A little late, but better than never. Come check out the movies, video games, and general fun in Rant Time With Anthony.
So I’m over in Cleveland right now, going to a risk assessment conference NASA is holding, when I came to a revelation about a subject that is near to me that I wanted to write about. This is a subject that has given me joy about movies that have come out recently and gives me hope about movies to come.
When the comic book movie surge first started in the early part of this decade, there really wasn’t a push to have too many decent actors and actresses in the films. The general push came from the want to fill in a large gap that was growing with the internet and widening connection of nerds around the world. This gap was in the film industry. The problem with it though was that Hollywood thought what most people would think at the time period. You just fill in the spots at the director chair and in front of the camera with whomever is available and isn’t too expensive, get a bunch of action and explosions, and then you have a good enough comic book movie that people will all watch. This was a huge flaw in logical thinking though for two parts: the quality of comic books isn’t what it used to be and nerds aren’t the type of people to go quietly out of that that dark theater.
At first, comic books were created purely for children. And that was fine and worked well. Where this really came to cause problems was when those children grew up and really couldn’t let go of those comic books. Suddenly you had comic books wanted by adults. Of course the logical leap for this was to start adapting quality and adult themes into comic books to work in line with the culture. They didn’t have to do it at first because it was a niche. The group consisted of closet nerds. Once those nerds came out of the closet… so to speak, the genre of comic books grew and became what it is now and has been solidly for a while: an art form of it’s own. New comic books characters have been created to fit into this concept and older characters, particularly Batman, have been reshaped into this mold. Writers have been creating stories and character development and plot twists that lay on par with other good written works. To try to create a reflection of this genre without taking into account the nuances and the expectations is an effort of futility.
A contributing factor that also should be noted is that if there is one thing that nerds love to do, it’s to nit-pick these movies and compare them to their expectations. I’m going to put a lot of blame for this nerdy habit on the internet and the continuous need for people online to tear things apart with a viciousness known only by savage animals and psychotic serial killers. This, in combination with the need to be as idiotic and anti-personal as possible, really is not conducive to being able to “enjoy a movie”.
But at the same token it has been helpful. This is the very nature that created a backlash amongst nerds towards “nerdy” movies that were of such terrible quality. Nerds began to demand that the quality of these movies improve and realized that the way to actually relay this message properly to Hollywood was to not monetarily support them. What we get to see now is the by-product of this work through movies that are coming out.
In particular, this has been proven very strongly in movies that have recently come out and will be coming out over the summer. I think we can all agree that Iron Man was a well-done movie with solid acting. Then you have The Hulk, which I’m interested in seeing now that they have Edward Norton and Tim Roth in it. You have to also mention Dark Knight with Heath Ledger, Christian Bale, Michael Caine, Gary Oldman, Aaron Eckhart, etc. I’m really excited about Hellboy 2, with the great directing and creativity of Guillermo Del Toro. Hell, even Wanted could possibly have some solid acting on the part of Morgan Freeman and James McAvoy and good directing on the part of Timur Bekmambetov, the same man that wrote and directed Night Watch and Day Watch for those that are completely confused by the Russian name. All in all, this leads me to believe that this could become a regular occurrence and the quality of nerd films will dramatically increase.
I think that for me where this really hits home though are in the middle two films mentioned: The Hulk and the Dark Knight. The reason for this is because of the recasting that was done in both of those films. With The Hulk, it was a tragedy of a film, and I’m not talking Shakespearean tragedy. It was horrendous and a large part certainly had to do with the acting. Their solution was to recast with quality actors. With Batman, you already had a slew of good actors, but you also had a sore spot in the place of Katie Holmes. After such a huge and completely justifiable response of distaste for Katie Holmes, they decided to recast her for Maggie Gyllenhaal. For anybody that thinks this is a step down, please watch Secretary and tell me to my face that is what you think. I only say that because I’d like to meet you and tell you that you are a moron and have terrible taste in women.
Where this all eventually leads to, though, is me saying this. I enjoy good movies. QUALITY FILMS. I also am a huge nerd and can enjoy quality and artistic nature brought to comic books and the stories they create. The comic book industry got off their asses and did that a few decades ago. Now we get to see the film industry follow suit. I don’t expect every film of this nature to fit this mold, but it certainly is getting me more interested and excited about the genre. It’s a whole new ball game and I like it. I hope you guys can sit back and enjoy it too.
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**To those that are curious, we were planning on have our first episode up this Friday. Due to our AC being broken from Tuesday through Thursday and my inability to work in a house that becomes an oven when being subjected to 90+ degree and 70% humidity weather, the episode is going to be postponed until next Friday.**
So I recently caught wind… well let me rephrase, Jon recently caught wind of and decided it was a good idea to tell me that they were going to make a feature length film out of Bioshock. Seeing as I enjoyed the game Bioshock, particularly the feel of the environment and the twisted as fuck characters, I was really excited and intrigued as to how it would turn out. Now we are talking Hollywood, an industry plagued with inconsistency from its inception. And if the quality of comic book adaptations is any indication, this could turn out to be an amazingly good movie bordering on quality film (Iron Man) or a blasphemic piece of shit not worth the emulsion it’s exposed upon (The Hulk).
Quick side note, I will say that the only part of the Hulk I could enjoy was the cinematic style of making it look like a comic book, but I guess I’m ridiculously demanding and would actually like to watch my movies with audio and acting. Also, yes, I’ve jumped on the Iron Man band wagon thank you very much. It was a damn good movie and though so many swore up and down that Robert Downey Jr. was a bad choice, I stuck by it and defended him and now I get the supreme pleasure of being able to throw “told you so”s willy nilly at all you non-believers.
