3? Fuck no, part 3 was the unwatchable one that I just don’t wanna watch again, because its camera movements and hyperactive editing made me physically ill for a whole day. (Seriously! After I watched it, I spent the rest of the day with a headache in bed, even throwing up one or two times. And I only watched it on DVD! I don’t wanna imagine what had happened if I had seen it in theatre!)

  235. Just to be clear I have no problem with violence in movies. I love Seagal films, but I have little to no interest in violence for the sake of violence. Tarintino movies often have a great deal of violence in them but the violence in his films are part of the narrative and add to the story. You mentioned SAVING PRIVATE RYAN in one of the articles linked to your review, and while in some ways the violence in that film may be greater then that of HOSTEL or SAW it is not gratuitous in nature and exists as an organic part of the narrative of the film used to tell it’s story, and is crucial to the emotional payoff of the film.

    PS: Sorry about all the typos, poor grammar and spelling. I am not the best writer.

  236. RE: Charles

    I am specifically interested in analysis of films and media that people think are submental or valueless. This starting point leaves us in a very vulnerable place with the films. People completely brush them off for specifically the reason they are interesting to me. They speak very directly, and very loudly to parts of ourselves that we might wish to ignore. In that same vein, I also took several feminist studies classes on Pornography as a film genre, (not about how porn is evil, mind you. And not joke classes, the professor won a MacArthur Genius Grant this year). I don’t really like porn for its intended use, but I do find what it has to say about power structures, race, ethnicity, gender, and sexuality to be intellectually stimulating. Plus there’s that whole Foucault thing about “multiplying pleasures.”

    The late, great Robin Wood wrote several mindbendingly brilliant books of film theory and analysis on this subject that seriously changed my life when I discovered them at about 15. Specifically “Hollywood from Vietnam to Reagan” which offers serious analysis of Dawn of the Dead, It’s Alive!, Doom Generation, and many films of this ilk. I donno if Vern knows this guy’s work at all, but any serious genre film nerd (as opposed to film geeks who love things unconditionally and uncritically) really owes it to him or herself to read this book as it is often seen as the primogenitor of scholarly analysis of the B-movie.

    Remember that David Bordwell Article from a few days back? Well, he wrote several of my text books. I basically majored in that stuff. I’m trying to use it to write action movies that are more like a 4 course meal with a beautiful and kinky redhead who majored in Criminology at Harvard instead of a 2 AM burger and fries with your stoned cousin Flannery.

  237. Also, the Saw films are interesting structurally because of the way that they use film logic to hide the plot twists, which actually deal with real logic. For example,

    In Saw II, we have the character of Amanda returning. The audience accepts her because we know that we need Morris the explainer. You know, the black guy from a Steven King novel? Normally, this character dies at the end of act 2B, leading the protagonist into what I refer to as “the long, dark teatime of the soul.” Here however, she is actually made to be part of the twist.

    In Saw III, we accept that the traps are more violent and gratuitous because we understand that this is how franchise filmmaking works. Each film must get “bigger” than the last one in order to counteract the law of diminishing returns. But then, in act 3, this escalation of violence ends up being essential to the twist.

    Saw IV is very interesting in that, it is a film that takes place after the death of nearly every single main character in the entire franchise. How do you possibly extend a film series after the death of all of the (nonsupernatural) killers? Well, the insane continuity of the franchise allows for a bit player from part II and III to become the protagonist here. It seems like less of a cop out because, the dude was indeed featured rather prominently in several of the previous films, albeit without lines. Even more interestingly, the entire film is basically an extended experiment in the Kuleshov effect. We assume that each scene builds on the previous one because of their placement in the narrative when in fact, they are totally unrelated.

    Part V is a bit of a letdown, but I think it has some of the best traps and features a great, almost philosophical debate between 2 of the killers at its center. Too, it’s also the only time I have ever seen a protagonist actually get killed by a crushing wall. There are other elements that are of note too. The film acts as commentary on the post-9/11 paranoia about neighbors and the B-plot trap story is basically an adaptation of The Twilight Zone’s The Monsters on Maple Street.

    Part VI is the only horror film I have ever seen about health care reform. Like, the plot is overtly about healthcare reform. Also, it’s easily the best part VI in any horror franchise, ever. The ending even surprised me, and I am never, ever surprised by movie twists.

    Again, I’m bias. I’m friends with a few of the above the lines and have been since I was like 16. But I liked the movies before I met them, and I honestly think they have something to say about our society, even if that something is entirely symptomatic meaning rather than intentional meaning.

  238. So Paul, if you get mad at Battle Royale for the characters winning under almost impossible odds, do you dislike Seagal movies or Die Hard or any other action movie for the exact same thing? Yeah, the kids are being watched and the movie clearly shows how they figure out how to get around it. And also, only two survive not three. Yeah, the one guy got off but he still died. I mean, the movie basically followed along with typical action/thriller movie formula, from Chuck Bronson to Norris to Arnold.

  239. Hunter, thanks for the heads up on the book you mentioned. I will have to check it out. I really enjoyed the David Bordwell article from a few days back, and ended up reading various other essays and articles on his site. Everything I read was very interesting and I intend on checking out his site on a regular basis.

    I wish you the best of luck on your screen writing aspirations, maybe one day we could discuss your work.

    Also, if you have the chance check out a film called BUNRAKU. I wrote about on the thread that featured the David Bordwell article. It is an elegant and visually stunning high concept genre bending action film. It is a creative and sophisticated in it’s story telling and construction. I don’t think it will be released until later this year, but I bet you would enjoy it.

  240. Hey charles, email me at straight to video (at) gee mail dot com.

  241. I just did hopefully it went through.

  242. Jones – Die Hard – different film, different tone.

    Y’see, I can “buy” the characters surviving in, say, Die Hard, or Toy Story 3. (Similar movie examples there.) It fits the tone of the film. It’s satisfying. John McClane was a survivor anyhow, so there’s nothing intrinsically backwards about his overcoming the odds. It’s set up from the start that he’s gonna win through in the end.

    But to make “Battle Royale” THAT good and then to blow it at the end with a totally fucking stupid inane makes-all-the-smart-characters-behave-idiotically God-damned ass-backwards switcheroo… NO. It’s just too fucking dumb. It doesn’t fit the tone of the film. Dammit, do I have to repeat my entire rant?

    Y’know what I think happened? I think they had an ending all ready where the psycho and the veteran killed each other leaving only the final boy and girl, and the boy decided to sacrifice himself for her or vice versa, becoming the sole survivor, and the guy behind it all didn’t get a bad case of “movie justice” in a completely fucking stupid way. But some producer or test audience or whatever said “You know what, this is too bleak, let’s have them BOTH survive. Oh, and let’s kill off the teacher while we’re at it. Yeah, I know it renders the rest of the movie totally pointless, but who cares? It’s kids killing each other, nobody’s gonna notice!”

    Look, I’ve had it up to the neck with a rash of recent movies I’ve seen where they have a fantastic setup and no payoff. Do you think “Rocky” would have been improved if Rocky had won that fight? Do you think “Rambo” would’ve been better with a contrived “happy ending”? Do you think “The Thing” would’ve been better if there hadn’t been that ambiguity at the end? (I’m not talking about the bit where everybody decides to blow shit up and separate from each other for no reason, and the Thing decides to transform into an easily killable giant monster, it would DEFINITELY have been better without that part. I’m talking about the bit where the two men sit down in the snow.) Well do you? No? WELL NEITHER DO I.

    So why the fuck do we have to put up with this over-contrived bullshit in place of a real ending?

  243. I think what Paul is getting at is best exemplified in The Village. Battle Royale sets up very specific rules, then fails to follow through on them. Characters in the film can lie, but when the film itself lies, you have a problem. M. Night was doomed the minute he showed the dates on the graves in the first scene of The Village and Battle Royale was doomed the minute it set up stringent rules that it had no intention of following through on. Chekhov’s rule of a gun in act one means a murder by act 3 comes to mind too.

  244. Well, I guess we saw Battle Royale in different contexts. I saw it as an action movie thriller, it was never played otherwise…and usually in those, the hero perseveres until the end. It’s like hey, Silence of the Lambs was a dark, gothic movie…so is it a cheat that Jodie Foster saves the girl in the end and shoots the bad guy? And it’s not like Rocky had a sad ending anyway. And First Blood had a happier ending than the original one where he shoots himself.

    How exactly did the smart characters act stupid in order for the ending to work? Which smart characters are you talking about?

    Also, the book basically ends the same way, except it’s even more unbeliveable because the kids mow down all of the soldiers with machine guns and only get the chance to do so because no one verified the bodies.

  245. How did Battle Royale lie though, Hunter? Yeah, there were specific rules…which were then thwarted. The Village didn’t lie either, it was a cover-up.

    To use Die Hard again, it’s like you’re saying that movie lies because Hans tells McClane that he’s going to lose…but McClane ends up proving him wrong. Hans wasn’t lying about that threat, he meant it, he just didn’t follow up very well.

  246. So Snyder is a hero and Greengrass is the villain?

    What the hell?

  247. Come on RRA, this isn’t professional wrestling here. I don’t think anyone’s saying that. Although I’d take Snyder over Greengrass.

  248. It stretches credulity too far for me to believe that the adults made gravestones with fake years. That’s just dumb. The high concept of Battle Royale was that it was a death match, in Die Hard it’s just a bad guy’s speech .

  249. Jones – I believe I’ve made my case.

  250. Aronofsky for Preacher, any thoughts on this?


    Every time someone leaves this project it just seems to get in better hands as it comes along. The choice seems about right to me. I know someone mentioned earlier that he should be doing his own projects, but this one seems more of a fit than superman. That black swan trailer gave me chills, brought me back to the first time I saw Requiem. And if he can do that with preacher, then count me in. Actually, I could almost imagine him doing Sandman with Natalie Portman too. But If he chooses any of these projects, I doubt he’ll stay on them for long. He seems to move on these types of projects and then leaving doing something oscar worthy, which is probably for the best.

  251. So Hunter, you could buy that the adults in the village created a fake town and lied to their children for years and dressed up as monsters but fake dates on tombstones is the breaking point?

    And yes, the high concept of Battle Royale was a deathmatch. hat the villains set up. That doesn’t mean the good guys can’t figure out a way to subvert that system and win. That’s the general arc of action movies and thrillers.

  252. rewrite – I’m gonna agree with you.

    If SUPERMAN gets Zach Snyder so to appease these nerds here and I get Darren A. for PREACHER, I’ll be satisfied with that tradeoff.

  253. I mean, Mad Max refused the rules of Thunderdome, although he paid a price for it (but got his revenge anyway). And was anyone complaining when Arnold beat the Running Man game?

  254. Yeah, everything the adults did had motivation…except for faking the years. That was done only to fool the audience. There was no diegetic reason, ergo it’s a cheat.

    Also, Running Man is about an exceptional person who is thrown into the game. In Battle Royale, I don’t remember the set up including anything about these kids being specifically extraordinary. But I only saw the movie twice, nearly a decade ago, so…

  255. I think I’d use the words “us” nerds if I liked a funnybook that had a random vampire in it.

  256. But Hunter, WHY do the kids have to be extraordinary to win? Can’t they just persevere? Back to Silence of the Lambs…Clarice isn’t the greatest detective ever. She’s hardworking and tenacious, but still wouldn’t get to where she was without Lecter giving her info. But she won. And seeing the way you view Battle Royale, no matter what the kids did to win wouldn’t satisfy you. If they had just ran into the compound and shot everyone instead of what happened, would that have been better? Even Arnold wouldn’t have beaten The Running Man without his computer hacker buddies, he didn’t do it by himself.

    And back to the Village…why I’d basically agree with you, I will give the adults some leeway seeing as they’re so into what they’re building than why not go all the way and set the clock back 100 years or so?

  257. Actually, one thing I just thought about regarding The Village…I’d think faking the dates would be important. Why? They had books. Now you can’t have books from 1998 or whatever because the kids are going to start asking question like what are cars and what’s a McDonald’s? So you can only give them books from the 1800s or so. But you have to fake the dates because if you don’t lie about the year, and they only have books from 100 years ago, they start asking why don’t they have any recent books? Thus, the dates.

    Apparently M. Night is a genius.

  258. You know, Jones. That literally never occurred to me. You’re completely right. Touche.

  259. M. Night Shymalan should write a memoir and title it TOXIC.

  260. I hate to make it seem like I’m defending The Village too much. Up until then M. Night was doing no wrong for me. Yeah yeah, I was fine with the cheesy water stuff in Signs since that was about a minute of screentime. But midway through The Village is where I said “uh oh.”

  261. There was a time when I thought M. Knight was going to be the next great filmmaker. I didn’t even get 1/2 way through the Village before I had my uh oh moment. I went through a period of about 3 or 4 years where I didn’t want to believe that he lost it.

  262. What is the deal with M. Night? The guy made 2 great movies (6th Sense & Unbreakable) and 1 good one (Signs) then everything else he has done since borders on unwatchable. I caught some of The Happing one night on HBO and it was so bad on so many levels that I couldn’t believe it was made by the same guy that made 6th Sense & Unbreakable. I haven’t seen it but I have had a few people tell me The Last Airbender isn’t bad. Has anyone here seen it?

  263. I usually hate shakycam, but I love all three Bourne movies. The third one is the best. It’s like a parade of badass moments.

    Anyone else wish Tarantino would direct a live-action Venture Bros. They’d have to cast Patrick Warburton as Brock, though, because no one else sounds like that.

  264. Also, some good director should direct THE TRAGEDY OF M. NIGHT SHYMALAN.

  265. Guys, this has nothing to do with movies, but if this is the admitted nerd thread then you guys probably already know about this and find it exciting too, but it’s time to get excited about motherfucking SPACE.


  266. Wow, they found Pandora. I knew James Cameron wasn’t faking that shit. All this time we thought he was inventing cameras for the deep oceans, when in reality he was making regular visits with the ABYSS taking him to worlds unknown so he could film it there. They showed him where christ was, how skynet could be formed, and it took him 10 years to document when he lost the footage and had to re-enact it all using what was left.

    Yep, I’am not in Kansas anymore

    Also, in the the tragedy of M.Night. I have come to the theory that he really is Mr. Glass and that all the disasters he’s made recently are tests to find a real movie somewhere. Just a few more train wrecks and I’m sure he’ll find it.

  267. rewrite – You mean Cameron is gonna be an even bigger prick now?

    Man his ego doesn’t need anymore inflating. That shit of him “considering” options on how to stop the BP oil spill was hubris hall of fame.

  268. Don’t you see!? He planned that too. The oil spill? all HIS idea. Why do you think we’re just finding out about this “new world” information all of a sudden. He’s been leaking it out slowly, so we can start to “jump ship” once we see for ourselves what “we” have done to our own world. These are the options he was considering for us all along. I blame the Academy for letting his ex wife take the OSCAR from him, since now it has only driven his hunger even more to be “king” of the world. It was an Ozymandias dick move, but James fucking Connor doesn’t stop in trying to save us all.

  269. – Hunter D

    Exciting stuff about the saw series. I would still love to hear your thoughts on why man on fire is an intelligent movie.

    Regarding Battle Royale. The movie is about a system that punishes kids for breaking the rules (of society). The kids turns the table and survives the system and it`s punishment by breaking the rules. Makes sense to me.

