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  1. #1
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    Default CBR: Permanent Damage - Apr 15, 2010

    Steven Grant takes "Kick-Ass" out for a test drive and kicks the tires, declaring it the best superhero film to date with Chloe Moretz's performance "as close to a revelation as anything I've seen on film in years."


    Full article here.

  2. #2
    I'm Rich. froinlaven's Avatar
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    "Kick-Ass is everything "Spider-Man" should have been"

    That's got to be the dumbest thing I've EVER heard.

  3. #3

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    An uber-violent film with a foul-mouthed 11-year-old girl is a shock? I'm thinking the last decade of reality television, YouTube, and Howard Stern/Tom Green/Johnny Knoxville/Britney Spears/Sascha Baron Cohen have not only prepared me for the "shock", but made me pretty numb to it.

    Dakota Fanning in a rape scene was a revelation. Any one of the female cast members on 'Battlestar Galactica' was a revelation. Gabourey Sidibe as Precious was a revelation. Kirsten Dunst in 'Interview With a Vampire' was a revelation. Hit Girl calling a bunch of mobsters "c*nts" is a gimmick.

    If we follow this "new model" of making comics that pander to the big screen instead of adhering to the principles of the craft, we're going to lose out on some great comics and even better movies.

    Nicholas Cage does movies like Ghost Rider and Kick-Ass. Tom Hanks, Paul Newman, and Jude Law do movies like Road to Perdition.

    I'm not saying the movie is bad. I'm saying I take exception to elements of it based on the previews and reserve the rest of my judgment until after I see it. But I definitely think this review was written too soon after seeing it and certainly while still more than just a little pumped from the screening.

  4. #4

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    I saw the film a month ago. Everyone's welcome to come tell me how off-base I am after they've seen it, but until then it's a bit hard to take seriously. For the moment I'd seem to be the only one who actually knows what I'm talking about, though I don't disagree with the assessment of Nic Cage's career. Also didn't like Spider-Man and thought it was pathetically simplistic.

    - Grant

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steven Grant View Post
    I saw the film a month ago. Everyone's welcome to come tell me how off-base I am after they've seen it, but until then it's a bit hard to take seriously. For the moment I'd seem to be the only one who actually knows what I'm talking about, though I don't disagree with the assessment of Nic Cage's career. Also didn't like Spider-Man and thought it was pathetically simplistic.

    - Grant
    I've seen it. And while I agree with much of your review, I actually take the complete opposite from the movie. This might be the future, but only to our possible detriment. Perhaps not in the stylings, care, or even logistical concerns which I agree make this a very slick and entertaining film. But for me the ending, most especially Dave's eventual turn was off-putting. The conceit of the real world supers was there, but the path that got him from nebbish to bloodthirsty wasn't in so much evidence. For me, I fear we are at the crossroads of where Watchmen and DKR left comics. Where powerful well crafted messages got lost in the grit and lesser works just parrot the grit. Like what Grant said to Animal-man basically.

    Oh well my opinion is probably also biased given I don't particularly like Millar's work.

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by jadehorde View Post
    I've seen it.
    If you've seen it, fine. I don't disagree with much of your assessment, except that you left off the final step of Dave's arc, which I liked and which made sense in the logic of the film. (Don't want to go into it; one problem with writing a piece about a film before the film's release is discussing things without giving away plot moments.) On the other hand, regardless of how well the film does I really hope they resist the urge to make a sequel, as that would be just pointless.

    - Grant

  7. #7
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    On the Nic Cage front, what about Matchstick Men? Adaptation? Maybe The Weatherman, but I hesitate to say that as I have not seen that one. However, I will unequivocally vouch for the first two.

  8. #8
    Ben L FunkyGreenJerusalem's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Gourley View Post
    Dakota Fanning in a rape scene was a revelation.
    And yet cunt is a gimmick?

    Any one of the female cast members on 'Battlestar Galactica' was a revelation. Gabourey Sidibe as Precious was a revelation. Kirsten Dunst in 'Interview With a Vampire' was a revelation. Hit Girl calling a bunch of mobsters "c*nts" is a gimmick.
    He didn't say she was great just for saying cunt though, did he?

    Also, if you're calling Dunst in Interview With A Vampire a revelation, then you're setting the bar pretty low.

    Also, what was the revelation of female cast members in Battlestar Galactica?
    The acting was fine, but it wasn't stand out.

    Nicholas Cage does movies like Ghost Rider and Kick-Ass. Tom Hanks, Paul Newman, and Jude Law do movies like Road to Perdition.
    And neither of those three did anything as raw as Leaving Las Vegas, which Cage did.
    I'm not saying the movie is bad.
    Yes you are.

    I'm saying I take exception to elements of it based on the previews and reserve the rest of my judgment until after I see it.
    But you clearly haven't reserved judgment... see rest of your post for examples.

    But I definitely think this review was written too soon after seeing it and certainly while still more than just a little pumped from the screening.
    I think your rebuttal was written a little too soon without having seen it.
    ADVERTISE HERE!

  9. #9

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    I've got more problem with the review than the film. That's my point. To say the movie was good would be one thing. What this is saying is that the concept of writing a comic as a movie pitch is the way of the future. "You could just see the $$ signs popping out of their eyes like cartoon characters", Grant says. So this should be the driving factor when writing a comic book now? This is the mentality that's injured just about every film adaptation of Alan Moore's books.

    I am reserving judgment on the film. I've spoken in defense of the book on this site when it was attacked by a feminist blogger. Millar makes some pretty good observations about society without sacrificing good, fun comic action, but it's not Tolstoy. Nor is it trying to be. I think Grant gets a little carried away with his assessment.

