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Friday, March 06, 2009

Watchmen

Audio coming.... here is the text for now. :)


Watchmen is one of those essential reads. It's on all the top comic book reading lists, and it has lots of awards, honors, mystique, gravity. Now, the "unfilmable" comic series is a film. Our merry band of geeks went to the midnight opening of Watchmen Thursday night/Friday morning at 12:05am.


We were all busy tweeting and brightkiting our geeky fanboyishness. I was ranked as one of the most frequent "Watchmen" twitterers. Go figure. The midnight show was sponsored by Chapel Hill Comics at The Lumina Theater (photo).


There were Watchmen swag bags for every seat in the house. Contents included a 16 oz Plastic Watchmen Tumbler cup, 4" Watchmen "Comedian" Smiley button, 5" Watchmen smiley cardboard drink coaster, 4" smiley sticker and a 2" smiley tattoo.

We got there early and got prime "middle middle" seating. Andy, owner of Chapel Hill Comics, MC'd a trivia contest 20 minutes before the start of the film and gave out more swag from Warner Brothers, including t-shirts, Extra large (1-sheet size?) Watchmen group shot doubled-sided poster, and dozens of 7 poster packs. The poster packs include each character poster plus the group poster. I tried and tried to win a prize and finally won one of the last poster packs. Question: How many issues were in the original comics series of Watchmen? Answer: Twelve!!

Watchmen midnight film premiere "first reaction" video

First a list of disclaimers:
  1. I read the original series when I was like 13 or 14, so it was like 22 years ago or something. I have not re-read it since, but I did download the 12 chapter motion comics.
  2. Adam is a life-long comic book reader but hasn't read Watchmen. Draw your own conclusions. :)
  3. John has not read the comic and isn't a comics guy.
  4. Jeff is into sci fi etc but isn't a comics guy nor did he read the book.
And now on with my signature bullet point review. Now with 12 bullets!
  1. The ending annoyed 1 of 4 in our group, and he hadn't read it so it wasn't for the same reasons that has caught the ire of the comic's faithful. John thought the final scene between mother and daughter made no sense and did not feel like it belonged.
  2. I really enjoyed it thoroughly, I ate it all up. To me it was a totally immersive experience with great character development. There is a low-bar typically for comic book movies so Watchmen is in a class of few - such as The Dark Knight natch.
  3. From our group: 1 guy fell asleep, 1 guy thought it was 45 min too long, 1 guy loved Silk Spectre in latex and thought there was too much male nudity.
  4. Trailers look cheesy to uninitiated but movie is pretty authentic to the book.
  5. The clothing from the '80s is hilarious, it is over the top. I'm pretty sure I wore Dan's exact glasses in the 80s.
  6. The film is visually very rich, it does feel like an alternate universe.
  7. There is a great cheese/camp factor to all the flashbacks that redeem the story and provide a rich authentic feel.
  8. This is the most ultra-violent, politically-charged, hyper-sexual comic book adaptation movie of all time. Now, replace 'movie' with book in this equation. Go read it. For all of this, the film is ultimately slow paced and perhaps too faithful to the book.
  9. Some of the suits were too rubbery. I thought we collectively agreed as a society to place a permanent ban on plastic molded nipples on super-hero costumes after the Batman and Robin debacle?
  10. This film is ultimately an examination of "what if super heroes really existed in our world?" how would history play out? what sort of lives would they lead? what would motivate them to fight in costume? how would they interact with each other privately and with the world at large?
  11. Each character story shows a tragic figure with deep problems that is worth watching.
  12. There is a lot of male nudity in this film. Some real, some CGI, some blue. I'm just saying... not that there is anything wrong with that.
My favorite lines in the comic/film:
  1. Dr Manhattan: I can change almost anything, but I can't change human nature.
  2. Ozymandias: We can do so much more. We can save this world... with the right leadership.
  3. Rorschach: Never compromise. Not even in the face of Armageddon. That's always been the difference between us, Dan.
  4. Rorschach: You people don't understand. I'm not locked in here with you, you're locked in here with me!
  5. Silk Spectre II: I used to be a masked avenger too remember? I’m used to going out at 3 in the morning and doing something stupid.

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