Thursday, April 30, 2009

One more day

As a reformed comic book junkie whose favorite character back in the day quickly became the furball/runt/canucklehead, I am starting to dread the day that I used to wish for. There was a time when the idea of a Wolverine or even an X-Men film was a pipe dream restricted to the "who would play who in the ______ movie" section of Wizard magazine. Clint Eastwood and Jack Nicholson always stood out as prime candidates for Wolvie, if only you could reverse-age them by a decade or so.

Times have changed and probably thanks to the trickle-down effect of advanced technology, comic book movies are practically saturating the box office. What's funny to me though is the characters and plots on the screen today are taken from the comic books of my youth and not from the crap I see on the shelves these days. I always felt like Marvel's universe hit a second Golden Age right around the time I started getting into comics (age 10 or so), but I couldn't make an impartial decision because... well of course I'm going to think stuff was the best when I was into it - that's just how people are - the "back in my day" syndrome. But maybe this on-screen onslaught of heroes and villians from yesteryear serve as evidence to support my self-serving theories. Or maybe it's just that today's film-makers are around my age, got into comics at the same time, and are glorifying what we thought was awesome when we were growing up.

At any rate, much of the appeal of Wolverine's character stems from his mysterious past and origin. Even when I was into the comics I would get antsy when some writer took it upon himself to make his mark on Logan's backstory. Because - for better or worse - once that change is made it becomes canon (assuming there won't be any later time-travel or alternate dimension nonsense). Some very good writers have woven a rich history for Mr. Logan and for the most part still managed to preserve a core mystery to the whole thing.

And now here comes this movie that I'm trying to remain excited for, but the more I hear and see of it, the more it seems like a stinker. For one thing... (stop reading now if you're desperately trying to avoid spoilers) Wolverine's history is vast enough - why the heck are they adding in all these other characters that have nothing to do with it? Gambit is cool, but does he really need to be in the Wolverine origin movie? Young orphan boy Cyclops? Really? Of course you need Sabretooth, but it seems like the film-makers are screwing up that relationship. Then there's the rest of the Weapon-X folks, including Deadpool apparently. I mean geez, are they going to throw in Alpha Flight as well? Elsie-Dee and Albert? They already screwed up Lady Deathstrike in X-Men 2, so I guess we won't see her. Then again, they screwed up Sabretooth in X-Men 1 and we're definitely seeing him...

And what's with Sabretooth being twins with Wolverine in this movie? Wolverine is too tall and Sabretooth is too small. You lose the whole dynamic. This is turning into one of those nightmare IMDB message board ultra-loser rants, I know... I just hate to see something that has so much potential get so short-changed. Hmm, maybe that means I'm in the wrong business.

I think a good Wolverine movie would almost have to be presented Kill Bill style. You gotta have two parts... and you gotta jump around a bit, and allow for segments to have their own visual styles. I don't see anything from the previews about Wolvie's time in Japan - I mean that's huge. That could be a Frank Miller segment, I mean he drew a great miniseries about Logan in Japan.

Well. Anyway. I may have to see it, but I don't have to like it. Here's hoping though.

Friday, April 03, 2009


Check out the winning entries to the Spline Doctors' Christian Bale meltdown audio animation challenge! My favorites are from Brandon Beckstead and Alex Jansen. They exhibit some spot-on timing and great choices.