Thursday, April 29, 2010

Muppet Bohemian Rhapsody

This must be shared with the world.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Kick-Ass: Part 2

All right. Now for some more cogent critical analysis of the new superhero movie, Kick-Ass.
The main strength of the movie is that it is pretty different from the comic book. That's not to say that the comic book was bad. Far from it. However, the comic was ultimately the story of a pathetic loser who tries to become a superhero and remains a pathetic loser. The movie ultimately has the character become a successful super-hero and realize that he's a winner after all. He pretty much has everything he wants by the end.
This actually works for me because the Kick-Ass movie is as much a high-school comedy as it is an action packed super-hero movie. Although Kick-Ass is an utter creep in the comic book, it can be overlooked because the world in the comic book is so over-the-top that it's fun to read about in brief intervals. However, with a two hour-movie, a story with such an unlikable protagonist would become an utter slog.
It would in fact be a terrible bore with the audience not caring who lived or died. (for movies that do this see Mr. and Mrs. Smith.) So for once, hollywoddidsing the story actually had a purpose.
Next time we'll discuss how the movie differs fotom the original comic with respect tothe most important element, the characters:

Monday, April 19, 2010

Super-Long Reviews: Kick-Ass

Ah, Kick-Ass. What can be said about this film but---
This is quite simply one of the best super-hero movies I have ever seen. It's not Watchmen but I actually will give it a bit of nod over Dark Night. (Not on storytelling principal but on entertainment value.)This is simply because the film combines three things I love into one movie: disaffected teen comedy, super-heroes and gratuitous ultraviolence.
The film tells the story of Dave Lisewski, a nerdy high school student. Dave,a passionate comic-book fan, decides to become a super-hero. Really. That's it. His sole motivation is that he reads a lot of comics.
Dave, now known as Kick-Ass, screws up his first attempt at crime fighting rather badly. Beaten,stabbed, and hit by a car, Dave has parts of his skeleton replaced with metal plates. In addition, his nerve endings are damaged limiting, though not eliminating, his ability to feel pain. Now armed with the ability to take a severe beating, Dave is actually able to become sightly more efficacious as a crime-fighter. Along the way he discovers other super-heroes acting in secret and witnesses the creation of the world's first super-villain.
There's so much to talk about with this movie that I have decided to split the load over several blog posts. Next time I will be talking about the movie and how it relates to the comic book on which it is based.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Strange Adventures in Film Adaptations

You know when you're watching a film based on some other source material and you notice that something got changed in the adaptation process? Most of the time you can see why the filmakers might do sometihng like that. For example, Iron Man's butler Jarvis sometimes comes of as an Alfred rip-off so they turned him into a talking computer for the movie.
On the other hand, sometimes the changes they make seem so arbitrary you wonder what happened behind the scenes.
For example, take Arnold Schwarznager's Conan films. The movie is cheesy but most of the time the character rings true to the source matrial. He is regonisably Conan.
The problem is the film's villain "Thulsa Doom". I put that in quotation marks because the character in the movie is clearly not the Robert E. Howard creation Thulsa Doom.
The simple way of putting is that Howard's Thulsa Doom is supposed to look like and indeed, may be the inspiration for this guy--- (I used the live action movie beacuse that's about how the special effects for Thulsa Doom would have been at the time).

This is the character we actually got.

Ignore the havy metal soundtrack. It was the best video I could find.

Anyway, the problem is not that they changed the character for the movie. It's that they gave took a completely different Conan character and gave hime the name "Thulsa Doom." However, the character that shows up in the movie is clearly inteted to be Conan's other recurring nemesis Thoth-Amon. Like the films' "Thulsa Doom", Thoth-Amon was an African sorcerer with a snake obsession. (He also, despite widley being considered Cona's arch-nemisis, only ever actually directly fought the Barbarian in the later, non-howard penned stoires, but that's neither here nor there).
I can literally think of no reason for this name change other then the producers though that "Thulsa Doom" sounded more menacing. However, one could argue that it is a minor nitpick that is uttely unintegral to the final movie and that I'm just being pedanitc here. One would probalbly be right.