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This is pretty awful, as the special effects to this haven't aged well particularly Malbolgia as his mouth barely moves at all, some crappy acting from the likes of Michael Jai White and John Leguizamo, and a story that goes nowhere. Surprisingly, Roger Ebert praised this film as he gave it three-and-a-half stars out of four, calling it a visual stunner. But today, fans have come around by bashing Spawn as one of the worst comic book adaptations ever made. 19% rating on Rotten Tomatoes just to give it a heads up.

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At the time, as a comic fan in the 90's, I remember it being one of the most disappointing films I'd seen, but these days, it's just a flaming shit pile. I was never a huge Spawn fan, having read it for the first couple years of its run before realizing I was just picking it up out of habit because Spawn was kewl, but I was pretty psyched for the movie. I mean, after "Batman & Robin" shit the bed earlier in the summer, it HAD to be the comic book superhero movie we wanted, right? After seeing it that first time in theaters, I don't think I saw it in its entirety ever again, though I've seen bits and pieces from time to time when it shows up on FX or Spike TV or something. They were practically giving this thing away with DVD players, as I remember this movie, along with "Blade", "Lost in Space", and a couple of other New Line releases being the movies that you had to SEE on this crazy new medium!

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Leguizamo as Clown was easily the best part because he knew what kind of movie he was in and just hammed it up. This was White's chance to become a legit action star, and as this was his first major starring role, it single handedly killed his career to where he's just a character actor now. I can understand what Ebert was saying with the visuals as for that time they were pretty good for the most part, Malbolgia was the worst bit of the movie as it was too much for the little they had available, but the stuff with Spawn in the real world was pretty good.

 

Overall this was a bad adaptation as it really didn't follow the comics in concern to who killed Al Simmons or the fact that Al's friend Terry is black in the comic, but white in the movie for some reason. Also, Martin Sheen's overall goal of gassing the entire world just so that he may be able to sell the antidote was ridiculous.

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Leguizamo as Clown was easily the best part because he knew what kind of movie he was in and just hammed it up. This was White's chance to become a legit action star, and as this was his first major starring role, it single handedly killed his career to where he's just a character actor now. I can understand what Ebert was saying with the visuals as for that time they were pretty good for the most part, Malbolgia was the worst bit of the movie as it was too much for the little they had available, but the stuff with Spawn in the real world was pretty good.

 

Overall this was a bad adaptation as it really didn't follow the comics in concern to who killed Al Simmons or the fact that Al's friend Terry is black in the comic, but white in the movie for some reason. Also, Martin Sheen's overall goal of gassing the entire world just so that he may be able to sell the antidote was ridiculous.

I remember the friend being white being a point of controversy, but it's really the least of this film's offenses. For an equal does of terrible co-starring Michael Jai White, I strongly recommend (and by that I mean "don't recommend at all") "Universl Soldier: The Return". I remember at the time being upset that he was the main villain, as I thought it'd be Goldberg, but again, that's the least of this film's atrocities.

 

Speaking of White though, I actually really, really like the guy now. He's really good in a lot of stuff that isn't so good, and he's phenomenal in the excellent "Black Dynamite", which he co-wrote. I wonder if he and Dolph Lundgren (another guy that's awesome in less than awesome things) have ever done a film together?

 

Fortunately for Sheen, "The West Wing" was right around the corner, so he became respectable again.

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Apparently they star in a movie called Repeater, a direct to DVD movie, which has become both of their primary wheelhouses.

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I remember seeing one of those HBO inside the movie type things where Leguizamo said he actually ate the maggots or cockroaches (I don't remember which) that were on the pizza. I don't know why he thought that was necessary, but I admire his commitment... kinda.

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I remember seeing one of those HBO inside the movie type things where Leguizamo said he actually ate the maggots or cockroaches (I don't remember which) that were on the pizza. I don't know why he thought that was necessary, but I admire his commitment... kinda.

 

I'd heard that, too; I think it was maggots. It's like he heard about Nicolas Cage eating a cockroach in "Vampire's Kiss" and took it as a dare.

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Speaking of White though, I actually really, really like the guy now. He's really good in a lot of stuff that isn't so good, and he's phenomenal in the excellent "Black Dynamite", which he co-wrote.

That movie nails Blaxploitation so much better than stuff like I'm Gonna Get You Sucka (which is still excellent entertainment). I hope a sequel is in the works -- I don't see a reason not to. If you have a chance, rent/buy the DVD; there's a great commentary track with Michael Jai White, the director, and a co-writer.

