From Roger Ebert’s review of “GI Joe: The Rise Of Cobra“:
“G. I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra” is a 124-minute animated film with sequences involving the faces and other body parts of human beings. It is sure to be enjoyed by those whose movie appreciation is defined by the ability to discern that moving pictures and sound are being employed to depict violence. Nevertheless, it is better than “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen.”
The late Gene Siskel had a famous test for evaluating a movie. He noted that “It’s amazing how many movies aren’t as interesting as a documentary of these same actors sitting around talking over lunch.”
A wise and shrewd observation. And with just a slight modification, it might offer us a way out of this horrifying era of awful, awful movies based on comics, toys, games, and other bits of pop culture ballast.
I present a new guideline. It takes the form of a cautionary question for every studio, every producer, and every 19 to 23 year old actor and actress who gets paid $4 million based on how good they look in a slightly sprayed-down tee shirt:
“Before making a movie based on a licensed property, ask yourself: is this movie going to be less entertaining than just Googling for Adam Hughes drawings of these same characters?”
This simple little test will avert endless future catastrophes. But please…don’t just take my word for it.
Ebert’s one-star review of “Catwoman“:
“The director, whose name is Pitof, was probably issued with two names at birth and would be wise to use the other one on his next project.”
Adam Hughes’ Catwoman:
Superman is vulnerable to one, and only one, substance: kryptonite. He knows this. We know this. Lex Luthor knows this. Yet he has been disabled by kryptonite in every one of the movies. Does he think Lex Luthor would pull another stunt without a supply on hand? Why doesn’t he take the most elementary precautions? How can a middle-aged bald man stab the Man of Steel with kryptonite?
Adam Hughes’ Lex Luthor:
Josie and the Pussycats are not dumber than the Spice Girls, but they’re as dumb as the Spice Girls, which is dumb enough.
Adam Hughes’ Josie And The Pussycats:
“Elektra” plays like a collision between leftover bits and pieces of Marvel superhero stories. It can’t decide what tone to strike. It goes for satire by giving its heroine an agent who suggests mutual funds for her murder-for-hire fees, and sends her a fruit basket before her next killing. And then it goes for melancholy by making Elektra a lonely, unfulfilled overachiever who was bullied as a child and suffers from obsessive-compulsive disorder. It goes for cheap sentiment by having her bond with a 12-year-old girl, and then … but see for yourself. The movie’s a muddle in search of a rationale.
Adam Hughes’ Elektra:
In the classic movie adventures that inspired “Star Wars,” dialogue was often colorful, energetic, witty and memorable. The dialogue in “Episode II” exists primarily to advance the plot, provide necessary information, and give a little screen time to continuing characters who are back for a new episode. The only characters in this stretch of the film who have inimitable personal styles are the beloved Yoda and the hated Jar-Jar Binks, whose idiosyncrasies turned off audiences for “Phantom Menace.” Yes, Jar-Jar’s accent may be odd and his mannerisms irritating, but at least he’s a unique individual and not a bland cipher. The other characters–Obi-Wan Kenobi, Padme Amidala, Anakin Skywalker–seem so strangely stiff and formal in their speech that an unwary viewer might be excused for thinking they were the clones, soon to be exposed.
Adam Hughes’ Padme and Yoda:
“The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen” assembles a splendid team of heroes to battle a plan for world domination, and then, just when it seems about to become a real corker of an adventure movie, plunges into incomprehensible action, idiotic dialogue, inexplicable motivations, causes without effects, effects without causes, and general lunacy. What a mess.
Adam Hughes’ Mina Murray and Mister Hyde:
The great failing of “Spider-Man 3” is that it failed to distract me from what a sap Peter Parker is. It lingers so long over the dopey romance between Peter and the long-suffering Mary Jane that I found myself asking the question: Could a whole movie about the relationship between these two twentysomethings be made? And my answer was: No, because today’s audiences would never accept a hero so clueless and a heroine so docile. And isn’t it a little unusual to propose marriage after sharing only one kiss, and that one in the previous movie, and upside-down?
Mary Jane by Adam Hughes: