Movie News

KUFO’s Fatboy Weighs The Pros And Cons Of THE SPIRIT!!

Published at: Dec. 19, 2008, 2:44 a.m. CST

I am – Hercules!!
Fatboy Roberts, a radio personality up in Portland or Seattle or maybe Boseman or Eureka – one of those Northwest towns, I forget which – says there are things in Frank Miller’s Christmas Day release “The Spirit” that work just fine. Here’s Fatboy:
Frank Miller has become a man of reduction. Spare dialog. Sparse layouts. Black/White. Stark lines cutting figures out of granite on a comics page. Sin City. The Dark Knight Returns. Ronin. 300. Heralded as Comics’ Dashiell Hammett by way of Will Eisner, Miller's colleague. Friend. Mentor. So in keeping with the spirit of Miller’s most recent work, here’s a reductionist, starkly worded review of his adaptation of Eisner’s “The Spirit.” Things That Worked: The score was okay. It was pretty much Danny Elfman’s “Batman.” I think I heard the Batman Theme at least 5 times in it’s entirety. I guess that’s kinda cool. In a stupid way. There’s a misstep, though, when a key moment at the end is scored with what sounds like the Duracell chimes. He made all the pretty girls look really pretty. Except for maybe Jaime King. She looked like Galadriel tripped and faceplanted into a bedazzler. But Sarah Paulson, Eva Mendes, Scarlett Johannsen? Smokin hot. No question. There’s a headfoot. It’s kinda funky. Who knew a thespian of Louis Lombardi's unique talents could effectively play a headfoot? He gleans maybe 2 intentional laughs out of the script. That’s better than Samuel L. Jackson did. Arthur the Cat nails his role as a meowing cat. Things That Didn’t Work: Everything f**king else. This is not a movie that is so bad it’s good. This is a movie that veers towards that threshold, but is such a failure it can’t even achieve that level of incompetence. It's a limp dick being flogged for 90 minutes and having nothing but a rash to show for it. There isn’t a single 10 minute stretch of this movie that displays any sort of tonal coherence. Not a single performance seems to be in tune with any other performance, and those performances are sometimes out of step with themselves depending on which takes Miller is crazy gluing together. It’s ugly, it’s annoying, and it’s embarrassing. I’d tell you why the plot doesn’t work but I’ve already forgotten it. I’d highlight some of the particularly horrible parts, but aside from Spirit straightfacedly seducing a woman by quoting Elmer Fudd, anything Eva Mendes does onscreen, and Miller’s inexplicable need to shoehorn in Nazi iconography, I can’t discern individual moments of badness. It runs together like the heated contents of your local diner’s greasetrap. Samuel L. Jackson is trying, but the script is failing him utterly. Gabriel Macht is trying, but there’s nothing to him. I don’t think Scarlett Johannsen is really even trying, honestly. This is embarrassing because it lays bare the engine that makes propels Frank Miller, and it is an engine fueled by infantile stupidity. He put so much of his personality, his fetishes, his foibles, into every inch of the frame, and I was embarrassed at the resultant mess. It was like the socially awkward uber-nerd in drama class trying to be edgy and funny and quirky all at the same time in the same monologue up in front of the class, and stuttering, stammering and spitting all over himself in an increasingly annoying and loud act of desperate attention whoring. The movie is constantly begging the viewer to tell it “you’re cool.” “Look at me! Look at this ass! Look at these stiletto heels! Ho Boy look at all this Nazi stuff! Nazis! Look, I’m melting a kitty cat under a nazi flag! Here’s Hitler! I’m shooting the hero with a bunch of huge guns! Look at me look at me look at me!” Frank Miller is creatively bankrupt and artistically empty. This is a work so bad it calls all his previous good work into question. That’s not an overstatement, or fanboy overreaction. A movie this personal, this crammed full of unmistakable Millerisms, that fails this hard, makes one look back at all his other work and question whether the praise came from a place of severe misunderstanding on the critics’ part. If we’d known this was all there was behind Miller’s cranky glare, would we have judged him a success? Did we project a whole bunch of substance onto those works? Substance that this movie would have us believe Miller himself wouldn’t recognize if it shot him in the chest with 8 barrels? He can’t make a movie. He can’t write one, he can’t direct one. He can barely make comic books anymore. He saved up all his creative goodwill to do this movie. He had a bank full of chips after Sin City, and cashed them in to realize his vision of his friend’s world. This was his dream. And this is what he did with it. He had his chance, he got his stage, he fixed his spotlight, and he showed us nothing. Less than nothing, honestly, because nothing is understandable. I can wrap my head around the concept of nothing. But what he shone the light on is befuddling, stupid, inept, pointless and sad. I still don’t really get what any of this movie is supposed to do, what it was supposed to make me feel, how it was supposed to grab me. It has all the grip of a quadriplegic. It’s 90 excruciating, interminable minutes that go nowhere, and succeed at almost nothing. Its successes seem accidental. This movie makes the case that Frank Miller is a man who has spent all his life surrounded by creative people, and hasn’t learned a goddamn thing from any of them. Lasting Effects of This Movie: From now on, I will hear Dan Lauria’s line readings from this movie whenever I read All-Star Batman and Robin. Regardless of character. Joker. Robin. Black Canary. Doesn’t matter. They’re all Goddamned Dan Goddamned Lauria. That’s it. Fatboy Roberts Afternoons, 101.1 KUFO-FM fatboy@kufo.com www.cortandfatboy.com
And for more perspective, here's "El Spirito" on "The Spirit":
Listen. This is not the worst movie of all time. There are so many movies out there, so many bad ones, that to call THIS one the very worst is full blown bullshit. Worse than Battlefield Earth? Really? No, this movie is outrageously dumb, but I refuse to admit that people who enjoy stupid shit aren't gonna love this thing. Coming from a comics perspective, I was insulted by Miller's desecration of Eisner's material (especially considering his own words, that comic book films tend to succeed most when they stick closely to source material). And yes, every shot of the film feels like Miller was thinking, "Robert taught me how to do that!" It's a bad movie. Definitely. But it has enough moments to make you laugh, slap your forehead, let out squeals of "holy shit did that really happen" and "holy shit this movie is so hilariously awful." That crowd of moviegoer will love this thing. Worse than Gigli? Not a chance. This is a shitty movie for the shitty movie lover. But yes, if you're expecting more than that, you will be fantastically disappointed. If you use this, call me El Spirito.

