All posts tagged: watchmen

gatsby

10 Movies…That Are Insane Adaptations of Famous Books (To Prepare You For the New ‘Great Gatsby’)

I haven’t seen The Great Gatsby yet, but I can tell already that it just doesn’t add up. The production seems to have missed the point—it’s not about the glitz and glamor and pop songs—it’s about the death of dreams and the danger of being a complete and total sellout, ironically enough. Here are 10 other literary adaptations that were kind of out of control. His Dark Materials: The Golden Compass (2007) When you adapt a children’s fantasy novel about goin’ off to kill God, you kind of have to tone that down for the multiplex audiences, and put a lot of polar bears on the promo materials. The Great Gatsby (1974) It’s happened before! Gatsby (Robert Redford) is a leering douchebag who is still in love with Daisy, and we can’t understand why, because Mia Farrow plays her as a hysteric gasbag. And while Luhrmann’s adaptation seems to favor color and sparkles, this movie is just a sea of white and a celebration of nostalgia—ironic for a book known for its color symbolism and …

travolta

10 Movies…That Were Comeback Vehicles (To Prepare You for ‘Iron Man 3’ with Robert Downey, Jr.)

Downey headlines this week’s Iron Man 3, his fourth outing as the billionaire Robocop. He’s one of the biggest stars in the world and one of our most universally liked celebrities — which is what he seemed like he was destined to become circa Chaplin in 1992, but not so much after nearly killing himself with heroin and wandering into strangers’ homes in 1996, or — even worse — that stint on Ally McBeal. Downey started his remarkable comeback with 2005’s Kiss Kiss Bang Bang; in honor of his latest appearance as Ol’ Shellhead, here some other stars who came back from the brink of obscurity and irrelevance. Ulee’s Gold (1997), with Peter Fonda A Boomer icon from writing and starring in Easy Rider, Fonda descended into schlock and ugh in ‘70s B-movies…before coming back in Ulee’s Gold, a movie about bees, but also really horrible family problems. Fonda earned a Best Actor nomination at the Oscars. Little Children (2006), with Jackie Earle Haley As a teenager in the ‘70s, Haley played badass Kelly Leak in …

Revival House: Ten More Great Title Sequences

I was originally going to follow last week’s column with something else entirely, but I got so much great feedback that I thought I’d follow up with ten more cool title sequences — which of course means more from the master, Saul Bass. The Man With the Golden Arm (Saul Bass, 1955). Bass’s first title sequence was for Otto Preminger’s Carmen Jones in 1954. But it was the director’s next assignment for Bass that made everyone take notice: for The Man With the Golden Arm, a tale of heroin addiction, he uses disjointed lines that eventually form an addict’s arm. Also impressive here is Elmer Bernstein’s striking score — certainly not the first time jazz elements were incorporated in a Hollywood film, but still a highly influential work.

The Most Disturbing Halloween EVER!: John Cale

That’s right, folks, the most disturbing Halloween EVER! From now until Halloween, the Popdose staff are going to be thumbing through their record collections in search of the music that gives them the worst case of the heebie-jeebies. In this installment, Jack Feerick looks back at a John Cale album from 1982. —Anthony Hansen I came to John Cale by way of Alan Moore. That sounds pretty roundabout, but I figure it’s not uncommon. See, Moore used a (misquoted and misattributed) Cale line as the epigram for the mind-blowing final chapter of Watchmen, and Watchmen has probably sold more copies over the years than any John Cale record has, ever. So there must be other poor souls out there who closed the book on that final panel — impossibly stark, just white text on black with the icon of a clock, hands pointing to midnight — and then flipped back to the indicia to find the source of the quote. It would be a stronger world, a stronger loving world to die in. Because, you …

Blu-ray Review: “Watchmen Director’s Cut”

Watchmen (2009, Warner Bros.) purchase from Amazon: DVD | Blu-ray Others may have summarized Watchmen more eloquently, but my friend and colleague David Medsker struck right at the essence of the year’s first would-be blockbuster with three simple words: “Floppy blue cock!” This is not to say there’s anything wrong with cock in the movies — floppy, blue, or otherwise — but the genitalia proudly displayed by Doctor Manhattan, Watchmen‘s emotionless, radiation-powered superbeing, are the perfect visual distillation of the film, for three reasons: One, it’s hard not to get distracted looking at it; two, it frequently looks silly; and three — given Manhattan’s propensity for supersizing himself — it’s painfully, unbearably long. Seriously. Seriously, you guys. If you plunk down the $21.50 it’ll cost you at Amazon to get Zack Snyder’s painstaking recreation of the classic graphic novel on Blu-ray, you will get plenty of bang for your buck, starting with the 186-minute director’s cut, and including sooo much more — a stack of featurettes tracing the book’s impact as well as its journey …

DVD Review: “The Mindscape of Alan Moore”

As the film adaptation of the seminal graphic novel Watchmen hangs on at movie theaters — it hasn’t exactly lived up to box-office expectations — a lot of questions have popped up about Alan Moore, the book’s writer. He’s refused to allow his name to be associated with the film, hence the “co-created by” credit that only lists the book’s artist, Dave Gibbons; Moore has even insisted that all of his royalties from the film be given to Gibbons. So who is this enigmatic Englishman? How does he come up with his ideas? What do his colleagues think of him? How does he work? It was with these questions that I eagerly sat down to watch DeZ Vylenz’s The Mindscape of Alan Moore, a 2006 documentary about the author that came out on DVD last year in a two-disc set. The bulk of the movie consists of Moore talking directly to the camera from, I presume, his home in England. Dressed in black, with snake and skull rings covering his fingers, and surrounded by stacks …

DVD News: 20th Century Fox — Disaster in the Making

20th Century Fox used to be one of the most respected film studios in the business. Its catalog of films is virtually legendary: Miracle on 34th Street (the 1947 version, not the 1994 remake), The Day the Earth Stood Still (the 1951 classic, not the crappy remake from last year), Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, The Seven Year Itch, the original Planet of the Apes film series, Young Frankenstein, the Star Wars films, the Alien series, The Princess Bride, Wall Street, Home Alone, Die Hard, and dozens of others. In 2008, however, it went from a respected studio to one big joke, thanks to the fact that starting at the end of ’07 and continuing through all of ’08, the majority of the films it released either barely broke even or were outright box-office flops (Space Chimps, Max Payne, Australia, Meet Dave, The Rocker, and City of Ember, among others). While other studios were turning out blockbusters that earned $100 million like clockwork, Fox was fumbling the ball over and over again. For instance, it released The …

Film Review: “Watchmen”

Thanks to last year’s Iron Man and Dark Knight, the age of the superhero as a legitimate and viable tale in the realm of cinema is now in full effect. The epic story of Watchmen continues the trend of anchoring such heroes in an entirely believable world. This world isn’t exactly ours, however. Based on the 1986 best-selling graphic novel by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons (both this book and Frank Miller’s “The Dark Knight Returns” helped raise storytelling for comics to the adult level and set in motion changes within the industry that are still felt today), the tale is set in an alternate 1985, where superheroes were once a part of everyday life–helping to win the Vietnam War and get Nixon elected to three terms in office–but have since been outlawed by the government. Most have retired, but a few, such as the enigmatic Rorschach (Jackie Earle Haley) continue to operate, while others such as the Comedian (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) and Dr. Manhattan (Billy Crudup)–the only living being with actual superpowers–live and work …