Category Archives: john malkovich
Jonah Hex ~ My online friend Terry Willitts, who’s done a few guest blogs for me both here and at French Fry Diary, summed up this movie pretty well for me on Twitter recently. He said, “It’s not as bad as everyone made it out to be, but it’s not that good.” That just about covers it from a distance.
To me, when I heard they were making a Jonah Hex movie I was excited. This was a comic and a character that could translate to the screen well and gain a mainstream audience, and would also help convince the mainstream that comic books were not just guys flying around in their underwear. Unfortunately, the folks who made this flick didn’t read much of the source material.
While Jonah Hex is primarily a western anti-hero, the character has worked well in both supernatural and even science fiction trappings, while maintaining his own identity. He was never supernatural himself, which is why it bothered me that the movie sought to imbue him with spiritual powers like talking to the dead or to animals. It seems out of place, or worse yet like the Hex character was rewritten to fit this movie.
It’s bad enough that there are scenes and pieces of dialogue lifted from other movies, but quite a lot of this anachronistic nightmare feels like it was once a bad Wild Wild West sequel or even a rejected episode of “Brisco County Jr.”
The film, despite its numerous flaws, looks very good. And Josh Brolin both looks and acts the part of Jonah Hex. If the folks behind the scenes could get their acts together and make a real Hex flick, I would love to see Brolin once again. On the other hand, Megan Fox is just barely eye candy and John Malkovich is just over the top, and that’s saying a lot for him. Tom Wopat is surprisingly good.
On the whole, I would say that Terry got this one right. It’s not “the end of the comic book movie era” as one critic put it when it was first released, but it’s not bad. It certainly could be better however. Check it out as a curiosity, or if nothing else is on.
In an attempt to become ‘unburdened’ Paul goes to a ‘soul storage’ company that removes his soul from his body so he can live a happier carefree life. When Paul begins acting inhuman, or shall we say, soulless, he becomes involved in a soul transplant program – and then into a soul smuggling plot.
That’s when the quest begins for Paul to get his soul back. Hilarity ensues, as one would expect, or hope. I just wish it was good hilarity. Like many Giamatti films, this is slow, talky and at times, painful. It wants very badly to be Being John Malkovich but tries too hard.
Cold Souls could have easily been a Woody Allen (oddly enough the film is based on a dream he had) comedy or a Paul Verhoeven scifi thriller – and I really wish it had been.
For those folks who think comic books are just about people who wear their underwear on the outside of their pants and strike dynamic poses as they punch bad guys, you obviously haven’t heard of Jonah Hex.
Mysterious scarred bounty hunter of the old west, Hex was created a few decades back by John Albano and Tony Dezuniga, and has become one of DC Comics most celebrated western anti-heroes. Jonah Hex has even met the Justice League, and visited Earth’s apocalyptic future, but for the majority of his history he remains closer in tone to Clint Eastwood’s man with no name than any costumed clown. The character’s most recent comic series by writers Justin Gray and Jimmy Palmiotti is simply one of the best on the shelves consistently.
Next year, director Jimmy Hayward (Horton Hears a Who, sigh) will bring Jonah Hex to the big screen. With Josh Brolin in the title role and co-starring Megan Fox and John Malkovich, it should be very interesting. I know I can’t wait.
Jonah Hex will be released June 18th, 2010.