10 Worst Comic Book Movies of All Time: Number Two

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1997’s Steel was a perfect storm of crap, and what little audience there was paid the price.

When Superman died, there was a lousy event comic where four different people appeared and either one of them could have been the Man of Steel. It was even intimated that his ‘soul’ could have possessed another body. One of those bodies was John Henry Irons. (Subtle.)

Irons had created an energy cannon that became weaponized by the military, and somehow he didn’t see that coming. So to fight the weapon that was now filtering onto the streets, he made a set of armor and an indestructible hammer to fight crime with, which is a basically an even BETTER weapon to fall into the wrong hands.

It was an attempt to introduce a black character into comics, but it was over a decade before Steel was even bearable.

The Steel movie starred Shaquille O’Neal. Shaq is very charismatic, quick to improvise, and has a huge sense of humor and a deadpan style to go with it. But Shaq is hard to motivate, and no one is more boring than Shaq when he’s phoning it in.

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He phoned it in.

Maybe that’s not fair. Shaq was doing the Summer Olympics, and training for Lakers camp at the same time. He had very little time to go over lines with his acting coach, but that’s why movies star – you know – actors. People whose full time job is acting. It helps with those pesky scheduling conflicts.

The writer/director was Kenneth Johnson, who had spent pretty much his entire career doing television which is why Steel looks and feels like a really cheap TV movies.

This is a boring, cheap-looking movie with bad acting and not the slightest bit of interest from anyone involved. The story is a black version of the Iron Man origin, guy makes weapon, doesn’t want it out there, puts on a suit of armor to fight crime and the spread of the weapon, except in Steel, Irons doesn’t get hurt (because that would be too interesting) his lab partner gets hurt so we lose a lot of time with sappy scenes between the two.

The wheelchair shoots rockets.

The wheelchair shoots rockets.

The villain is Judd Nelson. Steel could have embraced its cheapness and gone for being all out entertaining, but it goes for the pacing of a drama, mixed with one-liners that didn’t work in the 80’s and terrible casting. Also this is one of the worst superhero suits ever made in a movie for wide release. Somehow they found a way to make a man that is naturally seven feet tall, look unintimidating.

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Over the years, comic book movies have taken me through a gauntlet of emotions, from joy to sadness, excitement to despair and all points in between. Before watching Ghost Rider 2: Spirit of Vengeance however, no film has ever made me feel angry. Why was I so mad? Because I felt like I’d been played.

Thanks for the money, suckers!

Thanks for the money, suckers!

No film has ever been more vapid, more loud, more pointless, or more disrespectful of people paying money to see a film than Ghost Rider 2. A terrible plot with holes the size of the Grand Canyon. Camera work done by an epileptic on PCP. Monks with fucking computers. Honestly guys, what the hell did we do to you?

Why does the devil need to hop in a getaway car to escape? Matter of fact, why does he need a human body? Why does Blackout supposedly decay everything he touches, except the moment that fact becomes inconvenient to the “plot”? Why does Raiden have all those face tattoos? Why does the entirely CGI Ghost Rider have to sway back and forth like he’s listening to “Sailing” by Christopher Cross?

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Who gave Nicholas Cage the drugs, and who said it was OK to give them to everyone?

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As we talked about before, Nicholas Cage’s performances began a swift decline into the terrible right around the time the first Ghost Rider film came out. This decline brought with it some terrible box office returns that coincided with some financial problems for the actor, which seemingly forced him into a number of sub-par stories and productions.

But no one told him he had to be terrible in those films. That was his idea.

The problems with Ghost Rider are not all Cage’s fault – they literally gave him nothing to work with in terms of script and story, and not giving a single crap and still getting paid is an offer I doubt that most people would pass on. But at some point, you have to give at least half a crap about what you’re putting out there, and Cage is past the point where he can phone in lunacy and we’re supposed to act like it’s still funny. You were one of the best out there buddy. It’s time to come back home.

Even worse than Cage is the direction from Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor, the duo that brought us Crank. They apparently believe that their target audience is squirrels, because they are consistently attempting to keep our attention with shaky camera work and slo-mo scenes in every shot. Perhaps it was an attempt for them to keep us distracted from the nonsense that was supposed to pass for entertainment, but it wasn’t working.

