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July 1, 2010 10:50 AM   Subscribe

Wanted: Jonah Hex - on making a movie prop, and a little about actual Old West wanted posters.
posted by Artw (43 comments total) 11 users marked this as a favorite

 
This stuff is like porn to me, thank you ArtW
posted by The Whelk at 10:54 AM on July 1, 2010


I have to confess that when I saw this line:

"The one I saw was a kind of psychedelic Shepard Fairey wild west mashup."

I assumed he was talking about the image at the top of the article. I kept waiting to see his final poster. The difference in aesthetics is huge between his poster and the classic looking sample he shows further down the page. I'm no American West historian, but I suspect his poster is as anachronistic to that setting as an Obama Hope poster would be.
posted by 256 at 10:58 AM on July 1, 2010 [5 favorites]


Neat. I want his job.
posted by flotson at 10:59 AM on July 1, 2010


Funny to think about all the awesome work that goes into otherwise bad movies.
posted by Sticherbeast at 11:05 AM on July 1, 2010 [1 favorite]


That said, I enjoyed the article and am very impressed by the guy's lino-cut and design chops.
posted by 256 at 11:08 AM on July 1, 2010


Funny to think about all the awesome work that goes into otherwise bad movies.

Considering the amount of work needed to mount a movie with any kind of budget, let alone one like this, then every movie is a Cathedral with hundreds of artisans working in their own fields to create a seamless whole.

And in the case of some movies, it's like a Cathedral with amazing woodwork on the pews and a roof made of flaming marshmallow pudding.
posted by The Whelk at 11:09 AM on July 1, 2010 [20 favorites]


Well, Armond White liked it.

It is kind of amazing that it can be about about Jonah Hex, from the makers of Cranked (and the distictly less awesome Cranked: High Voltage), have a gatling gun horse and a gun that shoots dynamite and yet all of those elements combine to leave me completly uninterested in seeing it.

Blame Wild Wild West.
posted by Artw at 11:10 AM on July 1, 2010


I never read Jonah Hex, but generally like comic book movies. Is it really that bad?
posted by Eideteker at 11:20 AM on July 1, 2010


Eide - the AV Club review is really explicit.
Bad movies aren’t what they used to be. More specifically, bad movies that make it into theaters these days usually have a base level of competence that sets them apart from the bad movies of yesteryear. Dullness dwells where incompetence used to call home. The Raja Gosnells far outnumber the Ed Woods. But every once in a while, a film limps into theaters so stitched together, it’s a wonder it doesn’t rip apart in the projector. Jonah Hex is such a film.
I actually kind of want to see it, mostly for this part (Warning for spoilers, in case anyone cares):
For me, the strangest part of this film was those red-tinged dream sequences, which function as sort of a metaphor: Brolin and Malkovich face off in a dry riverbed, punching and shooting each other, and whoever's getting the upper hand in their chase sequence out in the real world gets the upper hand in the dream fistfight. Which sounds sort of thematically interesting, I guess.

But in practice, it gets bizarrely literal, especially when they're fist-fighting in the real world, too, and the director keeps interrupting the ACTUAL CLIMACTIC ACTION to return to the dream action, where again, whoever's winning the fight in the real world is winning the fight in the dream.
posted by muddgirl at 11:26 AM on July 1, 2010 [6 favorites]


Rotten Tomatoes gives it 12%. As points of reference Ghost Rider got 26% and Catwoman got 10%.
posted by Artw at 11:26 AM on July 1, 2010


muddgirl - You may actually be selling me on it a little there actually. On the other hand I suspect rewatching Crank and Django back to back would be more productive and enjoyable.
posted by Artw at 11:30 AM on July 1, 2010


My boyfriend, on the phone with his movie-buff friend, said this: "Yeah, I think it says something that we're using Wild Wild West as an example of how they could've made [Jonah Hex] better."

