Thursday, June 22, 2006

Comic Book Movies


Tonight at work we had a discussion about comic book movies. It was between myself, another comic book fan, and a non comic book reader. When both the other fan and I expressed our disappointment at the latest X-Men movie it was unsurprising that our other co-worker enjoyed the movie and even made a remark about us comic readers being picky. It's only natural I suppose, we do after all have higher expectations of the movies going in... but part of it struck me as funny. After all aren't we the ones who continue to read comic books that constantly rehash the same old stories over and over again? And if they're written well we most likely enjoy said story all over again.

I mean sure, the movies have a lot of discrepancies... but really, so do the comics they originate from. Yes, in the X movies Rogue is jailbait (disappointing male fans everywhere I'm told) but so what? Does it really matter that much - is it really that people want to see an exact story form the comic books - or is it that they want to see their interpretation of the comic? Personally I could care less about the changes made to Rogue's character (although I thought they were stealing somewhat from Kitty Pryde's story when the Hellfire Club was out to get her, but only a bit). However I'll admit I've never been a fan of Rogue and thus have little interest invested in the character. When they changed Nightcrawler in the second movie though - I was pissed. So many people thought he was great in the movie (from what I can tell this came mostly from the opening scene in which he wasn't even acting under his own volition) but I couldn't stand his character. Why Cshiana, you may ask, as I have always professed a great love for the Nightcrawler character. Well it's quite simply because of how much I love the Nightcrawler character. I felt gypped during his movie appearance. I don't know about everyone else but I always thought that while religion was a part of Kurt's character, that it wasn't the sole focus of his existence. I always hated the small point in time where he was crazy religious. Seriously I hope they fired whomever came up with the priest collar + spandex costume. To me Nightcrawler will always be this fun loving swash buckler who grew up in a circus raised by gypsies. X2 seriously let me down with that character interpretation.

My point here is that for those of us who have some sort of emotional attachment to certain characters and storylines it's hard to accept something deviating from out own vision.

I wish screen writers would realize this. If they stuck more closely with the comics themselves they'd probably do a lot better with the actual fans as opposed to just trying to make a buck. They'd also still make money in the process as in order for these stories to become popular enough to make it to the big screen they had to be popular with the readers first. If the actual characters and stories weren't worth anything in the first place why would anyone be making a movie out of it? I mean it's not too hard - the whole thing is already story boarded for heaven's sake! At the very least throw a What if? or Elseworlds into the title... that was us comic book fans don't expect the characters we've come to know and love and maybe we can enjoy the movies as much as the uninitiated viewer.

6 Comments:

Anonymous Jim said...

That's one reason Sin City was so cool, it was the comic book made into a movie. I think that the movies don't have to follow the comics, as telling a story in a movie is different then telling it in a comic. What they do have to do is remain true to the core concept of the character in order to capture what made a character so great. Good acting helps and
bad acting hurts (see Ben Afflect in Daredevil) - hit the wrong button -very early in the morning.

Thursday, June 22, 2006  
Anonymous AMike said...

I don't know. Granted, I don't follow the X-books that closely, nor have I really been into comics that long, but I feel that you have to be willing to let go of your expectations a bit when you go into a movie like that (although I was disappointed with X-3 as well, though I mostly blame bad writing [i]in general[/i]). Also, as this is only a 6 hour series in total, characters tend to almost be stereotyp-ized. Since you don't have time for a lot of character development (and you have an ensemble cast) certain characteristics get over-emphasized to give the audience a quick and dirty idea of what they're about. Just my 2c, but it does still suck when a beloved character doesn't come out the way you remember. Personally, I just always wanted the prehensile tail . . .

Thursday, June 22, 2006  
Anonymous Jeff said...

Gotta agree with Amike. When you go to these movies you have to let go of your preconceptions of what the characters are like. Otherwise you won't enjoy the movie. I have found that the X-movies are most beloved by non-comic readers. Fanboys and fangirls are too persnickity and complain about any slight deviation. So many complainers when V for Vendetta came out cuz it wasn't exactly like the trade. Well of course it's not. This is a different medium and a different take on the same story. Gotta have an open mind or you won't enjoy what's put in front of you. I'm a huge Hellboy fan and that movie took a helluva lot of liberties. Still, I enjoyed it immensely despite it not being accurate to the comic. Oh, and Rogue is in no way jailbait. Played by the 24 year old actress Anna Paquin she's legal in all 50 states and has been for all the X-flicks.

Thursday, June 22, 2006  
Blogger Brainiac6 said...

See, I had no problem with Anna Paquin as Rogue - but I know a lot of guys (who refered to her as jailbait - not so much because she was but because they made Rogue jailbait) who didn't like her in the movies. From what I can tell they were disappointed with the rewrite of the character.

As for V for Vendetta, I enjoyed it but I can understand why Alan Moore removed himself from the movie. It really doesn't represent the book very well.

I understand about the open mind thing, and honestly I can still enjoy the X-Men movie on a certain level. BUT I think they would be better stories if they remained truer to the characters.

Thursday, June 22, 2006  
Anonymous Jeff said...

I read V for Vendetta years ago and am really glad that I didn't reread it before going to see the movie. Movie first, then graphic novel. Otherwise you will be disappointed by the film. I thought it was great and a really strong representation of Moore's work. It captured the tone and texture of Moore's prose exquisitely. Bravo!
You just have to step back and realize that this is a different medium with different sensibilities. Plus, if they stuck to the story you already know, there won't be any surprises for you when you see the movie. V for Vendetta, Sin City, and Spider-man 2 are the best live action superhero movies out there. Batman Mask of the Phantasm and Batman Beyond Return of the Joker are the 2 best superhero movies of all time.

Friday, June 23, 2006  
Anonymous Jeff said...

The age of the character doesn't matter, it's the age of the actress playing her. Look at Veronica Mars. The character is a high school student but the actress who plays her will soon be 26. Perhaps that's why the shows viewers are mostly men in their 40's and older. Or maybe it's just that they're old pervs.

Friday, June 23, 2006  

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