300—a film based on Frank Miller's 1998 comic book—comes out this week. And while Miller wasn't directly involved in 300's production, he has had plenty of influence in some other big Hollywood flicks... for example... RoboCop!
• Sin City (2005)—Miller co-directed this re-creation of his graphic novels alongside Robert Rodriguez (and Quentin Tarantino), ensuring that the film—for better or worse—is pretty much the most faithful adaptation of a comic ever. Stilted pacing aside, the film's a visual orgasm, and the director's cut DVD adds scenes, re-edits the stories, and boasts some killer special features.
• Batman Begins (2005)—Miller's not officially credited as one of the filmmakers for Batman Begins, but hey, it's the thought that counts: A ton of stuff in Begins is ripped right out of Miller's The Dark Knight Returns and Batman: Year One.
• RoboCop 2 (1990) and RoboCop 3 (1993)—Ah, RoboCop! I'm not sure who came up with the idea of a half-cyborg/half-man police officer (in DETROIT!), but that's like some E=mc2 shit: I'll never be able to explain or comprehend it, but I do know that it's brilliant. Miller wrote Robocop 2 and 3, which technically have "plots" that no one cares about, but are really about this awesome dude who's "Part machine, part robot, ALL COP." He also has a pistol that shoots like a machine gun! When I was 10, I wanted to be a RoboCop when I grew up. Actually, I still do.
• Daredevil (2003) and Elektra (2005)—Blaming Miller for the so-so Daredevil (starring Ben Affleck... as a superhero!) and the terrible Elektra (starring Jennifer Garner... as a superhero!) is legit only in that Daredevil steals plenty of visual cues from Miller's Daredevil comics, wherein he also created the character of Elektra. Actually, I take that back about how it's not fair to blame Miller for these: Anyone even remotely connected to these movies deserves a pretty solid dose of ridicule. (Yes. Even if they wrote something as sweet as RoboCop 2. Which reminds me: Isn't RoboCop the awesomest?)