Thursday, September 20, 2012

5 brilliant movies based on graphic novels/comics

List by Julia, Natalie, Renee, Clint and Danielle

"Don't worry, miss. I've got you."
"You've got me? Who's got you?!"
~ From Superman : the Movie

Ask a bunch of librarians for their favourite graphic novel/comics-inspired movie, and you get some wildly different picks. Some of us are superhero blockbuster fans, some of us go for indie classics, some of us like the action, and some the rich mythology accompanying the iconic characters. When I saw the Avengers (the first time), it made me want to dive into the comics and find out more about the backstory. Libraries are perfect for this - DVDs, comics, anthologies, compilations, animations... your one-stop shop for Comic Book Month!

More movies:

In no particular order, we recommend:

Tank Girl blasts her way through a dazzling array of bizarre adventures, including bounty hunting, delivering colostomy bags to the Australian president, and many more outrageous and mind-warping thrills! (description from vol. 1 of the graphic novel).

We don't have the movie, sadly, but we do have the graphic novels and the soundtrack.

Why: Lori Petty just kicks arse and Naomi Watts was great. Making the villains sing 'Let's fall in love' was awesome :D

As an infant, Superman is sent to earth from the doomed planet Krypton. As he grows up, he learns he has super powers which he must hide from the ordinary mortals around him.  

Why: Because Chris Reeve was so perfect in the role, everyone who played Clark Kent/Superman since references his performance. The two leads had so much chemistry, from their initial 'cute meet': "Don't worry, miss. I've got you." "You've got me? Who's got you!!" to the 'I spent the night with Superman' interview. Iconic John Williams score, epic art direction and cinematography, and one of the coolest opening credit sequences of all time. It was made in 1978, but there's a Hollywood golden age feel to the film, reflecting Superman's 1930s origins.  

Set in the summer after graduation, Enid and Rebecca are both outsiders in a world slowly being engulfed by fake 50's diners and Starbucks. Enid must attend an art class to officially graduate high school as Rebecca gets a job. When the two play a mean joke on a much older, geeky record collector Enid finds a fellow soul and begins to discover the complexities of becoming an adult in the modern world.  

Why: The movie was a great adaptation of the irreverent graphic novel, this had a lot to do with the casting.  Thora Birch portrayed Enid's sardonic wit perfectly, Steve Buscemi was also great as the lonely Seymour who Enid took under her wing and Scarlett Johansson rounded out the group as the least alienated and somewhat frustrated Rebecca. It is a great example of an outsider movie and captured those angsty teenage years which many of us have experienced.

Marvel presents Marvel's The Avengers, the Super Hero team-up of a lifetime. Iconic Marvel Super Heroes Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk, Thor and Caption America assemble for the first time ever in this new action-packed Marvel saga, starring Robert Downey Jr., Scarlett Johansson and Samuel L. Jackson, and directed by Joss Whedon. When an unexpected enemy emerges that threatens global safety and security, Nick Fury, Director of the international peacekeeping agency S.H.I.E.L.D., finds himself needing a team to pull the world back from the brink of disaster. Marvel's The Avengers is packed with action, adventure and spectacular special effects that'll knock your socks off.  

Why: The thing about comics is that each pane has an incredible job to do, and that is to tell a story in one snapshot. Superhero movies are much the same, character development is very hard to do in a movie because the character tends to already have an such a huge depth of history and lore about them, that if you go and change that, you're already failed in your telling. Whedon did this perfectly, relied on the already established lore of the characters (assisted by earlier movies prior to the The Avengers) and set about telling a story of a group of heroes working together to save the planet. Simple premise, and it worked!  

Gotham City faces two monstrous criminal menaces: the bizarre, sinister Penguin and the slinky, mysterious Catwoman. Can Batman battle two formidable foes at once?

Why: Best Catwoman origin scene ever: diabolical Christopher Walken pushes frumpy singleton Michelle Pfeiffer out a window and she goes home to trash her lonely apartment and sew herself a new identity. Burton's colourful, Gothic theatricality is perfect for Gotham, and the rapport between Pfeiffer and Keaton's quirky, doomed, gentlemanly Batman is lovely. Bonus points for the awesome Siouxsie and the Banshees track, 'Face to Face'.

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