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[personal profile] athelind
I'm watching The Spirit. A couple of months back, when Blockbuster was closing down most of its stores, I picked up the DVD for $2.

I'm barely out of the credits, and I'm wondering if I was overcharged.

If I had a Twitter account I'd be liveblogging this.

It's very Frank Miller, in all the wrong ways, but there's not a hell of a lot of Will Eisner in here. Not script-wise, not visually.

For the love of Schwartz, we have Thugs Wearing T-Shirts With Thematic Code-Names on them.
This is, in fact, the Frank Miller version of the 1966 Batman series.

With some Warner Brothers thrown in.

Miller thinks "campy slapstick" is the same as "tongue-in-cheek whimsy", and "over-the-top stunt action" can sub for "magical realism".

I can see, in my mind's eye, a scene drawn by Eisner (or Darwyn Cooke), with the comic';s cast watching this, Ellen, Doyle, and Ebony laughing their asses off while the Spirit himself just cringes in humiliation.

The one bright spot is that this movie isn't disappointing me. It's performing to expectations.



Okay, I turned it off at the 62-minute mark. I'm not sure when I stopped actually paying attention to it.

Don't think that I'm just ragging on this as a bad adaptation. No, it's a bad movie, and there are any number of bad decisions contributing to that. For far too many of them, the only explanation that makes sense is that Miller was trying to emulate the source material and failing miserably.

I think he doesn't quite realize that Will Eisner and Harvey Kurtzman were different people. This is a Mad Magazine version of The Spirit.

For most of the others, it was evident that he wasn't able to resist throwing in Millerisms, or possibly attempts at self-parody.

Date: 2010-03-19 10:58 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] r-caton.livejournal.com
Haven't seen it but...
SFX magazine reviewed it in much the same way.

Date: 2010-03-20 03:20 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] cpxbrex.livejournal.com
I haven't seen the movie - because, apparently, I don't hate myself with the same fiery passion you do and, thus far, there has been no Rifftrax for it - but my biggest disappointment is that it hasn't seemed to effect Miller's standing and no one realizes that he peaked with Year One. ;)

Date: 2010-03-20 03:33 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] araquan.livejournal.com
Honestly, that movie went from trailers to gone so fast I never had the chance to even think about seeing it. I guess I wasn't missing much.

Date: 2010-03-20 03:35 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] siege.livejournal.com
I saw the trailers, and I read the marketing blurb on the case, and that was enough to convince me that the Spirit of the comics wasn't there.

Date: 2010-03-20 03:36 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] araquan.livejournal.com
The trailers had me vaguely interested. But then I don't read comics so... who knows. Maybe I might have liked it. Maybe not.

Date: 2010-03-20 04:03 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] athelind.livejournal.com
Really, I tried hard to watch the movie as A Thing In Itself, and I COULDN'T -- Miller makes too many ham-fisted moves that are obviously failed attempts at Eisner references, but are just weird and stupid outside of that context.

Date: 2010-03-20 04:09 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] araquan.livejournal.com
Guess I wouldn't have then.

Date: 2010-03-20 04:11 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] athelind.livejournal.com
I was going to protest that, while it is not a style or genre that I prefer, Sin City has its artistic merits. I then realized that you used the verb "peak", and that doesn't denote "immediate catastrophic plummet into the abyss".

So, yeah, Year One was definitely his peak.

Date: 2010-03-20 04:17 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] cpxbrex.livejournal.com
*snickers* It does not. It is not Year One and then "everything he does sucks". But, lately, with this stuff, I've been getting the impression that I'm learning a little more about his private interior world than I really want to. ;) Indeed, I hope he comes back around. I haven't given up on him, but he does seem bound and determined to become a parody of himself.

Date: 2010-03-20 04:39 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] margaras.livejournal.com
I picked it up from the local base library a week or two ago, during a superhero flick binge.

I managed to get through the whole thing solely because it was so horrible, it had the same fascination potential as a car wreck... and Frank definitely brought the mangled bodies of his film closer so I could see them.

Still, I already expected it to be that bad, and I wasn't disappointed.

Date: 2010-03-20 09:23 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] hitchkitty.livejournal.com
the same fascination potential as a car wreck...brought the mangled bodies of his film closer so I could see them.

That's a wonderful metaphor. I'm stealing it.

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