Friday, August 01, 2008

Angelina Jolie drives a Lada

Yes, she does. At least in the movie 'Wanted' which I went to see with mixed feelings.
I'm an old-fashioned guy, so I didn't know if the violence and brutality was going to be over the top. I can tell you right now: it was, sometimes, and I certainly didn't appreciate the furry animals, but the fact is, the brutality was offset by the visual excitement.
I'm not going to tell you what Angelina Jolie did with her Lada - you probably saw the trailers with her doing tricks with a Dodge Viper, but not the Lada chase - so I don't want to spoil your enjoyment.
The movie actually reminded me of Guy Ritchie's 'Snatch.' Violence, swear words, brutality, thuggishness you only want to see in films, but also visual flair. The bullets, the jumps, the cars, the train. This movie rocks and you want to know why?
Two words: graphic novel. Hollywood has fallen in love with cartoons, animation, manga, and the graphic novel. And that means we get too many of those movies, with only a small minority worth watching.
I'm an old-fashioned guy - I already told you - so I grew up with the adventures of Tintin, the Belgian journalist traveling around the world with his coterie of weird friends and his cute doggie. Then there were Asterix and Obelix, the Gaul villagers who singlehandedly defended their home against the armies of Julius Caesar while also traveling around the world, including a visit to the Olympics in Greece. Then there was Alex, the young kid living in the Antiquity, dealing with Romans, Greeks, Egyptians.
All pretty civilized stuff, often funny, but always enriching. So now we're in 2008. Graphic novels are known for their darkness, ominousness - is that a word? - violence, brutality, and sometimes cruelty and misogyny verging on pornography. The graphic novel version of 'Wanted' is a lot more violent and crude than what director Timur Bukmambetov put on the screen. But that's because they're written and drawn for adults, not for the children who read Tintin, Asterix and Alex. I hope they still do, anyway.
The fire and brimstone of 'Wanted' has had one result. I bought myself an expensive copy of 'Webcomics' by Steven Withrow and John Barber. You can look it up on Amazon or other sites, it gives you an overview of what's going on with online graphic stories.
Will I start writing a graphic novel? Unlikely, it looks like double the work of a written novel. I already spent months writing a 300-page thriller, printing it, sending it off to publishers, and waiting for a response - so far, 4 negative, and 3 no-shows, if you have to know. I do what all writers do: while waiting for something miraculous to happen with the first novel, start writing a second one. I won't deviate from that plan, certainly not for a gigantic enterprise like dozens of pages of drawings and text balloons.
But it's well worth some research. And I like watching Angelina Jolie drive a Lada.

By Sean Moss for S2S.


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home