Merry X-mas … the Spirit sucks.

25Dec08

Happy holidays, everyone! 🙂

As a lot of you know, The Spirit releases in theaters today. Now, even though I did the cosplay, I really have no interest in seeing the movie except that I’m a comic book fan, and I just should. So I’ll probably rent it (or better yet, find it hosted for free online), but no way am I spending my money on a movie ticket. Rotten Tomatoes currently pegs it at 16% (holy shit, ouch), and I’ve heard nothing but terrible things about the film. Only one critic called it great, and even then he/she went overboard—calling the movie “one of the best films of the year!” Curiously, however, that critic remains anonymous—in other words, he’s probably weeping in shame in some hole about now.

But this one takes the cake … or rather, the award for the Best Friggin’ Insult Ever—involving cardboard (which only makes it more awesome).

Pulitzer Prize winning film critic Roger Ebert on Frank Miller’s The Spirit:

The Spirit is mannered to the point of madness. There is not a trace of human emotion in it. To call the characters cardboard is to insult a useful packing material.”

That’s absolutely hilarious. (And OUCH!) I’m pretty sure it’s safe to say that The Spirit is terrible.

“Somebody get me a tie … and it sure as hell better be red!”

Also, I just have to share this. Apparently Frank Miller saw my fucking cosplay. Becky Young, the head of the Girls Entertainment Network where I write, sent me this snippet of a conversation:

Hagan: so my roommate was the visual effects coordinator on the spirit movie
Becky: oh sweet
Hagan: and he showed this: http://www.girlsentertainmentnetwork.com/a-little-holiday-spirit/ to Frank Miller
Becky: No he didn’t
Hagan: who thought it was funny
Becky: …..
WOW!!! 🙂

Wow indeed! Holy shit! And according to one of my professors …

That is pretty sweet!  Frank Miller knows you now—you are officially famous.

To wit:

Stephanie Carmichael to Frank Miller (cosplay)
Frank Miller to Clive Owen (Sin City)
Clive Owen to Jennifer Aniston (Derailed)
Jennifer Aniston to Kevin Bacon (Picture Perfect)

So you are only four jumps from Kevin Bacon!!!!

How cool is it when you can play the “Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon” game with yourself? 😛

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15 Responses to “Merry X-mas … the Spirit sucks.”

  1. yes, i agree with u, this movie’s totally sucks!

  2. 2 Stephen Ely

    It would be wise to actually see The Spirit for yourself before declaring it “sucks,” instead of allowing Roger Ebert to make up your mind for you.

    The critic that called The Spirit “one of the best films of the year!” is not anonymous and weeping in shame in some hole, his name is Scott Hoffman and he writes movie reviews for moviepicturefilm.com. Here’s the link to his review of The Spirit –

    http://www.moviepicturefilm.com/film.php?itemid=2048

    There are also many other positive reviews for The Spirit that are not on Rotten Tomatoes.

    Here’s another one:

    http://www.filmcritic.com/misc/emporium.nsf/reviews/The-Spirit

    Another:

    http://www.kansascity.com/710/story/948747.html

    And another:

    http://www.moviejungle.com/headlines/templates/templatemjnews3.aspx?articleid=1201&zoneid=1

    And another:

    http://www.miamiherald.com/entertainment/movies/news/story/824526.html

    And another:

    http://www.mania.com/review-2-spirit_article_111976.html

    And another:

    http://movieblog.ugo.com/index.php/movieblog/more/the_spirit_review/

    Roger Ebert said “The movie is all style — style without substance.” That is exactly what I thought Roger Ebert would say. He said the same thing about Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner in 1982 (””Blade Runner” is a stunningly interesting visual achievement, but a failure as a story”), and Clint Eastwood’s Unforgiven in 1992 (he later said “I changed my mind on Unforgiven; I wasn’t thinking very well when I reviewed that.”), and Tim Burton’s Batman Returns. Three of my favorite movies. Roger Ebert’s reviews often suck.

  3. 3 rob

    lol it was such a crappy movie

    my gf and i wasted 20$.

  4. @Stephen

    Well, of course, that’s usually what I do. You’re totally right about that. But usually, if an opinion is overwhelming … that’s a big indicator to quality, wouldn’t you say? That doesn’t mean someone can’t like something, but still.

    So I know there are bad reviews of the movie, and I know there are good reviews—but popular vote usually says a lot about something. (For example, the popular vote on this comment section has you down 3:1). I don’t let others make up my mind for me—I review things originally, so that should tell you something. But you have to respect majority opinion.