That’s the part that made me so upset; the idea that they could attempt to play on the fact that this franchise is sub-par, and make a film that’s purposefully bad, yet not make any attempt to make it truly fun. It’s by-the numbers mayhem for them, and they expect the audience to eat it up by putting in a bunch of explosions and flaming-chainsaw crane set pieces. (Which, I’m ashamed to admit, was AWESOME.)

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They took over-the-top and turned it into dull, predictable crap, and then, on top of it all, they still have the nerve to look over and wink at you from time to time, as if you are in on the the joke, when in fact, the joke’s on you.

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Don’t wink at me, dude. We are clearly not friends, and where I come from, disrespect like this can get a boot print burned in your ass.

10 Worst Comic Book Movies of All Time: Number 3

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This combines two different kinds of awful movies.

The Mask comic from Dark Horse is pretty cool…and little like the movies.

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In the comics, the Mask is known only as Big Head, and he leans towards the homicidal. That might not have been viable as a big budget film (even though it was initially developed with a LOT more horror in the mix. Casting Jim Carrey changed the tone of the project a lot. Carrey got to imitate the cartoon characters he’d grown up watching.

But when it came for a sequel, he just didn’t see the point. Jim Carrey didn’t see enough depth in the role to do it. That’s like Bree Olsen turning down an acting role because she finds it sexually demeaning.

After 11 years in development hell, they released a cheap sequel that no one wanted. They made it even more ‘family-friendly’ than the original.

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What they forgot is that children are still kind of smart. Even babies are smart. An embryo is too smart for this movie. This is a stupid, dull movie, filled with very cheap gags and horrible slapstick. Loki wants the mask back, Traylor Howard wants kids, the little kid gets the mask, Odin yells a lot, stuff with the dog – ugh.

There is a credited writer, and he didn’t work for the next seven years. When he resurfaced from The Pit (the secret is…you must climb without the rope) he worked on a project called Bra League, and something about NASCAR. I don’t believe a human being wrote this though. I think this is like Videodrome and its something the government created to weed out societies undesirables, but it didn’t work because no one would watch it.

But I mentioned two things. Some movies are so bad, they ruin the actor’s career forever because they bring up some quality that you hadn’t noticed but now you can’t see past it. Jamie Kennedy is grating man-child and ever since watching this, that’s all I can see.

Don’t watch this film. Please.

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The experience is of sitting through a bad movie can be pretty dreadful, but you can learn a lot from watching terrible films. If you are interested in becoming an actor, they can show you what a bad performance looks like. If you are a comics fan, you can learn which producers and directors will make films you want to see versus films you should avoid. And, in some rare and exceptional cases, a terrible film can help you trace the exact points of a once great actor’s decline.

This is the story of the Ghost Rider... franchise.

This is the story of the Ghost Rider.

The first Ghost Rider film had some pretty bad-ass moments, but they were completely relegated to scenes where Johnny Blaze changes into the Rider and rides around town.

But the action sequences were super underwhelming, with the villains outmatched so quickly that you never get the sense they were a threat at all. Additionally, the other effects in the film are downright cheesy, to the point where it seems the effects budget only covered flames.

The performances are also underwhelming, from Sam Elliot and Peter Fonda completely phoning it in, to Eva Mendes being dull and unconvincing, and Matt Long and Donal Logue being …. bad. To Mendes’ credit, she didn’t even attempt the western twang called for from the character; to Logue’s discredit, he did.

Wes Bentley as Blackheart is cartoonish and terrible, and he seems more like a whiney brat than a terrifying presence, no matter how hard he tries to be creepy.

Boogedy- boogedy boo!

Boogedy-boogedy-boo!

A major part of why Ghost Rider doesn’t work is the characterization of Johnny Blaze. The Ghost Rider mythos isn’t one of the strongest Marvel has, but there is enough of a skeleton (sorry) there to create a cool drifter-type loner story, a story of a man attempting to deal with his demons (again, sorry).

Instead, they went with a typical origin story hero setup that we’ve all seen a million times, and sucked any originality out of what could have been an interesting story in favor of cool, yet purposeless set pieces.

Equally baffling is Nicholas Cage’s performance, which is filled with weird quirks and over the top camp in some places, and dull disinterested mumbling in others. It’s not one of his worst performances –  that goes to The Wicker Man – but it is one of the earliest examples of a man who created such complex and interesting characters in his early films beginning what would be a rapid and hilarious descent into madness. Cage’s charismatic and slightly unhinged persona would soon become completely unhinged, and any attempts at subtlety in his performances would soon be riddled with bullets, tossed from a burning building, and run over by a truck.

