Movie News

Massawyrm says THE SPIRIT is the ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW of comic book movies - without all the great songs!

Published at: Dec. 25, 2008, 12:09 a.m. CST by merrick


Hola all. Massawyrm here. What the hell were they thinking? In what is easily one of the biggest misfires of the year, Frank Miller spends every last bit of cred he’s earned and lets the co-director credit Robert Rodriguez gave him on Sin City go to his head in order to create a wildly demented, self-indulgent, jaw dropping masterpiece of ineptitude that never ceases to impress you with just how low your estimation of the talent of every artist involved can sink. If I were to tell you that Eva Mendez gave the best, most solid performance in the film you’d have no idea that what I was really saying was that she’s as consistently flat as ever and that everyone else in the film just sucks it up so hard that it will prove to be a blemish on their careers that follows them around for a very long time. This is the Rocky Horror Picture Show of comic book movies, but without all the great songs. I GET what Miller was trying to do here. He just takes a healthy swig of epic fail and falls flat on his face in a movie that will induce cringe after cringe even to the most devoted of his fans. You HAVE to know what Miller is doing going into this – otherwise odds are you won’t be able to make heads or tails of it. This is a comedy. Miller is making something of a spoof, laughing at the whole masked hero, pulp comic book oeuvre. But like the Rocky Horror Picture Show, which did the same thing for 50’s B-movie science fiction films, this has absolutely no sense of timing, very few clever ideas and simply mishandles the material every chance it gets. This film isn’t funny. Not intentionally. It is a painful 100 minute stand up act by someone not used to being on stage yet – it’s not that the jokes are bad, it’s that they don’t know how to tell them. The Spirit isn’t just a failure, it is a spectacular failure; a turkey so loud and obnoxious that it will go down in cult film history, adored by those ready to embrace it for its worthlessness. There are moments of this that feel like community theatre – it’s like being dragged to a play starring that actress girlfriend of yours who can’t get through a single convincing line but gives the world’s greatest blowjobs so you sit and smile and nod your head to 2 hours of theatrical critique of the works of Nietzsche set to the music of Barry Gibbs. With Nazis. Holy fuck is this thing asstastic – no doubt a Razzie award winning monstrosity lacking almost any merit whatsoever. In fact the only positive things that can be said about this film is that it looks BEAUTIFUL. Brilliant cinematographer Bill Pope lenses this as well as he lenses everything else and combined with the color correction and CG makes something that is stunning to look at. And with the sound turned off at a party, this might look incredible projected onto a wall. But the minute you hear words fall out of the character’s mouths all excitement wanes – for there isn’t an actor who shines, a piece of dialog or story that stands out as remotely interesting. For the cast of this film it is simply varying degrees of suck, starting with Eva Mendez and working its way down to the bottom of the fecal heap, Scarlett Johansson. I have never been a fan of the much beloved “ScarJo”, thinking of her more as the sultry, hourglass figured vixen of the hour – competent enough to deliver a line but not so much as to be able to have a real career once her looks begin to fade. But here, she is positively dreadful – not just the worst of her career, but the worst I’ve seen from a name actor in years. Anyone who can make Eva Mendez look like a quality actress by comparison needs to have their SAG card revoked. Then burned. And its ashes spread across seven different continents lest they try to in some way reform. You know what I want to do? I want to build a time machine and travel back meet the girl that shattered Frank Miller’s heart so badly he developed the inability to relate a real woman to an audience. And I want to tell her to stop. Because it was bad enough when Miller was simply humiliating and degrading the female characters in his books – but now he’s doing it to the flesh and blood actresses in his movies. Only Jamie King (who is almost altogether unrecognizable behind the CG beams of light and glittery jewels) manages to come away with her dignity intact, and then only because you probably won’t guess that it is her in the brief glimpses that she is on screen. I had a beer with her a few days before seeing this and I didn’t realize that was who I was watching. But when the acting isn’t dropping your jaw (and it will – especially when you gaze upon Louis Lombardi’s incomprehensible grinning idiot performance), Miller’s complete inability to tell a story with moving pictures will continue the downward arc of your chops. This thing is FRAMED beautifully. But the transition from shot to shot seems forced, like being done by someone who understands how to tell a static story, but not one that actually has to take you from one side of the room to the other. The flow is entirely disjointed, and when coupled with an erratic pacing you end up with a film that never finds its groove, never lets you know how it wishes to proceed. It’s all over the place, a mess of incomprehensible proportion. Even after reading this thousand word tongue lashing of it, you still won’t be prepared for the sheer awfulness of it all. They want to give this guy Buck Rogers? What, is there a draft floating around out there involving a future in which Wilma Derring is a stiffly acting prostitute with a robot pimp (biddybiddybiddybiddyFUCK) on a bleak and desolate earth? I hope to God nobody lets Miller convince them it’s a comedy. Hopefully they watch this before handing the keys over to the camera truck. Oh yeah. Merry Christmas. Until next time friends, smoke ‘em if ya got ‘em. Massawyrm
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Readers Talkback

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  • Dec. 25, 2008, 12:18 a.m. CST

    Fuck.

    by Raschied

    Stu Maschwitz, who is a god of rebel filmmaking and someone I highly respect in the After Effects community, is the visual effects supervisor of this film. I hope this doesn't stain his career. :(

  • Dec. 25, 2008, 12:18 a.m. CST

    Payback for Miller..

    by Se7en

    ...for the misfire characterization of Superman in ALL his books.

  • Dec. 25, 2008, 12:20 a.m. CST

    can it really be THAT bad?

    by palooka_boy

    Because they make it sound worse than Satan pissing on the Mona Lisa while the Statue of Liberty gives him a rim job

  • Dec. 25, 2008, 12:25 a.m. CST

    I NEED TO SEE THIS FUCKING MOVIE!!!

    by Cannabis Holocaust

    It sounds like Ed Wood made a superhero flick.

  • Dec. 25, 2008, 12:33 a.m. CST

    ...If Ed Wood conned A-list actors and a major studio

    by Cannabis Holocaust

    into acting and financing his version of "The Shadow" because he somehow ended up as assistant director on a previously popular 50's noir/gangster/flying saucer movie.

  • Dec. 25, 2008, 12:37 a.m. CST

    Are you dense? Are you retarded?

    by terry1978

    I'm the goddamned Spirit.

  • Dec. 25, 2008, 12:46 a.m. CST

    Miller degrades women?

    by Scapulawings

    "Because it was bad enough when Miller was simply humiliating and degrading the female characters in his books – but now he’s doing it to the flesh and blood actresses in his movies." Ok, that pretty much proves to me that you're talking STRAIGHT out of your ass. How does Miller degrade women? Because they're sex objects? Most all of the women in his books are self empowered bad asses who will stab you if you even talk down to them. Which Miller books are you reading, exactly? Plus, have you never read a pulp novel? How is he doing anything different than that when it comes to women? With that statement it just makes it sound like you're biased against him as a writer in general and you're completely misrepresenting how he writes. Yeah, that's pretty much bull shit.

  • Dec. 25, 2008, 12:49 a.m. CST

    i kind of have to see this movie now

    by Leafy McPlantsalot

    every review has not only been bad... it's been scathing beyond belief. i almost want to see something that terrible for myself.

  • Dec. 25, 2008, 12:50 a.m. CST

    Yeah, these reviews have been so scathing...

    by mefrog

    ...my curiosity has arisen. A bit.

  • Dec. 25, 2008, 12:50 a.m. CST

    So is it a good movie, or Great movie?

    by ShogunMaster

    And how do I get to have a beer with James King?

  • Dec. 25, 2008, 12:52 a.m. CST

    My impression of a Massawrym review:

    by Mose Schrute

    "Shit fuck shit fuck motherfucker, this thing is asstastic." <p>Though never as asstastic as Massawyrm's fumbling, obvious discourse, I'd wager. <p>Massawyrm, if you want to see a funny, well-written review, you need look no further than Alexandra DuPont's version a few posts below this one. If you want to knock yourself out, have a peek at what Roger Ebert did with the same movie. <p> Did Massawyrm ever reveal the publication or website from which he so famously claimed to "make a living"? And how much he gets paid for these D- grade-school parcels of "comic" vulgarity? <p>Could Massawyrm have been lying about his "professional" status? I'd love to take my 9-year-old son's thoughts on a movie and add a few dozen "motherfuckers" and have him paid a living wage for the effort. <p> So let's hear it, Massawyrm. Where and how much? Something tells me it's not for The Village Voice. And something else tells me no sane employer would pay more than $2 for each submission of the semi-literate dreck with which he bores readers who might stumble on one of his posts. But I hope I'm wrong, and so does my boy, the one with the dollar signs in his eyes.

