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An AICN Reader Glimpses THE SPIRIT!!

Merrick here...
VoicesOffCamera sent us this write-up after seeing an advanced screening of Frank Miller's big screen adaptation of THE SPIRIT. Remember that the film isn't scheduled to hit theaters for a while, so it's highly likely numerous changes will be/could be made to the version seen by VOC before THE SPIRIT's final iteration materializes in December.
Here's VoicesOffCamera...
I just got back from an advanced screening of “The Spirit” here in Vegas. According to the people hosting the screening, we were the first audience to ever view the film, and that the eventual theatrical release would have some changes. Now, I’m a fan of the Spirit comics and Frank Miller (Born Again is easily one of my top 5 comics of all-time), so I was intrigued to see if Miller was going to pull this off. If he did this as a comic, I’d expect the modern way over-the-top Miller that we’ve been getting on All-Star Batman, but would that be how he’d portray his friend’s character on the big screen, for people who have never even heard of The Spirit before? The answer is that the picture he made is closer to the movie “Shoot ‘em Up” than anything Miller or Eisner have done before (That means no “I’m the Goddamn Spirit”). The violence is very over the top and cartoony in a Looney Toons style. The first fight, for instance, which takes place after an extended version of the “City is my Mother and Lover” roof-jumping scene we’ve all seen in the trailer, consists of Spirit and the Octopus beating the crap out of each other in a pond by pulling all sorts of weapons and blunt objects out of the water and bashing each other with them. At one point, The Octopus, laughing hysterically and rambling about he and the Spirit have some kind of connection, pulls out a toilet and smashes it over the Spirit, getting him stuck in the seat. Scenes like this usually start off kind of funny, but go on for way too long. So, how’s the plot? The Octopus, along with Silken Floss and three Louis Lombardi's, attempt to steal two mysterious cases. Octopus gets one, but Sand Saref manages to get away with another in a showdown that leaves one cop almost dead. Saref is blamed for the cop’s state, but Spirit believes otherwise after he finds her locket in the unconscious cop’s hand. The locket reveals a past connection between the two (Spirit and Saref’s past and originals are told throughout the movie in a series of flashbacks that I found it be one of the more interesting parts if the film). Spirit must then find Saref before anyone else does and find his nemesis, the Octopus. Seref is also tracking the Octopus, who in turn is trying to find her to get the vase back. It turns out the case has a Vial of Hercules’ blood, which can turn the Octopus (or the Spirit) into a God if drank. Now let’s talk about the good. The movie looks GREAT. Miller uses pretty much the same style used on “Sin City,” except with more color. Gabriel Macht does a good job playing the Spirit. He hits on pretty much every girl he meets in the film, but the actor manages to pull that off without seeming sleezey. If you like Sam Jackson when he’s turned up to 11, you’ll probably like him here, turned up to 15. He’s way over the top, but pretty funny throughout. Eva Mendez is smoking hot and does a good job playing a “tough dame;” sexy and strong. Ellen Dolan, played by Sarah Paulson and Commissioner Dolan, played by Wonder Years’ Dan Lauria, were well developed and well acted. Now the bad. The scenes, all of them, seem a little bit too long. Hopefully this is just because it was a rough cut of the film. The dialogue was beyond cheesy, which some people may love, but I though they took it a bit too far. And the scenes with Lorelei Rox, who is a Death/Grim Reaper character, were confusing both by the intent and visually. As of now, I'd give the movie a 'C,' but I think it could easily be edited to a ‘B’ by the time it’s released. If you use this, you can call me “VoicesOffCamera.”

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