    For instance, I really didn’t enjoy the two comic book winners for this year’s Pilot Season from Top Cow Comics. But they ended up winning. The two books I disliked the most! And I reviewed all of them as they came in. But hey, evidently (although the vote was close!) most readers thought they were great, so who am I to argue with that? I can’t say they suck if more people like them than dislike them. Now, that doesn’t mean I agree, but … 😉

    There are people who didn’t enjoy The Dark Knight—I don’t get why they didn’t, but hey, they don’t have to like it just to appease everybody else. But most people—results show—did.

    PS: And it wasn’t just one guy’s opinion I took into consideration, you know. It was Rotten Tomatoes and a BUNCH of opinions by people who both screened the movie before it was released, and, obviously, by people who have seen it now. While I encourage others to think for themselves, that doesn’t mean that just because most people think one way, that someone can’t agree with them—or that they’re wrong. Of course, like you said, I need to see the movie. I know that. But from what I’ve already seen, I honestly think I’ll agree with the masses on this one.

    It’s important to view a broad range of opinion, so thanks for sending me the positive reviews on top of the negative ones I’ve read. But just as a side note, you should respect everyone’s opinions—and not say that they suck. It seems to me like you’re denying everyone’s liberty of opinion—denying that there are lots of bad reviews of the movie, and instead bolstering your own idea that the movie rocks by insulting those who called it bad. Like I said, you don’t have to agree with them, but don’t resort to low measure to prove you’re right. You can’t prove you’re right when it comes to opinions. Popular vote can say a lot to support something, but it doesn’t mean you’re wrong for disagreeing with it. After all, a lot of people used to think the world was flat. (On the other hand, that deals with factual evidence, not opinion … and now most people know the world isn’t 2D. Take that as you will.)

    (And Ebert is Award-winning, I heard. FYI. But I’ll let you all know what I think of the film once I’ve seen it.)

  5. I found this interesting. It came from the FilmCritic.com review that Stephen posted—a positive review of the movie:

    “It’s been too long since we’ve had a proper comic book superhero on the screen. There’s been enough of them running around and bashing up the bad guys in a CGI-enhanced fashion, that’s for sure. But it’s hard to look at the recent cinematic incarnations of Tony Stark and Bruce Wayne and call them “superheroes;” even if they keep their identities secret and have nifty outfits. “Billionaire action figures” would be more appropriate, what with all their high-priced gadgetry and super-duper hideouts. Whatever happened to the caped heroes who kept an eye on the city’s dark alleys and took out the bad guys with nothing more than a sock to the jaw?”

    I don’t trust this reviewer. If he really knew the comics Iron Man and Batman are based on, and the characters—he’d know that just because they’re billionaire playboys doesn’t mean they’re not superheroes with heart. And last time I checked, Batman wore a cape and did his crime-fighting at night … in Gotham’s dark alleys … taking out bad guys with nothing more than a sock to the jaw. But maybe that’s just me. 😉

  6. 6 Stephen Ely

    The reviewer from FilmCritic.com isn’t saying Batman and Iron Man are not superheroes with heart. He’s referring to all the high-tech toys they have in [i]The Dark Knight[/i] and [i]Iron Man[/i] how in [i]The Spirit[/i] the hero has no fancy high-tech toys or armored suits and takes out the bad guys with nothing more than a sock to the jaw, which is refreshingly different, primal, and old school, which I really dig.

  7. In a sense, though, he is. In calling them “billionaire action figures” who don’t seem worthy of the title “superheroes” (essentially those who do good deeds because they have taken it upon themselves to dedicate their lives to helping others and ensuring justice), the reviewer is commenting on a little more than simply the tools and tactics these characters use.

  8. 8 Stephen Ely

    Well, of course, that’s usually what I do. You’re totally right about that. But usually, if an opinion is overwhelming … that’s a big indicator to quality, wouldn’t you say?”

    You are a creature of free will, if it’s good or bad is for you to determine for yourself, by watching it yourself. Art is subjective. A matter of preference. Whether or not somethings good art or bad is subjective (is it aesthetically pleasing to you, etc.). An individual is free to make up his or her own mind; opinions are subjective ideas held by individuals. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and aesthetic judgments are subjective. Many people allow others criticisms make a decision for them, take that criticism to heart and if they do actually go and see it, do very little but play back the criticisms in their head and look for any negatives in the movie to reinforce an already established preconception on the movie. Then (having seen it or not) decide that the movie sucks. Then, since they’ve decided the movie sucked (in this case, weeks before it even came out), they figure it would be a service to fellow movie goers to spread the negativity, and henceforth, if they know it or not, attempt to create negative preconceptions in anyone who will even half heartedly listen to them. I view it plainly as allowing others to make up your mind for you.

    Everyone is entitled to their opinion and I am not denying there are negative reviews for The Spirit. What I’m doing is disagreeing with those reviews. Of course I favor the reviews that I agree with. And popular opinions change over time. Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner was a box-office financial failure in 1982, and it received negative reviews from film critics at the time. Many people didn’t accept it because they wanted something like Star Wars and Indiana Jones (now it’s The Dark Knight and Iron Man). Today it’s a cult classic, accepted for what it is and popular opinion on it is now positive.