  • Dec. 25, 2008, 12:53 a.m. CST

    I DON'T NEED TO SEE THIS MOVIE!!

    by Jose_Jones

    I've heard nothing but bad things...I do like the idea of a bunch of dumbass suits with shit eating grins, silently shitting their pants today (on Christmas) because they know the stinking pile of poo they are releasing. It'll make some money, but as soon as word gets out by Civilians (That's what I call people who don't follow Movie News, or keep up with Actors names, etc.etc.) But as soon as they start telling eachother how much it sucks, the crowds will dindle. Though it's "Civilians" that make movies like "Beverly Hills Chiuahua" Blockbuster hits, so "The Spirit" could make a mint, though I doubt it, since most people aren't familiar with the "Source" material, including me.

  • Dec. 25, 2008, 12:54 a.m. CST

    Agree with C. Holocaust...

    by hillvalley

    ... I had no interest in seeing this, but with these reviews getting progressively more negative and comical, I feel somehow compelled to witness this.<p><p>This movie cost a butt-load, features A-List talent, is being promoted like bejeezus, and is yet apparently an ambitious failure on the scale of 9 "Plan 9"'s. How often does this happen in studio alchemy?

  • Dec. 25, 2008, 12:56 a.m. CST

    One bone to pick

    by Geekgasm

    The Rocky Horror Picture Show is a very watchable movie. And the songs help a lot. Maybe Frank needed to hire Richard O'Brien to make a musical out of the whole thing.

  • Dec. 25, 2008, 1:02 a.m. CST

    P.S.

    by Jose_Jones

    I love how Massawyrm, "casually" name drops King, as if he had a chance in finger banging the broad. This ofourse was at some media related event, or a bar gathering after. You may have well just as said something like "So I was Partying over at Chad Michael Murray's party the other night..." Merry Christmas Everyone, and stop playing with yourselves, you'll shoot your eye out.

  • Dec. 25, 2008, 1:04 a.m. CST

    Bring on Frank Miller's BUCK ROGERS!!!

    by Daytripper69

    Ahem.

  • Dec. 25, 2008, 1:11 a.m. CST

    I'm definitely seeing this because of these reviews.

    by Bob Cryptonight

    So maybe the movie will make some $$$ from all of the rubberneckers at the crash site...

  • Dec. 25, 2008, 1:15 a.m. CST

    Mose Schrute

    by Rocco Curioso

    I'm guessing Santa didn't bring you any presents, but instead wrestled you to the floor, bent you over by the fireplace, and jackhammered you straight into the New Year. And with those eight reindeer watching, getting a choice look at your package... I'll bet they didn't feel so tiny after all.<P>That said, yet another witty, caustic review from Massa was all I needed to supplement my Christmas cheer. Well played, sir M.

  • Dec. 25, 2008, 1:17 a.m. CST

    What does the cast think of how "The Spirit" turned out...

    by Alexandra.DuPont

    ... if Jamie King has a beer with a film journalist and totally fails to mention she was in the movie?

  • Dec. 25, 2008, 1:18 a.m. CST

    well

    by Uncle_Pooch

    in lower case...she didn't know who you were.

  • Dec. 25, 2008, 1:22 a.m. CST

    From the writer of Robocop 2 & 3 ...

    by Preacher_klee

    I shorted this movie on Hollywood Stock Exchange so keep up the bad reviews. Can't wait for the blu-ray special edition (if I Am Legend got a deluxe box set, I can't wait to see what this gets)

  • Dec. 25, 2008, 1:27 a.m. CST

    Elementary, my dear Alexandra...

    by Rocco Curioso

    If Massa HAS A BEER AND (doesn't) CHEETS ON HIS WIFE (w/Miss King), then all bets are off.<P>You, above most if not all people, should grasp AICN catchphrase canon.

  • Dec. 25, 2008, 1:27 a.m. CST

    massawyrm = bore

    by splungiest

    I'm with Mose on this one. <p>Dump Massawyrm. And MORE DUPONT PLEASE! <p>Start the new year right, Harry!

  • Dec. 25, 2008, 1:28 a.m. CST

    Caption America

    by antonphd

    Does this film kill any chance of the guy playing the Spirit being cast as Captain America? He looks the part and I thought he'd be good for acting the part from other stuff I've seen him in. Does he suck in this movie or does he just suck?

  • Dec. 25, 2008, 1:32 a.m. CST

    Massawrym claims to make a living from writing this poorly?

    by darthuser

    Ha Ha Ha! Massa, you gotta tell us who pays you and how much! I want a job there too! <p> And yeah, DuPont is the best writer on the site. Massa is on the other end of the scale, about four levels below MiraJeff!

  • Dec. 25, 2008, 1:43 a.m. CST

    Scapulawings

    by Continentalop

    While I am not here to defend massawyrm's review or throw salt on the wounds of Miller, I think saying his depiction of women as degrading is accurate. I mean, making Catwoman a madame or prostitute, having almost every woman in Sin City as a prostitute or stripper, or how women in his comics are often presented nude and in provocative poses. <p> As for the self-empowering, I don't know if I would take a 5-foot tall, 100lbs Japanese ninja hooker as being believable enough to be an empowering character.

  • Dec. 25, 2008, 1:49 a.m. CST

    Get your heads on straight

    by Rocco Curioso

    (Or lacking that, straighten those chintzy pointed Xmas hats ya got perched atop your misguided noggins). Massa tells it like it is. Miss DuPont's reviews (ever since her "Attack Of The Clones" snooty/kiss my booty evisceration) have been the equivalent of Lucy pulling that football away just as the collective AICN fanboy herd's Charlie Brown was about to give it a swift kick.<P>EviDENTly, none of you tools qualify as old school. Those who will not learn from history are doomed to join the long line of DuPont eLove Slaves.<P>But then again, it feels good to be worshipped, even misguidedly. Hmmmm, I wonder why she's back?

  • Dec. 25, 2008, 1:52 a.m. CST

    Rocco Curioso

    by Mose Schrute

    Your joke about Santa raping me is HILARIOUS! And explains perfectly how you'd find someone like Massawyrm "witty." But why give away top material like that on a talkback when you could applying for a writing job on The Colbert Report? I bet you get it!

  • Dec. 25, 2008, 2:03 a.m. CST

    Donna Reed was the perfect woman.

    by Thrillho77

    I didn't read this article, but I'm going to use the Time Machine (once it is invented) to go back and try and woo Mary Bailey.

  • Dec. 25, 2008, 2:09 a.m. CST

    le sigh

    by The Amazing G

    I remember when I thought this movie would be cool (back when it was first announced)

  • Dec. 25, 2008, 2:11 a.m. CST

    Thanks for the career advice, Mose

    by Rocco Curioso

    So, I'm guessing you're upset that Santa strapped on a Trojan rather than spread his Xmas cheer across the small of your back? Cheer up, lil' elf... there's always next year.<P>That said, your rebuttal may have sent Miss DuPont running for the shelter of her "Victorian Era tolerance of porn" cocoon. She always DID get skittish when I went kinky, even if it wasn't aimed her way.

  • Dec. 25, 2008, 2:11 a.m. CST

    Massa is a pro writer?

    by darth girlfriend

    Does he use his real name or something? Why doesn't he write in a more professional manner for AICN? Honest to Christ, I find him almost impossible to follow most of the time. <p> I also don't follow what Rocco means about Lucy and the football. I think any objective reader can see Alexandra could (and probably does, or did) make a living as a writer. I can't IMAGINE Massawrym doing the same. Seriously, who does he write for?