  270. Well, for one, it has the restraint to not have Denzel kill anyone until minute 70. I believed Denzel’s character and I thought it properly exploited (in all senses of the word) a real world socio-political situation. I thought the kid was unusually well written, and the gooey stuff was well done. The ways in which Denzel tracks the kidnappers felt fresh to me. I was even kinda okay with the cop out of the kid still being alive. Though it pissed me the fuck off the first time.

  271. – Hunter D

    They should have kept the original ending, where Denzel stuffs a buttplug with plastic explosives up his arse and triggers it inside the bad guy`s mansion.

  272. You know what, guys? This is not just at you, RRA, this is the whole internet. I say don’t be bitter about Cameron. I don’t know if this is widely known, but the fucking guy directed TERMINATOR, TERMINATOR 2, THE ABYSS. If he only directed ALIENS he would still be a hero worthy of building a statue of. Who gives a shit if he went crazy, got obsessed with submarines and perfecting movie technology.

    This is my message to the nerd community: stop killing your heroes. It seems like you worship people for years only so you can spend twice as long hating them. You gotta have more positivity in your life, more appreciation for the good, more forgiveness of the bad.

    People get old. People get fat. People lose their touch. Just accept it and don’t be so god damn bitter. When the world thinks of Muhammad Ali they think of The Greatest of All Time, they don’t fixate on that depressing asswhooping he got from Larry Holmes. But what do you gentlemen fixate on when you think of Star Wars? Not the movie that you love so much, but the anger you have at things the guy did later. It’s not healthy.

    George Lucas gave you fucking STAR WARS. He gave you more joy than sex has given you. That’s not a “you’re a virgin” joke, it’s a scientific fact based on all the years that you played with his dolls and wore his pajamas and philosophized about his characters in your dorm room. But later on you don’t like what he’s done so you literally say over and over again that he forced his dick up your ass. Fucking ingrates.

    So Marlon Brando made FREE MONEY, that doesn’t erase what he did for acting before. So FLIGHT OF FURY is shitty, that doesn’t change OUT FOR JUSTICE. So Batman turned evil after he went into another dimension, there was still all those times he saved people from riddles and what not. And maybe your grandma got kind of loopy in her old age, said some weird shit about “the orientals” or something. She was still nice to you when you were little. If James Cameron is a goofball now, and AVATAR is kind of corny, so the fuck what. He made motherfucking ALIENS.

    I repeat. ALIENS. Appreciate it.

    You know what, this requires all caps. HE MADE ALIENS. And more. I get it, he’s full of himself, but I don’t see why it has to be constant negativity every time his name comes up, or more often when his name doesn’t come up but you throw it in there just to add some negativity flavoring. You don’t have to worship them blindly but jesus, have some appreciation I say. As far as the type of movies I enjoy, I really believe he’s made some of the best movies of all time, and to me that’s worthy of respect.

    and plus, what if he DID figure out how to clean up the oil spill? Would you apologize?

    (okay, looking back I think the comments that inspired this rant were fairly innocent and not deserving of this type of fury, but I’m still gonna click ‘submit comment’ because these things need to be said every once in a while)

  273. AVATAR was pretty dumb, though.

  274. I still love Cameron. I liked Avatar. Who cares if the story is kind of shitty and completely predictable? The visuals were unlike anything to come before it. And Zoe Saldana was badass. And it made me imagine how great a Spider-Man or Superman movie could be in 3D.

  275. Whoa whoa, did not mean to incite the fury. I’m a still a big fan of Cameron and what he’s done. I really didn’t it mean any harm, honestly all in good fun. I’m not trying to go after him personally by calling his filmography shit or make fun of how old he is, whatever the sarcasm might imply. In defense of RRA though, its true Cameron does have quite an ego weather you like him as a director or not. He’s a celebrity. And sometimes maybe giving him too much love for things like AVATAR probably inflated that ego just a bit. We knew he was coming back, and we anticipated his next film to be the greatest thing ever and you know why? because we love ALIENS, and we love the TERMINATOR movies. We expected him to fuck eyeballs or whatever and bring that back regardless of what he had done because WE ARE FANS. Sure the movie might not have quite the impact on us or delivered to our expectations. But what can we do? it made over a billion dollars, and we as fans (maybe not quite the population to equal a billion) put him in that position to have that ego. And I’m sure regardless of whatever crazy things he’s done or is going to do, his movies will still be watched and remembered. People will still remember TERMINATOR and ALIENS, and given our last string of directors doing action we really can’t turn back on him now for making enjoyable movies. I’m probably not making any more sense here, but I will say that I still have love for Woo, and I still have love for the Peter Jacksons, the Mctiernans, and hell even the Wes Cravens. I even still got love for you vern, despite you instilling the rage and even calling the things I like “nerd shit”. But whatever, I will still continue to be on the site. WHY? because of that fucking “I’ll Always Know What You Did Last Summer” review you did back in “06”.

  276. Well put, Vern. My whole philosophy has always been that no matter how bad movies are, they’re still movies. That means they’re the good part of life, the part where you get to relax and let your imagination run free. If movies piss you off that much, you’re watching them wrong. Maybe you should deal with you and not worry so much about what George Lucas is doing.

  277. I still think it’s okay to hate Lucas. He isn’t what made the first ones great, in my opinion, so it’s okay to be pissed at him for not hiring other writers and directors. He’s said in interviews that he knows he’s not that good at dialogue or with actors. It’s so fucking crass. Whenever I see them on TV I can’t help but imagine how great they could’ve been, if he had only let someone else re-write and streamline it, and then also someone else direct the entire thing.

  278. You can’t help but feel like it’s nothing but a cash cow to him. Cameron is truly passionate about Avatar at least.

  279. The Lucas hate just gets so out of hand. Everybody acts like he violated some kind of contract. They seem to think that the Declaration of Independence guarantees all American to “life, liberty, the pursuit of happiness, and STAR WARS prequels that are at least as good as JEDI.” He made the movies. He did his best. They didn’t work out as well as we’d hoped, though I feel that they’re entertaining movies overall. If you hated them, guess what? You never have to watch them or any other Lucas product ever again. There’s no reason to keep infecting every conversation with bitterness.

  280. (Not saying that’s what you’re doing, Levon. Just talking about Internet folks in general.)

  281. Leave Lucas alone! He did direct 2 great movies of the seventies; THX 1138 and American Graffiti, cooked up the concept for Indiana Jones and created Starwars. He appearently spend 4 years in a room, rewriting and shaping the script into cinemas greatest mythology, at a time where everybody thought sci-fi was stone dead.

    And A New Hope is brilliantly directed. Changed my life when I were 5 years old.

  282. So, speaking of the ALIEN franchise, which someone was, you guys hear that shit about Ridley Scott’s new Alien movie getting put on hold? Fox wants it PG-13, and doesn’t want to give him the $250 million he wants.

  283. Eh, he’ll walk away, they’ll hire some commercial or music video director to do it for half the money and a PG13. Becuase that always works out.

  284. I gotta admit that I can understand Fox at least on the budget side. Please don’t get me wrong, I’m all for artistic freedom and big budgeted movies from talented directors and as a fan I would love to see how Ridley Scott tries to re-establish the grace of the franchise with one of the highest budgets ever, but filmmaking is (unfortunately) a business and the Alien series lost its prestigious status as a must-see event almost 20 years ago. So from a business point of view I can totally understand that Fox would prefer a lower budgeted version.
    The ratings question is inexcusable, though. (Although of course one could argue that a PG 13 movie can be much scarier and more disturbing these days than just 10 years ago.)

  285. I think movie fans get angry when a director or actor loses it because they’ve shown that they’re capable of more, therefore we expect more. When you’re a fan of somebody and they let you down, whether it be music, movies, sports, etc., it feels like a slap in the face. Is it unfair for fans to feel like a “contract” was broken? Yes, but thats the reality of it. Unfortunately, nobody bats a 1000, people are gonna strike out every now and then. Thats ok. When someone’s career takes a complete 180 and you wonder “what the hell happened” is when people get angry. They used to make classics but now either make mediocre films (Zemeckis, Burton) or outright terrible ones (M. Knight).

    It seems like alot of the filmmakers that we grew up with, filmmakers who shaped modern cinema and made fucking classics, are all kinda washed up now without anyone to really replace them. Who’s gonna replace Lucas, Spielberg, Zemeckis, etc.? This is what scares me about modern cinema. Just when i think someone has stepped up and is ready to lead modern cinema, they fall flat on their faces . The Wachowski’s, M. Knight, Peter Jackson (King Kong was awful). Nolan’s the only one who has really stepped up his game and has made blockbusters that also happen to be incredible movies (unlike, say, Michael Bay). Scorsese and Cameron still make great movies but for how much longer?

  286. But why get angry? I don’t get it. They don’t suck on purpose. They’re probably just as mystified as you as to why their new shit doesn’t work as well as their old shit. How frustrating must it be to not be able to do something you used to be so good at. If you were ever truly a fan, can’t you find it in your heart to forgive the artist, even if you no longer like his art?

    Then there are guys like Tim Burton who are wasting their talents on projects that are so clearly beneath them. But even then, why get angry? Just don’t see the movies. That’s what I do, and it’s served me well thus far. I still treasure all the good times we had together, though. Nothing can take BEETLEJUICE away from me.

    I guess my point is, I got 99 problems and a bad movie ain’t one.

  287. I agree with Vern’s comment on a philosophical level. It’s just healthier to be positive. You don’t have to like everything someone does, but still, a movie you don’t like is not a personal betrayal equivalent of a terrorist act. We’re here to discuss the movies that mean something to us and help each other discover the rare obscure ones we wouldn’t have known about.

    So, like Majestyk says. Don’t be angry. Just note that it’s not their best work and move on. Heck, as a fan, I’ll still watch any new Jackie Chan movie just in case it’s got a scene like the conveyor belt in The Myth.

  288. Just to clarify, I’m not agreeing with those who get angry at people for not making good movies. I’m just attempting to rationalize it. I can kinda see why people do get angry though. Its a fine line between anger and disappointment. I’m not angry that Tim Burton doesn’t make great movies anymore but I’m sure as hell disappointed. Sure I can ignore the last 5-10 years of his career and not get worked up over it but as movie fans, we naturally get worked up about movies. Isn’t that why were on this site? Getting worked up to the point of getting angry is ridiculous though. Lots of fans think they own the movies they love. Well, they don’t. The people that made them do. People who get personally offended because of midichlorians or whatever need to dial it down a notch. And I agree that if someone is making shitty movies now, it does not erase all the awesome ones they made before.

  289. Forgive me if I failed to notice discussion of this issue, but I’d like to take a brief moment to mention that on September 28th, we lost one of the greats — Arthur Penn directed BONNIE AND CLYDE, ALICE’S RESTAURANT, LITTLE BIG MAN, NIGHT MOVES, and others throughout his long career. He hadn’t directed since 1996, but I feel that his passing probably merits some discussion of his amazing art (again, apologies if I merely missed it). I’ve always consdiered him one of the classic directors of his era, and one of the top tier workaday directors of all time. He could direct many styles and never really left a trademark to cultivate his status as an auteur, but nonetheless did solid work in nearly everything he tried.

    He’ll be remembered for his revolutionary work in BONNIE AND CLYDE, but I think we’re sophisticated enough around these parts to consider his whole body of work. For me, I know LITTLE BIG MAN will always resonate with me as a truly funny, compassionate revisionist history (which I’ll always prefer to the real thing) and NIGHT MOVES is one of the most mysterious and affecting neo-noirs I’ve ever seen. I haven’t seen TARGET or DEAD OF WINTER but maybe I’ll segue into the Halloween season by watching em. Anyway, I just thought it was worth a mention here. If you’re unfamiliar with Penn’s work (and I seriously doubt anyone here is) use this as an exucuse to get out there and soak in one of the undersung greats.

  290. And just to clarify before RRA beats me to it with a comment about TRANSFORMERS 2, I’m not saying you have to like every movie or give a movie a pass or keep your mouth shut if you don’t have anything nice to say. Speak your mind, but think of the cumulative effect of your words and don’t let the negative outweigh the positive. Movies are a blessing, not a curse. I can fall victim to the temptation to harp on my pet-peeve movies, but I try not to let that the majority of my output. I’m sure someone will let me know if and when I fail.

    I do think that a lot of this negativity comes from more and more movies being made based on established properties. People (myself included) have preexisting notions about how these movies (i.e., nerd shit) should be made, so we’re more likely to think they fall short. When STAR WARS came out, nobody could say they fucked up the character of Darth Vader because Darth Vader was being invented right in front of us. But now everybody thinks they know what Darth Vader is like, so any discrepancies will be noted and cataloged and lamented. There are fewer and fewer movies that are created out of whole cloth that we can just take as they are and not regret that they’re not as we wanted them to be.

  291. I guess the thing I’m trying to say I’m against is making it so personal. Profound disappointment with your favorite director now making movies you hate is reasonable. But the thing I see on the internet with Lucas and to a lesser extent with Cameron is anger at him as a person, making fun of his appearance and insulting him personally. And of course the weird personal grudge thing where you can be talking about Chinese food or mowing the lawn and somehow you’re gonna bring up how George Lucas would ruin it. And also I’m against the bullying nicknames, even saying “Mikey Bay” and shit like that, I don’t really get that attitude.

    But these are things that happen less in these comments than in other movie discussion places I look at, so I appreciate that. I’m not accusing any of you. Making fun of Cameron for the oil thing set it off because it strikes me as unfair. It’s not like he has nothing to do with that area. He spent 10 or 15 years funding and operating cutting edge underwater vehicles and robots. I think it’s reasonable to think he might have some ideas. Also, I heard that Kevin Costner has a company that built machines that we were being put to good use there. If Costner can help I’m sure Cameron can.

    Also I think it’s more of a backlash against his ridiculously huge mainstream success than it is with Lucas. If AVATAR had been a failure I know at least a few of the people who hate it would be saying it was misunderstood and underrated.

    He’s still wrong to dis FRIDAY THE 13TH 3-D, though.

  292. and rewrite, please don’t be offended by the “nerd shit” title. I’m just teasing. I’m not trying to be the bad guys from REVENGE OF THE NERDS. People get mad at me sometimes but nobody seems to notice that I watch all of the fucking comic book movies. I think I even like more of them than the people I’m calling nerds do. I liked all three Punishers, I love Ang Lee’s Hulk, I didn’t think Spiderman 3, X-Men 3 or Blade 3 were as worthless as everybody said. Maybe I’m more of a nerd than you are.

  293. Vern, I believe the two main bad guys from REVENGE OF THE NERDS eventually became nerds themselves in the sequels. So be careful about staring into the abyss, etc.

  294. I know Ogre does in the Part 2: Nerds in Paradise. Not sure about Stan Gable/Ted McGinley though. I didn’t see part 3,4,5,6,7, or 8.

  295. I think he got nerdified in Part 7: NERDS IN SPACE.

  296. And I would like to use this moment to suggest again that Vern’s next book (if he releases another one) should be about “nerd movies”. (Including reviews of the whole Harry Potter and Star Trek movie series.)

  297. Vern – Since you say its not at me but the Internet, but you were looking at me when you typed it, let me say this. Unlike some people, I separate the artist from the person, as George Orwell told us we should.

    GHOST WRITER was a hell of a slow-burn-but-heavy-payout thriller, awesome. I also wouldn’t lose sleep if Roman Polanski ever finally went to jail.

