Re: Moviemongers Don't Care about Comic Books: My View
It's not an apologist stance. It's a purist stance based the belief of absolute accuracy isn't pure, but purity of the spirit of the source is paramount. To be an absolute purist on a certain thing means that ANY endeavors outside the source realm will ALWAYS be imperfect, and ultimately shunned. This is really the wrong way to go about it. It denies the commonality with the two mediums and only focuses on division.
Take a look at a few adaptations. Sure you can see what they did wrong, but you should also see what they did right. Christopher Nolan's Batman films are a mishmash of elements taken from different Batman comic eras. His history is rewritten a bit, the villains are inaccurate, and the main plotlines didn't exist in the comics. In spite of all this you get a very well written set of movies that give some truly dynamic character and plot development. You get the best live action rendition of the Joker to date. For the first time on the silver screen you get a complete and immersive Batman with his motivations and other complexities there. This could not have happened if the comics were followed to the letter. Do you call these movies abominations too?
As a lesser example lets look at Sam Raimi's Spiderman. Yes Peter Parker never shot webs from wrists (he used an invented device). Yes Gwen Stacy was replaced by Mary Jane on certain plot points. Yes there are dozens more details that don't jibe with the comic. But you still have the teenager (who thought and acted like one) dealing with his new powers and learning what it means to be a hero. That's the very essence of the Spiderman comic.
Some of the changes made in movies end up being a necessity. For instance having Gwen Stacy in the Spiderman movie starts to complicate the plot so they used Mary Jane. Making Tony Stark a playboy who changes his ways not only makes for stronger character development in a film, but also covers a number of character points from the comic in a timely fashion. Iron Man became a great movie because of it. A lot changes come from a cinematic eye, and should be understood as such. The Crow had character and scene changes very different from the book, however the comic in its truest form would have made a horribly boring movie. Alex Proyas did right by the comic even with the changes to make a movie much loved by the comic fans.
This doesn't excuse bad writing, of course. The first Batman movie series can all be tossed completely in my opinion. Not necessarily because of the changes from the source material, but because they were badly put together movies from the get go (especially Schumacher's contributions). Then you have the movies that put a comic character in and completely ignore what that character is about (Catwoman, The Phantom, The Shadow Strikes) and may as well created their own character instead of trying to capitalize on a known name.
These things will happen, but that shouldn't be the reason to toss comic adaptions altogether. Every entertainment.. no actually every business medium... has those who think of the money more than the product they produce. You even mentioned a few comic book industry money grabs and seem to excuse those endeavors. Still in the end the films (and comics) that stand the test of time are the ones that focused on the product.
Of course you can trash the crap movies. You won't see me bat an eye to complaints about Wolverine, The Hulk movies, Steel, Daredevil, Ghost Rider, and any Superman movie but the original (I will go to bat for SOME aspect of the first movie). And yes, most comic movies are flawed. However don't lump all of them in the same pile.
SRFireside, you are a very thoughtful person as I had said, and I am appreciative of you taking the time and making the effort to respond as you did. I will be replying but not necessarily to disagree yet to explain further and give examples where I concur and where problems lie. Meanwhile, I encourage you to correct grammatical typos in your last piece as I might wish to quote it elsewhere because it is so exemplary. _____I am not a "hater". As an aesthete my mission must be to appreciate all art. What I cannot abide are derivations which cherrypick source material to death and thus disrespect those who brought the original work to prominence, not all adaptations of comics. This is what I mean. Books and movies are on an equal footing; one is relatively just as likely to have read a book as to have seen a movie whereas comics and movies are not. The wider public is more likely to have become acquainted with Spider-man through a movie than a comic, which imposes a special burden on screenwriters. If you markedly reconfigure the comic to suit your cinematic agenda, someone then reading the comic will never be able to accept the original version. E.g., I prefer the George Reeves tv show, which I encountered first, and don't enjoy the comic. Now, I will justify my preference and I do, but who is to say I wouldn't feel differently if I'd read the comic first or the show had been faithful? I like even more the Batman tv show, which I think is relatively faithful, especially in the earlier portion of the series, and I do love the Ceasar Romero and other big four villain portrayals, particularly Frank Gorshwin's. To which movie series does the Batman film I saw on tv circa '96-'97 with the "Cosmopolitan" mention belong? _____You will have my gratitude and I will be happy the fewer of these movies I must avoid. I'll return in the foreseeable future to finish my explanation, but I must attend to other business first.
