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Thread: Comics & Cinema - What Makes a Good Comic Book Movie (Part 2)

  1. JayKatz Guest

    Comics & Cinema - What Makes a Good Comic Book Movie (Part 2)

    What Makes a Good Comic Book Movie (Part 2 of 2)

    Well it looks like everyone was in agreement with the Superman costume! Just kidding I know…
    One thing that IS certain is that another Superman movie will NOT be making its way to theaters anytime soon. According to DC Entertainment’s own Diane Nelson, there are no plans for Superman in the near future ( Which way does this franchise need to go exactly? One could say maybe a ‘darker’ approach would be in order. This would only really upset many of the Iconic believers into saying ‘No Superman is NOT a dark character nor should it be a dark movie.’ That said it did work very well in Donner’s Superman II. Otherwise, Superman is a wholesome guy and it probably wouldn’t work, but herein lays the problem, well not so much a problem as it is ‘the way’ comic book movies seem to be veering. The Dark Side!
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    Ever notice how when a new comic book movie is being made or is in talks of getting made that one of the first things that pop into most fans heads ‘I wonder if it’ll have that dark edge to it?’ Why so gloomy everyone? Attribute this to the dark world we all live in these days I guess. It seems if a Comic book movie these days do not have that darkness in some way, many will shun it and make it out to be too ‘comic book-ish’. That’s what Hollywood thinks MORE than the fans, but fanboys could be guilty of this as well. The dark edge doesn’t work all the time. Emo/dark Peter Parker was a ridiculous moment in the Spider-Man movie era. The whole feel of Venom in the Spidey movie just didn’t feel right at all for some reason. As I mentioned in a previous article, a dark solo Venom movie would suffice, not a dark Spider-man movie. It just does not equate to fun Spidey watching. A gloomy comic book movie must have a reason to be gloomy in the first place. Look at the Burton/Nolan Batman movies for a perfect setting for a character. Would Superman fit in that world? Would Spider-Man? No in both cases, but it would make for some serious drama and action if Supes decided to drop into Gotham for a slugfest! Man I could only dream of that, that would rock. Back to reality though, even the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles latest CGI that came out a while back was set to a dark backdrop. It worked. A movie that needs to be a little bit darker in my opinion should be Hulk. Although the last attempt was better than the Ang Lee version, it would be nice to get a bit dimmer on that character. Once in a blue moon, you have a movie that simply tries way too hard to be dark; Spawn was a prime example of this. Todd needs a redo here in a bad way. The effects, the gloom and doom in the Spawn movie were just too over the top. With the writers and special effects in the present day, Spawn would be a better movie coming out today. Punisher with Dolph Lundgren was a better movie than Spawn. I know I’ll catch a lot of flak for that statement, but I said it and I’m sticking with it.
    Punisher brings on another topic, Action movies. The reason I liked the Dolph version of Punisher was for the mere fact that the movie itself didn’t feel like it was trying so hard to be more than it was. It was a B rated action film. Dolph played a great punisher too in my opinion. Dolph delivers the simplest line in that movie that basically solidifies the essence of The Punisher in which Thomas Jane was unable to capture. While riding in the back of a police truck Dolph (Punisher) says to Lou Gassett Jr. “If you’re guilty, you die.” This is what The Punisher is all about folks, a brutal killing machine that doesn’t care about consequence or boundaries. I have to say, I did like Thomas Jane to some capacity on his take playing the vigilante, but Dolph does it better. Sorry Tom! Still doesn’t mean I don’t want to see him in another Punisher movie. TJ has spoken about coming back to the franchise, which is a good thing because to be perfectly honest (aren’t I always anyway?!) I never found the time to watch the last Punisher flick with Ray Stevenson, so if anyone would let me know if it’s worth a torrent download, er..I mean a rental, please let me know.
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    Action is a key element to a comic book movie, I mean after all aren’t we suppose to be fighting the bad guys? Sometimes too much action will take away from a movie. X-Men: Last Stand comes to mind immediately. The latest installment of Transformers was a disaster as far as I’m concerned (yes a lot of flak coming this way again). The movie was a just a fight fest of ridiculous proportions that lost any sense of caring about any of the players in the movie. So what if Sam died I was saying to myself after he awoke from going to Transformer heaven. The only saving grace for that film was getting to stare at Megan Fox for about 57 minutes. Too much going on in that movie, get back to basics Michael Bay, take a note from the first movie. Some films just need the action to make it work. 300 is the prime example of action having to be a key component for the movie and IT worked. There is NOT a better comic book movie ever produced (so far… do I hear someone saying ‘Thor’?) as far as ‘action’ goes. The comic book said action and violence, so did the movie.
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    In the end it’s always going to be up to an individual to determine for themselves what they liked and didn’t like as far as comic book movies go. I have listed some things in this article and the last as a very small, a minute portion of what could in fact make for a good comic book movie. There were lots of ideas of what makes for NOT so good movies too. All in all we basically go to the movies with one thing in mind and that’s to be entertained for at least an hour 45 or more. One bit of advice I always tell everyone is ‘don’t be so serious going in’. If you go into a movie theater NOT to escape the everyday realities of life, then you have lost the concept of being ‘entertained’. Always go in with an open mind, so what Spidey’s web shoots from the wrist, so what Dolph didn’t have the skull on the shirt and who cares that Michael Duncan Clarke was cast as the Kingpin? I mean really now, are these things THAT important at the end of the day? Maybe to the serious fanboy or whoever, I for one take the approach of just trying to enjoy myself first before trying to see what might have worked better for the movie. Webs coming out of a wrist or being black is not one of them.
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    I also find myself going against the grain a little bit when it comes to comic book movies. Like I stated in the previous article, I liked the Daredevil movie. I also said I like the Dolph Lundgren Punisher movie. Get this one; I liked the Ghost Rider movie too! The Fantastic Four Rise to Silver Surfer was fun for me as well. Here is one that will blow you away that I enjoyed, Judge Dredd! Ha Ha I know you must be saying ‘WHAT?!’, but I was entertained and what is wrong with that?? One glaring thing that bugged me about the Dredd movie (*Victor – some 10 plus years to write this for ya!*) were the ‘twin’ brothers??? Weren’t they supposed to be Identical twins?? At least that’s what I remember, so what though I liked it anyway. I am the Law!
    In 2010 the Avengers movies will basically start rolling out with Iron Man 2 leading the way. Go in with the attitude of having a good time, don’t start the nitpicking because there is no point to it and you sound like a whiner. Do I think Anthony Hopkins, just cast as ODIN in the new Thor movie is a good one? Yes I do. The man can flat out ACT his ass off. Is he built like an Asgardian or Odin as we know him? Hell no he’s not, but he’ll give a performance that will probably make you forget he’s 500 pounds under the weight limit. My point is get past the flaws that some of these comic book movies may present and you may find yourself liking more of them.
    So let the debate rage on, what makes a good comic book movie? When it comes down to it, anything is game in my opinion. Yes I guess certain rules should apply. Like Superman’s costume…..noooo I’m just joking, that has to change, sorry!