Readers Talkback

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  • Dec. 19, 2008, 2:06 a.m. CST

    okay we get it

    by blckmgk13

    the film sucks. No one is surprised. Can we stop covering it now?

  • Dec. 19, 2008, 2:26 a.m. CST

    Yes, we get it but...

    by Cory849

    is it worse than Phantom Menace?

  • Dec. 19, 2008, 2:28 a.m. CST

    Conan O'Brien liked it.

    by DerLanghaarige

    But on the other hand, I can't remember that he said to his guests: "The movie you are here to promote is crap. I hated every second of it." That would be unprofesional, so I guess it's possible that he didn't REALLY like it.

  • Dec. 19, 2008, 2:31 a.m. CST

    the miller hate is thick now

    by bacci40

    if i were frank, i wouldnt show up to the next comic con until the eisner awards...and then i would get the hell out of dodge

  • Dec. 19, 2008, 2:35 a.m. CST

    Nope can't stop wont stop uh uh- uh uh

    by Phategod1

    Harry cant put a positive spin on this can he Poor Frank, maybe now he can Robert to get to work on Sincity 2.

  • Dec. 19, 2008, 2:35 a.m. CST

    Ouch

    by rbottoms

    Fuck, that was harsh and basically Frank Miller is revealed to be an infantile fascist. Okay. So when's the Buffy movie announcement coming, and do we have wait until Dollhouse is canceled first?

  • Dec. 19, 2008, 2:40 a.m. CST

    This is utterly amazing..

    by Ironthorman

    I can't believe the myriad of horrible reviews, not even bad reviews, but downright viciously horrible reviews I'm reading for this movie. I'm a little taken aback by it, I feel like I've been fooled. It really didn't seem like it would be that awful up until these reviews started coming in. all my excitement to see this film are lost.

  • Dec. 19, 2008, 2:43 a.m. CST

    blckmgk13....no, and allow me to explain why

    by bacci40

    will eisner spent years turning down spirit projects...despite gobs of money being tossed his way...he did, because he valued his child...frank miller made everyone in a suit, with no clue or care who eisner is or represents that he, and he alone could do justice to his mentors seminal work...but subconciously, frank wanted to do to hollywood what they had done to him years ago...fuck them all right up the ass...take their money and make an absolute pos....but he had no right to use eisner's work to do it

  • Dec. 19, 2008, 2:45 a.m. CST

    Hahahahaha!!! That was funny. Now someone shoot Miller.

    by Brody77

    Still, nice to hear Sarah Paulson is getting work, even if it is in crap. Now if she'd just get nekkid.

