Changing A Film (Hopefully) For The Better

Sometimes, when novels and comics are adapted into movies, filmmakers take liberties with one aspect or another of the production, in an effort to create something that doesn’t alienate fans or casual viewers.  Sometimes these changes are necessary for numerous reasons, such as: a particular novel may be too long, and scenes may require cutting if it’s to fit the running time allocated; or characters as written don’t work in the film’s context.

When that happens they may be removed all together, or perhaps re-written as composites of various other characters that didn’t exist in the original source material.

This approach is also used with comic-based films, with varying degrees of success.  For example, anyone that has read the X-Men comics noticed immediately that the costumes vaguely, if at all, resembled those from the comics.  This was probably done because the filmmakers believed that the costumes worked for that particular milieu, but wouldn’t translate outside of it.

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Trailer for ‘Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol’

The trailer for “Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol” has come out, and it looks interesting, though isn’t that the point of a trailer?

I thought that the first Mission Impossible film was OK; not so much the second, despite being directed by John Woo.  The third, by J.J. Abrams, felt a bit more in the spirit of the original television series as well as  less staged and more kinetic that the first two films, though–like the others–it bothered me that it was less an ensemble film than ‘The Tom Cruise Show.’

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Teaser Trailer For Disney’s ‘Brave’

“Cars 2” roared into the US box office with an opening of $66.1 million.  A strong debut, ranking fifth behind “Up,” “Finding Nemo,” “The Incredibles” and “Toy Story 3.”  The next release from Pixar is “Brave” and I expect it to continue the trend.

And in other things Pixar, consider checking out ‘the movie blog,’

Will ‘Green Lantern’ Be Eclipsed By ‘Transformers’ & ‘Captain America?’

As I wrote last week, Green Lantern’s greatest problem is that its foreign box office returns are weak, which is confirmed in a story at  The article, among other things, tells of a precipitous box office fall-off the film has recently experienced.  According to Boxofficemojo, “Green Lantern” has currently earned $76 million dollars, domestically,  after about two weeks of release.

This brings Green Lantern’s total box office receipts to just over $93 million, though it’s worth mentioning that only $16 million of that total came from foreign box office totals.

The film is into its third week.  It’s possible that foreign box office receipts will increase, though the question is why would that happen, especially since “Transformers: Dark of the Moon” and “Captain America: The First Avenger” are on the horizon.

Addendum:  I was reading this morning on Aint It Cool News that Warner Brothers is considering a sequel to Green Lantern.  While there are some scenarios where I can see it coming to pass, I think that odds of this are really, really low.

New ‘Captain America’ Poster

Why Marvel Studios isn’t releasing “Captain America” on July 4th I’ll never know, though I dig the whole nostalgia vibe that the posters seem to be putting out.  They appear to reflect sensibilities and a time that–probably–never really existed but that older people swear was real.

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‘Bad Teacher’ Review

The tag line of “Bad Teacher” is: “She doesn’t give an “F.””  

After seeing the movie, you won’t either.

Movies entertain because they manage to take you from the here and now.  Horror, science fiction, fantasy or drama, entertaining ones tend to move you somehow.

“Bad Teacher” moves you too, and it is entertaining, though not in the way that you may think because it takes viewers to a place that some of us have spent thousands of dollars in therapy to be far, far away from.   What’s really odd is that, despite having a relatively attractive cast–though Jason Segel seems to be putting on the pounds–everyone is so ugly.

It would have been almost entertaining if the meanness and pettiness let up once in a while, but instead, time and time again, we’re hit over the head with it till we can barely stand the unending negativity.

Then it begins again, seemingly with the goal of topping itself.

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‘Bad Teacher’ Trailer

You have to be careful with movies like “Bad Teacher” because the line between funny and bad taste is a very difficult one to straddle without turning off the causal viewer.  If it doesn’t have  at least a little bit of ‘heart,’ if it can’t manage to make you care at least a little bit about the characters, you end up stuck with a bunch of pathetic, and sometimes mean-spirited, people.

No one knows this better than Judd Apatow, who produced films like “Superbad,” “Knocked Up,” “Forgetting Sarah Marshall” and “Funny People” (which he also directed).  Time and time again, he’s managed to invest somewhat unlikable characters with a degree of humanity and humor that makes their plight at least interesting, and often very engaging.

“Bad Teacher” looks like a film that he could have done, yet in this case he has nothing to do with, despite starring Jason Siegel, a staple of Judd Apatow’s productions since Freaks & Geeks.