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Alexandra DuPont Fails To Get Into Christmas’ THE SPIRIT!!

I am – Hercules!!
Before we present the lovely and talented Alexandra DuPont’s typically thorough and articulate appraisal of Frank Miller’s “The Spirit” (opening nationwide Christmas Day) I am compelled to give a shout-out to Scott Hoffman over at, who provided all the quotes for the “Spirit” TV spots we’ve been seeing. They look a lot like this:



Scott Hoffman,

If you missed Scott’s name in those ads? It might be because, while his glowing pull-quotes are voiced by a pro announcer as they linger on screen in large block lettering, you can really only make out the essentially subliminal appearance of Scott’s name and the name of his website by freeze-framing. (It’s also much easier to read Scott’s name if you own an HD set, because Scott’s name and venue appear only in very, very tiny type. Also, I don’t know if Lionsgate is vulnerable to a class-action lawsuit for false advertising – the way Sony was for using pretend-critic quotes a few years ago - but the ad’s announcer says “Critics say” instead of “A critic says,” when in fact Scott’s review seems to be the only review quoted in the ads.) Scott's take on "The Spirit" is one of only five movie reviews posted to this year. You can read all five of them here. If the studio publicists are smart, Scott will get invited to a lot more screenings from here on out! Here’s gorgeous genius heiress Lexy, who already gets invited to everything even though she’s a tad less effusive about "The Spirit" than was

The Spirit: FAQ (By Alexandra DuPont) ____
Q. What's the upshot? Boy, those other writers weren't kidding: "The Spirit" might be the worst movie I've seen since -- what?-- "Turistas"? And if I start thinking too hard about the talent involved (or the former talent involved, or the dead talent involved) versus what made it to the cineplex, "The Spirit" might even elbow its way up to be the worst movie I've seen since "The Phantom Menace." It's one of those painfully, jaw-droppingly, call-your-lawyer bad movie experiences -- the sort of flick where pretty much every scene is a complete misfire, and not in that so-bad-it's-funny way. The timing's all off. The actors look confused and embarrassed. And if you care at all about the source material, the movie feels like punishment, or the final act of revenge in some long-simmering Miller/Eisner feud you never knew existed. As AICN readers know, writer/director Frank Miller is adapting comics master Will Eisner's classic newspaper-strip character for the big screen. (Here's a nice writeup that brings you up to speed on the character's history and importance; here's the Wikipedia entry.) Miller got the gig on the strength of co-directing "Sin City" with Robert Rodriguez, and also on the strength of his back catalog as a comics writer/artist. But without Rodriguez, Miller's lost -- and as a storyteller, he's like ten or 15 years past his prime. And so, in his first solo outing as a director, Frank Miller manages the neat trick of denting the legacies of two comics legends -- Frank Miller and Will Eisner -- in one excruciating 90-minute go. And because Miller slathered his creepy/campy fetishes all over someone else's character in a movie instead of in a comic book, he finally made all of his 21st-century artistic crutches and coastings a matter of national discussion -- not just fodder for a message-board thread where disgruntled fanboys refer to "All-Star Batman and Robin" as "ASSBAR." God, I'll bet Lionsgate feels ripped off right now. Keep this man away from "Buck Rogers." Spoilers henceforth. Q. What's the story? Eisner's Spirit was a former cop named Denny Colt, thought killed, who woke up in a cemetery and decided to smash crime in a domino mask, fedora and off-the-rack blue suit. There's a certain sneaky genius in the plainness of The Spirit's costume; it places the character in some weird nether-zone between superheroics and noir, which gave Eisner a sort of artistic blank check to do what he wanted. The character's exploits appeared in seven-page comic-book inserts in Sunday papers starting in 1940, and the generous format gave Will Eisner all kinds of latitude to play with comics language, to stretch the art form, to experiment. I'm guessing for a lot of casual comics fans, especially younger ones, "The Spirit" is one of those titles where they've been told it's Important and Seminal and Influential more than they've actually picked the damned books up and read them. If the movie changes that even a little, well, good. (Though I was recently told by an anguished-looking comics-shop clerk that "civilians" are coming into his store asking for copies of "Frank Miller's Spirit" -- which is a bit like asking for copies of "Sidney J. Furie's Superman," as far as I'm concerned.) With the movie, Frank Miller has basically done the exact opposite of what Eisner was doing with the comic. In his own weird way, Miller is playing it extremely safe -- cycling through his usual visual obsessions and ripping himself off and making the whole thing look deeply stylized in the exact same way "Sin City" looked deeply stylized. Miller used to talk about working on a "Sin City: 1940" comic that never came to fruition, and I wouldn't be shocked to learn he was planning to make it look a lot like this. Miller has also taken the Denny Colt character and given him fast-healing superpowers, a black suit and a "hard-boiled" smart mouth -- turning Eisner's everyman into a cross between a declawed Wolverine and ASSBAR's Batman, basically. (As a friend put it after the screening, "I'm surprised Miller didn't have him say, 'I'm The Goddamned Spirit.'") The movie opens with Miller's idea of The Angel of Death: a hot half-naked chick named Lorelai with a bunch of shit glued to her face. "I am Death, Denny Colt, you are the only one who has ever escaped my cold embrace," she says amid glittery light effects borrowed from "Xanadu." Then we cut to the outskirts of Central City, USA, where The Goddamned Spirit (Gabriel Macht) is getting in a knock-down drag-out fight in a cesspool with The Goddamned Octopus (Samuel L. Jackson) -- a mad scientist with Cruella de Ville's fashion sense, a naughty-nurse dominatrix for an assistant (Scarlett Johansson) and a weird, unfunny habit of finding the slightest excuse to go on and on about how he hates eggs. During this opening fight, the pacing is immediately weird, and The Octopus hits The Spirit with giant wrenches and toilets and says "Come on! Toilets are ALWAYS funny!" and The Spirit hits The Octopus with kitchen sinks and says, "Well, I'll be learnin' you!" and the audience says, "Well, I guess this supposed to be campy or something." It only gets worse from there. Denny's childhood first love, Sand Serif (Eva Mendes), also turns up during this scene. In a wetsuit. With a gun. She and The Octopus are each after a couple of boxes of ancient mythical treasure inexplicably buried in the cesspool, I think: One box contains The Golden Fleece, which Sand wants because it's glittery, and one box contains the Blood of Heracles, which The Octopus wants because it will make him immortal. Each villain makes off with the wrong box. The Spirit sort of investigates the case between bouts of talking grittily to himself. And a bunch of weapon-wielding women in various skimpy form-fitting outfits lust after The Spirit and/or beat the shit out of him. Sound familiar, "Sin City" fans? It's all really just an excuse for Miller to once again make moving versions of all the stuff he's been drawing obsessively for a while now -- women's asses, sneakers and boots, gloves, Nazi symbols, dinosaurs, bald guys, ancient Greek shit and fight scenes full of improbable straight-legged kicks, all of it colored black and red and white. Q. What's good? 1. Gabriel Macht (or as I like to call him, "2008's Bruce Boxleitner") tries really really hard to find a coherent character in Miller's script, and he's going to be unfairly shunned in the weeks to come. He's especially good at recreating The Spirit's wide-eyed oh-shit-I'm-in-over-my-head facial expression that Eisner drew so well. 2. Sarah Paulson does just fine as The Spirit's long-suffering doctor girlfriend. 3. Geek-fave cinematographer Bill Pope ("The Matrix," "Team America") and a battalion of post-production PC jockeys do a skillful job carbon-copying the looks of "Sin City" and "Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow." (Is there an official name for this particular brand of mostly animated "live-action" movie yet -- like "Expressionism Plagiarism Priapism" or something?) 4. There's one scene (one!) that I thought kind of worked as intended: The Spirit's walking down the street in the middle of the day, punching out purse-snatchers, and he gives a TV interview in which he tells kids to brush their teeth. There's a mild opening-scene-of-"The Incredibles" vibe to the way it's done. However, even writing that just reminds me that Brad Bird and John Lasseter almost made a "Spirit" feature in the '80s. 5. There's a truck with the words "Ditko's Delivery Service" emblazoned on the side. Denny Colt mentions "Dropsie Avenue" at one point. That's kind of neat. Q. What's just stunningly fucking awful? Um, to paraphrase Fatboy: everything else? 1. The dialogue is just an endless crap memory of hard-boiled dialogue -- a whole movie of people loudly and rapidly saying stuff like, "You knew the score!" without any deeper sense of the history of the kinds of movies that dialogue is meant to reference. 2. Moratorium: No movie is ever allowed to "cleverly" reference the glowing box from "Kiss Me Deadly" again. Ever. 3. Samuel L. Jackson, like many of the actors, seems to be directing himself in many scenes and visibly loses faith in his director over the course of the production. It's terrible to watch -- especially if you know what a hard-core comics fan Jackson is. Imagine one of your artistic heroes casting you in a movie and then making a fool of you. 4. Who exactly is Spirit telling his backstory to as he walks home after the opening fight -- his cat? No one in particular? It's hard to tell. 5. I'd now like to describe a few scenes in detail. (Like the scenes you may have seen promo-ed online, these are actually worse in context.) a. Miller is constantly creating images he clearly thinks are funny -- but he doesn't have the first clue as to how comedy is paced or staged when it actually has to move and cut together. One of the least hilarious recurring jokes in the movie involves a series of cloned henchmen (all played by Louis Lombardi) that the Octopus keeps killing in fits of pique. These guys are all grievously stupid, finish each others' sentences, and wear black t-shirts emblazoned with words like ETHOS, LOGOS, PATHOS, DIALOS and SOS; imagine "Don" and "Rob" from "The Dark Knight Returns" as written by a sozzled uncle who laughs at his own jokes, and you're starting to get the idea. Anyway. In one scene, The Octopus orders one of these henchmen to commit seppuku -- which the guy starts doing, with a dumb blank grin on his face, kneeling in the foreground, the blade stuck in his stomach but no blood visible, lest the PG-13 rating be endangered. ("This kinda tickles," I think he says, the actor looking kind of embarrassed as he says it.) Meanwhile, Samuel L. Jackson and Scarlett Johansson are pacing back and forth behind him like they've been directed to move from point to point in a bad college art film, ignoring Lombardi and droning on and on about their plans (and eggs, I'm sure). It plays like Miller shot his storyboards and nothing else, giving the editors no leeway to find a comic rhythm. b. Sand Serif lectures a guy about "making an perfect ass of yourself." As she says this, she is making a photocopy of her ass. No, really. The Spirit finds it later and immediately recognizes Sand Serif from it. The Frank Miller who writes ASSBAR wrote this. And he thinks it's hilarious. c. At one point, The Spirit wakes up tied to a dental chair and says, "What smells dental?" He looks up, sees a swastika, and says, "Dental and Nazi. Great." What follows is one of the goofiest, unfunniest, most ineptly staged scenes I have ever seen in a comic-book movie, and that includes the ones produced by Roger Corman. Samuel L. Jackson suddenly stomps out in a full-on Nazi SS uniform and starts monologuing about experimental serums (and eggs) -- because apparently we need to know the secret origins of this character we barely care about. Jackson is flanked by Scarlett Johansson, dressed as a naughty nurse, and a bellydancer named Plaster of Paris (Paz Vega) who apparently loves to sashay around and kill men with a pair of Klingon-y swords. At one point -- probably when Jackson was going on about runny eggs or Huevos Rancheros again, and shortly before Jackson declares someone "dead as 'Star Trek'" (???) -- Macht says, "Pardon me, but is there a point to all this? I'm getting old just listening to you." The urge to stand up and applaud was overwhelming. By the time Plaster Paris (Paz Vega) was dancing off into the snow in a belly-dancing outfit, carrying a couple of swords, I was thinking to myself, "This is the visualized inner life of a not-well man." d. There's this cute rookie cop (Stana Tatic) who goes on and on about Sand Serif's "Elektra complex." It's the sort of weirdly self-congratulatory joke -- a nod to Miller's past "Daredevil" glory that only comics insiders will get -- that turns up all over this movie. In another scene, someone sees The Spirit hanging from a skyscraper and says, "You'll believe a man CAN'T fly!" Seriously? A pun based on the advertising tagline from a 1978 superhero movie? Who is that gag for, exactly? It's like you're watching a very expensive series of inside jokes, or reading a really bad webcomic with a vast continuity and its own tiny and deeply insular LiveJournal community. This leads me to my larger rant: Watching the movie, I really started to wonder if Miller suffers from that artist's malady where he's been called a "genius" and a "maverick" so many times, he's settled into a nice comfy couch inside his own head and is now perfectly happy cycling through a tiny set of visual obsessions that only he finds funny or profound. This isn't the Frank Miller who wrote and/or drew dense, scary, funny, moody, multilayered sci-fi satires -- classics like "Ronin" or "Give Me Liberty" or "The Dark Knight Returns" or his staggering takes on Elektra and Daredevil. That Frank Miller was like the James Cameron of comics, young and hungry and drunk on telling bad-ass popular stories full of strong women. Maybe Hollywood thought it was hiring that Frank Miller to adapt "The Spirit." What Hollywood is about to learn -- in a very public and embarrassing way -- is that the "Frank Miller" comics fans once spoke of in hushed tones stopped making good stories about 10 years ago, if you count "300" as his last ambitious book. It's worth pointing out here that Rodriguez was skillfully remixing Miller's 10- and 15-year-old material for "Sin City" -- material that gets weaker and weaker as that series (and that movie) goes on. (Seriously: Try reading the last "Sin City" book, "Hell and Back," and getting any nutrition from that silly wet dream of a drug hallucination of a rescue fantasy.) Miller can still draw -- even if he now gives every character hands and feet so Looney Tunes large, I'm surprised the gloves don't have three fingers -- but as a writer, he's become reduced, primitive, a "hard-boiled" parody of himself. He keeps saying in interviews, "I just do the stuff I do!," but he's wrong -- he's doing less and less. The blown production schedule suggests he was going through some rough creative times while making "The Dark Knight Strikes Again," so I should probably cut the man some slack on that book. But couldn’t he have just taken a break instead of taking a fascinating pop-art superhero premise and executing it without a single establishing or crowd shot -- relying instead on hammy narration, jumbled close-ups and embarrassing Photoshop filters to get the job done? Reading "Dark Knight Strikes," your jaw drops as Miller just plain skips over the parts of the story he doesn't feel like telling. And you wonder if one of the most influential comic writer/artists of the late 20th century -- the man who helped make comics safe for a more grown-up audience -- has lost his nerve, his mind, or just his desire to think things through and bust his ass. Miller inspired a generation of writers and artists to take comics seriously with "Ronin" (1983), "Batman: The Dark Knight Returns" (1986), "Elektra: Assassin" (1986), "Batman: Year One" (1987), "Give Me Liberty" (1990) and "Sin City: The Hard Goodbye" (1991). Now he just barely manages to write "All-Star Batman & Robin," one of the most stupid, vile and reviled Caped Crusader comics ever committed to print. My point being: Hollywood just gave the keys to a major motion picture to today's Frank Miller, an artist who needs to get hungry again, a guy who now coasts on a greatest-hits list of pumped-up sight gags. And he fucked up "The Spirit" big-time, and took the late Will Eisner's legacy with him. Q. What did your fellow screening attendees have to say afterward? "A.R.," photographer: "What the fuck was that? No, seriously -- what the fuck was that?" "F.Q.," actuary: "Frank Miller must hate Jesus. Why else would Frank give Him this turd on His birthday?" "P.H.," telemarketer, responding to F.Q.: "Maybe Miller's German and thinks you're supposed to lay cable on your friends. That would sure explain why he gave Scarlett Johansson a second head made out of Hitler." [I actually had to e-mail P.H. later and find out what he meant. "'Lay cable' is a crudity that describes the action of defecating," he explained, helpfully. "ScarJo's Hitler head comes from that sequence in the Nazi room where Samuel L. Jackson melts a cat: Miller cuts back to Scarlett like four times, and there's a giant picture behind her that makes it look like Hitler's head is growing from her shoulder."] "Y.Y.," forensic anthropologist: "Some may say Will Eisner is rolling over in his grave. He isn't -- Frank Miller never gave him the chance. Frank Miller dug him up, threw him in the mud, and beat him over the head with a putrid toilet. And then had the gall to call it an homage." "R.P.," console-gaming engineer: "If Rodriguez is involved, I'd go see a 'Sin City 2,' but pure, unadulterated Miller at this point just depresses the fuck out of me -- not to mention makes me actually resent the fact that, back in high school, 'Dark Knight' and 'Sin City' were some of the first comics to really get me jazzed about the medium. But Jesus Christ -- I wanted to hang myself after listening to him ramble on about some bullshit or other at Comic-Con; the guy's just taken self-aggrandizing creative bankruptcy to whole new levels, and I really don't want to have to sit through two hours that just remind me of that fact. Whoa. Not sure where that came from. End rant." Warmest, Alexandra DuPont.
Arm yourself to attack my critical judgment! It's easy and fun! Visit The (recently updated) DuPont Bibliography!
Readers Talkback
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  • Dec. 24, 2008, 5:17 p.m. CST

