This seminal 80's comic (by comic legend Alan Moore and artist extraordinaire Dave Gibbons) is one of the two or three comics that journalistas trot out each time they want to point to the fact that, once and for all, comics have matured since 1955.
The Hollywood Reporter says Watchmen is moving ahead with some big names at Paramount..."Watchmen," the seminal DC Comics limited series, has landed at Paramount Pictures. Darren Aronofsky will develop and direct the project, which is being written by David Hayter. Aronofsky's producing partner Eric Watson will produce with Larry Gordon and Lloyd Levin. "Watchmen," created by writer Alan Moore and artist Dave Gibbons, was released as a 12-issue comic book in 1986 and is one of the most critically acclaimed series in the genre. It is a crime-conspiracy story that provided the first realistic look at the behind-the-heroics lives of superhero archetypes.
Watchmen is a phenomenal comic book, but...
Watchmen is about retired superheroes. It has absolutely no action to speak of. I think there are five or six fights in 12 issues. And only one of the characters has any "super-powers."
Like any decently dense reading, I don't begin to see how they can condense this into a 2 hour movie. At one point, Jim D. suggested to me it might make for an excellent mini-series for TV. And I think that's probably a much, much better idea.
The story criss-crosses about forty years, is deeply embedded in Cold War issues, and covers topics from quantum physics to McCarthyism to pirate comics to troubled marriages. Not exactly "We must defeat the Masked Menace!" This is not to mention how curious I am about how they would handle the conclusion of the story.
Film adaptations of Moore's work tend to fail. From Hell was a slightly interesting movie, but failed to capture Moore's densely layered investigation into the period and environment surrounding the Jack the Ripper slayings. From all accounts, League of Extraordinary Gentlemen was a tragic mistake. I loved the comic, and thusly avoided the movie (which has nothing to do with the comic, from what I hear).
Cartoon Network is adapting the classic Superman story "For the Man who has Everything" for one of the first episodes of the new Justice League Unlimited series. I certainly look forward to their treatment.
I have no faith in Paramount's ability to actually bring anything remotely faithful regarding Watchmen to the screen (just watch... they're going to make Dr. Manhattan wear clothes...). Nonetheless, I am deadly curious about how they plan to present Dr. Manhattan and Rorschach.
But, hey, Paramount! Given my physical fitness, sign me up to play Nite-Owl! I'll do it for scale!
Wednesday, July 21, 2004
Looks like Squawkbox has decided to turn a pig's ear and watch 'em squeal.
Curious thing... Squawkbox only takes payment by PayPal, and my credit card company won't let me sign up with PayPal. Curious, no?
I'll figure something out.
on with the show...
Mellies 2004, Day Numero Three
Most loathsome band/album/ song
Inspiration by William Hung. Is there really any competition for Hung in this category? Somehow, Hung has taken his fifteen minutes of fame and stretched it out far beyond what was previously imaginable. It is astonishing that he has released not only one album but will release another in the fall (which will include his rendition of Queen's "We Are the Champions"). Hung was, of coure, amusing during his initial appearance on American Idol, but the fact that he is still in the public eye after so many months illustrates that his handlers and his "record company" are attempting to milk him for every penny. His sincerity, which was at first intriguing, now just seems depressingly silly.
'Hey Ya' as blasphemously manipulated by the Golden Globes to note the arrivals of celebrities and their bling-bling.
stopped listening to the radio when I got a CD player in my car
I don't know. Probably something by one of those American Idol kids or Toby Keith
Tie. Nickleback, whatever Fred Durst is involved with, whatever Axl Rose is passing off as Guns N Roses
Nickelback - in the words of Jeaneane Garofalo back when she was doing comedy central ads, "mediocrity is evil".
a. Every band on the radio that isn't Outkast b. Anything by former mouseketeers. I thought we moved past that with Beach Blanket Bingo.
The League Chimes in:
Well, I guess Nickelback wins. Unfortunately, the only radio I listen to is the local public radio station, and until Renee Montagne decides to do a duet, I don't think think I'll be hearing them.