    Regarding James Cameron, the guy is by all acounts a total asshole with an ego the size of Pandora, and the fact that he made Ed Harris cry during ABYSS shooting….I mean damn, that’s hardcore. All this can’t be discounted. I’m not allowed to laugh when he flat out called Glenn Beck an asshole? Yeah he’s right, Beck is an ass. But pot calling kettle black?

    That said, James Cameron has made quite many good fucking movies, and can’t we agree that TRUE LIES, TITANIC, and AVATAR aren’t as good as TERMINATOR, T2, ALIENS, and ABYSS? Nevermind that I busted your balls about reviewing ABYSS last year to tie-in with AVATAR, right?

    I think what seperates those two branches is that Cameron once could write hell of a decent story where aside from kickass action and thrills, he also gave you characters you gave a fuck about. I would even include his STRANGE DAYS screenplay.

    I suppose what bugs me about AVATAR is how Cameron the writer has gone from telling stories about people which also involved FX to bigass FX spectacles about arcetypes. I believe you mentioned something about this in your AVATAR review, and I agree. That said, AVATAR (if you read some of my comments in your review thread) at its best was Edgar Rice Burroughs-esque escapist daydreaming and showed that nobody could cut a meaner (comprehensible) action scene than old man Cameron. I gave it a decent review, recommendable I suppose as the critics would fart.

    So how exactly am I killing these “heroes”? Idoltry in the first place is what cause these Nerd Blacklashes. It happens to all the masters one way or another, especially Christopher Nolan sooner or later.

    Hell you mentioned Lucas and Cameron, let me add another one: Oliver Stone.

    Late 80s, early 90s Stone was to say it mildly was great. Always on the nose, about as subtle as sledgehammer and controversial take-it-or-leave-it with out opinions. But fuck it he was rather awesome whether it be NATURAL BORN KILLERS or PLATOON or JFK or NIXON and so forth. A babyboomer making movies about his generation. Nevermind that mother fucker wrote SCARFACE.

    So what happened to him the last decade? ALEXANDER isn’t as bad as its reputation, but a skippsable mess (though AsimovLives swears to me the Final Cut is worth watching), WORLD TRADE CENTER was intentionally vanilla wafer bland, and….come to think of it, his last 3 movies including that WALL STREET sequel aren’t bad movies technically. They’re just utterly unremarkable and uninteresting. Like most television.

    Also its not Mikey Bay. It’s Baynito Michaelini.

    Mr. Subtlety – Personally I was pissed Tony Curtis’ passing got more coverage than Arthur Penn. No offense to Jamie Lee Curtis’ daddy, but Arthur Penn made 1970s cinema possible. Still I learned from the Curtis death which I didn’t know: He’s on the SGT. PEPPER album cover. Good job Tony.

    CJ – Brilliant suggestion. Do it Vern.

  298. RRA – you’re not killing your heroes, I really meant that at the end when I said I went back and realized that your comments didn’t justify my response. But I do think that about 90% of Ain’t It Cool talkbackers do that. Give Chris Nolan one or two movies before they turn on him and obsess over him like our friend you-know-who here does the co-creator of Felicity.

  299. The original Paul

    October 1st, 2010 at 7:11 pm

    Jones – I thought “Signs” was tosh but liked “The Village”, so it’s a matter of opinion. I will state to my grave that the only two things wrong with “The Village” were an incredibly over-pomped soundtrack (rising dramatic violin cues scored over scenes that were clearly intended to be humorous) and some really bad dialogue. I don’t have a problem with the story or the characters or the twist or the Shyamalan cameo, just those two things.

    And comparing “The Running Man” or “Die Hard” or any other big budget action movie of that particular type with “Battle Royale”, which is a cuttingly satirical character piece, is like trying to compare a pair of underpants with an aubergine. In my humble opinion. The difference is that the rebellion / revolution bit at the end of “The Running Man” WAS the payoff. The bit at the end of “Battle Royale” was used to AVOID the payoff – and done in an incredibly contrived, irritating way, at least to me.

    (In case I haven’t made it clear, I love 90% of “Battle Royale”. I think the kids are almost universally excellent, the compact five-minute character-sketches are great, the score is one of the best I’ve ever heard – I’ve certainly never heard “Handel’s Largo” used any better than in that movie – and the whole thing is paced, edited and directed expertly. I just wish they hadn’t wussed out on the ending.)

    RRA – I agree with pretty much everything you say, apart from the bits about “The Abyss” (incredibly over-rated), “True Lies” (a little under-rated), and “Avatar” (never seen it). It’s interesting that you bring up Cameron though, because I was in the middle of an interesting discussion about his work. I gotta say, I’ve not met a single person who could sit through “The Abyss”. It’s one of those movies (“Munich” and “Casino Royale” being the other obvious examples) where if you look at the Internet, “everyone” seems to like them. And yet I don’t know a single person in real life who could sit through any of them. Is this some kind of a bizarre cultural thing? Or do you guys in America/ Australia/ Canada get different versions of these films than we do over here in Europe?

    Vern – I agree that the personal attacks on Cameron, Lucas and his ilk are unwarranted, but I also think they’re made by a very small but vocal minority. I think it’s to do with the territorial instincts, etc. Honestly, I wouldn’t waste your time worrying about it. The good thing about idiots on the Internet is that everyone who matters KNOWS they’re idiots on the Internet. Let ’em troll.

    I also agree with you about Spiderman 3 – I think I enjoyed it more than the first two, simply because it embraced its soap-opera roots – but I think “worthless” is a pretty good description of “Blade 3”. I don’t think it’s terrible, I just didn’t see anything in it that I could point at and say “THIS is why you should watch this film!” I can barely remember Wesley Snipes or Ryan Reynolds in it, and when the two “leads” are so forgettable, it’s rarely a good sign.

    As for X3, I’ll have to revisit your review of that to see what you liked about it, because I saw it fairly recently and hated it. I’ve never read any of the comic books or had exposure to any X-Men stuff except the first two films, but I hated what it did to the characters of those films. People whose relationships had been painstakingly crafted in X1 and X2 were reduced to throwing animated fireballs at each other in X3, often for no apparent reason other than someone somewhere thought it would look “cool”. It took everything that made the first two films so good, and stripped it away – the characters, the politics, even the subtext. (Unless there’s some kind of magic syringe that turns black people into white people?)

    And in case it’s not obvious from my recent diatribes on what films like “Battle Royale” and “The Tournament” and various other films, I am easily disappointed. But generally speaking it’s not with a specific director, it’s when a movie clearly HAS potential but doesn’t quite live up to it. (Ok, “has potential” might be a little ambitious for “The Tournament”, given my criticisms of it. But you guys know what I mean.)

  300. The original Paul

    October 1st, 2010 at 7:20 pm

    Oh for God’s sake… that post above was about one and a half “comment boxes” long before I posted it!

  301. The original Paul – don’t know your situation, but I always liked ABYSS and prefer the Special Edition cut which I argue is a superior edit beyond just whether one or not liked that admittedly hokey ending.

    Also, how is your Seagal filmography viewing going so far? Gotten to FIRE DOWN BELOW yet?

  302. I joined the discussion less on the personal attack front and more on the sheer negativity front. It’s not just an internet thing unfortunately. I live and work in a community where people just think it’s cool to be as mean as possible if they don’t like something. There are many complex factors of which the internet is only one, but I am of Vern’s mind that it’s simply better to have perspective. It’s more peaceful and happy personally and it’s better for others too.

    Yes, we’re all passionate about movies and that’s good. Majestyk, I agree, movies are a blessing. We get to pay $10 to watch something that cost millions to make. We also live in a country where we can afford to go to movies, watch them at home and have internet to discuss them. Some people don’t have running water. ThomasCrown, I also agree, the people spending millions are taking the real risk. All that’s at stake for us is a couple hours of entertainment or boredom.

    So some of us won’t watch Avatar again, and some won’t bother with the next Tim Burton movie out of personal preference. I’m glad they all exist for us to choose from.

  303. The original Paul

    October 2nd, 2010 at 1:07 pm

    RRA – I haven’t watched a new one after “Kill Switch”. That and “Submerged” have put me off a bit. At least “Against the Dark” was better than expected, although still not good.

    I think I’m going to have to go for a good one before I lose motivation altogether.

    Seagal roundup, from best to worst:

    “Marked for Death” – still a personal favorite of mine. Great soundtrack, some good fight scenes, and Keith David. Basil Wallace is easily the best antagonist Seagal has ever had, at least of the films I’ve seen.

    “Exit Wounds” – twisty, turny, with some great comedy beats that manage not to be irritating for the most part, plus some classic action movie moments (my personal much-quoted favorite bit being when Seagal shoots a helicopter in the DOOR and it instantly turns into a gigantic fireball.) This is by no means the best of Seagal’s pictures, but it’s definitely one of the most fun.

    “Fire Down Below” – Another personal favorite, this one takes Seagal out of the city and puts him in the American backwoods. Co-stars Whistler from “Blade” and the blonde from CSI, both of whom do the script justice. The only reason I haven’t rated this one higher is because I think it loses it a bit at the end (the sudden traitor revelation makes no damn sense, and I hate the FBI agent’s death right at the end – it’s just negligent on the part of Seagal to let that happen). Still one of my faves though.

    “Executive Decision” – Seagal plays a supporting role in this one, but it’s still one of his best films. Makes the similar “Air Force One” look scrappy and badly-plotted (which, to be fair, it is.)

    “Under Siege” and “Under Siege 2” – The first one has Tommy Lee Jones, the second Eric Bogosian. The first is undeniably the better movie, but the second keeps up the sheer entertainment factor for longer (and is also officially the best movie ever made for the drinking game “spot the phallic symbols”). I can’t really separate them in terms of personal preference, so I’ve put ’em both together.

    “On Deadly Ground” – I gotta be honest, this is the first one on this list that bored me. Even a scenery-chewing Michael Caine and a great bar fight can’t save it from being a little humdrum. As a Seagal flick it’s one of his most personal, but as a movie in general it’s definitely sub-par compared to the ones I’ve mentioned above. I think it’s worth seeing as a curiosity, but it definitely wastes a great cast.

    “Against the Dark” – yeah, it’s still better than the ones below. Massively flawed, I think it’s still genuinely more interesting than the likes of “The Glimmer Man” and “Hard to Kill”. (Although I definitely wouldn’t fault anybody for disagreeing with me there – I can see why others dislike it so much.) And talking of which…

    “The Glimmer Man” – this one just bored me, but unlike “On Deadly Ground” it doesn’t have the compensations of an excellent bar fight or Michael Caine. This one’s for diehard Seagal fans only. I have nothing more to say because it made so little impression on me. I didn’t actively dislike it, unlike…

    “Submerged” – it doesn’t surprise me that this one went through the wringer during the editing process. I think it COULD have been good, there are flashes of some better than it is, but the final product, when it’s not laugh-out-loud hilariously bad, is just incredibly boring. There’s no interesting characters, no good fight scenes, and the whole thing is just ruined by avid farts. It actually has a very good B-list cast – Christine Adams, Nick Brimble and Vinnie Jones all feature – but they’re pretty much wasted here.

    “Hard to Kill” – I think it’s fair to say that this is the only one on which Vern and I absolutely disagree. I watched the last ten minutes recently and thought it was ok. The trouble is, everything else about it is wrong. The main problem I have with this movie, apart from the terrible score that sounds like something that was put together on a computer in the space of half an hour or so, is that despite having a few good ideas there’s really nothing entertaining or exciting about it. It’s incredibly dumb, but then so was “Exit Wounds”, and at least that was fun to watch for the comedy, bizarre action sequences, and Scooby-Doo-esque twists. Nothing about “Hard to Kill” is fun.

    “The Patriot” – Yep, it’s that bad. I can’t think of a single reason to watch it. It has no characters. It barely has a plot. It has no emotional hook. It has no action sequences (seriously). It may not be the worst, technically speaking, of the lot, but I never thought I’d see less entertaining Seagal film than this one. Until…

    “Kill Switch” – Sleazy, unpleasant, gritty, with terrible action scenes and no likeable characters, this is like watching a stranger get beaten up outside a pub for two straight hours. Just horrible.

  304. Paul – To be fair, we did warn you about some of them so…we warned you.

    When you get your Seagal mojo back, check out URBAN JUSTICE.

  305. The original Paul

    October 2nd, 2010 at 4:23 pm

    RRA – well to be fair, I knew what I was getting myself into. Vern’s review of “Kill Switch” pretty much nailed that one IMO. And “Submerged” was always going to be terrible, although VERY occasionally it rose to the level of “unintentionally hilarious”. I still don’t think “Against the Dark” is quite as bad as it’s made out to be, although I couldn’t in good conscience recommend it to anybody except the most die-hard Seagal fan (and, judging by how much Vern disliked it, not all of them.)

    But it’s not all bad. Of the twelve / thirteen films I’ve watched** (which ain’t bad going in itself) I’d definitely recommend six of them to any action movie fan, recommend the seventh with strong reservations, and have good things to say about all but the last five. It’s not as though getting through them has been a totally joyless experience.

    (**I cannot in good conscience say that I’ve “watched” The Patriot, since I’ve never actually managed to finish it. But when you get through an hour of a film and nothing of any apparent significance has happened, I think you are justified in thinking that there’s not much point in going on with the rest of it.)

  306. Stu – Next time you see a fatty eating a candy bar, tell ’em you got two things to do.

    But you’re all out of gum.

  307. Also new VENTURE BROS. tonight, which honestly looks like the sort of joke set-up that either will absolutely deliver or underwhelm to the point that negative opinions about the previous episode might get reversed in retrospect.

    I expect lots of Dick jokes. Since you know, private eye, private detective, gumshoe, P.I., Slick Dick, etc.

  308. HANK HAD SEX! Instant classic.

  309. Brendan – I know. As I thought, episode was episode but funny but I could see why a few people wouldn’t think much of it because of the gimmickyness.

    But that ending made the episode. So Hank.

    Also, dammit now someday I want a Shore Leave/Alchemist team-up episode. It would be most awesomely gay since Freddy Mercury or Neil Patrick Harris.

    P.S. – I thought also funny, if cruel and creepy, how that one particular character grew up in basically in Jack Nicholson’s shoes.

  310. One thing has stuck out to me in the above chat. dna wrote:
    ***A history of violence
    . . . it doesn`t go below the surface and is nothing more than a competent executed b-movie. I guess I don`t get it. One of Cronenbergs lesser movies, and a damn shame that critics calls it one of his best. It`s like they all heard that he was a great director and as soon as he makes a movie that doesn`t requiere brains or barf-bags, they hail him as a master of cinema. It`s the emperors new clothes, I tell ya!*** [multiple sics]

    I recommend you watch it one more time, chief. Do me a favor and pay close attention; have an open mind about its narrative and tone. A History of Violence is one of the top 10 films of the 21st century thus far. Here’s one phrase that might help color your thinking regarding its symbolic richness as you view it: Global War on Terror.

    Ha, I just noticed the little cartoon picture at the top of this thread. So nerdy.

  311. “What’s with the whip?” “It came with the hat. It’s a detective whip.”
    The new Venture Bros episode was the best of this season half so far and delivered on both sides (Gags and story). And man, every time you think all dirty secrets of Rusty’s past where revealed, something like THIS happens! I was also glad that The Order Of The Triad returned, even if it was just 2/3 of them.

