Brad Bird's "The Spirit"

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Brad Bird's "The Spirit"

Post by Sid Philips » August 19th, 2010, 12:45 am


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Post by Randall » August 19th, 2010, 1:58 am

You did notice that the article is from 2008? Kinda old news.

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Post by Ben » August 19th, 2010, 7:36 am

Very old news, being about the early 1980s, but I wasn't aware of any of that and found it very interesting! :)

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Re: Brad Bird's "The Spirit"

Post by droosan » August 19th, 2010, 2:23 pm

It was discussed briefly in the 'Re-makes' thread, back when .. but it is deserving of its own topic.

I still haven't seen Frank Miller's 'take' on The Spirit .. but I'm certain Brad Bird would have come a lot closer to Will Eisner's originals than Miller did; and Eisner would've still been alive then, to appreciate it (or not..!).

This was the era of mild experimentation with 'adult' feature animation; Wizards, Heavy Metal, Rock & Rule, and (arguably) The Secret of NIMH and Twice Upon A Time were treading that ground at the time. It is, of course, unknown whether a 'serious' animated version of The Spirit might've performed any better than those films. It very likely would now share their 'cult' status, though!

The mere existence of those other movies proves that this film could have been made. It's disappointing that it wasn't .. but we do know that Brad Bird went on to a fruitful career in which he has made and/or influenced several 'incredible' animated projects.

I kinda wish he would come back to animation .. but it seems he wants to scratch his 'live-action director' itch, first.

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Post by EricJ » August 19th, 2010, 7:15 pm

Wonder if all the failed production-talk was the reason it was "downgraded" to the campy made-for-TV pilot around the same time:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PDzzxnTN75U

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Post by Ben » August 20th, 2010, 2:25 pm

Sam Jones! Nana Visitor!

BUT...absolutely nothing to do with what we're talking about here!

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Post by eddievalient » August 20th, 2010, 8:44 pm

Droo, if you ever see Miller's film, keep in mind that it is not a serious comic book movie. Rather, it's a parody of the cliches of the genre, and that's where a lot of people have a problem with it. Personally, I thought it was hilarious, especially Samuel L. Jackson as The Octopus. But then, he's good in just about anything.
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Re: Brad Bird's "The Spirit"

Post by GeorgeC » August 20th, 2010, 11:19 pm

droosan wrote:It was discussed briefly in the 'Re-makes' thread, back when .. but it is deserving of its own topic.

I still haven't seen Frank Miller's 'take' on The Spirit .. but I'm certain Brad Bird would have come a lot closer to Will Eisner's originals than Miller did; and Eisner would've still been alive then, to appreciate it (or not..!).

Frank Miller's work in mainstream comic has been awful for at least 15 years now. Besides the misogyny and difficulty he expresses with women in his later comic book work, you get the feeling he's giving fandom and editors the middle finger half the time. It's the worst case of biting the hand that feeds that I've seen from a pro in just about any field -- and I sure as heck didn't appreciate it!

The fact that he made fans wait months between installments of DK, DKII, and Adv of Batman & Robin, and NEVER delivered with quality goods on the final product (for many of us) is something that's always rankled me and unfortunately there is a good portion of fandom (around 20-25%) that seems to be okay with being treated like a floormat. That and his extreme arrogance at signings has cost Miller a lot of good will in the fan market.

His Batman has no bearing and relation to the character most people grew up with; it's an alternate universe version based on Miller's understanding and despising of the world he lives within (his own head). The Miller Batman is hateful, extremely mentally ill (for sure!), and about as far removed from the Kane/Finger Batman (or anything from the 1970s at any rate) as any version could be in characterization. It's not something I particularly cared for in at least half of The Dark Knight (Returns) and certainly not DK II... His last venture with Jim Lee proved that DK II was unfortunately not a fluke.