    Screw the Spirt... Bring on Watchmen!

    by grievenom

  • Dec. 24, 2008, 5:19 p.m. CST

    Great Review btw, Alexandra

    by grievenom

    I'm steering clear of the P.O.S. turd Spirit.

  • Dec. 24, 2008, 5:30 p.m. CST

    the font of '' looks...


    alot like ain't it cool's, in a way...not so much the logo, but the comic font used in the borders and stuff here. who are they trying to fool?

  • Dec. 24, 2008, 5:32 p.m. CST

    also, WOW- no bad reviews!


    imagine that, a fake site where there are no bad reviews.

  • Dec. 24, 2008, 5:55 p.m. CST


    by mr_l_74

    SOunds like the spirit raped his eyeballs

  • Dec. 24, 2008, 6:02 p.m. CST

    What this really is

    by Melvin_Pelvis

    Is Miller masturbating in public<br> And he got someone to pay him a lot to do it<br> And he got some fairly big names to participate and be filled while he did it<p> But make no mistake, this is miller jacking off in everyone's face<p> Man, I'd hate to be the guy who signed off on this once his bosses figure out that's what this is

  • Dec. 24, 2008, 6:03 p.m. CST


    by Melvin_Pelvis

    and be filmed*...

  • Dec. 24, 2008, 6:23 p.m. CST

    This review was worth it.

    by HyphenatedWords

    I was on the fence. This made up my mind. <br><br> Movie goers should send you a percentage of the money they would have spent on a ticket to see THE SPIRIT.

