Comic books are not that easy to adapt. After what feels like a thousand different adaptations of Spiderman, it’s safe to say that it’s not enough to get a kid inside a custom, prop up the green screen and get on with it. Movies need to capture the spirit of the comic and not just the visual, so that they can actually become successful, or at least just so they don’t enrage the fans…
Scott Pilgrim vs. The World
While Scott Pilgrim is a beloved comic book character, we have to admit something: he’s a pretty crappy person throughout the saga. Without spoiling the series for anyone that hasn’t read it yet, it’s safe to say the guy treated the women around him like they were interchangeable and was super whiny and selfish all around. You can still see that Scott in the movie, but it is finally acknowledged that he’s kind of the worst.
This is one of those rare instances in which the movie is actually better than the comics at least in that sense. Aside from that, it also features an amazing cast (Pre-Oscar Brie Larson is in this), a really awesome soundtrack, and a universe that seems to have been built by people who are part of comic and gaming fandom, so there’s an authentic feel to it.
This is the movie that should be part of the “Sad Tumblr Teen” starter kit, along with the first few seasons of Daria and the anthologies for Morrissey and Radiohead. It’s a brilliant movie capable of melting the dark, cold, hearts of any outsiders that end up relating to Enid and Rebecca (a really young Scarlett Johansson).
People tend to forget that Ghost World is based on a graphic of the same name written by Daniel Clowes. This cult classic is beautifully illustrated, and the story is funny, sad, dark, nostalgic, and ultimately charming in its honest depiction of life as a teenager in a society that values consumerism above anything else. The movie does a pretty good job into translating such a beautiful work into the big screen and it’s definitely a must-see for any grown rebels looking to reminisce on their teenage years.
Guardians of The Galaxy
What an obvious entry, right? Who would have thought one of the most successful movie franchises would be in a list? Well, this is so good it deserves an entry in every post ever made about comic book adaptations. The cast just kills it. The franchise needed a bit of time to find that unique voice and really learn to highlight that warmth that makes it so adored by fans, but they’ve got it down by now and it’s so delightful to watch. Characters are allowed to be as funny, irreverent, insane, and as honesty as they are in the comics.
Like its source material, this movie opens up a world of mystery, suspense, and just plain old super weird characters. And it has the bonus of being able to shoot some pretty impressive scenes with subpar effects. Now, what makes this different from any other Marvel movie and a worthy adaptation, is the way those effects play into the narrative. While the run-of-the-mill Marvel movie has lots of green screens and CGIs kind of just because they “have to”, this one uses the technology to actually set up an amazing world that doesn’t overpower the main hero.