Brad Bird The Spirit
We all remember Frank Miller‘s adaptation of Will Eisner‘s The Spirit, or maybe we’re trying to forget it. That wasn’t the first time Hollywood attempted to bring the comic book classic to the big screen. One of the previous attempts was to turn the story into an animated movie, with a young director named Brad Bird creating a fake pitch trailer to try to sell the feature. This was of course before Bird went on to direct The Iron Giant, The Incredibles or Ratatouille. He was a young filmmaker just out of Cal Arts.

Find out the Brad Bird The Spirit adaptation story, see some concept art and even read a letter Bird supposedly wrote to pitch the project to Steven Spielberg.

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This Week in DVD: The Reader, The Spirit, and More

This Week in DVD is a column that compiles all the latest info regarding new DVD releases, sales, and exclusive deals from stores including Target, Best Buy and Fry’s.

Please don’t take the commentary on the movies and TV shows too seriously, as they’re meant not to be reviews but rather previews that include the general thoughts and ramblings of a twice-committed DVD addict. The categories represent solely the author’s intentions towards the DVDs at hand, and are in no way meant to be a reflection on what he thinks other people should rent or buy. So if he ends up putting a movie you like in the “Skip it” section without having seen it, please keep in mind that the time you could spend leaving a spiteful but ultimately futile comment could instead be used for more pleasant things in life. Like buying DVDs.

Rent It

For some, The Reader is a gripping tale of morality anchored by its excellent performances. For others, it’s nothing more than that one Oscar-bait Holocaust movie that somehow earned itself a Best Picture nomination despite its middling reviews and lackluster response. As for me, I know it simply as the movie that fulfilled the Kate Winslet Oscar prophecy. Those who watch Extras will know what I’m referring to, but for those who don’t

Andy: I’d just like to say you doing this is so commendable. You know, using your profile to keep the message alive about the Holocaust.
Kate Winslet: My God I’m not doing it for that. I mean, I don’t think we need another film about the Holocaust, do we? It’s like, how many have there been? No, we get it, it was grim, move on. No, I’m doing this because I’ve noticed that if you do a film about the Holocaust, guaranteed an Oscar. I’ve been nominated four times. Never won. The whole world is going, ‘Why hasn’t Winslet won one?’ …’Schindler’s List.’ ‘The Piano.’ Oscars coming out their arse.

Well said, Kate. Well said.
Blu-ray? Will be available next Tuesday (April 28).
Notable Extras: Deleted scenes, and 5 featurettes (“Adapting A Timeless Masterpiece: Making The Reader”, “A Conversation with David Kross And Stephen Daldry”, “Kate Winslet On The Art Of Aging Hanna Schmitz”, “A New Voice: A Look At Composer Nico Muhly”, “Coming To Grips With The Past: Production Designer Brigitte Broch”).

Target Best Buy Fry’s
$16.99 $19.99 N/A
Amazon – $16.99

What? Get Miss Potter for $5 when you buy The Reader.
Where? Best Buy.

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South Park Takes on Watchmen and The Dark Knight

Last night’s episode of South Park took aim at Watchmen, The Dark Knight, The Spirit and the new trend in Hollywood to produce darker superhero movies. Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns even makes a cameo. Watch a clip above or the full episode on

Our friends at Total Film sent over this mock “For Your Consideration” trailer advertising Frank Miller’s The Spirit for The Razzie’s Worst Movie of the Year Award.

Roger Ebert Bitchslaps The Spirit

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.”

Read the full review on

/Film reader Koorck sends over the below new television advertisement for Frank Miller’s The Spirit, which includes a quote calling it “one of the best films of the year!” But wait? The early reviews pegged Frank Miller’s comic book movie adaptation as somewhere between the worst movie of all time, or one of the worst films of the year. Even the slightly positive reviews say things like ” entertaining, if forgettable” and “the film has no story to speak of and the tone is all over the place”.

What respectable film critic would make the claim that the movie is one of 2008’s best? Earl Dittman? Nope… Our over enthusiastic friend over at — Alex Billington? Nope, we have confirmed that he hasn’t even been shown the film yet. The small type at the bottom of the screen reads: Scott Hoffman Really interested to find out why Hoffman believes the film is so incredible, I’ve tried searching the MoviePictureFilm website for his review, but came up empty handed. I did however find his review from last year calling Southland Tales “one of the best movies of 2007”.

The first movie reviews of Frank Miller‘s adaptation of Will Eisner’s The Spirit have begun to hit the interwebs, and it doesn’t look good.

