Review

Harry watched Frank Miller's THE SPIRIT and yeah it has a lot of problems...

Published at: Dec. 28, 2008, 3:55 a.m. CST

Frank Miller's THE SPIRIT. THE SPIRIT is a film that I kinda enjoyed in spite of a great many problems. And even as I enjoyed what I did enjoy, I recognize that what I did enjoy about it would probably rub almost everyone else wrong. Frank Miller's SPIRIT is Frank's attempt to do justice to one of his heroes' works. The film LOOKS gorgeous, although the aesthetic isn't right for the material. Going the SIN CITY route - for what cried out to be a technicolor super noir... well, it made me a bit sad, although graphically it does look spectacular. The humor may drive some people nuts - like it did my father. CAMP and Comic Books have driven an entire generation to seek out the brooding Superheroes - that Miller helped exploit. Here - you have very silly and over the top camp humor. Sam Jackson's cloned sidekicks come straight out of Eisner's pages - but if you rotoscoped them, they'd come out of Carl Barks' Uncle Scrooge stories as the Beagle Boys. And I kinda loved them. For me, this film is mediocre, but not because of the story, not because of the design, not because of the acting or even the writing. This film is so filled with solid work - the problem is... for me... with the score and editing of the film. It's the post-production that makes this film feel less like a finished work and like a first assembly. The film feels like a rough draft - with tomes of material that felt like it needed to be snipped. The pacing and motion of the picture felt tedious. About 40 minutes in, I began nodding off. And it took Sam Jackson in a Nazi Uniform doing a crazed mad man routine to get my attention. I have to say - there is no doubt in my mind that Frank Miller has the eye to direct. I also feel that he absolutely knows how to work with actors. That said, I feel he lost this film in editing and was too beholden to his own storyboards and writing -Frank is getting ready to embark on making one of my all time favorite characters - BUCK ROGERS into a feature film - and it is very important that Frank finds a very strong producer and editor that he will listen to. This is Frank's first film out of the gate, visually it is exciting, but shows no growth from the co-directing effort he had with Rodriguez. With BUCK ROGERS, I hope to God he varies his visual style. That the tone is less helter skelter than THE SPIRIT. If you can get past the camp, the pacing and if you don't mind the SIN CITY visual style being recycled - you'll still... most likely... be disappointed with the film. While I said up front that I like the film, but kinda in the same way that I like MEGAFORCE or XANADU or SUPERMAN III. Movies that are bad, but have a charm that somehow I like despite all their notable flaws. I found the film to be morbidly amusing despite all the problems - but I saw the film with about 25 people - there was one person in the audience that really liked it. I like parts more than the whole and feel it's ultimately unsuccessful. And pretty much everyone else HATED it. And I haven't seen my father more angry at a film in a very long time. So if you go, know there's a likelihood that not only will you dislike it, but you could be moved to incoherent rage. Especially if you take comics very seriously.

Readers Talkback

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  • Dec. 28, 2008, 4 a.m. CST

    First!

    by Giphangster

    First.

  • Dec. 28, 2008, 4:04 a.m. CST

    Second

    by captainhamsack

    I guess

  • Dec. 28, 2008, 4:09 a.m. CST

    Look-

    by sonnyfern

    -the movie is goofy fun. It's schizo I'll give it that, but that's kind of what I liked about it. Visually it's freaking astoudning, some of those shots are just incredible and it was really cool seeing Frank Millers world jump right out onto the big screen, even more so here than Sin City. It's not for everyone, but I'm finding the more I talk to people the more I find out that the people who loved it...really loved it. People complain about the long bits of dialouge...but hell..that's Frank Miller...always has been...and people also complain about the half naked girls...and I'm not sure WHAT the fuck to tell them. I'm all for half naked girls in my movies.

  • Dec. 28, 2008, 4:25 a.m. CST

    ass

    by karatekid17

    this movie is right up there with Spawn as the worst movie ever, not just for a comic book adaptation...

  • Dec. 28, 2008, 4:28 a.m. CST

    Now that's more like it

    by Lone Fox

    A review that actually looks at it in context. Miller has said in recent years that he's tired of the 'dark n gritty(TM)' movement, that he's experimenting with having fun with comics (and related media) again. Hence his return to Batman (the criminally underrated and hilarious All Star Batman & Robin) and, I suppose, his approach to The Spirit. Maybe it's a misfire, but come on. For a first film (proper) it looks to be a pretty fucking good start to a film career. He has a clear style. He's an artist. This film at least stands out visually from the crowd. The man done good with Sin City and 300 being adapted so faithfully, and typically it pissed alot of folk off.

  • Dec. 28, 2008, 4:29 a.m. CST

    Fuck Off, Frank Miller. Fuck Off FOREVER

    by DOGSOUP

    I'm done. One fan down.

  • Dec. 28, 2008, 4:34 a.m. CST

    Benefit of the doubt..

    by Ironthorman

    I'm sure the movie has a few redeeming qualities, but I'm also sure that's it's got some god-fucking-awful qualities. Given that, on one hand it would suck if Miller got completely alienated as a director (due in part to one of the most ridiculous barrages of vicious, scathing reviews I have seen for a film in some time) if he actually does have some skill hidden away that just needs coaxing. On the other hand I'm gonna be pissed if he tries to shit in my hat and call it a sundae more than ONE time. I'm sure the Spirit is bad but not necassarily vomit inducing. He needs to seriously step it up a notch though, that's the deal I'll make with him. If he's gonna be handling sweet characters like Buck Rodgers he can't be fucking around like this.

  • Dec. 28, 2008, 4:35 a.m. CST

    Gee, Harry liked it...

    by UltimaRex

    Now there's a big ol' switch. Still he admits the guilty pleasure side of it and Fathergeek's reaction... Maybe he should have done the review this time around...

  • Dec. 28, 2008, 4:37 a.m. CST

    Yikes. Sounds really...bad.

    by LoneGun

    And not in a good way. You can sense the discomfort in Harry's review, as he strains to find something positive to say about the film. I imagine my reaction will be more like his dad's. I love Will Eisner's work. I wish Frank Miller would return to comics. Movies don't seem to be his forte.

