grateful to be living in a golden age of sorts for geek material, but the
flipside of that is not unlike the flipside when music scenes have exploded.
When the Seattle music scene blew up in the
early 90s, we got to enjoy the likes of Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Soundgarden, and Alice in Chains….and then
came soundalike driftwood like Candlebox, Creed, and Bush. When Green Day
exploded, they helped break the pop/punk barrier on radio that had existed to
that point…after which, flotsam and jetsam like A Simple Plan, New Found Glory,
and Good Charlotte leaked in. In the film world, it’s not especially different.
After the wheat of any trend is harvested, studios have no problem cultivating
the chaff. And as comic book adaptations provide many of our blockbusters today
and we’ve enjoyed a relatively decent crop of premiere titles thus far, we’re
due for some chaff.

there are crappy comics in development at studios all over town from the Wayans
Bros’ Super Bad James Dynomite to Mark Millar’s juvenile supervillain
farce Wanted, and there’s no signs of this stopping any time soon. Dreamworks
and Universal have just teamed up to adapt the graphic novel Cowboys
& Aliens
for a live-action feature. If you’re not familiar with the
book, don’t fret. The title says it all: In the old West, conquering aliens
show up and get their asses kicked by a few spare cowboys and a lot of
anonymous Indians. Sadly, that’s not just the premise, but pretty much all that
happens in the book. Our cowboy protagonist characters, Zeke and Miss Verity,
are about as developed as a zygote, and you barely learn their names before
they each magically lay their hands on the alien equivalents of a six-shooter
and a lasso (Yes, the alien “lasso” is as stupid as it sounds) and start
whooping ass. This is the peril of fanboy complaints about how easy it is to
get an X vs. Y movie to work (e.g. Pathfinder’s Indians vs. Vikings, Aliens
vs. Predator
’s…well, you know). If indeed you think you merely have to
set up two groups and let them slug it out in order to make a viable story for
a motion picture, this will definitely make you reconsider that view.

Best of
all, you don’t even have to throw down your hard-earned dough to see what I’m
referring to. The 100-page saga is freely available online at the official web site. The news isn’t
all bad, however. The creative forces behind the film version include scripters
Mark Fergus and Hawk Ostby, the screenwriting team behind Children of Men and the
upcoming Iron Man.
It also includes screenwriters Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci, who’ll be
producing along Brian Grazer and Ron Howard.