For lots of comics fans, there's no topping Will Eisner's graphically brilliant original seven-page Spirit stories from the 1940s and '50s. Brad Bird (The Incredibles) tried for years to launch an animated feature starring Eisner's masked crime fighter, but it never panned out. So producers turned to Miller, codirector of Sin City and author of the graphic novel 300, for a stylized live-action take. In casting the relatively unknown Macht (Because I Said So) as revived-from-the-dead criminologist Denny Colt (a.k.a. the Spirit), Miller says, ''I didn't want a familiar face. I didn't want it to be a vehicle for anybody.''
Our Two Cents A silhouette-filled teaser trailer looked very Sin City redux, but the final film is in full color and, we hope, totally Eisnerian. 12/25
DEEP DIVE Check out Brad Bird's ode to Will Eisner's gumshoe at michaelbarrier.com, and gloriously inventive Spirit artwork at willeisner.com