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St. Finn Parish

What do you people want?

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So after looking at some of the commentary from the Watchmen thread about the film, and remembering some of the commentary about TDK, it's left me wondering exactly what the hell does everybody want out of a film adaptation of you favorite comics. I suspect that answer is going to be for Hollywood to just stay the hell out of comic book films, and I can't wait to be proven right. So what do ya'll want?

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So after looking at some of the commentary from the Watchmen thread about the film, and remembering some of the commentary about TDK, it's left me wondering exactly what the hell does everybody want out of a film adaptation of you favorite comics. I suspect that answer is going to be for Hollywood to just stay the hell out of comic book films, and I can't wait to be proven right. So what do ya'll want?

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Are you as angry as you sound, Finn?

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Simply to realise what was good about a story and keep that,

and then to identify what films can't do and drop that.

 

I thought the general feeling about those two films was positive here, but with our usual nerd-tendency to dwell on the minutiae it can seem unbalanced.

 

 

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The feeling for TDK was generally positive. Watchmen sounded more like a mixed bag.

 

I would agree with The Heathen. And failing being able to keep what's good about the source material, I like to hope that the filmmakers will, at least, make a good/entertaining movie that isn't outright in opposition to said source. TDK did this. Watchmen did not (even though it did succeed on the entertainment front for most of the movie which I give it due props for).

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I want films that stay true to the original characters - only making positive amendments to them (eg Spidey's organic webs) - and similarly the history or environment.

I want a story and plot that is in tone with my favourite stories involving the character(s).

I want key supporting characters shown faithfully, again with only positive amendments*.

I want someone to try to portray the the impact of a costumed hero in the "real" world (or rather, in the "real" world of the movie).

 

That said, I want the movie to stand on it's own, parallel to the source material** and not trying to supersede it. For this reason I can tolerate most tinkering if it makes for an entertaining movie.

 

The Dark Knight and Watchmen tick all those boxes for me and I enjoyed each of them greatly.

I will stand firm against those who slag off Watchmen, purely because it is, in my opinion, an excellent 2 and three-quarter hours of entertainment.

 

 

 

* I accept that whether amendements are positive or not might only be decided in the context of the movie. When I heard Havey Dent wasn't going to have acid thrown in his face in a courtroom I was not pleased. When I saw the movie I was very pleased. Ditto the Joker's make-up.

 

**I liked Ian Rankin's response to a question about how the Rebus novels had been changed for the TV screen. He said he had no problem with it - the Rebus TV series is the TV series and the books are the books. The TV show isn't trying to take the place of the books, and the books offer different things than the TV series. The books are still there to be read, they aren't going away, and the show is there to be watched as a separate take on the same story. This is how I feel about Watchmen.

 

EDIT: Oh and I agree about the Big Bang Theory, except I would say it is very often funny. The second series really hit its stride.

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Bringing something new and worthy to the table, while retaining the essense of the characters and plot.

 

I don't know what the big bang theory is.

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It is the theory that says the Universe exists since a cosmological fart that started time and space at once. And no, it is not filosophy, it's science.

 

About the movies, I'd like to see the creators in the credits, for instance.

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Comic movies in general.

 

ie. What I want from them.

 

V For Vendetta sucked way worse than Watchmen though.

 

The guy couldn't direct traffic.

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I actually rate V for Vendetta higher than Watchmen.

I didn't mention it in my review, but I actually wanted to walk out of Watchmen about 20 minutes into it. Having paid $15 for the ticket, I felt obligated to stay and get my money's worth. As far as I'm concerned, Snyder owes me $15.

I loved The Dark Knight and felt that Nolan's respectful, yet innovative approach to the material made for a successful translation of the source material to the big screen.

Ultimately, the movie has to be able to stand on its own-- this to me is the most important aspect.

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You're referring to Watchmen and V for Vendetta?

 

EDIT: The above post was in response to Spain's.

Yes, basically. Also, rumour has it that Tolkein said that he would not like to see an adaptation, and there you are. If a writer does not want an adaptation, it means that something ain't good. I understand Alan Moore specially after From Hell and Leage of Extraordinary Gentlemen (tsk), where ironically he did appear in the credits. If an author refuses totally any adaptation, I think this should be respected even if the author is just neurotic.

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What Ade said. Additionally, the one thing I look for in any adaptation, not just of comics, is for the film to have a reason to exist beyond the simple "it's a story you already love, but this time the pictures move". If that means changing, recontextualising or completely eliminating things which I love about the original work that's completely OK, as long as the end result is actually good.

 

Apocalypse Now and Blade Runner are two of the best adaptations I've ever seen, completely capturing the thematic core of their respective sources despite changing everything else almost beyond recognition. The same is true of a lot of what works about Christopher Nolan's Bat-franchise, actually. The first two Harry Potter films, by contrast, suck noodles - bland, boring, and desperately, tediously safe. Rodriguez' Sin City was an interesting experiment (not an entirely successful one, but worth attempting), but it was a one-off - mainly because, unlike Watchmen, V For Vendetta or Hellblazer, there really is absolutely no substance to Sin City BEYOND those distinctive visuals, so an adaptation which diverged too far from them would have little purpose. Even so, I hope that if the sequel ever does get made, it's not just another panel-to-screen adaptation of existing stories. An adaptation of The Dark Knight Returns done in exactly the same style would bore me rigid.

