Dude's got a filigreed submarine
December 19, 2017 11:55 PM   Subscribe

Mikey Neumann of Movies with Mikey gets some friends together to watch watch 2003's The League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen and discovers it might actually ... be ... good?
posted by the man of twists and turns (24 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
 
Welp. I guess I gotta watch it now.
posted by greermahoney at 1:03 AM on December 20, 2017


I liked the movie when I saw it in the theater. I guess I have bad taste. Or maybe a small, vocal contingent of naysayers can ruin something cool just by shifting the online dialog.
posted by Literaryhero at 2:00 AM on December 20, 2017 [10 favorites]


I also didn't think it was bad when I saw it in the theater. Sure it wasn't the best it could be, but it certainly wasn't the worst it could be!
posted by mikelieman at 5:46 AM on December 20, 2017 [1 favorite]


Data point: I saw it in the theatre. I did not like it. And I liked a lot of terrible things. So.
posted by joelhunt at 6:15 AM on December 20, 2017 [1 favorite]


I've seen it once and quite liked it. I wouldn't be opposed to an *even better* reboot.
posted by DrAstroZoom at 6:59 AM on December 20, 2017


I saw it in theaters. I was horribly disappointed. It's a dumb popcorn flick. Which is ok. But they threw away the most interesting character in the comics to create a Connery vehicle. Mina Harker was interesting not because she was partially a vampire, but because she was the only person, through sheer force of will, who could lead the team. She was unextroidinary (thus the name of the comic/movie). I didn't mind adding Tom Sawyer, I though that was kind of neat. But shifting the focus to Quattermain destroyed any hope the movie had at being anything more than something I'll watch because I'm too lazy to find the remote and change the channel.

Of course, I was biased, I was hoping for an actual adaptation of the comic instead of just taking the characters and creating a dumb movie. Still, a bad movie that I don't quite regret seeing but do wish I'd just waited to torrent it. It ended Connery's career. I'm not sure if that is a blessing or a curse (it got him out 10 years before his behavior and words would have gotten him chased out of Hollywood anyway).
posted by Hactar at 7:01 AM on December 20, 2017 [10 favorites]


I will add that it was very pretty. Whoever did the art direction and helped them stick to the theme was great. Unfortunately, that's about all that can be said that was fantastic.
posted by Hactar at 7:01 AM on December 20, 2017 [1 favorite]


The answer to the question posed in this post strictly adheres to Betteridge's law of headlines:

No.
posted by fimbulvetr at 7:06 AM on December 20, 2017 [5 favorites]


On the one hand, I am a firm proponent of the idea that a movie adaptation of a thing is its own thing, not to be judged simply by how closely it adheres to the original.

On the other hand, when you adapt something and it feels like you just throw away what made the original special, then it does feel like a strike against it.

For me, this movie would fall into the "eh, it's an okay, fun-enough popcorn movie" category on its own (where a lot of movies I like happen to fall), but the fact that it's an adaptation of something I enjoyed a lot more, and which will keep a better adaptation from happening, pushes it over to the negative side and I'd rather not see it again.
posted by Four Ds at 7:27 AM on December 20, 2017 [2 favorites]


Penny Dreadful is the best live action LoEG.
posted by jason_steakums at 7:31 AM on December 20, 2017 [17 favorites]


It ended Connery's career.

Seems to have ended the director's career too. I wasn't a big fan of the movie but it wasn't the worst thing ever. It's still better than Connery in the Avengers movie from 1998.
posted by octothorpe at 7:37 AM on December 20, 2017


Just have to chime in (having never seen the movie,) that if you do read the comic, you absolutely need to read it a second time while studying Jess Nevins' Annotations. You'll find that the comic is so deeply researched by Alan Moore that you'll find an extra layer of enjoyment out of it.

(Moore's Lovecraft comics are also best read with the annotations.)
posted by Catblack at 7:46 AM on December 20, 2017 [4 favorites]


I'm with Hactar and Four Ds on this one. It's a pretty ok action movie, as they go, but it jettisoned everything of the source material that might have elevated it beyond being merely ok.
posted by tobascodagama at 8:10 AM on December 20, 2017 [2 favorites]


On the other hand, when you adapt something and it feels like you just throw away what made the original special, then it does feel like a strike against it.

I think that applies to the comic as well.

In fact, I think that the movie is the perfect adaptation of League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, in that it is a bad fanfic of a bad fanfic. If it degrades the comic, then well, that's a continuation of what the comic did to the source material.

Also, there is one way in which the movie is far superior to the comic - it includes neither Moore's "humorous" racism, nor his turning a scene of rape and pedophilia into a joke.

