Northlander sends in his BNAT 10 Report
Heya guys. The Northlander here with my own little BNAT X summery.
This, as some of you know, is the second time I’ve had the pleasure of going to one of these events, the first time being last year - I still use my HD-DVD player btw and I’ve gotten three or four new HD-DVDs at Cheapo this year so far.
To me, BNAT is what Christmas used to be like. When I was a kid, me, my mom and my sister used to go down to our cousins to celebrate Christmas and we’d be gone for a week or so. We’d eat a whole bunch of great food, meet a whole bunch of fun people and just have a great time. Then we’d go back home again feeling kind of better. I don’t really do Christmas as much anymore, but BNAT has kind of become what Christmas used to be like these past two years.
VIVA VILLA! (1934)
Directed by Jack Conway
I can’t say I know a helluva lot about Pancho Villa, other than he rode with Indiana Jones for a while, although that never got addressed in this movie.
Basically we get to follow Pancho from the day his father is killed when he's a kid, which might be the birth of him as a revolutionist, to when he’s already grown up and is starting the revolution, to his death. VIVA VILLA! has got some great acting by Wallace Beery as Pancho, who actually won a Golden Medal at the Venice film festival for best acting in this film (thank you imdb). I don’t know how true to the real man he portrays this character but he's convincing in the role at least. Pancho is simple and uneducated, can’t read, does whatever he feels like with people and women and is definitely someone you don’t mess with. But he’s not a bad guy. He’s fighting for freedom of his people and have them completely on his side. Despite his flaws it’s hard to call him an anti-hero. I’d rather call him a flawed hero, and it’s that complexity and the great performance from Wallace Beery that makes him so interesting to watch.
VIVA VILLA! Is a great old film and one that I might never have discovered if it hadn’t been for BNAT this year.
THE CURIOUS CASE OF BENJAMIN BUTTON (2008)
Directed by David Fincher
David Fincher’s latest, and his third time with Brad Pitt. You put Fincher and Pitt together and then on top of that add a screenplay by Eric Roth... well I think you’re gonna have a good movie no matter what happens. I'd been wanting to see this for a long time but avoided all spoilers, all I knew about it was that it was about a dude aging backwards.
Thomas Button works in the button manufacturing industry, and when his wife dies in child labor he promises her right before she goes that he will take care of their son. When he sees their son however, he’s repelled by him because he’s born... a little differently. Basically he’s a baby but his body has all the wear and tear of one that would be 90 years old. Thomas decides to abandon his child at a nursing home, and one of the nurses there ends up taking care of him, raising him as her own. She calls him Benjamin.
Benjamin’s problem is that his body is aging backwards while his mind ages normally. We get to follow him throughout his life in a very FORREST GUMP like fashion, and the story is book ended with a story of how his love interest, played by Cate Blanchett, is dying from cancer in her hospital bed and her daughter reads Benjamin’s diary.
Moriarty called this movie ‘anti-GUMP’, and while I can certainly see what he means, I’d like to rather call it FORREST GUMP meets BIG FISH. It doesn't so much have the exaggerated tone from the BIG FISH movie though - but more the book I think - even if we ARE dealing with a main character that ages backwards. But to me at least, that description makes more sense. It’s obviously a great, great film, and in a year that’s been so packed with awesome films this is absolutely among my top ten. But I think THE WRESTLER is still better.
Oh yeah and they served vodka and caviar during this. Nice.
CORALINE CLIPS in 3D (27 minutes) (2009)
Directed by Henry Selick
On the car to BNAT that morning, we were looking over the fake list and when I saw ALICE IN WONDERLAND listed, I figured we'd be seeing CORALINE, and being a big, big fan of Neil Gaiman, that really got my hopes up. CORALINE is something I've looked forward to since it was announced a few years back. I love this book. I’m also a big fan of THE NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS, so naturally - how can I not have high expectations on this?
Unfortunately, we only got to see clips from this though, lasting 27 minutes, but what can you do, right?