  • Dec. 19, 2008, 3:02 a.m. CST

    FATBOY is from Portland...

    by brattyben

    I listen to him all the time, and he's got good views on movies. He also had a segment every Wednesday called "Stump the Movie Douche" where people call in and call out two actors, and he has to name the movie. He rarely gets stumped. In other news....I WILL NOT SEE THIS MOVIE. DAMN YOU FRANK. I WAS A BIG FAN, now I'm totally off the bandwagon. Who's the real douche.

  • Dec. 19, 2008, 3:07 a.m. CST

    "Everything f**king else"

    by TheGhostWhoLurks

    Haven't even read the review yet and that one line had me cracking up! :D<p>Now to go back and read exactly how bad this film is and what to expect when I pay to see it in all of its monochromatic awfulness.

  • Dec. 19, 2008, 3:09 a.m. CST

    YOU ARE ALL STOOPID

    by xevoid

    What this really shows is that people who direct comic books have no business being in a world of cinema. Comic books are basically glorified story boards with increddible creative license. But You cant take all the "thought" crap in the book Dune by Frank herbert, and turn it into a movie just by having someone do narration. <br><br> It takes someone trained in the art. And I would expect spielberg to suck at writing a comic book. Can Niel Gaiman bridge the gap? Send him to a Cinema class where he has to turn somethign in. Lets hope he gets an A. Otherwise, keep him the HELL away from a camera.

  • Dec. 19, 2008, 3:10 a.m. CST

    I mean write comic books.

    by xevoid

    Not direct comic books. Damn Martinis.

  • Dec. 19, 2008, 3:11 a.m. CST

    They Made The Mistake Of Not Going For An R Rating!!!

    by Media Messiah

    Frank should have filmed this as a Hard R movie--why he didn't, who knows...but I am sure that the PG-13 has lessoned any dramatic impact that this film could have made???!!!

  • Dec. 19, 2008, 3:12 a.m. CST

    It MUST be worse than Battlefield Grease!

    by Carl XVI Gustaf

    Battlefield Earth = adaptation of crap, so the movie being crap is ok. The Spirit = you get it....

  • Dec. 19, 2008, 3:13 a.m. CST

    FUCK YOU HERC! IT'S FUCKING PORTLAND OREGON!!!!

    by DOGSOUP

    Things Portland Has Going For It: Dark Horse Comics. Oni Press Comics. Will Vinton Studios. Powells Books. Chuck Palahnuik. Bringing Suicide Girls to the World. Mike Mignola's Eternal Love. More Strip Clubs per capita than ANY US City. Weed. More Brew Pubs per capita than any city west of the Mississippi. The First screening EVER of The Watchmen in it's entirety (what did BNAT get 20 minutes?). Cort and Fatboy (seeing as how you AICN folks like to use them to BREAK GEEKY NEWS STORIES LIKE THIS FUCKING ONE I figure they need to be included). 3:1 Female to Male population ratio. You know what, fuck it. Please continue to do what the rest of the country does and FORGET about us. We'll be stoned, drunk, talking to naked women about what they like more Hellboy or The Goon for supernatural suspense without interference. Belittle my town all you want Herc, the people here doing their part to "KEEP PORTLAND WEIRD" including those puckish bastards Cort and Fatboy know that we are living in the best kept secret in America for Geek Friendly Livability. Now go Fuck Yourself.

  • Dec. 19, 2008, 3:30 a.m. CST

    There's ' Pros ' ?

    by PTSDPete

  • Dec. 19, 2008, 3:37 a.m. CST

    DOGSOUP

    by la te ral us

    i fucking love you. i couldn't have said it better. represent da 503 bitches!!!

  • or was that just the sound of their dad's cock popping out of their asshole?

