Archive | September, 2012

After MANIMAL, What TV Show Could Be Next?

Posted on 28 September 2012 by FilmBuffOnline Staff

Starsky And Hutch. The A-Team. S.W.A.T.. The Dukes of Hazzard. Miami Vice. The Brady Bunch. The list goes on and on. Hollywood has brought many a television show to the big screen. And with last week’s announcement that a Manimal film was in development, we now know that there is no TV show too cheesy, too obscure that producers won’t try to make cinematic gold with.

So what TV show is the next to make the leap to the big screen? Well, we here at FilmBuffOnline are picking our choices of the shows we’d wish they’d adapt–be they long-forgotten campy favorites or smash hits deserving of second life on screen.

 Automan

Aired: 12 episodes, December 15, 1983-April 2,1984, ABC

Premise:

Police computer expert Walter Nebicher creates an artificial intelligence he could use help the L.A.P.D. fight crime. The program constructs a tangible hologram so it can take a more physical approach to crime fighting. Aided by Cursor, a blinking ball of light that could create any vehicle by tracing its outline, the hologram dubs itself Automan and becomes the world’s first computer generated superhero.

Why It Should Be Made Into A Film:

Why? Because it’s awesome, that’s why! Or. at least I thought it was when I was twelve. Seeing that intro below as an adult, now I’m not so sure.

Anyway, the concept certainly is cool. Granted, it aired back in the day when computers were magical machines that had the ability to do just about anything. But modern technology can make the bleeding edge for 1983 special effects even better. And we have already had a Tupac hologram, why not one that fights crime?–William Gatevackes

Misfits of Science

Aired: 16 episodes, October 4,1985-February 21, 1986, NBC

Premise:

A group of superpowered individuals–a scientist with the ability to shrink, a rock star with electrical powers, and a teenage telekinetic–are led by a non-powered scientist to fight odd and unusual crimes in the Los Angeles area.

Why It Should Be Made Into A Film:

While it is mainly known today as starring a pre-Friends Courtney Cox (and, to a lesser extent, a pre-Predator Kevin Peter Hall and a pre-Alf Max Wright), an argument could be made for the show being ahead of its time. Although, it’s quick demise might have less to do with it airing three years before Batman hit movie theaters and more with the fact that it was going up against Dallas.

But with the popularity of superheroes in today’s film landscape, it might be time for a reboot. As most of the licensed comic book films are getting darker and grittier, a quirky, oddball superhero concept could be a breathe of fresh air.–WG

We Got It Made

Aired: 46 episodes, September 8, 1983 – March 10, 1984/ September 11, 1987 – March 30, 1988. NBC/Syndication

Premise:

Two guys hire a smoking’ sexy girl in the curvaceous form of Terri Copley to be their maid much to the disapproval of their girlfriends. Much leering and hilarity ensue. At least, that was the intention. In reality, the show received terrible reviews and only lasted one season, though it was revived for an additional season in syndication.

Why It Should Be Made Into A Film:

The show’s basic premise has enough room for broad (pardon the pun) appeal. For the guys, there’s potential for some slapstick and raunchy hijinks. For the ladies, the maid can be portrayed as smarter than the guys, putting up with their nonsense and eventually teaching them how to be better men. Sounds like the perfect date-night comedy. – Rich Drees

Riptide

Aired: 56 episodes, December 3, 1983-April 22, 1986, NBC

Premise:

Two Army buddies who run a private investigation agency out of their houseboat decide to move into the modern era and invite a robotist/computer expert they knew from Vietnam to join the team. Together, the trio use all their skills to make their clients happy, all the while rubbing the police the wrong way.

Why It Should Be Made Into A Film:

Let’s see. They are detectives whose office is A HOUSEBOAT. They invite a computer whiz to join the agency, and he brings with him his VERY OWN ROBOT. Some of the vehicles they have at their disposal are A CORVETTE, A “WOODY” STATION WAGON, A SPEEDBOAT, and, as the pièce de résistance, A HUMONGOUS PINK SIKORSKY HELICOPTER WITH A MOUTH PAINTED ON ITS NOSE THAT THEY NAMED “THE SCREAMING MIMI.” Does that answer your question?–WG

Simon and Simon

Aired: 157 episodes, November 24, 1981-January 21, 1989, CBS

Premise:

Rick Simon is a rough hewn Army vet who loves pick-up trucks, beer and the simple things in life. His brother A.J. is his polar opposite, a cultured, college-educated man who likes sports cars, fine wines, and the finer things in life. Together, the brothers own a detective agency in San Diego and solve their cases despite bickering all the time.

