Preacher’s third season has been a catch-22. Preacher purists will dislike it because it’s strays too far from the comics, whereas I think it’s too faithful because I don’t find the comics to be the unimpeachable masterpiece that everyone else does. (Now it’d be a horse of a different color if this was a televisual Transmetropolitan.)
I went to Wakanda with The Wages of Cinema to visit Black Panther! My kitty’s mad I saw it without her. This I know from speaking the universal language of Espurranto. (I should start calling her Snuggletooth.) Let’s dive right off Warrior Falls into SPOILERS. If you’ve not seen it yet, skip even further down to the tilde for Toy Fair 2018 SPOILERS!
You ever go to a barbecue joint you haven’t been to in a while & decide you might as well splurge on a full rack of baby back ribs? Then when they bring out your food, it looks like almost too much food? But then you start on the first rib & it’s even more delicious than you remembered. So you quickly strip the flesh from a second rib. Then a haze sweeps over you. Once it passes you see your glass of sangria is empty, your plate of ribs contains naught but a heap of bones, the other patrons have expired with large chunks missing, & your hands are covered in red goo of assorted viscosity. Then you declare that it was really yummy! Luckily the kitchen staff appears intact so you may return. That’s what Thor Ragnarok is like!
The Wages of Cinema invited me back to collaboreview it with them. I agreed since they had nice things to say about me in their retrospective podcast of favorite episodes. Verily doth SPOILERS roam free onward!
Darren Aronofsky’s latest motion picture is sure to launch a thousand film school theses, so allow this to become one of your citations! Mother! is a tricky film to talk about because, much like FILLER!, every sentence will look wrong unless you manage to place the title at the end. Then it just looks like you’re shouting, which is preferable to not knowing where punctuation goes. After the The Wages Of Cinema podcast collaboreview (They let me discuss a movie that’s not based on a comic book or sci-fi!), it’ll be all SPOILERS. The story is fairly simple, but it’s stuffed to the gills with so many metaphors & ambiguous themes. The most nonspoilery synopsis I can give is “Renowned poet Javier Bardem invites creepy strangers into his giant house much to the chagrin of his devoted yet neglected wife, Jennifer Lawrence.” The characters are credited with descriptions, so I can just refer to the cast by their real names with impunity. It’s a movie that transcends its pretension by going all out.
I’m happy to say that Preacher season two is an improvement over the first. The great stuff carries over, the dead weight is mostly gone, the pacing is less languorous, & there’s plenty of added intrigue. AMC even adapted a few of the more outrageous scenes by Ennis & Dillon. If you’d like to remain unspoiled, skip to the end where I bid adieu to one of my favorite YouTube channels.
It used to be a recurring joke that any comic book character would get a movie before Wonder Woman. At a 2013 NYCC afterparty hosted by The Mary Sue, one of the cocktail specials was called Wonder Woman Movie so guests could demand “Give me a Wonder Woman Movie!” This would’ve been effective more promptly if the bartenders were WB executives. (I slightly preferred the Strong Female Protagonist cocktail because it was green like She-Hulk.) A Wonder Woman movie has even been a recurring part of her comics mythos since the 1940’s, so it’s about time Hollywood caught up. Now it’s finally her turn! I was concerned by all the positive press the movie was receiving because I feared I’d be the lone weirdo that didn’t love it. Fortunately it lived up to the hype, even incorporating some of my ranty demands! That’ll teach Marvel Studios to cheap out on bribing me! I’m collaboreviewing Wonder Woman with The Wages of Cinema! (They’ve just done a podcast where they responded to my comments!) It’s a wonderful film!
Although she was still as wooden as the surrounding film, Gal Gadot was the best part of Batman v. Superman:
Yawn Dawn of Justice because she was a cedar in a forest of larches. Here Ms. Gadot shows she can actually act! Her expressive face conveys childlike wonder at the world outside of Themyscira. She’s a DC protagonist allowed to smile without being a baddie! She’s violent without being dour! They convey her strength through compassion perfectly!
Hereafter come the SPOILERS. If you’ve yet to purchase a ticket to see this film, please stop reading here & watch this Nerdist medley featuring Ciara “Hawkgirl” Renee!
Generally speaking, I am a proponent of slavish adaptations. I allow more wiggle room for adaptations of corporate properties that’ve had decades to accumulate complexities like The F-Lash & Got Ham?, but creator-driven works ought to be presented faithfully. (Why does neither Dirk Gently TV series directly adapt Douglas Adams’s marvelous books? Why is the screenwriter who completely missed the point of I, Robot allowed to bastardize Caves of Steel next?) I thought television would be a better medium for Preacher than film because it wouldn’t need to abridge as much. So I was dismayed to hear that AMC’s Preacher (at least its first season) would be more of a prequel to the comics.
It is fortuitous, however, that I haven’t gotten around to reading the Vertigo (a DC Comics imprint, whose branding is absent from the TV series) Preacher comics by Garth Ennis & Steve Dillon yet. I certainly know of them thanks to things like Previews & Wizard Magazine. (Back in my day, we had to wait a whole month between spoilers!) So while diehard fans may take umbrage at the liberties taken with their favorite comic book, I’m enjoying the show as it rolls along. It’s not quite right to call it a prequel. Much like Bryan Fuller’s dearly departed Hannibal, this is more of a remix of various elements from the story. In that sense it’s a truer adaptation than something like iZombie, which took the Vertigo comic’s title & basic idea but none of the characters or supernatural cosmology. It hasn’t been lazily grafted onto a police procedural like Lucifer either. At least this adaptation does, however, feel like it’s in the same ballpark as the source material. So this overview will have more TV SPOILERS than comic book SPOILERS.
For a show with Seth Rogen & Evan Goldberg at the helm, it’s classier than expected. Breaking Bad’s Sam Catlin may be partially responsible for this. Of course it’s not too classy that it loses its irreverent flavor. It’s full of striking vistas of southern desolation. The cast is the right ratio of pretty : looks like they’re drawn by Steve Dillon. Overall, it works better than I can imagine Sam Mendes’s aborted movie turning out.
One of the big complaints I’ve heard about the show is its lack of tonal consistency. For all I care, tonal consistency can take a long walk off a short pier! Why would I only want one tone? One of the best parts of Preacher is how nonchalantly it flips from one tone & genre to another. Sure, tonal consistency can have its uses in other art, but it’s got no business being forced upon this genre-bender. Unless it has maintained the consistent tone of “Garth Ennis comic” throughout. Cognitive dissonance for the win!