  • Dec. 28, 2008, 4:45 a.m. CST

    Harry nice try

    by drturing

    this is why we get a bit out of sorts with your reviews. you're trying to have it both ways. admitting that it sucks by putting it upon other people while at the same time letting Frank know you're a good guy. Do you remember Phillip Seymour Hoffman as Lester Bangs? These people aren't your friends. They're going to destory comic book movies, to paraphrase him.

  • Dec. 28, 2008, 4:48 a.m. CST

    Damn You Michael Bay

    by MCMLXXVI

    Damn You Michael Bay

  • Dec. 28, 2008, 5:12 a.m. CST

    drturing

    by HEADGEEK

    no shit, Frank Miller isn't my friend and he's about to adapt one of my personal favorite characters ever. THAT SAID, the biggest difference between this film and my feelings at the end of SIN CITY, is that SIN CITY moved. It flew by on the screen. THE SPIRIT limps. It just doesn't flow. That difference is Robert Rodriguez, who knows how to keep the ball rolling in editing and score... two areas that Frank isn't as experienced in. Many of the scenes in this film just go on too long or were unnecessary for moving the story forward. I strongly feel that if Frank Miller is going to continue to be a director, that he partner with voices he will listen to and work with to help him become a better director. <BR><BR>There are films that have massive flaws and massive cool things about them. Hell, Michael Bay has made a career out of that. That said, Michael Bay has never made a film as stylish as this or as flawed.

  • Dec. 28, 2008, 5:15 a.m. CST

    You will bow down to The Spirit.

    by Psycho_Kenshin

    The Spirit is king of the castle.

  • Dec. 28, 2008, 5:33 a.m. CST

    One for DVD

    by DanboJohnJ

  • Dec. 28, 2008, 5:33 a.m. CST

    @

    by DanboJohnJ

    ABOUT 2 IN THE MORNING,AFTER A FEW JAZZ ROLL UPS.

  • Dec. 28, 2008, 5:36 a.m. CST

    Weed Doesnt Save It

    by DOGSOUP

    It saved Wanted though...kinda

  • Dec. 28, 2008, 6:54 a.m. CST

    Frank Miller should call it a day

    by theplant

    He is an usurpator. End of discussion.

  • Dec. 28, 2008, 7:21 a.m. CST

    Okay, so I've not seen it, but...

    by irishraidersfan

    ... even if it's a total stinker, remember, even Verhoeven did Starship Troopers *after* Showgirls! Everyone's allowed a bad flick - only if they keep cranking them out (cough Shyamalan cough) do they deserve this kind of ire.

  • Dec. 28, 2008, 7:32 a.m. CST

    OK, how does the score one of the problems?

    by m_prevette

    It's not very thematic, as per Miller's wishes - it's closest kin is the Debney/Revelle/Rodriguez Sin City score - surprise, surprise. Keep in mind, Miller told David Newman exactly what he wanted and Newman delivered. So if there's a fault in the score , again, it goes back to Miller. Sin City was a God awful movie, even the source material sucked. Sin City proves Miller has NO IDEA how to work with actors, how to stage a scene, how to pace a movie, how to write a screenplay ... I can understand if you love the movie knowing it's shit, but, there are really no redeeming qualities to the film. Pope's photography, just aping Sin City - pointlessly - was nice, but as Harry said...this didn't need to be a CGI fest...here again...Miller has no ideas. I'm just disgusted. Screw Miller...

  • Dec. 28, 2008, 7:42 a.m. CST

    Um,

    by PTSDPete

    Harry, what's wrong with you ?

  • Dec. 28, 2008, 7:46 a.m. CST

    Harry, your dad is right on this one.

    by Bob Cryptonight

    If Miller LOVES Eisner so much, why didn't he use more of Eisner's writing? Why did he feel the need to "update" the material? More importantly, HOW WILL THIS MOVIE ENCOURAGE ANYONE TO CHECK OUT THE SOURCE MATERIAL?! Miller is just a sad and deeply stupid man.

  • Dec. 28, 2008, 7:55 a.m. CST

    Is Scarlet Johansson contractually obligated to smoke in every m

    by BigGuy219

    Just an observation. Even in a comic book movie we're not safe.

  • Dec. 28, 2008, 8:11 a.m. CST

    Not Miller's first film

    by mojoman69

    I beg to differ, Harry. This is not Miller's first movie. That would have been Robocop 2, which was a total piece of shit as well. Miller needs to stick to writing and drawing, he is no director.

  • Dec. 28, 2008, 8:19 a.m. CST

    I'm giving Miller some slack

    by Hikaru Ichijo

    Robocop 2 caused Miller to turn his back on Hollywood for over a decade, so maybe he's working out some issues with "The Spirit." I, for one, refuse to believe that all of these gorgeous women are not going to be enjoyable to watch, no matter how bad the editing is.

  • Dec. 28, 2008, 8:26 a.m. CST

    Robocop 2

    by Hikaru Ichijo

    specifically, it was directed by Kirshner and written (initially) by Miller, who later complained that his story was butchered by the studio.

  • Dec. 28, 2008, 8:51 a.m. CST

    response

    by stabmeintheface

    One thing I have never understood about talkbacks, why does the person who did the review/ article always chime in during the talkbacks? I understand that its your site and you can do whatever the hell you want... but why can't you say what you have to say then stand by and let the talkbackers talk? If what you had to say was so profound to begin with, whay do you have to keep coming back to defend it? If you liked the movie, who gives a shit that abunch of geeks with cheeto stained keyboards think its because you are worried about offending Frank Miller? The man is a legend regardless of this movie, I'd be worried about pissing him off too. Thats not the point though.

  • Dec. 28, 2008, 8:55 a.m. CST

    I thought Miller was all about creators' rights?

    by catlettuce4

    If so, there's something really unseemly about taking the creator-owned work of another artist, one of his influences and, instead of being at all faithful to the source, turning it into a watered-down version of his own asthetic.

  • Dec. 28, 2008, 9:05 a.m. CST

    Who are the ad wizards...

    by wampa 1

    ...that came up with this one?

