I Remember Remember: Comic Book Adaptations That Worked
Good morning, JoBlo. Allow me first to apologize for this interruption. I do, like many of you, appreciate the comforts of every day routine - the security of the familiar, the tranquility of repetition. I enjoy them as much as any bloke. But in the spirit of commemoration, thereby those important events of the past usually associated with someone's death or the end of some awful bloody struggle, a celebration of a nice holiday, I thought we could mark this November the 5th, by taking some time out of our daily lives to sit down and have a little chat.
About comic book adaptations, that is. They have become the go-to goldmine of recent years in Hollywood, with comics of every ilk and caliber being at the very least optioned and at the very most made into feature-length films Rarely honored in full and more often than not extensively transformed beyond recognition by fans, they make up a large chunk of what you've seen in cinemas of late and will continue to do so (while often making large chunks of money) through the foreseeable future. Now that being said, I see there to be two main kinds of comic book adaptation - those that hew close to the comics, a road which brings its own host of potential problems, and those that don't. The latter category can be a more dangerous path to tread, as it's difficult to capture the spirit of intent originally meant by the author/illustrator while store redrafting characters and forging a new plot refitted to fit filmic needs and language.
So what I'm going to do, by way of avoiding the War and Peace of editorials that we both know I could (and would) write if given the chance, is list a few of those adaptations that I think particularly worked over the last fifteen or so years. I should probably specify though that when I say "worked," I mean were both true to the spirit of their source material AND were good movies beisdes. Many of the Marvel movies, for example, were true enough to the source material but didn't end up being anything I feel the impulse to rewatch. So maybe this editorial would do better to simply be retitled as "My Favorite Comic Book Adaptations."
But back to my list - I didn't become familiar with the source material for some of these until after seeing the movie, whereas others were properties that I was plenty familiar with before the film ever rolled around. Some of these stick close to the source material, and some of them take the unique world/characters/spirit of the original story and forge their own successful identity. Either way though, this is just my opinion. These are the ones that I happen to think got it right, but this of course isn't just about me - what do you think? What movies would make the cut in your estimation? And what needs to be remembered remembered by Hollywood if it wants to get things right for future adaptations?
My list goes a little something like this (in no particular order):
HELLBOY, and HELLBOY II: THE GOLDEN ARMY even more so
ROAD TO PERDITION
THE DARK KNIGHT
V FOR VENDETTA
X-MEN: FIRST CLASS
A HISTORY OF VIOLENCE
SCOTT PILGRIM VS. THE WORLD
BATMAN: MASK OF THE PHANTASM
|Extra Tidbit:||Say what you will, I absolutely and unabashedly enjoyed THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN. Though I definitely agree that The Lizard was criminally mangled in the page-to-screen transition.|