Many of us grew up reading comic books (aka "Graphic Novels", if you take yourself waaay too seriously). They were entrancing, they sucked you into another world that was at once unbelievably amazing, yet amazingly believable. I read some X-Men in high-school but really got into Batman and Ironman in college. Reading and re-reading an issue to pick up every nuance of the storyline, while anxiously awaiting next month's issue was a regular passtime.
Imagine the excitement when, in 1989, they announced that they were coming out with the first Batman movie. The comic books at that time had portrayed Batman as a dark character, in a bad place having to do bad things w/o magnetizing his own moral compass. Then the jackasses in Hollywood cast the same tool who played "Mr. Mom" as Batman. They had the joker shoot down the Batjet with a telescoping pistol. It was dumber than dumb and it was an affront. It was sacralidge. It made me mad, it was as if someone had dug up a beloved pet from my youth, peed on it, and then put its corpse in a puppet show where it played the part of a retarded monkey. It denigrated the memory of something great, something very special.
In 1999 Lucas released the first Star Wars prequel, it blew chunks, had Jar Jar in it, and George was put on every true Geek's hit list. Seems like there was no hope for my favorite stories every coming alive in a movie again.
Meanwhile, Batman screwed the pooch a few more times along the way with some more pathetic Hollywooded attempts at bringing Batman to the big screen, casting Nancy-boys like Clooney and Pitt to play something they apparently couldn't begin to grasp.
But X-men came out in 2000 and they did an admirable job of keeping to the feel of the comic books. Likewise X2 in 2003. Wasn't perfect, but they were trying.
The Lord of the Rings (okay, never really a comic book but equally powerful story telling) trilogy came out in 2001/2002/2003. Again, they did well in keeping the original sensation alive.
Then a couple of years ago "Batman Begins" came out. They finally got on the right track, it was very much in keeping with the comics. It was finally good.
Ironman this year was also done very very very well, a most excellent portrayal of Stark and his alter-ego. Hope springs eternal.
Fast forward to today: I just got to see "Dark Knight" recently, on IMAX no less. How was it?
They kept to the feel of the comic book. It was cathartic. It makes up for past sins. It restores hope that I may live to see my favorite stories played out on the big screen in the way they deserve. It got a little chatty here and there, I guess the Hollywood types can't just shut the heck up when they need to, but it doesn't matter. It was simply a fantastic rendering of the world I used to enjoy visiting in my escapes from everyday life.
Posted by rick at August 19, 2008 10:38 PM