I Watched the Watchmen (and then I thought…meh…)

This isn’t going to be the worlds most positive review, but neither is it going to be the most negative. I gave myself a couple of days to digest it so I didn’t just use this as a forum to continue spitting the venom I was immediately after the screening. This is what I thought.

Firstly, it looks amazing, it looks the way it should, Dr Manhattan is a pretty huge accomplishment – CGI Billy Crudup is pretty fascinating the whole way through (as is the almost continual full frontal of that giant blue cock, don’t pretend you didn’t look). Rorschach’s mask worked, it looked the way a comic book should, it was visually spectacular, and for the first 5 minutes while it was following the graphic page for page I thought things might turn out okay. Unfortunately not.

Zack Snyder, you and I have to sit down and have a chat about your over use of SloMo. It doesn’t mask your lack of narrative finesse. Graphic Novels are hard to adapt for the screen, they twist and turn and jump around linear time, we know this. If you don’t think you can handle it then move along and don’t bumble through things by emphasising insignificant moments with (abeit beautifully shot) slo motion photography.

It’s like the movie couldn’t make up it’s mind whether it was trying to be the book, or it was trying to be an X-Men cashcow. It’s pandering to the very genre it’s claiming to subvert. I was expecting the codes and conventions to be turned on their head with little nuances, instead I got a large amount of genuinely gory on screen violence – waaay more than in the book.

The initial fight scene between the Comedian and his assassin is really impressive, and starts the movie off well, but from there on in the pacing turns to shit and the focus is all over the place, the narrative structure is somewhat confusing. If you haven’t read the book (?) (I have and I’m the uber indie comics girl -what’s your excuse ?) then you may have some difficulty understanding what is happening and why. It’s just not very clear.

The acting is pretty amazing, the characters all (especially the Comedian and Rorschach) do a brilliant job with their ambiguous superhero likeability, but ultimately this movie is all over the place. It’s watchable, definitely, it’s at least an hour too long and dear god, the clunky use of easily historically placeable songs in the soundtrack to re-enforce the era? please re-examine.

You’ll all go see it anyway, out of curiosity, the studios are banking on it. But are we all agreed now  -that there shall me no more Alan Moore adaptations, EVER?

And these children, that you spit upon…

I’ve wanted to see this movie for a while, the poster had me all smitten before everyone in the world that I respect fell in love with it themselves. It’s interesting then that after I got hold of a copy I couldn’t bring myself to watch it at first, in case it wasn’t the kind of awesome I needed it to be.

Luckily I put it on this evening and it made everything better.

The midwestern high school setting and thus the sports obsession was reminiscent of Klosterman’s novel, Downtown Owl. But that was where similarities ended, none of the snippy snarkiness that usually inhabits anything created in the last 15 years was here.  Instead there was an honesty and sincerity that you can only get away with using when you’re a teen and all everything feels more than it ever will again.

American Teen makes you remember what it was like to be that age –  with your whole life laid out ahead of you –  in the way that certain 3 minute pop songs can, but movies rarely do. Director Nannette Burnstein deftly handles the 5 protagonists and explores the very typecasts John Hughes forever set in our brain. Here we get a taste of what would have happened if Alison and Andy had dated after detention, if your heart really does die when you grow up, and how being a geek doesn’t really change decade to decade.

If you’re ever feeling confused as an adult, watch this movie and remember how daunting life once seemed. The downside of all of this, is obviously, that life once seemed epic and full of promise and a place where dreams could come true. This movie will help you remember that part as well.