Today in geek film second guessing (updated)

Something is in the air right now that’s just making movie people a bit whiny, maybe it’s pre-Comic Con jitters impacting today’s perhaps over geekified (even for me) film world. To wit:

— Via Screenrant comes word of Todd Gilchrist‘s post on producer Joel Silver’s reminiscences on the “Watchmen” script he spent years developing, which for a time was attached to San Fernando Valley-bred American Python and genuine auteur Terry Gilliam. Basically, he argues that his version was better and more audience friendly. That’s easy to say now and, especially based on Joel Silver’s legendary rep, one expects exaggeration. Though I had seriously mixed feelings about the Zack Snyder’s version, it’s important to remember that Gilliam abandoned the project as unfilmable at any reasonable movie-length. My feeling is that the recent film, despite some truly brilliant visuals, a clever rewrite of the problematic ending of the original, and a number of really terrific flourishes, largely bears this out, though I’m looking forward to seeing the expanded version. (I kind of hated “300” by the way, but that’s probably less Snyder’s fault than his source material, I’m guessing.)

Christopher Campbell has caught film geek bloggers mucking about comic geekdom’s version of such ancient arguments as Stones v. Beatles and Astaire v. Kelly: Marvel v. DC. Back in the day, I was always partial to DC because, on the whole, in the post Stan Lee-era, the writing was just a lot more thoughtful and the illustration a lot less obsessed with giant muscles. Though Rob Bricken dismisses the concept high-fanboy styley, it is absolutely true that, as floated by the company, DC’s line (which includes Vertigo) is far more diverse and far less long-underwear-hero-centric than Marvel’s. I’m not sure why this has to be a superhero v. superhero battle.

On the other hand, out of context, I was ready to take issue with Paul DeBenedetto’s comment about the Jonah Hex movie, but, yeah, as a Jason Statham movie directed by the guy who made “Crank,” I guess even this western movie lover doesn’t need it. He makes some other fine points as well. [UPDATE/CORRECTION: I did this too fast. It turns out Josh Brolin will star and that director Jimmy Hayward’s last movie was “Horton Hears a Who.” It’s the writers who worked on “Crank.” I have to add, however, that given the same guys received the main credit for both the brain-dead transformers and ultra entertaining “Star Trek,” the credited writers on Hollywood movies are not always the best gauge of quality. As the old joke goes: “Didja hear about the Polish blonde starlet? Yeah, she slept with a writer.”]

Lex & Co.Overall, this strikes me as exaggerated and just a case of the tide coming in and coming out, though I’m also a bit perplexed why DC/Time Warner is apparently so unenthusiastic about the Superman film franchise right now. The much maligned “Superman Returns” could have used a trimming, but it was not the humongous failure so many seem to remember it as — in fact, it might not have met today’s humongous expectations in terms of ultra-giant grosses, but it wasn’t a failure on any level at all that I could see. I guess only record breaking grosses will do these days.

Kyle Smith thinks Harry Potter represents all that wrong’s with the modern world. Funny, I think the same thing about Kyle Smith.


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