So yeah, I haven't seen it but I imagine it's not good, even if you do like comic book movies.
posted by a.steele at 11:32 AM on July 1, 2010 [1 favorite]


At least Wild Wild West somewhat shrugged its shoulders and said "Alright, this an amalgamation of silly things - may as well not pretend otherwise. Bring on the steampunky giant spider!"
posted by pyrex at 11:34 AM on July 1, 2010


Artw: "It is kind of amazing that it can be about about Jonah Hex, from the makers of Cranked"

Neveldine/Taylor wrote the screenplay, but dropped out of directing due to the usual "creative differences." They were replaced by Jimmy Hayword, whose sole previous directorial credit is the CG adaptation of Horton Hears A Who.
posted by brundlefly at 11:35 AM on July 1, 2010


Horton Hears A Who is a SHIT CG adaptation. I hereby renounce all previous slight interest in seeing what this might have turned out like.
posted by Artw at 11:36 AM on July 1, 2010


And, yeah... Wild Wild West is really bad, but just a little "giant steampunk spider" goes a long way.
posted by brundlefly at 11:36 AM on July 1, 2010


It would have improved Superman Returns.
posted by Artw at 11:38 AM on July 1, 2010 [8 favorites]


I can't wait to read Armond White's writeup of The Last Airbender. It's going to be epic.
posted by Faint of Butt at 11:53 AM on July 1, 2010 [1 favorite]


Well, Armond White liked it.

That's how you know it's terrible.
posted by Horace Rumpole at 11:54 AM on July 1, 2010


but I suspect his poster is as anachronistic to that setting as an Obama Hope poster would be.

Seriously. But really, the director of that movie was never going to want an authentic-looking poster. Real wanted posters are very simple tools with very specific purposes, and don't spend a lot of time on flashy aesthetics. They are also not intended to glamorize the criminal they want to capture.
posted by Horace Rumpole at 12:00 PM on July 1, 2010


Well, Armond White liked it.

Rotten Tomatoes had Toy Story 3 at 99% yesterday when I looked at it. Universally loved except for one guy...
posted by Babblesort at 12:02 PM on July 1, 2010 [1 favorite]


seen here resting on my favorite work surface, the 1859 tombstone

I think I need a new desk
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 12:04 PM on July 1, 2010


It's weird to see a situation where more care and craftsmanship went into making a prop for a movie than the movie itself.
posted by quin at 12:05 PM on July 1, 2010


Steampunk inspired by say the Difference Engine or Jules Verne or similar... ok, I'll give it a look...

Steampunk inspired by the wiki wiki Wild Wild West, fuck off and die in flames.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 12:05 PM on July 1, 2010 [1 favorite]


Ithought the Burger King burger inspired by Wild Wild West was quite tasty. Onion rings! Inside the burger bun! With barbecue sauce! That's really quite something...
posted by Artw at 12:11 PM on July 1, 2010 [2 favorites]


Jonah Hex was especially bad. I was the only person in the theater when I went to see it. I kept looking around, wondering, "Damn, am I missing something? Has my eyesight finally gone?" The film kept getting worse and worse and I began to speculate that I was in some kind of Serlingesque afterlife, being punished for decades of contributing my cash to crappy movies and infinitesimally contributing to Hollywood's self-image that it is actually doing something worthwhile.

I liked the poster — it was a little overdone, but I expected it to be overdone. It's a comic book movie. The exaggeration of most visual elements is expected and even welcomed. The visual style might well be the only part of the film which met the level of "adequate."

Origin story? Screw you, buddy, origin stories are for non-fanboys who didn't read the comics! So we get a cramped montage in comic style that meant nothing. I'm not asking for a full-on Ang Lee Hulk origin story, just ... a little something. What was this dude like before? What happened? We get some explanatory flashbacks, too, but by that point, I was more worried about my soda running out. Oh, and the makeup. I get it, the guy is grisly and burned, but you would have to work extra hard to get your face to burn and heal like that. As I said, I like the exaggeration in the film, but this just kept knocking me out any zone of enjoyment I tried to scrabble towards.

Josh Brolin growls and grimaces his way through the film in a manner which owes more to a busted truss and a lack of Preparation H than anything else. Mostly, I wanted to give him a few aspirin, hit him with a hose, and see if he would be more interesting if he dried off. One day, we'll see if Megan Fox can act, because someone will write a part for her that consists of more than standing there, waiting to be brutally airbrushed to a skin texture only slightly more human than that of the Maybelline ads in the market ... but not today, hoss. I can't really expect her to do much of anything crammed into that corset. Malkovich doesn't even get to do his barely controlled, pre-hysterical shouting ("Albon, a NATIVE has wandered into my FRAME") routine (see also Ripley's Game, In the Line of Fire, etc), which is an essential selling point for Malkovich as villain. He just phoned this in and could have been replaced with a good Malkovich impersonator, for far less money.

