The Phantom Is Back!

Discussion in 'Science Fiction & Fantasy' started by Dusty Ayres, Jun 14, 2010.

  1. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    I found the miniseries much better than I expected. It had some goofy aspects, and that costume was just plain hideous and needs to change, but the writing was mostly entertaining, the characters well-drawn, and the actors appealing (particularly the love interest Renny). I thought it did a good job staying faithful to the Phantom's backstory and mythos while still updating it, something that's uniquely easy to do with The Phantom. Although I don't understand why they retconned Bengalla from an African country to an Indonesian island. They did a good job crafting a diverse, international feel to it, but it bugged me a little that the only black characters were villains.

    And I keep coming back to the costume. Ugh. The concept isn't too bad aside from the hideous cowl and neck-brace thing, but it's too heavy for someone who's supposed to be a parkour runner. And its bullet resistance is too magical. They need to go for something lighter, something that lets the stuntman be more acrobatic and makes the hero less invulnerable. And they need to reintroduce some of the classic look of the Phantom costume. The Phantom legend supposedly goes back four centuries, so he should use it to inspire the good and frighten the wicked, or at least to let the cops know he's not the one they should be shooting at.

    So I'm hoping this does go to series with the same cast and creative team, but I hope they reconsider the costume.

    You know, it would be good to have a series like this on Syfy -- an alternative to the gritty space stuff like Caprica and SGU on the one hand and the comedic Earth-based fantasy stuff like Eureka and Warehouse 13. A fairly grounded superhero show, not frivolous in tone but not overly dark, would add some variety to their lineup.

    Oh, and for future reference, someone should tell their caption writers that the Pentagon is in Arlington, VA, not Washington, DC. Okay, it's just across the river from DC, but still.
     
  2. Calhoun24

    Calhoun24 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I saw it, and thought it was better than I was expecting.

    I agree that if the series is green-lighted, the costume has to be retooled. It looks like there is too much armor, and not a look that make the character all that heroic.

    The writing was above average as was the acting. I liked the setup with how they carried over elements from the general setup of the story, yet explain that things have to change on occasion. Also, Vandy's comment on being too reliant on technology is valid. You want the hero to rely on the things that make The Phantom...The Phantom. I also liked the fact that Guran comes across as an equal, and not really a love interest. I liked Remmie, and Dr. Baboor. Remmie's cop dad was a little much at times, but that didn't bother me as much.

    If this goes to series, I'll watch it - if only to support the middle ground tone-wise that SyFy should be targetting with respect to original series, counterbalancing the darkness of SGU and Caprica, and the seemingly comedy-centric tone of Eureka and W13.
     
  3. RAMA

    RAMA Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I hate the old costume with the striped briefs lol

    The costume in the tv movie was headed in the right direction, but made an odd turn somewhere...hmmm

    RAMA
     
  4. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    ^It would've been easy enough to strike a middle ground -- something more modern in style, without the briefs, but still with a deep purple hue and headgear that was truer to the original. And something light enough to be credible for an acrobatic hero, something that isn't so restrictive for the stuntman.
     
  5. Valar

    Valar Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    The only things I found sub par were the villains, both isabella and the indian guy were atrociously acted. I know they were going for over the top, but it was downright silly. I must've missed the part where they explained the motivation of the traitor who held Renny hostage.

    It's funny, everything about this was much better than the commercials preceeding it. The movie itself, the midget that they hired to play Phantom actually can act, the love interest looked butt ugly in the promos but was "do-able" in the movie. And the action was interesting without CGI bullshit sprinkled all over. I was nonplussed by the wirefu in some shots but on the whole it was well done. I'm actually jonesing to see more from this Phantom.
     
  6. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Singh did say at one point that he was paying the traitor a lot of money for his services. Sometimes that's all the motivation a person needs.
     
  7. Captaindemotion

    Captaindemotion Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Indeed. I mean, if you look at how good and traditional the Spider-man costume looked in the recent movies, it shouldn't be too hard to make a decent looking update of the Phantom's cozzie.
     
  8. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    ^Actually I have mixed feelings about the movies' Spidey costume. Sure, it looks snazzy, but it's not remotely credible as something a teenager whipped up by himself. Of course you wouldn't want something too realistic within those parameters, because it would look like a cheap Halloween costume, but they went too far in the other direction.

    I think TV and movies these days always overthink superhero costumes. They're afraid of making them look like just fancy leotards, but there's a reason why acrobats and weightlifters wear leotards. Superheroes would need light costumes that granted them freedom of movement. Sure, it makes sense that they'd need some kind of body armor too, but from a design standpoint there seems to be too much fear of simplicity.
     
