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February 18 2005

Similarities between "Angel" and the movie "Constantine." They both have that L.A.-as-Hell thing going on...

Angel mentioned in this CHUD review of Constantine:

"So the American John Constantine, decked out in a long dark coat, stalks the streets of a darkly noir LA fighting demons and other servants of darkness. If that reminds you of the Buffy the Vampire Slayer spin-off Angel, you arenít alone [...]"

This is weird. I was just thinking the same thing, except I was thinking that Wesley was just like John Constantine. Here's an idea for another spin-off. Wesley is dead so he could be between heaven and hell because he did help the helpless but he also went through a couple of stages of ruthlessness (i.e. stabbing or shooting people) I for one would love this spin-off. Throw in Faith and you've got top notch entertainment. And you don't need David Boreanaz at all, so this could work.
If they had stayed true to the source(the hellblazer comics) James Marsters would've played a great blonde, british John Constantine.

Heres a article about the butchering of Hellblazer click here and on the right side of the page theres a Hellblazer comic image.

Also click here

[ edited by eddy on 2005-02-19 03:45 ]
Yeah, they butchered it somewhat. And, as much as I'd like to believe that Keanu CAN act, he desperately cannot...acting...and acting like you're acting....are two different things.

If only they'd taken JM as Constantine!
I believe Giles' whole background as "Ripper" was more or less inspired by the John Constantine character. They're very similar characters in some ways. Giles became a Librarian and settled down, but still. The first 40 Issues or so of Hellblazer written by Jamie Delano are absolutely classic. If you're a Buffy fan and you haven't read them, you probably should.
Ugh...I hated what they did with the movie. It strayed so much from the essence of the character.
Similarities to Whedon's Angel are coincidental, but the idea of dramatically americanizing Hellblazer was obviously an executive decision in hopes of broadening the potential audience. It's all about potential revenue. Alienate the niche audience in hopes of getting the teeming masses to take a glance at it. Idiots.

I won't be going to see Constantine. I'll probably avoid even the DVD version. I used to be a fan of the Hellblazer comic books. Moving Constantine from England to L.A. for the film and turning him into an American is like taking Captain Nemo, turning him into a cowboy bandit and putting him on a steam locomotive.

Keanu Reeves? What effing drugs were the producers on? I hate suits.
Well-written and opinionated (in the best kind of way) review, though.
FYI: The character of John Constantine was modeled after Sting (him of "The Police" fame) way back when he first showed up in Swamp Thing. You'd think that might send the casting in a certain direction. (Hey, he may be older, but I'm sure he'd appreciate the work).
Jack, I've often thought there are certain facial similarities between Sting and JM. He could do a "younger Sting" rather well. Though he's really not keen on bleaching his hair again.
I always thought Dennis Leary would be the perfect John Constantine, though I'm probably alone in that. I'm going to go see Constantine and keep all thoughts of what it should have been out of my mind.
While I'm not a member of the Keanu fan club, he actually can be good at times (though, I'm betting big $, not in "Constantine").

Usually, he seems to do well in small and/or comic roles. He was basically born to play Ted (or was it Bill?), he was fine in "River's Edge" and, I think, "Dangerous Liaisons" (though an absolute disaster in "Much Ado About Nothing" -- Keanu needs to leave the Bard alone). He was a great Dogboy in the movie "Freaked"

He also also has an absolutely hilarious bit as a sort of psychotically stoic zen-healer/dentist in the upcoming indie flick "Thumbsucker," though there's a lot of self-parody in that character.

[ edited by bobster on 2005-02-19 22:01 ]
The thing is, by casting Reeves and putting him in LA they already strayed so far from the original stories in style and feel, I think I can watch this movie without even thinking about the differences. It already so different I can see it as a 'similar type' of story (Like the Dresden files are basically softer american versions of Constantine anyway. Or like Ripper was a bit of a Constantine too as someone pointed out) and maybe I will be less annoyed.

I hope so, since i'm still spitting out the bitter taste of 'Elektra' where I couldn't make enough of a distance in my head.

But even in seeing this Constantine movie as something separate, it might still suck. Anything involving heaven or hell in american movies/tv usually gets buggered in the story.
You could change the names, not call it Constantine, and no one would notice. I mean, it's NOT the story of Hellblazer. Why even put the Constantine name on it if they're not going to bother respecting the source material? And why would anyone who actually enjoyed the original comic book want to go and encourage this kind of behavior? Please don't support this film. It only makes them make more crap.

If they ever put Neil Gaiman's Sandman on film, I bet you they'll do something stupid like cast Tom Cruise as Morpheus, Nicole Kidman as Death, and John Travolta as Delirium. God, I hate suits.
I'd read the first few Hellblazer comics, they were very good (and very dark) indeed. Haven't read much of them since. I can see why they didn't call Constantine Hellblazer, it might get people mixed up with Clive Barker's Hellraiser.
I'm not a big comic book fan. I never heard of Constantine or Hellblazer and just read this review and all these posts.

