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I am bumping this thread up because we are currently talking about old timey heroes and I like to hate on Frank Miller.

 

 

Whoreswhoreswhores.

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I am bumping this thread up because we are currently talking about old timey heroes and I like to hate on Frank Miller.

 

 

Whoreswhoreswhores.

See I like Miller when he's leashed, because he can legitimately do fantastic work. Yet when he's on his own, you never know what you're going to get. You can get great (Ronin and Sin City for what it was portraying) or you can get absolute shit (Holy Terror). To me, Miller falls in the same category as Grant Morrison, Alan Moore, and Gail Simone, in that if they are reeled in they can do amazing work that flows smoothly and is incredibly enjoyable to read. Yet when a publisher let's them do their own thing, they basically go fucking nuts and make something only hipster basement dwellers will like while calling it avant garde or above the intellect of the casual reader. If you want an example, read Moore's first three volumes of the League of Extraordinary Gentleman, I count the Black Dossier as volume 3 which are amazing books, and then follow it up with the Century trilogy that was a part of the same series but released by an independent publisher where the characters literally fight Harry Potter who turns into a giant and shoots lightning bolts out of his dick who is then killed by Mary Poppins. I am dead serious.

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1CPyav6hQlI

 

Having become a part of the pantheon of great comic book storyteller's with 1986's The Dark Knight Returns, Miller continued to be successful in that world until around the year 2001 when his work began to sour. Following the success of the co-directed Frank Miller/Robert Rodriguez film adaptation of Miller's Sin City graphic novel series, OddLot Entertainment decided to give him the chance to solo direct another adaptation with an original story. This time it was the work of another legend, Will Eisner, and his character The Spirit.

 

The result was pants-on-head crazy, and came in at a whopping 14% on Rotten Tomatoes. It's full of awful humor, sexism, INSANE plot points, Samuel L.Jackson and Scarlet Johansson dressed as Nazis for comedic effect, and one scene featuring a genetic mutation that will leave me scratching my head forever.

 

Its certainly visually stunning, but whoa.

 

I had the pleasure of seeing this in the theater. Amazing. Perfect for the show.

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Trying to bump this up again since it is now on Showtime.  So many things going on in this movie that have been mentioned by others in this thread.  

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On 11/4/2013 at 6:09 AM, PlanBFromOuterSpace said:

Ironically, it was probably the high point for it's leading man, Gabriel Macht. I mean, it fuckin' bombed, no doubt, but it looks like the first and only time that anyone tried to build a big budget movie around the guy. He's on that show "Suits", so good for him, but it looks like his highest profile leading role since then was in the straight-to-video SWAT sequel. I wonder if even HE remembers that one time where he could have almost been a star?

It's weird that they cast Macht in this as he really hadn't done anything prior that would warrant a big superhero film, years before Marvel would start casting actors with little name recognition/star power to lead roles like Chris Hemsworth, Chadwick Boseman, or Tom Holland. The only other thing I remember seeing him in prior to this was as Owen Wilson's co-pilot in Behind Enemy Lines. He's basically the 2000s version of Ron Livingston.

 

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On 11/4/2013 at 10:09 AM, PlanBFromOuterSpace said:

Ironically, it was probably the high point for it's leading man, Gabriel Macht. I mean, it fuckin' bombed, no doubt, but it looks like the first and only time that anyone tried to build a big budget movie around the guy. He's on that show "Suits", so good for him, but it looks like his highest profile leading role since then was in the straight-to-video SWAT sequel. I wonder if even HE remembers that one time where he could have almost been a star?

Suits is not a great show but Macht was (is?) perfect for it. As an actor it's easily his best work as far as I have seen.

The Spirit film was so disappointing for me as an Eisner fan. Especially after Sin City; I figured that Miller probably shadowed Robert Rodriguez and wanted to take the same approach, essentially using the memorable layouts from the original comics. There are recognizable elements in the film, and the old comics certainly had their share of goofy shit that hasn't aged well, but the old comics were also usually no longer than 8 pages.

Adapting comics that have such a distinctive tone and art style - especially by artists like Eisner, Dave Gibbons (Watchmen), or David Lloyd (V for Vendetta) - is perilous. None of those films are in the same league as the books that inspired them. Perhaps they would have been better served through animation. Or perhaps just not being filmed at all.

Fun(?) fact, one of Eisner's many assistants/ghosts on the old Spirit comics was Jules Feiffer, a fine cartoonist in his own right and the screenwriter of the Popeye film, which is another terrible adaptation of a classic newspaper comic with pretty big stars.
 

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