Saturday, March 28, 2009

The Next Big Thing...

You need to watch this. Some good stuff coming out of Scurlbomb Enterprises.

Saturday, March 07, 2009

Who Watches The Watchmen?

I was in sixth grade when Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons' masterpiece began hitting the shelves, but I didn't read the entire series until it was fully collected in trade paperback form a year later. Since that first moment when I saw Rorschach fighting for survival in prison, I have been waiting for this movie. 22 years later, I have been rewarded for my patience.

I am grateful that all previous iterations failed to get made, because I feel that they would have fallen far short of what this movie needed to be. The movie landscape needed movies like X2 and Batman Begins to ready the movie going public for the exploits of the Watchmen (a team name never actually used in the comic).

Hailed as a groundbreaking social deconstruction of the comic book super hero, the four color iteration of the Watchmen was revolutionary and one of the most relevant and important comics ever released. A simple murder mystery that transforms into a globally impactful suspense thriller, Watchmen showed that comic books were indeed not just for kids anymore. Those looking for that type of impact from the movie will be disappointed.

The average movie goer with no knowledge of the comic book roots might find this movie a little confusing and very long. Flashbacks in a movie can be confusing enough, but when the flashbacks are history changing events, like America winning Vietnam and Nixon being elected for a third (and eventually fourth) term, it can leave viewers feeling like they are missing the joke. But they should still be entertained by the mix of mystery, action, violence, drama, and intelligence that the story conveys.

Rabid fanboys will be screaming over the altered ending, but rabid fanboys scream about every movie that doesn't follow their favorite comics panel for panel. These are the same people that complained because Hugh Jackman is far taller than 5'1, as if Wolverine's HEIGHT is what defined him. The ending actually wraps things a little tighter, keeps the story a little more self-contained, and is, in my opinion, an alteration worthy of comparison to writer Alan Moore's own brilliant conclusion.

The character interaction is stupendous. From the aloof detachment of Billy Crudup's Dr. Manhattan to the maniacal determination of Jackie Earle Haley's Rorschach, most of the actors captured the true essence of the characters they were portraying. Only Matthew Goode's Ozymandius fell short, seeming more like a cunning business man overdosed on Prozac rather than the charismatic pinnacle of human intelligence and physical development that Adrian Veidt should have been.

Of particular interest was Patrick Wilson's portrayal of gadget based hero Nite Owl, who transforms from a scared retired crimebuster into the confident man of action he once was.

The nostalgic soundtrack combines with the impressive original score to perfectly accentuate the breath-taking visuals, crafting a world that matches the tone of Moore's dystopian landscape.

For the true comic book fan who knows that not every panel can make it to the big screen and that even the best stories can be enhanced without destroying them, this movie is 22 years of anticipation made worth while. Who watches the Watchmen? I do, and proudly.