We got to see three sequences from the film, the first one with some bits in the Regular world and what seemed like Coraline's second return to the Other world. The other clip was of the Other Mother's transformation - in the film she starts out looking regular but changes to a more Cruella De Vil type look when her true nature is revealed. The transformation and her evil look is GREAT. Love it. Totally. During the first clip, I kind of wondered why she looked so normal when in the book she's described as scarier kind of, if my memory serves me, I don't have the book here so I can't check that. But her evil look and her transformation to it is exactly what it should be - scary enough to make this film interesting to teenagers and young adults.
The third clip was of Coraline trying to find the other lost souls using her rock.
There seems to be a lot of things altered in this version of the story, the biggest would seem to be Coraline not being all alone anymore but she's actually got sort of a sidekick, a young boy who gets trapped in the Other world as well. The story seems to be kind of expanded as well. All of the changes seem to work though, and it never stops feeling like CORALINE, so that's good. Personally though, I'm not talkback-anal about changes made in film versions anyway - I mean that's why they call it 'adaptation', you know. Like, you're adapting something from one media to another. In other words changing it. If that means putting flames on something or adding a character, I'm okay with that if the movie is good.
This was the first thing this BNAT to be presented in 3D, which is something that's still not really hit the market in Sweden - yeah where I live - until now. I actually heard just a few weeks back that a smaller cinema in Gothenburg were showing that U2 concert in 3D, but that's a new thing here. None of the major chain cinemas are 3D equipped yet, and the first time I ever saw anything with that technology was last December when I watched BEOWULF in IMAX 3D.
My personal opinion of it is still that it's a gimmick and if the storytelling of the film doesn't pull you in, 3D glasses won't help.
But that's me, and I certainly don't mind them. If anything I only wish you could choose to take them off whenever you'd want to, if they give you a migraine.
CORALINE looks like it's going to be not only a really good adaptation though, but an excellent film as well. Can't wait to see the whole thing!
Directed by Zoltan Korda
The next film to be presented was SAHARA, a vintage film from the second world war starring Humphrey Bogart. I love film noir a lot, so obviously I'm a Bogart fan. This isn't a noir though and I hadn't seen it fortunately, so it was cool seeing it on the big screen in 35mm on the first viewing.
Bogart plays Sergeant Joe Gunn - yes, that is his name but don't let it bother you - leader of a tank crew down in the north African desert, and they're badly in need of water. They end up having to make their last (or is it?) stand at some dried up well against hordes of nazi troops who think there's water there, the idea being that if they can outsmart the nazis by making them wait, reinforcements might arrive in time. It's kind of propaganda-ish but hey it was filmed during the war, and even Donald Duck did propaganda back then so I guess it's okay. Also, the film itself is really good. Reminded me a bit of 300, if 300 had been black and white, starred Humphrey Bogart instead of Gerard Butler, the Spartans had fought Nazis and had been American instead of Spartan. Oh yeah, and less slow-motion and if they had fought for their lives instead of their country.
Does that make sense?
So yeah, I totally enjoyed this and will find a DVD somewhere. This, together with VIVA VILLA! has really made me want to take a look at what classic movie TV channels there are out there.
Directed by Bryan Singer
The second new film we got to see was Bryan Singer's VALKYRIE.
This is one of those productions that just begs to get shit from talkbackers. I realize that. Tom Cruise playing a nazi officer with an American accent in a movie directed by Bryan Singer. It's like that kid in high school who not only wears the ugly clothes his mom bought for him with pride, he also asks the hottest girl in class out on a date.
Now, I like Bryan Singer's work. All of it. He's a guy who's been dealt an awful lot of undeserved shit. He made THE USUAL fucking SUSPECTS. He saved and re-invigorated the Superhero movie genre, first with X-MEN, and then gave us one of the best sequels ever with X-MEN 2. I refuse to call it X2 by the way. THEN, he went on to do what other directors had been trying to do for almost 20 years - he gave us SUPERMAN on the big screen - and I know that a lot of people out there don't like it, but I for one liked SUPERMAN RETURNS a lot. First, when I saw it at the cinema, and recently, I found it cheap on HD-DVD, and bought that and SUPERMAN THE MOVIE as well, watched them back to back on 50 inches of full HD, and you know what? I haven't seen Donner's SUPERMAN THE MOVIE in probably 15 years or so, but having seen first that one and then Singer's SUPERMAN RETURNS straight after, I love Singer's movie even more. I think in a lot of ways it's even superior to Donner's. Although on the whole, Donner's film is better of course.
