Friday, July 18, 2008

Watchmen looks promising? UPDATED.

Who watches Zach Snyder? I will admit up front that I thought 300 a big pile of hateful, lame-brain junk. But it did look good. This looks pretty great, too. I just hope it retains the spirit as well as amplifying the look. Cuz I'm one of those fanboys who does indeed love this "most celebrated graphic novel of all time". I'm also a fan of Billy Crudup in most things, so that bodes well.

UPDATE: Beyond the prickles 300 sends up my spine, though, the real danger is condensing that big book into two hours (or so) draped in slow-mo "Look Ma!" shots. I'm prepared to lose some things, sure, but I keep wondering if this project would have been better suited to cable television: the only visual medium (so far) that seems designed for (or is accepted as) serialized storytelling. Because, for all the hoopla and dollar bills, I'm beginning to think twice about those Lord of the Rings movies Peter Jackson made. (And, to a lesser extent -- of course -- those books Tolkien wrote; although I dig what they're after with myth.) Thing is: not even the self-proclaimed fans of old serials (cough) can seem to make a series of films that work as a medium and not a cycle because they're so addicted to tropes, not ideas. The problem with Zach Snyder's other movie is he thought his ideas, or Frank Miller's ideas at that, would trump all his tropes -- and he was right. Cuz, shit, man, those ideas sure were dumb. (Favorite moment? When the "hero" of the piece flat out endorses xenophobia as a philosophy.) Luckily, Alan Moore is a bigger thinker; however, I don't know if I want that vision (of life, of earth, of art) to play in 2009, even if the movie does wind up working. Especially after yesterday's pitch black in-the-trenches marathon, The Dark Knight. I just don't know if I'll be ready by then. Or, you know, if the world will be. Christopher Nolan certainly doesn't think so, even if the picture ends going up, not down, into the light, not dark, for once. Table that for now, though. The point of coming back onto this post was to say: hot damn, that trailer looked dope on a big, wide screen. --RWK

1 comment:

  1. The only, and I mean ONLY thing that gives me some hope about Snyder's Watchmen is the fact that he's releasing the Black Freighter material as a separate animated film, which shows that he at least understands that the non-narrative material was important to the book, and perhaps also that there was more to the book than can easily be adapted into a two-hour film. If he gets those things, maybe he can do some justice to Moore's vision. Somebody has to, because Moore has been very poorly treated on the big screen. Of all the directors who have tackled his work, Christopher Nolan seems to understand it the best, though of course The Dark Knight is not a direct adaptation.

    Otherwise, I agree with you that 300 was racist, hateful trash dressed up in slick CGI visuals and lots of slo-mo. I'm nervous about Snyder doing the same thing with a comic much more sophisticated and intelligent than Miller's trashy machismo fantasy. The trailer looked like 300 all over again, and the slick costumes are mostly all wrong. However, Dr. Manhattan looked so cool that I found myself getting a little excited in spite of myself.

    I'm also a little excited that the movie seems to be turning people onto Moore's book already. Watchmen jumped up to the #2 book on Amazon after TDK's opening weekend. Pretty impressive evidence of slick marketing at work, and it's heartening to see that so many people, when confronted with a trailer like that, actually seek out the original work instead of just getting psyched for the movie version.