 

I remember seeing one of those HBO inside the movie type things where Leguizamo said he actually ate the maggots or cockroaches (I don't remember which) that were on the pizza. I don't know why he thought that was necessary, but I admire his commitment... kinda.

Leguizamo is a decent actor, given some good material. If you haven't seen To Wong Foo Thanks for Everything, Julie Newmar, check it out. Leguizamo, Patrick Swayze, and Wesley Snipes in drag for 90 minutes is a good time. Snipes actually brings it to that role.

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I actually like Leguizamo quite a bit, he's an underrated actor. Him as Clown was probably the best part of the movie. There was just not much to gain in my mind from eating real maggots.

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That movie nails Blaxploitation so much better than stuff like I'm Gonna Get You Sucka (which is still excellent entertainment). I hope a sequel is in the works -- I don't see a reason not to. If you have a chance, rent/buy the DVD; there's a great commentary track with Michael Jai White, the director, and a co-writer.

 

The animated series is pretty hilarious too, and I'm pretty sure it's coming back for a second season. It's very satirical and a lot of the humor is based in knowing what happened to the various "guest stars", such as OJ Simpson, Richard Pryor, and Michael Jackson.

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The animated series is pretty hilarious too, and I'm pretty sure it's coming back for a second season. It's very satirical and a lot of the humor is based in knowing what happened to the various "guest stars", such as OJ Simpson, Richard Pryor, and Michael Jackson.

There's an animated series!?!?! What what? Holy shit! I don't have cable, I didn't know that was a thing. Mind = blown.

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I'm watching this now and any enjoyment I am getting from this movie is from Leguizamo. I remember seeing this movie in the theater and loving it. Of course I would have been 17 and have revisited several movies I loved at that age and have come to the conclusion that my dad really loved me because he sat through some terrible movies all because we wanted to see them.

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Hah, this movie is like Ghost meets the PS3 game God of War.

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Do you think they would watch this movie despite Jason's mortal fear of clowns?

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This has so much potential to be a great HDTGM episode. Michael Jai White in a ridiculous costume, fighting JOHN LEGIZAMO in an even more ridiculous costume! The bad guy sounds like Doctor Claw from Inspector Gadget! Seriously, I hope they do this.

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Do you think they would watch this movie despite Jason's mortal fear of clowns?

 

I was talking about this in another thread, I think the attack of the killer clowns. May need paramedics on hand to revive him in cause of a mental break down. Not sure if that would be a fun show.

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I thought that Clownie was one of the less scary clowns I have seen.

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I remember seeing this in the theater when it was released. It had the look and feel of a movie the producers were cobbling together as they went along. Like when a child tells you a story with a bunch of "...and then..."'s tossed in. Just fuckin' awful.

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So, I've never watched more than five minutes of "Real Steel" before now, and what do I hear but a song off of the "Spawn" soundtrack, which of course is one of the best soundtracks to one of the worst films ever. How DARE you rip off a classic, "Real Steel". How. Dare. You.

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Speaking of White though, I actually really, really like the guy now. He's really good in a lot of stuff that isn't so good, and he's phenomenal in the excellent "Black Dynamite", which he co-wrote.

 

There was a cheap as fuck movie that he did with Steve Austin called "Tactical Force", an action-comedy where a bungling SWAT team are sent to a warehouse to do mandatory training, however, they have to fight their way out when a couple of gangs show up and they're armed only with blanks.

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the R-rated animated HBO series was so well done, I'm curious what made them think it was a good idea to go with PG-13.. this also pretty much ruined Michael Jai White's career..

 

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The only reason that I can think of them going PG-13 with this was that as the comic was at its peak with readers, who were early to mid teens, it was parents who were outraged by the content of the comics. So to combat that stigma, they made it PG-13 to appease parents who were already mad while allowing the fans of the comic to be able to talk their parents into letting them see the movie. To be honest, not much was really cut out from the R rated version to this, mainly just blood and I think a couple uses of the f word. The new X-Men was way more violent than what was shown in the R cut of this film.

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The only reason that I can think of them going PG-13 with this was that as the comic was at its peak with readers, who were early to mid teens, it was parents who were outraged by the content of the comics. So to combat that stigma, they made it PG-13 to appease parents who were already mad while allowing the fans of the comic to be able to talk their parents into letting them see the movie. To be honest, not much was really cut out from the R rated version to this, mainly just blood and I think a couple uses of the f word. The new X-Men was way more violent than what was shown in the R cut of this film.

Also, remember that 1997 is the year that brought us other superhero shitstorms in the form of "Batman & Robin" and "Steel". It was par for the course.

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