  • Dec. 19, 2008, 3:50 a.m. CST

    Guess it's back to Middle East-bashing for El Franko :

    by PTSDPete

    When will this paranoid fool leave us all for ' Iraq ' ? </p> Bring your fellow neocon lunkerhead Zach Snyder along for that ride , why don'tcha ?!? ( Whose apparently similar laceration of ' Watchmen ', I figure, we'd be hearing about in due time )</p>

  • Dec. 19, 2008, 3:58 a.m. CST

    PTSDPete...wrong about zack

    by bacci40

    uh, where is his tirade about iraq and arabs...i musta missed that one...and while watchmen may stray from the source material, its not like zack didnt try...nor does he think his vision is an improvement on the comic (unlike frank)...and the buzz on watchmen from all sources has been generally positive...unlike the spirit, which was bad from the get go...

  • Dec. 19, 2008, 4:09 a.m. CST

    Is it Smokey & The Bandit 3 bad?

    by Orionsangels

  • Dec. 19, 2008, 4:33 a.m. CST

    For God's sake DOGSOUP!

    by vroom socko

    You forgot Voodoo Donuts, the Portland Timbers, the world's smallest public park, (it's the size of a dinner plate. Seriously.) the Naked Bike Ride, the HP Lovecraft Film Festival, and Gus Van Sant. Keep Portland Weird, and Rose City 'till I DIE!

  • Dec. 19, 2008, 4:34 a.m. CST

    Is it more inventive than Iron Man?

    by Power_Girl

    Because that wouldn't be hard.

  • Dec. 19, 2008, 4:48 a.m. CST

    Get Fatboy Roberts to take over Moriarty

    by hallmitchell

    Great review.

  • Dec. 19, 2008, 4:54 a.m. CST

    Conan O'Brien would say he liked ass-rape

    by V'Shael

    if you paid him enough. <p> And by enough, I mean about 40 bucks and change. <p>

  • Dec. 19, 2008, 5:01 a.m. CST

    Great review

    by Stollentroll

    Totally spot on. The trailer for this thing made people at my local theater actually laugh out loud.

  • Dec. 19, 2008, 5:12 a.m. CST

    starting to belive

    by Killsomethin

    I'm Starting belive that this movie is a total pile of shit, i mean i've seen a reveiw saying that it's worse then BattleField Earth, But i have seen anyone say it's worse then OverDrawn at the menory bank. Now for those who dont know that one your in for a treat its a PBS Movie that was on MST3K that was fucking BAD Movie. But i be honest i was looking forward to seeing The Spirit.

  • Dec. 19, 2008, 5:39 a.m. CST

    Damn You Michael Bay

    by MCMLXXVI

    Damn You Michael Bay

  • Dec. 19, 2008, 5:52 a.m. CST

    THIS.

    by monolithik

    Is a fucking review. One hearty golf clap to Fatboy. The "hasn't learned a goddamn thing" line almost gave me chills. Damn cold... and likely the dead-on honest truth. Also, this talkback has left me wondering why I ever left PDX...

  • Dec. 19, 2008, 6:21 a.m. CST

    Franks a hell of a talent, but when it comes to films it never s

    by Mr Nicholas

    Well, maybe he'll get better. It was his first full gig.

  • Dec. 19, 2008, 6:51 a.m. CST

    Frank Miller Raped My Childhood!!!

    by wutane

    Thats all I got.

  • Dec. 19, 2008, 7:14 a.m. CST

    RE:VooDoo Doughnuts

    by DOGSOUP

    It is likely that if you go into VooDoo Doughnuts you can have your choice, which the pretty tattooed geeky lady is all to kind to point out, between a voodoo doll doughnut complete with a pretzel pin and jelly for blood, a chocolate doughnut covered in chocolate icing and cocoa puffs, or the vanilla froot loop doughnut. Sadly the NyQuil Doughnut with TUMS sprinkles is no longer being produced pending the FDA's approval. While you're there be sure to learn swahili, see a show, get legally married (doughnut wedding cake of course), or participate in the How Many Doughnuts Fit On Your Cock contest. My favorite doughnut is the pentagram chocolate doughnut because anyone who has the quirk to sell that kind of thing deserves to have it consumed. In Portland it is also likely that you could watch Rowdy Roddy Piper and Tonya Harding bump into each other at Safeway. It is likely you will see street names and places that sound oddly familiar to you: Lovejoy, Flanders, Quimby, Kearney, Montgomery Park. It's December isn't it? Time for Running of the Santas where anyone and everyone with a Santa outfit can run through the city drunk off their asses as is tradition. In conclusion, Storm and the Balls.

  • Dec. 19, 2008, 7:14 a.m. CST

    sounds good

    by Spandau Belly

    I'm getting more and more excited to see this with each negative review. and those scenes they posted online looked great. This could be the new Highlander 2: The Quickening.

  • Dec. 19, 2008, 7:46 a.m. CST

    But that is what Miller does, he gets casual remarks

    by ricarleite

    And add them to characters in a way that it seems edgy and cool. It works, if you're a 14 year old comic book reader, but it doesn't translate to screen so well. His Robocop 2 original screenplay might have worked if properly done, but the rest of his screen writing is sloppy.

  • Dec. 19, 2008, 7:46 a.m. CST

    For Shit's Sake, Bury This Turd

    by Aquatarkusman

    There are other movies to review, right? At this point, I'm looking forward to a Marley & Me review... anything but another goddamned Frank Miller talkback!

  • Dec. 19, 2008, 7:48 a.m. CST

    What did Dan Lauria ever do to you?

    by redfist

    great review...a few people on the site should be taking notes, and writing pink slips.

  • Dec. 19, 2008, 8:24 a.m. CST

    I knew this film was in trouble...

    by Tin Snoman

    ...when the New York Comic Con panel had Frank Miller and Eva Mendez in the biggest room in the place, and only about a quarter of the seats were full. It's never good when the fanboys don't even show up for Frank Goddamned Miller.

  • Dec. 19, 2008, 8:52 a.m. CST

    I kind of liked Gigli

    by jim

    Well, not really liked, but found it interesting. I've always wondered if it was a case of the script being re-written too many times or not enough. There is one brief moment where I got a glimmer of what could have been a decent movie. I think it should be studied in film school as a case study of how a movie can go wrong. Really, you've got a movie marketed as a romantic comedy yet it contains a scene of someone getting their brains blown out (and throughout the remainder of the scene we watch said brains splattered all over a glass case in the background). Maybe The Spirit will become the new case study (replacing Catwoman) in the course of How Not To Make A Comic Book Movie.

  • Dec. 19, 2008, 8:57 a.m. CST

    Started thinking Miller had lost it. . .

    by Nice Marmot

    . . . w/ that DK2 or whatever that shitty Dark Knight Returns follow up was called. What an awful mistake. I have to admit though, probably would never have checked out The Spirit until all these awful reviews came pouring in. Now I HAVE to see it.

  • Dec. 19, 2008, 9:13 a.m. CST

    Nice Marmot

    by yiannis

    Know what you mean. The sheer negativity of the reviews makes you want to see it more. I also have this bizarre need now to watch Battlefield Earth!<br><br>No matter how bad either of these movies are, though, surely they cannot compare to the nadir of all cinema:<br><br>Uwe Boll's Alone In The Dark

  • Dec. 19, 2008, 9:14 a.m. CST

    Won't pay to watch it though...

    by yiannis

    That's reserved for good films (or at least films I believe MIGHT be good before I walk in)

  • Dec. 19, 2008, 9:18 a.m. CST

    Great Review Fatboy

    by Mr.Stiggs

  • Dec. 19, 2008, 9:24 a.m. CST

    Great Review Fatboy...

    by Mr.Stiggs

    I agree that this film now taints all of Miller's previous work. A friend of mine recently aked me if I was into Miller's print material. I confidently proclaimed that his creations were amoung the best in the comics genre and he is a genious at his craft. Now I feel kind of ridiculous since I know my buddy will be judging that statement based on the drivel that is "The Spirit". I understand that the comics should not be viewed with a prejudice eye but I'm even doing it in my head. Maybe they weren't that great.

  • Dec. 19, 2008, 9:25 a.m. CST

    I will see this for the chicks

    by jmyoung666

    And hope I find something interesting in the rest of the film.

  • Dec. 19, 2008, 9:25 a.m. CST

    HOW MUCH IS FRANK PAYING YOU AICN?!

    by DANNYGLOVERS_DICKBLOOD

    Seriously, give it up. This movie is a fucking joke. You work for your audience. Read the fucking TB's once in awhile. We don't give a fuck about this shit.

  • Dec. 19, 2008, 9:27 a.m. CST

    looks better than the dark crap

    by JeanLuc Dickhard

    ironman 2 best movie ever .........

  • Dec. 19, 2008, 9:29 a.m. CST

    Reminds me of the Napoleon Dynamite quote.

    by Cotton McKnight

    Uncle Rico: So what did you think?<br><br>Napoleon: This is pretty much the worst video ever made.<br><br>Chip: Napoleon- Like anyone could even know that.<br><br>Uncle Rico: Napoleon, you can leave!<br><br>Napoleon: You guys are retarded!

  • Dec. 19, 2008, 9:32 a.m. CST

    Man this is disapointing to read

    by Broseph

    I was all set to see this xmas day but all i hear is bad reveiw after bad reveiw.i'll just go see the curious case of benjamin button

  • Dec. 19, 2008, 9:35 a.m. CST

    Finally a readable review(s)

    by Thunderbolt Ross

    Though I disagree strongly with this idea that just because someone "loses it" artistically, that calls into question all their previous successes. Mainly because everyone does lose it at some point. <p>Honestly, the "hard-boiled" latter-day style of Miler never struck me as something to base a comics career around. The first Sin City was cool, but I was kind of disappointed he kept going back to that well.

  • Dec. 19, 2008, 9:38 a.m. CST

    xevoid

    by Thunderbolt Ross

    Calling comics "glorified storyboards" is idiotic. I don't know if you're an idiot, but that is a fucking stupid and/or ignorant statement.

  • Dec. 19, 2008, 9:42 a.m. CST

    HILARIOUS

    by Broseph

    Reminds me of the Napoleon Dynamite quote. by Cotton McKnight Dec 19th, 2008 09:29:29 AM Uncle Rico: So what did you think? Napoleon: This is pretty much the worst video ever made. Chip: Napoleon- Like anyone could even know that. Uncle Rico: Napoleon, you can leave! Napoleon: You guys are retarded!

  • Dec. 19, 2008, 9:43 a.m. CST

    Gigli was decent. Just saying.

    by Proman1984

    This is def crap though.

  • Dec. 19, 2008, 9:45 a.m. CST

    The best weed i ever smoked was from oregon

    by Broseph

    with a hippie who dropped out of 6th grade to follow the greatful dead.

  • Dec. 19, 2008, 10:12 a.m. CST

    KEEP PORTLAND WIRED

    by I am the most horrible

    You can't toot Portland's horn and not talk about the best radio variety show ever: Live Wire!<p> Plus we have volcanoes all around us. Hell, Mt. Tabor is right in the middle of town. It's too bad to hear this movie sucks, but I love the love for PDX I'm hearing about.<p> PS Bozeman is spelled with a z. Where are all the Bozeman peeps standing up for their city? Erm...town.

  • Dec. 19, 2008, 10:19 a.m. CST

    Live Wire!

    by I am the most horrible

    ...is tonight at the Aladdin Theater in Portland by the way, with Henry Selick, Ari Shapiro, Blue Giant, Blind Pilot and the sketch comedy of Faces for Radio Theater. And a couple of fat boys too. Every radio show in Portland has at least one fat boy. It's the law.

  • Dec. 19, 2008, 11:11 a.m. CST

    Hooray for shity ovies

    by NivekJ

  • Dec. 19, 2008, 11:12 a.m. CST

    Hooray for broken keyboards!!

    by NivekJ

    Ignore prior talkback. This movie's reviews have already given me so much in entertainment value, that I'm ready to call The Spirit the feel-good hit of the year. Man, I can't wait til this shit hits CHUD.

  • Dec. 19, 2008, 11:22 a.m. CST

    Funny, I thought the same thing about Sin City...

    by BrooseTheScharuk

    makes one look back at all his other work and question whether the praise came from a place of severe misunderstanding on the critics’ part. If we’d known this was all there was behind Miller’s cranky glare, would we have judged him a success? Did we project a "...whole bunch of substance onto those works? Substance that this movie would have us believe Miller himself wouldn’t recognize if it shot him in the chest with 8 barrels?"

  • Dec. 19, 2008, 11:24 a.m. CST

    oops...but with better punctuation

    by BrooseTheScharuk

  • Dec. 19, 2008, 11:26 a.m. CST

    This too...

    by BrooseTheScharuk

    "This is embarrassing because it lays bare the engine that makes propels Frank Miller, and it is an engine fueled by infantile stupidity. He put so much of his personality, his fetishes, his foibles, into every inch of the frame, and I was embarrassed at the resultant mess. It was like the socially awkward uber-nerd in drama class trying to be edgy and funny and quirky all at the same time in the same monologue up in front of the class, and stuttering, stammering and spitting all over himself in an increasingly annoying and loud act of desperate attention whoring. The movie is constantly begging the viewer to tell it 'you’re cool.' 'Look at me! Look at this ass! Look at these stiletto heels! Ho Boy look at all this Nazi stuff! Nazis! Look, I’m melting a kitty cat under a nazi flag! Here’s Hitler! I’m shooting the hero with a bunch of huge guns! Look at me look at me look at me!'"

