Friday, July 20, 2007
Octopunk stays up late, rambles
Posted by Octopunk
I've been meaning to review some movies, starting with FF2 a month ago. See below!
Meanwhile, while I was writing my FF review, I went to Wikipedia’s list of movies based on English-language comic books and jotted down the ones I thought best typified what I thought FF managed to do right. Ultimately it didn't make sense to keep this in the review, but having written it down, I decided to bug you with it anyway.
What I was looking for are movies that communicate that precise thrill, that pre-teen rush of adventure when you see someone take a punch that throws them 100 feet away into a bus that snaps in half with the impact. Not just action, but spectacle. I started with my straight-up favorite comic book flicks:
Batman: Mask of the Phantasm
The X-men trilogy
But then I decided to make some changes.
Batman Begins comes off because it really triumphs more because of its perfect delivery of character and theme. Its action is good movie action, but it's not quite comic-book action. The X-men trilogy, particularly the first one, also excels mostly in the same area, but contains enough great spectacle to stay on the list (Storm slamming Sabertooth across the train station and through the wall comes to mind).
Batman: Mask of the Phantasm is off because it’s animated. I actually think this is the single best superhero movie, because I think cartoons are best way to cinemize comics, being already so close in form. But for the purposes of this list I want to stick to live action.
Sin City and Tank Girl are off because they’re not exactly superhero movies, and that's really the brand of thrill I'm talking about.
And now I have to add a couple.
The Rocketeer, while not one of my favorite movies, totally comes through with its vintage look and does a damn good job of conveying what it would be like to strap a rocket to your ass.
Some Parts of Superman Returns – yeah, it got bogged down, but the sequences of young Clark hopping over the cornfield and that airplane save were just perfect, like when someone finally scratches the itch on your back.
The Matrix trilogy was not, of course, based on a comic book. But I’m not the first one to point out that the visual language is the same. The Wachowskis made it popular to stop the movement in the middle of an action scene, then start it up again. You can watch all the Creepshow and Hulk you want, you will not see a better device to bring c-book thrill to the big screen.
So, my revised list:
The Matrix trilogy
Some Parts of Superman Returns
The X-men trilogy
And now, believe it or not, Fantastic Four 2. Yup.
Right! I thought was a long walk for too little point, and I was correct. Thanks for reading. 'Night.
at 4:00 AM