One of my favorite comics of 2005, Runners: Bad Goods, has made the jump to the movies! Well, kind of…
The highly-acclaimed sci-fi adventure comic Runners, by Sean Wang, is now a fully animated short! The 3-D computer-animated Runners feature from The DAVE School — makers of the X-Men Minimates movie ”Darktide” — is now available online.
Produced by The DAVE (Digital Animation and Visual Effects) School at Universal Studios Orlando, the 6-minute short adapts the first issue of the Runners: Bad Goods comic, in which reluctant smuggler Roka Nostaco and his ragtag alien crew must board a hostile vessel to do battle with a notorious band of pirates intent on stealing their cargo.
For a student project, it’s a great piece of video, perfectly capturing the look and feel of Sean Wang’s entertaining sci-fi adventure series. PIXAR or Dreamworks should snatch it up ASAP and bring it to the big screen!
LES FRANKEN (Michael Rapaport) leads a painfully unremarkable life as a metermaid until he enrolls in a drug study for an experimental anti-depressant. An unexpected side effect of the drug convinces Les he is developing special powers and must quit his job to answer his new calling in life… Superhero.
A very select group of people in life are truly gifted. Special is a movie about everyone else.
The trailer is appealing, suggesting a wry dramedy that plays coy with the question of whether or not Les really does have super powers…or is simply crazy. There’s a quick scene, in the bodega, that reminds me of Unbreakable — still one of my top five superhero movies ever — and I’ve always liked Michael Rapaport, one of Hollywood’s quintessential everyman character actors, who often steals movies with his supporting turns.
It’ll be interesting to see how he pulls off a leading role, and whether its positive write-up on the Sundance web site holds true:
Michael Rapaport so fully embodies Les’s desire for empowerment that he actually brings Special much closer to the spirit of early comic-book superheroes (marginalized men expressing fantasies of strength) than the studio films we see. Special is about loneliness and insecurity, and people encumbered by self-doubt. It’s a subtle, philosophical comedy that gets its special powers from clever filmmaking.
Oddly enough, it doesn’t appear to have been signed at Sundance as I can’t find a release date listed anywhere and there’s no studio attached to it in any of the reviews I’ve come across. If and when it does pop up, though, I plan to check it out.
Until then, I’ll have to make do with a little Milla, I guess.
PS: I never thought of it this way, but Fifth Element is totally a superhero comic book movie, which means it’s on my top 5 list, too. In alphabetical order, that’s Batman Begins, Fifth Element, The Incredibles, The Matrix and Unbreakable, only one of which is actually based directly on a comic book character. The rest take elements of superhero comics and spin them off in their own unique directions.