Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Dart Adams presents Adapt This! (Fall 2009 Edition)

With seemingly nonstop news of some kind involving another comic book, graphic novel, cartoon or video game property being optioned and given the greenlight by Hollywood for film adaptations I decided to pick quite a few properties that I'd like to see get a big screen translation or adaptation as well. In some cases, I'd even like to do the job...for a hefty fee. LOL. Since a few of the films I picked the first time around actually did get optioned after San Diego Comic Con 2009 (*cough* "The Walking Dead" *cough*), here's yet another revised list of potential properties below:

Black Panther


American Flagg

Bad Boy

Channel Zero


Generation X


The New Warriors

Winter Soldier

Alpha Flight

X Force

Dinosaurs For Hire




Grrl Scouts




Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six


Assassin’s Creed

Lost Planet




The Nightly News

Sentences: The Life Of MF Grimm

Mirror's Edge

Fallout 3

Universal War One

Haunted Tank

Scourge Of The Gods



100 Bullets




Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Dart Adams presents The Dartflix Film Review: Pandorum

The Christian Alvart directed and Travis Milloy scripted Sci fi psychological drama/action film premiered last Friday and after the disappointment "Surrogates" turned out to be I sincerely hoped that "Pandorum" would be better. Maybe I'd actually care about what happened to these characters for a change? Maybe this story will actually be somewhat compelling? Not only has this year been one wrought with tragedy of a human nature but it's been full of terrible films. I honestly can't recall a weaker crop of blockbuster films in a movie season off hand. C'mon Pandorum!

The story opens with Corporal Bower awakening from cryogenic slumber aboard a spaceship created specifically to terraform another planet that can support human life. Humans ultimately overran Earth and used up all of it's natural resources. The Earth was experiencing serious climate issues and on the verge of dying when another Earth like world was discovered by probe. A spaceship called Elysium containing thousands of humans, a crew & numerous samples of life from Earth were sent to the future home of humanity. Only one problem..Bower isn't aware of any of these things at the moment he awakens. He doesn't even know his own name.

Bower takes a while to combat his body rebelling against him and a serious case of memory loss. Luckily for him, he has his CO Payton who just woke up as well. Together they try to piece together who they are, what their individual jobs are and assess how to get out of the room they're stuck in and where the hell is the Elysium. Since the ship is having power surges, it's clear that they need to find a way to the reactor and discover what the hell happened to the rest of Elysium's crew. Not only that but how long have they been in flight?

Payton and Bower devise a plan. Bower will try to sneak out to the other sectors of the ship and with the guidance of Payton from the deck, he'll find his way to the reactor core. Re-cycle the ship's power and from there they can figure everything else out. Bower manages to find his way onto other parts of the ship but he discovers that everything is completely fucked up. He's supposed to be part of the 5th flight crew of the Elysium that were supposed to each work in two year shifts. Bower discovers that people that were supposed to be on flight crew rotations after his shift have already have awakened and are on the ship. What the fuck is going on?

While we're on the subject of "What the fuck is going on?" it seems that there's a deep seeded psychological side effect of being awakened from hypersleep during space travel called "Pandorum". The symptoms are varied but you often don't realize that you're suffering from it, someone else has to tell you. Problem is, when you're suffering from pandorum you tend to become completely paranoid and think that everyone else has it but you. Then you go into a completely bloody murderous rage and kill everyone around you. Sometimes, you just kill yourself. Fun times, huh?

Bower discovers a few other survivors on board then discovers that things have gone horribly awry on board the Elysium. For one, they're getting attacked by some hybrid mutant creatures that feed on the other human survivors that have recently awoken from hypersleep. The ship's turned into "Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome" and everyone is fighting for their own individual survival. Bower manages to forge an alliance between himself and two others, Manh and Nadia. They watch each other's back in hopes of making it to the reactor core in time to save the ship & the rest of the thousands of humans onboard that have yet to wake from cryogenic hypersleep.

Along the way they find Leland, a Black guy who apparently has been awake for a long ass time and has survived long enough to piece together a significant amount of history together culled from the ship's history in transit. He makes a bunch of revelations that add to the overall suspense of the film and eventually they all make their way to the reactor core in hopes of getting the ship's power issues handled so we can get to the big reveals. I was literally on the edge of my seat during the last 45 minutes of this film.