Why It Should Be Made Into A Film:

Part of what made the TV show so much fun was the fact that if they didn’t share  the same DNA, they’d have absolutely no reason to have anything to do with each other. It’s your classic buddy movie scenario–two guys who dislike each other yet forced to work together.But with the twist that they are related. Seems like that would make an entertaining movie.–WG

Max Headroom

Aired: 14 episodes, March 31, 1987 – May 5, 1988, ABC

Premise:

Set “20 minutes in the future,” investigative journalist Edison Carter (Matt Frewer) has his consciousness downloaded into a computer, with the result being the sarcastic and wisecracking AI known as Max Headroom, who helps Edison uncover political and corporate corruption.

Why It Should Be Made Into A Film:

Although Max Headroom is primarily remembered as a kitschy soda pitchperson, the show itself often presented stories that satirically commented on consumer culture. Although its Blade Runner-esque, dystopic-future setting may feel a bit dated, it could be modified for modern audiences fairly easily. With audiences now much more familiar with some of the cyberpunk conventions that the original show utilized, it seems that the premise would be an easier sell to potential ticket buyers than it was in the 1980s. And with technology becoming increasingly interconnected, thematically there isn’t a better time to bring Max back. – RD

Airwolf

Aired: 79 episodes, January 22, 1984-August 7, 1987, CBS/USA Network.

Premise:

A antisocial loner named Stringfellow Hawke is called upon by the CIA to rescue an experimental Airwolf helicopter that had fallen into the wrong hands. Hawke succeeds in his task, but keeps Airwolf for himself, using it as collateral so the CIA could find his long lost brother. As a sign of good faith, Hawke flies missions for the CIA when needed.

Why It Should Be Made Into A Film:

Of all the “super vehicle” shows that appeared after the success of Knight Rider, this one, which was that TV show by way of the 1983 film/1984 TV spin-off Blue Thunder, was one of the better ones. Well, at least in the first season it was. It was still good in the kid-friendly season 2 and 3. The less said about the basic cable aired season 4 the better. But, regardless, the plot would make an excellent film in the right hands with the right actors.–WG

Get Christie Love

Aired: 22 episodes, September 11, 1974 – April 4, 1975, ABC

Premise:

Originally a 1974 made-for-tv movie that was spun off to a shortlived series, Get Christie Love starred Teresa Graves as an undercover police narcotics detective who punctuated her arrests with the catchphrase “You’re under arrest, sugah!” The movie was adapted from a novel which featured a white heroine, though changes were made in part to cash in on the then-current popularity of Blaxploitation stars Pam Greer (Coffey) and Tamara Dobson (Cleopatra Jones).

Why It Should Be Made into A Film:

Why should white guys have all the fun when it comes to being badass, catchphrase-spouting supercops? Given his penchant for reinventing various exploitation genres in his films, if Quentin Tarantino were to ever decide to bring a television show to the big screen, Get Christie Love seems like it would be a natural. (He’s already referenced the series in Reservoir Dogs.) Cast his Kill Bill co-star Vivica A. Fox in the lead and let him let loose. Who knows, it could be the first TV-to-film adaptation that could be a serious awards contender. – RD

Bosom Buddies

Aired: 38 episodes, November 27, 1980 – March 25, 1982, ABC

Premise:

Two mid-20s (Tom Hanks and Peter Scolari) trying to make their way in New York’s advertising world suddenly find themselves apartment-less when their building is condemned. Their friend Amy says that there is a great apartment available at her place, but it’s a hotel for women. OK, so they make one adjustment…

Why It Should Be Made into A Film:

Bosom Buddies obviously draws its inspiration from Billy Wilder’s 1959 classic Some Like It Hot, which coincidentally, is the last time a drag comedy was a big success. The economy is still moribund enough that the premise that the two are looking for affordable housing could resonate. Drop a couple of up-and-coming comic actors into the lead roles, and maybe cameo Hanks and Scolari as their fathers, and you have yourself the potential for a fun farce.-RD

Street Hawk

Aired: 13 episodes, January 4, 1985-May 16, 1985, ABC

Premise:

Jesse Mach, a motorcycle cop injured in the line of duty, is tapped by the federal government to pilot an experimental urban assault motorcycle. He uses the bike to fight crime as the vigilante known as Street Hawk, much to the chagrin of his bosses on the police department.

