Archive for the ‘Theme Months’ Category

Comic Book Movie July – Final Thoughts

Donnerstag, Juli 31st, 2008

Persepolis, 300, Sin City, V for Vendetta, A History of Violence, Constantine, Ghost World, From Hell – eight unique movies that have little in common except that they are based on comic books. For Comic Book Movie July, I assembled them and tried to investigate whether that actually meant anything – an endeavour that quickly failed. Instead I wrote about them in the most boring fashion possible. But now, for the final conclusion of glorious Comic Book Movie July, the first and probably last Theme Month at Fabricated Truth, I will reexamine the question.

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Comic Book Movie July – Persepolis

Dienstag, Juli 29th, 2008

In Comic Book Movie July, Persepolis is a bit of an outsider. It’s not an American film. It’s not even in English. It’s not a live action film. And it actually takes history seriously and doesn’t abuse it for its own purposes – or at least not nearly as noticeable as is common. Persepolis is the story of a girl growing up in Iran during and after the Islamic Revolution. It’s the actual biography (with certain leeway, I’m sure) of comic creator and film co-director Marjane Satrapi. And it is certainly an interesting biography.

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Comic Book Movie July – 300

Freitag, Juli 25th, 2008

The biggest surprise of 300 came at the very end of the closing credits. There was the usual disclaimer about the film being a work of fiction and that all events and characters were fictitious and that any resemblance to actual events and/or people was purely coincidental. Surprising about that was that somehow I had always laboured under the impression that King Leonidas and the 300 Spartans that defended the pass of Thermopylae long enough to allow the Greek city states to unite and move against the Persian invaders were quite real, had fought and died at the “hot gates” (the translation of Thermopylae). But apparently, they were all a creation of Frank Miller – and looking at this movie, it is probably better to not even imagine it having any relation to actual history.

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Comic Book Movie July – Sin City

Dienstag, Juli 22nd, 2008

Sin City is pulp. Sin City is violent. Sin City is cruel. But it’s aware of all that, so it’s okay, really. Frank Miller wrote first one and then many stories set in this fictional town. Stories that explored the darker side of society. Stories that were populated by criminals, thugs, drug lords, prostitutes and unlikely heroes. Stories that were common and yet strangely new and unique. They were heralded more for their unusual visual style than for their content. And thus Miller was happy creating comics, never thinking about turning them into a film. But then along came Robert Rodriguez and everything changed.

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Comic Book Movie July – V for Vendetta

Freitag, Juli 18th, 2008

“Remember, remember, the fifth of November”. You don’t know why you should remember the fifth of November? Obviously, you either aren’t British or not very well versed in your country’s history. On November fifth of 1605, Guy Fawkes and a number of co-conspirators tried to blow up the Houses of Parliament in London, killing the King (James I.) and many other leaders of the country in the process. The Gunpowder Plot, as it is now known, failed and Fawkes was later executed. To this day, the failure (or the attempt) is celebrated throughout the Commonwealth on the fifth of November. But don’t worry, you don’t need to remember any of that to enjoy V for Vendetta.

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Comic Book Movie July – A History of Violence

Dienstag, Juli 15th, 2008

A History of Violence. Think about that. Such a simple title, yet it conveys so much meaning. It sounds eloquent, yet brutal – and that may also sum up the film A History of Violence. It’s brutal. It’s bloody. It’s archaic. And it’s brilliant. In many movies today, violence has become gratuitous, has become a means without an end (Seen any Tarantino lately?). But A History of Violence is different. Sure, it more than deserves it’s R rating or being restricted to adults in Germany. But underneath that, there is so much more – an enthralling thriller as well as a heartfelt plea for family and small-town life.

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Comic Book Movie July – Constantine

Freitag, Juli 11th, 2008

In relation to the other movies reviewed this month, Constantine is quite an oddity. It is not the work of a single creator or team of creators, but rather a franchise called Hellblazer owned by one of the two major comic book publishers (DC, the other being Marvel), that many different writers and artists have worked on. But even though it comes out of the same factory that brought us superheroes like Superman or Batman, Constantine is quite different from those, focusing on a religious back story that is both entertaining and highly uncanonical. (weiterlesen …)

Comic Book Movie July – Ghost World

Dienstag, Juli 8th, 2008

So, Ghost World. Another slightly misleading title. There’s nothing ghostly about this film – except for maybe how mundane everything is. Ghost World is based on Daniel Clowes graphic novel of the same name, which he adapted for the big screen with director Terry Zwigoff (the two also later collaborated in the same way on Art School Confidential). Ghost World tells the story of two teenagers fresh out of high school. Far removed from the usual look at preppy cheerleaders and sport jocks that dominates popular entertainment, the film shows two outsiders trying to make their way in a world they can’t quite understand.

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Comic Book Movie July – From Hell

Freitag, Juli 4th, 2008

From Hell is a strange name for a movie (or a graphic novel, for that matter). One would expect the subject to be something like Hellboy - a character straight from hell, or a hellish story at least. But this is not the case with Alan Moore’s comic book From Hell and naturally also not with the movie based on it. It’s both much simpler and much more horrifying: From Hell was the return address on one of the letters the police and press received during the brutal serial killings of Jack the Ripper, claiming to come from the murderer.

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Comic Book Movie July – An Introduction

Dienstag, Juli 1st, 2008

It’s July and July means summer all over the world. (I’m not counting the southern hemisphere here for obvious reasons.) And summer means blockbuster season in cinemas. Big, loud and often simple movies for big, loud and often simple audiences. Some may remember the time when a summer blockbuster was still an event, when movies like Return of the Jedi or Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade were still something to talk about for weeks to come and that literally everybody had to see during opening weekend. Then came the time when summer blockbusters became the playground for Jerry Bruckheimer, Michael Bay and Co and plot was pretty much replaced by big explosions. And in recent years, the studios didn’t even bother to hire a writer to come up with an original concept any more. Instead, they just adapted successful comic book franchises. Batman, Spider-Man, Superman, Iron Man, Antman, Aquaman, X-Men, you get the idea. Superheroes doing what they do best – protecting the world from evil. This month will not deal with those movies.

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