  312. – mouth

    I`ve wached it several times and I don`t see any subtext on global war on terror. Unless the point is that USA has a violent past, which will come back and haunt it.

    I don`t really want to go into a political discussion, but I would love to hear your take on A History of Violence and it`s symbolic richness. I suspect that my perspective on 9/11, the invasion of Iraq and The Global War on terror differs greatly from what this movie might have to say. Maybe that`s why I find it hollow. Maybe not. I disagree with the political subtext of The Dark Knight, but still finds it a valid, interesting and intelligent description of USA post 9/11. It made me think and I aplaud it for that. A History Of Violence didn`t.

    But I look forward to reading your thoughts on the movie. I feel like the only nerd in cyperspace who can`t grasp the brilliance of A History of Violence. It`s kinda lonely, you know?

  313. Allow me to preface this all by noting that no work of art possesses exclusivity of meaning. Also, AHOV is not a fun movie. It’s primary function is not entertainment, in my opinion. It is a work of art, not merely a movie.

    Well, it’s an allegory, dna. There’s not necessarily much subtext or political positioning, just a nicely fitting allegorical tale of the US’s fight against bad guys from the East, whether Cronenberg deliberately made it as such or not. (If you’re curious, I arrived at this conclusion unassisted during the car ride home after the first time I saw it, which was before I became a federal employee.) Bah, I’m typing on my phone right now, about to go back to work to prep for, well, one more trip back East. I have to refine my team’s plan to kill or capture several bad guys before Thanksgiving. Talk about a list you don’t want to be on! I’ll have to finish my analysis later today.

  314. – mouth

    Well, one has to assume that Iraq had something to do with 9/11 to percieve A History of Violence as an allegory. Which I don`t.

    Don`t get me wrong. I like AHOV a lot and have watched it several times. I just think it`s overrated and it kind of rubs me the wrong way when a lot of critics call it one of his best.

    I guess AHOW reminds me of one of my favorite movies STRAW DOGS, it is just not as complex, uncompromising and mindfucking as Peckinpahs masterpiece. AHOW makes you root for violent retribution, aknowledges violence as an aprhodisiac and tries to leave the audience in a moral vacuum, but doesn`t really dare to go all the way. I know it`s not fair to compare two totally unrelated movies like that, but that was kind of what I expected from AHOW, mostly based on the hype surrounding the movie when it was finally released in my country. Hype like “too controversiel for cannes”, and “Cronenbergs masterpiece”.

    Well, I`ve seen it at least 5 times since, with lowered expectations, and I still don`t understand the impact it must have had on those who love it.

  315. So now thats its official I’d like to hear Vern’s thoughts on Zack Snyder being given the Superman gig. I haven’t been paying attention to the rest of this discussion but I read that story today and well…nerd shit right?

  316. Well I’m glad the fucking nerds, including some in this thread, got your dream choice.

    Just if the movie is indeed limp, don’t be bitchin’. This post is timestamped and I’ll be bringing it back up when it comes out.

    I’ll be like a Pro Wrestling heel. I’ll enjoy rubbing it in.

  317. I’m pretty happy with Snyder getting the gig, mainly because I’d just like to see a bad-ass live action superman film. We have the technology, I want to see Superman having superfights on the big screen. I don’t want any more origin story, I don’t care much about his relationships problems with Lois or any of the Daily Planet stuff. I want Superman fighting legions of super-villains; I want to see him struggling with having all this power and the people that fear him for it. Comic Book stuff, basically. The Superman films have been far too “reality” based for my liking.

  318. Since when does Snyder know anything about “badass”?

    Vern, sure. Zach? Since when?

  319. Snyder makes entertaining movies with a lot of chutzpah so I say it’s a good choice. Although he does sort of ask for the criticism that gets lobbed at him when he says things like Superman is “kind of awesome.” (see original Deadline breaking news) Oh Zach, you incorrigible frat boy.
    As long as they don’t make the mistake of trying to remake Richard Donner’s Superman (like the last one) and instead go with a new interpretation of the Man of Steel, I’d say I’m optimistic. In the best case scenario Snyder will balance out Nolan’s seriousness with some of his WHIZ-BANG-SLOOOOOOOW visuals and Nolan will inject just enough intellectual gravitas into the thing to make it more meaningful. If Snyder wasn’t there and it was Aronofsky or Reeves or Jones we might get a “Superman, but Gritty!” story…and that’s getting old.
    Someone over at Twitch remarked that it would be cool to get Terrence Stamp to reprise his role as Zod and I’m all for that.

  320. Well, I got nothing invested in Superman, but it sounds like a good fit to me. If Nolan’s producing you don’t want another auteur like Aranofsky, but you don’t just want a shitty hack. Snyder is a good in-between, a guy who’s not as smart as Nolan but has a strong sense of the cinematic. I think he’ll make a great team with Goyer. He wouldn’t have made as good of a BATMAN BEGINS as Nolan, but he would’ve made sure Batman had a big fight with those ninjas before sliding down the mountain, and that’s what I want to see here.

  321. Vern – How ironic for you to write that. Rather depressing really.

    Because if you think hard, this situation in a way does remind one of TRANSFORMERS.

    OK I admit, that’s a low blow. I mean surely this SUPERMAN will be good, right?

    I mean its not Hamlet.

  322. RRA- Dude, why? You think that Chris Nolan and his brother will just shit out some quicky, lowest common denominator pap? No, absolutely fucking not. They’ll put together a script that is, if nothing else really interesting, and Snyder will shoot the shit out of it.

    Seriously dude, lighten up.

  323. Brendan – Because they’re bullet proof, right?

    Besides I thought you guys liked that last STAR TREK movie? Didn’t those same writers pen TRANSFORMERS 2?

    Just consider it.

    Besides if I’m wrong, fine I’ll admit it. I’m fucked anyway because these postings can’t be deleted. But regardless, if I’m wrong I’ll admit I was wrong.

    Rather look stupid and get a good movie than be right and get a turkey.

  324. RRA- I wouldn’t call them ‘bulletproof’ but I’d argue they’ve never made a bad movie, and Goyer has a great track record with superhero movies (by which I mean Blade and Blade 2 are good) and Snyder has some narrative issues, but the motherfucker is one of the strongest visual artists working right now.

    What does Star Trek have to do with anything? They wrote one script that worked out alright, and thye wrote one script that didn’t (although I’d argue that the worst stuff in that movie came out of Bay’s ‘let everyone riff endlessly, isn’t this shit hilarious?’ tendencies). It happens. The Coen brothers wrote Fargo, and they also wrote the Ladykillers. Shit happens.

    Not sure what relevance that has to Superman though.

  325. Dear Internet,

    Why does shit always have to be ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ and ‘good’ and ‘bad’. Can’t movies just be fuckin movies, and if you enjoy a movie, great. If you don’t, well it was only 2 hours of your life so get over it and shut the fuck up already.

    I’m all about debating a director’s merits when it comes to them tackling a project, but there isn’t going to be any way to interpret the finished product until we we watch it. Even then, no matter what the fuck Zack Snyder manages to pull off, some people are going to hate this movie. Some people are going to love it. Thats just fact.

    Opinions are great and all, but everybody’s got one and yours ain’t no more valid then anyone elses.

    Regards, J SixFingers

  326. Brendan – I noticed for Goyer, you didn’t mention BLADE TRINITY. Was that concious?

    jsixfingers – Well you’re right about that. We all are guessing really. As I said, I could be wrong. Right? Hell Vern wouldn’t review MONSTER SQUAD until we ganged up on him and hey turns out, he agreed with us.

    On the flipside, I recommended DOOMSDAY, which he hated. Shit happens.

    That said, can’t you blame some Internet people for their negative knee-jerk gut reaction earlier today to this news?

  327. RRA – Can’t I? Sure. Do I? No.

    I absolutely get why Superman/comic fans who haven’t cared for Snyder’s films are bummed that he will be helming a project they are excited about. Still, reserve just the tiniest iota of judgement if you can. I don’t care if you hate Zack Snyder’s entire body of work with every molecule of your being. He still could make a Superman film that just might blow you away. Or not. I’m just saying, its all just entertainment. If you aren’t entertained quit watching.

    What happened to the excitement and enthusiasm of looking forward to films? There’s so much negativity lobbied at some projects even in pre-fucking-production stages it boggles my mind.

  328. RRA- I specifically said that I vouch for Blade and Blade 2, implying that other stuff by Goyer is suspect. The guy’s iffy, but his Nolan collaborations have been great (yes, I know for some reason some of you guys don’t like Batman Begins and Dark Knight, but c’mon at least admit that you’re in a minority and that the movies are at least INTERESTING, and ambitious) so yeah, I think that Supes is in good hands. I think the right choice has been made on all fronts and I’m looking forward to what WB is doing with their characters, like GREEN LANTERN.

  329. You know my opinion on Zack Snyder and the Nolan’s take on Batman, so all I’m gonna say is that they have to do a hell of a job to convince me to watch that next Superman movie.

  330. jsixfingers – Ever had a buddy who said he would do something but repeatedly didn’t get around to it? After awhile, would you depend on him?

    I just been absolutely underwhelmed (understatement) by Snyder’s cinematic involvements so far.

    Brendan – Apologies then since I didn’t get that assumption from your posting. Sorry.

    Speaking of which, man I actually hope AsimovLives doesn’t come around here today after hearing that news.

    He’s gonna be pissed.

  331. RRA – come on bud, you can’t pull that Hamlet shit on me. I’ve written in detail about each of Snyder’s movies, so you know how I feel about his entire body of work (overall positive). I have already explained why I think your comparison to Michael Bay doesn’t fit (short version: both know how to make pretty pictures, Snyder knows how to use them to tell a story, Bay uses them to ruin any attempt at telling a story). I have also explained why I think Snyder will be good for this movie and with this collaboration.

    So how is that saying “It’s not supposed to be Hamlet”? No, I’m saying “I think this will be good, like Hamlet!”

    We now have a few years of documentation of my misgivings about Snyder, but also what I like about him and that I’ve enjoyed all of his movies, so yes, him doing Superman working from a recipe by the makers of what I consider the best comic book movies ever made (Blade, Blade 2, Dark Knight) is a good match that should take advantage of his strengths and help out with his weaknesses.

  332. Vern – Nothing personal with the Hamlet shit, I just wanted a little zing to make my knee-jerk point.

    Regardless, I’ll tell you what. I will give this a chance, just because of you. You were right about URBAN JUSTICE, you were right about UNIVERSAL SOLDIER: REGENERATION, you were right about I COME IN PEACE, and you were right about the last DIE HARD movie.

  333. Also, thoughts anyone on Tony Gilroy directing BOURNE 4?

  334. Deadline, in a weirdly off-handed comment, reported that WB allegedly offered SUPERMAN to Ben Affleck to direct, and he turned it down.

    And Kevin Smith weeps.

  335. dna, if you’re still curious, I nerded out a little bit on the A History of Violence review, available in the Viggo tags. Best to keep it separate and leave the Hamlet discussions here, dontcha know.

    I’d love to see Julie Taymor get a crack at Hamlet, see if she can duplicate the success she had with Titus Andronicus. In fact, I’d give anything to see a Taymor Superman. Maybe the script calls for Clark Kent to be disabled by a kryptonite blow to the head, and Snyder can let Taymor guest direct the segment where he’s in a debilitated daze.

  336. Jude Law for Zod!

    And Mouth, isn’t Julie Taymor doing the Bono/Edge/Broadway Spider-Man musical?

  337. Holy shit, you’re right, The Limey. I was just being facetious about the Superman thing. Taymor’s Spider-Man on stage might begin this December? ?!?!!!! Now I need to schedule my next trip to Manhattan.

  338. Hopefully that Jon Peters guy will still be attached and we’ll finally get that gay robot butler and those polar bears guarding the fortress of solitude…

  339. I like how Patrick Warburton was on ESPN today and they mention all his voice-over work.

    Except VENTURE BROS. What a diss.

  340. I was never disapointed with Christopher Nolan before. Until i learned that it was anounced that Zack The Hack Snyder was hired to direct. Worst news of the week bar none. And i’m not even much of a Superman fan. I’m now calling this movie SUPERMAN FUBAR.

    On the plus side, it’s not Tony Scott. But it still sucks.

  341. For the record, here is how Transformers 2 was written; the writer’s strike.

    The Star Trek guys had just started outlining the basic beats of the script when the WGA struck. So, Bay went down to ILM and did previs on all the action scenes. Then, when the strike finished, he came back to the writers, handed them a DVD with all of the action scenes, locked them in a hotel room for a month, and told them to write a “story” around the previs work that he had already done. Then he got the dude who wrote Scream 3 to slather tranny-balls jokes all over it.

    Seriously, that is how that movie was “written.” I also have it on good authority that the screenplay budget for that film was TEN MILLION DOLLARS.

    And that, ladies and gentlemen, is how you get to robot heaven.

  342. Hunter D. – Unfortunately, that wouldn’t shock me at all if the truth basically happened in that vein.

    AsimovLives – You know Chris Nolan said somewhere he’s a fan of Bay, right?

  343. RRA: Maybe Warburton just forgot it. Because, well, he is in EVERYTHING! And if you do voice work for everything, you tend to forgot even the important things.

  344. Hunter D.’s story makes me sad. And angry.

    Angry enough to do the mature thing and taunt that HT weirdo in the Face//Off thread? Maybe.

  345. RRA, Christopher Nolan just said that to enhance his chances of getting an invitation to the next Playboy Mansion shindig.

  346. Mouth – Or get a discount on a new red Ferrari.

    CJ Holden – That program did inform me that Warburton is working the new SCOOBY DOO program. Which brings up awkward multi-verse questions, especially since we know what happened to the Scooby Doo gang-stand-ins in the VB universe.

  347. Do me a favor and don’t mention that new Scooby Doo series in front of me or I, as the Scooby Doo fan that I am, will start to act like AsimovLives in a Star Trek 2009 related talkback. It’s hard to believe, but this must be the worst thing that was ever part of the Scooby Doo franchise! And it doesn’t even have Scrappy, Flim Flam or the Harlem Globetrotters! (Although I gotta admit that it’s maybe the visually most stunning cartoon on TV right now, despite its ugly character design. See? I can’t even say something positive about it, without adding something negative.)

  348. CJ – I always thought weird how a late 1960s cartoon made to cash-in on ARCHIE and hippies turned out to have a ridiculous long life-span on TV this side of other supposed old school toon “classics” like LOONY TOONS, Mickey Mouse, and Tom & Jerry.

    Or the most surprising bit for me: Frank Welker has worked SCOOBY DOO since the very beginning. I guess Slimmer really is immortal.

  349. Yeah, even I don’t know what it is, but they did obviously something right when they created Scooby Doo.

  350. Man I have been out of the loop for a couple of days, but it looks like Snyder has got the gig. Now that he is on board I am sure the next step will be to cast Supes. I have admit I have never liked Superman the way I like Batman. I have always found him and many of his adversaries to be cartoonish in comparison to the dark night, but I think Snyder will make a fun movie.

  351. The sadest thing about Hunter’s Transformers 2 story is how I am in no way surprised. Actualy, I take that back. I am surprised that much work went into it.

  352. Zing!

    No, wait, Charles, the saddest thing about the story is that if Mike Bay ever reads it himself, he will do so from atop a bed of $1000 bills, modern-day Scrooge McDuck-style, a $5000 cocaine-lined bill gently protruding from his nose.