  • Dec. 24, 2008, 6:35 p.m. CST


    by robzass

    Anyone else having a blast reading these Spirit reviews? Roger Ebert's was equally hilarious.

  • Dec. 24, 2008, 6:39 p.m. CST

    Fantastic review

    by wookie1972

    You hit every nail on the head with this one. Loserguy.... trust me, she was right on the money, to add another cliche. Really, for just plain wrong adaptations of a comic this bad you have to go back to the barely-released Brenda Starr or Altman's Popeye (which admittedly had some defenders). It's worth watching only for its absolute insanity.

  • Dec. 24, 2008, 6:39 p.m. CST

    You either die an artist...

    by ebonic_plague

    ...or you live long enough to see yourself become a hack. <p> Maybe the silver lining to all this is that Frank becomes disillusioned with Hollywood (again) and goes back to make unconventional comics again. Right now, it looks like this is the nail in the coffin of the limping corpse of the "grim n' gritty" style of comic book deconstruction/realism that was spawned with DKR and Watchmen. The sad thing is that Miller supposedly pioneered that style, which was then beaten like a dead horse by every two-bit hack comics writer since then, until it's now the standard pose for "mature" comics, like how "alternative" is now the catch-all term for lowest-common-denominator radio schlock rock. Miller once said that if the comic book industry was the music industry, mainstream comics would be a never ending parade of Elvis impersonators... but this sort of one note neo-noir style one which he's been coasting lately is like a Kidz Bop cover of Hannah Montana, a xerox copy of pure cellophane glitz and gimmick, without any connection to the substance and spirit of the original artform. It's sad, I still remember the guy who stood up at a comic book distributor's convention and ripped into Marvel for doing exactly what he's done to Eisner's creation by way of this movie. I guess one of those cliched hard boiled lines still has some truth: everyone has their price, and apparently Miller wasn't too different from Stan the Man after all.

  • Dec. 24, 2008, 6:45 p.m. CST

    Also, this review...

    by ebonic_plague

    ...was the most apt summary I've yet read of Miller's work lately. Honestly, I want to defend the guy, and I still maintain that bandwagon jumpers who are going to shriek "he's always been a hack!" need to re-evaluate his early good stuff, but man, if this movie is as putrid as the review suggests, this might put a big dent in the chances of seeing any more non-superhero comics make their way to the theater any time soon.

  • Dec. 24, 2008, 6:47 p.m. CST


    by TroutMaskReplicant

    Strangely apt name. As always, Alexandra DuPont's reviews are sparkling.

  • Dec. 24, 2008, 6:53 p.m. CST

    ebonic, trust me, it is...

    by wookie1972

    It's only saving grace it has is as camp, which is brutally ironic considering Miller's evisceration of the Adam West Batman. At least Batman was meant to be fun, but The Spirit has no feeling of humanity at all.

  • Dec. 24, 2008, 6:53 p.m. CST

    the spirit comic was overrated

    by bacci40

    you know that is what frank was thinking when he wrote the script and directed the movie.<p> for why else would he add his own sensiblities into what every comic afficionado accepts as classic and beautiful work.

  • Dec. 24, 2008, 6:55 p.m. CST

    I was thinking of seeing this last nite...

    by The Dum Guy

    But, I decided on getting drunk and watching The Big Heat instead.<br><br>No matter how bad this is, it can't be worse the Disaster Movie (which isn't saying much of anything).

  • Dec. 24, 2008, 7:08 p.m. CST

    Now I actually want to see it!

    by kingben

    I was pissed when I saw the trailers a couple months back. "Frank Miller fucked up the Spirit, oh well, fuck hollywood blah blah blah" i thought but now i want to see this horrendous piece of shit so i can solidify my hate for miller. Frank, you were amazing but now you suck cock and I hate you

  • Dec. 24, 2008, 7:08 p.m. CST

    I really want to see this movie

    by smackfu

    because Frank Miller's dialogue makes me laugh out loud every time I read it, and not in the way he intended.

  • Dec. 24, 2008, 7:08 p.m. CST

    This is an excellent review!

    by Bob Cryptonight

    It was enjoyable to read and so full of truth.

  • Dec. 24, 2008, 7:11 p.m. CST

    I adore this review

    by Gwai Lo

    Very nicely written piece.

  • Dec. 24, 2008, 7:25 p.m. CST

    Great review.

    by The Reluctant Austinite

    That was hard to read, but I fully expected the result based on what I'd been hearing for months. I wonder how early on Monday morning we'll hear that his "Buck Rogers" project has been sidelined. This is a very well thought out and written review. I just wish it wasn't true, but somehow I believe every word.

  • Dec. 24, 2008, 7:35 p.m. CST

    Damn You Michael Bay


    Damn You Michael Bay

  • Dec. 24, 2008, 7:40 p.m. CST

    The Eggs thing

    by Melvin_Pelvis

    a reference to Cpl. Chuck 'Stretch' Sitarski?

  • Dec. 24, 2008, 7:52 p.m. CST

    This is the one AICN review I've read about The Spirit

    by SomaShine

    .. that doesnt make me believe Frank Miller did something to make Harry cry.

  • Dec. 24, 2008, 7:54 p.m. CST

    Well said-Great Review Ms. Dupont!

    by Jobacca

    Its nice to see more and more people commenting on the fact that Emperor Miller has no clothes. I honestly think doing the Sin City comics broke Frank Millers brain. I also now wonder how much of his early stuff he may have had "help" with(it sure as hell seems like theres a lot more of Denny O'Neil in Dark Knight and Year One than there is of Miller-at least judging by the shit hes done with Bats in recent years)

  • Dec. 24, 2008, 7:55 p.m. CST

    So...Seriously, Alexandra....

    by maliswan

    ...any pictures of you in a swimsuit on the web?

  • Dec. 24, 2008, 7:59 p.m. CST


    by JasonGrey

    To see Frank Miller's Spirit get shit on by nearly every living human being on the face of the planet.

  • Dec. 24, 2008, 8 p.m. CST

    His work was never good, it was an illusion

    by smackfu

    Miller is an adolescent boy trapped in a man's body. When we were adolescents/teens, his worked naturally connected with us. Now we're grown up, and Miller's still an adolescent, it no longer connects.

  • Dec. 24, 2008, 8:01 p.m. CST

    You guys see what Miller said in the new Maxim?

    by Flyingcircus

    "If Eisner thought I built a dusty monument to what he did, he’d come back from the grave and throttle me. I owe him. I don’t owe the fans a goddamn thing."

  • Dec. 24, 2008, 8:08 p.m. CST

    I don't see what's wrong with that quote Flyingcircus

    by eggart

    He doesn't owe fans anything, really. I don't understand why people hate the All Star Batman comics. They literally CAN NOT be taken straight faced. It's impossible.

  • Dec. 24, 2008, 8:13 p.m. CST

    Alexandra DuPont is the best reviewer AICN has ever had.

    by robotdevil

  • Dec. 24, 2008, 8:14 p.m. CST

    Screw the review

    by Shut the Fuck up Donny

    did the beneficiary of "the 11th largest trust fund" escape safe and sound from the Madoff scandal?

  • Dec. 24, 2008, 8:14 p.m. CST

    "I don’t owe the fans a goddamn thing"

    by Shan

    That's OK. He's entitled to say whatever he wants. The fans are equally entitled to not give him any money.

  • Dec. 24, 2008, 8:15 p.m. CST


    by ebonic_plague

    ...if zombie Eisner DOESN'T rise from his grave and wring Miller's neck, he'll take it as a blessing and shit on "the fans" (fans of WHAT, exactly?) for being overly negative whiners? Seems like Miller is in the early stages of Lucasitis. Can we "fans" pool our resources to get Tom Savini to do some make-up work on an old bald guy with Harry Carey glasses and then have that guy pay a visit to Miller's studio late one evening?

  • Dec. 24, 2008, 8:17 p.m. CST

    A fine review, btw

    by Shut the Fuck up Donny

    but it seems silly to comment on a film that's been universally panned already. <p> On the other hand, Ms. Dupont should commente on a film that actually has a bit of discourse going on, i.e. Benjamin Button...

  • Dec. 24, 2008, 8:20 p.m. CST


    by Flyingcircus

    You're right in that no filmmaker "owes" any fan. But to have open contempt for your audience is literally shooting yourself in the foot. Ebonic_plague is right, this IS early Lucasitis. I don't understand filmmakers who release films and then say "I made this film for myself, not the fans." You know what then, asshole? Keep it to yourself and watch it in your own home. Don't release it. Don't pimp merchandise related to it. Don't expect to get my money for a ticket.

  • Dec. 24, 2008, 8:28 p.m. CST


    by codymr

    I know I'm going to get crucified for this but: <P> I can't say I have ever really been a Miller fan... sure he reworked batman... and he told Wolverine's backstory... but I find he has far more misses than hits. Further, his writing is way too uber masculine (which I interpret as not really being able to write because he has no depth and just uses the same bag of tricks over and over). <P> OK... begin the talkback codymr bashing in... 3... 2... 1... go.

  • Dec. 24, 2008, 8:48 p.m. CST


    by wookie1972

    He owes the fans of The Spirit better than this. I'm not a huge Eisner fan myself - to me The Spirit was more than a little corny - but this was a travesty of everything Eisner was about.