Why It Should Be Made Into A Film:

Another a “super vehicle” show, but this one a bit less plausible (computers, machine guns, and bulletproofing, on a motorcycle? Okay.) But if I recall correctly, the show pulled the concept off. If film audiences can believe a century old vampire fighting a pack of werewolves for the affections of a teenage girl, then they could believe a man on a motorbike that has a “hyperthrust” setting.–WG

Magnum, P.I.

Aired: 162 episodes, December 11,1980-May 8,1988, CBS

Premise:

Thomas Magnum leads an ideal life in the paradise that is  Hawaii. He lives rent free on the palatial estate of a noted author named Robin Masters with the understanding that he will provide the manor with security. He also works as a private eye, typically convincing his friends T.J. and Rick to help him out in investigations.

Why It Should Be Made Into A Film:

It’s the show that made Tom Selleck famous (and famously kept him from starring as Indiana Jones in Raiders of the Lost Ark) but it was far more iconic than that. It was a detective show that could trace its lineage in everything from the gumshoes of the film noir period to the Thin Man films to deconstructions of the genre such as The Rockford Files. It was definitely a hit TV show, and it would be hard to find an actor that could match Selleck’s charisma, but it could work out to a very good film adaptation.–WG

 

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New Releases: September 28, 2012

Posted on 27 September 2012 by William Gatevackes

1. Hotel Transylvania (Sony/Columbia, 3,349 Theaters, 91 Minutes, Rated PG): See, I’m conflicted about this one. I have a natural aversion to any film that features both Adam Sandler and David Spade in it, even if they are only providing voices. However, Genndy Tartakovsky has done Samurai Jack and the Star Wars: The Clone Wars TV cartoons, some quality stuff.

When it’s this much of a toss up,I go to the plot: Dracula’s idyllic life running a resort for monsters looking for a break from humanity comes to an end when his hotel is discovered by a human boy. No, it’s not that the secret is out, it’s because the boy develops feelings for Drac’s teenage daughter.

It is a unique twist on a rather common premise. But it’s also Sandler and Spade.  If only there was a good time travel movie coming out this week instead.

2. Looper (TriStar, 2,992 Theaters, 118 Minutes, Rated R): What I love about this movie is that writer/director Rian Johnson came up with this film with the idea to cast his friend Joseph Gordon-Levitt. By some casting miracle, Bruce Willis decided to join the film as the future version of Gordon-Levitt’s character. One problem: They don’t look anything alike. So, even though he was with the project from the very beginning, Gordon-Levitt is the one going through hours of make-up to look like Willis and not the other way around, because, well, I guess Willis doesn’t wear make-up.

Of course, as good as the make-up is, it has the unfortunate disadvantage of having ample examples of how a younger Bruce Willis look easily available on Netflix. But Gordon-Levitt’s acting as a pseudo-Willis is spot on.

But what about the film? Oh, it is a futuristic thriller where Gordon-Levitt is a hitman for the mob. Only with a twist–the mob sends their victims back in time so there isn’t a dead body in their present day. Things go swimmingly until the assassin looks an older version of himself in the eye as his next victim.

3. Won’t Back Down (Fox, 2,515 Theaters, 121 Minutes, Rated PG): Let’s do the rundown, shall we? Hot button topic that is in the news today? Check. Two women fighting against all odds against an unmovable system? Check. Cast loaded with Oscar nominees and/or winners? Check. Based on a true story? Well, it says it was based on actual events, so, close enough. Check.

What we have here is an Oscar-bait movie that is also trying to be a financially successful film as well. Typically, films like these succeed in neither goal.

The film centers on a young mother (Maggie Gyllenhaal) who teams up with an educator (Viola Davis) to try to make their inner city school better.

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WHATEVER HAPPENED TO BABY JANE? Remake Finds Financing

Posted on 27 September 2012 by Rich Drees

Walter Hill has found financing for his remake of the Joan Crawford/Betty Davis classic Whatever Happened To Baby Jane? in the form of Lakeshore Entertainment.