  353. Mouth, your right that is even sadder, but I doubt Bay reads. I am sure he pays someone to do that for him.

  354. Are we really mad that Snyder is directing SUPERMAN? Seems like exactly the sort of thing he could excel at. Big, expensive action movie with very limited subtext and huge, primary-color charicatures at the center. The guy CAN stage an action scene, that much is clear. What more do you want? (full disclosure: I actually really enjoyed Singer’s take on Supes, but the character isn’t particularly special to me).

  355. This “nerd shit” deal is out of control. Vern must be laughing. I’m ashamed for all of us. Good DAY, sirs!

  356. http://www.slashfilm.com/2010/10/05/david-goyers-superman-story-revealed/

    Damn it if this is true I’ve just lost interest in this project again. So the film will mostly be Clark Kent being a journalist around the world deciding to be a superhero or not. :-/ Yeah it’s all good and interesting for a comic arc to explore, but with the time and money it takes to make a blockbuster film I really wish they were doing something else. Also, whatever way you spin it, it’s an origin story, again! It also possibly excludes a grown up actor from the role, so no John Hamm as Superman :(. And the comment about the script being rushed and not finished is shitty as well, ffs. Oh and the villain is Zod again, boring as hell.

  357. So basically, we put more effort into this conversation than Goyer et al put into writing the story?

  358. If that pitch is true, I doubt the movie is really just about Clark Kent as a reporter trying to decide to be Superman or not. I mean, at least not any more than Begins was about “Bruce Wayne travelling the world trying to figure out how to fight crime in Gotham”. Maybe we’ll get the first third of the story about that, and for what it’s worth, I approve of taking the approach from Birthright where Clark’s earnestness/boy scoutiness is still tempered with him being a modern young guy with not quite a definite idea of what he wants to be.

  359. So… Darren Aronofsky is directing WOLVERINE 2? Can that possibly be true? And if so… I mean, he’s great and all and I’m sure he has a great WOLVERINE movie in him… but…why?


  360. Hugh Jackman: “Dude, I shaved my head and hung out in a space bubble with a tree that used to be your wife. You owe me.”

  361. (Please don’t take my snarky comment as evidence that I didn’t like THE FOUNTAIN. I’m not dead inside so I liked it quite a bit.)

  362. Maybe he’s remaking The Wrestler, but with the main character being Wolverine?

    “Goddamn they don’t make em’ like they used to.”
    “Fuckin’ 80’s man, best shit ever!”
    “Then that Liefeld pussy had to come around & ruin it all.”
    “Like theres something wrong with just wanting comics drawn with anatomical accuracy?”
    “I’ll tell you somethin’, I hate the fuckin’ 90’s.”
    “Fuckin’ 90’s sucked.”
    “Fuckin’ 90’s sucked.”

    “I just want to say to you all tonight I’m very grateful to be here. A lot of people told me that I’d never stab a guy in the face with metal claws again and that’s all I do.”

  363. Well, shit. Boss tells me I’m going away on business for a while to some shithole in the cold mountains of another hemisphere. Yup, that’s why I make the big bucks, chasing smelly bearded asshole extremists in snowy valleys while everyone else gets to watch the World Series.

    Thanks for making life more enjoyable lately. Have a good autumn/winter, everyone.

  364. Based on the information included in his post, I think that Mouth may be a bounty hunter. Possibly a bounty hunter for justice.

  365. I prefer to think that Mouth is a member of Val Kilmer’s unnamed ass-kicking unit from SPARTAN. He’s just trying to get to the tall grass.

    Holy shit, I just remembered that Kilmer was actually planting grass at his home out in the country. Layers, dude. Layers.

  366. Sneak preview for sunday’s new episode of VENTURE BROS. in “Bright Lights, Dean City”


    Good to see Girl Hitler again.

    Mouth – While we’re warm and snuggly while watching the Yanks beat the Phillies in the World Series*, just know America is behind you all’s great campaign for our national security. When we care to remember of course. Better take some blankets.

    *=My prediction!

  367. Majestyk: If only McLovin were in line as the Audrey Hepburn role in the MY FAIR LADY remake there might be some faint glimmer of hope.

    Or just remake all those films as zombie musicals. The suits got no imagination.

  368. At least this gives me the chance to play one of my favorite games: Who Should Play Fletch In The Inevitable Remake?

    My current answer is Jason Segal.

  369. Are they STILL remaking Fletch? Wasn’t that originally supposed to be Kevin Smith’s Follow-Up to DOGMA?

  370. SHORT CIRCUIT remake!? when did this happen!!? If it doesn’t have Fischer Stevens as a ambiguously foreign sidekick, somebody’s childhood is getting raped.

  371. Mr. Majestyk, I think Ryan Reynolds would make a good Fletch. I am of course talking about the Van Wilder era Reynolds, not the totally jacked Blade 3 Reynolds. He has that sort of wisecracking, smartass charm Chase had when he made Fletch.

  372. Talking about Ryan Reynolds I just got back from ‘Buried’ and holy shit it’s great. Incredibly tense, excellent performance from Reynolds. Ridiculously claustrophobic yet really inventive camerawork. Dunno if it has a wide release in the US yet but check it out when it does.

  373. I guess Ryan Reynolds is the obvious choice for Fletch, but although I like the guy, for some reason I prefer Segal in the part. Maybe it’s because he’s as monstrously tall as Chevy is.

  374. GoodBadGroovy, Buried looks really good. I can’t wait to check it out. It screened here in Austin recently but I am not sure when it is set for a wide release. I am also curious to see Reynolds in THE GREEN LANTERN as well. Despite growing up a comic book geek I was never really into The Green Lantern, but the movie has me intrigued.

  375. I tried to get into GREEN LANTERN for years, but none of his stories were ever satisfying because they all ended the same way: A whole bunch of people flying around shooting at each other with different colored finger lasers. The only way I could tell who was winning was occasionally somebody would yell “I think it’s working!”

  376. Mr. Majestyk, Segal woudn’t be bad. I bet he could pull it off. He is good in everything I have seen him in. I also think Chris Evans would make a good Fletch. He is funny and charming in THE LOSERS, and one of the more entertaining evil exes in SCOTT PILGRAM. He is even good in those silly Fantastic Four movies.

  377. I just don’t want Fletch to be too slick, you know? He needs to be charming but also kind of goofy.

    I’ve spent way too long thinking about this.

  378. Mr. Majestyk, that is kind of how I feel about GL, and I never thought it was cool that he got his powers from a piece of jewelery and his weakness is the color yellow.

  379. Majestyk – Ever read the FLETCH books?

  380. A couple of the early ones. I like them a lot. They’re fast-paced and funny and never pretend to be about anything at all.

  381. Vern – Care someday to post permanent links to this and Potpouri on the front page so we don’t have to scour pages upon pages upon pages to find them to post random shit?

    I think that will help from clogging up other threads in the future.

  382. I’m sure all you nerds are watching Genndy Tartakovski’s new show SYM-BIONIC TITAN. Did you notice how one the leader of the bank robbers in the last episode looked a lot like a Hans Gruber?

  383. “Bright Lights, Dean City” is definately the weakest episode of VB series 4.5 so far, and all you guys who whined about how weak “Every Whcih Way But Zeus” was can stand-in line on the left on your way to kiss my ass.

    Still we got some good jokes and lines, as always. the Polygamy-themed villain, the botched taxi cab job, that guy in a frog suit throwing bricks, VB’s pisser take on Spider-Man (he shoots web out of his sphincter!), RUST the musical, THE SHINING guy in bear suit with knife scaring the shit out of the “evil” villains, and ok I admit it….the Lyndon Bee/Lady Hawke joke is so stupid, I can’t help but like it.

  384. The “I’m Rusty” theme song.


    Also in retrospect, I enjoyed Fat Chance. But did he had to be voiced like Sgt. Hatred minus the jollyness?

  385. Damn, I thought it would be the whole song. I already ripped that part from my recording. :P

  386. Also I like how the Spider-Man parody was voiced by Nathan Fillion (FIREFLY) so that was cool.

    Googled up that (stupid) Brick Frog villain and I discover that a “brick frog” is the indentation made in a certain type of brick, possibly taken from the name of the mold used to stamp the brick, possibly derived from the name given to a horse’s hoof that leaves an indentation in the mud, or the clumps of earth that fall from a horse’s hoof (possibly frog-shaped).

    OK Hammer/Publick, that’s just fucking showing off.

  387. BTW, I’m still laughing at the guy in the bear costume. Damn, he even freaked Phantom Limb out! :D

  388. CJ – That was good.

    My favorite bit thought might be Phantom Limb’s “deliciously evil” compliment to Impossible. Because you know, he’s right.

    But hey the building is totally green. That’s all that matters, save the trees.

  389. Tom Hardy joins third BATMAN movie after FURY ROAD got delayed. Again.


  390. UNSTOPPABLE looks like shit, doesn’t it?

  391. The original Paul

    October 14th, 2010 at 11:50 am

    Majestyk – I just took a look at that list of yours. One sentence had me spluttering orange juice over the keyboard:

    “One of the most hotly anticipated horror remakes in recent memory”

    Anticipated? BY WHO?

    On another note, the “I can’t believe they’re remaking THAT” awards go to: “Commando”, “Footloose”, “Death Wish”, “Porky’s”, “Akira”, “Drop Dead Fred”. All very much products of their time (albeit in very different ways); I can’t see why anybody would want to make or see a modern update of them. And didn’t they ALREADY remake “The Blob”?

    The one I’m really interested in, though, is “Suspicion”. A Hitchcock film that should’ve been a classic but was completely and utterly ruined by producer intervention. Look, “Before the Fact” is one of my favorite crime novels of its time, with one of the most darkly-ironic final lines I can think of, all seen through the eyes of a character who becomes more and more deluded as her reality starts to cave in around her. If Hitch had been given free rein to do his stuff, he could’ve done that novel justice. I’d love to see somebody else try.

  392. RRA, I love the idea of Unstoppable. I’m surprised we didn’t get more Speed knockoffs in the ’90s. Only fear is Tony Scott post-action Avid farting all over Denzel Washington’s King Kong Ain’t Got Nothin’ On Me. Pelham was just dreadful.

    Paul, I actually like the idea of Russell Brand as Drop Dead Fred. That could be just the right mix of inappropriate and whimsical. But really, what Porky’s alwyas needed was a PG-13 rating and no nudity.

  393. FTopel – I’m afraid “good” Tony Scott is gone for good.

    Besides as I said before, it looks like the retarded actioneer remake of RUNAWAY TRAIN, which was fucking good.

    Its a RRA recommendation.

  394. Speaking of Tony Scott, apparently he and Tom Cruise are reteaming on a TOP GUN sequel.


    I always thought fucking hilarious how (crappy) TOP GUN never got a sequel, yet the spoof picture HOT SHOTS! (which was fun) got one.

  395. New VENTURE BROS. tonight my bitches, and Jefferson Twilight returns.

    Mad killer blaculas on the loose!

  396. A great Weinstein story from AICN’s excellent interview with cartoonist, “Bloom County” and “Opus” creator, and twisted genius Berkley Breathed:

    Interviewer:”…and a recent Miramax development process for an “Opus” movie that your recent comments suggest is best forgotten. (They wanted to redesign Opus? Really?) What are some of the most dunderheaded notes you’ve gotten during a Hollywood development process?”

    BREATHED: “Bob Weinstein in 2006: “You can’t have a penguin talk to people.”

    The project only had one place to go from there. It’s very funny now. In the end, it cost him an astonishing amount of money to be allowed to say that.”

  397. Yeah well the Weinsteins aren’t exactly the feared Kings of the town anymore like they were in the 1990s.

    Off-topic, but I loved the OPUS finale. Woulda been totally pissed if I didn’t have a computer to check said ending out, but hey shit happens.

  398. RRA — totally with ya there. Part of Breathed’s genius was thet he had the discipline to keep his strip overwhelmingly cynical with just a light touch of earnestness from a key character, but also had to the balls to go out on a note of genuine whimsical sweetness and vulnerability. And the fact that he spent his last few strips just out and out giving the finger to the Bush administration didn’t hurt eiether.

  399. In the biggest (and most meaningless) news of the day, the Beatles are now on iTunes.

  400. Can anybody explain to me why the nerds seem to be seriously outraged about this? Whenever Steve Jobs announced another overpriced doodet, that does nothing groundbreaking and would cost at least 75% less if it hadn’t such a well designed look, everybody immediately lines up to blow him, but now, that he announced The Beatles for iTunes, everybody hates it? I mean, I’m not really into The Beatles either and would never use iTunes, but I don’t get all the anger directed at that news.

  401. CJ – Why? Because the news is less the big money score that Apple (and Beatles’ estate) apparently think it is, and more just Jobs publicly flexing his muscles of pure unchecked meglomania.

    As stupid as the iPad is, it was something physical that you couldn’t get elsewhere I suppose. A glorified serve table, but none the less something. The Beatles’ catalogue? The fans already have bought or owned the CDs and burned them into their MP3s like me, or just bootlegged them. Like me. At least I guess I’ll finally get the album cover-art that isn’t done by my sloppy copy/paste/resizing skills.

    For that matter, this news is anticlimatic because last year would have been the prudent time to pull this shit when the remastered CDs* and that stupid Rock Band came out, when the market media by skilled and sheer overkill make people Beatle-nostalgic (which basically happens once every decade) and this would have meant a whole lot in the public conciousness more than it really was.

    Notice hwo this news comes out about a month before Christmas. Wink wink. The Rutles were right, “All You Need is Cash.”

    But you have to understand Jobs here. He’s been on/off legal war with Apple Records since the late 1970s over trademark infringement, forced to pay out of court settlements in the millions every few years to keep the two old farts and two stiffs quiet. Then just in I think 2007, both sides finally made a conclusive deal to end that court fight. So one less constant pain in the ass for Jobs.

    Then you have the iTunes shit. Like AC/DC, Kid Rock, The Smiths, and Bob Seger, Beatles both wanted a bigger cut of the profits and hated people buying songs individually for a dollar or $1.30 or whatever. They can survive without Apple, and Jobs wouldn’t budge. Thus the 5 year stalemate.

    But now its over and looking through that damn iTunes store now, you can buy Beatle tunes individually, and for $1.30. Like previous famous holdouts like Radiohead and Rolling Stones, the Fab Four have now flown the white (album) flag and Jobs has won finally.


    *=My dad said the funniest shit when he heard that: “Still not as good as the vinyls.” which I think he might have a point.

  402. Really, though, who gives a shit? A product that was never unavailable can now be purchased at another venue. It’s about as exciting as my local grocery store carrying a new brand of beer.

  403. Mr. Majestyk – I can’t wait for Wal-Mart to finally carry uncensored/unedited CDs.

    Pfft, yeah right.

  404. Wait, what new brand do they have?

  405. Well, they finally got 12-packs of PBR, which I must admit was pretty exciting.

  406. VENTURE BROS. 1-hr season finale Tonight, 11:30 ET on Adult Swim.

    I can count on CJ to do the right thing tonight. What about the rest of you lot?