Tom Cruise I couldn't give a shit about though.
VALKYRIE is based on a failed assassination attempt on Hitler towards the end of the war, by a group of nazi officers with a conscience. According to this film, it's actually the last in a long series of failed attempts. So, why would it be interesting to see a failed attempt? Well, for one thing we don't risk having a too weak a villain since we know they're going to win I guess. Another thing Singer does here which is interesting, after the attempt at Hitler's life - it's a bomb that goes off during a briefing - we never actually see Hitler again. We're told he's alive because people still on his side tell us, we hear his voice over the phone once, but we don't ever actually see him. It's never actually speculated that Hitler had a double until his death or he sent a double to the briefing who got killed instead, it's more left between the lines that it's not impossible. If you choose to see it that way.
Which is kind of interesting.
This is a movie I hadn't really looked forward to, mainly for the involvement of Cruise and the accent thing. I mean... I know that Tom Cruise is a good actor. He can act, no doubt. He was really good in an old movie called BORN ON THE 4TH OF JULY, which was made probably somewhere around the Cretaceous period - while dinosaurs were still the dominating form of life, and all the types of dinosaurs that were around in the Jurassic era were here too - but this just seems like the wrong casting, doesn't it? Personally, I would have been looked forward to this more if it had been in German like Mel Gibson probably would have filmed it.
But I was going to see it anyway when it came out. As it turns out, Cruise's accent isn't too distracting after all. I managed to not worry about it for most of the film.
It's a solid film actually, but I give full credit to Bryan Singer.
UP CLIPS in 3D (45 minutes) (2009)
Directed by Pete Docter and Bob Peterson (co-director)
Pixar makes those kinds of movies I very much enjoy while watching them, but so far I haven't bought any on DVD. I will get FINDING NEMO though, and WALL-E, obviously. I like their films a lot, but I'm just not that into kid’s movies unless it's for nostalgic reasons.
Until now, I hadn't read or seen anything from UP, I really had no idea what it was about.
Simply put, it's the story of Carl Fredricksen, a man who after having spent his entire life, love and marriage in a short but awesome montage, decides to finally fulfill the promise he made to his wife when they were still kids (and before she died of old age in act 1) - he will move their old house to the top of a huge mountain in South America, the last unexplored place on the planet, presumably. He uses balloons to get his house up in the air - as one would - and while going, he accidentally brings a cub scout along who is eager to help since helping an elderly is the one badge he still needs to get.
We got to see the story until what I expect is somewhere in the middle of it, when they've landed on the mountain and met the crazy bird and the talking dogs who - Squirrel! - wear dog collars that translate their every thought into English.
Words cannot describe how funny these dogs are. I'm not a laugh out loud type of person, and I haven't laughed like that in a LONG time.
This is about as high concept as you can get and still it's a very touching, funny and bittersweet story. I'm REALLY looking forward to seeing the rest of this one and I hate it that I can't do the squirrel joke to anyone over here. I'll have to wait until September because that's when Pixar's movies always come here. Crap.
METROPOLIS (1927, although it's the 1984 version)
Directed by Fritz Lang
This is one of those movies I'm ashamed of not having seen before. I've tried a few times, but not in the right mood. I'm a big Sci-Fi fan and it's totally the sort of film I know I would like, which is why I can't wait to see the full version that was apparently found this summer in Brazil.
So I'd never seen this version either. In fact, I didn't even know it existed. It's got a lot of great 80's pop and trippy colors, and I actually found myself enjoying it. Maybe it's because the story was great, I dunno. The music was, at least.
Anyway, I might pick this up on DVD or the soundtrack. I almost did pick up the soundtrack actually at Cheapo in Austin, but I've bought so much there this trip I can wait.
Now I still want to see the full cut though.
MONSTERS VS ALIENS CLIPS in 3D (18 minutes) (2009)
Directed by Rob Letterman and Conrad Vernon
MONSTERS VS ALIENS is the new animated movie from Dreamworks by the guys who directed SHARK TALE and SHREK 2.
I'm not a huge fan of either, although I'm not saying I can't understand why someone wouldn't like SHREK (except the third movie). Also, Dreamworks has made some great animated films, for one thing they gave us KUNG FU PANDA, which I loved the hell out of. So I figured it could be interesting.
After a short introduction we got to see some clips from the film in 3D, basically the story is that a bunch of 50's B-movie type monsters - giant woman, blob, insect scientist, giant rodent - have been trapped and locked up for a long time, but when aliens land on earth and start attacking things with a huge robot, the humans decide to release the monsters to fight for them.
After having seen that amazing UP presentation, which although it was very unfinished - sometimes with storyboard art, sometimes with unfinished renderings - and we only got to see 45 minutes, looked and felt great; this didn't look too impressive even though the clips we saw were finished and in 3D. To be fair though, they probably wouldn't have looked too impressive even if we hadn't seen UP. The jokes were kind of stale - President tries to communicate with aliens using a keyboard. He plays the CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE THIRD KIND notes and then goes into AXEL F while doing a funny dance. Sounds to me like something an executive will see in a screenplay and go 'Yes, that will be funny, I approve of that', but without laughing at it. You know what I mean?
I'm sure it'll be popular with the kids though even if I won't see it.
Interesting thing though, in the Q&A afterwards, someone asked them if that was Lightning McQueen from CARS in the background of one of the shots and they replied no. It's interesting, because I saw Lightning McQueen there as well so I don't know what that denial was all about. It was on the Golden Gate bridge as the robot crushes it with a giant claw.
MY BLOODY VALENTINE REMAKE 3D (2009)
Directed by Patrick Lussier
This was the only movie shown entirely at BNAT in full 3D, and I was kind of happy about that to be honest, because when METROPOLIS started the volume was incredibly high and by the time this started I had started to grow a slight migraine. I'm not sure if it was the 3D glasses had anything to do with it though, but I'm sure they're not made for 24 hour marathons.
Still, I was glad to finally get some horror. I had been kind of secretly hoping to see the remake of FRIDAY THE 13TH - the one horror franchise that actually needs to be remade because although I watched those movies way too much in the 80s and 90s, I can with a clear conscience admit that they suck and everything after part 3 is pretty much a remake anyway. Right?
The original MY BLOODY VALENTINE was a slasher I for some reason didn't see back in the day. A quick search over all films ever released in Sweden at www.statensbiografbyra.se reveals to me that the film seems to have never been released in the first place. Not banned or anything, just not released. My guess is that 1981 was before the slasher genre got popular on home video so it just never found a distributor.
Either way, this was the remake so I figure I'm okay to review it anyway.
The movie is about a bunch of people who get killed one by one by a dude with a pick axe who wears a gas mask, in 3D.
Okay that's basically the setup anyway. The story around that is that some dude comes back into town years after some killings took place and the dude that was the masked slasher killer that time seems to be back even though everyone seems to know he's dead.
I'll be honest, since I didn't see the original I was at times a bit confused about whether I was actually watching a remake or a sequel because as far as I can gather this film is a sequel to a movie that never happened. Maybe they're setting up a prequel? Who knows. In either case, if you've ever seen a single slasher film in your entire life - and odds are that if you're reading this website you probably have - you will find nothing new in this one. Even the slasher in 3D has been done before in FRIDAY 13TH PART 3 or the ending of FREDDY'S DEAD - THE FINAL NIGHTMARE. People die in this one. There is a slasher killer who's got a mask and a special weapon and he's less scary on film than Bob Saget. Women get naked and die. Speaking of that, there is an extended sex scene with extensive nudity - all kinds of it - and being Swedish I've got no real problems with that, except that just screams desperation to me.
You know, it's not like the slasher genre can't be renewed. If you HAVE TO make a slasher, it's okay to find new ways of doing it. You know? If you completely replace story and plot with nudity and fake blood and use the same old template that was old and tired 25 years ago then what's the point of me paying to sit through it? Seriously.
If this is where the slasher genre is today, then the slasher genre is so beyond dead it's like a zombie with a bullet in the head.