Hill announced his intention to write and direct a remake of the classic film earlier in the summer.

The original film, directed by Robert Aldrich and adapted from Henry Farrell’s novel by Lukas Heller, centered on two sisters, one (Davis) whose celebrity as a child star diminished while the other’s grew as an adult star (Crawford). With both of their stars having faded, the two now live together in a crumbling Hollywood mansion with their hatred for each other barely kept below the surface. Hill has stated that he will keep the film’s 1960s setting as it is needed to keep the character’s Golden Age of Hollywood background intact.

Thanks to the casting of Davis and Crawford in the film was a bit of a masterstroke, as the two had feuded privately and publicly for years and that carried over into their performances and, unfortunately for Aldrich and the rest of the folks working on the film, on-set behavior. But however unprofessional their antics towards each other during production, the result was a classic. While Hill is a great director, I have to wonder if he will be able to find two actresses who will be able to create a similar chemistry that Crawford and Davis shared.

Via Hollywood Reporter.

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Comic Book Writer Mark Millar To Advise FOX On Their Superhero Properties.

Posted on 27 September 2012 by William Gatevackes


If the news had come from Mark Millar’s mouth, I wouldn’t have believed it. After all, this is that same man that stated back in 2008 that he was in line to reboot the Superman film franchise, a bold statement that never came to pass. So him saying that some studio hired him to act as a consultant on their comic book franchises, it would be easy to write off.

Only, this time it’s not Millar saying it, it’s the studio itself. 20th Century Fox announced today that it has hired Millar to act as a “creative consultant” on movies from their studio based on Marvel Comics books. The studio is currently developing the writer’s Nemesis miniseries into a feature film.

This news comes after Joss Whedon has signed on with Marvel in a similar capacity and Warner Brothers rumored to be considering Frank Miller for some involvement with their Justice League film.

Fox currently still owns the rights to the X-Men and Fantastic Four properties, two franchises Millar has written stories featuring for Marvel’s Ultimate Comics imprint. Millar’s friend, director Matthew Vaughn, is currently working on X-Men: Days of Future Past for the studio.

It is not known exactly what Millar will be consulting on. The obvious project would be the Fantastic Four reboot, but rumors are that FOX was so high on Josh Trank’s take on it that they were willing let Daredevil slip back to Marvel rather than let Marvel get their hands on any FF characters. The X-Men franchises seem to be fairly self-sufficient by this point, with the satellite Wolverine and First Class  franchises chugging along and Bryan Singer supposedly willing to return to the main franchise. There doesn’t seem to be a lot of consulting work to be done, unless Millar is going to be charged with getting more mutant franchises such as Deadpool up and running. Or maybe he’s just going to be a highly paid information desk, a resource the directors to use. It remains to be seen.

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Herbert Lom, PINK PANTHER’s Inspector Dreyfus, 95

Posted on 27 September 2012 by Rich Drees

Herbert Lom, perhaps best known to movie fans as Inspector Clouseau’s twitchy-eyed superior Chief Inspector Charles Dreyfus in the Pink Panther films, has died today in London. He was 95.

Starting with the second film of the Pink Panther franchise, A Shot In The Dark (1964), Lom appeared in seven installments of the series. Over the course of his appearances, his character was driven more insane by the incompetence of Peter Seller’s Inspector Clouseau to the point where he tries to blackmail the governments of the world to kill him in 1976’s The Pink Panther Strikes Again. Despite appearing to be disintegrated by a laser at the end of that film, his character would return for several more installments through to the initial franchise’s swansong, Son Of The Pink Panther (1993).

Born the son of a Czech count, Herbert Karel Angelo Kuchacevic ze Schluderpacheru in Prague, Lom gravitated to the theater as a youth but fled to England in 1939 ahead of the Nazi invasion of the country at the outbreak of World War Two. In London, he was able to find work on stage and screen in a variety of roles thanks to his European accent and piercing gaze. His first two big Hollywood roles came in the films The Seventh Veil (1945) and Jules Dassin’s classic noir Night And The City (1950).

In 1953 Lom created the role of the King in the Rogers and Hammerstein music The King And I for the show’s London East end production. Two years later, was cast in the classic dark comedy The Ladykillers, his first collaboration with future Pink Panther franchise co-star Sellers.

