19 February 2006

LINK: Runners & Special Clips + Top 5 List

One of my favorite comics of 2005, Runners: Bad Goods, has made the jump to the movies! Well, kind of...


The highly-acclaimed sci-fi adventure comic Runners, by Sean Wang, is now a fully animated short! The 3-D computer-animated Runners feature from The DAVE School -- makers of the X-Men Minimates movie ”Darktide” -- is now available online.

Produced by The DAVE (Digital Animation and Visual Effects) School at Universal Studios Orlando, the 6-minute short adapts the first issue of the Runners: Bad Goods comic, in which reluctant smuggler Roka Nostaco and his ragtag alien crew must board a hostile vessel to do battle with a notorious band of pirates intent on stealing their cargo.
For a student project, it's a great piece of video, perfectly capturing the look and feel of Sean Wang's entertaining sci-fi adventure series. PIXAR or Dreamworks should snatch it up ASAP and bring it to the big screen!

Also worth a look is the trailer for Special, a movie I've never heard of but came across via Will Pfieffer's blog.

LES FRANKEN (Michael Rapaport) leads a painfully unremarkable life as a metermaid until he enrolls in a drug study for an experimental anti-depressant. An unexpected side effect of the drug convinces Les he is developing special powers and must quit his job to answer his new calling in life... Superhero.

A very select group of people in life are truly gifted. Special is a movie about everyone else.
The trailer is appealing, suggesting a wry dramedy that plays coy with the question of whether or not Les really does have super powers...or is simply crazy. There's a quick scene, in the bodega, that reminds me of Unbreakable -- still one of my top five superhero movies ever -- and I've always liked Michael Rapaport, one of Hollywood's quintessential everyman character actors, who often steals movies with his supporting turns.

It'll be interesting to see how he pulls off a leading role, and whether its positive write-up on the Sundance web site holds true:

Michael Rapaport so fully embodies Les's desire for empowerment that he actually brings Special much closer to the spirit of early comic-book superheroes (marginalized men expressing fantasies of strength) than the studio films we see. Special is about loneliness and insecurity, and people encumbered by self-doubt. It's a subtle, philosophical comedy that gets its special powers from clever filmmaking.
Oddly enough, it doesn't appear to have been signed at Sundance as I can't find a release date listed anywhere and there's no studio attached to it in any of the reviews I've come across. If and when it does pop up, though, I plan to check it out.

Until then, I'll have to make do with a little Milla, I guess.

Milla would have improved Elektra to a 2-star movie. Le sigh...

PS: I never thought of it this way, but Fifth Element is totally a superhero comic book movie, which means it's on my top 5 list, too. In alphabetical order, that's Batman Begins, Fifth Element, The Incredibles, The Matrix and Unbreakable, only one of which is actually based directly on a comic book character. The rest take elements of superhero comics and spin them off in their own unique directions.


Matthew Craig said...

My god, man. Get you a copy of IRON MONKEY toot-de-flipping-sweet.

Now THAT'S a superhero movie! Donnie Yen, Yuen Woo-Ping, Yu Rong Kwong. Corrupt officials, father-son conflict, kick-ass moves, heroic misunderstandings, unspoken love. And at least one of the characters in the story was A REAL HISTORICAL FIGURE.

Get the Fantastic Four fan fiction out of that list and get this down your eyes.


Guy LeCharles Gonzalez said...

Looks interesting, but what's with the negative comments about the US version vs. the original on Amazon? Should I be looking for the latter instead?

As for FF fanfic, assuming you're referring to The Incredibles, I'll take over the "real thing" any day. :-P

Matthew Craig said...

To be honest, I never read that far down. It sounds like a very old version of the film. Judging by that review, I'd avoid that edition. You need to see the full film.

The version I bought, here in the UK, was by HONG KONG LEGENDS. I watched that DVD until it broke (really!). They've since replaced that version with a 2-disc special edition, I think under the PREMIER ASIA label. If you've got access to a Region 2 or regionless DVD player, I'd get that.

If you've ever seen Tsui Hark's ONCE UPON A TIME IN CHINA, Iron Monkey can be considered a near-prequel, as the lead character, the very real Wong Fei-Hung, appears in both.