The Biggest Superhero Films That Didn't Happen, Part 2
Comic Books, Film
This week, Chronicle flies into your house, causing all sorts of collateral damage, Qui-Gon Jinn takes on a pack of direwolves (sorta), and John Malkovich gets worked like a cheap puppet. Plus: Grant Morrison gets freaky all over your ass.
PICK OF THE WEEK: Chronicle: The Lost Footage Edition (DVD & Blu-ray)
It really shouldn’t have been as good as it was. It was a found-footage movie, and those are usually way more miss than hit. It starred a bunch of kids we’d never seen before and it was directed by a dude whose last name is an abbreviation for tranquilizer. And yet Josh Trank’s Chronicle took all of those potential weaknesses and made them strengths. The found-footage style gave everything scale. The kids were good enough (and, somehow, also bad enough) that you didn’t mind when they got killed. And Trank, along with writer Max Landis, delivered a movie that, much like The Incredibles, was a better superhero flick than most of the ones based on actual comics.
The Grey (DVD & Blu-ray)
He doesn’t know who they are. If they’re looking for food, he doesn’t have any. But what he does have is a very particular set of skills; skills acquired over a very long acting career. Skills that make Liam Neeson a nightmare for, well, a pack of wolves trying to kill him in the wild.
The Devil Inside (DVD & Blu-ray)
Speaking of found-footage movies that feel very “been there, done that” — but still made a fortune at the box office — this one follows a woman investigating the potential possession of her mother by demonic forces.
Being John Malkovich: Criterion Collection (DVD & Blu-ray)
Director Spike Jonze’s twisted interdimensional comedy-romance is beloved for good reason: John Cusack is terrific as a puppeteer who finds a way to inhabit John Malkovich’s body, Cameron Diaz has never been better as his mousey wife and, well, Malkovich kills it playing a hollow version of himself.
The Book of Bantorra: Collection 1 (DVD)
Given that it’s technically impossible for any one person to see all the anime, this was a blind spot for me. But after learning the premise, I’m rather intrigued: When people die, their essences harden into slab-like books that are stored in a place called the Bantorra Library. If you read one of these books, you can live the dead person’s past. And this library is guarded by magically pugnacious Armed Librarians.
Grant Morrison: Talking With Gods (DVD)
If you’ve ever wanted to know what madness rattles around in this iconic comic writer’s head, this doc will lay it bare — with help from interviewees like Geoff Johns, Mark Waid, Dan DiDio, Karen Berger, Phil Jimenez, Cameron Stewart and Jill Thompson.