Tag Archives: movies

Wolverine vs. Watchmen: The Evolution of the Comic Book Movie

[posted by alcmaeonid]

What's he looking at?What’s he looking at?

Coming into this movie season, Watchmen seemed like the greatest movie ever, especially based on the trailer that was breathtaking.  Maybe it was the long wait, the R-rating, the unusual film making style, or the giant blue penis, but something about Watchmen prevented it from being the blockbuster hit it could have been.  I personally loved it.  I thought it was smart, complex, I greatly enjoyed the historical scenes, I loved the cinematography which resembled Sin City in looking like a page from a comic book, and I thought the story had a good resolution.  So why did Watchmen fail?

Because it is a great movie!

What I consider a great movie is one which leaves me thinking about it afterwards, possibly for days after.  And this movie had that, and it has great re-watch value because of the details that would probably be missed the first time around (did you know that Ozymandius is gay? There’s a file in his computer labeled “Little Boys”).

My criteria for a great movie seems normal, but I also consider a great movie one which breaks the mold and doesn’t adhere to the norms of Hollywood movies.  The blue penis alone made this movie original, and it is also an example of what turned it off to younger viewers and families.  This is key because young kids and teenagers usually flock to comic movies, but not Watchmen.

Not for kids

Not for kids

The modern comic film may look something like Watchmen, and as a film buff, I love the way comic book movies are made now.  Ever since Batman Begins they have become grittier and darker, and just better.  However, a parallel evolution has occurred.  Technology has become readily available and quite useful in film making, but it has dumbed down the films which utilize such technologies.  The perfect example is X-Men Origins: Wolverine.

The first three movies were pretty good, but this new one is all action and makes no effort to have a thoughtful story.  X-Men the Last Stand had a pretty contrived plot, but at least there was some sense to the story.  This one progressed with as much sense as a Family Guy episode, and had about as many celebrity cameos.

Artists? at work? sort of

Artists? at work? sort of

Here you see Will I Am as one of the mutants, and another is Ryan Reynolds, who is the death knell of any movie with potential.  Liev Schreiber is a good actor, but as Sabertooth? But the casting wasn’t the biggest problem with the film.  No, that honor goes to that technology I mentioned before.  This movie seemed more concerned with flashy and confusing action scenes than with making a good film.

This scene was actually really cool

This scene was actually really cool

The opening 15 minutes was pretty good with the different wars and Sabertooth running everywhere like a cat mauling people.  That might have been the highlight of the whole film, which is disappointing.  Despite all its flaws, Wolverine made almost twice as much money in the US as Watchmen, which makes no sense to me.

Watchmen lineup

I guess I just consider a great movie one that is considered weird by most other people.  It might be asking too much for comic book movies to always deliver like Iron Man or Sin City, but I guess there are so many made these days that they can’t all be good.  It just astounds me how successful Wolverine is compared to Watchmen, but what do I know?

Naked or Gay? How to Predict an Oscar Winner

posted by Alcmaeonid

With award season comes endless predictions and theories as to what is the best way to determine who will win at the Academy Awards.  Some say skilled acting is key, others say an actor must break the norm, while still others think it’s prestige. But anyone who follows the Oscars knows that the one sure-fire way to win is not acting skill or a good script, but nudity.  That’s right! NUDITY!  Surprised?  Here are some past winners:

Hale Berry: Monster’s Ball

Kim Basinger: L. A. Confidential (no nipples, but it still counts)

Gwenyth Paltrow: Shakespeare in Love

Charlize Theron: Monster (kind of gross nudity, but still nudity!)

Juliette Binoche: The English Patient

..and so on.

With this in mind, I give you my best actress winner:

Kate Winslet for The Reader

and best supporting actress:

Marisa Tomei for The Wrestler , giving her 2 Oscars for her career, placing her amongst the greatest actors to ever live, just kidding.

But that is the point, nudity trumps good acting every time.

Now the best actor category is  a little different. Nude men have notoriously been snubbed come Oscar time (see Willem Dafoe, Harvey Keitel, Kevin Bacon for god’s sakes!).  Instead, the Oscar goes to either the drunkest, highest, or gayest (is that a word?) actor.  Don’t believe me?

Tom Hanks: Philadelphia

Nicolas Cage: Leaving Las Vegas

Jamie Foxx: Ray

Michael Caine: The Cider House Rules

Alan Arkin: Little Miss Sunshine

Phillip Seymour Hoffman: Capote

….etc.

Thus my best actor winner is:

Sean Penn in Milk

This category was tough, because Mickey Rourke was just drunk and on steroids in The Wrestler, but steroids don’t get you high, they make you lie to Katie Couric. Therefore, Sean Penn is way gayer than Mickey Rourke is drunk.

for best supporting actor:

Phillip Seymour Hoffman in Doubt

He was mad gay in this movie. Wasn’t he? I have my doubts. Ha.

Best picture and best director can be easily predicted by combining the criteria for men and women, it’s foolproof.

Best director: Gus van Sant for Milk

I don’t think I need to explain

Best picture: The Reader

Why? Dude have you seen Kate Winslet naked? It’s awesome.