Movies that should be TV series, Michelle from 24 moves to ER, and what a Shazam! movie should be

Speaking of Big Trouble in Little China, Kung Fu Rodeo has a list up of movies they’d like to see made into TV shows. I’d certainly want to watch a Big Trouble in Little China show if they got the right actor to play ol’ Jack. And I agree that Nathan Fillion is “the right actor.” I’d also totally dig a Time Bandits show and an Incredibles show. Maybe an Army of Darkness show, but I don’t know if you could do that without Campbell and I’m already getting my weekly fix of him on Burn Notice.

The rest, I don’t know if I’d watch. I definitely wouldn’t watch a Showgirls or Goonies series because I didn’t like the movies all that much. Dawn of the Dead, The Dirty Dozen, and Jurassic Park seem like they’d get tired fast. The Road Warrior could be good, but then again, it could absolutely suck. I’d need to watch the pilot before knowing if it was for me.

Speaking of knowing if things are for me, the writer for the upcoming Shazam! movie said something interesting recently. He was talking about the tone of his script and called it an action-comedy, then — perhaps sensing that that wasn’t what fans wanted to hear — immediately tried to clarify what he meant by that. “In a sense, even with a character that doesn’t have the giant spotlight on him like Superman or Batman, there’s a tremendously loyal fanbase who have very clear expectations about what they think a Captain Marvel movie should be.”

The thing is, I’m not sure that the Captain Marvel fanbase does have clear expectations about what they think a Captain Marvel movie should be. I know I don’t want it to be anything like Trials of Shazam!, but do you go more for a straightforward, Power of Shazam! take, lighten it up even more and make it like Monster Society of Evil, or go totally goofy like the original comics? If there are any Captain Marvel fans reading this, let me know what you think. What would a good Captain Marvel movie be like?

One last bit of news for the week: this makes me really tempted to start watching ER. I don’t want to wade into years of backstory, but Michelle was one of my favorite characters on 24 when I used to watch that show and I’d love to see Reiko Aylesworth in something new.

Balls of Fury

I really hadn’t planned to review Balls of Fury, but a) it was really funny, so you should see it, and b) it actually has a kickass heroine in it, so it’s the sort of thing I like talking about here.

Regarding the funny: no, you didn’t see all the best parts in the trailers. The ads do spoil some moments that would’ve been funnier if you hadn’t known they were coming, but there are still plenty of surprises. That said, the ads also do an excellent job of letting you know whether or not this is Your Kind of Movie. If you don’t think it looks like Christopher Walken’s Best Role Ever from the commercials, it might not be for you. But then, I pity you for your no-sense-of-humor-having. Throw in Lt. Dangle from Reno 911, Oswald from The Drew Carey Show, Lo Pan from Big Trouble in Little China, George Lopez from, well, George Lopez, John Doggett from X-Files, Ross’ girlfriend Charlie from Friends, Mowgli from that ’90s live-action Jungle Book, and Maggie Q from Mission: Impossible III and Live Free or Die Hard… you’ve got a lot to look at and laugh at.

I was particularly impressed with Maggie Q’s role. She’s a butt-kicker, but not at all your usual spy-comedy heroine. She doesn’t do Damsel-in-Distress, but she also doesn’t do Annoying, Over-Compensating Man-Hater. She’s annoyed with the students in her ping-pong school who paw at her, but she quickly kicks their asses and moves on. She doesn’t seem to hold it against all males and she certainly doesn’t seem like she has anything to prove to anyone.

I don’t want to make too much out of her though. She’s certainly not the focus of the film; I just liked her and wanted to point her out. I will say though that her change-of-heart towards the main dude (she starts off disliking his slovenly self, but ends up falling in love with him) is completely forced and unbelievable. It happens because it’s supposed to happen.

The critics aren’t liking Balls of Fury very much, but screw ’em. I had a good time with it. But then again, I had a good time with The Last Legion last week, so what do I know?

No respect for Green Arrow

I’ve been trying to warm up to Green Arrow because Black Canary has. If I can’t like him, then it’s possibly going to affect my opinion of her for marrying him, and I’d like to keep liking her.

So, when I read this, I was prepared to dismiss it and keep on trying to like Green Arrow anyway. After all, Devon lists several perfectly good reasons to not like GA, but adds “the constant political posturing foisted upon the character” to the list. That sounds like Devon’s stretching for another reason not to like him. There’s no doubt that GA’s been a jerk in his most important relationships, but to claim that writers have “foisted” political posturing on him isn’t fair.

First of all, GA’s agenda is far more social than political, but more importantly is that his passion for those issues have been a part of his character for way longer than his relationship buttholery. Why does Devon think that that part’s been “foisted” on him while accepting that the womanizing, child-abandonment, and lying are all natural parts of his character? My first thought was that passion about social injustice is actually a positive thing and so it makes Devon’s point better if that’s not really part of who GA is, but just something that writers stick on to further their own agendas. And that kind of logical trickery makes me want to toss Devon’s whole argument aside.

But I can’t, because by the end of the essay, I agree with him about why Black Canary shouldn’t have agreed to marry Green Arrow.

“…Oliver Queen tells his ex, Black Canary, the reason he wanted to become a better man so he could get her back and then, proposes to her…Black Canary proved day-in and day-out she was better off without him. He never made the choice to actively become better off without her. He never asked himself whether or not she was better off without him.