  • Dec. 28, 2008, 9:07 a.m. CST

    Why Create A Booty Party Movie, With No Booty???

    by Media Messiah

    This film has 4 blazing mistakes. 1) it is trying to be Sin City in look...a clear mistake as people only accused Miller of ripping-off the look. Sin City is now about 3 plus years old. People who were blown away by the look, now could care less about it...as it made its impression for its time, and people have seen it ad nauseam. Peoples' enthusiasm for this look is not what it was when we first saw it, and were stunned by the painterly Black & White look, very much like seeing a hot girl for the first time. If you've had her, as the years pass, when you look at her, and you see the new girl, who looks differently...even though they each may be just as beautiful, that something new, that something different, tends to attract over the familiar. It is the mystery and the secrets therein, that attract you, that turn you on. People felt they have already seen this movie before, almost shot, for shot. This was not new technology on display here in The Spirit...no, it is largely dated 3 plus year old tech on display and audiences rejected it, moreso for the look than anything else. Bad reviews don't keep fan boys away...or fan girls. What keeps audiences away is the knowing that they have seen something before...and that is exactly what happened here.<BR><BR>2) Why cast all these women in the movie, for purposes of eye candy, and yet you don't create real sexual moments in the film to use them in??? This is a booty party, without the booty--a dick tease, without the tease??? If you are going to throw a party and tell all those invited that they can expect some ass, you had better make sure the strippers that you hire, actually show up, strip and give lap dances, etc., or you are going to have a very pissed off and very unsatisfied audience, from men, to even women, for that matter. Where is the nudity here??? Where is the sex? Where is the cursing? Where are the hard R moments??? If you want the audience demo that was attracted to the other Miller adaptations, you've gotta give them some of that. Miller should have styled this movie to feel very much like Body Heat in tone, with regard to sexuality and adult relationships and interactions. <BR><BR>3) They should have shot this movie in 3D. Why? With so much competition these days, and opening up against so many different movies, you want to counter program the competition and offer something they are not offering, or cannot offer. 3D would have served to attract people who were not even remotely interested in the subject matter of this film--but they would have come for the spectacle.<BR><BR>4)The casting. Who cares about Samuel L. Jackson anymore??? He will take any film, quality notwithstanding, for the check. His name now means nothing at the Box Office. Eva Mendez and Scarlett Johansson don't have Box Office opening power...and I still know nothing about the guy who played The Spirit himself, he hasn't even shown up in interviews??? Eva Mendez and Johansson are just too common...and I think in that realm, are not a turn ons to audiences. When a women puts her personal life out there as a whore to the media, via vulgar interviews, people form opinions about them, and it may not be fair, but, nobody wants to marry a whore, they want to fuck them...and maybe that whore is the marrying kind and is just misunderstood...a nice girl in the wrong place, I am not judging, just saying if you want to attract an audience, you have to go for the girls who are not fully compromised in the eyes of the public, at least, not just yet. Halle Berry before Monster's Ball...and in Monster's Ball--hot, after Monster's Ball, not hot??? Why??? While she was being compromised onscreen, the audience was there for the spectacle, but after that...the interest had faded. Like seeing a girl in a porn...after you see her once, big deal...onto the next amateur porn chick? It's cold, but it's how the human mind often works as you know that there is no love there, so why should there be loyalty? I'm not talking about how things should be, but I am talking about how they are. My point??? Cast Katie Perry getting it on for the first time onscreen, and people will show up just out of curiousity...but Mendez and Johansson...we've already seen them compromised, and worse...still, they weren't asked to take it off here, or do sex scenes??? That was strike one, strike two, and strike three...the latter being no real new "IT Girl" to draw horny young men and women to the theater??? And hell, why wouldn't Johansson be Jackson's girlfriend in the film??? If they were hanging that tight in real life, they would have been having sex. Could racial considerations have something to do with this??? Me thinks yes!!! So why even introduce the implication of the relationship if you are going to refuse to follow through on it, much like Black Snake Moan??? This was just not a well thought out casting situation, production design, or marketing scheme to begin with, and the reason this film failed. Morgan Freeman=Box Office. Samuel L. Jackson=No Box Office. New Booty=Box Office. Old Booty=No Box Office. 3D=Box Office. 2D=Box Office Maybe, Maybe Not? Good A-list Casting=Box Office. Bad B-List Casting=The Spirit...and Sam Jackson=Bad Box Office. Mendez and Johansson, like Jackson, are now on the B-List...and soon to be on the C, and D list!!!

  • Dec. 28, 2008, 9:18 a.m. CST

    PS: Sin City And 300

    by Media Messiah

    I think there is also a backlash against Sin City and The 300, which were both overhyped and truly horrible films...and many people who were tricked into seeing those movies the first time around, decided not to take another trip down the same road after feeling largely burned by those terrible, terrible films, content wise.<BR><BR>Lastly, when introducing, or re-introducing a comic book character, in this case, one that is not well known to the public, especially the young public, it is very smart to create some cartoons...maybe as low as 13 episodes, to familiarize audiences, young adults, teens and kids about the cool factor of the character and to create a market for said character. Millar and crew should have done that before this film went into production to build commercial interest in the character, instead...they have a flop on their hands thanks in part, to poor marketing and promotions.

  • Dec. 28, 2008, 9:22 a.m. CST

    Sorry Harry, That's a very SOFT Review

    by cowboyone

    I know you and Frank are probably buds ... and we all love his comics, but c'mon. That flick, that writing, that dialog, it's a laughable joke. Headgeek FTW.

  • Dec. 28, 2008, 9:48 a.m. CST

    Frank Was Damn Good . . .

    by adiehardfanwithalethalweapon

    . . . in the 80s! Sadly he has NOT aged like fine wine and will soon be a one trick phony.

  • Dec. 28, 2008, 9:49 a.m. CST

    The only thing shittier than the movie was this review

    by kamar

  • Dec. 28, 2008, 9:54 a.m. CST

    Robocop 2

    by theplant

    Miller was on set every fuckin day of this, and wrote every line that ended up on screen. So he should accept 100% of the blame instead of blaming others. Miller is a hack.

  • Dec. 28, 2008, 10:01 a.m. CST

    Miller should be jailed

    by theplant

    Movie jail. For life.

