Wednesday, March 24, 2010


Contrary to popular belief being a comic book geek does have its advantages. Sure we may never know the love of a good woman, we were stuffed into our lockers in high school, are laughed at by our peers and suffer from separated discs due to years of lugging our around our long boxes but it’s all made up for by the knowledge that we are on the frontlines of cool. Sure this has been a slightly more recent development but if you’re a life long comic geek like me you knew just how awesome stuff like HELLBOY, WATCHMEN and 300 were long before the movie going public at large embraced them. Well, as the resident comic book geek of this site I feel it’s my duty to make everyone aware of some potentially VERY cool stuff coming down the pike.

THE LOSERS: I’ve seen posters for this flick pop up at every bus stop seemingly overnight. I seriously couldn’t be more excited about this film but I’m sure many of you out there have absolutely no clue what it is. Allow me to enlighten you.

At first glance THE LOSERS almost seems like a rip-off of the A-TEAM. A group of black ops operatives gets burned by their bosses. They fake their own death then set about trying to bring down the people that double-crossed them; nefarious forces that threaten not only the future of America, but the world.

Rip-off, homage, whatever you want to call it THE LOSERS is one of the single most cinematic comic books I’ve ever read. I tore through the first trade paperback in a day and it left me hungry for more. The entire thing reads like a big budget, Jerry Bruckheimer action movie, one of those things that ala 300 that doesn’t really need to be tweaked, but just thrown up on the screen as is. Having seen the trailer it thankfully looks like the film makers did just that. As far as I can tell there’s not a single shot in the trailer that isn’t directly lifted from the comic book and that is a VERY good thing.

Peter Berg handled the scripting chores for the adaptation and he almost always turns in solid work whether it be as a producer (Which he also is on this film), director or writer. And while the choice of Sylvian White as director has me a little worried (His credits include STOMP THE YARD and I’LL ALWAYS KNOW WHAT YOU DID LAST SUMMER), they could not have picked a better cast. Zoe Saldana, Chris Evans, Jeffrey Dean Morgan and Jason Patric are all pitch perfect bits of casting and they should knock it out of the park in their respective roles.

I’m not saying THE LOSERS is going to be the deepest, most meaningful movie you’ll ever see but if it’s done right it should be a hell of a lot of fun. A nice little sleeper hit that ingratiates itself to people in the theatres and probably even more so on DVD, that hopefully might lead to a franchise. Give this one a chance and I’m hoping THE LOSERS will prove they are anything but.

KICK-ASS: I really don’t know how else to say this and I assure you there’s no pun intended even though you may not believe me so I’m just going to come out and say it. Prepare to have your ass kicked. Mark my words; I’m calling the shot right now KICK-ASS is going to rock your freaking world.

Pound for pound Mark Millar may be one of if not THE most entertaining comic book writer out there today. Sure he’s not as deep as your Frank Millers, Alan Moores and Brian K. Vaughns but by God does the man know how to tell a ripping good yarn! For all intents and purposes Mark Millar is the Michael Bay of comic books only with more talent and less motion sickness. The dude knows how to tell MASSIVE, crowd pleasing stories that may be a little low on substance but are HUGE on flash and ass-kickery. I’ve devoured everything the man has ever written and to date I think his opus, the thing he will be remembered for in years to come, above all the other great works he’s contributed to (And there’s been quite a few) is KICK-ASS.

KICK-ASS is the seemingly simple story of a high school kid that decides he’s going to live out the comic books he’s obsessed with and become a masked vigilante. Much humor, chaos and blood soaked violence ensues as a result.

Like the aforementioned THE LOSERS, KICK-ASS was made to be a movie. The entire thing leaps off the page and from page 1 screams to be put up on the big screen. Luckily the more than capable Matthew Vaughn (The genius behind LAYER CAKE and STARDUST) realized this and decided to come along side Mark Millar and bring his vision to life on the big screen.

The last Mark Millar comic to be adapted to the big screen was the very misguided WANTED, a great comic book that was turned into a really ludicrous movie. Luckily this time out Mark Millar helped write the screenplay - at the same time he was writing the comic book. Basically what that means is that what I read in the KICK-ASS comic book miniseries is EXACTLY what will be up on screen because the movie and comic were being written at the exact same time by the exact same guy. Add into the mix the fact that the comic is being adapted by one of the most competent and capable directors in all of Hollywood and you have an absolute can’t miss.

Mark my words right now KICK-ASS is going to sneak up on everyone and do just that. It’s that awesome film that will come out earlier in the year by which you’ll judge everything else that comes out the rest of the year. Guaranteed THE costume of choice at this year’s Comic-Con will be Hit Girl. This is the kind of film that I honestly don’t think ANYONE knows quite what they’re in for that will come along and broadside EVERYONE with just how awesome it is. It’s the film that will give IRON MAN 2 a run for its money as well as maybe almost every other big budget blockbuster to come down the pike the rest of the year.

I know this all may seem like hyperbole right now but you’re going to have to trust me on this. I don’t want to give away too much because one of the joys of KICK-ASS is discovering the myriad twists and turns it makes. However if I had to describe it I would honestly say I think it’s going to be the SHAUN OF THE DEAD / HOT FUZZ of comic book movies. A film that skewers the comic book movie genre all while paying loving tribute to it by playing within the confines and the rules set up by that same genre. No joke I actually audibly cheered at the end of the next to last issue of the miniseries, it’s that well done.

Lions Gate Films has a bit of a battle trying to properly market this movie but if they do, if they can get people into the theatre to see this thing there is no doubt in my mind it will be huge. How huge? I’m seriously thinking THE MATRIX type huge. Yes, I really do think this might be the kind of film that no one really expects anything of that just comes out of nowhere and knocks them to the floor. So far it’s looking like I may not be too far off since Rotten Tomatoes is already tracking the stellar, nearly perfect reviews the film is getting and since test screening audiences and those lucky enough to see it at South By Southwest can’t seem to stop raving about it. Like THE LOSERS I’m asking you to take my word for it and take a leap of faith with KICK-ASS, if you do I can almost guarantee you won’t be disappointed.

With these two movies rapidly approaching, GREEN LANTERN about to start filming and Chris Evans just announced as Captain America (Perfect casting by the way) it’s a pretty great time to be a geek. Now can someone find a good woman to help me out of my locker?

No comments: