While 2008 was a high-profile year for movies adapted from comic books (Iron Man, The Dark Knight), 2009 had its own army of super properties arrayed on the big screen — nine notables all tallied, including the highly anticipated Watchmen.
So, how did this year's movies stack up? We take a look back, identifying the 2009 Comic Book Movies: Winners and Losers. And here's a bonus tip for studios that just can't be repeated enough: Don't turn an anime property into a live-action movie. Posted 11.24.09 by reelz
|Title ||Weekend ||Total ||Analysis |
|I Can Do Bad All By Myself ||$24.0M ||$24.0M ||Tyler Perry's 2nd movie of year -- and the best-reviewed movie of his oeuvre -- dominates. |
|9 ||$10.9M ||15.3M ||"Tweener" animated flick too scary for kids and suffers. |
|Inglourious Basterds ||$6.5M ||$104.3M ||Tarantino pic breaks $100M blockbuster barrier and puts beleaguered Weinstein brothers back on the map. |
|All About Steve ||$5.8M ||$21.8M ||Brutally reviewed rom-com fades fast, but not as fast as Sandra Bullock and Bradley Cooper would hope. |
|The Final Destination ||$5.5M ||$58.3M ||With math like this ($40M budget) we can certainly expect a #5 in the series. |
Bomb of the Week: This week's winner is Whiteout, starring Kate Beckinsale. Maybe it was the lukewarm early reviews, or Kate Beckinsale trying to pull of the role off a U.S. Marshal, but this pic has the indignity of being out-earned by Sorority Row. Posted 09.13.09 by reelz
If a thriller starring Kate Beckinsale as a badass U.S. Marshal sounds a bit off, based on early critic reviews for Whiteout, you're correct. But there is an extended, gratuitous Kate Beckinsale-in-her-undies scene.
"...a conventionally jam-packed, dutifully ludicrous action thriller..."
— Lisa Schwarzbaum, Entertainment Weekly
"While the setting can be mesmerizing, little else about this movie is captivating. It's a standard-issue thriller, with a twist you see coming a continent away."
— Claudia Puig, USA Today
"...like the Antarctic setting, this overly confusing expedition leaves us cold."
— Pete Paras, E! Online
"Dull and draining, Whiteout should have been offered under one of these preferable alternate titles — Washout, or even better, Wornout."
— Bill Gibron, filmcritic.com
"...a severely nonthrilling thriller..."
— Kyle Smith, New York Post Posted 09.11.09 by reelz
Joel Silver knows a thing or two about making movies. The producer of such successful franchises as Die Hard, Predator, Lethal Weapon, and The Matrix series, Silver tries to stay ahead of the game by keeping up with the latest technology. Silver's latest production, Whiteout, based on the comic book series by Greg Rucka, utilized digital 3-D technology to make the harsh Antarctic weather come to life, a vast improvement over chasing storm systems around the globe, he told Straight.com.
I don't think that this film would have been possible without the computer-graphics work we do today. The fact that in the middle of these terrible storms you can actually see the people and not see anything else is all due to the technology today. I made Die Hard 2 20 years ago, and you had to have snow and it was difficult to do. We were chasing snow around the world, and it was a complicated way of making a picture. In this one, we did have some harsh environments [to shoot in], but a lot of it was created in a way that you could believe what you were seeing. You believed you were watching these characters living in this environment, which, I think, is what makes the film original and unique.
Whiteout isn't the only comic book movie adaptation on Silver's plate. He also has plans to make a movie based on the DC Comics classic Swamp Thing, and feels that high-tech might be the perfect thing for this "green" anti-hero.
Our company [Dark Castle Entertainment] is currently working on developing a remake of Swamp Thing ... and we think [3-D] might work. There are a couple of things that would work for us, but not everything.
Whiteout is directed by Dominic Sena and stars Kate Beckinsale as U.S. Marshal Carrie Stetko, Gabriel Macht as Robert Pryce, and Tom Skerritt as Dr. John Fury. Posted 09.03.09 by BrentJS
Writer Greg Rucka has waited a long time to see his comic book series Whiteout on the big screen. Rucka said that the comic was first optioned in 1998, the year the series debuted, but one option after another lapsed and he was beginning to think the adaptation was never going to happen. A fateful call from producer Joel Silver later, and Rucka was on his way to realizing his dream of seeing his tough U.S. Marshal, Carrie Stetko, transformed into flesh and blood in the form of actress Kate Beckinsale.
