Saturday, 12 February 2011

Of Eliza Dushku, sewage and super-heroes.

Eliza Dushku
By Toglenn (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 or GFDL], 
via Wikimedia Commons.
Reader, before you read this post, can you guess why Buffy the Vampire 
Slayer's Eliza Dushku is appearing in a comics blog?
As I picnic in the Elysian fields of Blackburn Meadows sewage works, people often say to me, "Steve, what's your favourite super-hero movie of all time?"

And I say to them, "Why are you on a sewage farm?"

And they say to me, "I work here. Why are you on a sewage farm?"

And I say, "Because I'm Gragsloo, unstoppable fiend from the slurry, that threatens all mankind."

At which point they defeat me with a simple but ingenious trick before turning to an audience that isn't there and explaining how they did it, while giving a warning that although Gragsloo was defeated this time, mankind must be always-vigilant in case such monsters should ever rise once more.

Still, all this being defeated at least gives me time to think about what's my favourite super-hero movie.

There're super-hero movies that're so bad they become hypnotic, like Halle Berry's Catwoman, or Ghost Rider in which Nicolas Cage's hair and teeth seem to be twenty years younger than the rest of him and, unlike Nicolas Cage, have a life all their own.

Then there're ones that seem to have no point to their existence, like The Phantom and the eight million different Punisher movies.

There are of course the vast bulk of such films, that're just mediocre, like the Fantastic Four or Daredevil.

The first couple of Christopher Reeve Superman movies were OK but in all honesty, for me, weren't as enjoyable as the first season of Lois and Clark.

Apart from the Adam West movie, the Batman films have never done it for me. I'm just not sure I'm interested enough in Batman as a character to be gripped by his adventures.

Nope. When you get down to it, the only super-hero films I can think of that I've really enjoyed have been the X-Men movies and the first two Spider-Mans. Unlike most people, I liked X-Men 3 as much as its predecessors.

But I can't get round it. The first two Spider-Man films are my favourite super-hero flicks of all time, with Spider-Man 2 standing triumphant at the pinnacle.

There're those who'll argue Tobey Maguire and Kirsten Dunst were miscast, and it's true that they really weren't the Peter Parker and Mary Jane Watson I grew up with - I've always seen Dunst's Bring It On co-star Eliza Dushku as more the Mary Jane type - but Dunst and Maguire were perfectly suited to playing the characters as they were written in the movie. I also know a lot of people feel Spider-Man 2 sags like a failed soufflé, in the section when Spidey loses his powers but that's my favourite part of the movie.

For me, Spider-Man 2 took everything that worked in the first film and built on it while dumping the stuff that didn't work (like hiding the villain's face behind an immobile plastic mask). It should also be praised for making Dr Octopus seem genuinely threatening. Something he rarely managed to be in the comics after his first appearance.

So, despite my death at the hands of an ordinary citizen who talks to himself, that's my venture into film review done. Now I have to get back to my sewage. For, as long as humanity is foolish enough to dump his waste in such places, there is always the chance that Gragsloo might yet rise again to menace mankind.

No comments: