Saturday, December 27, 2008

The Spirit

In the words of Killer and Dixon, "well alright". You know I really liked this movie and I was very skeptical going in because I'm not really into the Frank Miller parade. But I enjoyed watching The Spirit. Here we have Eva Mendez, Scarlett Johansson, Samuel L. Jackson and Gabriel Macht as The Spirit. I would also like to mention that the dad from the Wonder Years plays the commissioner.

So why did I like this flick? Well, I'll tell you. First off, we seem to be ending this decade with a revitalization of Film Noir, the classic detective story, beautiful women in high class clothes, femme fatal, fedoras, and lots and lots of low key lighting. And then you add in the aesthetic of that sharp black, white and red use of negative space seen in Frank Miller's Sin City. I felt that this aesthetic was more carefully used, no haphazard choices or gratuitousness. They punched in a non obtrusive pin pointing kind of way. In scenes where the Octopus (Jackson) and Silken Floss (Johansson)dressed as eccentric Nazi's the black, red and white became the environment as opposed to a cheap effect.

The acting was deliberate and articulated as a clear choice by both actor and director. Particularly Scarlett Johansson's performance exemplified these choices. Realism, the standard for film, was tossed out the window and the theatrics of film noir with the blend of lines made for a comic produced a corky kind of procedure that I really appreciated. Both Eva and Scarlett were hot to trot and you do see Eva Mendez' booty. It was better than Angelina Jolie's in Wanted. Good ol' Sam Jackson was unreserved and was able to show that he's actually kind of a weird dude. He loves comic books, I don't know how many people know that, but if you couldn't tell by the roles he takes, (Unbreakable, Jumper, this, Nick Fury) its sort of his thing. I mean he dressed up as a Nazi and it made sense. He was able to fit in a few Samuel L'isms. Like the line advertised "you are NOT making this easy". And I sort of wish he hadn't. For the most part he was getting away from his more candid motifs and techniques but I feel it was put in there just so you know he was gettin' down as sam jackson.

I really liked the writing, it was written by Miller Time himself and you could tell. It felt like it was taken write from a graphic novel, which is very different from film writing and there was a weird poetry about it, an apostrophe about the love affair between the spirit and his city. The humor was a little obvious, like not really clever but that's kind of how comics are so it made sense. I kind of dug it. I've never read this but it seemed like Frank Miller is influenced greatly by Alan Moore, and right he should be, dude is masterful.

Top five reasons I'm glad I saw this:

5) Proves Film Noir is an undying and timeless style.

4) Was a comic book movie and not a movie that's made from a comic. (There's a difference)

3) Made me less skeptical about Frank Miller.

2) Saw Eva Mendez' booty.

1) Two days after its release and I got it on the five buck club.

Killer out!

1 comment:

Royal said...

You know Eva Mendez looked toooooo good in that movie.
What people didn't get about it was that it was done that way on purpose.
I thought it was good.
Plus the women...
well you already know.