Back to the subject at hand though: Bioshock as a movie. As stated before, Bioshock was a fun game, had some great characters, and as I am a twisted and demented individual I enjoyed the general twisted and demented aura of the game. I could have slept that evening with images in my head of masked psychopaths running amuck and slaughtering people left and right while multiple megalomaniacal individuals would use others as pawns for their fight for power, reducing the quality of life in the area to that of a third world African country and the value of life to less then that of a roach. But then I had to put on my stupid hat and ask the next unavoidable but horribly moronic question as to who is directing the film.
Gore Verbinski. I’m going to take a quick note to say that those of you that don’t know who this guy is, look him up on imdb.com before going too much further. Now that we all have an understanding of who Gore Verbinski is, I can progress to the following statement.
Fuck no. No. No. No. No. No. When I heard this, I was livid. I couldn’t imagine a more moronic move. I’d take almost anyone besides Gore Verbinski. Hell, I’d even take Raimi over Verbinski. That’s not to say that Raimi is bad, but he does B “let’s laugh and make fun of it” movies and really only does them well when Bruce Campbell is somewhere on set. He doesn’t really do intense character developing films with complexity, although I will say that Raimi totally pulled off the dark and scary feel of 30 Days of Night and in the end somehow left me having a semblance of respect for Josh Hartnett.
But if there were a just and loving god in this world he wouldn’t allow this shit to go down. But then again god likes to fuck with me so maybe I’ll be spending the time all the way to the theater yelling and screaming about how terrible the movie is going to be and then 2 to 3 hours later be walking away feeling delightfully surprised and joyous. But until pigs fly because all the crap we keep feeding them ended up being fairy dust in the end, I’m going to begin my campaign from this point forward. Fuck you, Verbinski! Fuck you and all you stand for!
There is another element to this argument, though, that brought on a level of anger and frustration equal to the news aforementioned, thusly bringing about in my mind a need for this rant. While searching on certain websites to find out coming movies news, I came across this bit of news again and decided that I would see what people’s reactions were. Some people (I won’t mention names… mostly because there are too god damn many of you) actually thought that this was a good idea. What is wrong with you? I was expecting a campaign of epic proportions to stop this damn thing. Internet movements left and right detailing the human rights violations that this equates to. But no, you guys decided to defend it. Applaud it even.
I will now lay out the invitation for all readers at this point to take a moment to look up Verbinski on IMDb. Go ahead, I’ll give you some time. Look at the collection of fine (insert cursing in Chinese because I’ve been watching Firefly again) movies he’s created. He has eight films that he has directed and I’ll take a moment to review them, starting with the strong points so I hopefully don’t get too much hate mail from Gore-lovers.
Upon a quick scan of the list, it’s easily found that the finest movie of the bunch is Pirates of the Caribbean. Now I’m not saying that I didn’t like the first Pirates movie. It was fun, enjoyable and exciting. But the reason that it was fun, enjoyable and exciting was because of Johnny Depp and Geoffrey Rush. They are both amazing actors and casting them together in a film was brilliant. I’m talking near Patrick Stewart and Sir Ian McKellen brilliant for some movie buffs including myself. The writing for the film was ok, with a few good one liners and the way they pulled it off was by giving those lines to the strongest character actors, Depp and Rush. It worked. Also, they had Keira Knightley in the cast and god damn that woman is attractive. So even if Orlando Bloom was being an idiot fuck on stage trying desperately to simultaneously find more information on his origin, act like a bumbling fool around the love of his life, and learn how to act, I could ignore it because 90% of the time he was talking, Depp or Knightley were around to bring the level acting to the status quo.
Verbinski then decided to nosedive the trilogy by making an atrocious mess out of the second and third movies. For the second movie, he decided to take a leap of logic that Evel Knievel couldn’t walk away from: that by lowering the quality of the writing and turning the script into two-and-a-half hours of plot twists, you could somehow seesaw the movie to even greater heights then ever. And in the third movie, he decided to intermix ridiculous cameos with terrible set designs, random plot leaps, poor character development and resolution, horrendous CG lighting, and a continuation of horrible writing. In the end I hated every character except Johnny Depp’s and swore to never watch the second or third movie again for fear that I might start to hate Keira Knightley and Geoffrey Rush. On a side note, for those that felt this pain as well and wanted to not lose hope for Knightley and Rush, I highly recommend watching Domino, The Jacket, Shine, and Quills.
I will also admit that I have yet to watch The Weatherman, as great as that movie may or may not be. The look and feel of that movie should be vastly different than that of a Bioshock movie. If I saw a Bioshock movie with the feel of The Weatherman, I think I would have to pull a George Lucas/ Star Wars Holiday Special with every copy of the movie I could get my hands on. Also, I’m sure that the only two things carrying that movie were Michael Caine being awesome like he always is and the possibility that Nicolas Cage put on a good show of things.
As for Gore’s other movies: a bunch of god damn jokes! The Ring! Really! Ringu (the original, Japanese version) was made with less then a quarter of the budget and it still beat the shit out of the American atrocity. And I don’t think I need to get too far into my reasoning for not liking The Mexican and Mousehunt.
In the end, when I think Bioshock, I’m hoping for a quality film. I’m hoping for something where you could even wake up the god-damn Oscars with for a supporting actor nomination. I’m thinking scary and gritty and 40’s and beautiful… Then again, this is coming from the guy that wants to have a scene in a movie with a thought-provoking inner monologue while a person is being skull-fucked. So I may be way the fuck off the mark. But I say be wary. Be cautious. And don’t be surprised if I get to start throwing a second round of “I told you so”s your way.
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