Tuesday, November 3, 2009

My city screams, but don't we all?

Today I watched The Spirit, based on Will Eisner's comic book series, directed by Frank Miller and starring a bunch of supposedly hot chicks. I'm not completely sure how I feel about it. The Spirit is yet another movie that was never released here to cinemas, even though it was supposed to be, but I guess watching it in 720p is good enough. My only knowledge of the original comic book series comes from an '80s 3D comic book that I got at a Berlin flee market a few months ago. It collected several different stories from the '40s (converted into anaglyph 3D by Ray Zone) and they're all very good. There's a lot to like about this film adaptation, but ultimately it doesn't add up to anything more than a shiny piece of fluff, never achieving true greatness. First of all, it looks absolutely fantastic and brilliantly designed, feeling more than anything like a Sin City sequel, with everything about it being pretty and perfect and desaturated and in soft focus, with the occasional trademark high contrast shot here and there. That's also a pretty big problem, because Will Eisner was not Frank Miller, so when you make a Spirit movie that looks like it's based on a Frank Miller graphic novel you're kinda missing the whole point of doing a Spirit movie. The film is very stylized, both in looks and content, never taking itself too seriously, which I'm not sure was a very good idea. It was never clear to me whether I was watching a Spirit parody or an actual Spirit movie. I guess part of it comes from the fact that it was rated PG-13. Unlike Sin City, which contained highly stylized yet extremely brutal violence, the violence here looks like it belongs in a Ren & Stimpy cartoon. In some ways PG-13 violence like this is far more immoral than the graphic kind, because it shows just as much brutality, only without the gory results. One scene comes to mind, in which a fluffy white kitten is murdered by the villain, and all you see is some fur flying through the air and a couple of blue bloodless eyeballs circling a drain. Not cool at all. I'm also not a huge fan of movies that were shot entirely against green screens. I think it makes them look too small, mainly because anything that isn't small just looks fake. Although, I did really like Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow and Sin City, so I guess fakeness can be forgiven when a movie is good enough. And you know what else can make me forgive any movie for any flaws it may have? That's right. The problem with The Spirit is that the hot chicks in it just aren't that hot. Scarlett Johansson? Meh. Eva Mendes? Eww. Sarah Paulson? Cute, but not sexy in any sort of way. The only truly awesome looking chick in this thing in Jaime King, in the role of the Angel of Death or something, and she's so ridiculously underused it's not even funny. It's not a bad movie or anything, and some parts of it are actually pretty fun, but I don't think I will be watching it again sober any time soon.

If Death really looked like that I would've arranged a meeting a long time ago

I saw Jaime King in 3D once. Sure, it was at a screening of My Bloody Valentine 3D, but I'm pretty sure that's just as good as real life. High definition 3D is a pretty awesome way of looking at pretty ladies. I wonder if in the future we're going to see a return of those sleazy porn theaters from the '70s and '80s, only this time in 3D. Sounds like a pretty great idea to me!

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