"Pandorum" finally managed to deliver in a stretch of films where I had sit through clusterfuck upon shit sandwich week in and week out. Let's recap, shall we? "Knowing?" Yawn. "Fast & Furious"? Shit. "X-Men Origins: Wolverine"? Shit. "Terminator: Salvation"? Shit. "The Taking Of Pelham 1 2 3"? Yawn. "Transformers: Revenge Of The Fallen"? Shit. "G.I. Joe: The Revenge Of Cobra"? Flaming hot garbage. "Gamer"? Trash. "Whiteout"? Garbage. "Surrogates"? Fuck outta here! At least after I finished seeing "Pandorum" I said to myself "I can't wait to see this jawn on Blu-Ray". I give "Pandorum" a mos def because I'm grading on a curve.


Monday, September 28, 2009

Dart Adams presents The Dartflix Film Review: Surrogates

I saw the new Bruce Willis vehicle, "Surrogates" and let me just say that based off the trailer alone and the strength of the subject matter and content of the source material I expected this film to at least be worthy of a Netflix rental once it left theaters. I'm sad to say that I once again ended up disappointed after this film faded to black before my eyes. There were so many plot elements and storylines from the original graphic novels that wasn't even explored it wasn't even funny. It had been Hollywoodized. How did two fully fleshed out graphic novels get stripped down to an 88 minute popcorn movie with excellent CGI & SFX? Damn!

"The Surrogates" was a cyberpunk tale told in two graphic novels, "The Surrogates" & "The Surrogates: Flesh & Bone". They dealt with issues of human identity, the growing dependency on technology in everyday life as well as the individual's digital footprint. There were also questions of class & race still addressed in the graphic novels, the film decided to remove all these issues by saying that surrogacy had erased classism, prejudice & racism in future society...not the case in the original source material! As soon as I saw how quickly they explained the back story at the beginning I had flashbacks to 'Gamer". Would "Surrogates" b yet another under 90 minute CGI & SFX popcorn movie with faux social commentary?

The film jumped right into the story and wasted no time whatsoever. A couple of detectives discover a few destroyed surrogates at a crime scene. Oddly enough, neither operator had called the police to report that their surrogates (or "surries") had been destroyed or report the crime themselves. After retrieving the operator information from one of the surries (the other was unregistered) they discovered a dead body in the operators apartment still in it's Stim Chair (where humans lay/sit while they operate their surrogates). Just one problem..operators aren't supposed to die when harm comes to their surrogates. It's the first possible homicide case in years.

Detective Tom Greer & his partner Peters also discover that the unregistered male surrogate actually belonged to a famous man named Canter, the father of Surrogacy, He created the technology and was an early advocate of it. The operator that died using his surrogate, however, belonged to his college aged son. The detective team has to try to figure out who was behind the murder and how it's possible for a human to be killed when a surrogate is destroyed. It sends the Boston Police into a huge corporate conspiracy since they can't disclose to the public that you can die using a surrogate. It would cause widespread panic and hurt the pockets of the huge corporation that produces them, VSI. Oddly enough, as fast as this movie flew by I did notice that there seemed to be no Asians or children in Boston anywhere. Odd..I see 'em both all the time. Sometimes, even Asian children! *Gasp*

Greer has to get to the bottom of the mystery of who developed the weapon that can both destroy surrogates and their human operators and why. Then has to figure out how deep the conspiracy goes. Then Greer decides to ditch his surrogate to go to the Dorchester section of Boston where The Prophet leads "The Dreads", a community of humans that eschew the usage of surrogates and destroy any that they see. In the graphic novels, they address the whole process that led to the Dreads movement and the eventual uprising that secured them a surrogates free zone in the first place. Compelling reading, unlike this a mile a minute chase/whodunnit shit to make up for the lack of a truly compelling story.

In the end, Greer uncovers the huge conspiracy and discovers who's really behind everything (the guy you think it is 20 minutes into the movie). He's then faced with a Plissken's Dilemma near the end of the film but the suspense is so badly handled at the time the decision is made that it ends up having zero impact with the viewer/audience later. "Surrogates" is yet another forgettable blockbuster/popcorn flick you can get high and go to the movies to watch then rent it again on Netflix months later just to say it was "a'ight". How many more graphic novels is Hollywood gonna butcher & suck the marrow out of? Fuck! I give it a maybe for everyday people but I suggest just reading the graphic novels instead of seeing the movie.