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When this film came out, I was forced to wonder whether or not it could have been salvaged if Cage had not underplayed it, if he had brought some of his trademark lunacy to the role.
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Unfortunately for all of us, we would soon find out.

To be continued………

Because I needed to make space

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So just to beat a dead horse, Caitlyn Jenner.\

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Because there hasn’t been enough written coverage of Bruce Jenner’s transformation from male to female. Or enough opinions spewed forth all over social media. I’ll preface this rant with, yes, I know I am probably not saying anything that hasn’t been said.

That said, ohmygod, WHO CARES???? Not who cares about the great strides that were made for the transgender community or who cares because, Kardashians.

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I mean who cares to all the people who don’t agree with it. For serious, it definitely doesn’t affect your life. It doesn’t make you any less straight or male or female or Christian. Caitlyn Jenner won’t impede upon your ability to get to work every day, she won’t affect your living situation, she’s not going to be the reason you go to hell. Caitlyn Jenner is a chick (regardless of your refusal to acknowledge her as such) who is finally living the life she wants to be living.

I’m gonna go out on a limb and guess that prior to this transformation, Bruce Jenner put a teeny tiny bit of thought into it, maybe visited a therapist once or twice, and may have been fairly sure that he wanted to head down this path and probably all your “devils advocacy” isn’t new stuff. But if he didn’t go to therapy or put years of thought into it, that’s ok too, you know why? It was his life. Just his. The only one he gets to live. Same as yours is the only one you get to live. If you have to check with strangers before making all your decisions you’re either living your life the wrong way or you’re in prison……which kinda indicates that you were at one time, living your life the wrong way.

Don’t get me wrong, Caitlyn made a choice to make this a very public event and one of the downsides of being in the public eye is opening oneself up to the speculation and opinions of the general public.So go nuts, freedom of speech and all, I hope she has thick skin and was prepared for the backlash.

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If years of Kardashian BS didn’t prepare her for public ridicule then shame on her. She really can’t get mad at the small minded, ignorant bullshit expressed by every jabroni with an internet connection. But I can and I kinda am. Or was. I gotta share a planet with these idiots, afterall.

I do try really hard to be unmoved by the moronic consensus spewed forth by a hate-filled society but sometimes it’s SO HARD. Please don’t mistake this as not having respect for opinions different than mine. I definitely do. So many people don’t agree with me, I’m probably close to as liberal as they come and I have no way of knowing if I’m definitely right about a lot of stuff even if I passionately believe that I am. I’m not talking about people who don’t understand transgender or even people who don’t say much but just plain don’t agree with it. It’s cool, I’ll let you feel your feelings. I’m talking about the angry, hate-filled internet mob. I say internet because I’ve heard very little in person and certainly people get braver behind a computer screen and really unleash, hence that’s where I’ve observed the majority of the hate.

I’ve read so much offensive stuff over the past few weeks that my brain has basically lost the ability to process anything else on the subject so it has become necessary to purge this in blog form in order to free up some space for a new crusade. I’ve read things as benign as some run of the mill offensive jokes all the way to people praying for her to die and burn in hell. Ironically, or not so much, the latter was said by a self proclaimed “devout follower of the Lord”. Dude, what? You’re praying for someone you’ve never met to burn in hell? Like, you discussed this with your bible study or your pastor and this was the logical response to what you consider sin? Caitlyn Jenner is transgender but I happen to know you’ve got a thing for porn soooooo…..does that mean you’re going to hell together?? Or your extramarital affair wasn’t as bad as all that. Yes please rant angrily, justifying every way Christian sin is different/better/not the same. I understand now and yes your hate is not at all misdirected.

So after my brain exploded because I couldn’t even comprehend the level of hate and arrogance circulating in the world I live in, I started to think some thoughts. Jealousy. Jealousy makes people angry.

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It’s very possible that a lot of these people are jealous of Caitlyn Jenner. No not because we all secretly want to switch gender because come on, who would wish to be born the wrong gender and spend 65 years unhappy, wishing to be something else? No. Jealousy because here is someone living her dream. No one wants to live 65 years or more, unhappy with themselves or their lives but how many people do? SO MANY. And how many people have the balls (no pun intended) to take a huge, drastic step, to change their lives and try to be happy. Sadly, a super small number in comparison.

