Reviews, articles, rants & ramblings on the darker side of the media fringe

Posts tagged “Joel Silver

Watchmen – Joel Silver vs. Zack Snyder

Zack Snyder rebuffs Joel Silver’s assertion that Terry Gilliam would have made a better Watchmen movie.

Silver interviewed on “What he did (Gilliam) was he told the story as-is, but instead of the whole notion of the intergalactic thing which was too hard and too silly, what he did was he maintained that the existence of Doctor Manhattan had changed the whole balance of the world economy, the world political structure. He felt that THAT character really altered the way reality had been. He had the Ozymandias character convince, essentially, the Doctor Manhattan character to go back and stop himself from being created, so there never would be a Doctor Manhattan character. He was the only character with real supernatural powers, he went back and prevented himself from being turned into Doctor Manhattan, and in the vortex that was created after that occurred these characters from “Watchmen” only became characters in a comic book. So the three characters, I think it was Rorschach and Nite Owl and Silk Spectre, they’re all of the sudden in Times Square and there’s a kid reading a comic book. They become like the people in Times Square dressing up like characters as opposed to really BEING those characters. There’s a kid reading the comic book and he’s like, “Hey, you’re just like in my comic book.” It was very smart, it was very articulate, and it really gave a very satisfying resolution to the story, but it just didn’t happen. Lost to time.”

Snyder in The Huffington Post.

Was “Watchmen” the most “damned if you do, damned if you don’t” project you’ve ever been a part of? Now Joel Silver is criticizing you for being a “slave” to the source material while touting a very different from the source material script that Terry Gilliam was going to film.

Zack Snyder: It’s funny, because the biggest knock against the movie is that we finally changed the ending, right?

Right, you used Dr. Manhattan as the threat to bring the world together as opposed to the alien squid.

Zack Snyder: Right, and if you read the Gilliam ending, it’s completely insane.

Deborah Snyder: The fans would have been thinking that they were smoking crack.

Zack Snyder: Yeah, the fans would have stormed the castle on that one. So, honestly, I made “Watchmen” for myself. It’s probably my favorite movie that I’ve made. And I love the graphic novel and I really love everything about the movie. I love the style. I just love the movie and it was a labor of love. And I made it because I knew that the studio would have made the movie anyway and they would have made it crazy. So, finally I made it to save it from the Terry Gilliams of this world.

In Gilliam’s version, Dr. Manhattan is convinced to go back in time and prevent Dr. Manhattan from existing. But the specter of his existence is the threat to the world, which is kind of what you did at the end of the movie anyway.

Zack Snyder: Right, of course. It’s just using elements that are in the comic book already, that’s the only thing I did. I would not have grabbed something from out of the air and said, “Oh, here’s a cool ending” just because it’s cool.

Deborah Snyder: But it’s interesting because, you’re right, it’s damned if you do, damned if you don’t. You have people who are mad that the ending was changed and you have other people saying, “Oh, it was a slave to the graphic novel.” You can’t please everybody.

Zack Snyder: And that’s the problem with genre. That’s the problem with comic book movies and genre. And I believe that we’ve evolved — I believe that the audiences have evolved. I feel like “Watchmen” came out at sort of the height of the snarky Internet fanboy — like, when he had his biggest strength. And I think if that movie came out now — and this is just my opinion — because now that we’ve had “Avengers” and comic book culture is well established, I think people would realize that the movie is a satire. You know, the whole movie is a satire. It’s a genre-busting movie. The graphic novel was written to analyze the graphic novel — and comic books and the Cold War and politics and the place that comic books play in the mythology of pop culture. I guess that’s what I’m getting at with the end of “Watchmen” — in the end, the most important thing with the end was that it tells the story of the graphic novel. The morality tale of the graphic novel is still told exactly as it was told in the graphic novel — I used slightly different devices. The Gilliam version, if you look at it, it has nothing to do with the idea that is the end of the graphic novel. And that’s the thing that I would go, “Well, then don’t do it.” It doesn’t make any sense.

I can’t imagine people being happy with that version.

Zack Snyder: Yeah! If you love the graphic novel, there’s just no way. It would be like if you were doing “Romeo and Juliet” and instead of them waking up in the grave area, they would have time-traveled back in time and none of it would have happened.

Streets of Fire ****

Streets of Fire. A Rock ‘n’ Roll fable. Another time, another place…
In a neon lit, 50’s style, nondescript city, Rock ‘n’ Roll star Ellen Aim (Diane Lane) has come back to perform a concert for her hometown neighbourhood. She is kidnapped off stage by Raven (Willem Dafoe) and his biker gang, The Bombers. Local cafe owner Reva Cody (Deborah Van Valkenburgh) writes a telegram to her brother Tom (Michael Pare) asking him to return home. Before the opening titles are over, Tom has returned and beaten up a gang of 5 guys threatening his sister.

Those first ten minutes set the tone for the rest of the movie. Tom is hired by Ellen’s manager Billy Fish (Rick Moranis) to rescue Ellen. He takes along McCoy (Amy Madigan) and 30 minutes in he’s saved her, in the process of which he manages to beat up most of the Bombers gang and destroy half of their headquarters bar, bringing him to the attention of Raven.

Ridiculously good fun, Streets of Fire was a massive flop upon original release in 1984. Being a fan of Walter Hills movies, I remember seeing it 3 times at my local cinema; it seemed to pull in some decent sized crowds but obviously not enough.

As is typical with most of Walter Hill’s movies, the story is compact, dialogue simple and direct, the music is great and of course the visuals are stunning. The movie is stylish, simplistic and although relies heavily on the 50’s retro look, was ahead of its time in 1984.

MTV owes a huge debt to this movie, the amount of music videos that referenced/paid homage/stole from it are countless. I’m not a fan of the OTT Jim Steinman theatrical song writing made famous by Meatloaf and Bonnie Tyler, but his music works here, and although recorded by Fire Inc., it is performed perfectly by Diane Lane who really looks the part. Well backed up by Hill regular Ry Cooder, whose music is a constant throughout the movie, proving again just how diverse he can be.
The sets are drab and grey during the day scenes and all multi-coloured neon-lit, rain swept streets at night. The other splashes of colour are provided by the musical set-pieces, these are quintessentially 80’s in look, a look that Hill helped usher in with this and his earlier classic ‘The Warriors’. This is all shot beautifully by Andrew Laszlo in his 3rd collaboration with Hill.

The cast are all good although to be fair their roles are somewhat limited. Pare is fine as the monolithic hero, he’s been better in Eddie & The Cruisers and The Philadelphia Experiment although his career never really took off. I always thought he and Michael Biehn would become bigger action stars after this and the first Terminator. Diane Lane is stunning; Amy Madigan and Rick Moranis are good fun and Deborah Van Valkenburgh steals every the scene she’s in.

Highly recommended if you want to see an old fashioned comic-book, action movie; don’t expect any character depth or development, as the movie says in the opening frames, this is a Rock ‘n’ Roll fable; stylish, dumb fun. The Wanderers meets Purple Rain…

Quality: 4 out of 5 stars

Any good: 4 out of 5 stars