Just forget the words and sing along

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Kill Bill, Batman, and Superman

Managed to catch a bit of Kill Bill on TV last night. The first time I'd seen it since it first hit theatres, what, 5 years ago now?

It was edited for TV so much that it was almost laughable. The infamous "Pussy Wagon" is now the "Party Wagon," thanks to computers. I really did burst laughing when the vulgar salutation, "My name is Buck. I like to f--k," was very poorly dubbed to now be, "My name is Buck. I'm here to party."

I still don't own Kill Bill on DVD. For the longest time, we've been promised this super, mega, ultimate, loaded-to-the-nuts-with-special-features, special edition boxed set of both films, but it hasn't happened. I share the same worry as my best friend, another Kill Bill fanatic. You just know that as soon as we break down and fish the current DVDs out of a discount bin, that's when the long-awaited special edition is finally going to come out.

Anyway, on to another beloved franchise now, DC Comics. Warner Brothers -- who owns DC Comics, and thus, all the movie rights -- is still scrambling how best to adapt DC Comics characters to the big screen. There are two things that they're studying right now: their rival Marvel Comics, who had a great summer with the massively successful Iron Man and the mildly successful The Incredible Hulk. Secondly, their very own massive, massive success with The Dark Knight.

They released some of their preliminary strategy earlier this week.

The good news: they're abandoning their plans for a Justice League movie. Instead, they're going to give us a third Batman, a Superman reboot, and three more DC comics character films over the next three years.

The bad news: they've decided to make them all dark and brooding, like Batman. Says Jeff Robinov, the CEO of Warner Brothers, "It's time to unlock the evil side of superheroes."

No. No. No. Batman is dark and brooding. That's his thing. Superman's a boy scout. The Flash is a wiseass. Wonder Woman is a woman out of her time. Only Batman is dark and brooding.

I do like the idea of re-booting Superman, though. Superman could use it. Don't get me wrong, I'm one of the few who like Bryan Singer's Superman Returns, but it didn't quite go that extra mile. However, I think it had to be made.

I mean, let's face it. The original Superman came out in 1978. It was there at the birth of what we now know as the "summer blockbuster." Hell, it was one of the films that birthed it. For the longest time, it's been held up as the gold standard for comic book adaptations. We couldn't move forward without paying homage to it somehow.

So, we got Superman Returns. Now that all the "paying homage" is out of our systems, let's move on to something that incorporates the changes that have been made in the comics over the past 30 years.

No more Lex Luthor as a slightly sleazy, comical con man. Let's bet Lex Luthor as the cold-hearted billionaire industrialists. I love the "crystal castle" version of the Fortress of Solitude, but now, can we please have the one filled with giant statues of Jor-El and Lara holding a giant globe of Krypton and mementos from Superman's past adventures?

However, I do not to see Superman Begins. We don't need to see Superman's origin tale all long and drawn-out. We've been watching that on TV for the past few years. It's called Smallville.

I'm sorry, but I still want to see The Death of Superman adapted for the big screen. I remember watching The Incredible Hulk, watching the climactic battle between the Hulk and Abomination, and thinking, "this is what I want in a Superman movie! Just replace Hulk with Superman and Abomination with Doomsday."

C'mon DC. You don't have to make them all dark and brooding just because the only one that you've made in the past few years that was a massive, massive hit was the dark and brooding one. Besides, Catwoman tried to be dark and brooding, too. How well did that work out for you?

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