I read someone’s comments about how all that money spent on surgery was a waste because vanity is a sin and that money could’ve been spent opening a homeless shelter. To that I say a) um screw you because it definitely isn’t anyone’s business how another person spends money they’ve earned- sorry you don’t make more, and b) sorry you’re 200 pounds overweight with chin hair and no means to pay for expensive treatments and lack the pride in yourself to try and clean up a little. I challenge anyone to tell me, with a straight face, that looks don’t matter. Yeah. Maybe not to Helen Keller. There’s a reason that sex sells in this country and it’s not because Victoria’s Secret hires models that are “pretty on the inside”. But I digress, this isn’t about being jealous of Caitlyn’s looks.

It’s about being jealous of her ability to live her dream while most of us are prisoners of our own lives, paralyzed by the fear of judgment, change, unknown, whatever.

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When I really think about it, I can’t be mad at this type of bigot. I feel sorry for them. Live your dream man, I guarantee if you live your dream, you won’t be nearly as consumed with anyone else’s life. And before the mob descends, I’m not saying if you don’t agree, you must be jealous. I AM saying if you are so consumed that you’re angry and hateful, there is definitely something missing from your life. If you can’t find a dream then find a twelve step program. As it’s been explained to me, working the steps is an introspective journey, one from which you will certainly benefit.

Yahoo Crazy: The South Carolina Church Shooting

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When Dylann Roof shot up the church in Charleston South Carolina, he opened up the country to discussion…discussion that some people can’t have. Randomly selected, some crazy comments from Yahoo.

If you need me I’ll just be organizing my MREs in my bomb shelter.

The Original Article

Hitler was right...somehow.

Hitler was right…somehow.

If only blacks wouldn't disrespect cops senior citizens wouldn't get shot in church.

If only blacks wouldn’t disrespect cops senior citizens wouldn’t get shot in church.

Storm was driven mad by a black President.

Storm was driven mad by a black President.

Just because he targeted blacks doesn't mean this was about race. Liberals.

Just because he targeted blacks doesn’t mean this was about race. Liberals.

What? Bananas?

What? Bananas?

We all know this country has a history of lynching white people, right?

We all know this country has a history of lynching white people, right?

This is gay people's fault. Also, demons.

This is gay people’s fault. Also, demons.

Yahoo Crazy: Intro

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I read a lot of comment sections. Comment sections tell me a lot about certain kinds of people, the kind of people that feel brave when they think they’re anonymous.

This is a cop.

This is a cop.

There are a lot of people in this country who are asleep when it comes to what’s happening because they don’t have to deal with it. When it comes to police brutality to those they don’t find of worth, or the consistent mistreatment of women both physically, emotionally and financially or dozens of other issues, if it doesn’t affect them it doesn’t exist.

Until someone just flat out says it. Then its harder to ignore.

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Now there are a lot of forums with flat-out crazy. Stormfront.org is darkly humorous, as you see racists try to figure who they hate the most, or how to keep themselves pure in a country where every race contributed a lot. Gawker is one of the most entertaining sections I visit. One of my favorite is Policeone, the law enforcement forum where you get to see what some cops actually think about you. (Its not much.)

These are cops talking about Eric Garner.  These are cops.

These are cops talking about Eric Garner. Don’t you feel safer?

But the best is just Yahoo. Yahoo has so much traffic that is a better representative of America in general, which makes its descent into Colonel Kurtz-like madness even more incredible. Some subjects are better than others, but reading Yahoo will have you moving to nowhere and building a bomb shelter in your basement. There is some serious crazy on Yahoo.

So with a minimum of commentary, I will sometimes bring the best of Yahoo crazy. You’re welcome.

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10 Worst Comic Book Movies of All Time: Number 4

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Here’s the thing – Tom already reviewed Catwoman and he killed it. I have nothing to add to his writeup at Number 5. I’m more fascinated by the process that created this movie.

Michelle Pfeiffer was amazing as Catwoman. To critics and fans alike, she was the one thing everyone agreed was great. I’m indifferent to Michelle Pfeiffer and I never was a Catwoman comic fan, and they knocked this out of the park, I would have gone to the Catwoman spinoff movie Tim Burton was planning. But Warner Brothers thought that Batman Returns was going to be an even bigger hit than it was, and a couple parent’s groups were complaining about how dark the Batman films were, and the toy people wanted to sell toys that were actually in a movie that kids could see.

