So I skipped out first thing Friday morning (with a friend of mine who is fairly heavily into comic books) to see this here flick. (9:30AM matinee) I'm just a dabbler when it comes to comicbooks. I read Watchmen way back in the day and dug it lots. Over the years I've read maybe a dozen other graphic novels here and there-- and Watchmen is still the best I've read. I re-read it a few years ago and was surprised how well it held up. I dig how it brings your head all the way into the thing and does its best to trigger all five senses. (btw: Recently I've gone all-in on a new series called The Walking Dead which I'm liking alot-- but I'm a sucker for zombie anything.)
Anyway, we stopped at the deli on the way and I got myself an egg wrap sandwich with cheese and I snuck in a big coffay. Boom done. Then there I was sitting in front of the crisp Watchmenesque corporate logos soaking in the weird connection I feel to that particular brand of yellow. And eating my egg.
It opens up with The Comedian getting it bad (or good depending on your attitude) and at the end of that face crunchingly awesome scene-- I realized that I didn't realize my mouth was hanging open and my tongue was almost out. I let out a gaspy cough at how finely tuned that throwdown was. The opening credits were coolio too and I was very psyched that I was seeing this flick in a dead quiet morning theater. The wonderful morning crowd quiet. Nobody talks. No hoots. Everyone is too tired-- and most likely kinned up in the same brand of mental which drives someone into a movie theater first thing in the morning.
The movie starts unwrapping and I get immediately pummeled with flashbacks to the novel. So much of it is jar tight faithful. Most of the casting clicked right visually. (Although there were actorial issues. Some serious.) But there were no updated shenanigans to modernize it. I appreciated the visual earnesty. And early on, I felt my body mainlining sugar to my brainials in preparation for a face splash of bloody yellow awesome. And there is alot in this movie that is awesome. Certain scenes burned into my brain with outright with smashingly good action or surprisingly touching (aka depressing) soundtrack driven art-house visuals. This movie is ship shape.
Alas (that's right I busted out an 'alas'!), a masterpiece... this ain't. I'd say 1 out of every 4 scenes... umm... didn't work right. At all. And that kept letting me down.
It was like this: Imagine me sitting there with a balloon. A good scene would happen and I'd exhale goodness into the balloon. It would inflate and get bigger. Phew. Another tense scene with arm snapping hilarity. Another big breath. Balloon biggerizes. Coolio Rorschach scene! Another hard exhale. And the yellow smiley Watchmen face would take shape on the balloon. It would be getting big! I'd hold it in my teeth with a smile. Then a real clunker scene would come in and either slap the balloon out of my mouth making it fly all over the room all farty. Or something awkward and wonked would just straightout pin pop it. Either way I kept feeling the need to start all over again. With another balloon. Trying to make it bigger every time but slowly losing motivation. Eventually realizing that it was never going to get to an impressive enough place where I'd feel safe to tie the knot.
By the end, which really goes all sadly kitchen sinky (and wasn't thrilled with the missing either)-- the balloon was just hanging out of my face. Yeah, now and then I'd make it flutter with a half-assed effort that was wheeze driven. But I wasn't trying to inflate the thing anymore. Just CPRing it. Still holding it in my teeth mainly out of boredom. But I noticed it was held with clenched smiling teeth (they were)-- although admittedly the grin was somewhat forced.
Three Good Things About this Movie
- Rorschach was dead
center. (Kelly deserves an oscar nod).
- I would say there at least six scenes in this thing that are off the hook awesome.
- Shocking violence!
Three Bad Things About this Movie
- I never really liked and still don't like Nite Owl
(although I've always had issues with bird-based superheroes.)
- I imagined how much I'd be totally awwwWTFing this movie if I hadn't read it first.
- The logic problems in the book are sort of amplified in the movie. + the gravity is a bit much.
I am a little surprised that this movie didn't win me over. When I think back on it-- it's hard for me to flag exactly what kept throwing me off. Maybe it was the acting. Maybe things felt long. Maybe the threat of nuclear war has fallen into such a psychological non-threat. Maybe it was Dr. Manhattan's dong all hanging out throughout. Maybe no character ran deep enough. Maybe it wasn't emotionally engaging. Maybe Jupiter sucked that bad. Maybe it jumped around too much. Maybe it was this. Maybe it was that. Maybe it was the other thing?? But maybe (just maybe) it really could have somehow been much better. Maybe...