  • Dec. 28, 2008, 10:06 a.m. CST

    Harry Knowles....

    by robotdevil

    The man who gave Speed Racer a review almost enthusiastically positive as the one he gave the Dark Knight. Something tells me anyone in doubt will be better served listening to the 99% of other critics in the world who call the Spirit an unmitigated shitbomb.

  • Dec. 28, 2008, 10:24 a.m. CST

    why should Frank Miller partner with someone to make him better?

    by DANNYGLOVERS_DICKBLOOD

    I see shit like this and I say-- go the fuck away and find a new profession. I don't want Frank Miller to continue directing. I want him to fucking disappear and go to Talentless Hack Heaven.

  • Dec. 28, 2008, 10:30 a.m. CST

    Media Messiah

    by Autodidact

    You are fucking retarded. Lol. The reason the visual style worked for Sin City and not the Spirit is not because the visual style of Sin City is "3 whole years old!" It's because the visual style of Sin City the movie was the visual style of Sin City the comic. Then Frank Miller takes the visual style of Sin City the comic and movie and applies it to The Spirit movie. The Spirit movie should look like the spirit comic book... realistic world with colorful characters.

  • Dec. 28, 2008, 10:35 a.m. CST

    Harry can't seem to dislike a movie

    by WhoDis

    I mean, that's what he more or less is saying here. Afraid Frank Miller's going to come over to your house or something?

  • Dec. 28, 2008, 10:42 a.m. CST

    Autodidact

    by DANNYGLOVERS_DICKBLOOD

    Messiah is absolutely right. We're not talking about 30 year old fuck wads that read kid's funny books-- we're talking about the general movie going audience, you know the ones that actually make or break a film. The fanboy audience amounts to shit in terms of box office. People were genuinely impressed by the look of Sin City when it came out. Now it is a tired gag and obviously no one gives a shit. What Miller did is pathetic. He thought he had an easy hit with this one based off style alone.

  • Dec. 28, 2008, 10:47 a.m. CST

    WTF!?!

    by Vicconius

    Xanadu rocked!

  • Dec. 28, 2008, 10:55 a.m. CST

    Miller directing Buck Rogers makes me want to cry

    by Clavius

    Not tears of joy, but tears of bitter sorrow.

  • Dec. 28, 2008, 11:09 a.m. CST

    Harry's Fine Line

    by XoanonTORN

    I haven't seen The Spirit or read his review, but I have read the TBers on here complaining about Harry being soft on his buds, and they are absolutely right. <p> Having friends in the entertainment business myself, I know exactly how I would react if I had to write a scathing review of one of their films..that's why I avoid writing reviews all together. I mean, you are biased because you know the person involved, you saw their enthusiasm and optimism, and then see the shitload they cranked out on screen..how can you write a fair review? I'm not defending Harry at all, actually I am suggesting he refrain from writing reviews of films where his friends are involved, let others do a truthful and unbiased review on the site.

  • Dec. 28, 2008, 11:20 a.m. CST

    THIS FILM WENT DOWN.

    by alice 13

    - down like a two-bit floozy in fishnets and stilettos and a rash that left more lumps than a crusty submarine hull on sailor night at the hot pinky grill on a grenades and tiddly winks friday night that was trying to be tuesday. it went down bad. every nail-laced bit of it.

  • Dec. 28, 2008, 11:28 a.m. CST

    this is about as bad a review as Harry will give

    by Rupee88

    and he didn't even put it on the left side with his regular reviews...for some reason he dissed it further by mixing it in with the other news stories..ouch

  • Dec. 28, 2008, 11:31 a.m. CST

    Good? Bad?

    by ThomasServo

    Sure, Harry has a tendency to like every movie that comes his way, but it IS possible to have a complicated reaction to a movie. I think Jurassic Park 3 is a shitty movie, but I like some of it because, hey, there's dinosaurs fighting, and that's cool, right? Not everything is on a "thumbs up/ thumbs down" scale. Having said that, this movie looks like complete and total shit.

  • Dec. 28, 2008, 11:33 a.m. CST

    Buck Rogers is gonna suck.

    by The Chosen

    And you know why? Because Miller is an egomaniacal freak.Have you read his All Star Batman and Robin? It's ridiculous. It's not a Batman story written by Frank Miller, it's FRANK MILLER's All Star Batman. Full Caps included. Just like everything about this Spirit. It has ZERO Will Eisner in it. Eisner humor, eisner style, eisner logic. Miller made it FRANK MILLER'S THE SPIRIT, and i know lots of people says that that was the idea all along, it was always a bad idea. Everything he touches must have his face all along. It's not like when Sam Raimi did Spider-Man, when he created something new, language and artwise, that stood true to its roots AND had his style. No, Frank Miller WANTS IT ALL. Unless he humbles himself down to being a storyteller, a servant to the story, not to himself, Buck Rogers is going to be FRANK MILLER'S BUCK ROGERS. You're going to watch all your Buck Roger's universe be raped. And unless it's exactly what you're after, you'll hate it. And imagining you are such a fan of the existing Rogersdom...

  • Dec. 28, 2008, 11:33 a.m. CST

    That Cat....Was all the reason I needed. I WILL KILL YOU.

    by milesdyson

    i enjoyed the goofy/campy stuff. some of it fell flat on it's face, though (headfoot bullshit). When the spirit suddenly gets grim and starts narrating about how much he wants to fuck his city, I nodded off.

  • Dec. 28, 2008, 11:38 a.m. CST

    I LOVED The Spirit

    by ZoeFan

    There I said it. I found it to be very clever. However I completely understand why most people would hate this film.

  • Dec. 28, 2008, 11:40 a.m. CST

    "If you can get past the fact that it's terrible, you might enjo

    by Laserhead

    Brilliant.

  • Dec. 28, 2008, 11:42 a.m. CST

    Miller's never directing anything else. Ever.

    by Laserhead

    What a huge bomb. Miller isn't clever, funny, smart or even talented anymore. In fact, we have to now reevaluate if he was ever talented to begin with, or if as an audience we ascribed depth to his work that it simply doesn't possess. Fetishistic, nazi-ladden, humorless, with the emotional intelligence of an acne-riddled 13-year-old drooling over his hot cousin.

  • Dec. 28, 2008, 11:43 a.m. CST

    Worst review ever?

    by Laserhead

    "If you can get past that it's terrible, you might not hate it." Talk about hedging your bets.