Coming to the Sega Genesis-

Coming to the Sega Genesis-

So they ditched Burton and his ideas. Burton at that point was on his fifth straight hit. And they hired Joel Schumacher who had just done Dying Young, Flatliners and Cousins. Someone got paid to make a decision like that.

It worked for a movie before they drove the franchise off of a cliff.

Twelve years after Batman Returns, after no one cared about Catwoman anymore and they lost all momentum, Warner Brothers decided to give her her own movie because that’s the sort of thing Warner Brothers does. (Like spending a quarter of a billion dollars on a Green Lantern film that didn’t have a finished script when they started filming.) They also changed everything about her that worked in every medium she had previously appeared in.

I didn't know I could pity a multi-millionaire.

I didn’t know I could pity a multi-millionaire.

They hired a director known for visual effects who somehow made the entire film look like a really lousy videogame. They hired a writer from Terminator 3. No scratch that. They hired TWO writers from Terminator 3. And a writer from The Core, the movie where we drill to the center of the Earth to get it spinning again.

Catwoman had potential. She was DC’s premier burglar and a permanent wildcard that engaged Batman almost as much as the Joker did. Instead, she got vague cat powers, a part in a makeup company conspiracy, and a costume that was neither useful or sexy.

Shame.

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It’s kind of appropriate that Tom had Catwoman as his #4, because my next selection kind of ties in to that theme. You would think that, in the aftermath of that fiasco, that studios would learn their lesson, that they would no longer create standalone pictures based on characters that no one cared about, and that they would no longer miscast actresses in roles they had no business playing.

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You would be wrong on both counts.

Daredevil did OK business at the box office, but that was in spite of itself. It was meandering and boring, with unimpressive action sequences and terrible performances. Apparently, however, a studio exec at Fox thought the problem with that film was that it was just too damned believable. To remedy this, they brought Elektra back from the dead, and attempted to pretend Daredevil never existed- which is like attempting to cover up a pile of bullshit with a pile of bull semen.

The film was made on the cheap, which presumably meant cutting out decent effects, original action sequences, and a coherent plot. I’ll try to explain it: Elektra is resurrected and trained by Stick to be a member of The Chaste, but can’t quite hack it because she’s too angry. So, she becomes an assassin in the employ of The Hand, and is hired to kill a girl called The Treasure, but she can’t do that either because she’s too compassionate, so the Hand come after her, and….

Every action element of this film is culled from a different, far superior martial arts film, be it the Hero-like curtain fight or the Crouching Tiger – like tree maze fight. That wouldn’t be so bad, except for the fact that the sequences are so far and few between.

Instead, most of the film deals with Elektra dealing with her inner demons, which essentially means Jennifer Garner looking sour for most of the film. She drifts around brooding and being upset, but Garner can’t pull anything off any other face except I- can’t- stop- eating- lemons. It’s the other side of the terrible superhero film coin: Instead of being relentlessly stupid and campy, it’s relentlessly serious and boring. But the price paid by audiences is the same: you just can’t wait for it to be over.

10 Worst Comic Book Movies of All Time: Number 5

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It comes to something when Brooke Shields isn’t the worst actress in a movie. I’m not sure who the worst thespian is in this, but its possible that Shields was outshined by her hat.

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Seriously, bask in this hat.

Seriously, bask in this hat.

I find it telling that the director, Robert Ellis Miller had 49 credits before this movie, but only 5 after. There were also 3 writers (!) for this disaster, but after it was released they only penned one more film cumulatively before they were called before the Hague.

Brenda Starr immediately goes meta with a cartoon character that leaps from the drawn page to ‘real life’ and refuses to go back. This is a problem for her wimpy cartoonist, Mike Randall.

Her male cartoonist.

If you don’t know, Brenda Starr was written and drawn by Dale Messick, who kicked the door down for female cartoonists. Since then, there have been a succession of female creators who worked on Brenda Starr. No men have worked on the strip. The moment Mike appears, you know there’s going to be a crappy love story shoehorned in.They don’t even explain how he gets sucked into the comics, or explore that concept more, which frankly has more potential than the plot they went with – a chase for a Nazi scientist with dangerous technology.

Timothy Dalton. The things that guy did for a buck-

Timothy Dalton. The things that guy did for a buck-

That’s a shame because Brenda Starr was a capable adventure comic about a woman who went around the world, outsmarting international criminals and fighting for the truth. It was romance version of Tintin.

