This is not a bold statement, nor is it a unique statement, but I hate being sick.
I’d originally stepped away from blogging for a bit to do some other writing (a few short stories here and there), but the absence became prolonged after I got the worst sore throat I’ve ever had. The usual tickle in the throat morphed into what felt like my throat almost being entirely swollen shut, complete with a high fever and the requisite dreams that come when I’m ill. The dreams were are always completely nonsensical but frightening, even though the parts I remember don’t seem scary at all. This time, I kept dreaming I was trying to develop some type of logo for the NBA’s Portland Trailblazers. Maybe I was Greg Oden.
I ventured out into the real world yesterday, if by “real world” I mean “a movie theatre packed with comic book geeks.” Now, before any geek readers of mine haul out the pitchforks, etc., keep in mind I’m an admitted geek (or nerd, depending on the day), and I’m also known to read a comic book or two. In this case, the geek contingent were out in full force for the movie adaptation of Watchmen, and although I don’t worship at its altar like many fanboys do, I still think it’s a pretty masterful piece of work.
Let me clarify: the graphic novel is a pretty masterful piece of work.
The movie is a pretty masterful piece of crap.
I initially left the theatre thinking it was a 2-star movie, but the more it sinks in, the more I hate it. I have no problem with the changes to the book because, frankly, I thought it was just a straight visual transcription. Even though many of the scenes/images looked cool, I’d already seen them in the source material. Of course, to make any such change would require a director with some sort of artistic vision, something that cannot be said of Zack Snyder. He can sometimes put together a sharp-looking shot, but I’m convinced he doesn’t know how it happened. It’s the film equivalent of giving 100 monkeys 100 typewriters — eventually they’ll put together something.
And to be honest, I’d much rather watch 100 monkeys with 100 typewriters than Watchmen, but I guess that could be said about anything. Monkeys always entertain me.
The music in the movie also baffled me, as how anyone could possibly use “Hallelujah” with a straight face anymore is beyond me (the song, while brilliant, has been used to death). Also, I was a bet disturbed by the amount of blue penis shown in the movie. Sure, I knew Dr. Manhattan would be naked in parts, but it’s a little distracting to see his Empire State Building flopping about. And the filmmakers decided to make it bigger than what was on the page. The book version of Dr. Manhattan’s penis is more Chinatown, while the movie version was “Long Island.”
The best part of the movie, by far, is Jackie Earl Haley as Rorschach. Haley perfectly delivers the socio- and psychopathic vibe of the character, both in terms of his physical presence and his line readings. However, his hard-boiled edge doesn’t really belong with some of the lightweight performances elsewhere. It’s as if you took Christian Bale’s Batman and dropped him into the world of Batman & Robin. It just doesn’t fit.
I know this is a bold statement, but right now, I’m pretty sure I was more entertained by last month’s Friday the 13th remake than I was with Watchmen. At least Jason Vorhees didn’t pretend to be so self-important.
So, who’ll watch the Watchmen, as the book famously asked? Quite a few people, I suppose, but I won’t do it again.