This is not horror. It is not scary. It is not even gross or repulsive. It's just repetitive and making a slasher like this I 2008 is like making a STAR WARS joke in a movie in 2008.
We need to evolve from that.
I LOVE YOU, MAN (not in 3D) (2009)
Directed by John Hamburg
I LOVE YOU, MAN is the latest Jason Segel vehicle about a dude played by Paul Rudd who doesn't have any friends, which is kinda embarrassing to him as he's getting married and has no one to invite to the wedding. So he basically hits the internet friend dating sites to find one. He eventually gives up after a few failed attempts (one of them looks EXACTLY like the main character of PIXAR’S UP btw), but then he meets slacker Jason Segel and they end up falling in love immediately - in a very heterosexual way of course.
Maybe I'm reading too much into this, but it feels a lot like one of those movies that tries hard to be enough gay and hetero at the same time so nobody will be offended... Like, you make a comedy about a gay couple and the comedy comes from them not actually being that... to me that just feels like a cop-out, but I'm Swedish and we have a different political and religious climate over here. It's more socially accepted here, or maybe it's less socially un-accepted at least, or I think it is, to make a comedy about two guys being in love without disguising it as something else.
And you know, maybe I'm wrong. Maybe the intent here was to actually make a comedy about two male straight friends in their 30s and I'm just reading stuff into it that was never there. But then... if this movie had been about a gay man getting married to his male lover, and he had no friends, so he goes out on the internet and fails getting any after attempting a few but then meets a guy and they become good pals - the humor would have been completely lost, wouldn't it? See what I mean?
I wish, that it would be okay in Hollywood to make gay romcoms instead of this - because this felt like a half assed attempt at pleasing everyone without offending anyone.
And we all know how funny non-offensive humor is, right? Right?
If you're interested and if you can get hold of a copy I can recommend the Swedish film PATRIK 1,5 which came out this year. Might be hard to find a subtitled copy though. Maybe if it gets picked up by a foreign distributor.
Anyway, Jason Segel still reminds me a helluva lot of a young Judge Reinhold. VICE VERSA remake, anyone?
WHITE DOG (1982)
Directed by Samuel Fuller
This is an old movie from the 80s that Harry introduced as one that's just getting the Criterion treatment on DVD. I'd never heard of it, but being a Criterion fan it sounded cool to see it for the first time in a theater on 35mm - if I buy this Criterion DVD it will be the second one I had first seen in 35. The first being ARMAGEDDON.
The story is about a girl who almost kills this big, white dog with her car, but I guess the inner nurse in her tells her she needs to save it so she puts it in her car and spends a lot of money making it well. For some reason she can't seem to find the owner though, and as she's starts to consider adopting it herself, there is an incident where the dog attacks someone for no reason. At first, she can't understand why, but when it attacks a friend of hers without provocation she realizes she's got an attack dog on her hands. She goes down to the local zoo to talk to the animal trainer there who tells her it's not just an attack dog - it's a White Dog - a dog that's bred for the sole purpose of attacking black people, like her friend. She refuses to have it killed, insisting on that they have to find a way to cure it, and the trainer - who seems to have a thing for stuff like this - takes on the challenge.
WHITE DOG is an interesting film that takes on a lot of difficult themes about hate, racism and if you can un-brainwash someone. If the conclusion it makes is correct, I suppose is up to the viewer, which in this case is good. It makes an argument and lets you decide, that's one of the strengths of this film, and it would make for a lot of interesting discussions afterwards if it had been shown at another event.
I could see myself picking up this on DVD.
PUSH CLIPS (15 minutes) (2009)
Directed by Paul McGuigan
What can be said about this? When I first heard of PUSH, I immediately thought of JUMPER, and I think a lot of you did too. I don't know how much of the actual plot is similar, but the basic universe seems to be the same.
PUSH is from what I can gather about a guy, played by Chris Evans, who has telekinetic superpowers; and Dakota Fanning - and yes she does scream a lot in this film too it seems.