  • Dec. 25, 2008, 2:14 a.m. CST

    Am I the only person who thinks Rocky Horror is

    by Amy Chasing

    piss funny? It's easily in the "so bad it's good" top 5. Sounds like The Spirit is just another big budget extravaganza that fails on every level - like Dreamcatcher. Perhaps Dreamcatcher is to me what Rocky Horror is to you... but that would mean you weren't entertained at all by Rocky Horror. That's sad.

  • Dec. 25, 2008, 2:16 a.m. CST

    nuuuked ttttttthe fridddddge

    by MrPresident

  • Dec. 25, 2008, 2:25 a.m. CST

    Nobody knows how Massa "makes a living" as a writer?

    by Mose Schrute

    Nobody? I mean, I hate to call Massawyrm a liar, but if somebody pays him a living wage for prose this terrible it must be available to read somewhere, right?

  • Dec. 25, 2008, 2:48 a.m. CST

    Miller humiliating and degrading the female characters in his b

    by Power_Girl

    Since when? In what books does this happen?

  • Dec. 25, 2008, 2:49 a.m. CST

    I love Massa's reviews

    by Bloo

    and I enjoy a good many of DuPont's, and sometimes (as one who has written professional film reviews) I can say you want to launch into a review like this, but you can't this site gives him the oppurtinuity to do so<P>honestly I didn't see any fucks or motherfuckers or anything in this review, are you just jealous or being a stupid little troll

  • Dec. 25, 2008, 3 a.m. CST

    This is the best writing you have ever done.

    by mr.brownstone

    Your hatred has made you stronger.

  • Dec. 25, 2008, 3:26 a.m. CST

    This movie will be great

    by theplant

    Frank MIller is better than James Cameron and Steven Spielberg and Lucas and Kubrick and Coppola and Orson Welles put together.

  • Dec. 25, 2008, 3:29 a.m. CST

    good review massa, aicn hasn't delivered one in months

    by Stengah

  • Dec. 25, 2008, 3:44 a.m. CST

    Bloo, you didn't see any "fucks"?

    by whoanecron

    Are we reading the same post? <p> I concur with Mose and the others. Ms. DuPont is a world-class wordsmith and it seems impossible that someone with this Massawyrm character's skills could ever make a living as a writer! If he did claim as much, why wouldn't he also reveal the outlet that pays him? <p>I think the answer is obvious. <p> Hopefully we'll be seeing more of the witty Alexandra and less of the charmless, grammar-mangling (and apparantly lie-spewing!) Massawrym.

  • Dec. 25, 2008, 3:49 a.m. CST

    I have zero intention of seeing this movie.

    by Iblis_mage

    Well, possibly if it shows up in front of me for free and I'm in the mood (I did sit through Battlefield: Earth after all). But I just wanna say that I don't think Kurosawa really directed the movie shown in the poster at the bottom of the review.

  • Dec. 25, 2008, 3:55 a.m. CST

    Agreed. I've long thought Massawrym wildly inept.

    by Katie Geek

    Take it from someone who's been hiring writers for years: Massawyrm's mysterious claim of making a living as a film critic is patently ridiculous. <p>I'm pleased that the work of Alexandra DuPont, who knows how to sling some concise and genuinely witty rhetoric, is making obvious what many readers of this site have known for some time.

  • Dec. 25, 2008, 4:29 a.m. CST

    Massawyrm says THE SPIRIT is...

    by Cruel_Kingdom

    THE GOLDEN GATE BRIDGE of comic book movies--without suspension and actually being a bridge.

  • Dec. 25, 2008, 4:30 a.m. CST

    Massawyrm says THE SPIRIT is...

    by Cruel_Kingdom

    the WILL SMITH of comic book movies--without all the being black and having big ears.

  • Dec. 25, 2008, 4:31 a.m. CST

    Massawyrm says THE SPIRIT is...

    by Cruel_Kingdom

    INDIANA JONES AND THE KINGDOM OF THE CRYSTAL SKULL--without all the stupidity and shoddy screenwriting.

  • Dec. 25, 2008, 4:32 a.m. CST

    Massawyrm says THE SPIRIT is...

    by Cruel_Kingdom

    the HARRY KNOWLES of comic book movies--without all the grammatical mistakes and vagina references.

  • Dec. 25, 2008, 4:33 a.m. CST

    Massawyrm says THE SPIRIT is...

    by Cruel_Kingdom

    the UWE BOLL of comic book movies--without all the suck.

  • Dec. 25, 2008, 4:36 a.m. CST

    Are you people utterly daft?

    by Rocco Curioso

    Alexandra DuPont is the Amelia Earhart of this site, provided Miss Earhart was playing a practical joke, and lands now & then to thumb her nose at the foolish pining of fan boys & girls. She'll be back when Hugh Jackman is pissing away his remaining Wolverine clout next May, and not one day sooner.

  • Dec. 25, 2008, 5:16 a.m. CST

    ... for the mischaracterization of Superman.

    by Se7en

    That is all.

  • Dec. 25, 2008, 5:59 a.m. CST

    So you guys finally see the true Frank Miller!

    by Damien Chowder

    The guy is a total hack who got lucky with the Sin City comics. They were great but then you started reading all his other stuff... They are all the fucking same!! Start to finish, dialogue structure, characters, men hit women and hero smacks rapists and wife beaters! Reading All Star Batman and Robin.. Frank Miller cliche-ville. The guy is not human, he is a robotic stencil.

  • Dec. 25, 2008, 6:32 a.m. CST

    ok you assholes

    by Bloo

    i counted theree are 2 fucks<P>#1 in Paragraph 4 "Holy fuck"<P>#2 in paragraph 8 "(bibbidybibbidybiddyFUCK)"<P>the first onoe is an exclaimation that is not uncommon for this site. Both writers and TBers use it, even you're beloved Alexanda DuPont (who I do like) uses it<P>The second is what Massa imagines a Frank Miller Buck Rogers might look like<P>Dupont sets herr format up like an easy to read FAQ, and really didn't use that many big words and used ASSBAR a lot more then Massa uses fuck in his-or at least equally. massa requires you to actually read all his paragraphs, he critques and praises the same things Alexandra does<P>he's not a bad writer just one you don't CARE for<P>christ

  • Dec. 25, 2008, 6:41 a.m. CST

    Continentalop - Degrading women

    by Scapulawings

    "While I am not here to defend massawyrm's review or throw salt on the wounds of Miller, I think saying his depiction of women as degrading is accurate. I mean, making almost every woman in Sin City as a prostitute or stripper, or how women in his comics are often presented nude and in provocative poses." Oh, wow... nude women! That's so degrading to have a women thought of as sexy and be nude in a comic book! How is appreciating the female form degrading? Women ARE sexy. Look at me degrading women like that! Plus all characters in Sin City are compromised, how is it any different from all the men in the Sin City books? Are you not supposed to have women as prostitutes in the books? I'm sorry but that's just straight dumb. In a place like Sin City, what profession would you have the women be, exactly? If anything Miller isn't degrading women, the city of Sin City is. But Sin City degrades anyone who lives in it, women and men alike. Sorry, but you just don't seem to get it. You and Massawyrm. All you see are sexy women and don't try to look any deeper than that. My problem is that if you don't plan on looking any deeper, you probably shouldn't make critical comments about it.

  • Dec. 25, 2008, 6:59 a.m. CST

    This movie had too much dancing.

    by Kevin Holsinger

    For those of you who didn't get that joke, there's a Spirit spoof trailer:<BR><BR>http://tinyurl.com/74p2ag<BR><BR>And Happy Holidays.

  • Dec. 25, 2008, 7:04 a.m. CST

    I dont know Damien Chowder

    by MRJONZ72

    I really liked his run on Daredevil, The Dark Knight and Batman Year One, I read a couple of the Sin City books and liked them too. But to my knowledge as far as his works, that is all that I have read. Now I did watch something on some DVD feature I think on how he treats the relationship of Batman and Robin and I must say I did not care for that at all..but I havent read the book and I know that ther reviews for The Dark Knight Strikes Back werent the best.

  • Dec. 25, 2008, 7:32 a.m. CST

    That was rather a light-weight ripping by Massa

    by br1947

    For the best of Massawyrm, check out the reviews of "Sex and the City" and "Bratz". Truly epic reviews.

