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Sunday, March 8, 2009

Who watches the Watchmen? Answer:Damn Fools!

A Watchmen fan being beaten into submission by the movie director's complete lack of artistic vision.

Saturday, I find myself unexpectedly exiled from my home. So instead of sitting around at my parent's house pissed off at the world and (some of those in it), I decide to do something that I promised I would never do: I went to see Watchmen.

It was between that and the foreign gangster flick,Gomorrah, but it was late and I was pissed so I didn't feel like reading subtitles and thinking about shit. I wanted to be entertained, so Watchmen it was.

First of all, I got stuck sitting in front of a guy that kept growling like a Wookie all throughout the picture. No bullshit. Anytime something funny or interesting happened, dude would show his approval by growling.

Some background, before I go off on this piece of crap: Watchmen is one of the best books I've ever read. I re-read it last week and confirmed my suspicion that it was emotionally wrenching and packed with complex characterization and ideas. I did notice that the plot, in some parts (particularly the end) was a bit contrived, but the byzantine structure (it's greatest feature) remained immaculate.

Now, tell me, when was the last time you went to a movie to marvel at its byzantine structure? Naw, that's the realm of books. So if it's nearly the end of the movie and you're still going back in time to tell the audience why so and so became a costumed crime fighter, your audience is going to be like, Man I don't give a fuck. Movies are almost all plot. So, it's best not to adapt something that has plot problems. At least change the plot if you absolutely must adapt. The movie remained almost absolutley faithful to the book. Fidelity is overrated. When in doubt, cheat!

Some of the best movies are really shitty books. Have you ever tried to read The Shining? God, just awful. Wooden dialogue. Bloated. Horrible language pulled from Stephen King's obviously coke addled brain. The dude has some good books. Check Hearts in Atlantis (abysmal movie b-t-dub).

Look, just because movies and novels and graphic novels are all narrative forms doesn't mean that any story can be shifted from one medium to the next with only the slightest alteration. Each medium has its strengths and weaknesses and the weakness of one can be a strength in another. Hollywood should get some ideas and stop trying to adapt their troubles away.

Then there was the pornographic violence. Splattering blood. Pooling blood. Blood for no reason. Arms sawed off. Arms breaking, causing blood to squirt. Sheesh, I thought I was in The Passion of the Christ at some points.

Here's the thing: I actually enjoyed this movie, in a hey I'm-familiar-with-that-scene-from-reading-the-book sort of way . I wasn't entertained by it. Some moments were just laughable (like the heart to heart between Nite-Owl and emotionless--at least until that point--Rorschach.) I was only charmed by it because I knew what was going to happen and, at some points, it was cool to see once static figures moving around. Had I not already known the story, I would have had no clue what was going on (Why is the blue guy butt-ass nekkid?). Never have I seen so many people walk out on a movie. The people that left were the lucky ones. They avoided seeing the slight changes to the end designed to make the story less bleak and thus less truthful.

That wasn't the worst thing, however. The worst thing was being made to stare at Dr. Manhattan's naked blue ass for three hours. Excuse me, actually that's not true. The worst thing was the constant flashes of his naked blue wang.


David Sloane said...

Oh, yeah, I forgot about the only potential joy from that saccharine POS movie: anticipating when something was going to happen, and seeing how close it was to how I imagined it. I was sad they didn't spend more time building up the suspense for the Dr. Manhanttan transformation. They actually took out the line about him putting himself together - they went straight to the "a circulatory system appears."

And the music - they just used the song from which the lines that opened each chapter came from. It was ridiculous when NiteOwl and Rorschach are flying to Antartica to "All Along the Watchtower." The only good music was the use of "Everybody wants to rule the world" when we are first introduced to Adrian Veldt, but even that went on too long.

And the ending, good god. It's so hard to do this right post-9/11, but it could have been done a lot better. It just didn't make sense, the way they did it.

I was pissed afterwards...

MediaMarc said...

You saved me $9.00 from the first time you were hating on it on facebook. Thanks homie!