Sunday, July 20, 2008

Getting It Right

I went to the movies this weekend and saw THE DARK KNIGHT, second in the latest and greatest Batman series. I have to say that I am beyond pleased with the past couple of years "take" on old themes. Now, don't get me wrong, I liked the other Batman movies okay, especially the one with Val Kilmer as Batman (mainly b/c of the Val Kilmer part), but they were essentially fluff. But THE DARK KNIGHT and the first in the new series, BATMAN BEGINS, got it RIGHT! Batman is supposed to be dark and tortured and conflicted - not happy and comical and metrosexual. Some are complaining that the movie is graphic and violent - well, yeah, and so were the comic books and guess what - NONE OF THEM WERE MEANT FOR YOUNG KIDS. Hello, parents out there - not everything in the world is designed for your little darlings and isn't supposed to be. There are movies/books/sitcoms/etc. that are designed for adults for adults to enjoy.

Another great release this year was IRON MAN. Absolutely brilliant performance from Robert Downey Jr. And I do mean brilliant (but then it IS RBJ we're talking about here). This is another movie that "got it right."

The best redo in the getting it right list - Casino Royale w/Daniel Craig. Again, I love all the old James Bond movies and have most of them on DVD. BUT, what those movies fail to depict is the duality of Bond. James Bond is a very complex man. One side of him wants justice and the other side is a killer (who sometimes just wants revenge). He has fabulous internal conflict and an enormous dark side that has never been portrayed on film as Ian Fleming wrote him - until Casino Royale and Daniel Craig (the absolute sexiest Bond EVER). The latest in the Bond releases is due to release shortly and you can bet I will be there on opening weekend, hoping the writers/directors continued this fabulous new twist of getting an old story right.

So what about you? See any remakes lately that you think got it right? Or maybe the opposite - did someone get it completely wrong?

Deadly DeLeon


Terri Osburn said...

I saw The Dark Knight Saturday night. And I didn't think it was all that violent. Fist fights were about it. I mean, people got killed but they never really showed it. No splattering blood or seeping wounds. Well, when he stitched himself up, I cringed.

Haven't seen the other movies. And I haven't seen a Bond movie in forever. But I'm adding this one to my Netflix so I can see it before the new one comes out.

Christie Craig said...

I have seen The Dark Knight yet. Waiting for the hype to settle down. I did see Casino Royale w/Daniel Craig and thought they did a better/realistic view on Bond being human. A very nice looking human, mind you.

Keri Ford said...

I was surprised by Casino Royale. At first I couldn't decide if I liked it or not, because it was so different from a 'Bond Movie'. In the end, I like how this movie ended and the next one is going to pick up and keep going with the stroy line.

I want to Space Chimps :O) and the new Batman. But will probably be waiting for both to download to my TiVo. I've decided I would just about rather dress in my comfy pj's, get a big blanket and bowl of popcorn and enjoy a movie at home without the hassle of a teenager talking behind me.

Anonymous said...

I agree with you on all three movies you mentioned. Walked away from "The Dark Knight" actually THINKING about it -- a first for a comic-book-hero movie. Everyone's talking up Hedger (rightfully), but I think Aaron Eckhart did a FABulous job: it was really his character's story.

Iron Man? Yep, and I was suprised I liked it so much -- I give that to RDJ also. And Craig as 007? Beats Sean Connery any day of the week! I was surprised by this movie also, because I never got into the 007 movies previously. So, I give that to Craig also.

Now, I'm curious about Hellboy 2 because Guillermo del Toro (Pan's Labyrinth) wrote-directed it.

Suzan Harden said...

Haven't seen DK yet (for some strange reason, we couldn't get a baby-sitter for Friday night - LOL).

If the director/screenwriter/actor gets the translation right of a print character, the movie's absolutely perfect. One of the reasons 'Casino Royale' worked so well is because the Broccolis and their people stayed true to the original novel of the same title.

For those of you who haven't seen Hellboy II, I highly recommend it. It helped that Mike Mignola, Hellboy's comicbook creator, co-wrote the screenplay. And IMHO del Toro is this generation's Spielberg (you know, back when Spielberg actually directed some good movies).

catslady said...

Personally I think they shouldn't make any remakes until everyone who has seen the original dies!! (okay maybe that's a little too strong lol). I can't think of any that I've really enjoyed.

Gemma Halliday said...

I’ll admit I was in line for the Dark Knight at midnight on opening night. SO good. Loved it.

But… the new 007 was my fav film last year. Can’t wait for the new one!


Jana DeLeon said...

Terrio - I didn't think it was all that violent either, but I'm a HUGE horror fan, so I try to see things from a less jaded person's perspective. LOL

Definitely check out the other movies! I absolutely positively am in love with Daniel Craig ever since Casino Royale!

Jana DeLeon said...

LOL Christie - very nice, indeed! I loved the new Bond image and can't wait for the next one!

Jana DeLeon said...

Keri - yeah, I am totally not a people person, but what I've found is that no one at all hardly goes to the earliest feature. So if you don't mind seeing a movie at 10 or 11 am, then you get a great seat with hardly any noise. And in Dallas, the first showing is usually half the price of a regular mantinee, so it's a win/win. :)

Jana DeLeon said...

Lisa - I agree, AE was fabulous in Dark Knight. Iron Man surprised me also, but then he may be nutty as hell but RDJ is a phenomenal actor. I think what I got the biggest charge out of is how much funny stuff was included in the story. I really, really enjoy a book/movie when I can experience fear and suspense and disappointment and loss AND laugh.

I still don't know about Hellboy. Didn't see the first one - it just wasn't one of those comics I ever got into. And I was totally a guy with my comic book reading. :) But Hellboy wasn't one that ever called my attention. Not sure why exactly.

Jana DeLeon said...

Okay, Suzan, that's two votes for Hellboy now. Guess I'm going to have to rent the first and go see the second.

And yes, it definitely helps when the original creator is involved in the screenplay. A prime example is GET SMART. Mel Brooks was a consultant and I loved it!!!! Was a HUGE GS fan - used to watch all the reruns in the afternoon. :)

Jana DeLeon said...

catslady - a purist????? Good heavens, what are writers to do with readers like you? There are no new ideas, nothing new under the sun, nothing that hasn't already been written. :)

Perhaps the remake thing is an issue of generation and taste. Some things are better as remakes - The Omen comes to mind - but sometimes the simplicity of the older versions doesn't interfere as much with the emotional pull of the storyline.

Jana DeLeon said...

Gemma - Another comic fan! And Daniel Craig, but then most women with a pulse are in love with Daniel Craig. Hey, why don't you hunt him down, ditch that girlfriend of his and make your play? I'd back you up. :)