    See you all soon and remember to turn off your cell phone when reading this article. We need quiet in this theater.
    Jay Katz

    Remember to Visit Hiatus) & for All New Articles from InvestComics. Get all of the mentioned Comics at Don't miss out on all the happenings on The Outhouse at

  2. JeffHaas Guest

    Good article but I disagree with a lot of it. 1) The "dark" spiderman movie did not fail because it was dark. It failed because it was poorly written/directed and conceived. We know from the comics and the spidey cartoon in the 90's that the Venom storyline works and effectively. It would have worked in this movie as well if presented properly without being sidetracked by other villains. The emo-spidey scenes failed because it attempted to go too much for laughs and came off silly, especially given that Spiderman was normally portrayed in the other movies as existing in a basically realistic setting. A real Spiderman/black costume/venom comic would still work I think if handled with more respect.

    I did enjoy Transformers 2 BTW. Let's face it, it fit the style of the 80's cartoon completely. They were not shakespeare.

    And the Punisher with Dolph was pretty bad.

    I do agree with you completely that Hopkins will make a great Odin.

  3. tiggerpete Guest

    I think that some characters should not go dark. especially Superman, after all, he is supposed to be the ultimate force for good in the universe, and as such, a dark turn is immensely out of character. that is not to say you can't have him in a dark movie, its just, Supes is not a brooding egomaniac, he doesn't go in for revenge, and he doesn't kill. that said, you can have dark storylines, like Doomsday. I think the ideal story for a new Superman movie would be to adapt Last Son, after all, it felt like the sequal to Superman 2 and has lots of action involving Kryptonian criminals, Metallo, and Lex. It helps that it was written by Richard Donner and Geoff Johns, so it is a great blend of the old movies and the newer breed of writers.

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    Jun 2008
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    I think you can make a darker Superman movie work, as long as Superman himself is not dark.

    The idea of a serious threat, something in the form of Braniac, complete with his robot drones, exterminating the earth, harvesting the collected human knowldege, and collecting particularly interesting cities could have an incredibely dark feel and tone to it.

    But, what makes Superman "super" and would help him really "pop" is that amidst all that darkness, he should still stand tall, with his outlook as bright and shiney as the primary colors he wears.

    He wouldn't have to go all Dark and gloomy to defeat the coming darkness. He'd transcend the darkness and ovecome. He wouldn't have to kill, or stoop to Evil's level. He's Superman, he IS the proof that good will prevail and that their is ALWAYS a higher ground.

    The powers just give him a means, his world view and his decisions are what make him a hero.
    "Living Robert Venditti's Plan B!"

    CAT. 5

  5. BarriLang Guest

    It started with Ian Mckellan in X-Men. These stories tend to be so OTT that you need good actors to help make it work (to pull it down to earth)

    Not always the case though.... look at Hulk 2... Good cast.. not so great film. Same for the 1st... Good cast... not so great film. I think hulk NEEDS to be a villain (or at least the antagonist) to work in a 2 hour movie. I hope to hell they use him to that effect in the Avengers movie.

    Dredd remake on the way, keep the, sets and vehicles and action get rid of Rob Shneider and keep the face covered.

  6. JayKatz Guest

    Quote Originally Posted by BarriLang View Post
    It started with Ian Mckellan in X-Men. These stories tend to be so OTT that you need good actors to help make it work (to pull it down to earth)

    Not always the case though.... look at Hulk 2... Good cast.. not so great film. Same for the 1st... Good cast... not so great film. I think hulk NEEDS to be a villain (or at least the antagonist) to work in a 2 hour movie. I hope to hell they use him to that effect in the Avengers movie.

    Dredd remake on the way, keep the, sets and vehicles and action get rid of Rob Shneider and keep the face covered.

    Wow what a great idea to use HULK as the villain to some degree in the Avengers movie. THAT is an awesome idea! As far as Dredd goes, you're right on Rob. He was annoying.

  7. CalvinCamp Guest

    Quote Originally Posted by BarriLang View Post
    Dredd remake on the way, keep the, sets and vehicles and action get rid of Rob Shneider and keep the face covered.
    Aww... I liked Rob Schneider. Hello, Cursed Earth Pizza! - Mr. "I am the law" - etc... I was practically rolling on the floor. I thought the whole movie was good, really. Even Sylvester wasn't bad. Of course, I wasn't raised on Judge Dredd comics, either, so...

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