The Isotope Communique
Posts Tagged ‘movies’
Documenting Grant Morrison

While we’re still waiting for those first screenings of the Lemmy documentary to start hitting theaters (coming this December), we can all get our fill of documentary words of wisdom later this week when Grant Morrison: Talking With Gods gets it’s first public showing right here in SF.

Directed by Patrick Meaney, the film celebrates the life and the work of visionary creator behind magnificent and metaphysical comic works like The Invisibles, All-Star Superman, Batman: Arkham Asylum, We3, and Final Crisis by delving into Grant’s early days growing up in Scotland, the start of his career in comics, the crazy years of the ’90s as his life and his comics became enmeshed, and his recent synthesis of social darkness and personal troubles into great high-art pulp sequential art.

A host of Grant’s collaborators and friends sit in the interview chair, including Frank Quitely, Warren Ellis, Geoff Johns, Mark Waid. Phil Jimenez, Cam Stewart, Frazer Irving, Jill Thompson, and many more.

Grant Morrison: Talking With Gods
@ the Roxie
October 8th – 13th
Tickets here

Rocking Out w/ Scott Pilgrim

This year’s most anticipated nerd-centric objet d’obsession is without a doubt Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, the big screen adaptation of the brilliant graphic novel series by Bryan Lee O’Malley.

I caught a pre-screening last Monday, mere hours after I got home from SDCC. Other members of the Isotope family were also there and had been sitting in line for many hours but I wasn’t about to line-jump all those hardcore Pilgrim fans that had gotten there before I did so I happily made my way to the back of the line, crossed my fingers, and let the crowd’s energy re-invigorate me. The comic gods were smiling on me and I ended up being the last person who made it into the theatre that day!

I honestly have no idea how the general public will take it, I hope they love it. It was a thing of beauty seeing this and Walking Dead dominating the mass media message at Comic Con. And I’d definitely like to see a lot more cool indy comics like this doing the same next year. After last year’s box-office bomb I fear we kind of need Scott to deliver the crowds to keep Hollywood catering to us funnybook folks… so keep your fingers crossed!

Anyone who has seen the trailers already knows that director Edgar Wright serves up a manic mash-up of movies, videogames, comics, and rock and roll in a completely overwhelming way and the movie is like what you get when you string all those trailers together. This is Triptocaine movie making for the Street Fighter II generation, with as much Hyper Turbo EX Plus Alpha Remix as you can handle. With endless Funimation style battles to otaku tsunamis of geek culture references to Bollywood-bizarre musical outbreaks to nerdy indy rock chiptune soundtracks to the real-life/virtual 16-bit emulation hybrid Scott Pilgrim pours it on heavy. Anyone who doesn’t mind plugging their brain directly into a site like ign for a few hours will no doubt absolutely love it.

For me, more than anything else, I’m just glad that Scott Pilgrim really knows how to rock. And he rocks hard. Every scene where Scott’s band Sex Bob-Omb plays is downright awesome and I would have gladly watched two hours of just that alone!


Ghost Rider: Screaming for Vengeance

Just this week Nicolas Cage told the Late, Late Show that he’s just signed up to star in a new Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance film by the guys who made Crank. And that got me thinking about all the places the first one went wrong.

Although I’m not, I probably should be the biggest Ghost Rider fan on the planet. I have a pretty well-known life-long fascination with daredevil stunt bikers, at the age of nine I even visited this one’s house and was disappointed not to see a ramp up the side. It’s also no secret that I absolutely love me some circus folks, too. And as a kid I so wanted to grow up and join these guys who had a clubhouse just up the street from my house. And is there any comic character who better personifies all that than Johnny Blaze? But Hollywood’s previous attempt just left me cold.

So please movie people, don’t make the same mistake as last time! If every frame, and I mean every single frame, doesn’t look like a some Judas Priest album cover or the bottom of some hesher dude’s skateboard it’s not worth making! We don’t need a brilliant plot, although Jason Aaron has proven it can absolutely be done, what we need out of a Ghost Rider movie is one part Sons of Anarchy, one part Squidling Brothers Circus Sideshow, one part Joe Lansdale weird witches brew, one part folk hero from beyond the grave… all wrapped up in a crappy heavy metal bar band soundtrack. And for years to come people should be able to freeze frame their BluRays and say “dude, I’m getting that as a tattoo!”

