Wednesday, March 30, 2005



Talbot Katz, former Interlacker and current Wall Street math guy (hey, Talbot, you should probably write for the spouse's magazine), forwards to me an article about comics becoming movies.

It's an epidemic these days, and while I am happy to have quintupled the value of my Marvel stock, film critics look at the trend and have begun to wonder when it will end. Just as the great unwashed seem unable to believe that not all animation is for children, film critics appear to be unable to recognize that a bad film adapted from a comic book is no different from a bad film adapted from a novel. There is no need to decry the end of the novel form if the film version of one fails, either critically or at the box office. So how does it follow that comics as a source for movies will be discarded after a flop like Elektra or Constantine?

It will be interesting to see how Sin City performs after it opens. It certainly looks to be visually unique. But we also live in times that fear black-and-white, so this film, which appears to be built in two-tone and muted colors, may be too challenging for the current moviegoing generation. And I fear the crap that will soon come with the Superman and Batman movies.

That said, good storytelling is good storytelling, and comics, like animation, have the advantage of being able to deliver any impact on the most limited budget. If only critics would stop segregating them.


Ungit said...

I for one am very excited to see Sin City.

Jim Chadwick said...

Wow! Mike Flynn is posting to his blog again! Start spreading the news.
I think the black and white aspect of "Sin City" will be a complete non-factor. First, it's not traditional black and white photograhy and is highly stylized. It seems to have an artistic "coolness" to it that I think will make it appealing to a young audience.
I also am much more optimistic about "Superman" and "Batman" than you are. Bryan Singer (Superman) is a sharp, intelligent director, who I feel did an excellent job of translating X-Men to the big screen. (In my opinion--too long to detail here--the second X-Men is the best comic book super-hero movie adaptation ever done, hands down. ) Christopher Nolan (Batman) is a smart guy and an interesting director too. I thought his "Memento" was highly overrated, but it is obvious that he is not a Hollywood hack, unlike previous Batman director Joel ("I need rubber nipples on all the costumes") Shumacher whose 1995 "Batman Forever" was enough to make me vow to swear off the franchise until he left it.

Mike said...

Ah, but Shumacher had done some very good work prior to Batman Forever (which I blame for years of Time Warner stock depression). I do agree about the second X-Men movie being the best translation of a comic book to the screen (prior to that, in a different generation, I'd believed that honor belonged to Superman 2). And I actually enjoyed Memento.

That said, too often these Hollywood types feel they have to perform some sort of transmutation on the property to make a film. Until I see differently, I will hold my breath. DC and Warner Bros. have a very uneven track record.