  • Dec. 24, 2008, 8:51 p.m. CST

    When do I get my A. DuPont action figure?

    by Rocco Curioso

    It has four modes:<P>Engage 1999 Mode, and she writes a piquant, insightful review of The Phantom Menace. "Oooooo, look!... a GIRL who can write." Hoping against hope that she's a fabulous babe as well, one million AICN fanboy boners spring into action.<P>Engage 2001 Mode, and she writes a sombre review of A.I., and obliquely outs herself in the process. A half-million AICN fanboyners wilt in dismay. The other half-million remain as sturdy as lightsabres. Their owners believe that, like the OT hero Luke "The Freshest Boy" Skywalker, they can rescue someone important to them from the Dark Side.<P>Engage 2005 Mode, and she writes several comparatively tedious reviews, claims to be retiring from AICN, but never quite does. Much indifferent hilarity ensues.<P>Engage 2008 Mode, and... well, the jury's still out on that one.<P>That's all I got for now. There's work to be done this evening (glances at wall clock; checks the loads in the Buzz Maverik Limited Edition Purdy shotgun). I'm just waiting for that bitchass MF Santa to squeeze his big tookus down the chimney.<P>Last year, he failed to bring me the Hello Kitty Beer Dispensing Hard-Hat I asked for.<P>This year, he's gettin' both barrels. I shit you not.

  • Dec. 24, 2008, 8:54 p.m. CST you know who eisner is?

    by bacci40

    if you dont, than you aint no comics nut

  • Dec. 24, 2008, 9 p.m. CST

    DuPont, you're the best

    by Aeghast

    at AICN, at least

  • Dec. 24, 2008, 9:04 p.m. CST

    WHY Do You Give This Woman Attention?!?!?!

    by KosherWookie

    Didn't she resign (loudly, publicly and repeatedly) a while back? In the words of Destroyo: "CONFOUND YOU, YOU IRRITATING WOMAN! DOES YOUR PRATTLING NEVER CEASE?!?!" What's the matter, Princess; your Starbucks co-workers have tuned you out and you have to inflict yourself upon us?

  • Dec. 24, 2008, 9:05 p.m. CST

    Wow. A negative Spirit review.

    by CaseyMcCall

    What a shocker. Newsvalue? Still wanna see this. Post more negative reviews please. Makes me want to see it more.

  • Dec. 24, 2008, 9:08 p.m. CST

    To George Bailey!!!

    by Thrillho77

    The richest man in town!!!

  • Dec. 24, 2008, 9:08 p.m. CST

    A Telemarketers Opinion

    by CaseyMcCall

    Should be kept locked far away, along with his callsheet.

  • Dec. 24, 2008, 9:12 p.m. CST


    by eggart

    I do wish he'd made 'Frank Miller's Christmas Special' instead. That's a story I'd like to see him re-imagine.

  • Dec. 24, 2008, 9:19 p.m. CST

    Spirit of Talkback Past

    by ebonic_plague

    You want to see the de-evolution of discourse on a website, check out those old talkbacks for Ms. DuPont's reviews. Then check out a Scriptgirl talkback. The only metaphor I can think of is comparing a civil war letter to a 14 year old's text message inbox.

  • Dec. 24, 2008, 9:19 p.m. CST

    Not since George Pal's DOC SAVAGE...

    by Bob Cryptonight

    ...has a movie so completely fucked up the source material! Way to go Big Frank!

  • Dec. 24, 2008, 9:23 p.m. CST

    KurtLockwood, I was with you, until...

    by ebonic_plague

    ..."Besides, The Spirit character is still boring and dated." I've been reading through a lot of Eisner's old stuff, and if "boring" is the first adjective that sprung to your mind when reading the Spirit, then I've got a longbox of Cyberforce you might enjoy...

  • Dec. 24, 2008, 9:30 p.m. CST

    KurtLockwood: "Eisner is not as famous as say Alan Moore"

    by Bob Cryptonight

    Oh that's total bullshit. Do you have any idea who you are talking about when you say "most of the populace"? Perhaps you meant to say that more comic book nerds in their teens and early twenties know Moore's work more than Eisners. Otherwise, your statement is just stupid.

  • Dec. 24, 2008, 9:35 p.m. CST

    You have nearly a thousand what!?

    by Bob Cryptonight

    You could own (and have read) 100,000 comics, but if they all are Marvel comics, then you would still know dick about comics. Think before you post, man. Maybe, just maybe, you are not the comics "every man" that you think you are. Other than that, have a nice Christmas.

  • Dec. 24, 2008, 9:38 p.m. CST

    Alan Moore is not as famous as say Rob Liefeld

    by ebonic_plague

    The most prestigious awards in the comics industry are called the Eisners. Most of the populace still thinks that Stan Lee created, wrote and drew every comic book since Superman. To most of the populace, comics themselves are esoteric and niche. The point? Fuck what the populace thinks.

  • Dec. 24, 2008, 10:09 p.m. CST are a poseur...a fan boy wannabee

    by bacci40

    this aint about "gaps in knowledge" this is about understanding the history of the medium that you alledge to hold so dear....there is no moore without fact, without eisner, there arent even half of the comics that you read as a kid...go take a look at the people that got their start in the eisner/igor studio...its one thing to be ignorant during the 80s, when one had to subscribe to one of the fan mags to learn history...but not you have the net, where history is a mouse click are right, the spirit is no where as well known as batman and superman...mostly because he is an everyman hero...not alien, no superpowers, no millionaire parents killed...just some everyday, run of the mill joe, that both kids and adults could relate to and use to fantasize though...oh, and miller may not owe the fans anything...but he owed it to his mentor to put something special on the big screen...and he failed....merry christmas

  • Dec. 24, 2008, 10:17 p.m. CST

    doc savage needs to be remade

    by bacci40

    it wont...but it should <P> the original movie was released after the series of pulps had been reprinted, as well as a couple of books written about the character...the books sold well, so they thought there was a core audience <P> and then they did it...they didnt respect the source material...totally sad....for their is no question that savage was the model for superman, and his group of adventurers were the model for both challengers of the unkown and the fantastic four

  • Dec. 24, 2008, 10:18 p.m. CST

    Frank Miller's Biggest Problems...

    by ericinwisconsin

    ... come whenever he starts believing his own P.R.... Ronin, anyone?

  • Dec. 24, 2008, 10:22 p.m. CST


    by kesoze4

    ...for the tides of a*holes in Jondough's old thread to pour in here and apologize deeply for laying it on him so thick about his review despite the poor guy just trying to warn people.

  • Dec. 24, 2008, 10:39 p.m. CST

    For anybody who doesnt "get" The Spirit

    by Jobacca

    Check out the newish Darwyn Cooke series. Good,good stuff. I appreciate what Eisner did,but I have to agree with some of those who find it dated. Cooke takes everything that was good about The Spirit and makes it work.

  • Dec. 24, 2008, 10:39 p.m. CST

    bacci40- here

    by MasterShake

  • Dec. 24, 2008, 10:40 p.m. CST

    bacci40- here's some Doc Savage news

    by MasterShake

  • Dec. 24, 2008, 10:42 p.m. CST

    nevermind, crappy IGN link doesn't work

    by MasterShake


  • Dec. 24, 2008, 10:48 p.m. CST

    Nail on the Head

    by rbottoms

    "And if it's so cool, where the fuck is "Ebony White", the completely racist sidekick The Spirit had in the comics?" Nail on the head. It's why I have never had any love for old noir movies, The Thin Man, or virtually any old movie with stereotypical black depictions in them. I cut these guys some slack for times they lived in but action & detective movies started getting good to me right about the time Shaft started kicking ass.

  • Dec. 24, 2008, 11 p.m. CST


    by Melvin_Pelvis

    tinyurl it<p> There's a link to tinyurl right below the box you type in

  • Dec. 24, 2008, 11:01 p.m. CST

    KurtLockwood, This Is Why You Put The "R" in Retard

    by Sidepocket

    I hope that in the future, that that shit brat you call a child will grow up and have children. And in that future, your grandchildren end up being a "comic nut" like you. You feel proud, and even more proud that they are going to re-release Watchmen in Holographic Format and reissue an actual printed release of the Watchmen comic. So you show your kids the Watchmen comic book, you take them to see the movie and you tell them what it was all about. And guess what? Your grandchildren will hate it. They will not understand it. To them, Watchmen is not modern enough to be translated into holographics. Other great writers have taken and written way better material by the time they were born. They find it sexist against women, do not understand the slang and dress, and are confused as why there are towers in the NYC skyline. And who the fuck was Ronald Regan? The art is crappy; not hip in their time, the writing is too wordy and just everything is "old, crusty, ancient out of date" and thus "it sucks" to your grandchildren. And you have to put up with this in horror, that your offspring in the future do not understand the Watchmen. That like you back then, here and now in 2008, you hated The Spirit for the same reasons these kids hate Watchmen: Because they (and you) did not understand that during their respective time periods how revolutionary they where. In short, fuck you and I hope your kid dies in a car fire. At least then your stupidity will not pass on to future generations of humans.

  • Dec. 24, 2008, 11:05 p.m. CST

    Hey! I liked Turistas!

    by Stormshadow4life

    It had some nice boobs in it!

  • Dec. 24, 2008, 11:26 p.m. CST

    When will they remake this?

    by mrfan

    Sounds like the time is now.

  • Dec. 24, 2008, 11:29 p.m. CST


    by mrfan

    Count me in as wanting to see Doc Savage as a movie.

  • Dec. 24, 2008, 11:38 p.m. CST

    claiming to be a comics nut and never hearing of the Spirit

    by wookie1972

    is like claiming to be a movie nut and having never heard of Hitchcock or John Ford. I agree, Eisner can be very corny and sentimental. but he and Kirby pretty much created the visual language of comics as we know it today. Compare a Spirit story with any Batman by "Bob Kane" and you'll see what I mean. As for Alan Moore being more famous, 1) Chances are a member of the general public could not name a single comic book creator, and if they did it would be Stan Lee. Alan Moore would come maybe a distant second, and by then you would be getting into people who know more about comics, and they would probably name EIsner, too. 2) In any case, saying that Moore is more well-known than Eisner is like saying that Herbie Hancock is more well-known than Duke Ellington. In other words, utterly meaningless.

  • Dec. 24, 2008, 11:39 p.m. CST

    mrfan: have you read the novels?

    by wookie1972

    I've never read the Doc Savage novels, but I picked up some of the Spider earlier this year, and was blown away. The pulps were wild.

  • Dec. 24, 2008, 11:39 p.m. CST

    Yeah! Death to children! Merry Christmas!

    by ebonic_plague

    Sterilize the philistines! Deck the halls! Non-believers roasting on an open fire! <p> Or... not. KurtLockwood, unlike Sidepocket, and breaking with the long tradition of talkback debate etiquette, I don't wish genocide on your entire family tree, but I will say that you're still wrong about Eisner's work on the Spirit. From a purely visual storytelling perspective at the very least, even more than half a century later, his work on the Spirit is still unparalleled. Frank Miller himself rode his coattails occasionally by swiping techniques that Eisner had perfected decades earlier. And I pity people who won't allow themselves to enjoy art from previous eras because it's not PC. You guys boycott old Tom & Jerry and Speedy Gonzalez cartoons too? Cause you and your kids are missing out on some good shit. <p> Goddamnit, a commercial for the Spirit just came on TV and I lost my train of thought. Man this one looks like a real stinker. It almost seems... nostalgic. Merry Christmas!

  • Dec. 24, 2008, 11:42 p.m. CST

    Operator #5

    by wookie1972

    Have you heard of this one? I read about it in a book about pulps, and it sounds like the most amazing story I've ever heard. A European empire invading North America (this was before WWII, btw)? This would be nuts.

  • Dec. 24, 2008, 11:52 p.m. CST

    The Saint was also ruined

    by wookie1972

    I can't remember who wrote this is in a talkback, but the problem with all these remakes is that people seem to think that the movies represent the originals. The Saint was an utter badass who took no prisoners. The Shadow was incredibly dark. The Phantom was huge at one point (and still is in some parts of the world). And yet people only know them from crappy movies. The key is not to update them with flash but to DO THEM RIGHT, like they did with Casino Royale.

  • Dec. 25, 2008, 12:01 a.m. CST

    Thank You ebonic_plague!

    by Sidepocket

    You put it much eloquently than I could. I get so frustrated sometimes that the oddest shit flies out of me. Thank you. :3

  • Dec. 25, 2008, 12:21 a.m. CST

    Hey, ebonic_plague...

    by Rocco Curioso

    Correct me if I'm wrong, but wasn't it you who posted that holiday season magnum opus "The 12 Days Of AICN Christmas" on this here website about six years ago?<P>I believe a link to or a reprint of that bit o'brilliance would do much to pacify all the philistines, jihadists, and agnostics who have seen fit to choose the hemlock eggnog as this evening's beverage of choice.<P>Any assistance you may care to impart, thanks in advance, fuck Kwanzaa it ain't the real Xmas anyway, etc., etc.

  • Dec. 25, 2008, 12:27 a.m. CST

    On the comment about not owing the fans...

    by Wungolioth

    I remember David Fincher said when Alien 3 was released that he didn't make it for the audience or fans, he made a movie that he and his friends could enjoy watching. At the time I thought "Fuck him! What an arrogant asshole!", and then, well, he made a few good films after that so I sort of put it aside. Miller could come back from this, but it sounds like he's insulated himself from reality. When the box office doesn't come in on Monday, he'll pat himself on the back and tell himself that nobody gets the movie. By the way, I knew this would be shit from anything I saw after the original teaser trailer was released, it looked painfully awful.

  • Dec. 25, 2008, 1:11 a.m. CST

    About Scott Hoffman's 5 Reviews

    by Jose_Jones

    I checked out the provided link. And unlike you say, he actually has a lot more than just 5 reviews, in order to see this, you have to hit that button at the bottom of the page, that takes you to the NEXT page...but I'm sure you know how websites work.

  • Dec. 25, 2008, 1:28 a.m. CST

    Sidepocket: well said...but KurtLockwood:

    by Bob Cryptonight

    No disrespect for your kids, etc. But can you see the point being made? If all you know are superhero comics (guys with capes punching each other) then you are a "superhero nut"...not a comics nut. It's like only reading sword & sorcery novels but then criticizing Dickens because you think the writer of CONAN is more popular. But I get your point...The Spirit isn't your era and you have no interest in the history of comics, especially if they aren't superheroes. No harm in that.

  • Dec. 25, 2008, 1:34 a.m. CST

    AdP is the ONLY vagina owning person on this site worth a damn

    by DOGSOUP

    Kudos again lady,you outclass everyone around you. Even and especially yours truly

  • Dec. 25, 2008, 1:39 a.m. CST

    wookie1972: DOC SAVAGE novels

    by Bob Cryptonight

    I've read pretty much all of them, and they are amazing. It's like all the best stuff of INDIANA JONES crossed with all the best stuff of JAMES BOND. But they were all written (mostly) in the 1930s! If you read them from the beginning, Doc's character slowly evolves from a guy who is kind of emotionally-reigned-in like Mr. Spock (all of which is intentional because of how Doc was raised as a kid), into a more human person (mainly because the guy who wrote the bulk of the novels grew a bit tired with the formula) and the stories really get incredible. In most of the stories, all of this weird shit happens and eventually Doc ends up proving that there was, in reality, some kind of SCIENCE behind it all (misapplied science). There is a lot of incredible action (more so after the first novel, THE MAN OF BRONZE, that sets it all up). I may have to start re-rereading them now...

  • Dec. 25, 2008, 1:47 a.m. CST

    Doc Savage movie news:

    by Bob Cryptonight

  • Dec. 25, 2008, 2:29 a.m. CST


    by geodesigns

    Maybe this movie is from some parallel dimension, sort of like a Bizarro movie adaptaion.

  • Dec. 25, 2008, 2:48 a.m. CST

    Scott gave Teeth 4 stars lol

    by Orionsangels

  • Dec. 25, 2008, 3:23 a.m. CST

    Looks like Miller succumbed to "King's Daemon"...

    by BurnHollywood

    ...Stephen King, that is. Remember MAXIMUM OVERDRIVE? How about his "repaired" version of THE SHINING?<p> A truly gifted artist can function in, at tops, a couple of different forms of media (Neil Gaiman managed to succeed in two), but one is usually the rule. Don't quit your day job, Frank...and next time, make sure you split the check with Mr. Rodriguez.

  • Dec. 25, 2008, 3:30 a.m. CST

    Kurt Lockwood

    by Bloo

    I'm not even a big comic book collector, more movies for me but even i know who Eisner is<P>ignoring a classic like THE SPIRIT is like ignoring Hitchcock, Wise, Ford, Hawks, etc...not watching RIO BRAVO, THE TREASURE OF THE SERRIA MADRE, THE DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL, THE 39 STEPS, THE 400 BLOWS. I'm a Kevin Smith fan, but comments like yours remind me of something he said in SPIKE MIKE SLACKERS AND DYKES, and I'm paraphrasing here, "why should I watch those films when directors I watch already have"

  • Dec. 25, 2008, 3:58 a.m. CST

    The Spirit is actually better than Dark Knight

    by theplant

    Here, I got my seat back at Lionsgate

  • Dec. 25, 2008, 5:38 a.m. CST

    "the worst movie I've seen since "The Phantom Menace.""

    by irishraidersfan

    Then I guess you don't watch a lot of movies? Phantom Menace was terribly disappointing, no doubt about that, but an absolutely terrible film? Have you seen Ishtar? Plan 9 From Outer Space? Sheesh...

  • Dec. 25, 2008, 6:18 a.m. CST


    by Bloo

    SINCE The Phantom Menace means movies she seen since TPM was released, both of those movies were released (and probably seen) BEFORE TPM<P>I sweat monkeys come on the talkbacks sometimes

  • Dec. 25, 2008, 6:19 a.m. CST

    that should have read

    by Bloo

    I SWEAR monkeys come on the TalkBacks sometimes<P>sweating monkeys is just weird

  • Dec. 25, 2008, 7 a.m. CST

    Annoyed again by DuPont

    by Star Hump

    Why? I get quarterly reviews, if that. Yeah, I know about the DuPont history with AICN, but I'm going to be an 8 year old about this. I want my DuPont, damnit. Bi-weekly. On AICN. I've been a fan of Miller since DD #174 - 1982 or something - the Elektra arc as it was being published. And AD is dead-on in this review. I was impressed with the breadth of the criticism. As for Miller, it's almost sad, but I ain't that much of a fanboy. Pride always takes the fall, Frank. Have a bite of the Spirit-shit sandwich. You deserve a big gooey bite. And you're gonna get it. Karma sucks, because if you think about it, Miller treated Batman the same way he treated The Spirit. His bank account soars, and timeless characters suffer, again and again, under his hand. Miller's victories are of his youth, and he's an old man now. Maybe there's a spot for him in the Minor Leagues. Maybe he could relaunch Shadowhawk for Image Comics. Eat shit Frank. For fucking up Eisner, you fucking mook.

  • Dec. 25, 2008, 7:28 a.m. CST


    by Sidepocket

    That is what she means. Not only is it a horrible film, but to Einser fans this is the biggest disappointment...since Phantom Menace. (Or for me, Terminator 3. I have not seen Crystal Skull yet but I assume it would be the same for today's people too.)

  • Dec. 25, 2008, 7:42 a.m. CST


    by BringingSexyBack


  • Dec. 25, 2008, 7:59 a.m. CST

    Frank Miller dead by Art Attack

    by theplant

    Bad art that is. Creatively dead.

  • Dec. 25, 2008, 8:47 a.m. CST

    Actually, Miller hasn't done good work in 17 years

    by Laserhead

    not 10. 300 was shit, too. Are there still people who wonder if he hasn't lost his mind to drugs and rampant narcissism? This movie's just going to show the world at large how shallow, moronic, and feteshistic Miller is. I say 'is', not 'becoming,' because the dude's been THIS way for nearly 20 years.<p>Merry Christmas!

  • Dec. 25, 2008, 9:28 a.m. CST

    from "scott hoffman's" site HA HA!

    by El Borak

    "Damn, people are so out to get this movie! I was originally going to post the review this afternoon but due to an extreme amount of interest, I've posted it a bit early."<br> <br>"I loved "The Dark Knight" just like everyone else, but this is not the same thing. "The Spirit" has 100% more playfulness and humor than the aforementioned film and doesn't take it self as seriously."<br> <br>"It's over the top, off and the wall and brilliant. Most people will just not understand it."<BR> <BR>"Full of jaw dropping moments, including Sam Jackson in a nazi uniform- "The Spirit" never loses its footing."<BR> <BR>"Macht with a growl in his voice to rival Christian Bale's- steals the show here showcasing an awesome screen presence to take on his leading ladies and even a crazed Jackson. Expect big things."<BR> <BR>"The Spirit" is one of the best films of the year. It's not another "The Dark Knight", it's not trying to be. Go in expecting a fun, uncommonly stimulating action movie full of, you guessed it, spirit- and in turn it will blow you away."

  • Dec. 25, 2008, 10:01 a.m. CST

    bob cryptonight

    by wookie1972

    Sounds really cool, like Johnny Quest or the Venture Bros. decades before the fact. Wasn't Buckaroo Banzai also an attempt at a Doc Savage type character? BTW - have you read the Spider? I'm serious, it is wild stuff, probably could never be made into a movie though.

  • Dec. 25, 2008, 10:01 a.m. CST

    kurt lockwood

    by Jed

    did you actually play the "lookit me, someone executed poor enough judgement to fuck me, and still further carry my seed to term, ergo my opinions are superior" card? you don't know dick or piss about The Spirit, like every other tastist comics fan you refuse to explore anything that's unappealing to you. if you had, maybe you would have noticed how enormous an influence the spirit was on comics produced 30, 40 years later, and how those comics in turn influenced contemporary filmmaking. But it's not "relevant" because it's four color. You and Shane Black go on hating people who read. That and a quarter? cup of coffee, all for you.

  • Dec. 25, 2008, 10:04 a.m. CST

    Read the news about Doc Savage...

    by wookie1972

    And I'm cautiously optimistic. The fact that Uslan is involved gives me pause. Yeah, he did the Batman movies, but he also did Constatine, Catwoman, and oh, yeah, The Spirit. (Yes, I know producers have very little creative control, but they can be the difference between getting, say, Chris Nolan or Frank Miller to direct.

  • Dec. 25, 2008, 10:59 a.m. CST

    kurtlockwood, your story keeps changing...

    by wookie1972

    YOu claim at first that you'd "never heard" of The Spirit, then you prattle on about racist it was. Yeah, Ebony White was pretty bad. But your "I Don't like The SPirit because it was racist" is a day late and a dollar short.

  • Dec. 25, 2008, 11:23 a.m. CST

    Back in the 80's

    by Melvin_Pelvis

    There was a Doc Savage comic series.<br> I forget who was behind it, sorry.<p> It was very good, and it brought Doc into the current time period.<br> His original crew were all very old, late 60's to early 80's.<br> He had an adult grandson that reluctantly became a part of the team.<p> It was very well done. Good stories and art, but only lasted a year or two.<p> If they do a movie, I'd like it if they used the same formula.<br> Kinda burned out on period pieces where citys, autos, airships and planes have to be cgi'ed in

  • Dec. 25, 2008, 11:38 a.m. CST

    Kurtlockwood, you miss my point

    by wookie1972

    My point is at first you said "I'm a comics nut, and I've never heard of the Spirit." Then, when TBers pointed out that this was rather unlikely, you fell back on "The Spirit was racist, anyway." I've heard people defend Eisner's use of Ebony White, which I find both disingenuous and wrong. I find it troubling that while Eisner later dealt with prejudice in his stories, he never (to my knowledge) apologized for Ebony. But what's indisputable is that if there was no Eisner, comics as we know them would be lesser than they are. It's a little like saying "I'm a fan of American literature, but I've never read Mark Twain because he was racist." Actually, it's a lot like saying that.

  • Dec. 25, 2008, 11:39 a.m. CST

    maybe Pixar can do Doc Savage

    by wookie1972

    and showe how it's done.

  • Dec. 25, 2008, 12:04 p.m. CST

    KurtLockwood is a-

    by Sidepocket

  • Dec. 25, 2008, 12:11 p.m. CST

    KurtlLockwood, again, you miss the point

    by wookie1972

    First of all, Twain called his character by the most deplorable name for black people in the English language. Second of all, Jim was despite this and his pidgin English one of the more sympathetic characters in the book - as Ebony White is in The SPirit. Third of all, my point was that you dismissed the Spirit before you read it, and THEN used the racism angle to back it up. It's incredibly disengenuous. I stand by my point that the graphic quality of Eisner's work influenced a whole lot of stuff you probably do like, and to point out one character's racist depiction (retroactively; you made no mention of him in your initial post) is disengenuous. Your initial point was that The Spirit was dated and tired, and when forced to produce evidence THEN you jumped on the racism question. All of a sudden you were an expert on Ebony White. And if you can Wiki with the best of them, you'd know that it was Mussolini (who was a jerk, but not particularly racist) who kept the trains running on time.

  • Dec. 25, 2008, 12:14 p.m. CST

    BTW, Kurt, if you are so enlightened and PC...

    by wookie1972

    what's with all the homophobic cracks and references to "retards?"

  • Dec. 25, 2008, 12:26 p.m. CST

    Holy crap, Rocco Curioso...

    by ebonic_plague about nostalgia. Yeah, the 12 days of talkback Christmas, that was me, I'm flattered you remembered... but I think that little ditty must have been sent to the phantom zone back when I got banned, because I can't seem to find it in the wayback machine. I just remember the first verse... "On the first day of Christmas, the talkback gave to me, a bomb in a rib-cage!" Ah, man... misty water colored memories. If you or anyone can dig that one up, feel free to post it... I'd conjure up a remastered new one for us today but there is turkey to be stuffed and my grasp of talkback catchphrase history is a little rusty. <p> In closing, may AICN cheet on you with a beer, and to you your dead raped deer, and God bless you and send you a Happy New Year!

  • Dec. 25, 2008, 12:35 p.m. CST

    KurtLockwood only when-

    by Sidepocket

    You learn to use spelling and grammar. Man your kid is going to be robbed of communication skills if this is what papa sounds like. No wonder why back then people though comic's ruined young minds with people like you. XD

  • Dec. 25, 2008, 1:18 p.m. CST

    Tap out, Kurt...

    by ebonic_plague was checkmate as soon as you retreated to the race card while defending the retard card. I understand the need to tear out the virtual throats of your enemies with your e-teeth, but in all honesty, one should not reference one's family in talkback unless one is prepared to read detailed necrophilic threats against them... especially around the holidays, man. You want a realistic assessment of racial tension and strife from Eisner, go read Dropsie Ave, it's a damn good read and the work of a master at the absolute top of his craft. You're a fellow comic geek and a talkbacker so I won't harp on this anymore, but I think you should give Eisner's golden age work a second chance, it really is that good. But to bring it full circle, this movie looks to suck in an inverse proportion to how good the original Spirit comics were. Way to go Frank. Sorry to interrupt this blossoming intergenerational blood feud, hope you guys all got green lasers in your stockings to assist in fucking each other's eyeballs, murr ccccchhhhrrrismas!