SRFireside, let me lead you gradually into my position. Note that I haven't read any coms since 1976 and in many instances a bit longer. Spider-man is at once a special case and a good example. I identify with Peter Parker more than any other character in all literature, especially in issues 97 and 122. He means everything. Since Gwen Stacy was his sweetheart I relate to her like one of mine and one in particular. If I recall correctly from over 35 years ago, in the earliest issues PP was tied to Mary Jane because she had feelings for him which he did not overly share, but I read those issues mostly after the ones in the 40's, 50's, and 30's when he loved GS. So MJW was first. __________The murder of Gwendolyn Stacy by PP's archenemy and someone he knew personally is a touchstone, a MOMENT, one of the greatest moments in comics history. That can't be debated*. It is the equivalent of killing Lois Lane. So you wouldn't take Lana Lang and substitute her in that recognizable storyline and muddy and ruin the whole history, would you? Not if you knew what the heck you were doing? David Koepp and Sam Raimi are aesthetic inchoates. While I do advocate telling the stories of most villains in one movie, which can then be set in the present and look back properly to stories from past issues, the Green Goblin isn't one of those. To limit him to one movie, regardless of anything else, represents a monumental blunder, and after I had forgotten I had checked the plot of that travesty years ago, I assumed the Goblin survived to reappear. One incidental note. At Megacon 2012 Stan Lee was pointedly asked, "Why did Gwen Stacy have to die?!" and instantly responded, "Because I was in Europe when Gerry Conway wrote it!" GC was one of those my friend and I would ridicule for his "relevance" stories. My first foray into Spidey was 39, 44, and one other around the same number, which I might have selected from a slightly larger group all priced the same, after having watched numerous episodes of the 1967-on cartoon. Those were my first Marvels of lasting significance, having begun and stuck with DC till then. "The Amazing Spider-man" 39 is one of the greatest covers of all time, from any standpoint. Totally unrelated to this topic and after writing this post, I happened to read some panels from this time of Spidey on another site, and my reaction was that I could've gone for days, not minutes...the sight of GS and how she was drawn, and how PP felt about her, and the relations between the characters.... After an earlier post I remembered staffer Robertson's first name was Robbie. ___________Scarcely would I characterize the Silver Age resurrection of Golden Age castoffs as a "money grab" as none were even auditioned for their own titles but more an admirable attempt to appease or placate older readers after unceremoniously junking what they had been reading, and I have a demographic theory as to why sales dropped circa 1949 (a different topic) and they must really have nose-dived as DC phased out half its lineup. My perspective as a Silver Ager, and the reality is that I can never be a Golden Ager. You will be hard-pressed to establish the growth of Superman-featuring titles as a money grab since he began with two and they quite naturally proliferated 1941-1958 into as many as eight. The Jimmy Olsen and Lois Lane ones were largely the result of the tv series. ___________Candidly, my ire about art suffering does not stem mostly from the movies or even only within comics but originates from what corporations have done overall to art as they have gained greater influence over culture and daily life. This thread was specifically spurred (jingle-jangle) by my having attended day one of Oasis 25 and being eager to attend day two for the Thor and X-Men films only to be socked by Cap and thus having to stay home without any way to justify the admission fee sufficiently. I have seen none of the other movies you referenced, merely because I have not been partaking in cinema and not out of avoidance. I hope the first Supes is good since I have it recorded for eventual viewing.
*When 122 came out, my friend immediately recognized the significance, but I was concerned over how she had been killed. He observed, it doesn't matter how they did it, just that they did it. Since then I realize that the ambiguous circumstances deliberately added to the poignancy and made for the resulting dialogue, all quite intentional and outstanding. In my amnesia over the Raimi flick I was contemplating how they could in future present the scene to most exquisite effect.
