Archive for the ‘film’ Category

Tintin, Communist Spy?

Thursday, May 19th, 2011

The movie trailer for The Adventures of Tintin has hit the ‘net, and while Tintin is a cultural icon abroad, his success in the United States has been middling at best. That should definitely change with this new movie, mostly due to it’s incredibly exciting pedigree—produced by Peter Jackson (Lord of the Rings trilogy), written by Steven Moffat (Doctor Who) and Edgar Wright (Shaun of the Dead, Paul), starring Daniel Craig, Cary Elwes, Andy Serkis, Simon Pegg, and Nick Frost… and oh yeah, directed by a guy named Steven Spielberg.

Check out the trailer:

Looking good so far.

Also causing a stir, but for far different reasons, is Lawrence Colonnier’s new graphic biography of Tintin’s creator Georges Prosper Remi, pen name Hergé. Even if you don’t speak French, the title is certainly revealing: Georges & Tchang: Une histoire d’amour au XXème siècle. It details the romantic relationship between Hergé and Chang Chong-jen, who was the basis for the character of Chang Chong-Chen who first appeared in The Blue Lotus. Suddenly the story of Tintin in Tibet, where Tintin scours the Himalayas looking for Chang after a fatal plane crash, gains a whole new subtext.

But that shouldn’t be enough to give potential publishers pause, so much as the fact that it also depicts Hergé as being a communist spy. Hergé is a beloved cultural figure—he even has his own museum—and the Francophone comics scene might not take too kindly to anything that depicts the man in anything but the most positive light. But man, does that totally add new subtext to the boy reporter’s adventures.

(via Bleeding Cool)

Would You Like Fries With That Shake?

Thursday, April 7th, 2011

Back in 2004, Morgan Spurlock went on a mission. For 30 days, he decided to eat and drink nothing but food bought from McDonald’s for breakfast, lunch and dinner. In the process, Morgan’s arteries clogged, his health deteriorated, and his energy was completely sapped. The whole journey was captured in the documentary, Super Size Me. The film went on to win the Sundance Film Festival’s Grand Jury Prize and a nomination for Best Documentary at the Academy Awards; it also led to a television series on FX called 30 Days. Now, seven years after its release, Dark Horse is putting out a graphic novel based on the film, aptly named Supersized.

The graphic novel chooses to use a fat Ronald McDonald as a narrator and framing device for the story of Morgan’s attempt. In regards to the original movie, the story appears to be pretty faithful even with the narration. Morgan explains that he did not just go into this whole thing half-cocked; he consulted with doctors on his health and well being beforehand to ensure that all was well. After day two, Morgan is already beginning to burst. Here, we witness the vomit that followed this initial setback in a fully rendered artistic interpretation. While it’s not pretty to watch in the movie, I must say the art is quite captivating in the graphic novel. A multitude of artists trade off throughout the book, including Tony Millionaire, Lukas Ketner, and Ron Chan.

Of course, there are some changes that have to be made from one medium to another. This time, all references to McDonald’s have been replaced with McDopey’s, as (unsurprisingly) McDonald’s was unwilling to license its trademark to this adaptaion. As is apparent from the preview, the flow of the graphic novel will be going through days a lot faster than the documentary did to fit the full story within 88 pages of content.

While this is the documentary that got me to stop eating fast food except during long bus or car rides, I’m still not sure how willing I will be to see this all unfold again on the page. Considering how long it has been between the film and this adaptation, there might even be a few people who pick this up who have completely forgotten Super Size Me ever existed. Maybe that will be good for Netflix rentals? I’m personally happy it’s been a few years so I can scrub the image of those fossilized fries out of my head. If you would like to make the decision to buy or not buy for yourselves, Supersized is now available at your favorite comic retailer.

(via Splash Page)

From Life to Page to Screen

Monday, November 29th, 2010

If a comic book is based on real life, and a movie is based on that comic book, is it still a comic book movie? Especially when the events depicted only took place a few years ago, and the protagonists are still very much alive and well?

These questions only come up because Bluewater Productions and Hayden 5 Media recently announced that they are preparing a film based on Bluewater’s upcoming adaptation of the life of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, titled “Mark Zuckerberg and the Found.” Which sounds more like a children’s story, a similarity compounded even further by the fact that this film will be animated, though more akin to Richard Linklater’s A Scanner Darkly than any Disney or Dreamworks film.

No release date on the film, but the comic itself has yet to be released—check your local comic shop in late December.

(via Splash Page)

Scott Pilgrim’s Precious Little Marketing Campaign

Monday, September 6th, 2010

Four weeks into its release, the Scott Pilgrim vs. the World film has fallen way out of the top ten in the US, and at this pace they’re not going to recoup their budget based solely on domestic ticket sales. A real shame for a movie that was pretty positively reviewed by fans and critics alike, garnering a relatively good 81% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

So let’s remember a simpler time, before the phenomenon and New York Times Best Seller lists, and before the first book even came out, with an ad for Scott Pilgrim’s Precious Little Life:

It’s interesting to note, that even though comics are used to advertise products and services all the time, you rarely ever see them used to advertise comics, even themselves. Most advertisements for comics are limited to a piece of splash art or a shot of the cover, accompanied by (usually) inane ad copy.

I find this ad interesting because of how it acts towards its potential audience; though at this point the book hadn’t come out yet, the character’s dialog just acts like you’ve known them all along, and you just haven’t realized it yet.

American Born Airbender

Monday, June 14th, 2010

When last we covered Gene Luen Yang, author of American Born Chinese, on this here blog, it was all about his previous religious graphic novels.  This time, we’re getting a little less biblical, and a lot more critical.  See, Gene has some opinions about that The Last Airbender movie coming soon, which is devoid of Asians, even though the original source material, Avatar: The Last Airbender, was full of them.  So what does a writer/artist do when he has a take on a particular issue?  He draws it!


As a fellow fan of the animated Last Airbender, I do have my doubts and trepidations about the live-action movies.  I’m worried that all the fun and humor that made the Airbender cartoon what it is will be missing from the adaptation.  After an interview with M. Night Shyamalan that io9 posted back in March, those fears tripled.  To summarize, he stated that the decision to cast white kids as Katara and Sokka stemmed from how his kids related to Katara, even though they didn’t look like she did.  So if his daughter can see Katara in herself, why can’t we see a white kid as Katara and still relate to her?  Well, I think he also missed the part where his children are of Indian lineage, and do share similar features to the characters in their complexion and overall appearance.

But I digress.  To the fan of Avatar: The Last Airbender, and especially to Gene Luen Yang, there was an intentional lack of diversity in the casting from the start, because according to Hollywood, an American audience (especially kids) needs other “Americans” as the stars of a movie to go see it.  Of course that doesn’t account for the popularity of actors such as Bruce Lee and Jackie Chan, but their response would be that those are grown-ups, not kids.  And sure, casting Dev Patel does bring some color to the project, but that was done more out of Slumdog Millionaire than it was his fit for the character of Zuko.

Although Yang would prefer you not spend the dough to do so, let’s see just what America, and the world’s, reaction is to the film once it is released.  As for me, I will probably still spend the $12 to go see it at least once in theaters, because my curiosity-factor remains at its peak.  Oh, and I want to see live-action Momo.