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05 March 2009 @ 11:42 am
The Hoard Potato "pre-reviews" Watchmen  
Yes, I've already got advanced tickets -- for both Friday and Saturday mornings. I have tomorrow off, but quelonzia doesn't.

(I work in a comic store -- can I write this off my taxes as a job-related expense?)

As I may have mentioned, we're approaching this movie experimentally. I read Watchmen when it first came out, as individual, monthly issues punctuated by occasional delays (which is a slightly different experience than reading it for the first time in collected form). Quel, on the other claw, hasn't read it at all -- and since all the hype started last summer, I've been deliberately (and with her knowledge) steering her away from any of the promo material that might reveal plot points.

Our intent is to see if the movie works for both a devoted fan intimately familiar with the story, and a new viewer seeing it for the first time.

Please note that I spent 20 years hoping that this movie wouldn't be made, and insisting that a decent adaptation couldn't be made -- right up up until last summer's previews in front of The Dark Knight. Between the promo material I've seen and the feedback I've gotten from those who have been lucky enough to catch sneak previews, I am now Cautiously Optimistic.

Before I actually see the movie with my own eyes, however, I thought I'd make a few observations.

First, a prediction: at least one idiot reviewer will say something snarky about how the whole "superheroes coming back after being outlawed" is a ripoff of The Incredibles.

Now, a thesis: no matter how good a job Snyder did, the movie is not going to be "everything the graphic novel was". It can't be -- because the original was as much about the form and medium of comics as it was about the deconstruction of the superhero genre. This is, by my readings, the main thing that Mr. Moore keeps griping about.

Personally, I'll be satisfied if the most superficial level, the murder mystery/conspiracy, plays out acceptably. This is all it will take for me to classify it as Successful Entertainment.

If it actually does manage to play as an examination of the underlying premises of the superhero genre, as well, I'll be very happy indeed.

This, as an aside, is why I didn't complain about the liberties taken with the costumes (particularly Dreiberg's). If it's going to even attempt to make the same kind of metacommentary that the original did, it's going to have to address the recent spate of superhero movies, not superhero comics. To do that, it will have to use the visual vocabulary of the superhero cinema.

And yes, this includes, in some cases, latex armor that makes a mediocre physique look buff.

Look for more after I've seen the movie itself.

I feel: optimisticoptimistic
Tube: curioustoob on March 5th, 2009 08:27 pm (UTC)
You work in a comic store? Which/where?
Your Obedient Serpentathelind on March 6th, 2009 12:25 am (UTC)
Legends Comics & Games, in Cupertino Square/Vallco Fashion Center.
ebony14 on March 5th, 2009 08:30 pm (UTC)
The thing that I see Moore mostly griping about, and rightly so, is that DC basically lied to him about his retaining the rights to Watchmen and V for Vendetta. He's not getting any money from either of these movies.
McGuffinhitchkitty on March 5th, 2009 09:52 pm (UTC)
Not sure about V, but I'm fairly sure he's officially waived his Watchmen royalties.
ebony14 on March 5th, 2009 09:58 pm (UTC)
Entirely possible. It's been a bit since I read the interview.
Your Obedient Serpentathelind on March 6th, 2009 12:27 am (UTC)
He officially waived his rights to both movies, since he didn't like the way V was turning out, and was pissed that Warner transmuted his "no comment" about V into some degree of approval.
Stalbonstalbon on March 5th, 2009 08:39 pm (UTC)
I, too, am fairly optimistic, but approaching this movie cautiously. Watchmen isn't my favorite comic ever (that belongs to Bone) but it's definitely one that is defining and powerful...and filled with the text, frankly, that makes a graphic novel what it is. Sooo, we'll have to see. And as to the Keaton note at the end of your journal, I recall seeing a movie shot not too long after Batman, and the first shot of Keaton in his role was him shirtless, lifting icebags as weights in prison, merely to show off how buff he'd gotten.
TheBitterGuythebitterguy on March 6th, 2009 05:06 pm (UTC)
Was that the one where he was going to have an organ transplanted into a cop's kid or something?
Stalbonstalbon on March 6th, 2009 08:13 pm (UTC)
That was the one, yup.
Tube: Foot in mouthtoob on March 5th, 2009 08:49 pm (UTC)
*note to self: Buy latex armor*
Pakapaka on March 6th, 2009 02:39 am (UTC)
Yeah, that's what I was thinking; now that superheros are such a movie thing, it'd be appropriate for a movie version of Watchmen to be about movie superheros. I'm just happy that they kept the plot about the Cold War, rather than trying to modernize it - it feels more like them trusting Moore's writing.
(Deleted comment)
Anvil*thoughtsdriftby on March 6th, 2009 09:13 pm (UTC)
> Now I'm thinking of the live action Flash we had a few years ago.

The last reminds me of a prank that didn't quite fall into place: Spoofing a Campbell roadside radar cam. It's rather easy to transmit any speed to simple radar and they trigger over a preset limits. Add a super suit, smoke at the feet, and a glass plate in front of the camera with a little Vaseline to blur the image... even a fair image reading 90+ mph would be a hoot, just not exactly FCC legal.