So it seems to me the issue with you isn't necessarily comic adapted movies, but bad ones. I will be the first to admit Sam Raimi's take on Spiderman was scatter-shot at best. There are lots of elements from the first film that really irked me from plot points to special effects to little visual elements. So don't get me wrong. I didn't like that they replaced Gwen. I didn't like that the Green Lantern was a one off to be killed (a common Hollywood issue having this fixation that people are only happy when the bad guys die at the end). I didn't like PP's web shooters and (for lack of a better term) nuclear wall clinging replaced with a Spiderman 2099 take on genetics. In the end I say that movie gets a "pass" from me because it has its charm, but yeah I have some problems calling it a true representation.
There is to be sure a fine line in adaptations on whether or not they do a "good enough" job respecting the original content, and of course some director's seem to more interested in spectacle over good storytelling. However I simply cannot write off "Hollywood" as a whole because of the bad apples. For the dozen or so forgettable movie-machine styled films you get a couple true classics. The turn of the millennium gave us a glut of comic book movies, which in turn gave us Ghost Rider, Catwoman and several more really bad movies, and they are bad movies regardless of the character origins. But the past few years have brought some good entertainment.
So what is your take on Marvel Studios' Iron Man and Thor? How mad are you at the Avengers movie? Do they get corralled in the same pen as the likes of Rami's Spiderman? Have you seen the Nolan Batman movies? What's your take on them?
You said something interesting in a previous post where you preferred the movie versions of some characters as they were your first exposure to them. It seems, in part, you proven my point in that. When a good comic film is taken at face value, without being overly concerned with the pedigree of the content, it should be considered a good film if you have a wherewithal to be open minded about it. Forget the crap films. They will always come. I'm talking about the movies that do film making justice.
I meant to add I don't think Tobey Maguire resembles PP circa issue 40 although he might for the earliest ones, about which my memory wanes, and he doesn't get a complete pass from me for enabling this travesty. The ultimate concern must be who has creative control via the rights and why they would allow fools to sully the virgin public consciousness as to the premier Marvel character. Apparently, Disney feels differently, and I don't know exactly what mess owned Marvel previously. (Note you meant to say Goblin in your first paragraph and your second sentence in your prior post needs a little tweaking). _________You get one chance to tell a hero's story right per generation, maybe ever. What you had written of Batman brings out a distinction between him and Spidey and the Marvel heroes. They were scripted with continuity and a real sense of the passing of time. Batman has existed for many decades, with tens of stories featuring any of his enemies yet with few if any being the sort of signature tales found with Spidey or other Marvel characters; if a filmmaker doesn't understand that, they shouldn't be touching the material. Thus you can get by with scattershot or mishmash for some DC but not with Marvel. That's where my title comes in; do you as an artist care about comic books or only about cinema? On concern for the pedigree, I am advocating for the esteem of graphic art you realize. Sherlock has his place in literature. Do you know when and if the heroes will fall into the public domain and then we might have as many Supermans as Frankensteins and Draculas? _________I've solely seen Cap and merely because it was on when I stayed in hospital for tests. Before that the 1966 Batman, which wasn't so good. No other superhero movies I recall. Can you answer on that Bats flick I started? I did say I might catch the MCU sometime, but screwing with the time foretells overall disregard of being faithful. I'm particularly worried over FF & X-Men. By the way, I read the Spidey portion of my last piece to that sweetheart; not in any better shape with her than PP was with GS, but I also identify her with Crystal, maybe more so, but not me with JS. I really do feel your Jun. 4 post especially exemplifies posters discussing something civilly when they might not begin on exactly the same wavelength. Kudos.
I can't recall the exact movie you are mentioning, but if it's a circa 90's Batman then I can say with confidence it was likely Schumacher's version. I can also say with confidence that Joel Schumacher was the absolute worst. I keep pining about the new movies (Batman Begins, The Dark Knight and the upcoming one) because there is a lot of respect for the character in these films and as movies they are well thought out. I would be interested in hearing your opinion after watching Batman Begins. It would be a good "case study", if you will. The movie is pretty divergent on the details and is far from being true to the letter, but the end result to me is a product that covers a lot of ground without feeling rushed.