Variety: “Frank Miller’s solo writing-directing debut plunges into a watery grave early on and spends roughly the next 100 minutes gasping for air. Pushing well past the point of self-parody” … “There’s a lot going on here, but none of it sticks — not the shopworn plotting nor the arch, stilted dialogue. The actors often seem to be delivering their lines in ironic quote marks, suggesting a straight-faced sendup of noir and comicbook conventions that, whatever the intended effect, falls mostly flat.”

AICN: “I’ve seen something that has taken the top prize from “Battlefield Earth.” … “Okay, Mr. Miller. Let’s get it on.” … “Seriously, it’s not. You clearly don’t have any idea what you’re doing. Someone, ANYONE, over at Lionsgate should have known this. Fuck, it’s their JOB to know this. But they didn’t.” … “Folks, this movie is that bad. I heartily recommend it if you have a strong stomach and an even stronger sense of Bad-Movie-Love. Otherwise, steer clear.”

Unique Geek: “The Spirit starts off crazy when we expect serious, then tries to pull it back in, then goes for weird juvenile sight gags then tries to be tough, and we’re disoriented.  Theres also a pathlogical fascination with a prop photocopy of Mendes’ rump.  If you took a shot every time the camera cuts to it, you would be wasted by the third act, and maybe “wasted” is the right word to end with here.  There’s a lot of work and opportunity that went by the wayside here, a lot of talented people and some great source material that never quite gels.  The parts that look good, look good, but maybe next time, they’ll hire a fox to put it all together.”

Newsarama: “The Spirit does a precarious balancing act juxtaposing great moments and terrible ones, leaving audiences likely be split over which makes the greater impression.” … “The mosh of comedic banter and noir-ish drama worked well for the most part, but ultimately, those aforementioned moments of potential that flash and peek out now and again are too far and few between to save The Spirit from being a disappointment..”

The Origin of The Spirit

Lionsgate has released a new featurette for Frank Miller‘s big screen adaptation of Will Eisner’s The Spirit. In “The Origin of The Spirit”, Frank Miller explains where the character came from, the historical significance of Will Eisner and how he became involved with the film adaptation.

[flv: 470 196]

You can watch the clip in higher resolution on Yahoo Movies.

Frank Miller’s The Spirit Movie Trailer #2

Lionsgate has released a new trailer for Frank Miller‘s The Spirit. I’m really not sure what to make of this movie. Some of the shots and sequences look incredibly cool, while others look like a bunch of actors dressed up on some green screen soundstage. You have the promise of sexy women, but a PG-13 rating, with a strong bit zany Looney Toons extract. Watch the trailer below, and tell me what you think in the comments!

Official Plot Synopsis: Adapted from the legendary comic strip, THE SPIRIT is a classic action-adventure-romance told by genre-twister FRANK MILLER (creator of 300 and SIN CITY). It is the story of a former rookie cop who returns mysteriously from the dead as the Spirit (Gabriel Macht) to fight crime from the shadows of Central City. His arch-enemy, the OCTOPUS (Samuel L. Jackson) has a different mission: he’s going to wipe out Spirit’s beloved city as he pursues his own version of immortality. The Spirit tracks this cold-hearted killer from Central City’s rundown warehouses, to the damp catacombs, to the windswept waterfront … all the while facing a bevy of beautiful women who either want to seduce, love or kill our masked crusader. Surrounding him at every turn are ELLEN DOLAN (Sarah Paulson), the whip-smart girl-next-door; SILKEN FLOSS (Scarlett Johansson), a punk secretary and frigid vixen; PLASTER OF PARIS (Paz Vega), a murderous French nightclub dancer; LORELEI (Jaime King), a phantom siren; and MORGENSTERN (Stana Katic), a sexy young cop.

Then of course, there’s SAND SAREF (Eva Mendes), the jewel thief with dangerous curves. She’s the love of his life turned bad. Will he save her or will she kill him?

In the vein of BATMAN BEGINS and SIN CITY, THE SPIRIT takes us on a sinister, gut-wrenching ride with a hero who is born, murdered and born again.

The Spirit hits theaters on Christmas Day, 2008.

Cool Posts From Around the Web:

New Posters: Frank Miller’s The Spirit

UGO has two new posters for Frank Miller’s The Spirit. It’s amazing how well the marketing department at Lionsgate has been able to promote this movie. You would have no indication from any of the production photos, posters or trailers, that the film is nearly as horrible as the clips presented at Comic Con.