Grab bag post: Darwyn Cooke’s Slayground and a quick review of Only God Forgives



When we interviewed Darwyn Cooke for his release of The Score, he told us that his next Parker adapation would be The Handle. I thought it was a good pick, and that was only partially fueled by my desire to see him stretch out the series as long as possible. (He’s stated that it will end with Butcher’s Moon.)

Plans change, and it was announced this weekend at the San Diego Comic-Con that Slayground is next (hat tip to reader Tony Morris). He’d previously toyed with the idea of doing a mini version of this one, like he did with The Man with the Getaway Face, but apparently the inspiration hit him to make it full length.

I trust Darwyn’s judgment more than that of just about anyone else working right now, so whatever the reasons for the change of heart, it’s cool with me. But I hope it doesn’t mean that Butcher’s Moon is the only thing we have left to look forward to after this one!

Darwyn also took home another Eisner award for best adaptation for The Score. Congratulations, Mr. Cooke!

Only God Forgives

I really shouldn’t taint this post by throwing in some thoughts on the new film Only God Forgives, but regulars know I haven’t had a lot of time to type lately. I figured I’d take advantage of a few spare minutes to write while I have the time and material.

The Girl and I were going to go see this at the theater, but couldn’t get seats. It’s also out on pay-per-view so we did that instead.

Thank goodness. A few bucks saved, plus we could bitch about it vocally without disturbing other customers.

I like Ryan Gosling. I’d previously praised Drive, and I was in the minority of folks who enjoyed Gangster SquadOnly God Forgives reunites Gosling with Drive director Nicolas Refn and Drive composer Cliff Martinez. So good stuff, right?

What the hell? How do you make a movie as good as Drive, try noir again, and screw up this badly? It’s a pretentious mess that goes out of its way to be pointlessly disturbing, with about thirty minutes of plot stretched out into an hour and half that feels like two and a half. If there are any redeeming features, they are the cinematography, which is artsy-fartsy but interesting, and a couple of plot elements that are intriguing but don’t end up going anywhere.

I wrote two vaguely postive things about it, which is about all that can be said in its favor, and if someone told me I was stretching, I wouldn’t argue all that much. The Girl, who loved Drive and thinks Mr. Gosling is a rather handsome man, liked it about as much as Rex Reed did in one of the most scathing reviews I’ve ever read. I wouldn’t go quite that far, but his review is a heck of a lot more entertaining than the movie.

I no longer want that Drive sequel.