I pretty much don't hear anything new until it's months and months and months too old. Today I saw a video on VH1's bizarre 90's nostalgia show in which they make reference to a band called "LFO" who enjoys girls in Abercrombie & Fitch (famous for catalogs in which people wear next to nothing, which I can onboard with), who was apparently really big in the 90's. I had never, ever heard of LFO. In the 90's, I was just discovering Roxy Music, so in 20+ years, I should catch up and really dig LFO.
Worst idea of the past 6 months
John McCain as John Kerry's Vice Presidential Nominee - I have never understood McCain's appeal, and the reputation of Republican maverick (which he foisted upon himself using "campaign finance reform" as a vehicle to free himself from the entanglements of the Keating Five scandal). McCain is an egomaniac, and the press only adores him because of his occasional tendency to stick it to his own party. I find McCain particularly distasteful as both a senator and a candidate, and I was pleased as punch when he was defeated in the 2000 presidential primaries by President Bush. Although McCain would likely do anything for the sake of self-aggrandizement, the prospect of his switching parties to join Senator Kerry (though unlikely) is a terrible, terrible idea.
The intro of the 'roundabout' concept to the city of Mesa. Imagine 5 very old people sitting in their cars waiting for each other to go
take digital pictures of yourself abusing prisoners
Besides renewing the patriot act? Buying stamps to send email.
re-setting my tivo and ending up erasing everything. f direct tv customer service. DAMN YOU TO HELL!
Yeah. So many ideas we manage to jack ourselves up with. I think my bioggest mistake was having too many categories and THEN allowing everybody to have two answers. Or perhaps the mistake was in not building an Excel file as the noms were coming in.
I dunno. This is turning into real work.
It also occurs to me that if I delay anymore, Jill might have her baby without the input of The Loyal Leaguers.
Best Name for Jill's Forthcoming Child
Male: Filo, Female: Aphrodite
C3 - designation of cube a cat Jamie and I were going to adopt, and we referred to the cat so often as "C3", we determined if we got the cat, we would name it "C3". The cat was adopted, and we ended up with Jeff The Cat instead.
Ryan 2 on both counts (male or female)
Boy: Ryan Girl: Jamie
Come on, who is running this award thing anyway?
i don't know jill or her child. but Seven is good. as is Napster.
Boy: Calvin Girl: Ravenna
a. Atreyu - boy b. Evangeline - girl (the League has to give props to Atreyu. Because the next step is to get an oversized dog named "Falkor.")
League sticks its nose in
I'm fairly certain Jill will be able to name her child without our help. But that doesn't mean we can't help. And I by help, I mean browbeat Jill into naming her child "Ryan 2".
Jilly,I am certain you will select a wonderful name for that kid. Keep us posted with any news. The League wants to publish the first internet photos.
Today we see two categories as I try to get through this nightmare of my own making!
Most loathsome television program
The Jury - This is just one of those shows which illustrates that the writers and producers have only a little working knowledge of the law and its procedure. I suppose that they pitched the show as a "Twelve Angry Men" for cynical, modern times, but it comes off merely as a third rate legal drama in which jurors are depicted as either misunderstanding key facts and evidence or refusing to follow jury instructions. I had originally set my Tivo record this program as a Season Pass, but upon watching the first episode, I was so disappointed that I cancelled the pass so as to avoid all future showings.
(editor's note: Sorry, Jamie...) Wonderfalls - Despite the protestations of viewers, the cancellation of this acclaimed and praised (and mostly unwatched) television program was warranted. The program tried valiantly (too valiantly, in fact) to be hip and clever and postmodern and wry and ironic, and thus, its humor and narratives seemed forced. Oh, how I grimaced when the writers had their main character use the recently coined word "frenemy," a combination of "friend" and "enemy," just to showcase their hipness and familiarity with Internet lingo. Ugh
The Simple Life. Because Paris and Nicole will never realize what dumb dipshits they really are.