This is the Ghost Rider movie I want. Bring it on Hollywood!

Scar-Faces, Saloon Girls & Silver Screens

No doubt you’ve already seen internet chatter about the latest comic book to movie adaption, Jonah Hex. As usual, people are complaining to the high heavens! This happens with every adaption, doesn’t it? People don’t like Captain America’s costume, they changed the ending in History of Violence, there wasn’t enough action in Iron Man, there was too much blue penis in Watchmen, people didn’t like Bruce Willis’ hairpiece in Surrogates, Two-Face was wasted in Dark Knight… it’s endless. I don’t always agree with all of it but I definitely find myself right there with the rest of the fans, complaining about silly emo-ized heroes, movies dedicated to just fighting a big ass island, and the “oh look, a jetpack” endings Hollywood gives us.

I can totally understand being upset when Hollywood does a crummy adaptation of one of your most beloved characters, (cough) Daredevil (cough)… but with a comic like Jonah Hex, are there really this many actual fans of the comic out there? Or are people just complaining for the sake of complaining? I’m of the opinion that if even half of the people who complain about Jonah Hex adaption actually read the comic the world would be 100% better place.

I consider myself a big fan of Hex, first discovering him in Archie-style digests at the Buy & Sell junkshop as a youngster. I pretty much followed the character through all his (mostly excellent, a few pretty horrible) appearances from there. I am loving the current comic and think anyone who likes Red Dead Redemption would probably really like seeing how kick ass a western story can really be. Because there is some seriously great writing going on in the Jonah Hex comic these days.

The movie on the other hand, well… the writing is fairly clunky, the characters are kind of cardboard, the out of nowhere explosions are laughable, and the gizmos just make you shake your head. But I gotta tell you, even at it’s worst it’s still all pretty Jonah Hex. The supernatural elements, which I expected to be completely goofy, didn’t bother me at all. In fact I kind of appreciate the tip of the hat to seven years of Jonah Hex excellence by horror-occult-western god Joe R. Lansdale. And my least favorite part of the flick, the steampunk-y superweapon technology, harkens back to his (rather painful) 1985 science fiction series, Hex in appropriately groan-worthy fashion. Thankfully while the westerntech made me cringe, it doesn’t get to the proportions of ridiculousness of a certain wild, wild western movie (which shall not be named ’round these parts). Whatever the case, Hex is Hex. And the film-makers were clearly trying to make something for Hex fans and for the summer movie season too.

And in complete seriousness, I can’t tell you how thrilled I was to see comic legend Tony DeZuniga‘s name in the credits. That stuff always really makes me happy beyond belief.

Still I would have preferred just a straight-up western. Like the current comics by Jimmy Palmiotti, Justin Gray, and amigos. And more of that Mastodon soundtrack too.

My solution? I’m re-reading the trades and cranking up all the Mastodon I want.

You should do the same.

Donald Glover For Spider-Man!

If you pay attention to comics and movie news you no doubt already know that there are big changes coming when Spidey returns to theaters in 2012. We’re talking an entirely new cast and a big push of the reboot button that starts the story all over again with Peter Parker in high school. I can see why that might have to happen, but the whole thing just sounds pretty yawn-inducing to me. And then the director’s short list of potential actors was released and it’s even more boring.

But just when I’ve written off the next Spider-Man I hear some more news and suddenly the prospect of a new movie is exciting again!

Last week Donald Glover and his fans launched an all-out viral campaign to get the African-American actor a Spidey audition. Even Stan “The Man” Lee got in on it (of course)! Glover is well known to anyone watching NBC’s “Community” or to folks who have seen his comedy troop’s insanely popular YouTube videos. He’s no slouch behind the camera either, winning an Emmy Award writer of “30 Rock.”

He wants to be Spider-Man and I want him to be Spidey too!

As a comic retailer I see first-hand lots of kids of all races looking for a comic book superhero that looks like they do, and honestly, it’s pretty grim out there for anybody but whites. It’s a real bummer to see DC’s recent white-washing and it was frustrating when Marvel wasted a golden opportunity to reach out to a huge new market with Captain America. No more! Let’s have some heroes with some color I say!

Go show your support by joining the Donald Glover For Spider-Man Facebook page.

Hey Hollywood, this is the Spider-Man movie I want to see!

Who’s with me?!

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