special Blu-Ray DVD release of the movie is a 2-disc set with standard
DVD disc enclosed plus digital copy and BD Live. It's worth a
Gabriel Macht as Denny Colt/The Spirit
Samuel L. Jackson as The Octopus
Eva Mendes as Sand Saref
Scarlett Johansson as Silken Floss, sexy henchwoman of The Octopus
Sarah Paulson as Ellen Dolan
Dan Lauria as Dolan, the police commissioner
Jaime King as Lorelei Rox
Louis Lombardi as the henchman clones, Pathos/Egos/Logos, etc.
Dan Gerrity as Detective Sussman
Eric Balfour as Mahmoud, Sand Saref's partner
Stana Katic as Morgenstern, sexy rookie policewoman
Paz Vega as Plaster of Paris
Johnny Simmons as Young Denny Colt
Seychelle Gabriel as Young Sand Saref
Arthur the Cat as Himself
Director- Frank Miller
Writer- Frank Miller The Spirit (2008): Could have been
better. I'm not saying this movie is bad, but I was really
expecting more of a "real" movie. Director Frank Miller geared
this as a concept film. That's not necessarily a bad thing, but
why did he have to take it to such a dark, weird place? This
movie bombed in theaters, and I can't say that I'm overly
surprised. I don't think it should have been such a commercial
failure, but I can definitely see that it's an acquired taste.
Plus, it was a Christmas release. And I don't know why anyone
would release a movie on Christmas. I really can't think of any
Christmas-released movie that was a huge hit. Who the heck goes
to theaters on Christmas?
I love the original comic strip/comic book superhero
character of "The Spirit", as created by Will Eisner. Spirit was
always a positive, upbeat character despite the fact that he was a
crime-fighting ghost. The Spirit's stories seemed more light than
dark. This movie is bizarre. The writing, the film's very
direction...all of it tries too hard to be dark and brooding. I
find the hero's psycho-babble narrative so phony: "My city...my
city needs me...", oh, brother! They would have done well to let
Spirit act like a real person in a fantastic situation. Creator
Will Eisner's vision is just a lot more honest...and fun.
The last two decades have given rise to the "dark"
superhero. This is thanks largely to Frank Miller's historical
comic book revision of the Batman character for DC Comics over twenty
years ago! That, and definitely the first "Batman" film from
1989, is what set the era of depressing heroes in motion. We
haven't gotten out of it, yet. This movie proves that the "dark"
superhero is so cliche it's ridiculous. It would seem, as many of
these "dark" superhero movies have been flopping lately, that a lot of
audiences are feeling the same way. I think a lot of people,
myself included, would like to see more positive superhero flicks with
true-blue hero types and happy endings.
This is not at all a hard story to follow, but it is
hard to maintain your interest because the scenes are so choppy and the
humor is so quirky. The biggest mistake, I think, is the omission
of Spirit's black sidekick, Ebony White. Ebony's age was
sometimes unclear. At times, his size and personality made you
think he was a young boy. At other times, he was a man who drove
Spirit in a taxi. It's generally believed that Ebony was a young
teenager who illegally chauffeured our hero, underage. Frank
Miller dropped the character from the movie because one, he doesn't
like sidekicks and two, Ebony's portrayal in the classic comics is
viewed as racially offensive. Instead of updating the character,
Miller just ignored Ebony White. This was a very bad move.
Ebony was a solid character and important to the saga of The
Spirit. He was as important to Spirit as Tonto was to Lone
Ranger, or Kato to Green Hornet. A positive, likable version of
the Ebony White character would have sold the movie better.
Everyone loves a cool African-American character in shows.
There are a number of good things about this
film. Most of which is due to the cast. Dan Lauria, by far
and away, gives the best acting performance in "The Spirit". His
character as sirly, hardened police commissioner Dolan brings the
greatest amount of reality to this story. He's one of the few
characters in this movie that isn't a cardboard cutout. Dolan's
not black and white. There are times when he's nice and times
when he's tough. It all depends on the situation and the
Samuel L. Jackson as the primary villain, and Eva
Mendes as the sexy femme fatale also give talented performances.
