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Review – The Spirit

December 26, 2008

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Took myself out for a treat – a real movie in a real theater.  Now, I’m aware of the bad reviews (read this one for an epic smackdown of Frank Miller…

http://www.aintitcool.com/node/39573

but I’m thinking it’s flawed, but not absolutely hopeless: which is something to be said for somebody who, if I recall correctly, lionizes films as inspiration for his comic work.

If I were to offer an autopsy – it would be:

– The mistake of Samuel Jackson’s costuming choices.  They didn’t do much of anything to advance his character at all (and will in all probability be used as a comedy referent for the rest of Jackson’s life.)

– the first beatdown with the Octopus vs. the Spirit maybe should have been moved to the middle of the movie after we had some time to get into their characters.

– Having the Spirit speak to the camera for WAY too long.  A little narration goes a long way…

– the interlude in the day time with the Spirit talking with the reporters and telling kids to brush their teeth.  Same style of joke done before in Miller-related movies (Robocop 2’s  line “Isn’t this a school night?”; script by Miller & Walon Green)

– I can understand the stunt casting (Scarlett Johansson & such) as being part of the reason the studio was ready to pony up the money to make this. I hope that gets curtailed in the years ahead (weren’t Jackson and Eva Mendes enough?)

– Overlong (felt like 2 hours, supposedly 103 minutes)

– what the HELL was up with the reference to Superman (the film)’s ad campaign?

Stuff I liked:

– The Octopus had some bitchin’ revolvers that looked like they had extra grooves cut into the cylinders. I wants me one of those! (couldn’t find a pic of them, sadly…)

 – Sarah Paulson telling the Spirit “to leave the mask on”.

I don’t know if i could recommend this to people for full price at the theater.  Maybe at the local budget cinema?

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