Monday, June 29, 2015

PILOT LITE: 2014-2015 Season in Review

The 2014/15 television season has become well known as the season of the comic book television series. While we used to be content with the occasional Smallville or Birds of Prey (ok, no one was content with Birds of Prey), it's now possible to watch comic book programming 5 nights a week (or more thanks to DVR). While most of these shows have been ratings successes, I've been looking at them on my own scale of general artistry and adaptation. To me, not all of them have been stellar, but it's certainly been interesting to watch them grow, regardless.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

COMMENTARYCAST: Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World (2010 Blu-Ray)

For those keeping track, this is the fifth CommentaryCast and also the fifth one to reference THE Matthew Stacey, he of myth and legend. At this point, I fear the inside jokes and shorthand between myself and Mr. Baer threaten to overtake regular discourse and comic-movie-based trivia. But, I don't fear it enough to stop. Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World is the very definition of "cult classic". It received great reviews but piss-poor box office receipts. And like any good cult classic, it's found a vocal and passionate fanbase on home video. Directed by genre god Edgar Wright, you  may never see a comic book movie that is directed quite so beautifully.


Sunday, June 14, 2015

The Spirit (1980 pencil test trailer)

**Brian Baer (who's novel is out now) wrote this look all that survives of one genius's attempt to adapt another genius's work. Ah, what could of been...**

The road to feature film adaptations is long and rocky for many comic book characters, and perhaps none longer or rockier than for Will Eisner's seminal superhero, The Spirit. Also, like many paths to adaptation, that final product (2008's The Spirit) was rather disappointing.

The character had several brushes with live-action film before Frank Miller's directorial debut, though. There was a 1987 TV movie, which failed as a back-door pilot for a series, and an aborted attempt from Harlan Ellison and director William Friedkin nearly a decade previously. Between the two, The Spirit nearly became animated.

Monday, June 8, 2015

COMMENTARYCAST: League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (2003 DVD)

It could be argued (correctly) that this shouldn't count as a DC comics film. League of Extraordinary Gentlemen was originally published by ABC Comics in 1997. The first two volumes have recently been acquired by DC's mature imprint Vertigo. So it's not really a DC comic, but we really wanted to watch it next...so there. This movie has some degree of infamy and not just because it's a fairly crappy adaptation of the source material. It had an incredibly troubled production involving natural disasters and cast/crew in-fighting which lead to both the director and star retiring from film-making and citing this film as the reason. Add to it a complicated legal battle involving plagiarism and it's a wonder it even got released. It'd been a while since I had seen this movie and my strong negative sentiment toward it has definitely chilled a bit. For your listening/viewing pleasure, here's our discussion of LXG (don't call it that -Brian)...

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

COMMENTARYCAST: Daredevil: The Director's Cut (2004 DVD)

The third CommentaryCast ventures into one of Marvel's first pseudo-failures at the box office. While the original theatrical cut of this film is fundamentally flawed, this director's cut does a lot to correct those issues. It still ends up being an odd mish-mash of silly and serious, but it's much easier to watch. That said, it hasn't aged exceptionally well. I was once a staunch defender of this film, now some of its problems are much more evident. It seems odd that Marvel would follow up X-Men and Spider-Man with a relatively little-known hero like Daredevil. And yet, it was a surprisingly faithful adaptation, even down to some visual cues. With that, enjoy Brian and I discussing Daredevil and see if your thoughts on it have changed (for better or worse) over time.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

COMMENTARYCAST: Dredd (2012 Blu-Ray)

The second CommentaryCast is the criminally under-seen action-flick, Dredd. Despite decent reviews and a focused story, the film failed to make much of a mark on the box office and as such, the much-promised sequel is all but dead now. Fans have been holding out hope, but at this point deeming it "unlikely" seems schockingly optimistic. Despite failing monetarily, the movie succeeds is spades with it's impressive visuals, effective violence, excellent performances and reverence to its source material. Brian and I are completely unable to hide our admiration for everyone involved in this film. So give this a listen...and then go buy the Dredd Blu-Ray.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

COMMENTARYCAST: Constantine (2005 DVD)

This is the first of Comic Book Media's CommentaryCasts. I've been trying to figure out a better way to post the actual casts, rather than just on a page with a link at the top of the screen. I've found that even friends and frequent users of the site have missed updates on them, so I'm hoping an actual blog update will help to rectify this problem. Thus, I'll be keeping the original CommentaryCast page, but I'll also be giving each a place in the blog feed. I'm hoping this will extend the reach a bit. So as not to flood the page with all of the CC's at once, I'll post one a week until I'm caught up. After that, I'll post a brand new edition that Baer and I recorded a few weeks ago (it's Blade. Are you ready to roll with this?). Also, we're looking at getting them placed on iTunes and getting some clips posted on YouTube. I'll be sure to update you all when that happens. So, without further ado...that doesn't look right...(adieu?)...without further bullcrap, here's Constantine. If you haven't checked it out yet, give it a listen. And, as always, sorry for all of the bad words.