  • Dec. 25, 2008, 7:36 a.m. CST

    Scapulawings

    by Bloo

    a point CAN be made about the portryal of women in his workr<P>I'm not saying I agree with it, but th point CAN be made<P>Some Feminists do claim that nudity, pornography, and prostitution ARER degrading to women, so the point can be made

  • Dec. 25, 2008, 8:30 a.m. CST

    Bwa-ha-ha-ha. Fuck you, Frank Miller.

    by Laserhead

    Epic fail.<p>Now nobody allow this fucktard to ever write anything with Batman again, and it will be a Merry Christmas indeed.

  • Dec. 25, 2008, 8:33 a.m. CST

    this looked to be a Can Of Suck

    by palewook

    and reading Massa's take on Teh Spirit, tells me to avoid wasting any moments of life viewing this PoS.

  • Dec. 25, 2008, 8:56 a.m. CST

    If Massa thinks Mendes and ScaJo are terrible actresses,

    by Shut the Fuck up Donny

    then he's okay in my book. I've never seen what the big deal about them was. <p> ..except for Eva in Training Day...Her full frontal at least shows she acknowledges it's her body that puts people in seats.

  • Dec. 25, 2008, 9:11 a.m. CST

    You know, if you watch "Van Helsing" with no sound and just subt

    by Kevin Holsinger

    ...it goes from horrible to merely mediocre. It's sounding like this movie could go the same way.<BR><BR>Of course, knowing my luck I'll love this damn thing.

  • Dec. 25, 2008, 9:12 a.m. CST

    That's "subtitles", not "subt".

    by Kevin Holsinger

  • Dec. 25, 2008, 9:36 a.m. CST

    Wow...

    by Sparhawk38

    This is such a universally derided movie. I don't want to go but I now feel I must just to share in the tragedy. AND...this site is all about reviews that are articulate, inarticulate, passionate, crazy, written with typos, ...bring it on...I love em all. No other contributor's reviews reach the type of insanity I sometimes read in Harry's reviews....and I am not being critical...I love it. AND by insanity I mean insane. BOOM baby.

  • Dec. 25, 2008, 9:37 a.m. CST

    All of these reviews are like...

    by Sparhawk38

    eating a lot of cheese and taking a bunch ex-lax. I can't go but I can't stop.

  • Dec. 25, 2008, 9:41 a.m. CST

    I was disapointed when I started to read this...

    by Fatdawg

    But then Massa made the comments about Miller making the Spirit into a comedy and said "it was bad enough when Miller was simply humiliating and degrading the female characters in his books –" and I realized that he knows nothing about the original Spirit and he doesn't get why Frank does his women that way. I feel better about this movie now. It probably will stink but now I know this critique should mean shit to actual fans.

  • Dec. 25, 2008, 9:43 a.m. CST

    I don't believe

    by Melvin_Pelvis

    that Miller intended this to be a comedy

  • Dec. 25, 2008, 9:49 a.m. CST

    Ever read Give Me Liberty?

    by MrD

    Admittedly I haven't read the book in well over a decade, but I recall it having a strong, non-exploited, degraded, or humiliated female protagonist.

  • Dec. 25, 2008, 9:57 a.m. CST

    he didnt intend it to be a comedy

    by bacci40

    at least, that is what he and his producer said at comic con...unless this has all bee one huge practical joke

  • Dec. 25, 2008, 9:58 a.m. CST

    Miller is the problem

    by MrD

    He's spent the last five years or so mocking the medium that made him. This has resulted in crap like The Dark Knight Strikes Again and All Star Batman. I admit sometimes you have to acknowlege, even laugh at, the conventions of the long underwear genre, and can certainly enjoy a good superhero satire, but Miller's take has a special nastiness and seeming disdain that makes it impossible for me to enjoy.

  • Dec. 25, 2008, 10:09 a.m. CST

    Watch Rocky Horror without an audience

    by wookie1972

    ...and you'll see it's not that great. Actually, The Spirit definitely has midnight movie potential.

  • Dec. 25, 2008, 10:12 a.m. CST

    The only strong women in Miller are basically men in drag

    by wookie1972

    Their "strength" comes from dealing with everything with violence. (Conversely, Miller shorthand for a "weak" male is effeminate). Any possibility of feminine virtues being seen as strengths is utterly alien to Miller's worldview. Compare this with Gaiman, who creates fully-formed women.

  • Dec. 25, 2008, 10:16 a.m. CST

    Actually, here's another example of Miller's attitude towards wo

    by wookie1972

    In Sin City, all the "heroic" women are also stunningly attractive. The only even average-looking woman we get is the harpylike judge who condemns Marv to death. And yes, showing Catwoman as an aging madam *is* degrading. No, the guy definitely has a problem with women, but he tries to cover it up with bullshit about "valkyries."

  • Dec. 25, 2008, 10:18 a.m. CST

    Fatdawg

    by wookie1972

    The Spirit used a lot of femme fatales,but not in the icky way Miller does. And the female Jewish cop Morgenstern is like something out of Eisner's worst nightmare.

  • Dec. 25, 2008, 10:29 a.m. CST

    You forgot to mention anything from the story!

    by Aeghast

    Still a nice read, Massawyrm

  • Dec. 25, 2008, 10:56 a.m. CST

    ROCKY HORROR

    by alcester

    I finally saw this piece of crap. what a waste of time. I wanted to tourture myself some more, so i also watched SHOCK TREATMENT.

  • Dec. 25, 2008, 11:03 a.m. CST

    Rocco/Bloo

    by Massawyrm 1

    <p>Thanks for the kind words guys - ESPECIALLY on Christmas. Merry Christmas to you guys as well.</p> <p>But don't waste your keystrokes on these "people". They're all actually one person with a number of Sock Puppet accounts. I'd be annoyed if it didn't tickle me so much to think that this guy LITERALLY had nothing better to do than troll me. On Christmas. I mean, does it get any sadder than that? It just plum tickles my insides.</p> <I>Merry Christmas!</I>

  • Dec. 25, 2008, 11:07 a.m. CST

    The father from The Wonder Years

    by Alkeoholic77

    I don't know about you guys but I am happy he is still getting work!

  • Dec. 25, 2008, 11:28 a.m. CST

    Miller's portrayal of men and women...

    by Cruel_Kingdom

    are classic archetypes of the pulp crime novels of yesteryear. Guys like Jim Thompson and Mickey Spillane were writing these types of characters sixty years ago. Don't blame Miller, blame the genre. He's just carrying on the tradition.

  • Dec. 25, 2008, 11:34 a.m. CST

    cruel kingdom, i call bullshit on that

    by wookie1972

    Mickey Spillane was a two bit hack whose heroes were essentially psychopaths, but Hammett and Chandler wrote real women who were, while femme fatales, were also interesting and flawed. Miller knows only two archetypes - sluts and tough girls.

  • Dec. 25, 2008, 11:45 a.m. CST

    Massa - or anyone that has seen this - I have a question

    by ricarleite

    First of all, Merry Xmas. Second, my question is, is it BETTER or WORSE than the 1998 disaster The Avengers? If it is better, I'll watch, if it's equal or worse, I'll avoid it.

  • Dec. 25, 2008, 11:58 a.m. CST

    I'm sure this movie sucks

    by canopus

    But that's no reason to deride Scarlett Johansen, she's a wonderful actress. I'm sure she did what she could with the material she was given. When she was offered a superhero movie, directed by the "co-director" of Sin City, it probably seemed like a good choice, once on the set, I'm sure she realized her mistake, that probably accounts for her lackluster performance. If I see this at all, it will be because of Scarlett Johansen.

  • Dec. 25, 2008, 11:59 a.m. CST

    Comming Soon: Frank Millers 'ASS PIRATES'

    by uberman

    Christmas 2009

  • Dec. 25, 2008, noon CST

    The most relavent argument to Miller's women issues

    by subtlety

    Is that his women are virtually all props. His men get to be complicated and textured; his women are all objects either or lust or fear. And often both. It's the objectification that really makes the books sometimes a difficult read. Women are bodies to him, not characters. The few times in his books when women do appear as heroic side characters, they do so entirely in service of a strong male character, and as a reflection of his mansculine power.

