Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Space, or Places I Never Want to Go to

Did I miss something? Because I feel like I truly did. Since when did ripping off Kubrick become cool? Trendy even.

I saw the movie Sunshine almost a week ago and I hated it. Why? I'm not sure. But I'm sure that Danny Boyle deciding to remake 2001 and adding the ever-so-sexy Cillian Murphy had something to do with it. And also the fact that is was a genre switcher. But honestly, those two things didn't bother me that much. They irked me. Side note: I'm bringing back the word irked.

But regardless, I honestly don't know why I didn't like it. It was a great concept. Essentially, it's about a team of scientists and astronauts (Chris Evans a.k.a. The Human Torch included, which led to many a space joke) who are traveling to the sun to deliver a "payload," a huge pile of minerals and resources that when dropped into the sun will cause it to be revitalized. The script was fantastic, but the group interactions were really weird. Like, imagine for a second if you will. You're a scientist traveling to the sun. Now, traveling to the sun takes a long fucking time. This isn't Star Wars, we can't put it in light speed and jet. This is realistic. We have to fly there. So we're flying to the sun with eight or nine people. For eight years. Yeah, that sucks. You're going to like some people more than others, that's kind of a given. But in the film it seemed like all this animosity just started emerging. Chris Evans and Cillian are always fighting. Over nothing. And it's always Cillian showing he's smarter and Evans responding to it. Hm, a physicist versus a fucking ship pilot? Who wins? It just didn't seem real to me. Even though, I know in some respect it will never be real to me considering we don't have the technology to travel to the sun and if anyone was traveling to the sun, it wouldn't be me. I still can't figure it out. God, this is frustrating!

Seriously, every movie I've seen in theaters this summer had been a huge disappointment. I would see a preview and be like, "Shit, that looks amazing!" and then are terribly let down. Have I just been seeing the wrong movies? Have I been relying on Hollywood for all the entertainment I should receive a bit too much? I don't know. All I know is that I need to see a good movie.

Side note: I just watched London last night with Mr. Evans and it was awesome. Although, it was hard to comprehend how two men could do so much coke without dying. Maybe it's because I have never tried. Not that I want to.

Friday, July 20, 2007

The End is the Beginning is the End...and then the beginning again

So I'm excited. Why do you ask? Well I hope you assumed I was going to tell you. Because that would be mean if I didn't. I hate it when people start a sentence and you need to know how it ends and then they stop and change the subject. I will never experience blue balls (fingers crossed), but I can guess it would be like hearing somewhat say, "Guess what?" followed by "Nevermind."

But yes, I'm excited because this is the new blog! I'm sure no one read Robot Ninjas. And that's ok. This is like the hotter, more intelligent cousin of Robot Ninjas. Livewire. It's been a couple months in the making but now it's here and I'm pumped. Especially since I have the incredible Craig Dickey writing by my side. I have a feeling this blog will be better, happier, more productive...well, you know how the rest goes.

All exciting news aside, I've been thinking. Actually, I starting thinking about this after I talked to my friend Big Jon about comic books. But when I look at film adaptations and the original work, I realize that Alan Moore always gets screwed over when it comes to his work transferring to the screen. For those who don't know, Alan Moore's a fantastic graphic novelist whose work has appeared in the films V for Vendetta, The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Constantine (partially. Alan Moore created the character John Constantine in the Vertigo series "Swamp Thing."), and From Hell. Now just look at those four films there. How good were they? Really? If anyone thought they were good, go read the original Alan Moore novel. Because I assure you, it's ten times better. No, twenty times. I mean, I thought V for Vendetta was good but I recently read the graphic novel and was blown away. Alan Moore has such a creative mind and his storytelling is so innovative. He's doing something that mainstream fiction writers dream of doing.

So why is it so hard to translate his ideas to the screen? I read an article where they interviewed Moore and talked about his work being translated to film. I love what he said about the V for Vendetta script:
"It was imbecilic; it had plot holes you couldn't have got away with in Whizzer And Chips in the nineteen sixties. Plot holes no one had noticed."

What Moore found most laughable however were the details. "They don't know what British people have for breakfast, they couldn't be bothered. 'Eggy in a basket' apparently. Now the US have 'eggs in a basket,' whish is fried bread with a fried egg in a hole in the middle. I guess they thought we must eat that as well, and thought 'eggy in a basket' was a quaint and Olde Worlde version. And they decided that the British postal service is called Fedco. They'll have thought something like, 'well, what's a British version of FedEx... how about FedCo? A friend of mine had to point out to them that the Fed, in FedEx comes from 'Federal Express.' America is a federal republic, Britain is not."

When you read the graphic novel, it really does become evident how much they cut out. The book is intricate. You're not always following Eve. You follow V, the inspector, members of the Finger. It's so elaborate. You see how this neo-British society is affected on all sides. The film is very cut and dry. There's just a straight viewpoint. And I know what people are thinking. "How can you make an elaborate story fit into a two-hour movie?" Look at the Harry Potter franchise...well, some of it. How about Guillermo del Toro's contribution? That movie is fantastic. And that book is fucking long. So yeah, duh, things were cut out. Did I notice? Not until I really thought about it. But when I watch Constantine and see that not only is he American, he doesn't wear a tan trenchcoat, and he doesn't swear as much, I cringe. When I see at the end of the movie he stops smoking, I break shit. Constantine doesn't ever stop smoking. Ever. He got fucking lung cancer, which through a series of amazing tricks and turns was made immortal basically. And he still smokes. He knows no one can do anything to him. Oh, and p.s., the real Constantine would have so tapped that Rachel Weisz ass. He had sex with a lesbian. Enough said, he is a pimp.

But enough about Constantine. Moore doesn't even write Constantine any more. But seriously, go read Alan Moore's versions of these films and you see what I'm talking about (although I myself haven't read all of From Hell yet). It's darker, wittier,, more positive adjectives and such. And if you're turned off by the whole "It's a comic book" thing, don't be. The illustrations are fantastic. Plus, dude, the Japanese read graphic novels all the time. And the Japanese are cool. Therefore, if p then q, you will be cool if you read graphic novels.