  407. Does Venture Bros improve as it goes on? First couple of episodes didn’t do a whole lot for me.

  408. Caoimhin – You mean this current season or the first season?

  409. Caoimhin- If you’re talking about the first season, it starts out pretty rough, more like a standard Adult Swim show where they take old cartoon characters and have them murder and fuck each other. Same formula as the back half of Alan Moore’s career. It’s in the second half that the show starts to really assert itself. They start incorporating an incredibly precise mythology and develop characters, something which only .0001% of cartoons actually do. Stick with the show until they introduce the Guild of Calamitous Intent, that’s when the Venture Bros. goes from being a funny riff on tropes to being something amazing and singular.

  410. Loved the Season 4 finale. It was not as mind blowingly awesome as the Season 3 finale, but damn, it didn’t disappoint. (Okay, not enough screen time for The Monarchs, but I can live with that.)

  411. I’ve only just started on the first season. I’ll stick with it for a while.

  412. Do it. I promise you, when you have finished the last episode of season 1, you just want to know how it continues. (And I’m not just talking about the one, big cliffhanger!) And if not, watch at least the beginning of episode 2.1! It’s one of the most awesome things you will ever see from an Adult Swim show!

  413. I think he’s right. I love both movies but ALIEN is close to perfect. I think he tries to make ALIENS out to be a total shitpiece in order to make his points, which isn’t the case at all. But I agree with the overall conclusion.

  414. The original Paul

    December 1st, 2010 at 10:48 am

    I would respectfully disagree. “Alien”, as good as it is, is a slasher movie in space. (With added killer robot, true.) “Aliens” – with a strong inclination to back the Director’s Cut of the film here, the additions to the theatrical cut really make sense – has better characters than its prequel. It has better dialogue than its prequel. In my opinion it’s more tense than its prequel. It’s just as atmospheric, and a lot more gripping, than its prequel. If I had to watch one of them right now and had to choose between them, I’d choose “Aliens” in a heartbeat.

  415. Your new Superman:
    The only thing I’ve seen him in before was in Stardust, but I think he looks pretty good for a young Clark/Superman.

  416. That’s perfect casting. Completely makes up for Van Wilder as Hal Jordan. Nolan is 2 for 2 with Bale as Batman and Cavill as Superman.

  417. I only know him from trailers for THE TUDORS. He might be good casting. Too bad that the participation of Zack Snyder will keep me away from watching this.

  418. http://www.comicbookresources.com/?page=article&id=30969
    Damn. Of his comics work, I’ve mostly only read his JLA run, and I thought he had some good ideas, and was just hampered by having to accomodate so much other stuff into it. Other than that, I will always appreciate the input he gave to the DC Animated series and DVDs. RIP.


    I share Vern’s appreciation for Zach Snyder. I think he’s talented and committed to good action. There’s good action here and some interesting execution of the concept that imagination & escapism can mean so much to people in traumatic situations, but SUCKER PUNCH is forgettable at best and a headache at worst. At its best, it reminded me of THE FALL and THE ADVENTURES OF BARON MUNCHAUSEN (2 decent but overrated movies, in my opinion). At its worst, it reminded me of melodramatic video game cutscenes or superserious anime.

    If there had been a lot less dialogue, or maybe if it weren’t in English, call me crazy but I likely would have enjoyed it more. I mean, it already has extended video game-ish & music video-ish segments that work really well, why flub it up with a weak, barely coherent story? You have to explain that the entire plot relies on greasy guys being distracted by a blonde’s amazing dancing, which technically we never see? Just go for the dream atmosphere full steezy and let the synthesizers and violins go to town so Paul can enjoy the audio, you know?

    Also, maybe I had too much sex yesterday, but I was not at all titillated by these cute chicks in skimpy costumes shooting and flipping in slo-mo and whatnot. Did I mention I had sex yesterday? With a girl. Oh yeah. True story.

  420. Mouth — thats pretty much what I was afraid of. Not you having sex — although possibly if you didn’t take adequate steps to prevent reproducing, — but something as crazy as SUCKER PUNCH is really going to be completely dependant on subtext, a concept which seems entirely absent in Snyder’s work up to this point. Without any, its just gonna be a lot of disconnnected context-free meaningless images. Is it worth seeing at all, perhaps under the influence? Or is it just pointless?

  421. The original Paul – I totally agree with you on Alien vs Aliens.I´d watch Aliens any day of the week. especially because of the ending of the firstv movie,which is en eileptic-inducing nightmare. What the fuck was Ridley Scott thinking? I guess epilepsy wasn´t talked about much in those days
    I DID have a seizure as a kid, can´t remember it though.But just watching tthat flashing lights in the end of Alien, makes me extremely uncomfortable.

  422. Well, Mr. S, without going all spoilery here, I’d say it’s not that it lacks subtext, just that the characters are so blatantly black & white either good or evil. And the one exception is Carla Gugino’s Dr./Madam Gorski, who is forced to speak in a terrible, distracting Polish accent.

    In fact, I was impressed with the ambition of the story’s symbolic aspects for much of the film, but ultimately it never rewarded me with a catharsis or a flip-the-script moment, and no, seeing some 100 pound ladies finally go violent against the cruel male henchmen doesn’t do it for me, especially not in the age of Lisbeth Salander & lil Ms. Garden Tool in I SPIT ON YOUR GRAVEs etc..

    I’m always sober these days, with a drunk night or weekend about once a month or 2, but yeah, some THC might spice up the slo-mo musical bits. And the part with the dragons. Be advised that the mirrored settings of an oppressively drab mental institution & an oppressively drab underground exotic dancing club might be a buzz bummer. It gets claustrophobic, and no one genuinely smiles in this movie. There’s a funny “snitch” line at the end, though.

  423. I think I am about to create some stir.I know how Michael Bay is getting a ton of shit aorund here, but THE ROCK is , in my,opinion, a great fuckin´movie! I mean the cast for once is awesome; Nic Cage,Sean Connery,Ed,Harris, Tony “Candyman” Todd,John Spencer,William Forsythe,JOhn C.McGinley,Michael Biehn and a lot more that needs to be mentioned.
    The story is a pretty standard, but what makes it work is Harris´s villain; not being a total psychotic,but knowing his moral boundaries makes THE ROCK stand out from movies at the times.

    Not to mention the completely pointless carchase that demolishes San Francisco.Ed harris talks about destroying the city with his precious VX-gas, but instead the “heroes”, Nic Cage an Sean Connery goes into a childish cops and robbers chase and turns the city into a complete wreck. Who´s the villains, NOW?!

  424. Two things always bugged me about THE ROCK
    1. They go to great pains at the start of the movie to deliver exposition soley to convey the information that Cage’s character is a big fan of The Beatles. This sticks out so much I kept expecting it would turn out to be usefull later on in the movie, e.g. Connery might use Beatles lyrics as a code between him and Cage when they’re captured by enemies. But nothing. I’m more forgiving now because from Vern’s writings on Cage I’ve learned he often suggests extraneous character quirks for the roles he plays, so I assume that’s what this was here.
    2. The desperate dash at the end to resolve the situation before the Air Force blow the prison up…which Cage fails to do, but it doesn’t matter as the missiles detonate early and don’t harm any of the hostages. So not only did Cage technically fail, but it also turned out it was completely irrelevant anyway, just to justify another massive explosion at the end of the movie. Unless the early detonation was a failsafe the pilot flipped, but I don’t remember anything like that at the time.

  425. Since when is THE ADVENTURES OF BARON MÜNCHHAUSEN overrated? Last time I checked, most people put it in the “failure” bin. So if any, it’s underrated!

    And while THE ROCK bores me to death whenever I try to watch it, I agree about the awesome cast (only CON AIR had a similar awesome cast) and I already mentioned here a few times, that I just love the twist in the end, when Ed Harris doesn’t get what he wants and just gives up.

  426. Mouth, thanks for the SUCKER PUNCH review, and congrats on the sex! So, is SP worth seeing it theaters?

  427. Stu and Broddie – I’m always nervous when someone mentions “perfect casting” for Superman. IMO Brandon Routh was perfect casting for Superman, and he did a very good job. The trouble is that the movie he’s in is one that I flat-out loathe. (That’s actually kinda rare… I’m a fairly harsh critic, and have been known to call movies “irredeemable”, “worthless”, “mediocre” or “all of the above”, but actually loathing a movie is unusual for me. Offhand I can only think of three – “Bad Boys 2”, the “My Bloody Valentine” remake, and “Superman Returns”.)

    Talking of movies that are mediocre, pointless, and worthless, I’m sure I’ve written up “The Rock” and “Con Air” before. To me they have the equal distinction of taking a lot of ideas that should be pure awesome and doing absolutely nothing with them. I mean, “Con Air” has Steve Buscemi playing a Hannibal Lektor-style serial child-killer. How the fuck do you NOT make this awesome? I don’t know, but somehow they managed it.

    Stu – I agree about “The Rock”, but if that ending irritates you, let me give you one piece of advice: never ever watch “Speed 2”. And to save you from putting yourself through that torture, I will spoil the ending for you.

    The villain’s dastardly plan is to crash a cruise ship into an oil tanker, causing environmental chaos. When he’s prevented from doing so, he sets the cruise ship to crash into a seaside town instead. As a direct result of the heroes’ actions, two things happen: 1) the cruise ship DOES crash into the town, wrecking hundreds of homes and probably killing dozens in the process, and 2) the villain steals a plane, drives into the oil tanker, and BLOWS IT UP ANYWAY. The final shot? Hero and love interest in each others’ arms, in front of a backdrop of fiery devestation. Yay team!

  428. Well, Charles, like I said, there *are* some dragons in SUCKER PUNCH. I admit, it’s hard to wait for DVD when a guy knows there’s dragons involved. At least for me, anyway. And boobs. PG-13 boobs, but tight hubbahubba costumes nonetheless.

    CJ, I was of the understanding that MUNCHAUSEN was, like, a cult classic among some nerd circles, according to my informal, loose absorption of internet movie buffs’ opinions. Perhaps I have misjudged. I also think Terry Gilliam’s BRAZIL (another drab, nightmarish visual exercise) is kinda meh, but so many internet voices insist that it’s great that I reckon someday soon I’ll have to revisit that one.

    Regardless, I’m confident in stating that THE ADVENTURES OF BARON MUNCHAUSEN would make an excellent double/triple feature for film scholars with SUCKER PUNCH and/or THE FALL (Tarsem Singh, 2006). Hell, even SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE, which I disliked, would fit in nicely in this group of semi-fantasy films as part of a serious course of study regarding film & dreamland as substitutes for reality.

  429. Jareth Cutestory

    April 22nd, 2011 at 3:22 pm

    Had to bring back the old Nerd Shit thread for this nerdiest of all possible questions: isn’t April 19th, 2011 the day that SkyNet “gains awareness”?

    From this point on I’m treating all spam as a hostile enemy.

  430. Instead, PORTAL 2 came out, and that features an AI Computer System going rogue. Completed it today, and it’s pretty freaking awesome.

  431. Ok, new film news guys. So I went to see “Best Documentary” Oscar winner “Inside Job”, and wouldn’t have minded if I hadn’t. Did Oscar get this one wrong? Let’s face it, it wouldn’t be a huge shocker if it did; having not seen most of the other documentaries nominated, nor those that weren’t nominated, I’m not in the best position to judge. Let’s just say that if “Inside Job” really is the best documentary of 2010, the competition can’t have been great.

    “Inside Job” is a film in five parts. We know this because it helpfully labels all of them, “The Corporation”-style, for people who are slightly slow and can’t keep up. But while “The Corporation” has an interesting angle on its subject – now that corporations have been granted basic human rights, what kind of human being would a corporation be? – “Inside Job” is a polemic lecture on a fairly basic topic, and it plays it completely straight. It tells us, in elaborate and sometimes excrutiating detail, of the people who were and are still making policy decisions in Government, while taking hundreds of millions of dollars from big banking.

    So what’s wrong with this film?

    First, the style. “The Corporation” is a polemic lecture, the trouble being that in a live setting you can ask questions and ask for elaboration on different points. In this film there are frequent occasions where fairly obvious points are left unexplained. At other moments the film shows a corporate CEO or lobbyist struggle to answer a question, and then cuts away before he actually does so. While I think the point here is that these people CAN’T explain their actions, there are also many scenes of people being interviewed in courtrooms that say much the same thing. So why also use the cut-away interview question? I don’t know. All I can say is it gets seriously annoying after a while.

    Secondly, it doesn’t seem to have an audience. The film’s central point is that the people who run both America’s schools and its Government are corrupted by their ties to big banking, and it treats this point as though it were a huge revelation. Besides certain things about the present Government though, the film didn’t really say anything that I didn’t already know. This might have been excusable if it had put it in a really interesting or thought-provoking way, but it doesn’t. As I said, it’s a lecture, and played completely straight.

    For the most part the film deals with dry facts and figures. But towards the end, it shows a few people who’ve been affected by the economic crisis. These scenes are awkwardly shoe-horned into the movie, and feel completely out of place. They’d look more at home in a Michael Moore film. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think showing the “human” side of a crisis is a bad thing; but in this case, it just doesn’t fit the film.

    The people who go to see this film aren’t the ones who are likely to have their minds changed by it. If you see it, you probably already have a fairly good knowledge of the issues it lectures about. Don’t expect “Inside Job” to add much to that knowledge. If, on the other hand, you know nothing about the banking crisis, I’m sure there are a lot of more interesting ways to find out about it than sitting through this.

    So basically what I’m saying is that I can’t recommend “Inside Job” to anybody who might be interested in its subject matter; and also that it would have been vastly improved if Matt Damon, instead of narrating it, had instead rounded on the evil Wall Street bankers, Bourne-style, with a shitload of automatic weaponry and a serious grudge.

  432. Paul – The problem with the Documentary Oscar is that most voters don’t watch any of the nominees, much less all of them. Voters pick by topic, or more exactly the supposed “topicality.” In this case, Wall Street.

  433. For the record, 2010 was an embarrassment of riches for documentaries.

  434. I saw THOR today. It’s very good indeed. Hemsworth’s wonderfull as Thor, capturing all the heroic and less-heroic qualities the character needs, and is thankfully really earnest with the potentially silly viking things, making it work in the mundane surroundings.We could have gotten more of him as full on Thor, but they treat him getting his powers back as the big moment it deserves to be, and the story to get there is pretty entertaining. Tom Hiddleston is great as Loki, and I was surprised how his story wasn’t as clear cut a case of villainy as I expected, and he goes on as much a journey to being the bad guy as Thor does to heroism. Portman does fine as Jane Foster and the other mortals are portrayed well and are a good cast for Thor to play off on. Also loved the Warriors Three and Heimdall and overall was pleased at how they didn’t copout on the mythological stuff and embraced it as much as they did the earth side of things. And it’s also very funny at times (The “I need a horse” scene for one), making light of Thor’s situation but not to the extent that he becomes a joke. The movie Marvel universe continues to be built, with references to the Hulk, Iron Man, a very brief, almost a teasing appearance by Jeremy Renner as Hawkeye, and a post-credits sequence that seems to give us the most solid idea of what THE AVENGERS movie’s story will be based around so far.

  435. Please tell me that this poster is accurate and the CAPTAIN AMERICA movie really has a scene, where he punches Hitler in the face!


  436. Usually I don’t plug my own work here, but in around 45 minutes I host a call-in show on livestream.com/nerdengeek. Today’s topic is: “Star Wars fans and their constant whining about the franchise”. You can call me live on Skype and talk about it (add “Nerdengeek”) on air or just write something in the chatroom.