  • Dec. 28, 2008, 12:03 p.m. CST

    "The aesthetic isn't right for the material..."

    by Voice O. Reason

    A perfect review line that you won't be seeing in any advertisements.

  • Dec. 28, 2008, 12:06 p.m. CST

    frank miller[ruin]s the spirit

    by ironic_name

  • Dec. 28, 2008, 12:09 p.m. CST

    frank is really hitting the sauce these days

    by ironic_name

    a shame.. but he hates superman so who cares if hes spiraling out o control.

  • Dec. 28, 2008, 12:22 p.m. CST

    Wonder if ole Frankie will make sure that there is...

    by dihay

    a part for Scarlet in the Buck Rogers movie...

  • Dec. 28, 2008, 12:22 p.m. CST

    This review reads like...

    by Brians Life

    ...we're talking about a retarded 12 year old that just shot his first "video film" for the family to see.<br><br>Instead of a HACK of a director (and a HAS BEEN comic writer) who was entrusted with a beloved property and tens of millions of dollars and FUCKED THE WHOLE THING UP.<br><br>Harry...you have NO DOUBT that Miller has the eye to direct? Why? Comic book composition and film directing...two VERY different ball games.<br><br>I'm a fan of his writing, don't get me wrong. But a good comic book writer DOES NOT a movie director make.

  • Dec. 28, 2008, 12:25 p.m. CST

    SUPERMAN III holds up surprisngly well.

    by 3D-Man

    I'm just sayin'.

  • Dec. 28, 2008, 12:41 p.m. CST

    In the reviews section...

    by GetEveryone

    up to the cut off point at which they go to the archive, there isn't a film Harry doesn't like. This is the only one he isn't entirely sure about. Not necessarily a bad thing, but many of those films aren't very good. Anyway, i'm not giving this a chance. Slumdog and Button are the next two cinema trips for me.

  • Dec. 28, 2008, 12:45 p.m. CST

    sounds like a BLUE-RAY rental to me Harry

    by Mike_D

    *wink wink*

  • Dec. 28, 2008, 12:51 p.m. CST

    Harry, I Have A Question

    by A-COD

    How Can Buck Rodgers Be your Favorite Character? What Have you seen from Buck to make you love him so, that comic strip in the 30s? The movie serial from 1939? The ridiculous TV show from the 70s? How is Buck not just a poor man's flash gordon from 70 years ago? If nobody cares about Flash anymore (and nobody does ask the SciFi channel) I can't imagine who would want to be in the Buck Rodgers business. Help me understand. Or just admit, Buck is stupid and you just say these things for street cred.

  • Dec. 28, 2008, 12:57 p.m. CST

    phaedrus007

    by Toonol

    SPEED RACER _was_ just as good as DARK KNIGHT (although in a profoundly different sense). It was one of the best movies of the year. I'm not sure film I would ultimately rank higher.

  • Dec. 28, 2008, 1:29 p.m. CST

    Is There A Movie You Don't Like?

    by Wrath4771

    You know, there use to be a time where Harry would step up and say a movie wasn't good. But now it seems everything is some sort of master piece (see: Twilight)even when it's obvious to everyone else the movie sucks. What happened?

  • Dec. 28, 2008, 1:36 p.m. CST

    I like Superman III too.

    by Tacom

    Yes, Richard Pryor did not need to be the center but the good Superman/bad Superman fight was awesome and I LOVE Annette O'Toole's Lana Lang. It's also my favorite Christopher Reeve's portrayal of Clark Kent,

  • Dec. 28, 2008, 1:55 p.m. CST

    Harry's Attack of the Clones Review

    by WerePlatypus

    Never forget.

  • Dec. 28, 2008, 1:58 p.m. CST

    Harry is easy to please these days

    by JoeSixPack

    Interesting.

  • Dec. 28, 2008, 2:16 p.m. CST

    This gawd-awful movie that sullies the name of THE SPIRIT

    by Grinning White Skull

    From my pal, Clay, on this gawd-awful movie that sullies the name of THE SPIRIT: From frame one of the first trailer I thought this thing looked like an absolute travesty. I can understand a 1st-time director showing the occasional odd-moment of uncertainty or error in judgment. We are all of us human. I can even understand a superb director working awkwardly with a genre or material falling painfully outside his area of interest or understanding (i.e.: Ang Lee on The Hulk). However, in this case what we have, is a graphic story teller working from beloved source material. What the fuck was on Frank Miller’s mind when he pushed this mangled, self-absorbed, misshapen—and entirely avoidable—monstrosity—out upon us all?! It is as if Frank had never HEARD of Eisner’s SPIRIT before stepping into the studio on Day One of production. It is as if Frank had NEVER in his life given a moment’s thought to the idea of adapting a comic character to cinema. Casting, wardrobe design, cinematography, script, even the advertising campaign (“The City is my lover. The City is my ‘mother’. My city screams. And I am her spirit!”—My God! Could you create a more non-Eisner-like promo blurb if you deliberately tried?!?)—Frank’s choices could not have been less disastrous had he simply closed his eyes and made his decisions by throwing darts—at a fucking horse shoe pit!! This film pulses and oozes with the dripping, bilious, gangrenous puss of the absolute worst case of ego-maniacal self-aggrandizement I can recall witnessing in years! I am reminded of the old adage: “Power does not shape character. It reveals it.” It is clear to this humble nobody that Frank Miller has spent waaaaaaaaay too much time over the last few years reading and re-reading his own adoring press clippings. I truly do not relish kicking a creator when he’s down. However, Frank, you dug this hole for yourself with such self-worshipping myopia and relentless ego-driven insecurity, I find I cannot help but kick the odd dirt clod in atop you and your ever-present, silly, Ditko Hat. (Didn’t your mom ever teach you that real men take their hats off when they step inside?) And “camp,” Frank? A comic book creator—a damn fine one—being done in, in this day and age, by criticisms of camp? They should engrave it upon the stake that is driven through your directing career. The Spirit is not camp. It is the comic/tragic essence of humanity. It is desperation and glee. It is romance and ribaldry. It is the luck of the dice and the determinism of the human soul. The Spirit is not camp. What a tragedy it is that Will Eisner’s cherished character and his world will take the “innocent by-stander” spray—because Deny Colt happens to be caught next to Frank Miller, the guy who should’ve gotten both critical barrels—right between his own abysmal looking black mask. Shame on you Frank. I’ve been with you from the very beginning—and backed you long before the Peanut Gallery even knew your name. But, Frank, you forgot who the star was. The star was Will Eisner’s THE SPIRIT.

  • Dec. 28, 2008, 2:33 p.m. CST

    Box Office: 9. "The Spirit," $6.5 million.

    by Bob Cryptonight

    Nice work, Frank.

  • Dec. 28, 2008, 2:38 p.m. CST

    Harry, why not address the hot women in your piece?

    by GQtaste

    If you're on the fence about it at least make the excuse about the sexy broads scattered throughout the piece of shit film?

  • Dec. 28, 2008, 3:02 p.m. CST

    Harry you lost my vote

    by theplant

    Of confidence. Spirit is crap end of story.

  • Dec. 28, 2008, 3:14 p.m. CST

    would rather read father geeks review

    by bacci40

    as he knows the source material intimately, and harry cant seem to rip anyone in hollywood

  • Dec. 28, 2008, 3:34 p.m. CST

    that should be Harry's quote on media outlets..

    by El Cimarron

    "1 out of 25 people loved The Spirit"

  • Dec. 28, 2008, 3:50 p.m. CST

    There we have it...

    by mode_7

    ...the most apologetic movie review of all time.

  • Dec. 28, 2008, 4:08 p.m. CST

    It's a flop

    by wookie1972

    Not only did it come in 9th, it had the worst per screen average in the top 10. Hell, Gran Torino did 10 times as much per screen. So I don't think Frank will be doing any more movies for awhile.

  • Dec. 28, 2008, 4:52 p.m. CST

    This review is as helpful as retard wiping his ASSHOLE

    by Stengah

    just go to rotten 'matoes

  • Dec. 28, 2008, 5:06 p.m. CST

    yep

    by wash

    No way is Buck Rogers with FM going to happen. This was all but guaranteed by Thursday night.

  • Dec. 28, 2008, 5:14 p.m. CST

    Saw it today at a matinee

    by Volstaff

    My only thought after just getting home a few minutes ago is- "WTF!" -.. Seriously this is one weird fucking movie. I think with the hamhanded comedy bits Miller was trying to capture the goofy charm of some of those black and white films of the 30-40s, but it just...Wow,WTF..I like Sam Jackson, the guy is good at chewing scenery, I like Eva Mendes in this a lot as well.In fact out of all the "dames", she seemed to be the only one really trying. Scarlett Johanson, I just don't get the appeal. She has all the charm of a fucking corpse. A corpse with big tits sure, but still a corpse.She delivers lines in this like she was doing a table reading at a high school play. I can't come out and say it was a total piece of shit, but I can't say it was good either. But I also can't stop thinking about the movie.The scene with Jackson and Scarlett dressed as Nazis, Macht strapped to a dentists chair, the weird speach by Jackson, then they melt a fucking cat and bring out Paz Vega as Plaster of Paris..I..I..WTF!!..The only other thing they could've done would be to have Jackson break out into a few bars of "Sweet Tranvestite" from Rocky Horror. Maybe in a day or two once I've processed it all, I'll come to really hate this movie. I guess I'm still in shock or some fucking thing. The movie does look good. If this were just a graphic novel, I'd probably say it was ok, but really more of Miller's old shtick. I will say this for the guy.He was obviously trying to make a good movie, I don't think he was just doing a big fat money grab like with some other films I've seen like "X-Men 3 " for instance..Then again, Ed Wood tried too.And the Kids from Special Olympics.. And now I think I need a drink.Or something.

  • Dec. 28, 2008, 5:23 p.m. CST

    Oh yeah

    by Volstaff

    I also remember seeing ( I think, or maybe my brain is fried more than I thought ( like eggs maybe? Again WTF!) Miller put in an appearance at the beginning as a cop.

  • Dec. 28, 2008, 5:23 p.m. CST

    I had chili for lunch.

    by Godovhellfire

  • Dec. 28, 2008, 5:44 p.m. CST

    Miller is so wrong for Buck Rogers

    by Bot-Bot

    The man has zero affinity for the sci-fi deco charm of that series. All Miller wants is death and dying, with killing, maiming, blood, tits, bludgeoning, hacking, shooting, death, tits, ass, tits, death, killing....you get the idea. Oh, and bad dialog. I'd rather see Joe Johnston or John Favreau do Buck Rogers, in other words REAL directors with experience and class. Not a cranky old comic book guy with delusions of Raymond Chandler.

  • Dec. 28, 2008, 5:46 p.m. CST

    Went to an Sunday afternoon matinee

    by Richard Cranium

    And me and my two buddies were the only 3 people in the theater. Not a good sign. Luckily that meant we were able to mock it loudly and mercilessly without bothering anybody. Thank God my buddy had comp passes so I don't have to kick my own ass for spending 7 bucks on it.

  • Dec. 28, 2008, 6:09 p.m. CST

    Joe Johnston would be great for Buck Rogers

    by wookie1972

    Actually, even better would be Brad Bird. Maybe Miller can give him the project as restitution for wrecking The Spirit.

  • Dec. 28, 2008, 7:07 p.m. CST

    Autodidact

    by Media Messiah

    I'm not arguing with you, I am just saying that it has been 3 years plus since Sin City, and audiences want something new, and wholly its own in terms of look...something fresh--so I think we are both saying the same thing here, Miller should have given The Spirit its own look, but clearly the deal was set with the production company and the studio to rip-off the look of Sin City and cut Robert Rodriguez out of the profit scheme--there was no other reason to hire Miller other than to use him so they could get away with stealing the Sin City look in total.

  • Dec. 28, 2008, 7:07 p.m. CST

    I talked...

    by Dead_Geek

    ...during the film and someone shot me in the leg. Thank you for saving me.