 

Just because it's an adaptation of something with which I'm already intimately-familiar doesn't mean it shouldn't still have the ability to surprise me. Lots of fan reviews of Watchmen have said things like "I loved the way that I could tell which exact page of the book was being presented for most of the film", and meant it as a POSITIVE thing. I'm glad they're having fun, but that's a sentiment which I can't even begin to relate to.

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Apocalypse Now and Blade Runner are two of the best adaptations I've ever seen, completely capturing the thematic core of their respective sources despite changing everything else almost beyond recognition.

 

The thing here is that both films actually had something to say in their own right.

They were able to stand on their own as independent works, not just as an attempt to cash in on their source material in a different medium.

You don't need to know about or care about the books to get the full spectrum of what those two films offer, but if you are familiar with the source material you gain a different experience than the books.

The movies went beyond the books, not that they were better or superior to the books, but that they branched off from the main ideas of the books and added to the authors, creating a wholly separate work of art.

 

V For Vendetta: The Movie, for example, might not have been an exact duplication of the comic, but it had nothing to say in its own right. If you read the comic, there was absolutely nothing more to gain by watching the movie. At best, it was a way to see how Hollywood adapted the comic book to the screen and see how the comic would look on the screen. The fact that it failed utterly to do that is beside the point.

These comic movies are just the inverse of comic book or mass-market novel adaptations of films.

 

Constantine, for example, falls into a different catergory. It apparently attempted to tell its own story, but failed completely, because what it had to say was banal and pointless. It was unable to go beyond the source material, even though it didn't attempt to totally replicate the source, and instead deconstructed the source material down to somewhat of its most base themes, leaving a bastardized and aborted image of the comic.

This case falls into the catergory of a "bad movie", although if the comic is responsible for that (based on misreadings and misunderstandings, I mean) is a different matter, and takes one back to the circular nature of "blaming comic books for being juvenile".

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Heh, I liked Constantine. :laugh:

 

I tried to give it a fair showing, but even drunk I could not enjoy it. Rachel Whatserface was hot though.

 

I agree with what seems to be general sentiment so far in this thread, though: film is an entirely different medium from comics, so even if the imported story is the same in most respects, the film needs to have its own vision and a whole and realized conception of the best way to accomplish that vision. Otherwise the only reason to watch it is to nitpick (they changed this! they didn't change that!).

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So after looking at some of the commentary from the Watchmen thread about the film, and remembering some of the commentary about TDK, it's left me wondering exactly what the hell does everybody want out of a film adaptation of you favorite comics. I suspect that answer is going to be for Hollywood to just stay the hell out of comic book films, and I can't wait to be proven right. So what do ya'll want?

network1.jpg

Are you as angry as you sound, Finn?

So much more than you can possibly imagine my friend. I can't help it. There are so many things that drive me banana sandwhich in this world and I just get worked the hell up. I would imagine that's why me and my girl had to go through our seperation. I feel sometimes like I'm turning into Rorschach in my old age, sans the right wing politics. Such is my life.

angry+face.jpg

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Some very interesting responses and I can understand where you're coming from Mark for the most part even though sometimes I don't totally agree with it. I do like some adaptations that stick straight to the source material, but that's because I'm a film guy and I do want to see what these stories that I love would look like in movin pitchers. I don't necessarily want some of these stories to try anything new with the film version, and if they do I want those new things to fit into and stick to the general overall theme of the original source material, i.e.

the end of Watchmen where the big explosion was mimicking Manhattan’s powers.

, and Dark Knight and Begins, the Thomas Jane Punisher, or Iron Man. What I don't want is for the source material to get completely lost in the film, as in the only things the film and original source material have in common are their titles, i.e. Joel Schumacher Batmans, The Lawnmower Man film, Constantine, the Dolph Lundgren Punisher, or Superman III which is basically a Richard Prior movie with fucking Superman in it. There are also sometimes film versions of written source material whether comic or text book that are not similar except in their basic story elements and I still love both equally i.e. Kubrick's The Shining and King's The Shining, the film version of The Crow and the comic, and God and Alan Moore forgive me The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, yeah Sean Connery Alan Quatermain got me. So that's where I'm coming from, now let the discussion get crazy up in this mother fucker.

 

Oh and The Big Bang Theory is a CBS TV series here in the States that is about four physicists and their misadventures in life. The guy in my avatar is the smartest and most neurotic of the four his name is Sheldon and he is from Texas yay!!! I love this show and soon so will all of you blah ha ha ha ha ha!!! Oh ahem excuse me.

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I want the moon on a stick from a comics film: I am a nerd, after all.

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I want the moon on a stick from a comics film: I am a nerd, after all.

 

:hattip:

 

Brilliant. I'll take moon on a stick too, please.

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