Thursday, March 12, 2009

quis custodiet ipsos custodes? i did!

it's been a week since the glorious evening that i went to see the movie rendition of my favourite book/graphic novel of all time. i'm pretty critical when it comes to movies due to my short attention span and fidgeting problem, therefore i don't enjoy a lot of what i see in the theatre. this being said, my feeling is that if i can sit through a film just short of three hours without going bananas, it's probably a good indication that most people will generally find said movie a worthwhile excursion into the strangely-air-conditioned-despite-the-fact-it's-winter movie theater.
i first got the shakes for this film when i went to see dark knight and got a small taste in the form of the trailer. For anyone who had read the graphic novel and was also a massively huge smashing pumpkins fan (there's a lot of us out there, i feel) then the song being played over the epic tease ("the beginning is the end is the beginning") was probably enough to make you pee your pants with excitment. clearly, the song encapsulates the overarching theme of the story and is thus the most perfect trailer ever made. i'm a total nerd.
oh, les watchmen.
where to start? it is troubling, i think, to see someone else's vision of a book come to 'life'. i imagined lestat so differently from the vampire tom cruise made him into. and i think we were all a little surprised at how frodo and sam gamgee turned out, were we not? but...
perhaps the graphic novel-turned-movie circut is a different kettle of fish, at least in this respect. anyway, enough fluff. onto the film. CLICK TO KEEP READING >>>>>>>>>>
i have thought a lot about how the movie-making guys would include all of the side stories that make the book so complicatedly awesome. my favourite part-the parallel pirate story- was not included in the movie. i was pretty sad for this, but it's probably fair as the corpse boat might not have found it's place in this telling.
we have probably all heard by now that the ending was completely different. yes, it's true. but we have to cut some slack to our friends over there in hollywood. in order to stay true to the original ending, they would have had to include all the back story about the island where people go (never to be seen again) to create the monster which destroys new york. this would have made the film much longer, and it is arguably easier for most people to understand an ending that includes bombs. monsters confuse people.
this new ending was contexually perfect- the post 9/11, post bush, post katrina, neoliberalist comme disaster capitalist thing we got goin on. what better way to critique our society than to show major cities being taken out by nuclear explosions, only to have the destroyer capitalize on the reconstruction of the world?? When Alan Moore originally wrote this story, he was truely onto something- and the film did this justice. i felt pure, heart wrenching happiness to see this come out of a blockbuster. ironic, i know. hopefully it won't be lost on most of us.
i will say that i was unhappy about the writers of the movie allowing viedt to scapegoat dr. manhattan for the annihilation of a good chunk of human-kind. but i'm biased because i've got a soft spot for the big blue. i like 'science talk'.
my two major beefs with this movie are:
1)in the book, the watchmen were just regular people tired of corrupt cops and out-of-control crime. kinda like bruce wayne. but the film made them into super-heros. the fight scenes were undoubtably matrix-y. but then again, how do you make people see a super hero movie if it's not about super heros?? and
2)rorschach was the only character that was developed in the film. that's not fair, actually. they did spend some time on miss jupiter/laurie, which i think can only be attributed to the fact that she's the 'hot' female lead and the more sexy scenes, the more money. but that's old news. alas, this lack of character development can be explained by the time problem, once again.
in the end, a movie will never be as good as the book. but this came pretty close.

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