Friday, December 12, 2014

Films I'm looking forward to: Kingsman: The Secret Service (Red Band Trailer)

I'm not 100% sold on this film.

Mostly because of the creator of the comic book the film is based on.

Say what you will about Mark Millar and his work, the guy is a wildly prolific, idea-generating machine. Not to downplay his talent or anything, but a big reason why he's so successful is because his comics are ready made for the movies, each one seems to be built off a shockingly simple, but surprisingly interesting little hook. He's responsible for creating Wanted (the comic was much better than the movie... although it wasn't all that great either really). He was one-half of the team that created the Marvel Ultimate Universe, an umbrella title for a series of relaunched/rebooted classic comics that ended up heavily influencing a large amount of the look, design, and feel of Marvel's current movies. He also wrote the big Civil War crossover mini-series, which is what they're basing the next Captain America film on. He created Superman: Red Son, a comic that asked the question: What if Kal-El had crash landed in Russia during the Cold War? He made one called Superior, that was about a crippled boy who is offered the power of a Superman-like hero by the Devil, but at the cost of his soul, and another called Nemesis that was basically: What if Batman was a super villain? He also created the comic book called Kick-Ass, which was nominally about: What is real-life people tried to be superheroes?

I wasn't a fan of some of those, the last two especially, they were especially gross and offensive, and that's the problem with some of Mark Millar's work. You can look up the details, if you want. I mean, he's not as bad as Garth Ennis, of course, but in a nutshell, his work can often make him seem like a huge fucking douchebag. Enough of one that I stopped buying his work for awhile.

But then here's the other thing... sometimes he seems completely cool. 

He wrote some of the Authority, a comic which not only changed a lot of how comics are presented, but featured the first gay superhero couple, and they were treated as having a normal, healthy relationship. Granted, the ideas and initial 12 first issues were all by Warren Ellis--who is amazing--but still... Millar did a good job on that book. He also wrote a comic called Supercrooks, an Ocean's Eleven-like super-villain heist story which was not only pretty fun, but also surprisingly positive. He wrote Old Man Logan, an Unforgiven meets Mad Max dystopian-alternate-future type Marvel book, which is easily my own personal favorite Wolverine story, and would make a great movie... but that will never happen. He also just finished a comic called Starlight that is about an old man who used to be a Buck Rogers type of hero, but when he got home, no one--including his own kids--believed him. Everyone considered him a joke. And then one day, that far off planet he once saved contacts him again. They need him to come back. They need a hero again. They need him. It's a fun and positive swashbuckling tale about a hero. 

See, these were all great books. They were smart and creative and not asshole-y. These books make me want to be a fan. Sometimes it's almost like he's two different people. 

Currently, he's working on MPH, about a quartet of small-time hoods that find a bottle of pills that give them super speed. It's... eh... it sometimes falls uncomfortably close to using offensive racial stereotypes. I'm not that into it, but I can totally see it becoming a movie. He's also--slowly--putting out one called Jupiter's Legacy, an alternate world tale where superheros appeared and changed the course of the world Post-WW2. However, years later, with no villains or wars left, their super-powered children grow up as Celebutantes, dumb, mean, indolent, and eventually, murderously jealous of their own parents. It's really slow to come out for various reasons, but still... it's just great. I love this book, it's imaginative and cool, and the fact that it's drawn by Frank Quitely certainly helps. I wish it would come out more often.

And that's how it is with Millar... depending on the book, you can either love his stuff, or think he's a complete fucking douchbag ass wipe. There's no in between.

But anyway, as I was saying,,, 

Mark Millar is a big-time friend of Hollywood, because half his books are ready-made Elevator Pitches that end up making good money, which causes the rest of his books to be snatched up and developed into films.

Like this book here: Secret Service

Secret Service is now a film by Matthew Vaughn called Kingsman: The Secret Service. Vaughn directed X-Men: First Class, so to me, that's a plus. On the other hand, I never finished Secret Service the comic. I think I only bought one issue. It didn't grab me. It's your basic spy thriller thing, very heavy on the classic Bond tropes, and all about a super secret agent that recruits his young fuck-up of a nephew into... well... The Secret Service obviously. I didn't like the first trailers, but then this red band one turned out to be much more fun, so... here we are. 

Just fyi, there's some swearing in this one, if you're the sensitive type. Not that this should surprise you, it is a red band trailer, after all. 

Okay! Let's watch...

Not bad. It looks like it might be fun. Maybe. It seems a lot like Kick-Ass, doesn't it? Tone-wise? I didn't watch the second Kick-Ass, I heard it was shit, but the first was fun. Kind of. You know what actually concerns me? See the tag on the poster I included at the top? "This Fall" it says... Oops. Missed that date, huh? That means the film was pushed back. Why was it pushed back? I have no idea, but it's usually NOT because the film is righteously fucking awesome, know what I mean?

We shall see,

I do like their symbol...

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