Saturday, May 21, 2011

Rewatching the Watchmen

That joke along with variations of it never cease to amuse me. But only when I tell it. When you tell it you sound like an asshole. This is hypocritical and let's face it, increadibly irrational, but what can you do. It is a fool who looks for logic in the human heart, and that's what this blog is all about heart baby. Not the crappy kind from Captin Planet either don't be an asshole.

Anyway moving right along I'd only seen Watchmen once at this point and I'd been thinking about it a lot recently so I gave it a download and set aside some time. In a fancy mood I grabbed myself the ULTIMATE edition which is the extended director's cut along with the pirate animated short edited in for good measure. They did an increadibly good job editing in the pirate part and it felt like a perfectly natural part of the movie. Though I would only reccomend the ultimate edtion to people who REALLY love long movies. Clocking in at 217 minutes of people worrying about the end of the world is one of those things. A good thing but a long thing.

The time is important to me because I realized something. It takes me just a little over three hours to read the Graphic novel and in both cases I need to take a break in the middle. This is something special, because in all the history of adaptive media I think this is the first time the source material takes roughly as long as the adaptation to consume. This speaks volumes for the movie and for the fact that I think it is an absolutely remarkable achievement, particularly in the form I viewed it in.

In the comic I found the pirate section to be overbearing, annoying, and honestly after my second reading of the book I just started skipping it. It got it, I understood it, and I never ceased to be annoyed by it. When it showed up in the movie I almost skipped it myself. I had the controller in hand, fast foward at ready poised to get on with the main part of the movie but I decided to give it a chance and I am glad I did it provides a nice thematic back drop as to why Ozmandious is wrong and that over the course of him trying to save the world he has become mad. I think it worked better in the movie than it did in the book. They didn't quite tie it all together as well as the book did but still it was all very impressive. It really is a remarkable movie adapted from a remarkable book.

I wish Alan Moore was more involved in comics still or at the very least more productive. The thing is though is that as an author I find him to be very hit or miss. Grant Morrison isn't afraid to do some crazy ass high concept stuff. Take batman for example. Batman is prolly one of the top 5 most valuable comic book properties in the industry and it isn't something where you would want to have a story about the main charecter disapearing for a year or so while he is lost in time being chased down by an evil thought created by Darkseid. But hey it happened. Or, upon his return, having Bruce Wayne more or less retire from being the Gotham City batman and going off to create a franchise of batmen all around the world, or everything that happened in RIP. You certainly wouldn't have a year and a half long story arc. Oh no. But it happened right there on the stands next to Wonderwoman's new wardrobe, and whatever the hell Marvel has been doing.

My point is that there is room for Alan Moore in comics. He doesn't have to sit on top of his mountain jacking himself off claiming how great he is while he lives off of the stuff he wrote while he was working with everyone else. He is a great man with a personality holding him back? For what reason, who knows. However, now that he isn't the only big name in the game it almost doesn't really matter anymore. I don't know, but lunch is over and back to work for me.

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