My feeling with The Spirit is that Frank Miller had no business directing a film on his own and that he just doesn't "get the character at all." Like Batman, he superficially adapted someone else's character but basically played it "like all his badass characters in Sin City." That's good if it's an adaptation of HIS (Miller's) own work, but not so good when most people were expecting a faithful adaptation of Will Eisner's work.

Will Eisner may not have been as well-known among fandom as Stan Lee, Jack Kirby, John Byrne, or Frank Miller, but he was certainly respected by most in the comic book industry and people who were fans of his Spirit comics tend to be hard-core and expect respectful homage to the source material.

Most people who have read the comics felt Miller spat on that work, or worse, marked his turf like a male animal, and proceeded to do something to The Spirit that was on the level of the last Indiana Jones film.... which you'd totally understand if you'd seen the "South Park" ripping of The Crystal Skulls.

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Post by eddievalient » August 21st, 2010, 5:17 am

George, you obviously didn't "get" Crystal Skulls. It was supposed to be like a cheesy 50s B-movie and it was. If that's not what you wanted, that's your problem, not Lucas's or Spielberg's. I enjoyed it a lot because I understood that after the fridge scene, they had dropped any pretense of trying to be realistic. At that point, you just sit back and enjoy the ride. It's too bad that more people can't do that. I get into way too many arguments with people who take this stuff way too seriously.
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Post by Ben » August 21st, 2010, 1:36 pm

Again, it wasn't that we didn't get it was supposed to be "cheesy" (I'd use a different word!) B-movie, it was just that it wasn't and Indiana Jones movie!

Anyway...the thing about Miller's Spirit movie was that nothing happened. It was just very, very boring...

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Re: Brad Bird's "The Spirit"

Post by Darkblade » August 22nd, 2010, 6:41 am

I think it this would have been interesting to look at. It would have been kinda like Batman: the animated series though.

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Post by GeorgeC » August 22nd, 2010, 10:47 am

Anybody that thinks Crystal Skull was supposed to be cheesy doesn't understand what an Indiana Jones film is supposed to be...

Aliens???? Area 51???

Unknown son (very bad shades of Superman Returns here!)???

WTH?

It didn't help that the film ended up inspiring the phrase "Nuked the fridge, either!"

I passed on the "allegedly fourth" Indiana Jones film Blu ray for very good reasons!

I'll wait for the REAL Indiana Jones to show up on Blu ray!


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DB,

Unfortunately I think a good Spirit film is not going to happen in our lifetimes.

The time's come and gone for that.

It was about 20 years between the two film projects that DID get made and the Miller film killed any possibility of a new Spirit film project happening again any time soon.

That's what generally happens when films about lesser-known characters stink to high-heaven...

The Spirit's definitely a cult character but deserved better treatment than Frank Miller gave him.

I wonder what Michael Uslan's excuse was? The guy produces about half the superhero films that ever get made but the ones that get produced without the participation of Bruce Timm, Paul Dini et al generally stink. Uslan's supposed to be a comic book fan and has written books on the subject. Regardless, half the films he produces frankly blow!
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Re:

Post by EricJ » August 22nd, 2010, 2:01 pm

GeorgeC wrote:Anybody that thinks Crystal Skull was supposed to be cheesy doesn't understand what an Indiana Jones film is supposed to be...
Aliens???? Area 51???
Unknown son (very bad shades of Superman Returns here!)???
(Uh, George?...You WEREN'T EVEN talking about KotCS to begin with!
You were trying to auto-ref an over-geek-quoted South Park episode, and nobody knew what you were talking about--Don't fall victim to everyone else's hypnosis of trying to take your posts seriously!)

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Post by GeorgeC » August 22nd, 2010, 10:06 pm

You just say this stuff out of love, Eric...
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Post by Ben » August 23rd, 2010, 4:56 am

Um, Eric...actually the conversation swung to Crystal Skulls a few posts back.

And going off tangent didn't stop you from bringing up another Spirit adaptation, which again wasn't anything to do with what we were talking about.

A case of "okay for you but not for others"...? Sad. :roll:

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