The Swan--televised trainwreck
The Swan--I admit I watched this a couple of times for the sheer train wreck morbid fascination, and for this I will be judged in heaven
Again with the Kutcher. Punk'd is stupid and juvenile
Fox News - if I must be specific I think it's Hannity and Colmes
a. Survivor b. American Idol
The League Chimes In:
Goodness. You know, of the shows I watched this year, I'm tempted to say anything starring Wolf Blitzer is pretty lame... but is it loathsome? Not really.
This one is a tough call, and since I haven't actually seen The Swan, I have to believe it's strong showing here indicates the loathsome nature of this show. And I thionk going into why here is a bit redundant.
The show I did see an episode or two of, which outstripped the embarassment of Jessica Simpson or the grotesque behavior of The Simple Life, was MTV I Want a Famous Face.
The show seems like some bizarre sequence from Robocop or The Running Man. There's no other term for this show than "fucked-up." The show follows really fucked-up people who worship A and B list celebrities, and, unable to stalk them on their Piggly Wiggly hourly wage, decide they will contract MTV to get them plastic surgery and a make-over so that they may look like bizarro versions of their favorite celebrities. This isn't to mention that these people don't want to look like, say... George F. Will, or Cokie Roberts. These people want to look like fucked-up celebrities like Mariah Carey or Nelson or something. But they don't. They end up looking gross and weird, and MTV sort of fawns all over them like this is something really rational to do, and not something really fucked-up to do.
I mean, this is the equivalent of you or I deciding we REALLY like Doc from Love Boat, so we're going to go get tube socks, stethoscope and a white sailor suit.
But, maybe less fucked up than giving people a total body make-over and THEN making them compete in a beauty contest.
Most loathsome movie (theatrical release)
Van Helsing - Said I during my initial review of this movie: "Words fail me when I attempt to describe the utter awfulness of Van Helsing. Adjectives like 'abominable,' 'regrettable,' 'ridiculous,' and 'asinine' seem appropriate, but even they cannot convey the magnitude of the film's idiocy. I could attempt to cobble together a word or phrase ('deus ex machina-ridden' perhaps?) to achieve my great level of disdain for this cinematic detrititus, but even that would not accomplish the task."I can think of no other film released this year that was as awful.
However, for good measure, I'll include this as my second nomination: Dogville, a film about America by a pretentious Danish director who has never visited America. Lars von Trier has his moments (Breaking the Waves) but his downward spiral into fashionable pretension resulted in Dogville, which even The New Yorker called "unwatchable." I did not see it.
Garfield. Because Garfield ceased being funny circa 1991.
haven't seen enough to answer
Troy-within the first five minutes Brad Pitt smells the fart. It looks like Wolfgang Peterson took a joke take for each of Orlando Bloom's scenes, a "Don't worry, we'll never use this" take, and used all of them. There is one hot sex scene with a knife, but even Brad Pitt's naked ass cannot save this film.
hmm. I haven't seen anything in a while that was truly awful. I'm guessing Farenheit 9/11 for the obvious reasons
The Passion of the Christ for undermining the hopeful message of Christianity and turning it into a death cult on the par of Q'tub's death cult.
The Matrix Revolutions. The original was fantastically entertaining. Reloaded raised enough questions to keep me interested. The finale was endlessly disappointing.
a. Lost in Translation b. The Passion of the Christ
The League Chimes in:
Looks like The League has turned on Gibson's exploration of Christ's final days. I never saw this flick, so I don't really have much to say about it. I mean, I loved the book, so I wasn't sure if I wanted to spoil it with a movie.
You know what movie really pissed me off?
Disney's Home on the Range. This movie wasn't funny. It wasn't clever. It was some nice, clean animation, but the humor was derivitive of every Disney movie since Aladdin.
And, if nothing else, it's the last 2D movie from Disney for the foreseeable future. Blah. Just thinking about it irritates me too much to go on again.
The League is slowly but surely succeeding in its elaborate plan.