    Don’t look down on me. I am what I is.

  437. Spiderman: Turn Off the Dark next month. Trying to get tickets for Book of Mormon, but that might not happen.

    Anyone seen the Taymor-Bono joint on Broadway? After all the rewrites and Glenn Beck praise, is there any chance I’ll see an injury or a stoppage due to Green Goblin’s flying disc getting caught on a spectator’s bouffant or whatever it was that turned this production into a laffer?

  438. So…did you see the trailer for that Spider-Man reboot? It’s horrible, pretty much exactly what I thought it would be. They even turned Peter Parker into a gloomy goth or something like that. He fucking looks like that sparkling Vampire!

    At least the final money shot is awesome, but I wouldn’t be surprised if the concept came originally from Raimi.


  439. Actually the final sequence is more likely taken from this:
    The game even had a similar “reflection in a skyscraper” shot early in the first level

    -I like how more “real” the visuals seem in this one, with plenty of on location stuff and and an ambience that doesn’t come across like a sound stage, like the Raimi films often did
    -They don’t seem to be going for a “comic book” tone like Raimi did. Much more grounded.
    -His parents are brought up and seem to be an important part of the story. Depending on which version of the comics they’re taking their cue from, they could be either spies or scientists involved with some bad stuff
    -Costume looks good, cast are all fine. I don’t think Garfield’s a “gloomy goth” in this. More a gloomy nerd, but not such a pronounced stereotype as McGuire’s take was. Probably more just looked down on for being a quiet guy, orphan and having some geek interests.

    -I could have used a couple of lighter moments, instead of “dark dark dark”, but hopefully that’s just for the purposes of this trailer. From the other stuff I’ve seen him in, I have to imagine Andrew Garfield will get to do more funny stuff.
    -I’m not sure how much I can get into this if the origin is as extensive this time around. Especially is there’s not going to be THAT much that’ll change. Ben’ll say “With Great Power…”, die (probably by simply interrupting a burglar this time around rather than attempting to thwart the robbery of a Pro Wrestling Promotion)

  440. As you can see above, Stu, I preempted your nerd call-out by posting my Broadway plans a week before you tried to claim me as one of your nerdkind in Potpourri. Thus, this not only makes me not a nerd, but it makes you not as good & loyal a fan of Spiderman as me, since I’m presuming you want to see Taymor’s musical treatment but won’t and I will, and that makes me both a better more committed nerd than you and means I’m self-aware enough to avoid being a nerd at all.

    I hope the new Spidey movies don’t suck.

    I am in no way undergoing an identity crisis.

  441. Well I hope they get over with the origin story early on (doesn’t look like it), and the show-offy part at the end doesn’t seem to be the more realistic action that I was reading about. But I don’t see what’s so horrible about that trailer, CJ. I like the Sam Raimi ones but it was past time for him to be released into the wild to live like a Sam Raimi should live. I’m glad they’re trying a different tone.

  442. Let’s just say I don’t wanna see a brooding Peter Parker with Robert Pattinson hairdo, wearing a dark hoody in school to show the audience that he is a misunderstood outcast and especially don’t need to hear his dad say a cryptic last message, that implies that his parents were probably behind his transformation (or at least whatever happens to his enemy in this movie or one of the sequels) all along.

    It’s okay that if they are rebooting the series (even though the timing is horrible), try to distinguish themself from the last couple of movies. I’m just not okay with the tone that they picked. Do we really need a Nolanified Twilight version of Spider-Man?

  443. “I’m presuming you want to see Taymor’s musical treatment but won’t and I will, and that makes me both a better more committed nerd than you and means I’m self-aware enough to avoid being a nerd at all. ”
    1. I live in a completely different continent from where the musical is being shown, so my not going is more logistical than nerdological.
    2. Clearly you’re just hoping to see an accident happen, you sick bastard.
    3. I’m going to see Batman Live next month, which is just as nerdy, but not a broadway musical, so SLIGHTLY less gay.
    Speaking of Batman, the DARK KNIGHT RISES Trailer? Thoughts? Very intriguing. I didn’t expect what they did with Gordon.

  444. My favorite bar is just a few blocks from SPIDER-MAN: OH GOD I CAN’T FEEL MY LEGS and I wouldn’t go if you paid me.

    Okay, 50 bucks. 25 if you buy dinner.

    I thought the DARK KNIGHT RISES: EVEN THOUGH I COULD HAVE SWORN HE’D ALREADY RISEN LIKE TWO MOVIES AGO trailer looked astonishingly unastonishing. You’d think that wouldn’t be surprising coming from me but I actually thought the TDK trailer looked great even though I didn’t like BEGINS. This is really how you win me over? You show the only character I like on his deathbed? Sorry, guys, you can have this one. I’m waiting for the reboot where Young Bruce Wayne becomes Batman to impress a girl from the wrong side of the tracks or something.

  445. I was pretty underwhelmed by both the SPIDEY and DARK KNIGHT trailers. SPIDEY looks gloomy and like a complete retread of shit we already went through even though we already knew the origin story the first time. Is anyone seriously glad they took a dorky but fun concept like Spider Man and decided it should be grim and fraught with emotion? I want to see Spider Man be fucking Spider Man, swinging around with the quips and such. That’s why Spider Man is FUN dammit. Raimi utterly nailed the kinetic fun and operatic drama which makes Comic Superheros work, and I can’t imagine this trip down bummer memory lane can compete with that. I mean, who knows, maybe they’ll make something which works as a compelling adult drama, but I’m betting not.

    As for DARK KNIGHT RISES (which they showed fucking twice in the same trailer set at the begining of HARRY POTTER. Yes, twice. The exact same trailer.) Its mostly footage from the first two movies along with a pretty cheesy (but well-delivered) Gary Oldman speech. Bane’s face looks coolish I guess. Why bother with putting out a trailer if you’ve got nothing to show us? I guess Oldman’s narration kind of outlines the conflict in this one, but shit, it’s pretty much there in the title, isn’t it?

  446. Mr. S: I don’t know how well you know the character’s history, but it doesn’t take the movie adaptations to make Spider-man into a character with gloom and misery. For every good thing that’s ever happened to him since getting his powers, there’s like 4 bad things. Some examples: His uncle dying of course (giving him a lifetime of guilt preventing him from walking away from. Girlfriend dying (and possibly it being his own fault due to her neck snapping from the way he caught her when she was tossed off a bridge), constant professional and personal failure, being hunted and beaten and buried alive, finding out he’s a clone then he isn’t then is then he definitely isn’t(or is he?) etc etc, his best friend dying, his baby daughter being killed, finding out his dead girlfriend fucked his arch-nemesis and had a couple of kids by him before she died, his aunt being shot when he publically reveals his identity, his MARRIAGE being erased from history in a deal with the devil to save said aunt, the collateral damage of his musical…
    I mean, yeah, he’s also a fun character in himself, but he’s basically the unluckiest/most karma-plagued bastard in all of comics, and even though Raimi didn’t get into much of the heavier stuff, I still felt he didn’t get the balance of “it’s great being a superhero!” and “fuck my life!” quite right. Like I said, I’m giving the reboot the benefit of the doubt that that’s just the trailer being “dark” and “epic”, and the film itself won’t be all that tone.
    As for DARK KNIGHT RISES, yeah, I know it wasn’t much, and I guess it’s just my own nerd expectations coming into play, but it really did fit the very definition of “teaser” and I thought they got across well that the villain this time is a pretty serious threat to Batman. I don’t think the title guarantees anything really. I mean, sure there’ll be a somewhat happy ending, but with this being stressed as the conclusion and having real closure, there’s all sorts of theories as to what it might cost. Will he die heroically? Will Bane do that thing he’s famous for doing that Nolan’s version would have a hard time undoing? If Gordon is dying, then all bets are off.

  447. Stu — I’d be lying if I said I’d read all the Spidey funnybooks, but I know enough to know most of the stuff you describe. I guess the difference is that in spite of all the operatic craziness in his life, Spidey always felt to me like a loveable underdog, not a moody tormented antihero. I think Raimi’s films get that tone right of feeling like Spidey can never catch a break and that there’s a lot at stake without getting bogged down in gloom and shoegazing. The emotions are big and broad and simple, which is fitting for the subject matter. It’s an external kind of drama, and as such Peter doesn’t exactly seem like an angsty guy, just an unlucky shmuck trying to make sense of it all.

    As for Gordon’s speech, I just meant that the speech could be summerized as “The Dark Knight must rise!” Which is of course the title. I don’t think it says anything much about the plot of the movie, just lays out the fact that it will deal with Batman returning.

  448. I hope it’s not going to be too dark as well, but I think the people who make this figure if they don’t have Peter Parker going through shit they aren’t being “true” to the character. I think a decent compromise would be having Peter Parker awkward and miserable, but as Spider-man, he’s truly free to goof off and be more lighthearted.

    The Dark Knight either dies a trilogy, or lives long enough to become BATMAN AND ROBIN.

  449. Combined Cast Avengers Poster:
    Although I can’t help be distracted by how old Ruffalo looks in the background of the Hulk part.

  450. Whatever, I’m distracted by my girl Robin Sparkles rocking a leather jumpsuit and toting a Glock way over in the corner there.

    The Joss Whedon Extended Family Job Placement Program is coming along swimmingly. Now if he could just find work for Freddie Prinze Jr. He’s always underfoot around the house and it’s driving Sarah Michelle Gellar crazy.

  451. Wait. Does the poster mean that Anthony Hopkins will be in the movie?

  452. LOL I doubt it. That would mean we have Hugo Weaving and Gwyneth Paltrow in it too which I don’t think is happening. Still Sam Jackson SHOULD have had a genetically engineered shark painted into his background on sheer principle.

  453. “The Joss Whedon Extended Family Job Placement Program is coming along swimmingly. Now if he could just find work for Freddie Prinze Jr. He’s always underfoot around the house and it’s driving Sarah Michelle Gellar crazy.”
    1. I don’t think anyone shown in that poster or even announced has worked with Whedon before.
    2. http://everydayislikewednesday.blogspot.com/2009/03/happy-birthday-freddie-prinze-jr.html

  454. Cobie Smulders is the one of the only castings on that poster Whedon had anything to do with. She is on HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER with Whedon all-star Alyson Hannigan, who also brought Neil Patrick Harris into Whedon’s life. Hence “extended” family.

    And while it didn’t have anything to do with his casting, Christopher Hemsworth was in Whedon’s notoriously unreleased horror film CABIN IN THE WOODS.

  455. “I don’t think anyone shown in that poster or even announced has worked with Whedon before.”

    Mr. Majestyk said something about Robin Sparkles so I think he was talking specifically about Cobie Smulders, the woman on the far right. She costars on “How I Met Your Mother” with Alyson Hannigan and Neil Patrick Harris, so that’s kind of an indirect Whedon connection (and google tells me that Whedon has visited the set at least once, and also that various other Whedon alums have appeared as guests on the show), but her wiki page also mentions that “Joss Whedon has suggested that he considered her for the role of Wonder Woman in his draft of the (cancelled) eponymous film.”

  456. whoops, too late with the whedon-fu

  457. A little tenuous, but very well. Speaking of Hemsworth, has anyone else seen the film CASH?
    The female lead’s a bit off, but Sean Bean’s great in it. While he’s technically the bad guy and holding these people ransom, in a lot of ways he’s being pretty reasonable, and because they come across as a whiney and victims of their own greed, it’s hard not to like him more, especially when he’s emasculating Hemsworth by not treating him as any sort of threat.

  458. Mr S – quite honestly, I’m not sure if either Batman OR Spiderman is filmable, but especially the latter. Yeah, I’m on the side of those who love “The Dark Knight”, but even I gotta admit Vern’s point about the sheer bizarreness of these two serious cops being joined by a guy in a giant batsuit in mid-conversation about taking down the mafia.

    As for “Spiderman” though, the first three movies were pure soap-opera, and they had to do SOMETHING to get away from that. Don’t get me wrong, they were fun in parts, but everything about them was corny.

    I’m more optimistic about the Spiderman reboot than maybe it deserves though. Heck, look at what Nolan did with “Batman Begins”, and everyone thought there was no way that would work out.

  459. I just don’t care to see another Spiderman movie. I know the story. I know the character. I just don’t care anymore. Is that a legitimate feeling to have?

    I know I’m not the right audience for Batman Begins Pt 3 but the trailer looked awful. It looks boring and way too serious. I know the series, and Nolan, have a stick up their butt about how serious and mature and realistic their movies involving a fascist bdsm superhero are, but this looks like it’s taking it even further. Then again, I remember seeing the first No Country For Old Men trailer and thinking it looked really awful and groaning when it said it was the NCfOM movie and that movie turned out great.

    I wonder what theme and word will be repeated in The Dark Night Rises? Part 1 repeated fear over and over again (did you know that Batman wanted to make criminals fear him even though other people fear those criminals?). Part 2 repeated hero or knight over and over again (did you know that blonde guy was a white knight and scowling Christian Bale was a dark knight and they were both heroes that the people needed?). I’m thinking part 3 will be about justice or how one must return to face the consequences of their actions or something. Whatever it is I’m sure it’ll get hammered into our skulls over and over again so that we can all be happy thinking that this cartoon character is in a serious and adult movie.

    The Six and The Furious can’t get here quick enough.

  460. http://youtu.be/sWTtMdXAazs
    “Daniel Craig’s my wookie bitch now!”

  461. Hey He may be too shy to mention it, but you should know that Mr. M checked out DARK KNIGHT again (giving it a second try, like Jesus would do) and has his reaction up at the link below. Curious?


  462. Thx for the link, Mr. S. I think Mr. M makes many valid points that i agree with, but I guess I’m lucky because I liked subsequent viewings of The Dark Knight more than I liked it the first time.

    I won’t argue at all about the last act being rushed, even though I do think if it just ended with Rachel getting blown to hell and The Joker escaping jail, it would have been incredibly unsatisfying. I guarantee you it wouldn’t make half the money it did because I sure as hell wouldn’t watch it twice. It wouldn’t really be an Empire Strikes Back-style cliffhanger either, it would just seem like an anticlimactic cheat. Maybe (and this is probably sacrilege) if Two Face did shoot The Joker in the hospital, and then went out to wreak some havoc, I would have accepted that as a better ending. The Joker obviously didn’t seem to give a shit, and probably would have dug that he fully corrupted The White Knight (even though this would have basically been the ending to Seven)

    I think the thing is about both Dark Knight and Begins, that they are so much better than 90% of the movies we’re accustomed to, that they almost seem to invite nitpicking for some reason. I remember ranting on and on about the gruff Batman voice and the logistics of the cell phone-surveillance nonsense (i thought it worked by bouncing cell phone waves off of walls – and then they set the hostage scene in a building without walls!) as if these were movie-killing flaws, when normally i would let that shit slide. I was also bothered by how overpowered The Joker was (not to keep making wrestling analogies on this site, but it really was just like how the NWO kept winning EVERY CONFRONTATION for like 3 years, and any time the good guys got a win on them, they beat them again the next day, or it was because they let them, etc.. etc) But yeah, I got over all that and I can totally enjoy this movie fanboy-style today. I mean, I give a pass to all the dumb shit that happens in Under Siege 2, there’s no real reason I can’t give that same love to this movie.

