As you all know the world of comics has officially bent Hollywood over and made its tender backside it's prison bitch. Inmate after inmate has invaded its most special place and has it begging for more. Well grit your teeth tinsel town because WITCHBLADE the movie is next in line!
It's official peeps, MICHAEL RYMER, the director of the most awesome episodes of BATTLESTAR GALACTICA (including the pilot and this last seasons mind-blowing finale) is on board to direct the feature film version of our favorite supernatural ass-kicking comic book heroine!
I don't know about the rest of you but I think BATTLESTAR GALACTICA is far and away the best show on television and Michael is its best visionary. I've talked to him at length about what the movie could be and this guy just gets it.
Hang on to your asses kids and forget about CAT WOMAN, we're gonna revive the female lead comic genre! Look for a 2009 or 2010 release. let the casting begin!
I've been fortunate in life that I've never experienced the loss of someone close to me. That fortune has changed and the feeling is unlike any I have ever experienced. This past weekend the comic world and the people who knew Michael Turner have been dealt a terrible blow by his passing at age 37.
I had known Mike for more than twelve years and even through ups and downs had loved him like a brother. My respect for him as a talent and more importantly as a man could not have been higher. Mike was quite literally the strongest man I had ever met. And I believe ever will.
Mike had been sick with cancer for almost eight years and the only way one would have known is if someone else told them. He never mentioned it, he never showed it. Ever. Not because he was trying to avoid your pity because he was above that, pity simply never crossed his mind. It was because it was HIS life and he was going to fight for it and live it to its fullest. All the way to the end.
The last time I saw Michael Turner was a year ago at a comic convention. The cancer was putting up a fight and was again trying to do the unthinkable, it was trying take his life. But because of who he was, he was having none of it. I saw him, he saw me, we both smiled genuine smiles. We shook hands, and gave each other a hug the way guys do, with as much respect as love.
A few years ago Mike and I had hit a bump in our relationship that cut us both deeply. We had gotten over it and were cool but when I saw him at the convention I said to him (and myself) that we need to talk some things through just because we should. The way he looked at me and (I'm sure) what he saw in the way I looked at him said; Absolutely, but not because we need to. We were good and we both knew it. Mike was always too focused on living and loving life to dwell on bullshit from the past. That was the essence of who he was and the legacy he will leave.
Michael lived his life the way we all should, as the gift that it is. So in his honor, the next time I bitch about the stupid little things that aggravate, I'll think about the strongest man I ever met and do what he would have done, I will kick the stupid little aggravation out of the way and get on with living.
Michael Turner didn't bitch and moan and complain about the unfair cards that were dealt him. Mike knew how to live life, and we who knew him must honor him by living the same way. He lived with dignity and in the end, he knew how to die the same way.
Websters dictionary defines "wanted" as a desire to possess something. I define WANTED as a movie that will kick your ass so hard you will actually taste the laces on the boot. Webster is a pussy.
WANTED tells the story of everyday cubicle shlub Wesley who finds out he is in fact the son of the worlds greatest killer. When said killer is killed our guy Wes takes on the mantle of super assassin and joins the bad assed world of The Fraternity. Much orgasmic mayhem ensues.
A couple of quick caveats are needed before I get to the meat (and there is a lot of it hanging around in this movie) of the review. First off we (Top Cow) published and share ownership of WANTED with the uber talented creators of the book, Mark Millar and J.G. Jones. And second, I am a credited executive producer on this hot buttered popcorn flick so take from that what you will. But if you think those two facts will in any way color my review well, find something long and hard and sit on it.
For all you comic fans out there who have read and no doubt loved the books, the answer is yes, the movie does veer from the source material. But it does so for all the right reasons because the comic series would be literally impossible to film unfiltered. The "inside gag" of super villians having killed off super heroes had to be jettisoned for the bulk of the audience to accept the core message of the movie. Just explaining that concept would have taken the first hour. The character arc and message that we all "want" a life that matters is intact as is Millars twisted comic sensibilities. The books and the movie both offer an outrageous and entertaining answer to the question: "What if I really did get everything I WANTED?" In the hero Wesley's case its a life of less suck and more meaning. Sound relatable? I thought so.
WANTED the movie absolutely stands on its own. Writers Derek Haas, Michael Brandt, and Chris Morgan nail Mark Millars voice and tone and manage to write a story that stays true to the main theme of empowerment. Again (for you slowwww ones out there) the screenplay veers but both Mark and J.G. love the end result. So do I for that matter. I've seen the finished version twice already with audiences that went wild. An audience going wild is a good thing (unless its an audience of horny gorillas.)
I will of course supply no spoilers but I have to mention that Morgan Freeman delivers one of the best lines you will hear at the multiplex this year. Plus he delivers it as only he can. I think a good way for you to judge if you'll like WANTED is to check the many trailers out there. Tonally this is what the movie is with one addition: People will be surprised at how darkly funny it is. What we have here is an action movie that really just wants to entertain you on all levels. Boom! It does.
One thing (of many) WANTED does well is propel you to a conclusion. Unlike some other movies out there you are constantly treated to the feeling you are on a runaway train thats heading to a satisfying and loud crash. Btw, if you have a train fetish start masturbating now because Timur Bekmambetov delivers train porn like you wouldn't believe. The movie does play with physics which I usually am not a fan of but rest assured, you buy into it from frame one. Just go with it and have fun. Really.
Timur absolutely directs the hell out of this movie with a visual flair that is both artistic and mind-blowingly kinetic. As you watch the film you'll almost see the grin that must have been on his face and he directed one outrageously creative set piece after another. The guy has officially arrived. The great thing is his quirky and unique visual style actually helps the storytelling and doesn't pull you out of the movie. Tough trick to pull off. The cast needs no hype but I have to add my four cents (the dollar sucks now) and say they are pitch perfect in each of their roles.
Angelina redefines both bad ass and hot the second she appears on screen. Jolie is a movie star of such other-worldly beauty and magnetism that just standing there saying nothing will either put a lump in your pants, a wet stain your pants, or make you shit your pants (I think the later happened to the guy sitting behind me at the premier. Ick.)
James McAvoy proves that he is the real deal. He handles the tricky transition of Wesley the puss-boy to Wesley the Jolie-kissing mans man with remarkable ease. Plus he's a nice guy. Morgan Freeman is of course worth the price of admission to any movie he's in. Personally I believe he is the finest actor out there today. The entire cast owns their individual character which is really important in an action movie because so much other stuff is going on. If you can focus on an actor while a car is rolling over and flying through the air, yooz got yerself one-o-them thar movie stars kids.
So to sum up; WANTED is a perfect example of summer action escapism. The action is wild, the pacing is unstoppable, and the overall execution can bring you out of any world class pissy mood you might be in. Go ahead and get into a fight with your significant other, get fucked over by your boss, stub your already ugly toe and then go see this movie. I guarantee you'll forget all that shit. Yes, your toe will still be ugly when Wesley stops killing fuckwads for you but you'll feel better about it.
WANTED is unlike any other comic movie out there which was the point from day one. If you want your heroes a little dirty this is the movie for you. If you don't, go find that long hard object, squat over it, grit your teeth, and sit your loser ass down.