Monday, November 29, 2004

Holiday recovery...

Thanksgiving weekend has passed and it was a hectic, but good weekend. Spent most of the weekend in the car driving around Northern New Jersey. Ate a lot, drank some, watched some hockey, and helped my dad build a shed. After all is said and done, I feel like I need a day off to just sit and recover from running around all weekend.

With the films of The Lord of the Rings trilogy now all released, there is very little, if any film to really see this winter. No big event movie, nor any movie that really piques my interest. Sure Alexander is a big movie, but it seems like a wanna-be blockbuster doomed to fail. Blade III: Trinity looks interesting, but is a rental, at best.

Don’t even mention A Series of Unfortunate Events. I’ve read and enjoyed most of the books and my wife absolutely loves the books, too. The promotion behind this movie is not focusing on the darkness of the books and the worst thing they could have done was put Jim Carrey in the role of Count Olaf, king of over-acting and over expression. Olaf was a bit of a goof, but he was much more subtle than anything Carrey does. The only actor who could really fill out that role is dead, Vincent Price. I mean God bless Daniel Handler/Lemony Snicket for being able to make some money off of an enjoyable story, but the films look to bear little resemblance to the original story in the books. It seems as if this is just another vehicle for Jim Carrey to make some absurd annoying facial expressions and not about what really makes the stories special, the distinct characters of each of the kids.

As much as I like Zemeckis, he did the same thing with The Polar Express, or at least it looks like he did from the commercials and what reviewers have said. Again, the movie evolved from a simple kids book, one of the most beautiful Christmas stories by Chris Van Allsburg and the movie is touted as a “Journey Beyond Your Imagination.” The clips make the film look like an action-adventure film and the book really isn’t an adventure, it’s a simple heart-warming story of belief in the Christmas spirit.

Hollywood seems to love to do this to simple enjoyable books- change the heart of the story, expand it into something different and splash it up. Two other examples, one including Jim Carrey are Dr. Seuss books – The Grinch Who Stole Christmas and The Cat in the Hat.

I will step off my podium now, thank you.

Speaking of Blade III, the film is directed, produced and written by David S. Goyer, the guy who has written the next Batman flick, Batman Begins. Batman Begins is going to be directed by Christopher Nolan, the director of two recent very good movies, Memento and Insomnia. Everything I’ve seen about Batman Begins gives me great hope that this will not only be a great superhero/comic book movie, but a great movie period. Via Comic Book Resources, I found this Link to a really good interview with Goyer at Super Hero Hype! In there he says he likes Gene Wolfe, so my respect for him has increased quite a bit, and he looks to have a pretty good plate of stuff he’s working on.

Batman #634, which came out last week was a decent issue, but there is a HUGE problem with the book. The cover credits are as follow: Winick, Mahnke, Nguyen. I was expecting to read a story by Judd Winick with art by Doug Mahnke. Actually, I was looking forward to Mahnke’s art, his penciling was the only standout aspect of Joe Kelly’s run on JLA. This misprint is huge oversight on DC’s part. Not that I dislike Andersen Gabrych as a writer, actually, I thought he had a very good run on Detective Comics recently, it just wasn’t what I was looking forward to. As it stood, the issue was an epilogue to the Uber-Batman crossover, War Games, finishing out the tale, setting the status quo of the Bat-world, it’s just Nightwing, Batman and Robin now and Bats is considered a criminal in Gotham.

However, the comic I enjoyed the most out of last week’s batch was probably Green Lantern: Rebirth #2. Overall, Johns & Van Sciver set a great atmosphere, the art is spectacular, and there is a real sense of the story going somewhere Important. I’m a long-time GL fan (Hell, I’m wearing a silver GL ring as I type this), but I wasn’t as peeved at the handling of Hal Jordan/Parallax as many long-time GL fans. Geoff Johns has a great respect for and knowledge of GL and DC-lore, and it shows here. I am really looking forward to reading the subsequent issues. All the others were pretty good. Supreme Power #13, after a huge delay finally came out and JMS is still telling a pretty good story, worthy of being on the pull-list. I’m still really loving Adam Strange, Azzarello’s Superman finally looks to be going somewhere and Flash was as solid as ever.

Not much else going on.

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