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Old August 21 2008, 12:42 AM   #31
Emh
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Re: Neil Gaiman's Law of Superhero Movies

Oh, I didn't see that before. That's brilliant!
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Old August 21 2008, 12:45 AM   #32
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Re: Neil Gaiman's Law of Superhero Movies

Spaceman Spiff wrote: View Post
His joke about David Tennant in Hamlet is spot-on, though.
You can even hear Tennant's Doctor-style delivery.
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Old August 21 2008, 01:09 AM   #33
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Re: Neil Gaiman's Law of Superhero Movies

JacksonArcher wrote: View Post
I wonder, though, can you be faithful to the source material but suck as a film, and still be successful? I've seen many comic-book films that weren't that close to the material but worked as films, and thus were successful in their own right.
Exactly why this "law" shouldn't be taken too seriously - and probably was not meant to.

Wasn't Daredevil, and especially Electra pretty close to the comic too? They simply were not very good films.

Ghost Rider was pretty damn close to the comics as well.
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Old August 21 2008, 02:30 AM   #34
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Re: Neil Gaiman's Law of Superhero Movies

Emh wrote: View Post
I agree with others that "the look and feel of what people like about the comic" is highly subjective and therefore I don't necessarily think Gaiman is onto something. Each character has gone through many variations of over the years from campy to dark to outright weird to some combination of the three to something else I've failed to mention. So who's "look and feel" is the "correct" one in regards to each of the movies?
Well, it's not so much that the comics are somehow "magic." A bad idea or bad execution of a good idea for that matter can be done in any medium.

The thing is... comics are (relatively) cheap to produce. So, we get a lot of content in "comic" form over a long period of time... a movie gets only a couple of hours, on the other hand.

What does that matter? Well, comics (like anything else) change over time. And that change is always a slow, steady move towards what the audience wants... that is, if it's going to continue to be SOLD. Right?

In other words... the comic represents what audiences want because it's had a long, slow "evolution" towards that. The IDEA gets developed more fully, and there's an easier ability to follow what works versus what doesn't.

The comic is better not because it's a comic but because it's got a lot more TRIAL AND ERROR developing it (in most cases). Or, in the case of folks like Moore and his "Watchmen," it's a matter of the guy having the ability to tell his own story with almost no other, conflicting ideas interfering ("many cooks" and all that)... combined with lots of experience with that slow, steady evolution of ideas in OTHER works.

Batman started out one way. He shifted, over time... got "nice" back in the late 1950s (and became boring as a result... and lost market). The 1970s just got WEIRD... but in about 1972, Denny O'Neil and a few other guys changed it all... and gave us "real" characters living in a "real" world again. As much as Frank Miller gets credit for "redefining" Batman, I don't accept that. Everything good about the modern version of Batman came about as a result of O'Neil's "taking it back to the roots" and "treat this as real" sensibilities. You can look at today's Batman and the version that O'Neil started working with in the early 1970s and they're essentially indistinguishable. The only thing he really kept from the 1960's "mod" period was the yellow oval.
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Old August 21 2008, 06:00 AM   #35
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Re: Neil Gaiman's Law of Superhero Movies

I think he is spot on. When you think about it the movies, that the majority of people that like the comics also like the movie, do better than the ones that split the fanbase so to speak. No film is going to please everyone, but the ones that please the most number of people tend to do the best. Like all rules there will be exceptions especially when the spand generations. I know that fans generally dislike I, Robot, Transformers, Conan but they all were very successful. I think GI Joe will do exactly the same.

Are there any Spider-Man and Batman fans that truly dislike Spider-Man and Batman Begins/The Dark Knight?
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Old August 21 2008, 06:06 AM   #36
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Re: Neil Gaiman's Law of Superhero Movies

I dislike the second and third Spider-Man, FWIW.
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Old August 21 2008, 06:30 AM   #37
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Re: Neil Gaiman's Law of Superhero Movies

Captain Craig wrote: View Post
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Was that 30 Days of Night movie that was released a year or two back very faithful to the original comics? I don't recall it doing that well at the box office.
I can't speak to its faithfulness but I'll take JacksonArchers word for it that is strayed. I saw the movie and as a creepy vamp movie thought it was decent. It didn't bomb, flop or tank however. Modest success.
I haven't seen 30 Days of Night, although (perversely) I own a copy. I have heard that it began its life as a script, and only became a graphic novel when nobody wanted to make it as a film. Success as a comic produced, voila, a film.

What does that do to the theory?
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Old August 21 2008, 02:23 PM   #38
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Re: Neil Gaiman's Law of Superhero Movies

Galactus wrote: View Post
Are there any Spider-Man and Batman fans that truly dislike Spider-Man and Batman Begins/The Dark Knight?
Yes, I grew up on Spider-Man and I truly dislike (to use your words) all three of the movies. There are certain aspects of them (particularly the acting for all of the villains) I like, but there are far, far more about them that I don't.
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Old August 21 2008, 03:23 PM   #39
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Re: Neil Gaiman's Law of Superhero Movies

TremblingBluStar wrote: View Post
JacksonArcher wrote: View Post
I wonder, though, can you be faithful to the source material but suck as a film, and still be successful? I've seen many comic-book films that weren't that close to the material but worked as films, and thus were successful in their own right.
Exactly why this "law" shouldn't be taken too seriously - and probably was not meant to.