Kate is a very talented, subtle actress who just knows exactly what she's doing with the character ... she was great. Since there are a lot of close-up shots during some of the more action-oriented scenes, Kate had to do those instead of the stunt people to show that it was her, but she was just great in carrying those out.
In Whiteout, Stetko is the only deputy marshal assigned to Antarctica and she has only three days to solve a murder before the brutal winter beings. Rucka said that the environment of the story is one of the most crucial elements.
Antarctica is a violently intolerable place. It has its own rules and its own personality. It's not responsible for the care and feeding of people, and environments like that provide many great insights into other characters and their humanity. There are rules to surviving there.
Though shot in Canada rather than Antarctica, Beckinsale agreed that the environment could be terrifying:
There were times when I looked out and couldn't distinguish where the land and the sky met; it was just one huge whiteness. Totally disorienting. It's easy to imagine how scary that would be if you were alone. You could turn away from your camp for a moment and not find your way back.
Whiteout is directed by Dominic Sena and also stars Gabriel Macht as Robert Pryce and Tom Skerritt as Dr. John Fury. Posted 09.01.09 by BrentJS
The studio has released an avalanche of new clips for the Antarctic suspense flick Whiteout, giving the most complete indication to date of what the movie is likely to be about. The incredibly harsh environment clearly holds onto center stage, with new recruits to the research station getting the dangers drilled into them, without the benefit of coats, by Tom Skerritt.
Meanwhile, Kate Beckinsale shows off her dark side, as a federal marshal willing to go beyond the letter of the law to solve the continent's first murder. In the following clip, she even goes all Jack Bauer on a suspect, wielding a nasty-looking pair of clippers and warning bodily harm. Later we see that, no matter the weather, she also has a pretty good right hook. Posted 08.28.09 by reelz
The Antarctic mystery/thriller Whiteout starring Kate Beckinsale has finally started to get a little bit of traction. It must be pretty slippery out there with all that ice and stuff. Seriously, though, the movie has been in development for what seems like forever. The studio made a big deal out of it at the 2008 Comic-Con but it was nigh invisible at the most recent one. This despite the fact it's scheduled to hit theaters on September 11. The lack of a major promotional push by the studio has led to speculation that there's something wrong with the movie.
No real sign of that in the trailer, though. Now promotion has finally started to get serious, with four new action-heavy TV spots giving a further glimpse of what potentially looks like a pretty interesting flick. Certainly, nothing appears to be wrong with Beckinsale, whose crystalline beauty is front and center in the new Whiteout poster. Posted 08.24.09 by reelz
Whiteout has been one of the most weirdly under-publicized movies of the year. Now, finally, the first full trailer has been released, and it looks like there's a bit more to the story than had first appeared.
An atmospheric murder mystery set in Antarctica, Whiteout stars Kate Beckinsale as a lone U.S. Marshal who has just three days to solve the continent's first murder before darkness falls. Now we see that what sets events in motion is the discovery of "something big" under the ice. This definitely ratchets up the suspense a notch or two. Posted 07.23.09 by reelz
The on-again, off-again unofficial teaser trailer for Whiteout is now finally available. It had popped up on various sites last night only to be removed by the powers that be at the studio. But now it's back again. The project, itself, has had a similarly interrupted history. Shot in 2007 and briefly promoted a few years back, the movie is now just ready to make its way into theaters this September.
Adapted from an award-winning comic series, Whiteout stars Kate Beckinsale as a U.S. Marshal who travels to a base in Antarctica to investigate the continent's first murder. The voice-over in the trailer lays out the forbidding setting of the story with quite a bit of gusto and drama. The tag line sets the tone: "Nature never intended for you to survive here. But this Fall, nature isn't the only thing to fear." Posted 06.17.09 by reelz
With the comic book adaptation Whiteout a good distance from its September 11, 2009, opening day, news has been brief on the Kate Beckinsale thriller about a U.S. Marshal assigned to Antarctica to solve a murder.
Now Warner Brothers has finally released some promo photos to keep comic fans teased and excited. Posted 12.22.08 by reelz