Who watches The Watchmen?… I DO!!!!

6 Mar

(Disclaimer:  There is some SERIOUS geekery going down in this post.  If you have an aversion to creepy comic book nerds, I advise you to stop reading right now.  I’m not kidding.)

Who was bouncing from one foot to the other at midnight last night after waiting an hour and a half in line with pre-purchased tickets to go see “The Watchmen” on opening night?  Your geeky teenaged comic-book-nerd little brother?… Nope, it was me.  And I dragged Brad down into that world with me.

Yes, I did that.  I knew the movie was 3 hours long and I had to be up at 7 am for work in the morning.  I didn’t care.  I knew that our babysitter was going to cost a fortune because she would be crashing at our house until close to 4 in the morning.  I didn’t care.  I usually avoid going to movies in the theaters out here in California because the tickets are around $15 each… but I didn’t care.  I knew it would be swarming with people, we’d have to fight a bloody battle in order to get decent seats together because it sold out so fast… but I didn’t care.  It was “The Watchmen”… my number 1 favorite book since I was 17.  So God help anyone who was going get in the way of me and my larger-than-life on-screen version of Rorschach.

I proudly stood in that line for an eternity.  I was one of the hundreds of awkward nerds drooling and texting all of my fellow geeks in hungry nervous anticipation, waiting to see if Hollywood showed the most glorious and profound graphic novel the respect it deserved- or if Hollywood bent it over and made it a money-pumping bitch.  Looking at the crowd, you could easily pick out who was a true believer, and who was just there for show (or was dragged there by their significant other).  Brad was my tag-along.  He’s read The Watchmen, he enjoyed it- but he doesn’t get it.  I forced him to read it as soon as I heard the movie was being made so that when it came out, he could obsessively pick it apart with me.  He wasn’t an awkward comic book loving teenager who stumbled upon it and had their mind raped with brilliance.  It didn’t creep in during the socially formative years like a beautiful cancer and taint every other graphic novel previous to it and after it.  He just doesn’t get it. But standing in the line, I knew who my fellow dorks were.  We all smiled at each other excitedly, knowing that if this movie was good, it would be our new porn.

I wrote in previous posts how I really was scared that Hollywood would ruin it.  It’s what Hollywood is known for… taking something sincere, beautiful, and profound and turning it into Paris Hilton.  Making it cheap, easy, and trashy as hell for the sake of a quick buck.  ESPECIALLY when it comes to comic books.  The Tank Girl movie was so bad that I refused to wear a tank top for over a year, hiding the T.G. tattoo that I have on my shoulder (if you liked it, go read the comics… then you’ll understand why Lori Petty is my ’til-death-do-us-part nemesis).  The “Ghost World” movie started out good, but quickly turned into a pile of shit when the Steve Buschemi character actually became a main part of the story and ruined what was the most heartwarming love story about 2 teenaged best friends (again, if you liked the movie- read the book and you’ll understand).

But putting the trashing of the original plots aside- it’s tricky to make a movie out of a comic.  Comics are magic because ANYTHING can happen, and it doesn’t have to make sense.  The mistake that Hollywood made with the Tank Girl movie was that it tried to make sense of an Australian girl who lives in heavy battle machinery, and spends her days getting drunk, fucking kangaroos, and killing stuff.  They tried to give it a valued plot.  Sure, the comic had a “plot”, and had individual “stories”- but it was mostly about booze, fucking kangaroos, and killing stuff.  And it was funny.  But Hollywood tried to water it down and make it coherent for the masses… leaving us with an embarrassingly bad movie that killed the comic forever.  From the moment the movie came out, true Tank Girl fans have had to proclaim whenever talking about it in glowing terms “I’m talking about the comic- NOT the movie”.  Thanks, Hollywood.

This was my fear with “The Watchmen”.  This book is the “War and Peace” of the geek world.  The one literary accomplishment that’s brilliance is unquestioningly acknowledged by all members of our gooney little society.  Our wonderful beautiful secret.