  • Dec. 28, 2008, 8:19 p.m. CST

    Zoefan you're not alone

    by SmokeFilledTavern

    I loved it and have disliked pretty much everything else I've seen this week (MILK and BENJAMIN BUTTOCKS)

  • Dec. 28, 2008, 8:43 p.m. CST

    I walked out after the firs 30 minutes

    by Purgatori

    and I wasn't the first to do so. It only took me that long because I dropped my phone and had to find it. This movie wasn't kitchy fun or trying to be clever or whatever excuse you try to pull out of your ass. It was one of the worst things I've subjected myself to for even only 30 minutes of it. It sucked. It hurt my brain. And it has succeeded in only keeping young comic readers who might have gone on to read The Spirit from doing so. Because they will think it in some way resembles this shit pile. And it doesn't.

  • Dec. 28, 2008, 9:29 p.m. CST

    by Broseph

    hilarious.Damn This movie has taken a worse beating then rodney king or paris hilton's vagina

  • Dec. 28, 2008, 9:35 p.m. CST

    If "Hulk" can re-boot . . .

    by Movietool

    Maybe in 10-15 years, when people have forgotten this movie, Brad Bird can do the animated version of The Spirit that we all deserved.

  • Dec. 28, 2008, 9:59 p.m. CST

    Neil Gaiman's Law of Superhero Films

    by sanzaru

    Seems to be true. Aspiring film-makers, please take note: http://tinyurl.com/733s7g

  • Dec. 29, 2008, 12:32 a.m. CST

    ya'll dont know shit about Buck Rogers

    by captainCAPSLOCK

    so quit your posturing.

  • Dec. 29, 2008, 12:44 a.m. CST

    so gaiman's law is basically the geek rule

    by bacci40

    respect the source material

  • Dec. 29, 2008, 1:54 a.m. CST

    Harry also named Wall-E "Best Romance of the Year!"

    by TheGhostWhoLurks

    So him liking The Spirit and thinking that Frank Miller has the chops to handle Buck Rogers and do a decent job shouldn't surprise anyone.

  • Dec. 29, 2008, 2:29 a.m. CST

    Frank Miller's ' The Spirit ' IS THE PROBLEM !

    by PTSDPete

    That's the deal. It shouldn't have existed !

  • Dec. 29, 2008, 4:42 a.m. CST

    Only Cameron and Bigelow

    by kwisatzhaderach

    know how to deliver action sequences these days. Bring on Avatar and The Hurt Locker!

  • Dec. 29, 2008, 4:44 a.m. CST

    Joe Johnston

    by kwisatzhaderach

    would be perfect for Buck Rogers. The Rocketeer is just about the greatest comic book movie ever, along with Donner's Superman.

  • Dec. 29, 2008, 5:53 a.m. CST

    Harry.So..It's the "Score" and "Editing"? I Call BULLSHIT.

    by GenreBoy

    I saw this complete an total trainwreck the other night. I didnt even pay for it either which is a good thing, snuck in After i paid to see a GOOD movie;Valkyrie. Because if i had...i would probably track Frank Miller down to Wondercon or Comicon and ask for my "God damn" money back along with the right to plant my foot in his ass. But Really. So..in your rose-tinted-fanboy-gag-gag-frank miller-glasses, it's the Score and post productions fault? That is such aload of bullshit on a magnatude with Tom Rothman. The story was crap, the characters were thin and the world..while nice to look at went to shit the minute they opened their mouths. An those are Franks Words spewing from those lips too. An this was no tribute to Will Eisner. This was a giant ego-massage for Frank "I am the God-Damned Director" Miller, with a happy ending provided only for him the likes one would get from watching his mother in a snuff film. He referenced his OWN works, from Daredevil, Batman and Ronin. Watching this, it felt like he Hated Will Eisner. It was That BAD. Now, I love Samuel Jackson, the man is on par with Christopher Walken, he can do no wrong and he was all wrong in this . All bad, the only people i felt sorry for besides the fanboys who sheld out their money to see a Will Eisner hero directed by his "Good Friend" An see this aborted-baby of a shitbomb, was for the actors. Because he had good actors attached...with one exception..eve mendez. I hope none of their careers are setback because of this completely and utterly disposable film. A real "SPIRIT" movie...would've been Written By DARWYN COOKE. Sad day for Will Eisner and fans who wanted to see a solid story...but instead go a parody of Sin City Characters with the names of Eisners characters on them. So No Harry...It wasnt the Score of the post Production.

  • Dec. 29, 2008, 6:51 a.m. CST

    Frank Miller is a great...

    by Dead_Geek

    ...comicbook writer & artist, BUT he sucks as a Film Director! Go back to funny books Frank. Please leave Buck Rogers alone!

  • Dec. 29, 2008, 9:41 a.m. CST

    Another good post, MediaMessiah

    by Drunken Rage

  • Dec. 29, 2008, 12:14 p.m. CST

    I think Kerry Conran would make a KILLER Buck Rogers...

    by Blue_Demon

    But that's just me.<p>Buck Rogers with Frank Miller is not happening...and if it is, there are some stupid people out there in Hollywoodland.

  • Dec. 29, 2008, 12:16 p.m. CST

    Movietool

    by Blue_Demon

    From your lips to God's ear.

  • Dec. 29, 2008, 1:45 p.m. CST

    When will they learn? NEVER swallow the hollywood cum.

    by knowthyself

    Miller got his head gassed up by the suits and look where it got him.

  • Dec. 29, 2008, 6:23 p.m. CST

    The Spirit...walked out after 15 minutes...

    by wacko3205

    I have'nt walked out of a film in 15 minutes in years...but the Spirit took it for me. Granted, I came back & then left after 45 minutes in...so I gave it a shot. I love Miller as an artist...but only as a comic writer/artist...not as a motion picture director. He's great on paper...on film...he's got issue. The delivery of his lines (his directing) was sorry...no excuses made for him as an artist...which is where he needs to stick. Sin City & 300 were great because other's pushed his words & acts from paper to film...anyone who can't admit that...well...take it for what you will...but it is what it is.

  • Dec. 29, 2008, 6:46 p.m. CST

    He's got issue...

    by Gremlin517

    Yeah, I'm sure he does...