  • Dec. 25, 2008, 1:29 p.m. CST

    KurtLockwood is pure lulz

    by Sidepocket

    I am not an internet tough guy. I'm an internet asshole, duh! What makes me different from you (besides intelligence, good looks, ect) is that I did not post my E-Mail so I could describe how I would physically kill you IRL. That is an internet tough guy to a T. Apparently you have no concept of meaning on the words that escape your face. Anyhow, we are also standing by the fact that Watchmen is old, crusty, boring and as I later pointed out, SEXIST! It's just starting now and you wait long enough, it will be 100%. So your point, besides amusing the fuck out of me with your outlandish lulz worthy comments? XD

  • Dec. 25, 2008, 1:32 p.m. CST

    Just Say No!

    by Melvin_Pelvis

    to Pixar Doc!

  • Dec. 25, 2008, 1:36 p.m. CST

    nonsense Kurt...

    by wookie1972

    What happened was that you 1) were caught not knowing much about a seminal comic and 2) wikied it to find about it, and 3) jumped on the racism as a PC way you could be up in arms about this comic. i am 95% sure you had no idea who Ebony White was when you made your first post. As for what one TBer said about your kids, before SIdepocket even wrote that you had written ". "And if you challenge my geek cred again I will have to forcefuck your throat like Ash did to Ripley near the end of Alien with my ancient issues of Bantha Fodder, how's that for "fan boy," Mr.Pink?" So you raised the level of insult before anyone else did. AS for homophobic, phrases like "getting your panties in a bunch" and calling people pussies left and right speak for themselves. YOu may be a father, but a grownup? Not so much.

  • Dec. 25, 2008, 1:52 p.m. CST

    Jesus-someone call Child Services

    by Jobacca

    If this whacked out maniac really does have a one year old,someone needs to trace his IP address and call social services. Maybe his kid will wind up in a decent foster home(one with REAL geek parents). Remember Col. Kurtsy-suicides are highest this time of year so why dont you do us all a favor and take the easy way out? If you really want to make a point,shoot yourself during a screening of The Spirit at your local multiplex...I GURANTEE that'll make the news!

  • Dec. 25, 2008, 3:02 p.m. CST

    KurtL: you said you'd never heard of it...

    by wookie1972

    And several people pointed out that if you were such a big comic nut, you should have, period. If you've read any interviews with Moore or Miller, you'd know that he was a big influence. Like I said, not hearing of the Spirit is like claiming to be a movie nut and never having heard of Hitchcock. It really ruins your credibility. You also seem to think that because of a single character being a racist stereotype gives you the justification to dismiss everything about it. That's like dismissing Miles Davis' work because he was a misogynistic bastard. You could do it, but you'd look pretty foolish. The whole comic isn't racist just because of one character. The SPirit didn't fight caricatured black guys (okay, he does in the movie, but that's beside the point). Let's fast forward 50 years into the future. Someone decides to (shudder) remake Star Wars - just bear with me, okay? A self-proclaimed "movie nut" says he's never heard of Star Wars - yeah, it's unlikely, because Star Wars is much more ubiquitous than The SPirit, but BEAR WITH ME. If said movie nut said "Star Wars sucks because Jar Jar Binks was racist", they'd look pretty silly, as silly as dismissing Warner Brothers Cartoons because of "Bugs Bunny Nips The Nips" or, yes, dismissing Huckleberry Finn because of N***er Jim. And frankly, saying "I don't really care about what you think in this regard enough to respond" is pretty cowardly. And you continue to use the word "pussy", which is both sexist and homphobic.

  • Dec. 25, 2008, 3:15 p.m. CST

    "Lulz" "Encyclopedia Dramatica"?

    by MCSuchandsuch

    Can we throw in one more person in that carfire?

  • Dec. 25, 2008, 3:53 p.m. CST

    kurtlockwood, where to start...

    by wookie1972

    I do consider myself a movie nut, and I know that F.W. Murnau was "the guy who did Nosferatu." I had to check IMDB to see who Philippe Druillet was, and apparently he did an animated movie of Nosferatu, but to suggest that he's the cinematic equivalent of Eisner is frankly, asinine. And your suggestion that Eisner was "racist" because of one character (which he deeply regretted in his later years) is both reductionist and ignorant. AS for your kids, I never breathed a word about them and you started bitching at people before they were even brought up. SO you have 1000 comics, BFD - for all we know those could be Archies and Ninja Turtle ripoffs. Nonetheless, I would bet you anything that the majority of the people who created those 1000 comics would say that EIsner was one of, if not the single, most influential creators in the business. I'm not a major fan of Eisner's, but I wouldn't be so stupid as to deny his influence. To jump to yet another medium, anyone who claimed to be serious about American literature and who never read Twain because he was "racist" would look like an utter fool.

  • Dec. 25, 2008, 4 p.m. CST

    Kurt, the Spirit might not be your bag...

    by ebonic_plague

    ...but to continually harp on Eisner being racist, solely to win a flame war, is disingenuous to say the least. Eisner's work on the Spirit started in the 30's, having an ethnic caricature was nothing scandalous, and your attempts to paint Eisner as a vile racist for including such a character is a pretty desperate maneuver. Can you tell us WHY you think that his depiction of Ebony White is such a grievous insult to good taste? Are you also going to tar and feather Milton Caniff for his depictions of asians? Do you know who Caniff is? These guys are not esoteric footnotes in the history of the comics industry, they almost single handedly created it. I don't really care all that much that you don't appreciate this work, but I am going to correct your misguided notions of what is and isn't quality, meaningful work in the field of golden age comics. You can just say that you don't like the Spirit, but to reject Eisner's entire body of work as the product of a racist is an insult to the man's legacy and fairly ignorant. Anyway, no harm no foul, I do hope that you're not re-routing your flight to commit premeditated murder on a garden variety talkback shittalker, and that you get out of the airport in time for your son and yourself to enjoy one helluva good Christmas.

  • Dec. 25, 2008, 4:06 p.m. CST

    ebonic, spot on

    by wookie1972

    The point for me is not whether The Spirit was great or not (Full disclosure: The few I've read I've found a little boring; amazing-looking, but boring) or even whether Eisner was racist or not (I've read enough *about* the man to convince me that indeed,he wasn't), but the notion of willful ignorance, that we have nothing to learn from the past. I've had this argument with people who call Alan Moore the most influential comics creator ever, when Moore himself would admit that he would give his right nut to be Harvey Kurtzman and his left nut to be Jack Kirby. To Kurt I would say read a bit of history of comics (Men Of TOmorrow by Gerard Jones is a good one) and quit hiding behind talk of racism. Actually, a perfect analogy is John Ford. A Native American film buff would probably not have warm feelings about The Searchers, but to deny Ford's influence on film because of that would be ridiculous.

  • Dec. 25, 2008, 4:26 p.m. CST

    no, the fact that you dont know who Murnau is...

    by wookie1972

    means that you are a poseur with IMDB and WIkipedia. Murnau was among the many artists who, like EIsner with comics, defined the language of movies. But your defense of not knowing who Eisner is seems to amount to "he was a racist." Whether or not Eisner was racist (again, I am pretty sure he wasn't) has NO BEARING on whether he was a major figure.I personally don't care if you read the Spirit or not. I cringe when I see Ebony White, too. However, to suggest that because of that he was a minor figure in comics history show nothing more than your own ignorance of the history of the medium.

  • Dec. 25, 2008, 4:32 p.m. CST

    bloo, that kevin smith quote...

    by wookie1972

    crystalizes exactly why I dislike him.

  • Dec. 25, 2008, 4:46 p.m. CST

    Kurt, its not about being a geek...

    by wookie1972

    It's about knowing the history of what you're talking about. BTW, James Madison owned slaves (I can use google, too). That would be real racism. I guess you probably don't read Nabokov because of Lolita, either, or Shakespeare because of Shylock. Good for you. That has nothing to do with EIsner's influence on the medium. And knowing that doesn't make one a geek, it makes one knowledgeable. Just spare me your hiding behind racism to rationalize your ignorance of the history of the medium.

  • Dec. 25, 2008, 4:54 p.m. CST

    Kurt, to quote Vic Vega...

    by ebonic_plague

    ..."Eddie, you keep talking like a bitch, I'm gonna slap you like a bitch." You gotta expect that when you strut into a talkback and casually lob troll bait like "Eisner is esoteric and niche," "racist Will Eisner," and "nyah nyah nyah" that people who do recognize Eisner's importance are going to fling shit back at you. It's practically in the site's FAQ. Yeah, a blood vendetta on your firstborn is possibly a slight bit of overkill, but it IS a holiday, and different cultures have different traditions, who are we to discriminate, etc. I've barged into talkbacks before and shot my mouth off about something I knew too little about, and been viciously schooled by an unmerciful mob of knowledgable assholes (and @$$holes)... it's one of the reasons I find talkback interesting enough to come back; I learn things. Sometimes esoteric and niche, but usually interesting. And so far I haven't yet had to track anyone down and knife them. But you do come close occasionally. Anyway, consider us charitable for providing the airport distraction for so long. Peace.

  • Dec. 25, 2008, 5:23 p.m. CST

    wookie1972---Doc Savage novels

    by mrfan

    Have read a couple. Enjoy them immensely. Want to read the Spider and the Shadow also. Starting to love the pulp novels.