If you think I’m making too much of this, you obviously haven’t read the book.  Or you read it after you heard about the movie and just don’t get it.  That’s ok.  We forgive you, and will still accept you (but we’ll always know in the back of our minds that you’re just a tourist).

On to the movie…..  holy shit….

That’s all I can really say.  Holy shit.  It was beautiful.  And aside from the ending (which I will get to in a second), it stuck to the story word-for-word.  This book is complex, and has about a dozen little side stories going on throughout the main story- so I had no idea how in the world they were going to fit that all into 3 hours and have it make sense.  But they did it.  There were parts they had to leave out- but they did it gracefully, and without leaving aching holes in the plot.  Jon (aka Dr Manhattan) was beautiful. Simply and wonderfully beautiful.  I kept looking at Brad throughout the movie thinking “Damnit, why aren’t you a glowing blue atomically rebuilt man-god?”.  Rorschach was exactly as he was in my head, down to the raspy gravely monotone voice.  The only thing was the dialog was a little cheezy at times… but that’s ALWAYS the case when you transfer comic book dialog into movie format.  Always.  There’s no getting around it.  So that is forgiven because the dialog was straight from the story.

My only real complaint… the soundtrack.  Why in the holy fuck was “My Chemical Bro-mance” anywhere near this movie?  I fucking hate that douchbag bullshit warped-tour fashion-queen money-making pile of rot band.  It was a slap in the face for these aching gonads to have any part in this.  And the rest of the songs used in the movie were WAY too generic and obvious.  They could have done much much much better with this.  I’m not being picky- it really did stand out and was annoying.

***ENDING SPOILER!!!!!!*****

DO NOT READ FURTHER IF  YOU DON’T WANT HINTS ON THE ENDING!!!  SERIOUSLY!!

As for the monster that Adrian created in the story… the pre-movie blogs were right and it wasn’t there.  I’m not going to spoil what actually did happen, but after seeing the movie, I get it. I was riotous when I first heard that they cut the monster… but logic seeped in and I understood the reason.  They had the choice of sticking to the original story of mass destruction by monster, creating a CGI bullshit looking monster that would have been visually dated in 3 years ruining the movie for those who rent it years to come… OR they could change the ending to something that is equally good, and will visually stand the test of time.  Even though they changed the means of destruction- the ending stayed the same.  Plus, it now allows the “true believers” to have a method of telling the difference between those who read it and those who just watched it.  For comic book purists and snobs like myself- I like this.  When talking about the movie, I can say “What do you think about the fact that they didn’t use the monster?”, and if I’m met with a blank stare, I’ll know exactly whether the person I’m talking to is “in” or not.  And yes, I will judge that person accordingly.  Call me an asshole… call me an elitist nerd… I don’t give a fuck.

Summary… see this.  Seriously.  It’s worth the $15, and the 3 hours of your life.  But beware… the full frontal nudity of Jon was met with a surprising amount of immature snickers and hoots throughout the crowd (which annoyed the hell outta me.. as if noone had ever seen impressively hung blue cock before… grow the fuck up, people… it’s just a dick… nothing we all haven’t seen before).  But the makers of this really did a wonderful job with this, and their respect for the story is greatly appreciated.

The nerds thank you.

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15 Responses to “Who watches The Watchmen?… I DO!!!!”

  1. Kevin March 7, 2009 at 8:54 am #

    Great blog! I have yet to see the movie but come Monday I will atone for that. I have been waiting breathlessly for 24 years and can barely hold on for now. I read the book when it came out on advice from a friend at the time and loved it! I have read that very same well thumbed copy a few times ever since to revisit these old friends. Having said that, I think the music of the eighties should have been used. It was, after all, written then and takes place then even though it is an alternate version of that time. I hate those idiots in Romance as well. An edgier group should have been represented since the ’80s groups weren’t included. Oh well, the world still turns.
    Take care.

    • Kristen Ferrell March 7, 2009 at 10:48 am #

      Thank you! 🙂
      There were a couple older songs in the movie, but they were all too well known and super predictable. The only song that I think really worked was Dylan’s “The Times They are a-Changin” that’s played over the opening montage (which was one of the best movie openings I’ve ever seen).

      I don’t know how many times I’ve read the book over the past 15 years. I’m one of those people who will watch my favorite movies, favorite TV show box sets, and books over and over again. The Watchmen has been the book always I take on flights, read when I can’t sleep, and crack open when I’m killing time. Every time I read it, I catch something new that I didn’t notice before because it’s so involved.

      I read today that Keanu Reeves was going after the role of Dr Manhattan- and that would have RUINED it for me. I HATE HATE HATE Keanu Reeves, and one of the great things about the movie is that all the actors were relatively unknown or in the “What is that guy’s name again?” category. The lack of recognizable faces was a big bonus, because you weren’t watching at the actor- you were watching the character.

      Opening midnight showings, the movie made $4.55 million dollars… so I think it’s going in the “instant classic” category. Amen.
      😉

  2. chelsea rae March 7, 2009 at 11:42 am #

    Ack! Before i read your blog, i was nervous & excited about the possibility of seeing something so amazing destroyed on such a grand scale. Now, i can’t see it soon enough.

    There are just too many things to love about you, K.

    • Kristen Ferrell March 7, 2009 at 2:20 pm #

      Oh Miss Chelsea….
      You’re the lovey-est lady on the planet!! I miss your face.

      But I don’t think you’ll be disappointed in the movie. I went into it expecting it to be awful, so I was really pleased.

  3. whitney March 7, 2009 at 1:45 pm #

    KRISTEEEEEEEEEN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    i’m going to see the Watchmen tonight in IMAX!! totally excited!! seeing as how you think it turned out wonderfull gives me more hope! 🙂 i did hear that the ending is a littler different from the book (which i finished reading earlier this week and was completely blown away… totally fucking awesome!) and I LOVE LOVE LOVE Rorscach!!! the way he goes out in the ending of the book is perfect. it’s sad, but perfect.
    i read up to the part in your blog where you spoil the ending. i don’t think i will read much further until maybe tomorrow, after i see the movie… and will probably have to come back and throw in my opinion or comments or whatever i will have to say about that.

    ::jumps up and down all giddy ‘n shit::

    YAY YAY YAYYYYY YAYAYAYAYAYA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    <33333.

    ps- oh yes, and for the last few weeks i’ve been reading interviews and articles with zack snyder and making the movie, and i was really happy to hear that they made it R-rated and were going to keep all the great gore/bloodshed and nudity in it. totally rad. and a total geeks dream come true of a movie. 🙂

    • Kristen Ferrell March 7, 2009 at 2:18 pm #

      Yes… it is gory, and there is nudity (not really all that much as far as naked ladies go… but lots of Dr Manhattan and his blue package). I don’t see how they could have toned down the gore. Gore for the sake of gore is tired and annoying… but the gore in this is necessary to make a point of the mindsets of the Masked Avengers involved (mostly The Comedian and Rorschach), as well as the statement on society that the book relays. As far as the Watchmen’s violence, these were 2 very brutal and mentally broken men- they had to show the extent of their breakage… although all Rorschach’s violence is justified and fully awesome (and made me giggle out loud during the movie).

      You’ll have to let me know what you think.
      Yay!!
      😀

      • whitney March 8, 2009 at 1:45 pm #

        okay!! LOVE THE MOVIE!!
        i think the ending was good… and like you said, even though they changed hoooow they killed everyone, it still had the same outcome. which was good.
        one of things i really liked too was the opening of the movie… where they showed the Minutemen. it pretty much summed up A LOT from in the comic without having to use dialouge. and i’m sure if people didnt read the book, they probably wouldnt have understood as much.
        and i like the part where Rorschach kills that molester dude. although, i do love the way he burns down his place in the book and the guy never gets out, but i think him brutally killing him with a clever is just as effective. hahah.
        the whole thing was just perfect!
        and you’re also right- people that didnt read the book would probably leave the theatre scratching their heads wondering what the whole story was all about. i was in the bathroom afterwards when the movie got out, and i hear some girls walk in….i heard them say something like this “yadda yadda,something-something… yeah, well i thought some of it was interesting… something-something-something-, otherwise, it was booooooooorinnngg”.
        part of me just wanted to start cracking up while i was in my stall…. but i didnt… and i just thought “ahhhh, if only they knew….”

        WOO!

        OH YEAH! also, when we went to see the movie last night, the original Archie from the movie was there! i got some nice pictures. the thing literally weighs 10,000 lbs! so rad.

        • Kristen Ferrell March 9, 2009 at 7:41 pm #

          I want to sell everything I own and buy Archie and make my family live in it. That’s my new dream.

  4. whitney March 8, 2009 at 1:48 pm #

    oh and i forgot, i was going to say, while i was watching the movie i noticed that they didnt mention Shea and all the people on the island building the monster….so by the end, it made perfect sense. i think if they actually tried throwing that in the movie, people would have probably been even more confused. and yeah, a CG monster that looks like an enormous vagina would probably catch people waaaay off guard.

    • Kristen Ferrell March 9, 2009 at 7:40 pm #

      They’re supposed to be making an animated movie that will be included with the DVD of the pirate comic strip that goes throughout the book. But they did leave out the knot-heads, and the death of Night Owl I, and the news stand sequences (and a bunch of other stuff). But since they left out the monster, they had to leave out the people on the island creating the monster. They didn’t go into Adrian’s crazy tiger thing either, or really make his character complex at all. I think they could have done more than just making him a ‘generic bad guy’.

      The monster would have looked like a giant vagina monster, huh? HAHAHAHAHAHA!!!

  5. dollypop March 8, 2009 at 8:15 pm #

    ok.
    your word , i will take.
    i am a DIE-HARD comic book/ graphic novel whore.
    oh yes, a whore/
    in fact , the beeeest store where they new me by name, just went out of business.
    and i cried.
    no, i really did.
    anyhoo, watchmen, amazing.
    i am holding off seeing it in the theatres just, simply, becuase i can’t deal with the overcrowdedness, word?, and people.
    i am biding my tiem, re-reading “the sandman” and biding my time.
    thank you for giving me hope on what i was sure would be screwed up : )

    • Kristen Ferrell March 9, 2009 at 7:34 pm #

      There have been alot of varied opinions from fellow geeks out there on whether this really was a good movie or not. I went into it expecting for it to be the worst thing I’ve ever seen- so I was really happy with the results.

      Bad things to expect: They weren’t able to keep every detail in there. They could have easily cast a better person to play Adrian. The sex scene between Dan and Lauri was so bad it was uncomfortable to watch (seriously- I had to shove my fist in my mouth to keep from laughing). And they didn’t really go into enough detail about how Jon became Dr Manhattan for the people who haven’t read the book. But aside from that, I was really really happy with it.

      My unexpected favorite part: Dr Manhattan’s voice. I expected for them to make him sound almost mechanical. But they didn’t. He sounded sweet (not ‘sweet’ as in “Bro, your new car is Suh-Weeeeet!”…. but ‘sweet’ as in “awww, darling bunny, I want to listen to you talk for hours!”). I don’t know why I loved that so much- but it made me adore him.

  6. dollypop March 8, 2009 at 8:16 pm #

    oh sorry, i took some nyquil , and wine, in hopes to sleep, so my grammer, and spelling, is…not .

  7. fullbodytransplant March 12, 2009 at 5:33 am #

    OMG this is the most entertaining review EVER!!! Thanks for making me smile so wide.

    Check out this Watchmen marquee. The Squid is all in your head:

    http://fullbodytransplant.wordpress.com/2009/03/12/bring-your-own-squid/

    Brilliant.

    • Kristen Ferrell March 21, 2009 at 10:31 am #

      HAHAHAHAHA!!!! That marquee is hilarious!!! I TOTALLY would have made my own squid to take to the movie if they offered that option out here!!!

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