  463. I think the reason a lot of those nitpicks matter, Mr 2Zod, is that the movie really tries hard to come off as being incredibly serious and realistic. I feel that the movie spends so much time and energy trying to sell itself as a serious, realistic, and (most of all) adult movie that whenever it does get ridiculous it feels really awful.

    I think any allegory they wanted to do could have still been accomplished if they accepted the fact that the Batman is a silly character and the world he inhabits will either be silly or would murder him in minutes. Instead they want it both ways.

    Honestly, I just don’t see those complaints as nitpicks. They go to the heart of what is wrong with the film.

    I also agree with Mr Majestyk in that so much of the movie is told to us instead of being shown.

    I would be a lot more accepting of the movie if it didn’t take itself so seriously. It spends almost three hours posturing itself as a serious and realistic movie inhabited by adults but then spends so much time with characters having earnest conversations about “heroes” and “knights” every five minutes. The themes of the movie are jackhammered into my head for three hours and it’s almost as bad as Atlas Shrugged in that sense.

    I could overlook the dialogue, the schizophrenic tone, the score, the pacing, and so much else if it managed to have decent action scenes.

    Instead, the major thought I had when leaving the film was not that I wanted to see it again (although I have) but that I wanted to see a movie about Alfred hunting an anti-colonial nihilist in Burma.

  464. This isn’t exactly what you said right here Casey, but I don’t really get that argument that DARK KNIGHT is bad because it “tries to be realistic” but then is not entirely realistic, because he wears a bat costume, etc. Isn’t that true of every “realistic” movie, book, play, anecdote or whatever in the history of forever? DARK KNIGHT is unique because it takes the comic strip super hero and puts it in a context that is much closer to the recognizable real world than other movies of that type. But it knows it’s still Batman so it has gadgets, costumes, etc.

    Sometimes some of you act like Nolan is some kind of weirdo who doesn’t realize that a guy wouldn’t really act like a bat and thinks he’s made a documentary. That’s so obviously a ridiculous interpretation of the facts that I think then these type of complaints can fairly be called nitpicks.

    But of course none of that changes that it doesn’t work for you. I’m not saying you have to like the approach they chose.

  465. Vern, I swear to god I had nothing to do with bringing this up again.

    I am a changed man. I don’t want to fight anymore. I just want to raise my melons in peace.

  466. “Sometimes some of you act like Nolan is some kind of weirdo who doesn’t realize that a guy wouldn’t really act like a bat and thinks he’s made a documentary. That’s so obviously a ridiculous interpretation of the facts that I think then these type of complaints can fairly be called nitpicks.”
    Indeed. Similarly, I hate that people also seem to have the impression Nolan wants EVERYTHING to be “realistic” and hates more fantastical things, hence some scoffing when he oversaw the Superman reboot. But THE PRESTIGE and INCEPTION showed otherwise. I think with Batman specifically he just felt that it’d be better to eliminate all the most extreme elements and just make it about a well-equipped vigilante fighting a bunch of weirdos with gimmicks. Nobody like Freeze, or Poison Ivy or Clayface. And even then, we still got Ninja Secret Societies, Fear Gas, Bat-tanks, Sonar Cellphone surveillance devices, and microwave emitter superweapons. I’d compare it to the Bond films when they rebooted with Daniel Craig. Less campy, with more of an attempt at character and themes, but still relatively over the top, stylish action movies. DARK KNIGHT RISES seems like it might have more of the comic book trappings that BEGINS did, going off some stuff that’s been revealed so far.

    Now…did anyone watch the new THUNDERCATS?

  467. I don’t think it’s a bad movie. If I ever said so, and I probably did, it was out of frustration from hearing from many that it’s The Best Film Ever. One of the reasons why this is the only place I post online is because no one here said that.

    I just think that it’s an OK to Pretty Good movie but no where near Great.

    I am all for a realistic take of a super hero story. I think one of the failings of Captain America, a movie I really liked, is that it could have taken the story of Captain America and put him into a World War 2 setting that would be indistinguishable from Band of Brothers. I feel that adding Hydra was a bit of a cop out from that.

    I just think The Dark Knight is realistic when it wants to be and then ditches any sense of realism whenever it is convenient. I feel that The Dark Knight tries to be realistic so that it can appear more adult or serious. I just feel that it then ditches this realism for bits that are too fantastic that they appear goofy to me.

    I’m not just talking about the conceit that the movie is trying to be a grim, serious, and adult story with a dude dressing up as a bat. I’m talking about how in the beginning the buses have a spot open that fits the Joker’s bus to pull through at the exact moment. I’m talking about the awful looking Batcar crashing through the parking garage out of nowhere. I’m talking about dialogue that keeps rehashing the themes of the movie over and over again. I’m talking about the last few minutes of the film that are narrated.

    I just feel that there are so many elements to this movie outside the inherent goofyness of a Manbat that are also ridiculous or silly that it really takes me out of the movie. I feel like the tone is all over the place.

    I’m not saying the movie needs to be as goofy as the Adam West Batman but I just think it shouldn’t be so dour and dimly lit the entire time, either. It’s not The Wire. The Wire already did what Nolan wanted to do and did it better with Omar.

    At the end of the day, I can totally appreciate WHY people love The Dark Knight. It is a competently made film that doesn’t drag too much and it deals with themes and topics that are interesting. The veneer of reality adds elements of seriousness and weight to what goes on. For various reasons I’m never able to buy into the veneer of reality that the movie tries to establish and because of that a lot of what happens doesn’t feel as important as it does to those that really love the film. I think individually many of my complaints are nitpicks but as a whole they really undercut the seriousness the film tries to establish and it really affects my ability to appreciate it as many here obviously do.

    I hope that makes sense and I hope I’m not at all dismissive of you, Vern, or others that appreciate this movie. It’s not that I respect the opinions of people here, and I greatly do, it’s that I also respect that many of these elements that bother me don’t bother others for very subjective reasons and that’s totally OK.

    I have nothing but love for or respect for you guys. I think I understand why many like The Dark Knight and I can appreciate that. It’s not to the level of Inception where I am totally baffled by how anyone could think that boring mess of a movie was anything more than awful.

  468. Yeah I think there’s a huge though somewhat subtle difference between “serious” and “realistic.” Nolan grounds his world in some realistic trappings, but its unapologetically overwrought operatic drama through and through. Which is actually what I appreciated about it — it’s serious about the drama, but only takes the concept seriously enough to sell the drama. That’s a big part of why KNIGHT worked for me and BEGINS did not — BEGINS turns into a silly action movie and you have to care about the action with the same seriousness they ask to you care about the characters. Not gonna happen, way too absurd, especially when juxtaposed with the earned serioussness of the character stuff. KNIGHT makes certain its big set pieces rest firmly on strong character drama, and its total stone-faced seriousness actually pays off a lot better in that regard.

  469. Speaking of operatic drama (can we use this board like Potpourri IV?) – what do you guys think of this video?


    I won’t say anything until a few of you guys have seen it, but it sorta ties into Nerd Shit. (Spider-Man, Kick-Ass and Arrested Development, I guess)

  470. Yeah, I mean, the only thing “realistic” about THE DARK KNIGHT is that Gotham City isn’t all visually hyperstylized like it has been in the other Batman movies (including BEGINS). It just looks like a real city. I think it was a smart choice because 1) German expressionist inspired cityscapes in comic book movies have become a major cliche and 2) the grim tone of the film would feel silly if it was all taking place in some over-production-designed city that looked like a bunch of special effects.

  471. I liked the video, Mr 2zod, but disliked the music.

    Mr Prestwich, I agree that it looks like a real city but I felt that it looked like a real city totally vacant of anyone living there. Outside of a few scenes the city looks abandoned.

  472. Yeah that video really ruined the second half of my day. I’m a crybaby and a sucker for a good music video. It’s amazing that people can care so much more about characters and simple stories (often without dialogue) in 4 minutes of a music video than 120 minutes of most movies.

  473. Casey – you didn’t like “The Dark Knight”?


    (Yeah, I’m just kidding. Actually I acknowledge the truth of a lot of what you’ve said, factually speaking, but I guess it just doesn’t annoy me like it does you. Of course, practically everybody I know who’s not on the Internets hated “Inception”, but I thought it was probably the best film I’d seen last year, or close to it. So what can you do?)

  474. I agree Mr 2zod. I think something like the Twilight Zone managed to get very profound and emotional stories in a 25 minute run time. I’ve seen way too many two hour movies that can’t accomplish what episodes of the Twilight Zone did.

    Mr Paul, it’s not that I disliked The Dark Knight. I just think it’s merely an OK film. It’s not painful to sit through, unlike Inception.

  475. So, the first photo of Henry Cavill in the MAN OF STEEL costume has been revealed:
    Really like it myself. There’s a bit of a question as to whether he’s got red trunks on or not, and the scaled nature of the material is a bit noticeable, but yeah, pretty good. I particularly like the size of the S-Shield.
    We also got the announcement recently that Laurence Fishburne is going to play Perry White, which is great imho, but in less good news, the film’s not coming out till 2013 now? Damn, but hopefully that’ll mean they can really get it right.

  476. My first thought when I saw it was: “Yep, that’s exactly what a Zack Snyder Superman would look like.” The second was: “Oh look, he made his suit from the same material that the new Spider-man is using for his suit!”

  477. When I first glanced at it, it looked like Deidrick Bader in a Supes costume.

    Me hopes that he’s not going to be a “dark&gritty” Superman, but this pic doesn’t give me any comfort. That said, I still support the film.

  478. The costume doesn’t look any darker in colour than the Returns one did, and contrary to popular belief, you can show Superman being serious and powerful without making him “dark and gritty”. If I was going for that idea personally, I would complete obscure his face in shadow, and have his eyes glowing red with heat vision, which isn’t an uncommon thing they do in the comics. I think this photo is more “yes, Superman will actually be tearing shit up in this one, not just lifting it”.

  479. I wouldn’t mind a slightly lighter blue but I can’t say I really give much of a shit. I honestly think Snyder is the right man for the job. He takes this kind of shit seriously but doesn’t forget that it’s supposed to be fun. I’m excited.

  480. Those were my thoughts as well, Mr Holden.

    I think Superman works best as a plot device. Still, I think if they keep Superman as being a Boy Scout but making the world he inhabits darker and more cynical than I could see it work.

    I like Snyder, though, so I’m optimistic.

  481. I think Stu first brought TIN TIN to my attention somewhere here; I’d never heard of it before, but now I’m seeing that Spielberg is releasing both that & WAR HORSE this winter. That’s crazy. He’ll be in competition with himself, no? Or maybe I’m not looking at the right release dates.

    The reason I came to know something about WAR HORSE is because I just obtained some pretty sweet tickets to the Broadway show that may or may not be a basis for the new Spielberg joint, and I’m hoping that either it or SPIDERMAN: TURN OFF THE DARK will be worthwhile so I can express my enjoyment & superior commitment to Nerd Shit and explain how pathetic it is that Stu uses the Atlantic Ocean as an excuse for why he doesn’t see these things.

  482. I think Snyder will do a fine job, I’m only speculating about the D&G aspect of it. My reasons being:

    1. The new Spidey trailer.
    2. Executive’s thoughts on the Green Lantern sequel-“I know where we screwed up. The next film will be much darker.” Yeaaa…that’s your problem, right there.
    3. Michael Shannon’s in it. That guy’s fucking DARK. (Also, he’s amazing)
    4. Most of these are tongue in cheek
    5. I’m outta stuff. Frank Miller has a new comic coming out. That’s gotta affect something, right?

  483. Also, serious Supes is fine. Like the one where he makes Lois look stupid.

    Kidding. Action Comics 775 by Joe Kelly is one o’ my fave issues. And it’s pretty serious. Nothing wrong with letting a little sunshine in, tho.

  484. well guys, I was at my local bookstore and on a whim decided to buy The Dark Knight Returns, I’ve never read it before (I don’t read western comics too often)

    I’m reading it now and it’s pretty awesome, it’s maybe not as revolutionary to me now as it would be to someone in 1986, but it’s amazing to see a time when Frank Miller was not a parody of himself

    it’s also putting me in the mood to watch The Dark Knight again and replay Arkham Asylum

  485. So, here’s a pic of the Cat lady on a Bat bike or something:


    Hopefully they’re ditching the serious attitude for something that better embraces the ridiculous nature of the characters.

  486. at this rate the whole movie is gonna be spoiled because can’t stop taking pictures

  487. oh wait a minute, that looks like an official picture, never mind

  488. Test. Tried to post twice and nothing’s happened…

  489. OK, weird. Well I was saying, Mouth, if you want to pay for the ticket and the trip, be my guest, otherwise, shut your Apple Piehole.

    MAN OF STEEL’s rumoured to be using the “Birthright” mini as part of its inspiration. I hope so. It’s a fine take on his origins that brings him more into the modern world and makes him relatable, but still Super.
    Catwoman costume looks good, but I hope there’s some headgear yet to be revealed, because it’s hard to buy her maintaining a secret ID with just the goggles.

    Griff-They’re going to adapt DKR into an animated movie(this year they’re doing YEAR ONE). They’ve said they’d consider Kevin Conroy and Mark Hamill for Batman and Joker, but I honestly feel Michael Ironside needs to voice DKR Batman(he did so in an animated series episode segment that was a homage) and someone less goofy than Hamill for Joker.

  490. So I started watching FIREFLY. I mean, I started it again, because when I saw the pilot episode a few years ago, it bored the shit out of me and the constant use of the word “shiny” really fucked with my patience. Anyway, on 2nd viewing the pilot wasn’t that bad. Now I’m 5 episodes into the show and still don’t get what the fuzz is all about. It’s watchable, but nothing really special or innovative. Kinda like the first two STARGATE shows. Oh well, maybe it gets better, but so far, shows like FARSCAPE, LEXX or SYM-BIONIC TITAN wipe the floor with FIREFLY in every aspect.

  491. So I just got the news that DOCTOR WHO returns to Germany, but instead of continuing where they left off (season 3), they start with the Smith episodes. I got mixed feelings about this. Do you think I should bother with tracking down the missing episodes or are the Smith episodes watchable without any important knowledge of stuff that happened before?

  492. I liked that one DOCTOR WHO when Hale and Pace were in it.

  493. CJ-Assuming you mean Season 3 of the modern era with David Tennant, and not Season 3 of the classic series of the 1960s, then by and large Smith’s episodes are fine to watch. The show wasn’t just seeing a new Doctor with him coming aboard, but a new companion, TARDIS look, showrunner and general approach to the stories, so it was a relaunch in a lot of ways. The continuity of seasons 1-4 and the specials doesn’t come up much aside from in-jokes. The only thing I’d suggest tracking down is the season 4 two-parter “Silence in the Library”/”The Forest of the Dead”, as it first introduces a character important to the current era.

  494. So I found the long OOP (at least here in Germany and so I guess in the rest of the world too) Genndy Tartakovsky CLONE WARS show on DVD. Haven’t seen it, but as a Tartakovsky bitch, I’m glad that I finally found them. And even for a very reasonable price (Not just compared to the 50+€ for each DVD, that they cost on eBay.)


    I’ve actually seen parts of proto-versions of this in months past, once projecting it at a party, where it was a big hit, lot of fun, and now apparently the editors/directors (?) have made a final, definitive version:


    I thought about posting this in the comments for that kiddie-reshoot version of INDIANA JONES, but whatever, it’s NERD SHIT. It’s great NERD SHIT.