  • Dec. 25, 2008, noon CST

    Coming Soon: Frank Miller's 'COCK DETECTIVES'

    by uberman

    Christmas 2010

  • Dec. 25, 2008, 12:21 p.m. CST

    ricarleite i cant speak for massa...

    by wookie1972

    But having seen both, I can confidently say that The Spirit is crazier than The Avengers, which imho makes it "better" or at least more watchable than The Avengers. It's absolutely batshit insane.

  • Dec. 25, 2008, 12:46 p.m. CST

    Evan Mendes always looks like a man to me

    by Stormwatcher

    Not sure why people think she's great, she has no talent, and yes I have seen her in many films but not because she was in them, and her ass is huge even JLo who I despise I can give credit to for physical so and so but Mendes would be someone I pass on the street and look away from not at.

  • Dec. 25, 2008, 1:07 p.m. CST

    Reminds me a lot of that shitstorm called Darkman

    by Little Beavis

    dontcha think?

  • Dec. 25, 2008, 1:40 p.m. CST

    little beavis, i liked Darkman

    by wookie1972

    Yeah, the whole Neeson going all Hulk at the carnival was a little silly, but it was pretty fun.

  • Dec. 25, 2008, 1:40 p.m. CST

    little beavis, i liked Darkman

    by wookie1972

    Yeah, the whole Neeson going all Hulk at the carnival was a little silly, but it was pretty fun.

  • Dec. 25, 2008, 1:49 p.m. CST

    I know there are lovers and haters of Darkman...

    by Little Beavis

    ...and I know dissing Raimi is apostasy around here, but that was the first thing that popped in my head when I saw the trailer for The Spirit: "Hey look, it's Darkman meets Sin City, wrapped in a huge shit-stuffed burrito!" Regardless, I'm pretty sure it will go down in the books just like Darkman, with its obligatory one or two direct-to-video sequels to boot....

  • Dec. 25, 2008, 1:51 p.m. CST

    Re: wookie1972 - Thanks!

    by ricarleite

    I'll watch it, but having in mind it's an audiovisual experiment, and not a movie.

  • Dec. 25, 2008, 2:05 p.m. CST

    ricarleite, have a drink or two before hand...

    by wookie1972

    It can only enhance the experience. Like I said, it's bound to become a midnight movie, or at least it would if such a thing still existed. I don't want to be responsible for you paying to see it, it could wait for Netflix.

  • Dec. 25, 2008, 3:07 p.m. CST

    Coming Soon: Frank Millers 'ASSMEN of SPARTICA!'

    by uberman

    Christmas 2011.

  • Dec. 25, 2008, 3:38 p.m. CST

    Massa makes a living...

    by John Maddening

    ...um, you know that the regular reviewers here get paid, right? All that ad dough goes somewhere.

  • Dec. 25, 2008, 4:01 p.m. CST

    Anybody else had enough...

    by Rogue4

    ... of this "in on the joke " angle. I mean 'Wyrm trotted out this same angle in his "Punisher: War Zone" review and I really wasn't feelin it then either. Mostly because I recognize in it the typical hipper than the rest of these geeks condescenscion that some apparently insecure posters just can't resist tossing around. But also because I just don't buy into the whole "tongue in cheek" pretense to begin with. That just because the filmakers wink back at the camera and say "oh, but we KNOW we're being cheesy", that that suddenly makes it cool. No, cheese is cheese and crap is crap. And Punisher was certainly crap. So I'm expecting this one to be garbage to. Yet the power of fanboyism compels me. I need prayer.

  • Dec. 25, 2008, 4:04 p.m. CST

    Frank Miller's Buck Rogers.

    by 11dayempire

    "Biddly-biddly five dollar?"

  • Dec. 25, 2008, 4:10 p.m. CST

    Who doesn't love watching a trainwreck?

    by JoeSixPack

    Exactly why I will probably see it. Matinee or discount theater, of course.

  • Dec. 25, 2008, 5:23 p.m. CST

    About Miller degrading women...

    by offscauta

    What about what he did to Karen Page? He turned a legal secretary into a junkie porn star.

  • Dec. 25, 2008, 5:33 p.m. CST

    BULLSHIT REVIEW I JUST SAW THE MOVIE

    by antonphd

    It's not The Dark Knight but it's better than Batman 89. Way better than X Men 3 and Spiderman 3. It HAS rhythm but it's unique. I think it's a classic. I will buy it on BlueRay. Don't listen to the reviews. Sometimes people just don't get a movie. AICN blew it's load over Shoot Em Up. This movie is much better than Shoot Em Up. This movie is a tight rope balance act between being an classic comic strip and winking at classic comic strip. It's a mix of superhero and pulp detective. I love the detective with no name and this is up that alley if the detective was a superhero. This had it's slow points, but it's the directors first film. I look forward to a sequel to this. The thing is... you have to be able to laugh at yourself to enjoy this movie. If you take yourself too seriously... you won't like this movie. It is full of self depreciating humor. But it's all for fun. I give it a B-.

  • Dec. 25, 2008, 7:08 p.m. CST

    This looked like ripe shit for ages

    by G100

    Come on! Anyone who saw those clips from the Movie and didn't know it was in horrible, horrible, trouble just weren't paying attention.<p> <p>It's "tone" was all over the place and the actors clearly didn't have a clue whether they were supposed to be taking it seriously or not with Miller obviously unable to take the subject seriously and clearly unable to handle comedy (and he already said it wasn't supposed to be a comedy so that excuse won't hold up) so the whole thing becomes a bad joke. A joke of a Movie that does not realise that everyone is laughing AT it not with it.<p> <p>And BTW this is just the LATEST review to shit on this garbage from a great hieght. There are many, many, MANY others doing exactly the same. So lets not pretend it's one reviewers bias, kay ? This fucker is a Turkey. Accept it.<p> <p>But I STILL want to know if there are "comedy" BOOOOINGS!! WHOOOOPS! and fart noises on the soundtrack.<p> <p>And at least Massawyrm TOLD us why it was more than just excerable acting that makes this an almost "Happening" scale epic fail.

  • Dec. 25, 2008, 8:14 p.m. CST

    antonphd

    by Cruel_Kingdom

    Your calling this a bullshit review doesn't change the fact that EVERY MAJOR REVIEW ACROSS THE COUNTRY says this movie sucks dog balls. So you like the movie, but you're a minority here, and your liking it doesn't change the apparent fact that it sucks.

  • Dec. 25, 2008, 8:26 p.m. CST

    Worst AICN writer?

    by Super Nintendo Chalmers

    I've disagreed with Massawyrm plenty (namely his insane review where he accused Ant Bully of being communist propaganda), but seriously- have you guys not read anything written by Merrick? I kid. Merry fucking secular Christmas.

  • Dec. 25, 2008, 8:43 p.m. CST

    Miller Must've Sucked a LOT of Dicks

    by Akira Cowabunga

    to get where he is today. And we all know that Frank Miller secretly WANTS dick. I'm not saying it's wrong. I'm just saying that if Frank would finally come out of the closet he might feel more free, and then maybe he could produce something worth watching. But that won't happen. This giant turd call The Spirit is an insult to the audience, and a total raping of Will Eisner's classic and formative work. The Spirit deserved better than this. FUCK YOU, Frank Miller. It's time to wipe Quentin Tarantino's spum off your lips and eat a bullet.

  • Dec. 25, 2008, 8:51 p.m. CST

    Re: wookie1972

    by ricarleite

    I'm an adult and responsible for my finances, and would never blame someone for letting me see a bad movie. I know the risks I'm taking. I feel like facing this one. My eyes have once behold the worse movie ever created (Os Trapalhoes na Guerra dos Planetas - aka Planet Wars), and I've survived The Avengers, so The Spirit can't be that scarring. I'll be alright.

  • Dec. 25, 2008, 10:04 p.m. CST

    ANYONE ELSE SICK OF THESE B&W MOVIES WITH..........

    by J-Dizzle

    a dash of color here and there? It was cool with Sin City, but now its just played out and fucking obnoxious.