As to the dumb orange trigger/big cannonball superweapon, any profits that film manages to magically earn ought to have ten percent diverted to everyone involved in Brisco County Jr., such was the ripoff vibe.

If I could only take a handax and get the blade red hot in a fire, I might well burn this film out of my brain.
posted by adipocere at 12:14 PM on July 1, 2010 [3 favorites]


True art is watching hot-chick Megan Fox (as Lilah the hooker) fearlessly staring at the most grotesque side of Jonah’s face as if coming to grips with her own exploitation.
Armond White, ladies and gentlemen.
posted by muddgirl at 12:24 PM on July 1, 2010 [2 favorites]


I actually really enjoyed Jennifer's Body. She was okay in it, I guess.
posted by Artw at 12:26 PM on July 1, 2010


Please note that the original Wild Wild West television show was awesome, not to be confused with the more recent movie crap adaptation.
posted by asfuller at 1:52 PM on July 1, 2010 [1 favorite]


That last typeface is part of a font—one of many—that came out of the basement of the Lizzy Borden house.

jesus shit, the things you find out on the internet.
posted by shmegegge at 1:52 PM on July 1, 2010


um, hey. can someone explain Armond White to me? I haven't read him before. Is it all a gag?
posted by shmegegge at 1:59 PM on July 1, 2010


Like The Matrix (which he probably did not like) he cannot be explained, only experienced.
posted by Artw at 2:00 PM on July 1, 2010


Is it all a gag?

I figure it's one of three things; either it's a joke, he's the most contrarian fucker on the planet, and will automatically take the opposite view of everyone else, no matter how outside of sanity that puts him, or he's got the most rotten taste in the world.
posted by quin at 2:04 PM on July 1, 2010


um, hey. can someone explain Armond White to me? I haven't read him before. Is it all a gag?

He's a troll.
posted by brundlefly at 2:09 PM on July 1, 2010


Armond White : Film :: Ann Coulter : Politics :: Those who disagree with Armond White : Knowledge Itself
posted by Sticherbeast at 2:12 PM on July 1, 2010


I dunno... reading through some of the negative reviews he gave to otherwise-Tomatoed movies, I can sort of understand his perspective. He's got a specific set of likes, and lots of incidental issues that will sour him to a movie (like product placement, in regards to Toy Story 2). I'm absolutely like this as well.

On the other hand, I'm not being paid to review movies for the general public - I just trash them on the internet for free.
posted by muddgirl at 2:58 PM on July 1, 2010


Wait hold on, I take that back:
I feel like a 6-year-old having to report how in Toy Story 3 two dolls—Sheriff Woody (Tom Hanks) and Buzz Lightyear (Tim Allen)—try to save a toy box of childhood playthings from either disuse or imprisonment as donations to a daycare center because their human owner... Besides, Transformers 2 already explored the same plot to greater thrill and opulence.
I didn't see Transformers 2, so perhaps it was about two dolls who try to save a toy box of childhood playthings from either disuse or imprisonment...
posted by muddgirl at 3:02 PM on July 1, 2010


The Onion review said it basically looked like someone released an unfinished movie.
posted by Liquidwolf at 3:34 PM on July 1, 2010


Bring on the steampunky giant spider!

Background on the giant spider.
posted by dhartung at 4:14 PM on July 1, 2010 [2 favorites]


For anyone who was hoping to enjoy this movie, the screenplay didn't really suck that much. If this would have landed on Quentin Tarantino's desk he would have rocked this pig Kill Bill style.
posted by snsranch at 4:32 PM on July 1, 2010


Rotten Tomatoes had Toy Story 3 at 99% yesterday when I looked at it. Universally loved except for one guy...

Is it really that surprising why he gave a negative review? Now people are looking at Armand White, talking about him. Mission accomplished.
posted by zardoz at 5:37 PM on July 1, 2010


have to disagree re: Armond White - he's been a guest on my show a few times and myself and my co-host have always found him heartfelt, engaged and fully in love with movies.

What I love about his critiques is that they're chock full o'ideas - whereas 95% of non-'academic' reviews have absolutely nothing to say - nothing to add, no ideas at all.
posted by jettloe at 6:18 PM on July 1, 2010


The design work is meh, sorry.
posted by Brocktoon at 7:33 PM on July 1, 2010


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