August 18, 2014

To her friend...


19 comments:

  1. Dark Knight Returns 2 or whatever it's called should leave no doubt that Frank Miller is insane.

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    1. Dark Knight Strikes Back, and yeah, between that, Holy Terror, and All-Star Batman & Robin, he's clearly around the bend...

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    2. I sometimes wonder if Frank Miller didn't begin to deliberately parody himself in response to what he saw as a large number of fans missing the point about some of his earlier work. Consider some of the following details: first, Miller probably intended Dark Knight Returns to be the ending to the Batman story; certainly that was how Alan Moore interpreted it in the intro he wrote to the collected edition. So one can imagine how he felt when fans clamored for a sequel.

      Then consider that Returns was, arguably, a deconstruction of the uber-badass "Dark Knight" portrayal of Batman. Batman and Two-Face "tumble like lovers." Batman tells Two-Face "I see a reflection." When Batman tries to out-macho the Mutant leader, he gets badly beaten; he has to use his brain to win. The criminal-coddling liberal do-gooder shrink, Wolper, who seems like he's supposed to be a deliberate mockery, turns out to be completely right when he says that Batman causes the very crime he fights, at least with respect to the Joker and the SoBs. And then, at the end, what seems like the final-showdown, gotterdammerung fight between Batman and Superman turns out to be just a shadowbox. The whole fight was staged so Bruce could fake his death and operate from behind the scenes by working with others. After looking for a "good death" throughout the book, Bruce ends by saying "this will be a good life." So, arguably, the whole message is uber-badass, macho, death-seeker Batman is kind of ineffective, but smart, cooperative, trickster Batman gets the job done.

      But is that the message fans took from it? Well, some, yes, but many, it seems to me, took exactly the opposite point. They seemed to be saying, "Batman should be darker and grittier!" "Batman should beat up Superman some more!" "Batman could beat anyone with enough prep-time!" etc. I could understand if Miller's reaction was, 'alright, if that's what you want, that's what you'll get, no matter how stupid it is.' I'm not saying that I know for a fact that that's what happened. Maybe he did just lose his mind, or maybe he just let his talent decay.

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    3. Or maybe Frank just wanted more money.

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  2. Aww, this make me sad since I have such fond memories of his work on Batman and Daredevil.

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  3. I always figured "The Spirit" killed Frank Miller's movie career. Then again, all Hallywood seems to know how to do now is make comic book movies.

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    1. Except they don't know how to make comic book movies. If they did, then The Spirit movie would have resembled The Spirit comics in some way.

      In terms of recent good comic book adaptations, we have all of the Marvel Studios movies, one good and one really good Batman movies, two half-good Superman movies, two half-good Spiderman movies, a bunch of X Men films of varying quality, Scott Pilgrim, and probably some I'm leaving out because I'm not aware they were originally comics. Also a lot of really dumb nonsense. Okay, some people liked Kick-Ass as well.

      But other than Marvel Studios (and a handful of other exceptions), when Hollywood tries to adapt a comic book, they tend to require at least one franchise reboot to get it right. And just as often, they give it to Michael Bay to Michael Bay-ify the story and characters until you're ready to forgive George Lucas because, seriously, at least Episode I wasn't Bay's TMNT. And then I remember that the same guy who made the recent Star Trek films is making the new Star Wars films. And that's when I decide to ignore "Hollywood" and pay more attention to nerdy documentaries about D&D, text adventures, BBSs, pinball, and so on. Because The Spirit movie never really stood a chance.

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    2. Hollywood ruins everything, even its own things. Just look at all the lousy remakes and "re-imaginings" they've committed over the years. Hell, just look at what Lucas did to his own works after spending too long in Hollywood. (HAN SHOT FIRST!)

      That's why the Marvel Studios movies are actually doing so well: they're not being made by a movie studio. They are comic book movies being made by a comic book company disguised as a movie studio.

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  4. Nah. I still think he's a racist, sexist, homophobic teabagging jerk - a role-model for the neckbeards who follow him. He even has the facial hair and the trilby.

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  5. I actually wouldn't mind a Martha Washington movie series.

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  6. http://thatguywiththeglasses.com/videolinks/linkara/at4w/43870-300th-episode

    For those who did forget, here's the Atop the Fourth Wall review of Holy Terror.

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  7. During the peak of the Occupy Wall Street movement, Frank had on his main page a long, long blog post that boiled down to, "Why don't you people get off my lawn and go get a job already?"

    It seems we get niether the Frank Miller we want, OR the Frank Miller we need.

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  8. Anonymous 8/19/2014 9:54 AM makes a really good argument for Miller taking the piss with his more recent Batman work, but that doesn't explain Holy Terror, which, by all accounts, is a god-awful mess. I haven't read it, so there's some chance that I'd love it and take back all of this, but all of the excerpts and reviews I've read have described it as misguided at best, deliberately antagonistic at worst, and deeply troubled and poorly written no matter what its aim. If it didn't exist, it would be easier to look at All-Star Batman and Robin as some kind of commentary, but in a world where Miller wrote Holy Terror, the excesses of any of his other works looks like heartfelt fondness for fascist psychopaths.

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    1. Thank you very much. I also haven't read Holy Terror, and it might be that it would change my view also. Not that I'm anything like certain about my view anyway; it's just a theory.

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    2. I watched the review that TB Tabby linked to (http://thatguywiththeglasses.com/videolinks/linkara/at4w/43870-300th-episode) - it's 1.5 hours and feels like it covers every page of Holy Terror, so I feel a lot less nervous about declaring it garbage. It's not just the bigotry, oversimplification, and inflation of the terrorist threat (though it has that in ample quantities) - the writing is just plain bad. Repetitive, nonsensical, stilted. Just bad.

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  9. From all accounts, 300 2 is made by people who exactly remembered how much they hate Millar's machismo glorifying bullshit.

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