Lom would go on to appearances in films in a variety of genres including The Fire Down Below (1957) with Rita Hayworth and Robert Mitchum, Spartacus (1960), El Cid (1962), Hammer Studios’ 1962 version of The Phantom Of the Opera, the gory horror film Mark Of The Devil (1972), the spy spoof Hopscotch (1980) with Walter Matthau and David Cronenberg’s Dead Zone (1983). He would also play Napoleon Bonapart twice, first in The Young Mr. Pitt (1942) and then again in director King Vidor’s ambitious War And Peace (1956).

In a sadly ironic note, just earlier this week I was watching The Dark Tower, an early entry on Lom’s filmography. In it, he played a mysterious hypnotist who joins a struggling circus and who immediately gets designs on the trapeze-artist girlfriend of the show’s co-owner. As the villain of the piece, Lom gave a captivating performance, far better than the weird melodramatic nature of the script deserved.

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Crawford’s MILDRED PIERCE Oscar Sells At Auction

Posted on 26 September 2012 by Rich Drees

Joan Crawford’s Best Actress Academy Award for her performance in the 1945 film Mildred Pierce sold yesterday at auction for $426,732.

Since it was won before 1950, the Academy Award statue did not fall under the stipulation that Oscars must first be offered back to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences before they can put up for sale. Last December, Orson Welles’ Best Screenplay Academy Award for Citizen Kane sold for over $800,000.

When nominated for her role as a restaurant owner struggling to raise her daughter in Mildred Pierce, Crawford’s career was on the skids. A string of several bombs had earned the actress a reputation as box office poison. Seeing Ingrid Bergman’s performance in The Bells Of St Mary’s as the surefire winner in the category, Crawford elected to skip the March 1946 Academy Awards ceremony and just stay at home, excusing herself by saying she was sick. Mildred Pierce director Michael Curtiz accepted the award for that evening.

When she found out of her win, Crawford summoned reporters to her home where they photographed her accepting her Oscar statue while still in bed. She was quoted as saying, “Whether the Academy voters were giving the Oscar to me, sentimentally, for Mildred or for 200 years of effort, the hell with it — I deserved it.”

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Matt Reeves Exists TWILIGHT ZONE, Lands On Short List For DAWN OF THE PLANET OF THE APES

Posted on 26 September 2012 by Rich Drees

Cloverfield director Matt Reeves has left the long in-development The Twilight Zone film at Warner Brothers and has found himself on the shortlist to helm Twentieth Century Fox’s Dawn Of The Planet Of the Apes.

Reeves’s exit from Twilight Zone is being labeled by the studio under the classic euphemistic banner of “scheduling conflicts,” but there seems to be more than that going on. Reeves has been developing the film for the studio for a year and reportedly has gone through a number of screenplay drafts that were not able to excite everyone involved enough to get the go ahead. With a number of other in-development projects on his plate, it is conceivable that he is looking to get back to actually making a movie as opposed to just trying to get one made.

But if Reeves is looking to get behind the camera in the near future, there really isn’t a better place to be than at the top of Fox’s shortlist of choices to take over directorial duties on their Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes. Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes director Rupert Wyatt recently left the sequel citing that the studio’s deadline that the film be ready for a May 23, 2014 as too little time to adequately complete the film.

Reeves has some good company on that shortlist as the studio is also considering the likes of Guillermo del Toro (Hellboy), J Blakeson (The Disappearance of Alice Creed), Rian Johnson (Looper), Juan Carlos Fresnadillo (28 Weeks Later), Jeff Nichols (Take Shelter) and Juan Antonio Bayona (The Impossible). Deadline reports that Johnson’s reps have denied that he is in consideration. I would suspect that del Toro’s participation is a bit of a longshot as he is still in post-production on the upcoming giant robots versus giant monsters pic Pacific Rim.

With the deadline for getting Dawn into production looming, I suspect that we will hearing who will actually be getting the job soon.

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Open Letter To Warner Brothers: My Reaction To Frank Miller On The JUSTICE LEAGUE Film.

Posted on 26 September 2012 by William Gatevackes

Dear Warner Brothers,

Hi. How are you doing? Good I hope.

