Archive for March, 2009

24th March
written by JohnArkontaky

Frame from graphic novel Watchmen

Frame from graphic novel "Watchmen"

This animated movie is a spinoff of a comic book within the graphic novel Watchmen. The movie does an excellent job of keeping true to the core of this (fictitiuos) comic book. We watch the hero go through stomach turning atrocities that ultimately transform him from an honorable ship captain to a hallucinated madman.

It lacks, however, any tie-ins with Watchmen, as it strives to be a stand-alone entity. But, unfortunately, it’s hard to justify any film clocking in under 30 minutes of reel time with a price tag of $30 retail. Gerald Butler (King Leonidus from 300) is a sexy guy and a great voice-over, but not that good.

The movie starts off right in the middle of a bloody naval battle between a monstrous black ship and what seems to be an honest naval ship (maybe British). It would have been nice to see some homage to the spinoff’s roots, visa vi a prologue of the fanboy reading “Tales of the Black Freighter” at a newsstand in NYC. After all, that’s how readers followed the comic: the fanboy would talk to the newsstand vendor, then we would get a glimpse of Freighter and the action would perfectly coincide with the discussion fanboy was having–but with a really twisted, gory perversion of the conversation.

All-in-all it’s interesting, but not worth the dough. Maybe if nothing interesting is on your Netflix list you should give this DVD a shot, but don’t expect to be pulled into the story for long. I recommend the graphic novel instead.

18th March
written by brandij

Author: Sophie Kinsella
Published: Bantam Books, 2003

Director: P.J. Hogan
Starring: Isla Fisher, Hugh Dancy, Krysten Ritter, Joan Cusack, John Goodman
Release: February 2009

I confess that I didn’t have much faith in either the book or the movie Confessions of a Shopaholic. Every time I saw one of the books in my local Target I rolled my eyes – I’ve never been a label girl, so going thousands of dollars into debt for shoes and scarves is outside my realm of experience. However, I found Rebecca Bloomwood to be engaging in the same vein as Bridget Jones, except with a collection of shopping bags instead of diet fads.

The drastic differences between the book and the movie make them hard to compare, although both have redeeming qualities (including a note to self: stay away from credit cards and sale racks!). In novel form, Shopaholic focuses on Bloomwood’s financial difficulties, but when translated to the big screen, you get much more of a romantic focus.


11th March
written by JohnArkontaky

Graphic Novel:
Author: Alan Moore
Published: DC Comics, 1986

Director: Zack Snyder
Starring: Malin Akerman, Billy Crudup, Matthew Goode, Jackie Earle Haley, Jeffrey Morgan, Patrick Wilson
Release: March 2009

You don’t have to look too hard before finding somebody that worships DC Comics’ Watchmen. Its popularity has survived tests of time, and one could argue that Watchmen is the lynchpin of the graphic novel’s (and comic book’s) credibility as “serious” literature. Had it been made into a motion picture in the late 80s or even 90s, the lack of computer graphics and special effects may have tarnished the experience. But, now that movies almost have too much computer animation, it is safe to attempt this seminal work. Or is it? Afterall, with great success comes even greater expectation…and criticism. Watchmen fanboys are going to be, umm…watching, with scrutiny for any miscues. So, how did Zack Snyder fare in recreating this cult hit? (more…)

6th March
written by JohnArkontaky

Author: J.R.R. Tolkien
Published: 1954

Director: Peter Jackson
Screenplay: Fran Walsh, etc.
Starring: Elijah Wood, Sean Astin, Viggo Mortensen, Orlando Bloom, Bernard Hill, Ian McKellan, John Rhys-Davies
Release: December 2002

Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers

The Two Towers is the second installation of J.R.R. Tokien’s Lord of the Rings saga. Director Peter Jackson took greater departures from this book than the previous adaptation in part one, The Fellowship of the Ring. He seems to have stuck to his award-winning formula, in that he added more conflict, and romance than Tolkien focused on in the book. Some of the risks Jackson took were difficult to swallow and even nudging up to cheesy for commercial fans, let alone stout Tolkien fanboys. Besides adding some soap-opera elements to the film, Jackson decided to play Jenga with Tolkien’s sequence of events as well. (more…)