What we got to see were 15 minutes of footage, pretty much some examples of what the action will be like. Telekinetic shoot-outs, where the 'cool thing' this movie being that they can hold the guns in the air using mind control - instead of curving bullets, I suppose - or bad guys who can like psychic scream so glass explodes. I can totally see this being used in the videogame adaptation and maybe they're starting this in the wrong end. Maybe they should start it as a videogame, then do a movie version and a comic book tie-in.
It looks like that sort of movie.
Does it look better than JUMPER? I don't know. I actually didn't mind JUMPER so much although I'm not desperate to see the sequels.
I do know one thing though. PUSH will be one of those movies that can make for some fun sequel title talkback speculation.
I'll go first: PUSH 2: SHOVE.
PUSH 2: PUSH UP.
PUSH 2: THE LIMIT
Now I guess it's your turn.
KNOWING CLIPS (4 minutes) (2009)
Directed by Alex Proyas
I don't care if it stars Nicolas Cage or not. If it's got Alex Proyas name attached to it I’m interested. THE CROW is one of my favorite films and DARK CITY still gets better upon every viewing. If it hadn't been for Alex Proyas and those two movies we would not have THE MATRIX. It's as simple as that.
Also, I'm interested in anything involving Philip K Dick - for obvious reasons if you know who that is.
That said, I hadn't actually seen anything from KNOWING until now.
What we saw was pretty much that scene from DIE HARD WITH A VENGEANCE where Bruce Willis - in this case played by Nicolas Cage - has to run through the subway and make sure the bomb on the train doesn't blow up. He's chasing some guy with the cops chasing him, and when he finally stops him it turns out he's chasing the wrong guy and another train blows up, with pretty much the same effect as the train explosion in DIE HARD WITH A VENGEANCE.
One difference though - this time we actually see people crushed by the train on the platform. People die here and it's a lot more violent. I don't recall seeing any blood, and I'm not sure what the rating KNOWING will get, but the clip itself looked a bit more brutal than DIE HARD 3. Which was nice to see.
Hopefully it will be violent and edgy, and not at all like the very forgettable I, ROBOT.
OBSERVE AND REPORT TRAILER (2 minutes)
Directed by Jody Hill
Another Seth Rogen movie I hadn't heard of. I wasn't personally a big fan of KNOCKED UP, but most of his other stuff I've enjoyed.
We didn't get to see much from this one though, it was more a trailer than clips and what I remember from it now is that he plays a security guard and it's a comedy. Sometimes though, that's all the setup you need.
I work at a movie theater, and when people come in asking me what the different movies are, you need to be able to be brief.
'What's that about?'
'Oh, the guy from KNOCKED UP plays a security guard.'
'The dude from CHUCK & LARRY plays an Israeli soldier who's a hairdresser.'
'I'll go with the KNOCKED UP guy's movie.'
I'm serious. That's how it works.
TERMINATOR SALVIATION CLIPS (2009)
Directed by McG
You know, I'm not defending TERMINATOR 3 in any way. I agree the less said about that movie the better. The two things it did have going for it when it came out was a) it could have been A LOT worse - no really, it could. It's bad, but it could have been A LOT worse. And b) It came out at a time when action movies were still mimicking THE MATRIX with tons of CGI shots, bullet time, slow-motion for no reason - I mean, in THE MATRIX all that stuff makes sense in a way because it takes place inside a computer program - TERMINATOR 3 had none of that, which made it feel fresh. Back then, it was the start of action movies going back to where they were before wire-fu and slo-mo.
But, it did also completely fucked up The One Single Piece of Terminator Mythology You Must Not Fuck With: THE FUTURE'S NOT SET. THERE'S NO FATE BUT WHAT WE MAKE FOR OURSELVES.
How hard is that to grasp? You don't change this. This is the point of the whole Terminator idea.
Oh and also, 'Talk to the hand' - WTF?? Why would self parody make THIS franchise better?
There is a lot to not like about TERMINATOR 3 and a lot of reason to not wanting to see another movie. I haven't seen a single episode (or even a trailer I think) for the TV show. Because I don't watch TV.