So how did you feel about Captain America? I thought it was pretty good. Better than any other Cap film or show made before. If you find Cap acceptable you may also enjoy others. Iron Man is a simple story, but Robert Downey Jr really carries the film. Thor is an enjoyable film that plays with Marvel's mythology just enough for a movie about a comic book hero/Norse god to actually work in a film. Hulk... well better you not bother yourself. Fantastic Four may be a hit and miss for you. Ben Grimm is spot on and the other characters hit their personality marks with a lot of dynamic. I think they actually improved on the comic with a pretty slick explanation on why each person got the power they did. Dr. Doom you may have conniptions over. X-Men may not thrill you as it messes with comic continuity for the sake of covering a lot of it in the timespan of a movie.
The Batman film I saw was circa '96-'97, and I believe this was its broadcast tv debut right before or after that of "Silence of the Lambs" which I had to miss because I didn't catch it would start a half-hour early to accommodate its two-and-a-half-hour length. The movie was darkly lit, and I don't recall Robin. This was probably the first in its group as I prefer to watch things in order. Many regard the tv series as a comedy, with some justification, and I haven't read Frank Miller of course, but I would assume the Nolan entries strike some sort of balance. Realistically, there ain't much letter in Bats to which to be true, at least not in my memory bank. Something befell Bruce Wayne's parents which prompted him to embark on his career against crime. You have butler Alfred, the Police Commissioner, and Robin. It must begin in the late 1930's or I won't watch; you can't forsake the atmosphere of that time and the lack of gizmos available to the public. Who now would need a Batphone or a searchlight holding a bat's shadow? Without being appreciative of BW's ingenuity you are a moron who artistically doesn't merit my attention. _________"...the First Avenger" was okay until the end. In the comic it never appeared as if he had such strength and proceeded with so much violence; in the film he acts like Spider-man. If I hadn't been leery, I would've been quite taken on the second occasion. On the first I started dozing off for lack of sleep. I failed to register the 70 years reference then. The 1966 cartoon was little more than a slide show. I guess there was one film in between, and I hope it was faithfully synchronized. __________FF was my second Marvel and on par with Spidey. When I saw a still from it sometime before 2007, and this was also before I checked the Tobey plot, Sue Storm's hair looked nonblonde inter alia and I went berserk! I dubbed the movie Vomit Magnet the next time I posted topically, in 2007. The other 3 didn't comport with their usual looks either. Recently, I checked a still, and her hair might be blonde, but her persona as pictured diverges and the film contains a Yahoo.com mention (?). "X-Men: First Class" would be what I would see first; another fan told me it was true and a period piece.
I haven't seen First Class, but I haven't heard anything about it to make me think it's any better than any of the other X-Men movies. It's set in the 60's era and that's about all timeline accuracy there is. To me the first X-Men movie is the best of that trilogy, but I did hear people say First Class was the best of all the X-Men movies.
I still would endear you to go see the new Batman films. Since it sounds like you have not as much investment in Batman's various comic renditions I think you may be pleasantly surprised. It's too engaging a movie series not to. The 60's TV was camp and proud of it, which makes it valid in its own right. Any Batman fan who can't get around that are just too anal for their own good.
Sounds like FF was a comic you were attached to. Thus changes from the movie irk you more. Still I understand casting Jessica Alba was a Hollywood move to bring in more box office tickets rather than find an actress more suited to be Sue. Small price to pay in my opinion if it got them on the silver screen.
My recollection of Captain America was that he was very strong and agile. It seemed to be me movie made a pretty accurate display of his abilities without overdoing it (a la Raimi). Sure he wasn't a sideshow to sell war bonds in the comic, but I think they had to justify the costume and build some more character and story development (lets face it.. the comic was thin on both) at the beginning.
quote:FF was my second Marvel and on par with Spidey. When I saw a still from it sometime before 2007, and this was also before I checked the Tobey plot, Sue Storm's hair looked nonblonde inter alia and I went berserk! I dubbed the movie Vomit Magnet the next time I posted topically, in 2007
I remember this version of Fantastic four being advertised in the theaters. I think it was only advertised for a week or two, then the ads were killed, and the movie never released. Though if you look hard enough on the net, you just might be able to find a couple. I saw a couple, and the first FF more was pretty much what was in the 1994 version. Except the newer one had better effects.
Movies and comics are two different things, the comics are a source material but the movie should stand alone as it's own piece of art and not just be a carbon copy of the comic. -- Any it new they in one. You here for mine you here. -JV
Movies and comics are two different things, the comics are a source material but the movie should stand alone as it's own piece of art and not just be a carbon copy of the comic.
