Like Bloody Gangbusters: “Kick-Ass,” The Graphic Novel

Cover of "Kick-Ass"

Cover of Kick-Ass

I happened to read the second volume of Kick-Ass (titled Prelude: Hit Girl) before reading the first volume, but it hardly mattered.  I was not at all confused by either volume, especially after seeing the movies, although I found myself surprised that the well-liked first flick wasn’t terribly faithful to Mark Millar‘s graphic novel.  (But it was faithful enough.)

The story in Kick-Ass, like the artwork, holds my attention, and even more pleasing are the sometimes funny details.  As usual, that John Romita Jr.-Tom Palmer-Dean White artwork is hideously bloody, and Millar’s dialogue, etc. is not only anti-liberal but stunningly and aggressively so.  A few feminists have probably considered the book sexist, which it isn’t; but, oh, is it ever politically incorrect!

Overwhelmingly rowdy too.  I had a good time with it.

 

Anything But Woody Allen? “Anything Else”

Cover of "Anything Else"

Cover of Anything Else

Re Anything Else (2003):

Apparently Woody Allen believes in themes, but don’t let that fool you.  Thematically this caustic, frequently funny, slightly absurdist movie goes almost nowhere.

Amiable Jerry (Jason Biggs), a comedy writer, falls for the unremittingly selfish Amanda (Christina Ricci) and is mentored by an atheistic crank acted by Allen himself.  I didn’t buy an iota of it.  In addition, there is a great deal of talk and much of it irritating, from Jerry’s fawning babbling to Amanda during their first encounter to Amanda’s remark about the “nihilistic pessimism” in the plays of Sartre and O’Neill.  Allen does not do slight absurdism well.  He’s too caught up in his own solipsism.

King Arthur And Stuff: The ’81 “Excalibur”

Cover of "Excalibur"

Cover of Excalibur

A man of limited taste, director of Deliverance and Hope and Glory, John Boorman released in 1981 a King Arthur movie, Excalibur.  Much of the acting, when it isn’t indifferent (Helen Mirren as Morgana, Paul Geoffrey as Perceval), is loud and showy (Nigel Terry as Arthur).  Withal, the film is cheap and exaggerated, with second-rate music.

The scenery is ravishing, however, and there are delicious medieval-fantasy costumes and set design.  As well, Excalibur can be intriguing:  Nicol Williamson plays Merlin, an amazing magician in Christian England, a man whose day is passing along with the old gods (or simply the dark arts?)  But I wish Boorman’s film had something to say; frankly I would rather see Robert Bresson’s Lancelot du Lac, weak as it is.

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