  • Dec. 19, 2008, 11:27 a.m. CST

    I CHOOSE TO IGNORE THESE REVIEWS!

    by Raymar

    I mean at the very least, it has to be visually appealing...right? Right???

  • Dec. 19, 2008, 12:01 p.m. CST

    Scarlett Johannson

    by Autodidact

    Oh how I would love to tit fuck her. Can you guys imagine that shit!?

  • Dec. 19, 2008, 12:09 p.m. CST

    Come on!

    by Archive

    It's gotta be worse than Gigli! Gigli was just a misguided attempt to make Get Shorty again, with vulgarity standing in for the suspense. This is something far more... I dunno. It's just more. Which means it can achieve a higher critical mass!

  • Dec. 19, 2008, 12:24 p.m. CST

    Breaking News:Quenton Tarintino IS Frank Miller!!!!!

    by uberman

    Think about it......

  • Dec. 19, 2008, 12:27 p.m. CST

    Didn't Robocop 3 already teach us this about Miller?

    by Kid Z

    ... I mean, hell, in that one he even managed to make robot ninjas seem nerdy and lame. Hey Frank! Time for you to retire to Central Florida with all the other has-been comic book artists. You can sit in a rocking chair on the front porch of the Retired Cartoonists' Home with John Byrne and grumble at passersby all day.

  • Dec. 19, 2008, 12:41 p.m. CST

    Why toss out Eisner?

    by christian66

    Strange that of all folk that Miller would ignore the elements that made the comic what it was.

  • Dec. 19, 2008, 1 p.m. CST

    this is all so depressing

    by oisin5199

    Eisner's Spirit deserved so much more than this. Perhaps Miller really is just a creatively bankrupt crypto-fascist and we've been in denial all these years. I think the Miller boat has sailed. I have no interest in any of his projects or Sin City 2. Once was enough. Forget Miller, let's get Morrison to team up with some out there filmmakers and do some avant-garde comic-based films or tv series. Aronofsky meets the Invisibles?

  • Dec. 19, 2008, 1:40 p.m. CST

    *pulls hair, screams* LEAVE SCARLETT ALONE !!

    by MattHooper

    Ah-HAHAHAHAHAHAAAAA !!! heeheeheehee sorry, tension breaker; had to be done.

  • Dec. 19, 2008, 2:09 p.m. CST

    Ugh, Please don't mention Howard Chaykin

    by Thunderbolt Ross

    That guy is terrible. The worst Miller stuff is still better than the Phantom Eagle. Just godawful stuff. <p>Otherwise I tend to think Miller's done and has been done ever since Sin City began. It's sad to say but his best days were the late 80s. TDKR, Batman: Year One, Elektra: Assassin, Daredevil: Born Again. Hell even Ronin. These things are almost recognizable as the work of the same guy who quarter-assed his way through The Dark Knight Strikes again, etc (thought that book in particular had the worst coloring job I've ever seen).

  • Dec. 19, 2008, 2:17 p.m. CST

    Jeez, if I'd known Portland was so cool, I would've more serious

    by iamnicksaicnsn

    considered being a Duck. But a Bruin will suffice.

  • Dec. 19, 2008, 2:20 p.m. CST

    DAMN YOU AICN for cutting off the headers.

    by iamnicksaicnsn

    I miss the old days, when they'd go for miles.

  • Dec. 19, 2008, 2:22 p.m. CST

    Sad to see, but not a total surprise.

    by manicart1

    Love Millar's work on Daredevil, Sin City,Batman Year One. Can't stand The Dark Knight Returns-- surely the most overated comic book of all time.

  • Dec. 19, 2008, 2:42 p.m. CST

    Now Miller can remake the classic

    by ElvisPresLeeHorsleyHarveyOswaldOprahWinFreeJackHorkheimer

    Never Too Young To Die. ... - Lance Stargrove!!!

