Month: February 2010

The Cr-Oh FFS!

Yeah yeah, I’m way behind the curve on this (for a rough idea of how much my finger’s on the pulse, see my last post), but all things point to a remake of The Crow actually happening.

Young me would probably be vehemently opposed to this; when I saw this film, I came away from it loving the idea of running across rooftops, wearing eyeliner and kicking arse like Brandon Lee. The Crow was the late teens answer to Casablanca or something. “It’s mine, and you can’t have it. HUFF! I’M GOING OUT! (STOMP STOMP STOMP stomp stomp).”

The film spoke to me, to the point that it made me listen to the Cure, eight years after it was anywhere near credible to do so. It was that bad.

I haven’t tested it on actual teenagers yet, but looking back now, it seems like The Crow was a perfect teen film; it’s tragic, dark, angsty, angry and steeped in real life tragedy. At the time, my young person’s brain actually went in for its glorification of revenge, believing it was probably morally justifiable. That’s more than a little embarrassing to admit.

I’d like to think that I have evolved a bit since then, and away from such simplistic tosh, I have drawn some fairly logical conclusions about revenge (=bad), vigilantism (=bad) and black plastic trousers (= impractical).

But this isn’t really why I think remaking the Crow is a bad idea. Here are two things that spring immediately to mind:

1) If rumours are to be believed, the remake will be helmed by Steve Norrington, who hasn’t made a good film since Blade, and whose last film was LXG. Yes.

2) The content of films, or what you can get into a rated film, has changed. On its release, The Crow was a cert 18 film. Now, at some point in the late 90s, something happened, and what seemed like quite graphic violence wasn’t actually so bad anymore.

I first noticed this when seeing Starship Troopers (cert 15) in 1996 (aged 22). After this, it seemed like you you could get away with a lot more in a 15 cert than ever before (see any Final Destination film). And now, check out the Dark Knight – that’s a 12a.

I’m not anti-gore. Far from it. I can watch no end of zombie movies (but I draw the line at a remake of Last House On The Left). However, in view of this trend for gorier films, a remade Crow surely has to try and capture the late teens/early 20s market by including gorier demises and a nastier rape scene. If it did, won’t all that graphically depicted wrongdoing and its equally graphic retribution just reinforce the notion among the impressionable that revenge = good?

I should probably credit today’s audiences with the intelligence to differentiate between entertainment and any kind of moral lesson. But yikes, if they are as impressionable as I was at that age… oh boy!

Scott Pilgrim = Awesome

I was going to write something about how Stardust might be the Princess Bride of the 21st Century, but then got distracted by other stuff and, oh wait… it’s probably a bit rubbish to write about writing, right? Huff! Hang on then…

No one likes a half rave about something. But sometimes a half rave is the best I can do (actually many people would be shocked I can even manage that), so here goes…

Ashamed as I am to admit it, I’ve been using movies production slates as a way to get into great comic books lately. This is because I am a) too lazy to keep abuzz of the best comics and b) more likely to see what’s in development on IMDB than actually read any kind of blog about comics. There’s really no good reason why this would be. I just don’t know any good comics sites, and it’s not like it’s my whole world or anything. God! Give me a break will you?

Anyway, my latest cool “find” (smirk) is/are the Scott Pilgrim comics (Incidentally, these are being made into a film by Edgar Wright and starring Michael Cera).

The first book, Scott Pilgrim’s Precious Little Life is just superb, and while books two and three are OK, the fourth and fifth books are back on great form (not book one great, but still worth checking out).

I won’t go on about the story. You can get that from the first paragraph of wikipedia. This is more about why you should read them. Yes, I’m that pompous.

For me, the charm of the books is basically that everyone around Scott has pretty much grown up into proper twentysomethings, but Scott is still a teenager at heart, and his innate sense of childish glee permeates his entire outlook. It’s this glee, and Scott’s general inability to grasp simple concepts immediately that makes him so loveable.

He also reminds me of me (a little bit), in that he’s crap at remembering to do stuff, he’s a bit slow to process developments, he’s rubbish at planning things, and is easily distracted. I’m mostly accused of being dour and grumpy, and occasionally I am full of joy, and this surprises people. This feels very Scott Pilgrim (substituting grumpiness with perpetual confusion)

Now that I think about it, the books remind me a bit of the cell-shaded look of Legend Of Zelda: Wind Waker. They’re manga cute, with brilliantly laid out panelling. They’re peppered with all kinds of nerdy gaming references (eg, when Scott achieves any kind of personal progression, he levels up, RPG style), and they’re full of great, snarky asides.

And yet, this is a half rave. Mainly because the middle of the story so far is a bit saggy and confusing. That said, it’s now getting great again, as if O’Malley needed that middle section to plot everything out, establish characters, and has settled into focussing again on what makes this comic great (Oh, wait, hmm… maybe I should read what’s left before posting. Erm… oh I dunno!).

So yes! If you like funny, slightly nerdy comics about love, gaming and playing in bands, or if you like being able to say “Oh yeah, I’ve not seen it yet, but I’ve read the comic…” then check out these books. I whole-half-heartedly* recommend them!

*Average number of hearts could go up as well as down.