Wasn't Daredevil, and especially Electra pretty close to the comic too? They simply were not very good films.

Ghost Rider was pretty damn close to the comics as well.
Daredevil was decent, the Directors Cut made it good. It was quite close to the comic and was a modest success. Affleck and his "I don't do sequels" is at least one factor DD:2 didn't happen.

Elektra's solo effort though made the character quite separate from who she is. She is not a mother or sisterly figure which they made her into for the feature. This movie was quite bad, not many redeeming things in the movie.

Ghost Rider was fairly close, minus the lame jelly bean gimmick Cage wanted, and did modestly well at the box office also. Not sure why they haven't pursued another. In the current age where Hellboy gets a sequel and Blade got two when neither was even modestly successful as Ghost Rider seems confusing. Cage has said he'd be up for another.
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Old August 21 2008, 06:55 PM   #40
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Re: Neil Gaiman's Law of Superhero Movies

Emh wrote: View Post
I agree with others that "the look and feel of what people like about the comic" is highly subjective and therefore I don't necessarily think Gaiman is onto something. Each character has gone through many variations of over the years from campy to dark to outright weird to some combination of the three to something else I've failed to mention. So who's "look and feel" is the "correct" one in regards to each of the movies?

He didn't say movies close to the look and feel of the comic book are successful, he said movies that are close to what people like about the look and feel of a comic book are successful. Any comic book movie has to fit its time, just as the book itself has to. Schumacher made a movie quite faithful to the 1960s Batman comics and tv show, sadly it was far out of touch with what people now like about Batman.

That's why I said it has been movie makers who've had the presence of mind to actually investigate what people right now are finding compelling about a character and spinning off of that who are finding success. If they'd checked what people find compelling about Elektra (and it definitely isn't her feminine qualities) then we wouldn't have gotten Big Sister Elektra. Burton's Batman worked because for all it's off the wall qualities, it did capture the look and feel of what people found compelling about Batman right then - dark, gothic, is the hero himself a complete raging psychotic? And so forth and so on.
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Old August 21 2008, 08:38 PM   #41
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Re: Neil Gaiman's Law of Superhero Movies

Eh, fidelity to the source material is just one factor. Prior to Marvel adaptations and Batman Begins, a lot of the films were just based on or using characters (or the ideas behind the characters), filmmakers putting their own spin on the characters not the actual comic book. The first 3 Batman films did well despite pretty much being their own thing, Daredevil was made by a huge fan, replicating some material, but didn't do fantastically, and its debatable how close the X-Men movies were-arguably a source of their strength was that it made the characters and look accessible and realistic rather than too complex or fantastic.

JacksonArcher wrote: View Post
I wonder, though, can you be faithful to the source material but suck as a film, and still be successful?
I'd say that the Potter movies, aside from the third, were faithful, in fact too overloaded, and they were still successful.
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Old August 21 2008, 10:03 PM   #42
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Re: Neil Gaiman's Law of Superhero Movies

The Harry Potter films were based on novels, though. The subject here seems to be pretty focused on comic books, no?
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Old August 22 2008, 01:59 PM   #43
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Re: Neil Gaiman's Law of Superhero Movies

Captain Craig wrote: View Post
Hirogen Alpha wrote: View Post
Was that 30 Days of Night movie that was released a year or two back very faithful to the original comics? I don't recall it doing that well at the box office.
I can't speak to its faithfulness but I'll take JacksonArchers word for it that is strayed. I saw the movie and as a creepy vamp movie thought it was decent. It didn't bomb, flop or tank however. Modest success.

I found League of Extrodinary Gentlemen and Constantine to both be entertaining films. I even own LXG. Neither set the box office on fire but like 30DoN didn't outright tank. Not sure if its due to how they are as films or if like VforVendetta they were boycotted for lack of strict adherence. V I loved by the way and only read after the movie.
The one and only thing that I found hard to take in V the film was his forgiving of the British people, because of the kind of leaders they were saddled with. In the novel, he basically told them they got what they had chosen and deserved. The other stuff-well, even Moore said that his initial WW3 scenario had bigger and bigger holes as time went on. I will say that when I loaned out the novel to some younger friends, they were at a loss as to why 'all this wasn't in the movie'.

We certainly hope for good movie adaptations, and as we've seen, the closer they hew to what makes the comics work, the better. But maybe there's a good even in the bad. The late 50's and early 60's had the 'white covers', songs sung by African-American artists made 'palatable' with white artists. If an Elvis or Bill Haley sang it, good. If a Pat Boone, not so much. Then you have Americanized anime. In both cases, a cutting-edge product is diluted and only some good things from the original make it through, again, better in some cases than others. But the chief effect to my mind is this : People ditched Boone and bought Little Richard; People ditched the dubs and wanted the subs (or even sub-less). Even a huge steaming stinker of a pile can draw interest to the original comic or graphic novel, thus expanding the base of fans who will say, circa 2011-2013 -

"Why is Luke Cage a college professor, while Danny Rand is a greaser punk with an interest in ballet?"
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