  • Dec. 25, 2008, 10:16 p.m. CST

    Is there much nudity?????

    by SmokeFilledTavern

  • Dec. 25, 2008, 10:17 p.m. CST

    Rocky Horror comparison? are you kidding?

    by berserkrl

    "But like the Rocky Horror Picture Show ... this has absolutely no sense of timing ...." You lost me with this -- I think timing is one of the many things Rocky Horror excels at. As for "Watch Rocky Horror without an audience ... and you'll see it's not that great" -- The only way I've ever seen Rocky Horror is without an audience.

  • Dec. 25, 2008, 10:57 p.m. CST

    Massa had a beer with Jaime and cheeted on his integrity

    by CarmillaVonDoom

    ha ha couldn't resist, good review. Just a jealous sob I bet she is a really fun person to hang with.

  • Dec. 25, 2008, 11:13 p.m. CST

    BTW glad I can see this at the Drafthouse

    by CarmillaVonDoom

    A beer or ten seems to be required for this one. Also 'party favors' in abundance.

  • Dec. 25, 2008, 11:15 p.m. CST

    This review makes it sound like Bedtime Stories

    by antonphd

    Now THAT was a piece of shit! I think that just because you like a movie it doesn't mean that the movie is bad. It means you don't like it. is this a film that not a lot of people can get into? Maybe. The crowd I watched it with liked it. To be honest... the reviews feel a bit like they are motivated by something other than the quality of the film.

  • Dec. 26, 2008, 12:22 a.m. CST

    I. LIKED. THE. SPIRIT.

    by sonnyfern

    Shoot me, run me out of here with torches...don't care. I had a great time watching the movie. It was a FUN flick that didn't take itself seriously at all. It was very unique, and I still love the hell out of the cool crazy, semi, black and white style. I really don't get the hate. I friggin' LOVED seeing the half naked women by the way..maybe that's a fetish of mine too...

  • Dec. 26, 2008, 12:43 a.m. CST

    SERIOUSLY, bad reviews like this will only...

    by TheGhostWhoLurks

    Whet people's appetites and curiosity. I honestly have to see if The Spirit IS as horrible as Massa and the other folks are claiming.<p>I mean, it HAS to be better than Jet Li's Black Mask, right? ...RIGHT???

  • Dec. 26, 2008, 1:08 a.m. CST

    Just found the BEST review of this flick.

    by Iblis_mage

    Unfortunately it's on MSNBC, not here, and it comes from a Dave White: "The Spirit: When Gabriel Macht as The Spirit isn't talking to himself about himself, he’s talking to himself about other people, or he's talking to other people about himself. Or he's talking to himself and talking to the camera at the same time. And at those times he's really talking to you about how he's talking to himself. Then sometimes he's talking to bad guy Sam Jackson about himself. Or to bad guy Sam Jackson about Sam Jackson. Then he talks to The City, which is his one true love. I think. Then he gets shot a lot by bad guy Sam Jackson (who’s wearing a lot of really rad frosty-blue eyeshadow) and falls into the muddy black goo. Scarlett Johansson struts her rack around in a Nazi uniform, too, giving Woody Allen nightmares. It all becomes sort of hypnotically dizzying and trance-inducing. And I know you probably won't be able to duplicate my viewing experience, but when I saw it I was sitting right in front of director Frank Miller and he coughed on the back of my head for 90 minutes. OK, not really. He coughed into his hand. But I know at least some of those fame-germs got on my head." Source link at: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/28317061/

  • Dec. 26, 2008, 2:04 a.m. CST

    Scapulawings

    by Continentalop

    I am going to call you to task for cherry picking through my earlier comments. I notice you quoted my statements about Sin City showing woman in the nude or as prostitutes, but you excluded my statement about making Catwoman a Madame and a prostitute, or how ridiculous it is to use Miko as an example of woman empowerment. The original question was examples of Miller degrading woman in comics, not exclusively woman in Sin City, and by excluding the other examples you regulate me to just some prude complaining about nude woman or their choice of profession in Sin City. But since you have decided to focus on this angle, I will be more than happy to continue along this path. <p> Yes men can admire the nude form, but how you present a nude form can be degrading. “I Spit On Your Grave” shows the nude form, would you doubt why some people might find that degrading, or the film “Mother’s Day”? And you say that I see a sexy woman and don’t see anything deeper. It might be true that I only see a shallow, sexist excuse for a character, but people can also look at Ebony White and only see a racist stereotype and not the deeper character he is. Is it the viewer’s fault or Will Eisner for making a character so patently offensive and racist that people can’t see beyond the exterior? The same question can be asked about Frank Miller and his female characters. <P> As for the statement that Miller doesn’t degrade woman, Sin City does, well guess what? Miller made Sin City, it doesn’t really exist, so he is responsible for what positions women play in his little town. And he has placed them overwhelmingly in positions where their sexuality is prominent, such as strippers and prostitutes. And for people who say that he is only following the genre, the answer is yes and no. Raymond Chandler, Ross MacDonald and Dashiel Hammette wrote about prostitutes, b-girls and femme fatales, but they also had cop’s daughters, millionaire’s daughters, wannabe movie stars, socialites, secretaries, female gamblers, torch singers, and tough dames. Not everyone gets by just by using her vagina. <p> And even if the genre demanded you use woman as only sexual objects that wouldn’t make it right. It used to be expected that black characters would be treated as exclusively as Steppin Fetchit characters, but now we would never accept that. Well, why can’t the limited roles woman play in Pulp crime stories change as well? Just by claiming that Pulp stories have always been sexist is just as lazy as argument as claiming that other races in Edisonades have always been depicted as untrustworthy and savage - a very bad excuse for continuing the trend. <p> Finally, I will say my original statements weren’t to charge Frank Miller with being degrading with woman, but instead to point out how his work could easily be interpreted as such. In fact the best defense against such claims is just to admit the obvious that, yes, it is easy to see how someone would find Frank Miller degrading and offensive towards woman, but despite that he is still a great comic book writer. No one would think of claiming that Sam Peckinpah wasn’t misogynistic or that D.W. Griffith wasn’t racist, but that despite that they both make very memorable work that should be highly regarded.

  • Dec. 26, 2008, 2:15 a.m. CST

    Previews - December 2008

    by JohnIan

    Something to share. I've been collecting "Previews" for years. For those who don't know, it's a catalog of fanboy merchandise that comic book/speciality stores use. It's also for sale to the public. Last month I saw something odd. The current issue (December 2008); next week the new one comes out. Page 477. They have a listing for the DVD. The movie hadn't even come out; that catalog was release during the last week of November. Three editions; regualar DVD, special edition DVD and BluRay. I can't recall when the last time I saw that. I guess they knew they had crap.

  • Dec. 26, 2008, 2:48 a.m. CST

    A belated Merry Christmas to you too, Massa

    by Rocco Curioso

    A sockpuppet Hydra troll, eh? These things happen.<P>Yeah, the intelligentsia kind of knew from the get-go that "The Spirit" was a clunker... but that didn't remove me from enjoying you putting the "why" factor into proper perspective.<P>Keep up the good work, mate. You and Vern are my two constants in an ever-changing AICN world.

  • Dec. 26, 2008, 6:35 a.m. CST

    Criticising Miller's portrayal of women is pointless

    by Lone Fox

    By that rationale, you're practically criticising every comic-book ever written. Lessee... Wonder Woman- big tits, skimpy unpractical outfit? She Hulk? Catwoman? Check, check, check. Difference is, Miller doesn't try to hide it. In fact, his Martha Washington stands way out above the crowd. Besides, surely it's less insulting showing prostitute sluts instead of superheroine sluts. Or... is that an essential part of the superhero genre? At least he has context. Regardless, the fact this site in particular has spat more venom at this movie than any of the Rush Hour movies alone convinces me to get in line on January 1st.

  • Dec. 26, 2008, 7:13 a.m. CST

    What pisses me off...

    by Knuckleduster

    ... is that this piece of shit movie is giving Will Eisner's character a bad name. From now on, every time anyone talks about how cool The Spirit is, some smart-ass idiot's gonna bring up this movie. Well done, Miller.

