Picnic

Unusually enough, the subject of this week’s edition of The Forgotten can be watched, in its entirety, right above these words. Follow the link to read the article at The Auteurs’ Notebook and, as usual, please leave your responses over there. Chin chin.

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11 Responses to “Picnic”

  1. Has anyone seen Zack Snyder’s Watchmen?

  2. Afraid so. Was going to write a lengthy demolition of it, but it was too disheartening. It has some visual pleasures, including a splendid title sequence, but it’s interesting mainly as an example of how you can be very faithful to a source and still get things completely wrong in terms of tone. I thought it was very nasty.

  3. A very flawed film. The trailer gave me high hopes, but the experience of seeing it when it was released left me numb, it doesn’t resonate, and this was a film that should have had resonance. Yet one more reason for Alan Moore to be dismissive of the film industry. Can’t say I blame him (though I did find things to like about V FOR VENDETTA).

  4. david wingrove Says:

    I did enjoy watching the ‘big blue man’ striding through a battle in the nude, but apart from that I found WATCHMEN profoundly tedious. More like ‘Don’t-Bother-to-Watch Men.’

  5. It was fascinating for me to see somebody who obviously admired the book going through the motions of being faithful to the letter of it, scene by scene, while missing the point. Fascinating and depressing. And it’s a compendium of cinematic cliches. Time to retire Philip Glass from soundtrack duty, I think.

  6. As for the Segundo de Chomón film, I should mention that De Chomón was, like Buñuel, an Aragonese from Teruel… There must be something in the breeze, there.

    Also, it’s wondrous all the suggestive stuff you get in barely eight minutes: Spielberg would have required at least four hours to narrate one tenth of that plot (with Tom Hanks and Tom Cruise getting stellar turns as worms)

    Re comics and film adaptations: I cannot help thinking that writers and artists, with just a typewriter, paper and inks, manage to create works which surpass by far their multigazillionaire lame adaptations

  7. It’s strange how very bad most comic book movies have been. Guillermo Del Toro theorized that most are made by people who don’t like comics and despise those who do. But his respectful films of Blade II and Hellboy fall prey to some of the same problems. Fleshing out those characters is hard — they’re not always intended to be that real.

    Faced with improbable characters and situations, the answer might be PLOT, but in the race to get from action sequence to action sequence, plot invariably suffers. I recently watched The Big Steal, which was a lot like a comic book with real actors, and while it’s very snappy and races along, it’s not all about explosions.

  8. Some filmmakers despising comics is fun to think of, specially when you think of films about talking chihuahuas. Still, since you mentioned Hellboy, I think that another big difficulty lies in compressing within two hours a lot of separate plots (from different stories) turned into one story, often with lesser results.

    I have the theory that many comics would fare better as a TV series than as a picture… I was thinking that possibly the best film I’ve seen coming from a comic was “Road to Perdition”, and it possibly owes a lot to the fact that Max Allan Collins (the comic’s writer) is a die-hard fan of noir literature (and noir films, of course), and Collins’ “Ms. Tree” could have made a terrific detective series, not to mention Brubaker’s “Criminal”

  9. It helps that Road to Perdition isn’t a superhero story. My problem with Hellboy is that he seems to be indestructible, which kind of dampens the suspense. If he’s not indestructible, what are his limits? We don’t know.

  10. As much as I enjoy hearing Jimi Hendrix’s version of Dylan’s All Along The Watchtower, hearing it in the context of the WATCHMEN film made me cringe. One of my problems (and I had a few) with HELLBOY II was his impending fatherhood. That would have NEVER happened in the comic book. THE BIG STEAL is a pretty lightweight film, but still a lot of fun to watch, it has this breeziness to it that just carries the viewer along.

  11. Hellboy, indestructible? Nerts! They changed the story again in the film!

    In the comics, he can be pretty tough, and more resistant than the average human, but can get hurt badly, and it’s implied that he can get killed, too: in fact a good deal of his adventures he faces enemies who could annihilate him without much effort.

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