  • Dec. 29, 2008, 7:19 p.m. CST

    Thanks Drunken Rage

    by Media Messiah

    Let's just hope Miller puts out a comic book and animated series in advance of the Buck Rogers movie in order to re-familiarize the public with that character, and to introduce Buck Rogers to kids--again, something he should have done with The Spirit. Also, I would forewarn him to go 3D with Buck Rogers as it will draw the curious to see the film.

  • Dec. 29, 2008, 7:29 p.m. CST

    PS--I Would Advise Miller To Go To Film School

    by Media Messiah

    He should go to film school as a prep to better ready himself for Buck Rogers. Also, he needs to consult with other directors who are respected in the industry and learn their tricks by hanging out on the sets of their films and by visiting editing sessions. Miller should also take acting classes to better learn how to deal with actors...and better direct them.<BR><BR>Finally, in terms of prepping the public for Buck Rogers, contract with a video game company to develop and market video games based on Buck Rogers well in advance of the movie's production, and or, release, in order to get the character out into the public consciousness again.

  • Dec. 29, 2008, 8:14 p.m. CST

    As we were taking our seats in the theater....

    by sarajevobot

    My friend said, "Maybe our expectations are so low, that we'll actually be pleasantly surprised by this movie." My counter-prediction -- based on past negative moviegoing experiences like The Avengers and Regarding Henry -- was, "No, I'm afraid that nothing could really prepare us for what we are about to see." I was right, unfortunately. I thought about walking out 15 minutes in, but it was too fascinating watching what was going on. When the movie ended we tried to decide if we should sneak in to Valkyrie or Benjamin Button, but I had to confess that The Spirit made me feel like I never wanted to see another movie again. When I got home, though, my girlfriend and I watched StarCrash, and everything was once again right with the world.

  • Dec. 29, 2008, 10:40 p.m. CST

    SaraJevobot: I Remember Star Crash

    by Media Messiah

    Sta Crash, a movie so bad, it was great. Well, at least you have a girlfriend...and that is all you need in this world...as everything else doesn't seem to matter. Hold onto her now...and don't be afraid to say "I'm sorry", even when it is not your fault.

  • Dec. 30, 2008, 6:04 p.m. CST

    Ack

    by Scuzzy

    The Spirit and The Clone Wars were absolutely the two most painful cinema experiences of the year for me. I can't believe that The Spirit was allowed to be released in the state it was. I'm not saying to let the studio execs control the creative process, but didn't ANYONE at the studio level look at this the day before release and say, "Very Funny, Frank. Now where's the REAL final cut?"

  • Jan. 1, 2009, 8:35 a.m. CST

    Frank doesn't care

    by theplant

    All that counts is that he can shag the third to fourth level actresses appearing in the movie (he is too ugly for the first level, let alone second). As long as he can get some pussy, he'll find the exact words to convince the execs that it's not his fault but AICN talkbackers one, he probably convinced them it's too advanced with the times and will become a cult classic like Blade Runner in 25 years. That's so out of it he and the execs are.

  • Jan. 4, 2009, 7:15 a.m. CST

    well it has Eva Mendes's ass at least

    by The Amazing G

    that's something....firm

  • Jan. 4, 2009, 4 p.m. CST

    This film would have tanked...

    by pdennett316

    If it was directed by Jesus and Mr T and written by Chuck Norris. <p> A director like Spielberg or Cameron MAY have got some asses in the seats, but the simple fact is that no-one has heard of The Spirit, thus no-one actually gives a shit. <p> I think sites like this, and comic book geek types over estimate their own numbers. Snakes on a Plane was an internet darling with MASSIVE buzz, yet flopped like a porn star faced with fucking Beulah T Bottomtooth. <p> It took the unique look and directing prowess of Rodriguez to make Sin City interesting to people...trying to copy that look will generate zero interest because we've already seen it. <p> This is one of those movies that should never have been made, the character is simply too stupid for the mainstream audience to give a chance...the Spirit sounds like an awful character, and the hammy names for the women.....fuckin' awful.

  • Jan. 4, 2009, 4:26 p.m. CST

    ABSOLUTE DOGSHIT

    by BADBOYBROM HC

    I watched this film purely on the request of my boyfriend and I unfortunately agreed. This is possibly one of the worst films I have ever seen, Samuel L Jackson should be ashamed. The only positive thing about this film was the cat!

  • Jan. 4, 2009, 4:31 p.m. CST

    The above post

    by BADBOYBROM HC

    Yes it was my girlfriend who wrote that post and sadly I have to agree with what she wrote. What a complete waste of time! In fact the girl friend fell asleep on a few ocassions and I demanded she woke so she could share the pain with me. What a disgrace this film was. Does this spell bad omens for Sin City 2????

  • Jan. 17, 2009, 2:24 p.m. CST

    It's shit? Can't say I'm surprised

    by the grev

    Frank Miller's always been massively overrated. He's always mentioned in the same breath as Alan Moore as if he's a good as Alan Moore. Is he FUCK!! 90% of everything Alan Moore's written is great - 90% of everything Frank Miller's written is complete shit. Frank fucking Miller comes up with one good comic every 10 years, everything else he writes in between is lame as fuck, and yet apparently he's a genius. And now what a surprise, he can't direct either1 Frank Miller, FUCK OFF!!!!

  • Jan. 17, 2009, 2:25 p.m. CST

    It's shit? Can't say I'm surprised

    by the grev

    Frank Miller's always been massively overrated. He's always mentioned in the same breath as Alan Moore as if he's a good as Alan Moore. Is he FUCK!! 90% of everything Alan Moore's written is great - 90% of everything Frank Miller's written is complete shit. Frank fucking Miller comes up with one good comic every 10 years, everything else he writes in between is lame as fuck, and yet apparently he's a genius. And now what a surprise, he can't direct either1 Frank Miller, FUCK OFF!!!!

  • March 15, 2009, 11:37 p.m. CST

    THE SPIRIT OWNS YOUR ASSES!

    by thebearovingian

    ohyesitdoes

  • Feb. 15, 2010, 4:45 a.m. CST

    rIGrCWUx

    by TmvEqK

    hujCdK <a href="http://sktwox.com/ ">rIGrCWUx</a>

  • Feb. 15, 2010, 4:46 a.m. CST

    lvaEUhN

    by TmvEqK

    IIFNpw <a href="http://ryivus.com/ ">lvaEUhN</a>