To a point. You don't wipe out the source material and tell a very different story. If you want to do that, then get a different costume and a different hero and tell your own story. I think that's the underlying issue here. Any time a book is made into a movie, some things must be changed because a movie simply can't include everything that a good book includes. But when you are making a movie based on iconic characters and stories, you shouldn't change important things around just because you can. -- Concentrated power has always been the enemy of liberty - Ronald Reagan
the Tim Burton versions of Batman where great, They retained the dark feel of Gotham, the Bat Mobile was not some flashing pimp mobile that glowed and was a convertible(no clue what prop designer thought the open top version was a good idea in on of the Schumacher versions. Jack Nicklson made a great joker.
We do not discuss Batman & Robin, As much as I love corny one liners the Governator was not the best choice for Mr. Freeze... -- [65 Arcanist]Filan(High Elf) Zone: Broadband Reports
I thought those were horrible. Keaton was an awful choice to play Bruce Wayne. Batman is supposed to be skilled in several kinds of martial arts and combat techniques, but in these movies he was just a bumbling doofus with a few gadgets. Nicholson did a great job as the Joker which is the only reason the first movie was worth watching. The second movie was an abomination. When I walked out of the theater I wanted to hit someone. -- Concentrated power has always been the enemy of liberty - Ronald Reagan
The 1989 Batman was what I turned off circa 1996. It was supposed to be Batman in his earliest days yet they mentioned "Cosmopolitan" in its latter-day incarnation. In looking up Tim Burton he's done multiple other things which would motivate me to avoid him. To those of you who have partaken of all the post-1988 Batman films, does one set proceed as if prior ones never happened, i.e., from scratch? With the Marvel movies the different sets would seem the result of changing ownership, but DC has been in the same hands since 1989 so I don't know why there would be so many approaches. I also saw the serial when I was young, maybe with the 1966 effort, but didn't like it. ___________Kearnstd, from checking I note that changes have befallen Batman's sidekick since 1976 so I can't discuss him either. ___________footballdude, your support for respecting source material and your crystalizing of the underlying issue are supremely appreciated. ___________Snakeoil, whoa!! Do I ever owe you! I'd heard there was a prior FF movie, but I didn't know Roger Corman shepherded it and my earlier reference to him was inadvertent in this context! I also had heard it was filmed to maintain ownership to rights but I thought that was for Marvel. See this long article: »www.teako170.com/ffmovie.html The 1994 cast does resemble the FF; my only concerns would be the white in their costumes and the too-soon wedding of Sue and Reed, but I shall see this one for myself gladly. Roger Corman spontaneously generates gold. Parasite Avi Arad "ordered" all prints destroyed (so only copies survive) and is persona non grata. When I learn of a director reading every FF story I go nuts. Calling it "The World's Greatest Comic" is not much of an exaggeration. ___________SRFireside, attached, ya think?, such that I vow I shall reread its issues while I still can and this time hopefully fully understand the sf. Too bad I don't COMPARATIVELY relish the covers mostly though I will endeavor on that front despite their being predominantly so darkly-hued for many of the prime stories. I was fine with Cap selling war bonds amid a vaudeville show; an imaginative touch. Speaking of which, the Batman series marshaled imaginative touches all around; the rub was that those at the helm let the substance deteriorate over time for no apparent reason. Sigmund Freud was a little too much as you said and could've used a couple more decades of scientific knowledge to head off some of his ruminations, ditto Karl Marx.
To those of you who have partaken of all the post-1988 Batman films, does one set proceed as if prior ones never happened, i.e., from scratch?
Batman Begins was a complete restart of the franchise. They completely ignored the previous movies and started out with a young Bruce Wayne studying martial arts with Rhas Al Gul. In my opinion, that movie and Dark Knight were both a little uneven. They showed Batman in the same vibe that you get from the comic books but Christian Bale's Batman voice when he was in costume was really annoying, so it was hard to get into it. I don't know if it's possible to make a Batman movie that's as good as the cartoon Batman in Justice League (2001), but the Bale movies are as close as I've seen. They do take a couple of liberties with the source material, but nothing completely outrageous. -- Concentrated power has always been the enemy of liberty - Ronald Reagan
To a point. You don't wipe out the source material and tell a very different story.
