Reisch, Richard, Julian and I all caught the 18 minute preview of Constantine in Chicago the other day, and personally speaking, I didn't think it was nearly as bad as anyone of us expected. Aside from a clip at the end which features a giant shoot out with Keanu weilding a jesus shotgun- no shitting, a giant shotgun with a cross on the front - the movie seemed to really have adapted it's feel from the book. Constantine comes across as an asshole, who will do whatever to get what he feels is best for the world.
Clips included him putting a cigarette out on a little girls' face to force a demon out, finding out he has lung cancer, and a great scene that could have been written straight out of hellblazer when he asks the arc angel Gabriel why he's dying.
Reeves was... well, he was Reeves, but overall he was trying his best and I feel like the script was pretty good. There were a few jump out of your seat type moments that got me, partly because I'm a pussy in movies and partly because they had the noise so fucking loud in there.
At the end the director came out and talked a little, basically saying how he and the crew- he called the origional version of the script "crap" and mentioned that Reeves' input helped drive the newer version towards something more like a real Hellblazer adaptation- had fought the studio tooth and nail not to simply make "Matrix 4- With Demons." He also aknowledged that longtime Hellblazer fans were intially pissed off but that everyone he'd shown the clip to had liked it, including Karen berger. The guy seemed to be doing a good job with the crowd when we got up to leave and spend mroe money, but we didnt get fully out the door before the director made the comment of the con-
"Really, Keanu and John Constantine are very similar, personality wise."
At which point Richard burst out laughing so hard that we had to rush him away before we got beat up. Seriously, I thought he was gonna pop a brain stem.
Anyway, the others can drop by with thoughts, but I'm hopeful for this movie. Work of art? No. Direct adaptation? No. Way, way better than anyone has expected? Hells yes. I think I may just go and see it now.