(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.