  • Dec. 26, 2008, 8:27 a.m. CST

    The TB's should be shut down, they're a blight on humanity.

    by dr sauch

    Seriously, you people have some large, large issues.

  • Dec. 26, 2008, 9:15 a.m. CST

    So Rocky Horror is a bad movie?

    by Thunderbolt Ross

    Huh.

  • Dec. 26, 2008, 9:17 a.m. CST

    No sense of timing?

    by Thunderbolt Ross

    That's what I meant. Maybe you meant UNlike the Rocky Horror Picture Show, this has absolutely no sense of timing.

  • Dec. 26, 2008, 9:29 a.m. CST

    RIcarleite: never heard of PLanet Wars?

    by wookie1972

    Is it worse than Manos? Then again, some would claim Manos barely qualifies as a movie. I'd compare The Spirit to something like Zardoz or Tommy - It's on the grandmaster level of twistedness.

  • Dec. 26, 2008, 9:33 a.m. CST

    Oh, dear holy Hell...

    by alanmoore

    I went and saw The Spirit last night. I figured, "Hey, I've disagreed with critics before. I liked Van Helsing for what it was, so hey, maybe this'll be just as campy-cool as that movie." My reasoning being of course that Van Helsing faced similar critical scorn, and me, I figured that The Spirit might redeem itself in some way, if only in my own eyes, just the same way Van Helsing did.<p> Oh dear Jesus was this movie awful. And I mean "Please, somebody hand me some large icicle so I can puncture my inner ear, so I won't have to hear any more of Frank Miller's patent-pending God-Awful dialogue."<p> Visually, the movie is stunning. And I can see what Miller was going for, but . . . it just didn't work. Nothing worked. Every line was awkward and silly. None of the actors even tried, save Sam Jackson. It was just ... so ... terrible. Remember the goofy, corny, hardboiled film-noir voice overs in Sin City? Well, that's the dialogue in this movie, only turned up to eleven. Dear Jesus in Heaven, oh how it stank. If Sin City is Frank Miller's Star Wars, then The Spirit is his Howard the Duck. (In fact, the acting and dialogue sorta reminded me of Howard, only WORSE.)<p> Aside from the visuals, there is one redeeming performance in the film, and that is Samuel L. Goddamn Jackson. He hams it up so prolifically that you'd think they shot him full of meth and John Lithgow DNA. Every scene he's in sort of almost redeems the film, but these scenes can only do so much, and sadly, it ain't enough. If you want an idea of his performance, remember John Leguizamo as Clown in "Spawn?" Well, magnify that by three powers of ten.<p> About five minutes in, I just sort of shook my head and died a little, then shrugged and decided to try to enjoy the film. But I couldn't. I'm convinced that for every line of dialogue in this movie, a small baby seal was clubbed. I left the theatre feeling dirty, ashamed, and a little weirded out. Three words: Kitten-melting Nazis. And that's really all you need to know.

  • Dec. 26, 2008, 9:42 a.m. CST

    On second thought...

    by alanmoore

    The scene where Sam Jackson melted the friggin kitten -- while dressed up as a Nazi -- was awesome.<p> But Miller's obsession with Nazis is beginning to disturb me. A lot.

  • Dec. 26, 2008, 9:44 a.m. CST

    And one more good moment:

    by alanmoore

    Sam Jackson watching a foot with a human head on it as it bounces around the table, and muttering to himself repeatedly, "That's just damn weird." Classic.

  • Dec. 26, 2008, 10:21 a.m. CST

    Aw hell :

    by PTSDPete

    I just hope this fucking destroys Frank ' ASSBAR ' Miller for good. Least gets him shipped to the ' Islamofascist Center of the World ' Iraq to die in ' Islamofascist ' hands like he clearly wanted.

  • Dec. 26, 2008, 10:22 a.m. CST

    Dumb fascist bastard

    by PTSDPete

  • Dec. 26, 2008, 10:40 a.m. CST

    The best part is to remember Miller at the New York Comic Con

    by knowthyself

    Looking so self satisfide with his work. Patting himself on theback for what he said he "got right" in this film. Its obvious he fell for the trap where everyone around you is too afraid to tell you the truth about your film. Amazing to see him fall for the most obvious Hollywood trap. Rodriguez should've warned him but than again he's making movies starring his latest fuck doll so he too is making classic hollywood mistakes.

  • Dec. 26, 2008, 10:50 a.m. CST

    One of the BEST worst movies is Transmorphers

    by knowthyself

    Seriously, look it up. Its so bad its hilarious.

  • Dec. 26, 2008, 1:33 p.m. CST

    I liked Howard the Duck

    by frozen01

    Sometimes I think people just take life way too seriously. <p>I went into that theater expecting a bad movie. What I got was entertainment. So I was pleasantly surprised. The movie looks beautiful. It feels like a film noir set in modern times, and I love me some noir. The dialogue was simplistic and cheesy... just like a noir. The characters (men AND women) were two-dimensional... just like a noir. For those complaining how Miller portrays women in this movie... please give me one example of how any of the men are "multilayered". Please. If anything, the roles were completely reversed. Almost every single woman was strong, independent, and did exactly what she needed to in order to get exactly what she wanted, all while (usually) following their own guidelines. The men, on the other hand, besides brute physical strength, were incredibly weak. They couldn't hold their own lives together. They completely depended on their women and had to be led around like puppy dogs on little leashes. There were tough women, resourceful women, smart women, and, yes, beautiful, seductive women. But there were only men who could throw punches or shoot a gun. You should be complaining about how the men were portrayed! <p>PS: Yes, I am a woman.

  • Dec. 26, 2008, 4:10 p.m. CST

    frozen01

    by Continentalop

    "The dialogue was simplistic and cheesy... just like a noir. The characters (men AND women) were two-dimensional... just like a noir. " <p> What noir films have you seen? I mean, I don't think "Double Indemnity", "The Maltese Falcon", "The Big Sleep", "Touch of Evil", "Out of the Past", "Sunset Blvd" or scores of other movies fit your description of noir. Is the dialogue stylish and theatrical, yes, but so was almost all dialogue in that period of film (look at "Casablanca", "All About Eve" or the films of Preston Sturges to see an example of the great wordplay during that period). I mean, the dialogue by Abraham Polanski in "Force of Evil" is downright poetic. <p> As for two-dimensional, one of the traits of Noir characters was how deep and complex they were. Look at Richard Widmark in "Night and the CIty" or Barbara Stanwyck in "Double Indemnity" or Tyrone Powell in "Nightmare Alley". <p> Sorry to sound defensive, but I am a huge noir fan and take offense to such statements.

  • Dec. 26, 2008, 4:45 p.m. CST

    Miller is making... a spoof

    by BizarroJerry

    This quote from Massawyrm is exactly why Miller shouldn't be allowed to deal with any superhero-like property, and what I've realized about him long ago. He HATES superheroes. He thinks they're stupid and ridiculous. The groundbreaking Dark Knight Returns is a satirical comic, warping the superheroes into some kind of commentary. Miller's commentary. Which isn't a terrible theme for a story. It's just that fans of comics like to see a property adapted faithfully, to a point. I've never read any of The Spirit, but I presume this does not accurately capture it. It kind of seems like a slap in the face to Eisner to have his character be introduced to the general populace with this strange variation.<p>By the way, I watched some of the Bogart version of "The Big Sleep" the other day on TV, the adaptation of Raymond Shandler's first Philip Marlowe, private eye book. I have heard that Miller will be involved with new movies put into motion by Clive Owen. After hearing this, and seeing many other critics' reviews, I am really hoping he is not involved. There's actually some subtance behind the style of the novels, and I fear Miller will either not see it, or interpret it in some weird way. Put a stop to it if you can, Clive.

  • Dec. 26, 2008, 6:03 p.m. CST

    Will this end the "Frank Miller, the genius behind The Dark Knig

    by JackPumpkinhead

    I tried to read this "Dark Knight Returns" about two years ago, to see if there's anything other to Frank Miller, as the only Miller I knew loved nazism and making everything filthy and corrupt (Robocop 2, anyone?). It was a pile of shit that made Akiva Goldsman look good. Wow, Batman is older! He looks like a tank! He curses! He beats up bad guys! And it's drawn in a way that makes "Peanuts" look like the Sistine Chapel! Amazing! Dark! Gritty! <p> <p> "The Dark Knight Returns" was a puke popsicle, and if it's Frank Miller's best, then Miller is a verruca on the body of entertainment. Perhaps this film will just make some see it.