My name is Bill. I’m a comic book fan and have been for thirty years. I have been a film buff for almost as long. And I’ve been writing about both worlds for about as long as the Internet has been around, give or take a year or two.

I say this just to provide a little background to you. Because I have been meaning to speak with you in regards to your philosophy towards comic book films. And an article I read today compelled me to not wait any longer.

Over at Bleeding Cool, Rich Johnston relayed an experience from an anonymous comic store employee whose shop was visited by a “fan” who had a pronounced lack of knowledge of comic books, but an overwhelmingly odd knowledge of DC Comics films. This fan, no, wait, let’s call him what he likely was–a badly disguised marketing researcher, asked questions such as “what superhero films have had good Facebook pages?”, “Do you think comic fans would accept a superhero film without Nolan’s involvement, would him serving as a producer suffice?” “What do fans think of Aquaman? He’s lame isn’t he?”, “What is regarded as the strongest lineup of the Justice League and would work as a film?” The marketer closed his survey with an intriguing question: “What would fan reaction be to a Justice League movie with Frank Miller’s name attached?”

I don’t pretend to speak all fans or comics, films, or comic book films. I speak for myself and hopefully other fans agree with my opinion. And my reaction to this news is that it could quite possibly be the worst in a long line of bad decisions your studio has made in regards to its comic book properties.

Now, I understand that you’re in a difficult position. You once had the superhero film market all to yourself with first the Superman films then the Batman films. Then Marvel went from being a laughing stock to becoming the dominant producers of comic book films and you ended up playing catch up. Marvel has just had their most successful film to date with The Avengers and the DC Comics film slate is in a state of chaos. You are rebooting the Superman franchise for the second time in ten years. The Batman franchise is coming off a successful reboot by Christopher Nolan and is in a state of flux. Sure fire franchise starters such as Jonah Hex and Green Lantern ended up D.O.A. at the box office. Suddenly, playing catch up became being so far behind that there is a danger that it isn’t even a race anymore.

And, to be brutally honest, it’s all your fault. The list of failed attempts at rebooting the Superman franchise before you settled on Superman Returns is legendary for how bad the attempts were. I read the original script for Jonah Hex and while it might not have been a hit, it would have been closer to source material. But reading that script, it was easy to see what the studio mandated reshoots got us–Hex’s superpowers and the campy “weapons of mass destruction” plot line. I also read the Green Lantern script and thought it had the potential to be a fun film. Unfortunately, what we got was a film lacking a sense of awe and wonder.

Listen, I can see why you think Frank Miller might be an exciting choice for the Justice League movie, a film that needs some excitement because it meant to act as The Avengers in reverse (Instead of individual superhero films leading up to one big team up movie, you’re having one big team up movie that will hopefully lead to individual superhero films). Miller is a legendary comic book creator and has become a filmmaker as well. He even works with green screen techniques in his directing, which is quick, cheap and one of the reasons why you hired Zack Snyder to do Man of Steel.

But there is one flaw in the idea. the present day Frank Miller is just terrible at what he does. He just is. Now, I have nothing personal against Miller, despite how Wikipedia might make it look. I came in a bit after his storied run on Daredevil, but I was right on time for his Batman:The Dark Knight Returns. I consider that series to be the second best comic book story of all time. But since 2000, Frank Miller has become a case of diminishing returns. I don’t know if it’s because of the auteur syndrome (where creative individuals have been told that they were genius enough times that they figure anything they create is automatically genius so they stop trying) or something else, but Miller’s output in the new millennium–Dark Knight Strikes Back, All-Star Batman and Robin, the Boy Wonder, Holy Terror–has been awful.

I mean, have you seen The Spirit? Obviously not, because if you did, we wouldn’t be having this conversation. Watch it. Okay, that might be asking too much. How about you just go on Rotten Tomatoes and read some the reviews for the film? No, that probably won’t work either. How about you take a look at the earnings for the film?  Money, you’ll pay attention to that. I’ll give you a hint: the reviews were as bad as the grosses–completely horrible.

The Spirit shows what happens when Miller is given free hand to write and direct a comic book film adaptation. He took one of the most quirky and iconic comic book characters in history, paid no respect to the original version, and married traces of the character to his fetishes (namely, film noir and hyper-sexualized femme fatales), a Calvin Klein ad, and force fed the concoction through a MacBook. The result is something the was as awful as you would expect it to be.