If you do that it probably won't be a very good movie.
If a person wants a perfect copy of the comics...read the comics! If a person wants to see a film adaption then go see the films but to bitch about every little change (I know you're not) is ridiculous. -- Any it new they in one. You here for mine you here. -JV
That rendition of FF was actually a means for the studios to retain the rights to the movie before said rights expired. Making a film would extend the rights apparently. So they made a quickie movie that was either never theatrically released or had a very limited viewing. I picked it up somewhere. It's cheesy, but not really all that bad.
BDiogenes - The Batman movies were a strange bird in the late 80's-90's. Four movies with three actors playing Batman. You can say they all fit together in a single continuity, but it can also be argued that only the first two did. Chris Nolan's Batman movies are a complete revamp that are in no way connected to the previous movies.
footballdude, I will watch the Christian Bale movies as long as they don't abuse the time setting too much; I couldn't stomach Batman s tarting out in present day. _____ Silvanos, no one in this thread is complaining about every little thing (as for the uniforms in the '94 FF film that won't deter me, but it would be nice to see the all-blue ones yet maybe there's some visual purpose behind the two-tone ones, and I can't say the film doesn't skip ahead in time to show the wedding which occurs much later in that couple's acquaintanceship). More importantly, you're missing the point; this isn't about watching or reading but about source material which we sff and graphic art aficionados care for being respected and not exploited by large corporations who don't give a damn, especially in light of other mischief these mercantilists force upon the the public, and I don't mean products. We fans who bought those coms acquired a socioeconomic stake in them and shall exercise our free speech and other rights accordingly. I wish to see a true and sensible adaptation of graphic art I love. _____ SRFireside, did you read some of that article? I still have a bit of the actor portions. In that Wikipedia article are links to two interviews with Roger Corman, whom I celebrate, yet for me to access. Cheesy? RC had $1.4 M to spend whereas Vomit Magnet $100M+. The sale and nonrelease of the film is nobody's responsibility but the German producer who took a few million from Arad for what had been produced. Everyone else played it straight and even toured to promote the release, e.g., at conventions. The consequence of my declaring Arad persona non grata is that anything for which he has responsibility I can ignore, and shall. In what form do you have the '94 movie? I vow I shall see it someday, at least if the time setting comports; otherwise, no promises. How many issues of FF did you read? I read 1 to some number in 1975 plus have access to a few more, along with the contemporaneous annuals and all issues of SS in its first publication.
In Mar. 2007 Captain America supposedly died, yet I just discovered he turned up again in 2010. BUT HIS WRETCHED MOVIE ONLY HAS HIM SPENDING ANY TIME SINCE WWII IN 2011! The X-Men form circa 1963 in their films yet Tony Stark is only born in 1967, which means the films have the X-Men were running around for decades before the Avengers, leaving aside whatever the comics might have entirely, in other words, the internal inconsistency, hopeless and ongoing, of the movies themselves. I might have sympathized with the problem of multiple company ownerships of the Marvel properties in the past, but MCU by setting each film incompetently in present day assures you will never have a sensible, uniform creative backdrop and saga. Voila commodities of expediency but never art. Game, set, and match, BDiogenes!
Funny you should ask that. Because FF is so realistic and as I "lived with" them for years, issue after issue and the used ones I bought decades ago, it almost seems as if the events happened. There are many realities, what we experience, what history recounts, what any of a number of fictional works unfold, etc., but so good are some of these comic book titles and their appealing characters that one can lose the focus that those players are not part of our reality and never could be, but sometimes they seem much closer than the distant, historical past we only know from books and artifacts.
As an avid reader and collector of comics from grade school to my late 30's...got too expensive to continue after that point...and I'm in mid 50's now...If the comics can Ret-Con a whole backstory or origin on a every 10 year basis...why can't the movies Ret-Con a char's story..all's fair.
Remember when it was only Uncle Ben and Bucky who were the only ones who stayed dead...Well I know about Bucky, did Uncle Ben ever come back?
Either way...I enjoy the movies for what they are...another version of the charictors story. Could be a Marvel Knights version...and Earth 666 version...or a Ultimate version...it's all in the story telling.