Wednesday, October 26, 2016


"Fan film"

It's the AV Club of fandom, a place people gravitate towards out of love, but often get stuck due to their obsessions and fears. It's an endeavor that could maybe catapult a person to real work, or perhaps more likely, it can dead-end quickly, by bogging themselves down in minutiae and pointless headcanon. I'm usually not that interested in this particular dark corner of fandom, but a few recent up-roars and conversations have made me curious, so I've set aside my usual out-of-hand dismissal, and I've sought out some examples, just to see what's what.

And now I'm sharing my finds with you, you lucky ducks.

HAWKEYE was a Marvel comic written by Matt Fraction, and drawn by David Aja. I've mentioned it a time or two or three before now. The synopsis was simple: Clint Barton is the greatest Archer in the World. He's the Avenger known as Hawkeye. He has helped to save the world multiple times over. This is what he does on his day off.  It was an arty comic. It was a funny comic. It was an honest comic. It was a comic about responsibility, loyalty, and being a hero. It's a comic that pushed boundaries in the ways the stories were told through both the words and the pictures.

It is, above all, a deceptively simple comic.

Which is why a fanfilm version seems like one of the worst ideas ever. It will be very easy to fall back on some broad beats and iconic looks, all while missing the thematic thread entirely, which means it will be very easy for whomever it is that's making this thing to fuck it up.

Which I expect they will.

Here's the Fan Film's Synopsis: Hawkeye (Clint Barton) has the day off and he just wants to waste the day messing with unimportant tasks around his apartment. That is until Hawkeye (Kate Bishop) shows up to drag him off to something he doesn’t want to do.

All right then. Here we go... Fingers crossed.

Yeah, so that was about what I expected.

This film isn't bad so much as it reminds me of the time post Reservior Dogs when every wannbe writer out there (including yours truly) was writing faux-Tarantino dialogue. It was all overly in love with itself, and completely dragged for everyone but the author.

That's this.

This film is basically nothing but a greatest hits. It's a "tropes of Hawkeye" tour. It's like a grocery list of "things they've done in the comic". It's nothing but a big "Hey, remember this?" inside joke for fans, but made in such a way that it's not something most fans would actually like. And that's not even getting to the fact that the film has no story. Yes, the comic will often seem meandering, and focused on inconsequential moments, but those moments then circle back around to have a larger point. That's what makes it a good comic. This was just... trying too hard, but didn't seem to understand what it was aiming for. I will say that the actors weren't bad. Also, it definitely looked good, even though the Pizza Dog POV totally failed. Here's a question though, how come every short film out there that features a bow and arrow always seems to be using a toy bow?

Two Nitpicks:
1. Hawkeye is your typical down-on-his-luck schlub, right? However, despite this, he's also uber-competent. That's how it is that he is able to survive in the Avengers' superhero battles as the bow and arrow guy. He would've made that ricochet shot.

2. Hawkeye wears purple converse. It's in pretty much every issue, bro.

Missed the target,

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