And this was a character created by his friend and mentor, Will Eisner! What would he do to the Justice League, a concept he has no emotional attachment to? Well, we do have some idea based on how Miller portrayed the team in All-Star Batman, The Dark Knight Returns and Dark Knight Strikes Again.  Superman will be an ineffectual wimp incapable of independent thought, preferring to be led around by weaker men. Green Arrow will be a raving lunatic hippie. Wonder Woman will be a man-hating harridan. Batman will be a psychotic bastard. And the rest of the League will be made up of either sociopaths or feeble weaklings. In other words, nothing like the casual fan remembers them as being and not the type of characters that would be appealing to everyday moviegoers.

What’s that you say? You’ll never let that happen? Gosh, the only worse thing I can think of other than a Frank Miller Justice League film is a Frank Miller Justice League film after heavy studio meddling.

That fact that you might be considering Miller for this job tells me something I’ve always suspected–you think there’s some hidden secret to doing a successful superhero movie, and, by gum, you’ll try everything until you find it. Jonah Hex doesn’t have powers? All Marvel’s film characters have powers. Let’s give him some. Iron Man was a cocky and arrogant who is unfazed by whatever life throws and wields a powerful weapon. That characterization would work exactly as well for Green Lantern! The Nolan Batman films were dark and gritty. So, making the Superman film dark and gritty would mean that it will be just as successful! Joss Whedon, a Hollywood director who wrote comic books, leads The Avengers to over a billion dollars in box office receipts? Man, then fans would really flip if we got Frank Miller, a comic writer who is a Hollywood director, to do Justice League!

You are right though. There is a proven method of doing a comic book movie right, but it’s no secret. You get a talented and proven director. You get a great cast of actors. You get a great story that respects the source material while standing on its own as a film. You work with the comic book company to make sure the films stay on point. You don’t interfere unless it is to make any of the four prior things happen.  It’s rather simple, but it’s not easy. You need to invest the time, do the due diligence, and trust the people you’ve hired when your only instinct is to overrule them and make unnecessary changes. But if you do that, your films might just be the quality of Marvel’s or Nolan’s.

Thanks for listening to me, Warners. I know I might have come on a bit too strong. After all, you were just pooling opinions. But I just think hiring Frank Miller for Justice League would annihilate any chance you have of ever competing with Marvel’s film output. I felt I had to say something, as a friend, before it was too late.

Stay in touch!

Bill Gatevackes.

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Disney Takes $50 Million Markdown On Unfinished Selick Film

Posted on 25 September 2012 by Rich Drees

Last month, Disney ordered a halt on the production of director Henry Selick’s latest stop-motion animated film. The studio cited that the project was not sufficiently developed to be able to make its scheduled October 2013 release date.

And while Selick is free to shop the film around to other studios for financing to complete the project, Disney has put a price to the work done so far – $50 million. That’s the amount that the studio announced that they will take as a write off on their fourth quarter financial report.

So was what Selick working on really not worth investing any further in? Disney seems to think so and they have someone like John Lasseter, the head of Pixar and who has retooled a number of projects at that studio, at their disposal. Selick is free to shop the film to other studios now, so I guess we will see if anyone disagrees with Disney’s analysis.

Via Yahoo.

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Take A Look At Some Pacino-Designed Makeup For DICK TRACY

Posted on 25 September 2012 by Rich Drees

A rather underrated comic-strip adaptation is actor/director Warren Beatty’s Dick Tracy. Although the screenplay may be a bit thin, the film itself was designed and art directed to within an inch of its life and the results were absolutely stunning.

Another thing that it did well was how it adapted many of the comic strip’s distinctive-looking gangsters as designed by Dick Tracy’s creator Chester Gould. That is, all but one. The big chief bad guy of the film, Big Boy Caprice, was created just for the movie and Beatty allowed actor friend Al Pacino to design his own look for the character. Below is a look at some of the test makeups that Pacino worked with before settling on the one used in the movie. I’ve also added a clip of Pacino in the film as Caprice freaking out over the losses that Tracy has inflicted on his organization. Its delightfully over the top and the makeup helps the performance immeasurably.

Hopefully we’ll be getting a blu-ray release of the film soon so we can really luxuriate in the film’s look.

Via Vulture.

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