  • Dec. 25, 2008, 5:34 p.m. CST

    No one ever took Sin City comics seriously

    by m_prevette

    ...not unless they had absolutely zero understanding of crime fiction...or any type of good fiction. The Sin City comics, from book one, page one, were steaming piles, from a hack level writer. They're pure garbage, just like Miller's latest Batman comics ( and really...if you read The Dark Knight Returns and give an honest ain't that swell). But the good thing is, it's not likely he'll ever make another film. Now if we can just keep him away from writing comics...hmmmm

  • Dec. 25, 2008, 5:59 p.m. CST

    m_prevette - yeah, you're about right...

    by wookie1972

    Sin City is fine if you think Mickey Spillane is the height of pulp mysteries - in other words if you've never heard of Hammett or Chandler, you might think that this is what film noir is "all about." But it's pure dreck.

  • Dec. 25, 2008, 6:01 p.m. CST


    by wookie1972

    Is Doc Savage still in print? I'd love to find some. What I've found is that when it comes to "the pulps," only a fraction of what was available is known to most people now. Once you start digging around, they get really weird. But yeah, if there were no pulps, we'd have no Indiana Jones and probably no Star Wars.

  • Dec. 25, 2008, 6:35 p.m. CST

    KurtLockwood is pure lulz Part Two

    by Sidepocket

    There is a reason why I do not give out my address, because I know for a fact since you are a real stereotype internet tough guy, I know you will not do shit about it. You think you are the first to yell threats at me over the internet? Please. They never follow through. Besides, if you killed someone over some words on the internet, you know how stupid you would look? Saving everyone the trouble.

  • Dec. 25, 2008, 6:38 p.m. CST


    by Sidepocket

    If you did not want to get your brat kid shitted on, then you would have not brought the fucker up in a sad attempt to discredit someone in claiming you stuck your dick in a vagina. #1 Rule of the Internet, if you do not want anyone talking about something sensitive, THEN DO NOT POST IT! DUH! More you post = More ammo for the cannon. :3

  • Dec. 25, 2008, 6:41 p.m. CST


    by mrfan

    Check out Amazon. Have all sorts of pulp goodies. I really would love to see Doc Savage on the big screen. If done correctly you could make lots of them.

  • Dec. 25, 2008, 7:21 p.m. CST

    Merry Christmas, you ignorant slut...

    by ebonic_plague

    ...I hope Santa brought you some Spirit comics, Kurt, so you'll have something more concrete than a wikipedia entry on which to form your opinion.

  • Dec. 25, 2008, 7:40 p.m. CST

    kurt, just chill

    by wookie1972

    You're the one who started lowering the discourse here. I don't recall myself making any actual insulting remarks toward you, other than to point out where you've been willfully ignorant, and that's something you seem rather proud about. I've done plenty today, not just sat around waiting for your responses with baited breath (although I must admit it has been fun). GOod luck with the anger issues.

  • Dec. 25, 2008, 9:03 p.m. CST


    by Max Meanie

    And I don't mean Miller's god awful film. The comments made about Will Eisner's work on this board is horrendous but I understand because many haven't been exposed to his work. From "New York Stories" to "A Contract with God" to his greatest creation The Spirit, Eisner lasting mark on comics was his constant experimentation of the art form. The Spirit may be a bland boy scout but he was just the catalyst for Eisner's superb storytelling. You read a Spirit Section to get great entertainment because he packed more action, emotion and suspense in 7 pages than in today's DC & Marvel 6 issue trades. And to call Eisner a racist is a disservice to the man's life. Ebony may have been drawn as a stereotype (and for that there's no excuse) but the character himself was always heroic and the star of many of the Spirit Sections at a time when there were rarely any heroic black characters in a major newspaper. Remember, The Spirit appeared in hundreds of papers as detachable Spirit Sections. Ebony was/is a landmark character in comics history. Yes he could've been drawn more realistically but he was independent, made his own money and fought crime alongside The Spirit. He wasn't depicted as a fool as in other media of the 1940's. And Eisner took a deep stand against racism in his last work "The Secret Story of the Protocols of Zion" debunking the a source of anti-semitism. Lastly his storytelling was to comics what Citizen Kane was to film - radically different. Calling The Spirit boring is like saying Seven Samurai was just a kung fu film w/swords or Resevoir Dogs was just a bank hold-up (for you under 30 types). And that's the problem. I know that it's next to impossible get anybody these days to see a b&w film from the 30's & 40's but Hitchcock, Kurosawa, Ford, Murnau, Wilder, Hawks, etc made films that stand the test of time. Films that still resonate to this day. I've shown Star Wars fans "The Hidden Fortress" and they love it. Ten years from now it'll be just as difficult to get people to watch "Star Wars" and that's the rub. It might be hard to track them down but Eisner's Spirit stories are fun and full of humanity which is missing from a lot of today's comics. RE: MILLER's unwatchable piece of crap - I'm surprised he didn't put Ebony in it. Even the Sam J Jones tv movie put him in and he wasn't a characiture. Miller is too caught up in his own ego to find the esscence of what made Eisner's work so enjoyable. Too quote a friend of mine, "I wonder if Sylvester Stallone realizes how he fucked up Judge Dredd forever." Truth is, he doesn't care and neither does Miller about anything he does. Get The Spirit Masterworks and then bitch about him. You might like it.

  • Dec. 25, 2008, 10:08 p.m. CST


    by J-Dizzle

    I'm assuming she ain't hot.

  • Dec. 25, 2008, 10:49 p.m. CST


    by Thrillho77

    I would marry you tomorrow on the spot. I have a ring. It's a standing offer.

  • Dec. 26, 2008, 12:12 a.m. CST


    by Akira Cowabunga

    I fart in your faces!

  • Dec. 26, 2008, 12:58 a.m. CST

    So it's GOOD???

    by TheGhostWhoLurks

    I'm thinking "Yes."

  • Dec. 26, 2008, 1:07 a.m. CST

    KurtLockwood is pure lulz

    by Sidepocket

    ...zzzzzzz... Dead, babies... ...zzzzzzz...

  • Dec. 26, 2008, 10:25 a.m. CST

    Frank Miller's Recent Works

    by PTSDPete

    are a continuing death wish.

  • Dec. 26, 2008, 3:55 p.m. CST

    too funny...

    by mfcorleone

    everyone is going on about what a "sparkling" review this is. Basically you are all saying "Great opinion, I love your opinion, your opinion is so wonderful and special I want to roll it into a ball and shove it in my vagina."

  • Dec. 26, 2008, 6:25 p.m. CST

    Comic may be overated...

    by lead_sharp

    especially to casual readers, there's nothing wrong with just a good solid and fun story. After all they were just seven pages at first and Eisner pretty much used them as exorcises. But to make this, I haven't seen it yet but I've seen as much that's out there as possible and frankly just that makes me ill. The jury should always be out on any film till you've seen it, but my god it's hard to drag any enthusiasm out for this. I'll take Ghost Rider, The Punisher AND X3 before this. Maybe even Spider-man 3.

  • Dec. 26, 2008, 9:47 p.m. CST

    Umm.. I thought "Lockwood" was a gay sounding name...

    by ken-

    Not that there's anything wrong with it, but:

  • Dec. 27, 2008, 3:48 a.m. CST

    Lockwood is a Twinkie

    by Akira Cowabunga

    Should call himself Cockwood.

  • Dec. 27, 2008, 11:19 a.m. CST

    frank miller has sucked for a long time

    by ironic_name

    superman would have seen dkr batman from a mile away and lasereyed him.

  • Dec. 27, 2008, 2:20 p.m. CST

    This should surprise no one.

    by malificus

    Anyone who has seen what a piece of shit his Dark Knight sequal was should have been prepared for this. I was at a comic shop yesterday, haven't been in ages, and I couldn't believe all the Spirit giveaway shit laying around. Posters, postcards, trading cards, stickers, talking key chains, pitch black buttplugs with a long red satin tie attached, you name it, and it sure as shit seemed like a assload of smoke and mirrors to cover up what stinky dung this movie is. The previews gave it away months ago and I hope this effectively slams the door shut on Frank fucking Miller. Go to hell Frank, you screwed Eisner good and he deserved more, and I think you DO owe comic fans because how the fuck would you have afforded to live without them? Your scary screenwriter skills?

  • Dec. 27, 2008, 2:21 p.m. CST

    I mean sequel.

    by malificus

  • Dec. 27, 2008, 2:35 p.m. CST

    Y know, the more I think about it

    by malificus

    the more Miller's statement about not oweing fans anything REALLY pisses me off. He owes fans EVERYTHING. He's not some high-form artiste' creating esoteric works in his studio that only he sees for his own edification. What a fucking dick on wheels this guy is. Now watch him go crawling to Marvel to do another Daredevil project in two years when his Spirit money has disappeared up his nose.

  • Dec. 28, 2008, 2:31 p.m. CST

    Even Eva Mendez's bare ass...

    by Laza-rus

    ...couldn't prevent this film from being a steaming pile of shit. I wanted to believe despite less than inspiring early trailers and Miller's decade long drought of anything remotely creative. I even talked three friends into seeing it (after we missed the 4:20 for Gran Torino) - paid for their tickets as well... and they still wanted their money back. This was awful, Frank, downright fucking painful. I don't know much of the original source material, but I imagined it has been thoroughly raped. Dupont has a point (among a great many) in that your slow, creative death could have played out in relative obscurity, but crashing, burning and vaporizing on Christmas Day? Lets just hope Rodriguez lets you back for Sin City 2.

  • Feb. 12, 2010, 7:17 a.m. CST


    by orcus