  • Dec. 19, 2008, 2:52 p.m. CST

    these reviews make me want to see this even more

    by JimmyJoe RedSky

    im buying the bluray too - ill admit i would rather see eisner's spirit done as a movie - but this will do for now - i love alex raymond's flah gordon but i also like de laurentis' flash gordon - this looks to me like the same bridge - ill check it out - whats ten bucks and 90 minutes anyway

  • Dec. 19, 2008, 3:46 p.m. CST

    All the bizarre...

    by Cameron1

    fascism fetishism has been with Miller since day one, surely everyone could see this right? I have to wonder what exactly critics were reading into his work that made them think it was anything more than misanthropy, machismo and kinky sex? Sure, in the 80's the result of expressing those, er, passions(?) led to works that struck a chord with the large swathes of people, but that's because the prevailing mood of the 80's was misanthropy and macho posturing. And as the 2000's fell back in to that mood Miller's stock rose again. And now as we (hopefully) kiss goodbye to the borderline cryptofascist/neocon cabal that's had the nation in it's grip for 8 years we can see of Miller's immature but undoubtedly crafty works in a similar manner.

  • Dec. 19, 2008, 4:07 p.m. CST

    Karmic Failure?

    by Melvin_Pelvis

    Didn't Miller use his new found Sin City and 300 clout to steal this project from another Eisner fan who had been pitching and working on it for some time?<p> Then he paints it up like Sin City to *make it his own*.<p> How could it succeed? It has to great of a Karmic burden.

  • Dec. 20, 2008, 1:32 a.m. CST

    WOW,,,

    by HapaPapa72

    Not even an accidental mention of that...dark gritty superhero movie...The Spirit may suck, but it's nice to breathe in this TDK-free zone!

  • Dec. 20, 2008, 1:46 p.m. CST

    I can see the newspaper ads now...

    by ironburl

    "a limp dick being flogged for 90 minutes and having nothing but a rash to show for it" --- Ain't It Cool News

  • Dec. 20, 2008, 4:16 p.m. CST

    God Why?

    by lovecraftian

    Snyder better get WATCHMEN dead on. He's our last chance. Because Miller, despite the successes of THE DARK KNIGHT, 300, and IRON MAN, has officially brought into question the credibility of sticking to the source material and letting the writers and editors have a say. One might object and say, "Surely you jest, lovecraftian. It is after all only ONE movie." Really? And how many movies do you think it takes for a Hollywood douchebag like Jon Peterson to assume he was right all along? Granted, most of the problems with SUPERMAN RETURNS (AND BY RETURNS WE MEAN IN A REPETITIVE HIGHLANDER: FINAL DIMENSION KIND OF WAY)were the fault of Bryan Singer THINKING he was sticking to the source material. Unfortunately, he thought "sticking to the source material" meant sticking to Donner's script. And that's the problem with Hollywood. They HAVE NO IDEA what that phrase means. It must be something in the vitamin water over there too, because apparently in got inside Miller and PUPPETMASTERED him. Although, I must agree with Fatboy on the premise that perhaps Miller's work was never as amazing we all claimed it to be. In fact, it might be downright nihilistic and silly, in a very high school, all night at Denny's kind of way. Case in point, "Holy Terror, Batman!", the comic world's "Chinese Democracy" and an experiment to bring American propaganda roaring back to the forefront of mainstream pop culture. I mean the Golden Age is great and all. But since Werthem followed by the late 60's hasn't our position been to streak past all that and the status quo, not prop it up? Look at the message of "freedom costs" int the 300. Really? Even now, someone of our ilk still thought the idea of patriotic social Darwinism was a sane response to harsh realities of a cruel world. That's the message?(sigh.) I agree with Grant Morrison on this one, "cheering on a fictional character battling fictionalized terrorists seems like a decadent indulgence"

  • Dec. 20, 2008, 5:04 p.m. CST

    We still don't have a non-hater review

    by GilbertRSmith

    I mean, I'm sure that these two guys actually SAW the movie, but every review thus far has seemed to be very blatantly colored by the viewer's dislike for Frank Miller. All Star Batman and Robin sucks ass, yes. That said, is this movie entertaining for people who don't hate Frank Miller just for being indulgent and rich?

  • Dec. 21, 2008, 3:26 p.m. CST

    So much for The Dark Knight Returns

    by pansolo80

    "From the doodler way in over his head that brought you The Spirit"

  • Feb. 12, 2010, 7:17 a.m. CST

    ??

    by orcus

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