  9. Captaindemotion

    Captaindemotion Vice Admiral Admiral

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    ^ Yeah, Spidey's costume is clearly very professionally and painstakingly made. But the point I was making is that before they made the movie, lots of people said that they ought to give him the black costume, that the red & blue look would look silly onscreen. But it didn't, IMHO. As for the feasibility of an impoverished teen making that, well, I suppose suspension of disbelief has to kick in.

    The Spider-suit was also one of the few recent ones that didn't have body armour or the like, though IIRC it had padding in places to accentuate Maguire's musculature, as well as a helmet to give more of a pronounced shape to his head.
     
  10. Mr. Adventure

    Mr. Adventure Admiral Admiral

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    Peter could make that suit because he had enhanced sewing abilities derived from the spider's ablility to spin webs.


    Or something....
     
  11. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    The way I heard it, the purpose of the rigid structure beneath the mask was to give the head a uniform shape regardless of whether Maguire or one of his stunt doubles was wearing it. But yeah, there was padding for the muscles as well.
     
  12. KB24

    KB24 Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Again, I just think the iconic imagery of The Phantom should be left alone. The purple, the skulls, the jungle, the period, fighting against piracy and injustice. I don't get why people think a 70 years running comic is not popular and needs to be updated. If its not broke don't fix it and leave well enough alone.

    I didn't even bother watching this, I actually forgot about it. My Dad-the real Phantom obsessor who can quote you comic number and date- said the dialogue was bad but that they did attempt to connect back, but he doesn't think the show can last as is.

    Why not try making something as it is before you beg for the modern appeal? I don't think the Zane movie was 'as is' either. It had too much weird skull mysticism or something. You'd think if Crystal Skulls didn't work for The Phantom that it wouldn't work for Indiana Jones but somebody thought better! ;0)

    It wasn't the action, cast, or period piece settings that hurt the 94 movie or The Shadow film, they had bad storylines, that's all.
     
  13. Greg Cox

    Greg Cox Admiral Premium Member

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    Did anyone else catch the bit where the tv news reporter described the Phantom as "a masked man in a purple suit"? Even though what we saw was a man wearing black body armor?

    Um, I don't think the screenwriter and the costume designer were on the same page . . . .
     
  14. Electric Coleslaw

    Electric Coleslaw Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I just finished watching it last night. God, it was awful. Just plain awful on all counts. The casting, the villains, the dumb fight sequences, the plot, the costume. So pointless.
     
  15. Kagan

    Kagan Commodore Commodore

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    I watched it...it was better than expected, but then again my expectations were LOW! I liked Chris, Guran, and the residence set of the Skull Cave. However, the other characters were comical to say the least. The Manchurian Candidate(s) plotline is overworked in my opinion.

    The costume? Looks far too cumbersome to be used.
     
  16. Brian

    Brian Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I watched the first half hour and was so unimpressed I skipped to the last half hour to see if the intervening three hours might be worth the viewing. They weren't. What a crap-fest.
     
  17. KB24

    KB24 Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Anyone have ratings numbers or announcements from 'SyFy' about it? I think since it had such low reception on the Canadian airing that was why there was little buzz here. I guess they dropped any series hopes.

    What happened to the movie that was supposedly happening?
     
  18. Temis the Vorta

    Temis the Vorta Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    The guy they cast in the lead was good, anyway. But I fastforwarded thru the first 40 minutes (which is how long it took to get to the frakkin' story!), paid attention to the Skull Island stuff (pretty cool) and then lost interest again when the interminable and dull training scenes started. Couldn't even whomp up the motivation to ff to the end and see the kid kick the cartoon villains' asses. Delete, delete.

    Since I saw maybe half an hour of this thing total, I might have missed the part where they explain why the Phantom must be embodied by a member of the Walker family, and why they couldn't just start auditioning likely prospects from the general population. Genetics? Ancient spell cast by a witch doctor?

    Looked like a very standard comic book/superhero approach. At this point, isn't everyone completely sick of such standard stuff? At least come up with interesting villains who have a shred of credibility. Or have a superhero who doesn't give a shit about saving the world and just wants to make a buck. Something, anything new!
     
  19. KB24

    KB24 Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Exactly Temis! In my mind The Phantom is the furthest thing from the standard comic book trappings, so why turn it into just that? This is why I think a storyline from the historical phantom about piracy and the family mantle would be different.
     
  20. Captaindemotion

    Captaindemotion Vice Admiral Admiral

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    ^ I agree. A period piece superhero in an era we've never seen would be great. Most modern movies are set in the present day and we've had 30s-set ones like the previous Phantom or The Shadow. But that's really it.

    I suppose you could count the likes of Zorro & Robin Hood as period piece superhero movies. But with The Phantom you can set it in numerous eras that haven't been seen onscreen before in a superhero movie. Why not take advantage of that to distinguish your movie from the herd?