Comic Book Movies You Don’t Take Kids to See

I wonder… what’s with all these suckers of the more serious genre finally making it to screen?

I mean, they said THIS “raised the bar…”

If Batman raises the bar and your critics and radio talk geeks are raving over its “seriousness and moral dimensons” … what do you call THIS? Besides, of course, a genre riff on Juvenal….

EDIT: Apparently these trailers are getting yanked off YouTube faster than they can actually get put up. So, rather than constantly putting up material you won’t get to see, voila, A LINK.

I gotta say, when they’re cranking out movies like this, Marvel’s brand just suffers terribly by comparison.

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  1. Good sound-track so far… Never paid any attention to the Watchmen; something about self-appointed vigilantes and something about one of them being really ugly and smelling bad.

  2. Alex

     /  July 22, 2008

    I was always a DC comic book reader growing up – Batman and Green Arrow were may favorites because the story lines were more mature (at least in the late 80s), darker, and not as “smash-em-up” as Marvel was. I view Marvel to be glitzy, glamerous, and pleasing to the eye. DC comics are pleasing to the mind because they tell good stories, and sometimes, the good guys don’t always win, or if they do, its at a very high price. The bad guys in DC were not pushovers – the bad guys in Marvel were either chumps or super-mega impossible to beat universal superpowers (Galacticus, Mephisto, etc.)

    I also never read The Watchmen, but I remember hearing about it and I’ll probably go check it out of the library before going to see it. I’m hoping that if they continue to do more serious DC comics to the big screen they’ll do the following:
    The Longbow Hunters by Mike Grell (Green Arrow – late 80s)
    Knightfall (Batman, where he loses, hard)

    I’d ask for The Killing Joke, but there is no way they could do it since it would be R rated, easily – the kiss of death for a comic movie.

    I think though we’ll see even more movies come from Comic books. You get damn good writing from the comics, and, the return on investment for Hollywood has been pretty good so far.

  3. Zathras

     /  July 22, 2008

    I’m still waiting for a Sandman movie. Now, that would be groundbreaking.

  4. and nearly unfilmable, since half of them don’t even have a coherent plot…

    I think it’s fun when low-brow lit and flicks ask better better, and give more profound answers, than the supposedly high-brow art-house trash on offer. That is, of course, painting with a perilously large brush, but still it amuses me.

  5. What would be groundbreaking would be for Hollywood to start writing better screenplays instead of just mining existing properties.

    That said, The Dark Night is a rare example of fantastic property mining (I loved it and I’m not even a Batman fan) — take the same movie without the capes, makeup and bat-ears and you’d have Oscars all around.

  6. Damn, didn’t mean to post that without finishing the thought: I think we’re running the risk that other media become the farm league for pop-culture creative properties, and if they prove themselves on TV (Firefly) or comics (X-Men) or novels (Master and Commander) then they can graduate to having a built-in box-office revenue on the big screen. I think this’s a destructive trend that will make it even harder for all the waitersscreenwriters who’re trying to do good work….

  7. happycrow

     /  July 23, 2008

    But, on the other hand, put money in the hands fo those who’ve been sneered at for years b/c they were “Genre.”

  8. Exactly the problem: let the money come from the comic book market. Otherwise you’ll start to develop a crowd of folks who write comics with the express hope of being optioned by Hollywood.

  9. You’d have to be damned successful to do that, JimDesu. Most comics aren’t getting anywhere near a Hollywood producer…

  10. Madeleine

     /  July 24, 2008

    While there are a lot of comics and graphic novels that producers may not have seen yet, it’s actually pretty crazy how many are getting optioned. Graphic novels and comics are the newest sure thing as far as properties go – built in fan base = big opening week-end. That’s where the film gets paid for. The numbers support the mining – even if the movie ends up being an artistic or box-office disappointment (League of Extraordinary Gentlemen), it’s almost guaranteed to pay for itself. With movies costing as much as they do to make now, that guarantee means a lot. It’s unfortunately safer to assume a return on a known property than take the risk on an original screenplay.

  11. That part is true… and they’ve already mined out the “good” 70s sitcoms…

  12. is it merely b/c the more “faithful” they are, the closer they are to having the storyboarding already half-done?

  13. Madeleine

     /  July 25, 2008

    No – storyboarding happens regardless. Directors need to storyboard to set up shots with the cinematographer. Besides, panels from comics or graphic novels often don’t translate naturally to live action camera angels – it’s the difference between photography and painting. Different rules of perspective. The issue is financially driven. As an aside, also keep in mind that a lot of film makers are “geeks”. Many of them would love the chance to put their favorite comic or graphic novel on screen. Sandman is the Holy Grail right now – there are something like four directors/screenwriters trying to figure out how to adapt it (not easy). In that way, adaptation is definitely not a shortcut.

  14. Russ — yeah, until they make a lens with configurable five-point perspective, there’s no re-using storyboards.

    Besides, re-use that tight wouldn’t be interesting to the fan-base; variation(s) are interesting. Kinda like I read “The Hell-bound Heart” once — utter disappointment (the movie was exactly the book).

  15. Hrm. Makes sense.


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