This movie has a shallow and sulky Shield surrounded by buffoons and broad unconvincing characters engaged in slapstick escapades. No one’s heart is in it, and Shields is more of a special effect than an actress. In the end Brenda Starr commits the worst sin a comic book movie can make – its terribly dull.

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More often than not, women get the raw deal when it comes to portrayals in comic book movies. In good films, they are too often treated as set dressing or background characters, no matter how badass the character is in print. And in cases where they are appropriately awesome in the film, execs still don’t think people will line up to watch them in a solo outing.

In bad films, they are too often horribly miscast, unable to pull off what the role requires of them. More emphasis is placed on their looks and sex appeal than their skills or character, and the result is almost always an unwatchable mess.

This is a story about such a mess.

This is a story about such a mess.

Catwoman fails on multiple levels, starting with the fact that the source material was completely abandoned and replaced with an “original” storyline. That storyline involved a completely new character, who, after discovering a conspiracy hatched by a cosmetics company, is killed off and then resurrected by cats, who give her cat powers.

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Against all odds, the story somehow gets worse from there.

Rewatching this film made me feel bad for Halle Berry. First, she was badly miscast as Storm in the X-Men series, unable to pull of the gravitas required to play a character with such amazing power, and treated like a supporting character on a team that she was technically supposed to lead. Then, she gets cast as Catwoman, a role that required her to pull off a transformation from meek pushover to empowered woman – which wouldn’t have been so bad, except that “empowered woman” meant walking around in fetish gear, and – literally- acting like a cat.

Berry gets a lot of flack for her performance in this film, and deservedly so, but not even Meryl Streep could have done better with the schlock she was given to work with here.

The action sequences and CGI look horrendous, and mostly focus on Halle Berry’s rear end in leather pants. She’s got Catwoman’s whip, but she mostly uses it as a prop instead of a primary weapon. And the final fight, where Berry and Sharon Stone (who was simply abysmal as the film’s primary villain) face off, ends like this:

The most distressing thing about Catwoman is the way it tries to convey a message about female empowerment, while simultaneously oversexualizing the main character, and centering the film around a makeup conspiracy. In addition to not having read any comic books, you would think no woman had a hand in this thing at all – but the story was developed in part by a woman, a fact that makes the whole thing even sadder.

One thing always makes me smile about this picture, though: It was the moment when, after winning the Razzie for Worst Actress, Halle Berry owned up to her mistake and did what not even Stallone and Schwarzeneger had the balls to do: She accepted the award in person, and gave an amazing speech to boot:

Now that’s female empowerment right there.

10 Worst Comic Book Movies of All Time: Number 6

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Jonah Hex is a heart-breaker.

The comic is one of the best Western comics produced, about a miserable, disfigured bounty hunter that always gets his man, and can’t be outgunned, but who is spurned by society and always gets the short end of the stick. Jonah Hex is not a typical comic about a likeable hero. Its about a hateful murderer who just barely does the right thing.

On paper, this movie is loaded for bear. Josh Brolin is Jonah Hex, which is perfect casting if I’ve ever seen it. John Malkovich is the villain, and we’ve certainly seen that work out before. Michael Fassbender, Wes Bentley  and Michael Shannon round out the cast of guys with dark hair that can really act.

My first misgiving before the movie was trying to figure out why anyone put Megan Fox in it. Its like designing a top of the line car, sparing no expense on the parts and components, and then not giving the thing brakes. This was their best option? There was no one else that was a draw, and could actually act?

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Meh apparently?

No. I guess.

No. I guess.

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I’m starting to think we didn’t think this out.

Okay we get it.

Okay we get it.

You really don't like Megan Fox, do you?

You really don’t like Megan Fox, do you?

Something horrible happened behind the scenes that made this an incoherent movie. For some reason, Michael Shannon is in the cast list, but appears in the movie for a half a second because all of his scenes were cut. Its a common thread, this whole movies is cut to ribbons which causes clumsy exposition to cover the missing parts. Hex gains the power to talk to the dead, but talking to the dead is like talking to your great-grandmother after dementia has hit, because the dead leave all the stuff you need to know out of the conversation.

I DID read the script. They just rewrote it ten times.

I DID read the script. They just rewrote it ten times.

