I think it’s interesting how The Avengers and The Dark Knight Rises both have a plot built around sustainable energy and nuclear weapons. Both movies ultimately come down to mankind almost destroying itself; the council sending out the nuke; the professor who turns the reactor into a bomb. It’s kind of scary how relevant that is.
I have somewhat of a mild obsession with superhero movies.
This year has obviously been a good one for me and my fellow nerds with The Avengers and The Dark Knight Rises opening with all sorts of pomp and circumstance.
I had a hard time choosing which film I was looking forward to most so I just took it one at a time.
In May I fawned over The Avengers, watching Marvel’s best take on the sinister and hunky Loki Laufeyson (who can’t love a God of Mischief?). Joss Whedon’s film far exceeded my expectations. Each hero has enough power (and ego) to fill an entire film on their own, putting them all in one movie and making that movie watchable seemed impossible. But it had a solid plot structure, humor, dialogue, action and everything in between. I was very impressed. Marvel needs to keep him on retainer for the sequel, I cannot see another director penning something that would come close.
But now here we are in July, just days before we all get to watch Christian Bale and his terrible Batman voice take on the veiny and juiced up Tom Hardy. The Dark Knight will always be one of my favorite superhero films. Christopher Nolan’s Batman is the best, the realism brought to each villain and each situation make the films seem more plausible than fantasy. After Heath Ledger’s incredible Joker in 2008 Nolan has been under serious pressure to create something even more dramatic and action packed.
There is very little information out about the plot of The Dark Knight Rises, only that it takes place eight years later when Gotham is crumbling in the arms of Bane. There is incredible speculation on how Nolan will end his trilogy. Will Batman die?
My fascination is mainly with the Joseph Gordon-Levitt character John Blake. As it seems from the numerous trailers his character is quite important. Will Nolan leave the franchise with him?
In preparation for the nerd tears that will ultimately fall when I finally see the film on Thursday night I am watching the two previous films to make sure my Nolan/Batman knowledge is in tip-top shape.
Hopefully the end will bring more answers than questions.
Many of the films in production these days are either sequels, remakes, or adaptations.
For the most part I am a firm believer in the old adage that the book is always better than the film.
As I am writing this I am watching The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo on television, the second time I have seen the film. While the film is certainly not bad, it lacks the emotion and detail of the book. The book, although not the greatest I have ever read, brings you closer to the characters and the story (even though it runs on unnecessarily long after the main plot conflict has been resolved).
Another book-turned-film to come out this year was The Hunger Games. My feelings toward that film are pretty similar. My biggest gripe towards the film is how little they explored Katniss’ past and feelings. The book delves deeply into her past, her father, how District 12 came to be, and her conflicting emotions towards her two love interests.
I was also a little disappointed that the film did not go deeper into why the Hunger Games were established. In the book the reader is brought to a dark place where 12 Districts are used and abused by a wealthy and powerful Capitol. Their punishment for trying to regain their freedom is to watch their children die on television with the rest of the country. Cruel, humiliating and inhumane. The Hunger Games is a symbol of the Capitol’s continued oppression of the districts. That tone can be felt throughout the three books but in the film, it was sort of lost. Hopefully the second film, probably the most political of the three, can convey that better.
Fight Club is one of the few films that I believe stands up to the book. I think one of the reasons for this is that much of the dialogue in the film is taken directly from the book and minor details are not overlooked to try and make the film easier to digest. After watching the film and finishing the book I was left with the same feelings and emotions toward what had just happened. I think the reason for this is they way the novel itself was written: graphic, with the emotions and conflicts of the characters portrayed physically through action or narration.
It is interesting how filmmakers choose to approach an adaptation of something already living and breathing. Some are able to understand the tone and story and some are too hung up on the visual aspect, the shallow plot structure.
Every time I hear rumors of a Vonnegut book being turned into a film I die a little inside. I just hope that when Cat’s Cradle or The Sirens of Titan are inevitably made into film that they are done so with care and attention to Vonnegut’s underlying message.