A Slice of Fried Gold

Adaptation Alley

Monday, December 15, 2008

This is how you make a comic movie

While perusing the movie site Aint It Cool News I came across two exciting things for comic book fans. There was the premiere of the new trailer for what I will call the Wolverine movie (aka the absurdly and unnecessarily long titled X-Men Origins: Wolverine) and the first review for Frank Miller's film adaptation of the Will Eisner comic classic the Spirit.

On one hand, you have the Wolverine movie, filled with comic delights such as Gambit and Deadpool finally making it into a movie, a plot delving into Wolverine's very interesting life and origin, and old man Logan getting down and dirty with some good ol' violence. Like he should be. As a movie fan, you have Liev Schreiber flat out dominating the trailer with his portrayal of Sabretooth, you have Danny Huston chewing the scenery as Stryker (I contest that Michael C. Hall would have filled it better, but that's neither here nor there - at least we can save Hall for Arcade further down the line), and you have Jackman looking as in his element as you can get.

In short, get excited folks. I get the feeling that Gavin Hood may actually deliver another good installment of mutant related comic adaptations.

Then on the other hand you have the review of the Spirit, a movie rife with challenges, not the least of which is an amateurish (at best) director in comic god Miller and an absurdly hyperstylized trailer. This review compares Battlefield Earth (one of the worst adaptations and movies ever) favorably to the Spirit.

Words used in that previous sentence did in fact include "compares," "favorably," and "Battlefield Earth."

You there? You five guys (I used to be one of you) who were holding out hope that Miller's adaptation could possibly be serviceable? Give up. Regardless of how poorly written or ridiculous the actual review may be, odds are this just confirms the worst - this movie is going to suck, and badly at that.

That's what always gets me. These movies have great source material. How can you not take decades of material and craft the best stories into something everyone wants to see? I just don't get it. Especially with the Spirit as it adapts one of the best comic stories ever in the "Sand Serif" arc. With all of the confidence the Wolvie preview gets me, movies like the Spirit take it away.

I really want to believe that Mendes and Caruso will do right by Preacher and Y the Last Man. While I can't expect perfect, please, please, please take us towards Wolverine and ignore everything that comes from the Spirit.


Bobbie said...

Ahh, I do look forward to seeing Wolverine, just not for the same reasons you do. That Logan is a fine mutant... sorry I couldn't help myself!

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