Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Closet Comic Book Movies (Part 1)

In case you hadn't notice, I like comic books. And comic book movies. And cartoons that were meant for children. Spongebob? Amazing.

I'm unabashed making this confession; the fondness is rooted deep in the bowels of my soul. Heh... Bowels.

There also is a steadily growing community of uber-dorks that are breaking through their original packaging and coming out of the comic-book closet. This is evident by the gigantic crowds at the Comic Cons (New York, San Diego, and the other spin-offs).

Still, there are plenty of haters out there no matter the number of lightsaber-wielding Jedi show up to reenact their favorite scene from Attack of the Clones. My favorite part is when Natalie Portman shuts down Hayden Christensen.

I think it might be the capes that drives people away. In reality, capes are kind of silly-- and not warn by intimidating people. You don't scare people by walking down the street in a cape, and The Incredibles even showed them to be a costume design flaw.

What a lot of the haters don't realize is that there are several comic book or comic-book-inspired shows, characters, and films in hiding. Plenty of stories are based on graphic novels and comic book source material-- and are not blatantly obvious. The Third Strike is here to preach to the choir... errr... educate us all... on those films that have their secret origin with panels and thought bubbles.

1. Road to Perdition

This comic book film taught me that "perdition" means "hell and damnation", and that Tom Hanks can be a hitman. Tom Hanks as a bad guy? I think perdition froze over.

2. A History of Violence

Viggo Mortensen can kick ass in comic book films, not just Middle Earth. In either case, he has a mysterious past.

3. 30 Days of Night
A vampire movie you shouldn't hate. Here is a flow chart on why it's ok:

Oh, yeah, and it's also a comic book vampire movie. See also: Blade.

4. Alien vs. Predator
That's right! Before they battled on screen, these two movie titans duked it out in their own comic books. They both have also seperately fought Batman. No, really!

5. Wanted

This film was a very loose translation of an ultra-violent comic. Then it was decided to be translated into a film. And Angelina Jolie was cast as the same "stoic femme fatale" character she always plays. But... with tattoos. I liked her more as Tigress in Kung Fu Panda, but... that's just me.

More to come!


  1. I consider myself to be a big movie buff, and I'm well versed in the realm of comics, but even I had NO IDEA that most of these movies got their origins from comics. Very cool!

    Oh, and Spongebob rocks! Best cartoon to grow up on. :P

  2. I love that you are educating the masses about where their movies come from!

    Since writing my blog I have learned that NOTHING in Hollywood is new. With the exception of Pixar stuff, maybe.

    I also would like to add that there are a great deal of vampire stories that are highly entertaining that include more than one of your "bad" criteria. The human/vampire hookup has been around for a long, long time, and can be done well, I think. I just started reading the Sookie Stackhouse novels, and I think they're pretty fun.

  3. Good call on Pixar. Somehow they ARE able to come up with amazing new ideas.

    You're absolutely right about Hollywood. Almost every horror movie on the market is a remake... hell, some are reboots of remakes of adaptations.

    I dunno about Sookie though (True Blood?) Isn't a twist in the show (not the book... book might be better!)... oh my god, there are werewolves! Didn't see that coming! etc. etc. Kind of trope if you ask me.

    The "sexy vampire" to me reflects a female (and sometimes male) desire for a troubled bad boy. They're immortal, and eternally young, and have the pale and dangerous James Dean charm.

    But they don't have a soul. I prefer my monsters be monsters. Nobody wants to bang Cloverfield. A vampire who can love a human being makes no sense to me.