I've been enjoying both of those actors in films. They almost
always seem to land cool character roles in respectable projects.
Sarah Paulson did a very good job as Ellen Dolan, the unrequited love
of The Spirit. I'm looking forward to seeing more of her in
films. One actress that I think is really cool is Stana Katic as
Morgenstern, the sexy rookie policewoman. Morganstern is
delightfully goofy, but not an idiot. I just think Stana Katic
did a wonderful job with this minor role and I hope that she gets to
take on larger parts in feature films or even a TV series.
Basically all the women characters from this film are
interesting. Jaime King as Lorelei Rox, and especially Paz Vega
as Plaster of Paris, are extremely sexy and fun. Scarlett
Johannson plays Silken Floss, sexy henchwoman of The Octopus. She
looks good enough, and I guess she's okay as an actress, but I
definitely wasn't dazzled by the acting or the character.
I liked Gabriel Macht as the hero of the
picture. He looks the part, and he's likable enough. Odd
enough, his character didn't get a lot of great dialogue. This
had to be a pretty simple acting job for him. He did well, but
this is just one of those cases where the "main character" takes a
backseat to the large supporting cast. What surprises me is that
the actors who played young Denny Colt and young Sand Saref (Johnny
Simmons and Seychelle Gabriel, respectively) give much more complicated
acting performances than either of their adult counterparts, and they
handle their roles very well.
One thing that really bugs me about this movie is
the very mish-mash style. I know that it was supposed to be a
blend of visual elements from the 1940s and the 2000s, but it just
didn't work. Sometimes the characters wear old-fashioned clothes,
sometimes they wear very modern clothes. Most of the cars are
classic cars, but then you see laptop computers in the next
scene. And in some instances, we see things that would almost
hint at this being futuristic, such as the police uniforms and offbeat
special effects, to name a few. The movie is filmed to look old,
and in less than a decade this movie will seem really dated, yet the
movie still tries to show newer things. Only one time period
should have been followed. I think Miller did a great job of
confusing the heck out of the audience.
This is still a good superhero movie to watch at
least once. I think it's wonderful that such an old character was
remembered fondly enough to inspire a major motion picture
release. This probably won't be your favorite superhero
movie. It isn't one of my top favorites, but it does have a charm
of its own. I would rate this as an "okay" film, but with a bit
of retweaking this could have been an "outstanding" movie.
Titles For This Film:
Will Eisner's The Spirit [USA; poster title] This movie title is a big misnomer, as
Will Eisner's Spirit would have at least had Ebony White as one of the
Eva Mendes wanted to work with Frank Miller so
much that she signed on to this movie before even reading the script.
Frank Miller used the names of comic artists for
business names in this movie. Ditko (as in Steve Ditko) was on
the side of a truck driven by Silken Floss. Feiffer is another
name used. Look for more!
Shot on green screen in 50 days. By the
way, I personally believed they used too much of the green screen in
this movie, and you can tell that the majority of the movie's
background is fake.
In an interview with "Total Film" magazine, Frank
Miller admitted that he shouted "Cut!" instead of "Action!" just before
filming Paz Vega's scene. He was totally distracted by her
fantastically sexy costume! Can't say as I blame him!
Sand Saref is very similar to another femme
fatale from "Spirit" comics named P'Gell. Both women seduce and
marry wealthy men only to have them killed.
All of the names of the henchmen clones end in
"os". In their last scene of the film, we see "Adios" and
The three henchmen in the beginning are named
"Logos", "Pathos", and "Ethos". These three words are taken from
philospher Aristotle, who believed that these three ingredients are
needed to have persuasive rhetoric.
The name Morganstern means "morning star" in
Dolan says "hard goodbye" as a metaphor for
death. This is also the title of one of Frank Miller's "Sin City"
Sand Saref makes a photocopy of her butt and
leaves it in the trashcan. The Spirit later finds it and says
"You shouldn't have signed it." This phrase is taken from a line
in one of Frank Miller's early "Daredevil" comics for Marvel.
In one scene, The Octopus mentions "Star
Trek". Silken Floss then says the words "cling on". Klingon
is an alien race in the popular "Star Trek" TV series.