  • Dec. 26, 2008, 8 p.m. CST

    Well, it came in 7th yesterday...

    by wookie1972

    Behind every other new release, plus Yes Man and Seven Pounds. Better catch it while you can. Also, I wouldn't be waiting for that Buck Rogers flick, either. (Thank God).

  • Dec. 26, 2008, 8:08 p.m. CST

    Lone Fox

    by wookie1972

    Every comic book ever written? Nonsense. Even on your list - Wonder Woman was championed by Gloria Steinem and many others as a feminist icon. Catwoman wearing a "skimpy, impractical outfit"? Last I checked she wore a full body suit - skintight yes, but that would make sense as she is a CAT BURGLAR. And what about the alternative comics - Halo Jones, Promethea, Strangers In Paradise, Love And Rockets, hell even Omaha the Cat Dancer was written by a woman to be sexually liberating. Surely you can see the difference between that and the "nuts and sluts" in Miller's work. What's really annoying is when you write "Difference is, Miller doesn't try to hide it." As if the genre was inherently sexist and demeaning. I'll give you Martha Washington, although I'd argue that she doesn't "stand way above the crowd." - Moore had already done something similar with Halo Jones, and even Howard Chaykin, not the most enlightened man on the planet, had strong women in American Flagg! "Besides, surely it's less insulting showing prostitute sluts instead of superheroine sluts." Not sure how that works... " Regardless, the fact this site in particular has spat more venom at this movie than any of the Rush Hour movies alone convinces me to get in line on January 1st." I think you'll be lucky if its still in theaters by then. Seriously.

  • Dec. 27, 2008, 12:19 a.m. CST

    Wookie1972

    by subtlety

    There's still plenty of healthy debate about whether folks like Cat Woman and Lara Croft are symbols of female empowerment or empty male fantasies. I would argue that what sets them apart from Miller, though, is that at least they're characters. They live their own lives and have their own problems which may or may not revolve around men. Miller's female characters are nearly all objects, not characters. They're either a) objects of desire, to be won b) objects of helplessness to be protected or c) the common nerd idea of women: icy, emotionless killers. Mix and match as applies. Even the few women who do have some personal characteristics (Ellen Yindel, Carrie Kelly,Gorgo) are tertiary characters, their lives revolving around strong men and their actions all directed by the stronger man's will. Hell, Yindel's final concession to Batman comes with her admiration of his power. Try to imagine a Miller book with the sex roles reversed; it's basically impossible. <br><br>Which is not saying, btw, that Miller is an idiot or even a misogynist. I still love "Dark Knight Returns" even though I find it a somewhat dubious moral lesson. Frank claims he writes characters he disagrees with; I don't know about that, it seems like his work has a pretty consistent world view (which tends to be echoed whenever he talks about politics in an interview). But hey, that's really not intended as judgment against him. Its just that his books do tend to read as fairly poor portrayals of women. Compare almost any Miller female with an Alan Moore female and you'll see a huge difference. Both may be drawn as sexually alluring, but one will certainly be a more textured character.

  • Dec. 27, 2008, 6:52 a.m. CST

    I was going to skip this...

    by Archive

    ...but maybe I'd better see it after all!

  • Dec. 27, 2008, 7:16 a.m. CST

    subtlety; very good and, um, subtle analysis

    by wookie1972

    I forgot about Yindel, who sort of proves another point - any female character in Miller who is even average-looking is usually a bitch or a ball-buster, like the aforementioned judge in Sin City.Yeah, there are exceptions - Carrie Kelly and Martha Washington - but they are very, very rare. However, I think you could easily say that Miller is an out-and-out misanthrope who only respects the powerful - essentially the opposite worldview from Eisner, who was always in support of the underdog.

  • Dec. 27, 2008, 7:21 a.m. CST

    What pisses me off the most...

    by wookie1972

    IS when people say "what Miller's doing is just part of the film noir genre," which is frankly bullshit. The standard femme fatale - as exemplified by Mary Astor in Maltese Falcon or Barbara Stanwyk in Double Indemnity - had a lot more going on than the females in Miller's works. They were often not the best people,but they were also integral to the machinations of the plot, not simply eye candy to be abused.

  • Dec. 27, 2008, 10:15 a.m. CST

    wookie1972/Continentalop

    by Paul Bucciarelli

    Did either of you ever read Steranko's graphic novel Chandler? Just wondering what you guys thought if you did.

  • Dec. 27, 2008, 10:38 a.m. CST

    Paul Bucciarelli

    by wookie1972

    I've heard of Chandler, never read it. A quick check showed that it was reprinted by Dark Horse in 1999 and has since gone out of print again. Too bad, as Steranko's stuff (what I've seen; it's very hard to find) is awesome. Gil Kane's Savage is also out of print. Yet another example of brilliant comics art falling by the wayside. (When is ?Marvel going to give Gerber's Howard The Duck its due?)

  • Dec. 27, 2008, 10:58 a.m. CST

    wookie1972

    by Paul Bucciarelli

    I don't think that deluxe reprint from Dark horse ever actually saw the light of day. The original trade paperback is not too hard to find and is well worth a look if for the beautiful artwork. Was it you who asked in another talkback if the Doc Savage books were still in print? If so, the answer is yes. Nostalgia Ventures has been putting them out in a double format on a pretty much monthly basis the past few years.

  • Dec. 27, 2008, 11:52 a.m. CST

    Paul Bucciarelli

    by Continentalop

    I never read Steranko's Marlowe story. I know it was an original story and not an adaptation of an existing Chandler story, and I heard it was pretty good. I wouldn't mind reading it though. <p> I think Miller's biggest problem, as someone above mentioned, is that he is a bigger fan of Mickey Spillane than of Dashiell Hammett, Raymond Chandler or Ross Macdonald, who are pretty much recognized by fans and critics of the hard-boiled detective writing as being the best of the that genre. I’ve read the Mike Hammer novels, and while they can be entertaining at times, they are pretty much the same pointless, mindless action and overly macho characters you find in a Miller story. Hammett, Chandler and Macdonald wrote about deep, reflective characters operating in a morally obscure universe and trying to make sense of it. <p>To see what other writers and artist thought of Mickey Spillane’s Hammer, see “Kiss Me Deadly”, where Robert Aldrich and A.I. Bezzerides made the “hero” of the story into a sleazy PI who is only slightly less brutal and corrupt than the crooks, who mindlessly barrels through a case. Sounds like maybe Aldrich and Bezzerides should have done an adaptation of Sin City.

  • Dec. 27, 2008, 1:51 p.m. CST

    Continentalop

    by Paul Bucciarelli

    Chandler is actually the name of the detective in Steranko's book. Like I told wookie1972, it's definitely worth checking out for the jaunty one's amazing art. Kiss Me Deadly is awesome and it's a shame that more of the younger geeks out there have yet to discover it. Miller's preoblem is that he writes noir like/for a writer/audience that's never actually read any. Let's see: Trenchcoat. Check. Tough talkin' characters. Check. Whore with heart of gold. Check. Venetian blind shadow. Check. Did i iss anything?

  • Dec. 27, 2008, 2:31 p.m. CST

    As a side note...

    by Paul Bucciarelli

    On the subject of women as eye candy in noir and Miller's overuse of same, i just watched The Big Sleep for the bazillionth time and it never fails to amuse and amaze me how EVERY woman in the film is smokin' hot. My peronal fave being Agnes (Sonia Darrin) the raven-haired bad girl in Geiger's book shop.

  • Dec. 27, 2008, 5:54 p.m. CST

    Hot women in the Big Sleep

    by subtlety

    I feel like there's a sex joke in there somewhere but I can't quite seem to find it.

  • Dec. 27, 2008, 6:46 p.m. CST

    Subtlety

    by Paul Bucciarelli

    No joke intended. The Big Sleep matches The Spirit in the babe department. That's all I'm sayin'.