The four credited screenwriters (which means God knows how many actual writers) try to combine the Weird Western with elements of steampunk. Steampunk Westerns haven’t worked yet, by the way. By the time its done, the actors look frustrated and overheated. Fassbender was so lost during the shoot, he decided to focus his performance around his hat because there was nothing else for him to do with the character.

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Back in 1994, 20th Century Fox faced a dilemma: They were about to lose the rights to the Fantastic Four, and had to produce a film before the time ran out. So, in a desperate and dickish attempt to retain the rights to the franchise, they created what was perhaps the worst adaptation of a comic ever made –  or they came damn close, considering they had no intention of ever actually releasing it. It has made it’s way online, so you can judge it for yourself, but it doesn’t make our list simply because it’s not a real movie.

Forget Comic-Con; these outfits would get you laughed out of a halloween party.

Forget Comic-Con; these outfits would get you laughed out of a halloween party.

One of the reasons I’m not particularly excited about the upcoming Fantastic Four reboot is because Fox as shown no real interest in making a good Fantastic Four film so far. They proved it in 2005 with the first film, which was ultimately mediocre, but not terrible. Then in 2007, they released Rise of the Silver Surfer, and despite the film boasting a budget of 130 million, it was 1994 all over again.

There were many sins committed by the 2005 film, and they were all recommitted here, from mediocre acting across the board to a goofy tone that undermined the power of the heroes. Even Julian McMahon, who was pretty good at portraying the smarmy, arrogant Dr. Doom in the first movie, was totally squandered here. But the greatest sin of them all was attributing the box-office success of the first film to audiences actually being invested in the relationship between Reed Richards and Sue Storm.

NO ONE CARES ABOUT THIS!!!!

NO ONE CARES ABOUT THIS!!!!

As a result, the film spends much of its time trying to get Invisible Woman and Mr Fantastic to the altar, and reducing the importance of the most powerful villain in the Marvel Universe.

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THIS!!!! THIS IS WHAT WE WANT!!!!!

Galactus is the devourer of planets, basically a god with limitless cosmic power. He’s a larger than life force, beyond good and evil. When Galactus comes to town, you don’t really defeat him; You either negotiate with him or hope he has indigestion that day.

As a side note: I love Thanos. Infinity Gauntlet is one of my favorite comics, and Infinity War is shaping up to be fantastic (sorry). But in the comics, Thanos serves Death, who is one of the celestials – of which Galactus is the oldest and most powerful.

And in Rise of the Silver Surfer, they turned him into a freaking space cloud.

COME ON, MAN!!!

COME ON, MAN!!!

Excuse me for a moment while I go to vomit into a bucket.

10 Worst Comic Book Movies of all Time: Number 7

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Apparently Tom and I agreed on the same movie, on the same spot on the list which is like getting struck by lightning while holding a winning lottery ticket.

This movie is The Spirit.

If you were reading comics, you knew that Frank Miller was WAY past his prime and was descending into Colonel Kurtz-like insanity. Unless you’re a movie executive, in which case, you let him write and direct. This is like arranging a world championship middleweight bout between Miguel Cotto…and 93 year old Jake LaMotta.

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The Spirit combines the pretentiousness and lack of subtlety of Frank Miller’s older work, with the absolute crazy of his newer work. Somehow he made a film with the grim visuals and noir voiceovers of Sin City and inserted Looney Tunes costumes and violence. Miller was never great with dialogue, and somehow he got worse until all his characters babble on like a David Mamet play in Hell. He has no idea how to write women, and they are consistently oversexualized. Everything great about the legendary Will Eisner’s comic is thrown away here, which begs the question, why bother?

As a director Miller is utterly disinterested in the actor’s performances that Scarlett Johansson phones it in completely while Samuel L. Jackson gives a turn so bad I didn’t know he was capable of doing this poorly.

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With a budget of $60 million (and usually marketing budgets are half the film budget) and a likely total cost of $90 million this money could have been put to use eradicating the destructive Painted Apple Moth. As a city boy I know NOTHING about the Painted Apple Moth, and yet learning about it would be more compelling than watching The Spirit.

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As Tom stated, he and I don’t usually agree on these things, hence the separate lists. This time, however, we have been united by mutual hate.

Frank Miller’s directorial debut was a direct result of the success of two adaptations of his earlier work: Sin City and 300, which were smash hits at the box office. Rodriguez, for his part, was doing what he thought was the right thing. The fact that Miller’s comics were being adapted shot-for-shot made him fight to get Miller co-director status, despite the fact that he had done all of the real work of making that film as good as it was. That gave Miller the clout he needed to make this film – and prove true the adage that the road to hell is paved with good intentions.