So, McG shows up, in person, and waves a DVD with the complete version of TERMINATOR 4 in our faces saying he's not going to show it to us. Instead he goes on to show us a whole bunch of clips and it honestly looks pretty good. I'm not even going to go into the whole thing about him talking about choosing to keep his McG name, make himself try and look like a tough guy and still demand respect. I mean - the dude shows up in a jacket he stole from The Fonz.
My advice at this point would be to just let the film talk for itself.
The footage looks like it's going to be a good and dark action movie.
If it actually is good or bad, I honestly can't say because we only saw clips of it.
But I'll keep my mind open when I see it. And it DOES look a lot better than TERMINATOR 3.
WATCHMEN (22 minutes) (2009... or whenever FOX decides)
Directed by Zach Snyder
I've actually only read the WATCHMEN graphic novel once, I think it was about a year and a half ago or something. I enjoy reading graphic novels, but they're just too expensive for me to collect and it would mean I'd have to dip into my DVD budget in order to get them.
While I enjoyed it a great deal, and I understand why it was so revolutionary, WATCHMEN is not my favorite graphic novel and it's not the 'greatest' one out there - whatever that means - in my own opinion. That would be SANDMAN.
Still, I'm immensely looking forward to Zach Snyder's movie version of this. I'd enjoyed everything I've seen of it so far, and his 300 adaptation as well.
What we got to see was the first 22 minutes of it, and that ends where Rorschach leaves The Night Owl's lair through the sewer calling him a quitter.
There were some great moments there, like the use of Bob Dylan during the opening montage, and if it continues to follow the story like this I can't wait to see the whole thing.
One thing though, I'm still not sure how people - the people out there who are not film fans, the ones that go to the movies because it's raining outside, the people who don't read comic books and who bought copies of RUSH HOUR 2 and DATE MOVIE - will take this. That's important, because they outnumber us geeks one million to 300. Good odds for any Greek, but for any geek - that's less favorable.
What I really liked about the film though is that it tells the story with extreme confidence, like the book. It really feels like you're stepping into a comic book universe that already exists and that there are tons of stories with these guys. There are no overly obvious character introductions or anything, so that's great.
In other words, this will be better than THE HITCH-HIKER'S GUIDE TO THE GALAXY movie, which was also considered to be 'impossible to adapt' to film.
Directed by Steven Soderbergh
I like Soderbergh's stuff, I really do. CHE was one of the movies I was really, really looking forward to and you can find my review of the first part THE ARGENTINE that I saw at this year's Stockholm Film Festival here: http://www.aintitcool.com/node/39220
That time, I thought it was a good film that I didn't get. After second viewing I have to say, it's not that good at all. I'm giving up on CHE right here. I was hoping the second film would shed some light on who this guy was somehow, but unfortunately it plays just like the first one.
What these films remind me most of is not Steven Soderbergh at all, but Gus Van Sant. Now, I don't like Gus Van Sant's movies, with two exceptions. GOOD WILL HUNTING is one I enjoyed a lot. I also managed to catch MILK before I left Austin and it totally blew me away - here we have a guy who makes stuff like the infamous PSYCHO regurgitation, then goes on to making ELEPHANT, and LAST DAYS - films with less and less narrative, stuff I can't even sit through. He goes on to making MILK, which is one of the best biopics I've seen in a long, long, long time and one of the best films I've seen this year.
Then we got Steven Soderbergh, who constantly makes interesting, entertaining films like ERIN BROCKOVICH, SOLARIS and the OCEANS movies - he goes on to make what feels more like a Gus Van Sant film than anything else. One that's over 4 hours long even but feels like 10.
And you know, the biggest problem with CHE, besides the fact that it's extremely boring for four hours, is still that we are not introduced to CHE properly. I have no idea whatsoever why this guy decided to go out in the jungle and start a revolution. What he did before the revolution, who he was then and what happened to him, that's important stuff. And it's not addressed here. There really is no first act, just people sitting at a table having dinner and Fidel Castro says to Che 'Wanna help me start a revolution?' and Che goes 'Okay, but I think you're a bit crazy'. That's it.
Well guys it's been an awesome trip going to BNAT this year again and the more I see of Austin the more I love it there.
I'd like to take this opportunity to give thanks to all the great people I met there this year and hopefully it won't be the last.