I'll see this movie, maybe in the theaters or just on dvd but I'll see it eventually. I like many KR movies. I have Feeling Minnesota, Martrix (1&2), Devil's Advocate, Dangerous Liaisons and Speed. He's been in some good stuff and IMO he was good in these films.

It's interesting to read here that the orginal character was based on Sting, would have been nice to see him in the part, he was wonderful in Brimstone & Treacle.

Anyway - movies are not comic books so I think you just have to watch this movie as if it weren't based on a comic and see what you think. I never read the X-men but enjoyed both movies, Spider-man I knew from Sat morning cartoons when I was a kid, Batman, Wonder Woman and Superman from TV also.

There are always changes when books are made into movies, I remember being so upset about Tom Cruise playing Lestat in Interview with a Vampire, a book I loved and felt that Cruise was so wrong for the part, the movies would be awful what were they thinking? Well it was pretty well done and Tom Cruise was amazingly good as Lestat. I never would have guessed it. Maybe Constantine will be OK too, the review wasn't all bad and they gave the movie a decent rating 7 out of 10 isn't bad.

Like John Lennon said 99% of everything is crap - true but when you really think like this life becomes very dissapointing so you gotta give a bit and enjoy some stuff for what it is.
It was ever thus, it seems, ZM. I just rewatched Bridge on the River Kwai (1957) the other night. The studio wanted an American in this British-Japanese-WW2 story and so William Holden, a superstar at the time, was written in by director David Lean. It was actually done exceptionally well, I might say. The difference from today is: while the original book (by Boulle) had no such sidestory, the essence of the drama and the location and the customs of the people, British, Japanese and Siamese (Thai) was fully intact. And brilliant. Alas, such a story would not have been done so successfully today without invasive marketing surgery -- ruining it, of course, by setting it in upstate New York where a plucky white, middle-class town mayor goes to jail instead of asking his councillors to approve the municipality's first Starbucks. (okay, ill now . . .)
Hey! My first post here. Anyway I just went to see Constantine. My husband, who isn't really a fan of the genre summed it up best when he said, "Any episode of Angel was like 10 times better than this movie." I must agree. Suffice to say, Joss could have done wonders with this film.
Greetings, shawna!

You're husband is doubtless correct about what Joss could have done with Constantine, but think of the wonders he could do with an Angel film...

Actually if this movie is a tenth as good as an Angel episode, it might be worth seeing....naaahhhh....

Interesting story, Drifter, about Bridge on the River Kwai...pretty amazing that Boulle wrote not only that book, but "Planet of the Apes" as parents adored the book (Planet of the Apes) and could not stand the unbelievably re-written movie...called it a travesty beyond words...I guess this kind of debate has been going on, well, for a long time!

[ edited by Chris inVirginia on 2005-02-20 01:43 ]
Just got back from seeing Constantine and I loved it. I don't read comic maybe that helped. I'm not going to pick it apart because it isn't lke a Joss project or it's not exactly like the comic...I let it stand on it's husband, daughter and I enjoyed it, will buy it on DVD and I can't wait for a sequel. Try to be a little less judgemental and see the movie first!
CinV wrote: pretty amazing that Boulle wrote not only that book, but "Planet of the Apes" as well

That's cool. I think I'll read Apes. Thanks.
You will be amazed, Drifter...way, way different from the movie.

My mom and dad, in the 60s, shoved Ray Bradbury and Isaac Asimov upon me...Shakespeare, too, and lots of others, but they were determined to expose us kids to good science fiction.
I'm with you Coll.
I'm off to see it tomorrow.
I rekon I will love it too, however I have'nt read the comics.
If I was a fan, I'd be pretty ticked off too I suppose.
Well I saw it today and it was watchable. I had no problem disconnecting it from the comic, just as I hoped, so I wasn't sitting there seething with hatred at how they screwed up the source material. I could see it as it's own thing. Keanu looks cool, there are some great visuals and overall it's a half-decent flic.

Still, it's america so any heaven/hell stuff gets messed a little, just as I was expecting. There were a lot of themes and elements of its mythos that just didn't work for me. Things that kind of countered each other or downright canceled each other out. And certain motivations were far-fetched to say the least. Pity because a lot of that could've been avoided without that much trouble I think. Seems there's always some 'catering' that needs to be done to certain demographics. I'm not going to mention anything because I don't want to spoil things for others. (Plus, this would turn into a long and probably boring post. Okay, more boring.)

Still like I said, it wasn't bad and had some nice moments. And let's face it, no way would Hellblazer ever make it to the screens in the US undilluted. Just not gonna happen.

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