The film tried desperately to convey a slick visual style, and for good reason. Slick direction and striking visuals can sometimes make up for gaps in plot, or cover for weak performances. It’s what made Sin City such a good film despite some glaring weaknesses, and it’s one of the reasons Zack Snyder still gets work.

Unfortunately, visual style is where this film fails the hardest, and shows how far out of his depths Miller was as a director. He had no idea why Sin City came out so well, and tried his best to duplicate the formula, but only succeeded in taking the more hokey elements that made that picture uneven, like a surgeon who takes away your healthy organs and leaves the tumors.

There were only two things I remembered about The Spirit from my first time seeing it: One was Eva Mendes’ butt, which Miller spent two scenes focusing on. The other was a scene where Sam Jackson dresses like a Nazi, and comes off like Colonel Clink.

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Upon re-watching it for this list, however, I was left with only one thought:

Please, for the love of God, don’t let Alan Moore direct a film.

10 Worst Comic Book Movies of All Time: Number 8

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During the first couple minutes of The Crow: City of Angels director Tim Pope’s visuals gave me a brief hope that this might be a decent film.

But then I realized that David Goyer had written this and that sinking feeling hit me. That feeling was correct.

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Imagine a remake of The Crow that decides to do everything the first movie did but lousier. Imagine every character in the movie is on some combination of cocaine, Red Bull and coffee and that you didn’t care about any of them and half of them kind of talked like Thor. Imagine a movie roughly an hour and twenty minutes that felt longer than “Dances With Wolves.

Whatever movie you came up with is more watchable than The Crow: City of Angels.

Vincent Perez replaces Brandon Lee and spends most of the movie screaming and tripping over things. Richard Brooks is the villain and the moments where he is onscreen are a waste of film. In every way, this is a remake of the original, (with less money and worse actors) which is an inexplicable decision because the first film was lightning in a bottle. You would have hoped that they would have done something original instead.

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They made up for this mistake and created original stories for the sequels.

The other ones were worse.

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I have my suspicions that, of all my picks on this list, this one will be the most controversial. After all, this one was given 3 1/2 Stars by late Roger Ebert upon its release. While he was definitely in the minority with such glowing praise, there are quite a few people that think this movie, for all its flaws, is not that bad.

Those people are liars.

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For a brief moment in my youth, Image Comics was the hottest thing around, but not many of the titles have stood the test of time. This was for good reason; most of the titles were overblown, overwrought creations that were conceptualized back when “extreme” was a catchphrase used to sell everything from soda to tampons.

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THIS AIN’T YOUR GRANDMA’S FEMININE HYGIENE PRODUCT! !

There was one notable exception, a comic that people still remember pretty fondly, and that was Spawn. Spawn was not only a well designed character, he had a really cool backstory and mythology. So, when his film was coming out, I was extremely excited to see this story come to life before my eyes.

What I saw instead was this:

Clown/Violator, as played by John Leguizamo, is flat out awful everytime he’s on the screen-which is most of the time, since he’s the primary antagonist.

But his sins are not the only ones committed by the film. The producers of this were hellbent (sorry) on making this a PG-13 affair, and the result is a film with over the top violence that wants to be shown on an airplane.

The special effects were decent, even if they were kind of ugly, But the story and acting, especially at the climax, were brutal, even from Martin Sheen.

My biggest gripe with the film is with the characterization of Spawn himself. In the comics, Simmons is, for all intents and purposes, a bad person. He deserved to be in that place, deserved to get disfigured, deserved to wear that costume, and the comic dealt with his attempts to regain his humanity as much as anything else.

The film, however, has no time for that level of nuance, and instead makes him a good guy who is sent to hell for his participation in his boss’ black ops for the devil-which sounds even more preposterous now that I’m typing it out.

It was almost as if the director were trying to save your soul – by showing you what it was like to be in hell for 90 minutes.

As a side note: For any fanboy complaining about Sam Jackson as Nick Fury, or Idris Elba playing Heimdall, or Michael B. Jordan playing Johnny Storm, lemme ask this question honestly:

Where the hell were you bastards when Terry Fitzgerald got turned into a white man played by D.B. Sweeny?

Hypocrites.

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