I'll repeat this the movie is better than the comic, because it didn't go "HURR HURR HURR , RAPING TEENAGE GIRLS, WHAT A LARF, HURR HURR HURR"

I lost any and all respect for Moore as a writer after that shit.
posted by happyroach at 8:46 AM on December 20, 2017 [2 favorites]


I saw it in the theatre and was disappointed it wasn't as smart as it could be (James Robinson, unsmart writer?!? Whodathunk?), but I've caught bits of it on TV since then, and it's not bad. It's not as though they could do Kevin O'Neill-level nuttiness - and fortunately, they also skipped his racist caricatures - or that Connery would play Quatermain as the mostly-useless Empire analogue whose ass is carried by PoC and women (They should have got Richard Chamberlain, he'd probably be game for another go and they wouldn't have had to pay him $17M). It's not as gross as Bad Boys 2, just to grab a movie that came out at the same time. And the Hyde costume beats the hell out of CGI Hulk.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 8:53 AM on December 20, 2017 [3 favorites]


It ended Connery's career.

Huh. I thought to myself, "Nah that can't be right, can it? I feel like he's been in stuff...". But, no, it's basically what it looks like. According to imdb, since 2003, Connery has had two acting credits, both as a voice actor: one in a 2005 PS2 video game, From Russia With Love, that is probably just using clips from the movie and one in a 2012 animated movie that barely even registers as a movie on Rotten Tomatoes (0% Fresh, 5 total reviews, none from Top Critics, and not even a movie poster image).
posted by mhum at 8:54 AM on December 20, 2017 [2 favorites]


I liked it. I like lots of movies that the majority dislike. Fight me.
posted by Splunge at 8:56 AM on December 20, 2017


Much like World War Z, I was disappointed that the movie strayed so far from what made the book good. The worst misunderstanding of the source material was turning Mina Harker from a woman who could break out of the sexist restrictions of Victorian England because she’d Been Through Some Shit into a sexy vampire. I did appreciate that they kept Nemo’s characterization as exiled Indian royalty and enjoyed the production design of his sub and car, and liked the incorporation of Tom Sawyer and Dorian Gray.

Not the worst dumb action movie I’ve seen, but I also don’t imagine a LoEG movie that was faithful to the source material would even make back its budget.
posted by ejs at 9:16 AM on December 20, 2017 [2 favorites]


In another timeline, this was released as an animated adventure in the style of Mike Mignola and it's one of the greatest animated films ever created. I think about this what-if often.
posted by Fizz at 9:35 AM on December 20, 2017 [2 favorites]


I'm 7 minutes in and the youtube video is as boring and terrible as the movie it's reviewing.
posted by The World Famous at 10:07 AM on December 20, 2017 [3 favorites]


The worst misunderstanding of the source material was turning Mina Harker from a woman who could break out of the sexist restrictions of Victorian England because she’d Been Through Some Shit into a sexy vampire.

It's funny, because Peta Wilson was good at playing an extremely tough woman for whom sexiness was just an incidental tactic in the original TV La Femme Nikita.
posted by praemunire at 10:29 AM on December 20, 2017 [2 favorites]


Caveat: I haven't watched the video. Life is too short.

I saw the movie in the theater. Loved it unironically. Bought the DVD. Still like it. Tried to read the original material. Just can't get into it.

But I also saw the 1998 Avengers in the theater and enjoyed the magnificent stylistic absurdity. Own that on DVD too. Directed by the director of National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation. He's a tv director now, sad for movies but great for tv.
posted by monopas at 10:35 AM on December 20, 2017


It's a big dumb movie, which is not in and of itself a bad thing, but the source material at least considers itself very smart (I personally was underwhelmed by it). The plot is completely different and the inclusion of Tom Sawyer just smacks of executive interference, and the well-respected author of the original disowned it, all of which are going to prejudice people against the film. Plus, everyone in the video agreed that it kind of falls apart in the end, which is going to weigh more heavily on people's opinions of the movie.

I remember enjoying the movie, but yeah, Penny Dreadful's better.
posted by ckape at 2:57 PM on December 20, 2017 [1 favorite]


So I ended up doing a steampunk talk for a youth program at my local library a few years ago, which involved having to sit through this movie for the second time.

Yeah, it's got a lot of cool visuals, but it doesn't hold together. It feels awfully generic. Then again, much as I LOVE most of Alan Moore's stuff, I really don't care for The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen in its original form either.
posted by threeturtles at 3:55 PM on December 20, 2017 [1 favorite]


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