“We’ve all taken our own personal walks through hell, confronted personal demons and the like. We’ve all taken personal rolls of the dice and taken bets on ourselves. It should be done out of a fundamental belief in self. In this undertaking, one should become a better person for self, first and foremost. Not from a place of rejection. Kids, do NOT try this at home. That way lies failure.”

I think I disagree that this is further evidence that Green Arrow’s an a-hole, but it certainly does make him an unhealthy choice for a husband. I applaud Barbara Gordon for basically saying as much in the most recent Birds of Prey (#109). I also totally get that Black Canary — who, in spite of Green Arrow’s many faults, is still in love with him — wouldn’t be so receptive to that advice. But I love that Barbara said what needed to be said. Black Canary can’t hear it now, but she’ll likely remember it later when it’s too late to take the advice.

There’s been a lot of talk about how Green Arrow — the Oliver Queen version anyway — isn’t on the cover of the first couple of issues of the new Green Arrow/Black Canary series. And how the solicits for the book hint vaguely at “what’s happened to Green Arrow.” It makes me kinda sad that I’m actually hoping something awful happens to him and that Black Canary’s heart is broken quickly and soon, rather than lingeringly and after a nasty relationship that goes on for a while. They were once a nice couple, but that was when she was the type of character who could just quietly support him. She’s grown and improved though since then and nowadays, I can’t imagine that happening. As Devon says, she’s better off without him.

Edited to add: She’s better off without Green Arrow as he’s currently written. As I explained here, I used to really like Green Arrow and even defended him against other critics, but the way he’s been portrayed recently by Judd Winick and others makes him indefensible. I hope that changes.

Happy Frankenstein Day!

Mary Shelley was born 210 years ago today. I’ll always love her for creating one of the most complex heroes in literature.

There’s a heartbreaking line from Kenneth Branagh’s Frankenstein that sums the Creature up beautifully and perfectly. I don’t have a copy of the novel with me, and it’s been a while since I’ve read it, but if this line isn’t there verbatim, the feeling behind it certainly is.

“I do know that for the sympathy of one living being, I would make peace with all. I have love in me the likes of which you can scarcely imagine and rage the likes of which you would not believe. If I cannot satisfy the one, I will indulge the other.”

Happy Birthday, Mary.

To Read: From Hell to Midnight

I’ve thought for a long time that “Western” is a term that applies better to a setting than a bona fide genre*. Genres come with all kinds of rules and tropes that tend to trap authors into writing the same kinds of stories over and over again. That’s why a movie like Rustlers’ Rhapsody (which I highly recommend, by the way) works so well. It’s making fun of the tropes.

When you ignore the rules and just treat it as a setting, you move past all the cookie-cutter Westerns and end up with movies like Unforgiven. And books like From Hell to Midnight, which is a comedy in cowboy gear. According to Bookgasm, it’s not a parody; it’s just funny. And it includes “a protagonist who wears jodhpurs, a red polka-dot bow tie and a pith helmet.” Sounds good to me.

*Incidentally, I think the same holds true to “Fantasy” and — for me, anyway — “Science Fiction.” I’d be much more interested in Fantasy novels if they quit being about epic quests and tried telling some other kinds of stories. And I’ve realized in the last couple of years that I’m not at all interested in the speculative aspects of Science Fiction, but just want to read lots of different kinds of stories that just so happen to have robots, spaceships, laser guns, and aliens in them.

Warrior Women Wednesday

I’ve been keeping half-an-eye on the development of the JLA movie, but I just realized yesterday that this is the closest we’re going to get to a Wonder Woman movie for a while, so maybe I’d better pay more attention. Kevin Melrose has the latest skinny, linking to the same Christian Bale interview I did about how Bale and Routh aren’t likely to be in the thing, and also linking to IESB.net who debunks the rumor that the whole thing will be CGI motion-capture.

According to IESB, “it will not be an all out ‘motion capture production.’ Heavy motion capture will be used for the OMACs, the underwater sequences and such. So, all in all, this will be a traditionally made film with some motion capture characters, pretty much like every big fantasy movie these days.” (IESB also claims that Tom Welling has been approached to play Superman, but Superman Homepage contradicts that with a statement from Smallville producer Alfred Gough who says, “Hasn’t happened, won’t happen, [Welling] is under contract to Smallville through season 8.”)

Speaking of Super-folks, the Fortress of Fortitude has a great essay about the history of Supergirl and includes some excellent suggestions on how DC might help young girls reclaim the superheroine from creepy, old guys.

“DC can keep Kara in the Teen Titans or Legion of Super-Heroes, but they should cancel the solo title and reintroduce it as part of the revitalized Johnny DC line. Bring back Streaky, Comet and teen-age romance. Give Supergirl back to the little girls, and once again make her a character that represents everything a young one can aspire to. Not every character has to be complex, brooding and kewl.”

Edited to add: Even though I like the Fortress Keeper’s thoughts about what kind of Supergirl stories DC should be telling, I really don’t see why they couldn’t do those while still continuing to publish the current version as well. Just because Marvel Adventures: Avengers exists doesn’t mean that New Avengers shouldn’t. If there’s a market for both, why not publish both?

Artist of the Day: Kaluta

MW Kaluta is not at all someone I’ve recently discovered. I don’t remember where I first saw him, but it was a long time ago. I’m thinking it was a Tarzan illustration. Maybe for this.

Anyway, Saturday was his birthday, the news of which led me to his website. Even if you already know his stuff, the site’s worth checking out for all the art he has posted. Especially the commissions.