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May 8th, 2002

Comic Book Movies

This weekend, Spider-Man opened to boffo box office sales. It set an opening weekend record, and yet it’s a movie with Toby Maguire. Who ever figured that would happen?

I really don’t have an interest in seeing the movie, but that doesn’t mean I’m opposed to comic book films. I’ve never been a comic book fan, so I imagine I’m lumped in with millions of other people. But there were two movies I can remember that were based on comic books but stood out as good films in and of themselves.

First, X-Men. I’m pretty sure I just let TiVo record this at some point, but I watched it and was hooked. The story isn’t all hokey and is done in a very realistic modern world. There seem to be a number of in-jokes for comic book fans, but they’re offset by genuine humor, action, and special effects for everyone to enjoy. I became involved with the characters instead of their gimmicks, and that’s a good thing. I’m looking forward to next year’s sequel.

The other great, classic comic book movie was the first – and best – Batman. First, what a cast: Michael Keaton is superb at playing the lead role. Nicholson as the Joker is brilliant. Even Kim Basinger turns in a decent performance! The entire setting of the film seems plausible, but just a bit outside of our own reality… yet it doesn’t feel any more fake than the lead villain. The dark edge the movie held was never duplicated by any of the sequels, and that’s a shame, since they made so many of ’em.

As I said, though, I’m not a comic book fan. These two movies were so well done that I could forget I wasn’t a fan and enjoy the heck out of them.

Posted in Television, Movies, and Music

FROM: Robert [E-Mail]
DATE: Wednesday May 8, 2002 -- 10:38:08 am
I think I'm alone in disliking the first Batman. It was wonderful in my memory for years, but then I watched it a few years ago and declared it a hokey piece of crap with some atrocious dialogue.

FROM: Matt
DATE: Wednesday May 8, 2002 -- 12:23:00 pm
Robert, you are not alone as Michael Jackson sang. I never liked any of the Batman films, except the one from the 70's. I never understood the hype behind the first one. Everyone raves that it's a good film, but I lump it in with Top Gun and Days of Thunder as films I will never care to see again.

FROM: Robert [E-Mail]
DATE: Wednesday May 8, 2002 -- 2:18:05 pm
Yeah, but you said Citizen Kane was crap, so I'm not running to jump in your boat. :-D

FROM: Elizabeth
DATE: Thursday May 9, 2002 -- 12:49:59 am
I had the hugest crush on Jack Nicholson as the Joker when I was in junior high or whenever that movie came out. But going back to watch it as an adult, I found that it was, as Mike Nelson (in Mike Nelson's Movie Megacheese) put it, "masterfully unwatchable". However, I am the owner of a plastic Batman cup from Mcdonalds. Does this make me a fan of the movie? I think not. Nor of Mcdonalds for that matter.

FROM: Rob [E-Mail]
DATE: Thursday May 9, 2002 -- 12:45:20 pm
Well, the first Batman flick may not have been the most wonderful thing in the world, but at least it was better than the Punisher movie (with the fabulous Dolph Lundgren) and ANY of the Captain America movies they tried.

FROM: Robert [E-Mail]
DATE: Thursday May 9, 2002 -- 3:12:05 pm
I have the distinction of owning The Punisher on DVD, though I never could bring myself to watch it. Marvel announced that they're looking to make the Punisher the next film franchise now that Spider-man is such a suck-cess. I would advise them not to involve Drew Barrymore in the production because she will insure that Frank Castle not use any guns.

DATE: Thursday September 5, 2002 -- 8:23:45 am
Sorry??? I 've just seen the Top Gun comment... It may be the cheesiest film ever made and could well have elevated Tom Cruise to the status of 'gay icon', but it is still one of the all time greats.
The first Batman was good when it came out. We have to remember we were considerably younger when we 1st watched it and we are no longer the target audience. All in all it is the same argument that George Lucas has made to us about the new Star Wars films. Saying that, I watched the original 3 movies back to back last weekend and still think they vastly superior to both episodes 1 & 2.

FROM: Robert [E-Mail]
DATE: Thursday September 5, 2002 -- 9:01:57 pm
When will I be elevated to the status of "gay icon"?

FROM: Ryan
DATE: Friday September 6, 2002 -- 9:02:37 am
You're already there, Roberto. You're already there.

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