    “Of course, like you said, I need to see the movie. I know that.”

    Good. Give it a chance and you might end up enjoying it after all.

    I really liked your cosplay.

  9. 9 Stephen Ely

    I think that reviewers “billionaire action figures” comment is just a reference to all their action figure-like accessories in The Dark Knight and Iron Man films.

  10. No, I completely disagree. I think it’s pretty much impossible—unless you live under a rock—in our day and age to avoid movie reviews of some kind. Movie commercials will always tell you they’re good, and everyone else—media, written reviews, word of mouth—will either tell you a movie is good or bad or somewhere in between. We are all influenced by others’ perspectives; what separates educated individuals from the rest of society is the ability to take in other people’s opinions as well as form your own. This is an essential part of everyday life, for most of us.

    I would actually be offended if someone read this post and just accepted my judgment—and I know I haven’t seen the film yet—as “true.” I want people to form their own opinions—everyone has a right to them, and usually the point of something like a blog (for both commentors and writers) is to express them, or at least report them (as in this case, where both you and I gave a list of good and bad reviews, respectively).

    Also, I’ve already stated that I plan on seeing the movie—but based on reviews I’m not willing to pay the movie ticket price. People use this tactic every day—like with shopping around for the best prices and ratings of a product, for example. As a side note, I did watch the Spirit trailers on my own and I wasn’t too impressed; that, as an objective source, has also influenced my lack of desire to see the film. However, I understand that trailers aren’t perfect, and definitely cannot speak for a film’s ultimate quality.

    When I do see the movie, I’ll let you all know what I think of it—my own honest opinion. I pride myself on my reviews, which are 100% untainted, my own work and thoughts. I don’t care whether every other review I find says something is good or bad—I express what I really think when I actually do reviews, because I know that somewhere out there there is someone who agrees with me on some level, but hasn’t had someone else voice it. But even if I was the only person on the planet who liked or didn’t like something … I would still be honest in my review. This post wasn’t a review. I hope you understand that. It was just a statement based on what various articles had in common. That’s all! People can take away from it as they will.

    Lol, thanks for the cosplay comment. Glad you enjoyed. 🙂

  11. I shot coffee outta my nose when I read, “To call the characters cardboard is to insult a useful packing material.” LOL< that’s total genius!!

  12. 12 Stephen Ely

    I never avoid movie reviews. I read them to see what others think, to see if they share my views or not, and I never allow them to influence my judgment because I am an extremely opinionated individual.

    “I pride myself on my reviews, which are 100% untainted, my own work and thoughts. I don’t care whether every other review I find says something is good or bad—I express what I really think when I actually do reviews, because I know that somewhere out there there is someone who agrees with me on some level, but hasn’t had someone else voice it. But even if I was the only person on the planet who liked or didn’t like something … I would still be honest in my review.”

    And I respect that. Cheers.

  13. @ Stephen,
    I understand that Stephanie might have jumped the gun by saying The Spirit sucks without seeing it but it really doesn’t matter becuase the general consensus in the film and comics community has been saying the same thing ever since Frank previewed footage at Comic Con. Now at Comic Con fans tend to get too excited about things and overrate any exclusive tidbits they get treated to. The fact that they hated something say a lot.

    I also agree that reviews are often way off, at least when compared to my personal feelings, but The Spirit is being hated by Comic geeks in masses, its core fanbase can’t stand it. After coming in at 9th place this weekend it seems the general public has no taste for it either. In conclusion, I’ll suggest it is safe to say “the Spirit sucks” as it has been rejected by critics, fans, and average movie-goers.

    And Steph, I’m sorry I wasn’t able to get that review. Everyone who was supposed to go see The Spirit with me backed out when they heard about its negative reception and I’ve been kinda sick so I just decided to call it off. Sorry, I didn’t mean to let you down but maybe I can make it up. Besides, I don’t think I would have been able to say much without bashing the movie, not exactly what I would call good insightful reading.

  14. Thanks for the backup, Steve. 🙂

    Hahaha, no worries! 😛 I totally understand why. I just felt someone should see it (because no one at GEN who handles comics was going to, as far as I know), and since you said you might, I thought it would be a great opportunity for both you (GEN gets lots of hits, so that’s lots of hits for your blog, too, trust me) and GEN (guest reviewers are always nice). Definitely let me know if, in the future, you want to review something, and we’ll get you hooked up. You write awesome reviews, man!

  15. Yeah I would love an opportunity to give y’all a review as a guest writer.
    Thanks again for the offer. 🙂


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