Watchmen (for jmo)

You’re so vain you probably think this blog is a-for you.  Don’t you.  Don’t you.

Friggin’ Warren Beatty.

I saw “Watchmen” on IMAX last night.  Here’s the short version:  I liked it.  It was good.

the long version

I don’t know if that means other people will like it, though.  It’s epic in scope.  It’s a long movie and there’s a lot to keep track of.  It’s an adult movie, that’s for sure.  Nudity, straight up sex, cursing and brutally graphic violence.  Just so you know.

It’s an allegory of archetypes.  Everything is connected and yet it kind of doesn’t make sense.

Anyway, I’ll be less vague.  It’s really well done.  Visually stunning.  The dialogue is compelling.  If our universe has superheroes, this is what they would be like.  Flawed, a bit unhinged and morally complex.

So keep this in mind if you’re going to see it.  There’s the main plot.  There are explorations and flashbacks of each of the main characters and their history and psychology.  In other words, there are about four subplots going on and the pacing isn’t steady.  It’s all fascinating to me, though.

Maybe that doesn’t translate well for a movie.  I don’t know.  But you want to hear something funny?  The graphic novel is about three times as dense as the movie.  For example, in the graphic novel:

  • There’s a comic book within the “Watchmen” being read by a kid.  What relevance there is, I don’t know exactly.  It’s kind of a pirate horror nightmarish … thing.
  • There’s banter at a newstand that you come back to throughout.
  • There are essays on ornithology, I kid you not, by Owl Man’s alter ego.  (I have to admit that I didn’t have the attention span to read every word.)
  • I think there’s a side story or theme of a news rag, a National Enquirer-type magazine.
  • And of course, there’s a little more detail in the main plot.
  • Oh, and there’s a subplot involving the avenging of a retired heroes’ murder.

Hmmm.  I still don’t quite get the Comedian.  Great, complex character.  But, it’s a little over my head.

So yes, I liked it.  It’s heavy.  Heavy and unpredictable compared to even the best comic book movies and most other movies.  If you go expecting it to be like Spiderman or Fantastic 4 or even Lord of the Rings, you will not be happy.

It’s more like — the Matrix?  The tone of it, I mean.  Dark, brooding, fatalistic.  I enjoyed seeing it brought to life, though, even though I kind of didn’t like the story when I read it (and still don’t).

When I was leaving the theater, walking down the steps there was a girl or young woman in front of me.  She was standing there, blocking my way and then the credits ended (really quickly for some reason unlike the usual special effects heavy movie).  She started walking, looking of dazed and looking back at the screen like she was expecting something else to happen.

And she mumbled to herself, “Huh.  Strange movie.”

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