Archive for the ‘Movies’ Category

Comics go to the movies – Red

April 1, 2011


Not as bad as you think it might be. Sure, that’s faint praise, but, c’mon, it’s a standard movie – you can figure everything out from any trailer. (SPOILER ALERT: the good guys win.) But it’s done really well, with enough twists and charm to make it quite enjoyable instead of an ordeal.

Comics go to the movies (not really) – Monty Python

February 25, 2011

Yep, it’s not comics. but Python changed my world when I found them on PBS in the early 70s. This is a 6-part doc – in other words, it’s 6 hours long. And, for me, it could’ve been twice as long. Watching it streaming on Netflix was a great way to wallow in this obsession.

Comics go to the movies – Flesh Gordon

February 17, 2011

That is not a typo. This is indeed the title of the infamous 1974 soft-core porn parody of the comic strip Flash Gordon. It was a film I’ve wanted to see since I was a teenager…and not for the reasons you think.

Flesh Gordon would show up in sci-fi  fanboy nerdlinger magazines in the 70s as a result of so many special effects people worked on it because, in the days just before Star Wars, there wasn’t enough work to go around. And many of these effects people went on to high-end careers, including winning Oscars.

I was warned by a friend (who lived in Canada, where broadcast TV standards are a wee bit looser and Flesh would be shown too often) that this is a really bad film.

And it is.

I actually watched it about a year ago and can remember very little for my usual highly-detailed review. What was most fascinating was director Howard Ziehm’s commentary. Not really the usual “this shot, that shot” commentary, but more of a lecture about the early days of porn and all the craziness related to producing this film.

Another odd note: Howard Ziehm showed up a couple of times to Ohio State University’s triennial Festival of Cartoon Art. I figured out who he was when he mentioned making a comic parody film when asking a question during a Q&A.

Comics go to the movies (sort of) – Confessions of a Superhero

February 9, 2011


This is not an adaptation of any comics material, but a documentary about struggling actors who dress up as superheroes and work for tips posing with tourists on Hollywood Boulevard. “Superman” has an obsession with a certain Man of Steel and says he’s the son of the late actress Sandy Dennis (although this seems unlikely). “Batman” has serious anger issues and has a sordid mob-related past (his wife suggests believing about 50% of what he says). Yep, it’s all pretty sad, but a very good documentary.

Comics go to the movies – Surrogates

February 2, 2011

I saw this a few months ago, streaming it on my iPhone, and it didn’t make much of an impression me. It basically concerns people living their lives through synthetic versions of themselves. It’s “missing out on life” theme seemed better suited for the Logan’s Run-esque sci fi of the 70s. (Happy to see publisher Top Shelf doing well. Head guy Chris Staros is terrific.)

Comics go to the movies – Modesty Blaise

January 27, 2011

I’ve been watching streaming movies on Netflix an awful lot since getting my iPhone. It certainly comes in handy when you’re sick in bed. I had both back and stomach problems this weekend so I ended up watching Modesty Blaise from 1966, based on the long running British comic strip written by Peter O’Donnell (who died just last year). It concerns a thief who, with her platonic male companion, ends up a spy. Yep, a concept straight from the swinging 60s. The movie camps it up, not to an Austin Powers level, and not to a level of being, well, entertaining. Mostly it’s just incompressible.

I hadn’t read any of the source material…until today. In the spirit of being a well-informed blogger I dug out a reprint book that I bought at a holiday sale at my fav comics store, Comix Connection. I find adventure strips to be a tricky read but this was quite enjoyable. Seems like it would make a good movie…and maybe it already has.

In the early 00s a direct-to-DVD movie was made just so Miramax could extend their film rights for Quentin Tarantino. Alas, it’s not available for streaming. When I see it (someday) I’ll give you a full report.

Comics go to the movies – Jonah Hex

July 5, 2010

Based on the trailer here, the movie version of the DC Comic should have been a lot better. (I drug a couple of friends to it even though it got horrible reviews). Take a look at the trailer and you’ll see just what the movie needs more of: Gatling gun horses!

Road to Perdition and THE LAW!

May 19, 2010

In the “Graphic Novel to Film” class I teach we look at Road to Perdition. Jude Law plays a sleazy photographer/hitman in the film (a character that is not in the graphic novel) and one of my students refered to him in his reading blog as “The Law.” So any time he was mentioned in class the next day, that’s what we called him.

I think once Jude Law’s career takes the next inevitable step of appearing  in only direct-to-DVD action films, can make a meta actioner and call himself “The Law.”

The Cinematologist will see you now

March 17, 2010

Ever watch a superhero/sci-fi/horror/etc. movie and think, “Could that really happen to a human body?” Well, my friend (and grad school buddy) Kriota Wilberg answers these questions on her blog The Cinematologist. And here’s a video of her explaining how Peter Parker might be able to shoot webs out of his wrists in the Spiderman movies.

Pre-enjoyed shopping – Part 2

September 7, 2009

Well, we’re back to doing the Netflix, but thank heavens for Blockbuster. If it wasn’t for them where else would I get used DVDs for a fraction of the cost of new?

On a recent trip to see my folks I bought, for $20 total, Punisher: War Zone, the first season of The Boondocks and The Spirit.

My wife asked, “Why did you buy a movie you didn’t like?”

I answered, “Because I’m an idiot.”

Actually I collect films that originated as comics. I even teach a college course on it. And I really love the behind-the-scenes stuff, especially commentaries. And now that I teach this course I do feel I need to keep up on this stuff.

(Sorry that it took me so long to get to Part 2. If you care about Part 1, here it is.