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Watch: Clips From 'Arrow' & Animated 'The Dark Knight' Prove Not Every Comic Adaptation Works

by Kevin Jagernauth
September 19, 2012 2:35 PM
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With Marvel now moving ahead on their "S.H.I.E.L.D." TV series, the superhero invasion that has hit the big screen will likely explode on the small screen as well. And while there have been pockets of shows here and there -- most notably "Smallville" -- for the most part, dudes or dudettes in tights haven't fared well (please see last year's failed "Wonder Woman"). CW hopes to have a hit on their hands with "Arrow," but as this first clip demonstrates, they'll have a few hurdles to clear.

Campy, horribly acted and trying to duplicate Bruce Wayne-style stealth, this hooded Hawkeye-type dude just isn't all that threatening. Or maybe we can't tell because the baddies around him seem to think that bugging their eyes out means they're emoting. But most likely, it may be because the thrust of this scene -- PUT ALL OF THIS MONEY IN THIS ACCOUNT OR ELSE -- already feels pretty bland and tired. But, you know who would dig this? Little kids, and we'd guess that'll be the audience for this thing.

Meanwhile, Warner Bros. continues to fumble the ball with Batman in animated form. Following last year's disappointing "Batman: Year One," along comes "The Dark Knight Part 1" with Peter Weller (!) as Bruce Wayne. Again, there is weird mix of seriousness and kiddie-like lightheartedness that doesn't mesh well. Essentially trying to adapt what is effectively R-rated material into PG-13 fare sort of doesn't work, but we're sure diehards will be all over this. But we'll pass, thanks.

"Arrow" premieres on October 10th, while "The Dark Knight" arrives on September 25th. [ScreenCrush/Flicks And Bits]

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  • KEVIN IS THE NEW GABE | September 19, 2012 5:27 PMReply

    Or Kevin Jagernauth is dead and Gabe Toro is simply writing under his name. Otherwise how can one have so much bad taste consistently?

  • Scott Mendelson | September 19, 2012 4:28 PMReply

    I watched the Dark Knight Returns Part I this morning (review later) and it was much better and far more cinematic than I expected. I found Batman Year One to be a glorified motion-comic, but this was a genuine improvement. As for 'neutering' the text, it's pretty much all there. Yes there are edits for time and a few token changes that make the movie work as a cinematic cartoon rather than a readers' theater comic book, but it works. It's not anywhere near the best of the DCAU movies (still Wonder Woman) and it arguably isn't necessary (why not tell original stories?), but it does what it sets out to do.

  • Mike | September 19, 2012 4:04 PMReply

    You're mad that they don't open with a Marvel logo. Got it.

  • THE PLAYLIST | September 19, 2012 5:27 PM

    It's not like i ever supported any Marvel superhero.

  • Alex | September 19, 2012 4:14 PM

    Lol. Is that serious? Are you braindead?

  • Myk McGrane | September 19, 2012 3:52 PMReply

    Well KEVIN JAGERNAUTH, it's great that you're not a studio exec. This is exactly what the movie should be like. It's nearly frame for frame out of the graphic novel. "Again, there is weird mix of seriousness and kiddie-like lightheartedness that doesn't mesh well." -- that was it? The Dark Knight series had very similar tones with that. Good luck with your mindset leading you into the future.

  • Stuperhero | September 19, 2012 2:47 PMReply

    Holy crap, you do realize superheroes were expressly invented as entertainment FOR KIDS, right? I have no opinion on either of these shows, not having seen them, but the original Batman Animated Series (the Bruce Timm one) was excellent and pitched exactly right: moody and serious and enjoyable at any age, but still essentially for kids. This is what Chris Nolan's ultra ponderous Dark Knight has brought us to: adult bloggers whinging (without even a hint of irony) that superhero stories are too "kiddie like."

  • Stuperhero | September 20, 2012 9:21 AM

    Umm, actually you can. For instance, you could make a movie that features two adults talking and not donning capes and fighting evil.

    Look, I actually enjoy superhero stuff, but I'm totally weirded out by this new nerd-led inability to understand that superheroes are inherently adolescent. Any material where heroes and villains are neatly categorizable as such is, by nature, adolescent. The adult world is complicated – more complicated than the god-head Nolan would have you believe...

  • huh? | September 19, 2012 4:16 PM

    Umm, you cannot get more adult than Year One and The Dark Knight returns.

  • Ugh | September 19, 2012 3:00 PM

    Maybe so, but Frank Miller's 'The Dark Knight Returns' is NOT FOR KIDS. It's a very dark, brooding, adult story that in no way plays to the young kid market. Trying to neuter THAT Batman story to fit all ages is a dumb decision.
    Batman can be a character for everyone. But NOT every Batman story should play to everyone.

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