Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Great Scot(t)?....

So. Ocasionally I'm going to put up an opinion piece about upcoming film/TV/entertainment projects. I like to read about this stuff, and once in a while I feel compelled to say something about it. If you read about something that you think is fun/cool/awful/bewildering, and you think I'd be interested in reading or writing about it, I encourage you to let me know. You can do so in the comments or via WhatIsWater@gmail.com.

According to Dark Horizons (and a number of other places), Tony Scott is attached to direct the film adaptation of Mark Millar's Nemesis - a comic book that has two existent issues to its name, neither of which is worth much beyond the essential core concept: Super-villian vs. Cop.

Tony Scott (aka Ridley Scott's brother) hasn't made a film worth sitting through since Crimson Tide, back in 1995. Since then, Scott's mostly been experimenting with visual techniques designed to blind, disorient and stupefy you. He calls these experiments "movies," but that's eminently debatable as anyone who's sat through Domino could tell you.

Mark Millar (presumably NOT Ridley Scott's brother), the man behind such titles as Kick Ass, Wanted, and The Ultimates, has plenty of sizzle in his figurative skillet, but far less red meat to speak of. His stories are, almost to a one, nihilistic tales of "heroes" that routinely murder/abuse each other/other people, and generally behave like psychotics off their medications. Which, given the general interests of many comic readers, means that he's phenomenally successful. I have nothing against shock value in my entertainment, but Millar tends to go for big "shocks" (Hank Pym beats his wife! Hulk wants to rape Freddy Prinze Jr.! A ten year-old girl is a mass murderer...err...vigilante!) at the expense of most everything else. Garth Ennis, a similarly-"shocking" writer, is much, much better at making you (a) care about the people he's writing about, and (b) laugh your @$$ off.

I was not a fan of Kick Ass: The Movie. What it seemed to amount to, more or less, was the first Spider-Man film, minus all the superpowers and most of the heart, but with more gay jokes. Nor was I a fan of Wanted, the other film created from Millar's work. Basically, both of these films are copies of other, better films. Wanted is Fight Club-meets-The Matrix, but without any of the intelligence or truly subversive intent so admirably abundant in both of those films.

None of which leaves me feeling very enthusiastic about Nemesis - a project that, as of now, is a carbon-reversal of Batman (here he's the villian, he wears white instead of black, and Jim Gordon is trying to stop him, not help him), directed by a man who seems to want to literalize ADD with his films. It promises "shock," but no awe.

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