Just now, Jim D. e-mailed me to let me know he'd been to Mile High Comics in Denver. Jim had not bought a comic in years, but recently, I dragged him back... kicking and screaming. Apparently, he's newly fascinated with zombie and horror comics. Unfortunately, I don't pick up too many horror comics, so I am unable to be much help, but I am more than 100% supportive. I actually am digging Darkhorse's Freaks of the Heartland. it's not a horror comic, per se... but it is done in the milieu.
And then Cowgirl Funk posted about her 4th, and how she managed to incorporate Free Comic Book Day into her day. And the story is well worth reading. She seems to like Spidey. Hey, I love Spidey. More power to her.
Sunday, July 18, 2004
The very first rumor about a new Superman movie to not make me break out into a cold sweat hit the internet this weekend.
Apparently Bryan Singer (director of The Usual Suspects, X-Men 1 and X-Men 2) has signed on to develop the new Superman movie from Warner Bros.. Following McG (Charlie's Angels 1 and 2) being onboard twice to direct, and Brett Ratner (Rush Hour 1-15) being the other director previously affiliated with the movie, it appears Warner Bros. (who owns DC Comics, and thusly, Superman) is trying to follow the Marvel Comics path to success. By stealing Marvel's directors. Apparently WB has no idea how to handle the material, so they'll take the position of lifting Marvel's talent. Real original, guys...
Much has been made over the past two years over a JJ Abrahms (sp?) script which detailed Clark's adolescence and first appearance as Superman, etc... and riffed on The Death of Superman. The script also eliminated Superman's additional moniker "Last Son of Krypton" by, for some reason, keeping Krypton alive and well instead of blowing the planet up and giving Superman a large part of the basis for his character (ever wonder why he's so hell-bent on trying to save all of us puny earthlings?). The JJ script was written after the success of Matrix 1, and was part of planned trilogy of Superman movies in which Superman saves Earth and Krypton from Brendan Frasier.
The JJ script was read by AICN's Moriarty, detailed in Moriarty's review, and sounded like a decent sci-fi script, but had absolutely nothing to do with Superman. WB freaked out as the leaking and subsequent panning of the script became what some might estimate to be the single largest scandal ever to hit AICN. Basically, nobody but dumb 'ol Harry liked the script (who will like anything, as long as he continues to get access), and the WB almost did a mercy kill on the project. Only that didn't happen, most likely due to Hollywood politics.
(Keep in mind, when JJ wrote the script to his version of Superman in 2002, his pet project had been ABC's Alias, a criticially touted program which appeared to be a show people liked, and with a growing audience. In Summer 2004, most people aren't sure if the show is still on the air).
Well, DC and WB kept kicking the development of that script around until this week. For the past year or so, the script has been under McG. The problem was: McG's sophomore effort with Charlie's Angels 2 was a disaster, critically and financially. And somebody at the WB didn't want to hand this guy the $200 million he was asking for to make the movie on a script nobody seemed to like. Plus, McG wanted NYC as Metropolis, and WB is, for some reason, hell bent on Sydney, Australia. NYC was too expensive, the WB said.
Apparently, nobody is quite sure what the new movie would be like or about, or what Singer has in mind. Except that some genius at WB noticed that they've been running a show called "Smallville" over on their TV network. Apparently this show already tells how and where Superman came from. The rumor mill is churning that this movie takes place after the initial appearance of Superman, and, possibly, long after he first appears. This gives Smallville some breathing space and gives fans of the first Superman movies some comfort zone.
AICN seems to believe the movie is going to pick up where Superman IV left off. Or possibly Superman II. (I'd prefer the continuation of John Cryer's character from Superman IV blown out into his own series of movies). I don't know.
All I know is: starting over with a new script and director at this point can't be all bad. And Bryan Singer has handily directed the first two X-Men movies, so you get a fairly good idea of how seriously he'll take the material.
But Singer's attachment to Superman puts immediate development of X-Men 3 in serious jeopardy. The X-Men cast seems to insist on having Singer as a director, and many may not return without Singer at the helm. Personally, I wanted to see Phoenix on film, but I'll take Superman first, any day.
With Batman Begins set to hit next year (the Christopher Nolan directed Batman origin flick), could be a good year for DC.
Except: another rumor hit this week that Jack Black has optioned The Green Lantern franchise and wants to make a wacky Green Lantern movie. Of all the DC characters, Green Lantern is probably the least inherently funny, but apparently Jack Black wants to do a movie like The Mask, and WB wants to be in bed with him.
One step forward, two steps back.
Now I'm just waiting for Beyonce Knowles to begin developing Wonder Woman and Tom Green to get Hawkman. Then I can officially say that WB tries to ruin all that is fair and good.
SINGER TO DIRECT WARNER BROS. SUPERMAN Trading allegiances for at least one film, Variety reports that on Friday, X-Men director Bryan Singer signed with Warner Brothers to both develop and direct the Superman film.
According to the report, Singer will work with Michael Dogherty and Dan Harris to develop the film, which is slated to begin production in late 2004 in Australia. The deal with Warner Brothers makes it look unlikely that Singer will return to direct X-Men 3. The other project that Singer was reportedly set to develop and direct, a remake of Loganís Run may still be on the table, though the trade reported the film may fall now to Constantine director Francis Lawrence.
The studio has also shelved JJ Abramsí version of the script.
Prior to Singer, Charlieís Angels director McG was attached to the film, though he left the picture after a disagreement with the studio over location and budget.
Variety also reports that Singer will bring a new take to the franchise for the film, most likely scrapping the original treatmentís focus on Supermanís battle with Luthor, and a mysterious visitor from Krypton who has come to earth to hunt Superman. (League editor's note: This was Brendan Frasier playing Superman's evil cousin who was coming to Earth to kill Superman so he couldn't return to Krypton to fulfill some prophecy about Superman saving Krypton. because brendan Frasier had taken control of Krypton or something...)
Singer told Variety: "My interest in Superman dates back many, many years," Singer said. "In fact, it was the Richard Donner classic film that was my day-to-day inspiration in shaping the X-Men universe for the screen. I feel that Superman has been late in his return and it is time for him to fly again."
This is too complicated. Next time, we're doing one category and everybody gets one vote.
The thing is, you guys did a fantastic job, and thus... I plan to share all noms and then announce the winners.
'Cause I'm crazy like that, Leaguers.
Later I'll be posting links back to everybody's blogs for bloggers who sent in a nom.
TODAY'S CATEGORY: Most Loathsome Celebrity
Paris Hilton - Need I say more?
Michael Moore - The self-righteous Moore, though somtimes amusing, is no documentarian. By no means can the sort of film he makes be characterized as a documentary. Social satire, perhaps, but not strictly factual. His tendency to twist facts, rearrange the chronology of events, and omit surrounding circumstances to establish context, illustrate that he is a demagogue by any definition. (See here and here for my previous thoughts on Michael Moore.).
Jennifer Love Hewitt. Because she refuses to go away and for her participation in Garfield.
Jennifer Lopez--and I'm not allowed to legally get married. she is the example of why nobody should be!
Nicole Richie isn't the biological daughter of Lionel Richie and she hasn't made a sex tape. Why is she famous?
Well, Tom Green hasn't done anything in a while. So it probably has to be Ashton Kutcher. Beyond wasting oxygen that clearly belongs to others, he's just annoying and stupid. Actually, taking that into account, he ties with Nicole Richie
Simon Cowell. It's part of his act to act loathsome, and I know that, I don't like the act though.
a. Jessica Simpson b. Courtney Love
The League chimes in...
There are so many tools on the TV to choose from, it's a real shame that we can only pick one or two (or whatever...)
But, wow... People really dislike Paris Hilton and Nicole Ritchie. And who can blame them? It appears that The Simple Life duo has really drawn the ire of Loyal Leaguers. I've never actually seen "The Simple Life," but everything I've seen of the pair in ads and commercials pretty much makes The League want to begin to support communism if these two are a demonstrable example of the end result of successful capitalism.
In truth, the latest spate of Paris Hilton interviews was what spawned this particular category, but I'm glad to see that I am not alone.