    He also says he knows what he's talking about. With regard to actually having seen the film, he's correct. With regard to his ability to assess films and things that are hard to take seriously, well, let's be glad he wasn't a Sony studio exec the day Raimi came in with the Spider-Man script. Two Oscar nominations, a record number of theater openings, tying with Titanic in Box office sales, and opening the door for everything that's followed afterward? Not exactly pathetic.

    In response to Lipman...

    - Yeah, it really really is a gimmick. It's a great way to get shock value in a 30-second trailer. It's also a great way to get a red-band trailer, which is another marketing gimmick.

    - Did you just call out Tom Hanks, Paul Newman, and Jude Law for not doing anything as 'raw' as Leaving Las Vegas? You've never seen a thing called "Cool Hand Luke", have you? "Philadelphia"? Either way, look who you're talking about.

    - I liked Millar's book. I hope I'll like the movie. But I want to like it for what it is, not for being some new way to extract money from fanboy wallets.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by jmyoung View Post
    On the Nic Cage front, what about Matchstick Men? Adaptation? Maybe The Weatherman, but I hesitate to say that as I have not seen that one. However, I will unequivocally vouch for the first two.
    Adaptation I liked well enough. Never got around to seeing Matchstick Men. (Never saw Next either.) Cage does enough good acting jobs that I know he's still capable of them, it's just his ratio that sucks so it's always a bit surprising when one materializes.

    - Grant

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Gourley View Post
    I've got more problem with the review than the film. That's my point. To say the movie was good would be one thing. What this is saying is that the concept of writing a comic as a movie pitch is the way of the future. "You could just see the $$ signs popping out of their eyes like cartoon characters", Grant says. So this should be the driving factor when writing a comic book now? This is the mentality that's injured just about every film adaptation of Alan Moore's books.
    Matter of fact, I never said that. I was talking about film theater owners. Believe it or not, to them dollar signs in their eyes are important, and it was a palpable part of the experience in that particular environment. (You know, the one I was writing about.) But that's got nothing to do with the comics films are based on and I have no doubt that pretty much any comic could be made into a commercially viable film, regardless of the comic's quality, since on a practical level the one really has not much to do with the other. It isn't the quality of the comic that makes a film good, it's the quality of the filmmakers. But a bad film adaptation doesn't make a good comic worse, and a good one doesn't make a bad comic better. The quality of the filmmakers can turn comics (or any other medium's) dross to gold, or they can make a sow's ear of a silk purse. They're different beasts, cousins and sometimes distant cousins rather than Siamese twins.

    Matter of fact, I believe I recommended comics talent (and publishers) not concern themselves with "what Hollywood wants" and just do the stories they want to do.

    As far as what I'm talking about goes, right, I've seen the film. That's what I meant.

    - Grant

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by Steven Grant View Post

    Matter of fact, I believe I recommended comics talent (and publishers) not concern themselves with "what Hollywood wants" and just do the stories they want to do.

    As far as what I'm talking about goes, right, I've seen the film. That's what I meant.

    - Grant
    That may be what you meant, but when your last line is "...but if you're going to do it, you may as well take a nod from Kick-Ass...", your message gets a little mixed.

    I simply think you're making it to be a lot more than it really is, and the Spider-Man comparison is the comment that shouts over all the others. Don't take it too hard, I don't hate your review, I just disagree with it. If you want to see one I hate, go read Ebert's. While I may wind up feeling vindicated in my belief that the presentation of Hit-Girl in the movie is nothing more than a kind of porn ("shock porn", in the tradition of Borat,if you will), that doesn't mean there's no place for it in the world.

    Ebert, by comparison, dismisses the concept, the script, and just about all of the acting out of hand simply based on his reaction to the one character. I think several other people will have the same reaction to the movie, and it's sad when you can't truly appreciate something whether you agree with it or not. Perhaps, in that case, it would have been more appropriate to say "Kick-Ass is many things that Boondock Saints could have been, but wasn't."

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Gourley View Post
    That may be what you meant, but when your last line is "...but if you're going to do it, you may as well take a nod from Kick-Ass...", your message gets a little mixed.
    But that's true. If you're going to create comics specifically with the intent of selling them to Hollywood to base movies on, do what Millar did: structure your story so that it functions both as a comic and as a film. I still don't recommend it. But the vast majority of comics created to "sell to Hollywood" - there are tons of them and it's not at all difficult to spot them, since they usually have a logline (which most people in comics mistake for an idea) and little else - are produced without any regard for the theoretical end product at all. And yet they almost always have no regard for the comics product either. So if you're going to take that approach, Millar got it right and is a good model to follow.

    That doesn't mean you should take that approach.

    I never really understood why anyone ever took Roger Ebert seriously, expect that he managed to wrangle a TV show.

    - Grant

  14. #14
    Heretic bartl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steven Grant View Post
    I never really understood why anyone ever took Roger Ebert seriously, expect that he managed to wrangle a TV show.
    I can say, at least for myself, that when I read Roger Ebert's review of a movie, I can tell with a very high degree of accuracy how much I would enjoy seeing the movie. Note that this is by no means connected to whether or not HE liked the movie.
    Bart Lidofsky

  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by bartl View Post
    I can say, at least for myself, that when I read Roger Ebert's review of a movie, I can tell with a very high degree of accuracy how much I would enjoy seeing the movie. Note that this is by no means connected to whether or not HE liked the movie.
    Yeah, okay. He tends to piss me off because so often he reviews with his dick. I don't know how many times I've heard him rag on some film, then say it's worth seeing anyway for the stunning performance by some actress. For awhile when he and Siskel were doing AT THE MOVIES together I felt like making a drinking game out of it.

    - Grant

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