Friday, February 27, 2009


Next weekend Watchmen is finally being released in theatres.
I have no interest in seeing it.
Sorry about that.
I know I should. I have a keen awareness of my responsibilities in all areas geeky and I know, fundamentally, that I should technically already be paying homeless people to wait in line for tickets on my behalf.
But I can't muster up any enthusiasm for this movie.
It isn't that I haven't tried. I loved the graphic novel. It was fresh and groundbreaking and cutting-edge in 1986. So was Top Gun, a movie now remembered mostly for the homoerotic beach volleyball scene which appeared out of nowhere.
As comics go, Watchmen was widely accepted as art -- A work which to this day is a defensive geek's go-to answer to literary snobs who claim that comics are only for children.
But as a movie, I don't think it can translate well.
You can look at photos of every piece of art in the Louvre, but since photography was not the original medium something is lost in the middle.
In the case of a comic published for a readers living in a time when Cagney and Lacey was on the air (when TV itself was "on the air" for that matter), I think the loss will be context. The story itself may be too large for film.
Since I can be reasonably sure any review will start with "The special effects were good." and later end with, "but the special effects were good", I'll just wait for Netflix to offer to send it to me.
This makes me a little sad and I feel more than a little lost.
A major comic book film is being released and I'm not going.
The whole thing may just be my reaction at Hollywood's ongoing assault on my childhood.
Are there no original ideas left?
Gore Verbinski is remaking Clue for some reason! It's too soon to remake any movie which originally had Tim Curry in it.
And the same article mentions "Monopoly", "Candyland" and "Ouija" all being flung from board game to film with no regard to how any of us feel about it.
The Neverending Story is being re-imagined even though both sequels (yes, there were two) made less and less money.
Total Recall is getting a do-over, too. Total Recall would best be forgotten. To be fair, they could revisit it in two ways will would make me not shriek in outrage.
First, they could leave the film as it is mostly, reworking the special effects with CGI and creating an "Enhanced Director's Cut" or something. CGI could to wonders for the Governor of California pulling a large object out of his nose and . . . You know . . . The scene with the mutant lady.
Or they could go back to Philip K. Dick's original 1966 story "We Can Remember It for You Wholesale" which was the basis for the film, loosely. So loosely, in fact, that the protagonist doesn't ever actually go to Mars. They changed it so much that the short story became a screenplay which became a novelization by Piers Anthony which was released a year before the film itself.
Just tell the story like the author did. The budget would be tiny and anyone but Keanu Reeves could pull off the lead.
Or, someone needs to create a kick ass screenplay about fighting robots in the far future made out of junked cars by space rednecks.
Again, anyone but Keanu Reeves for the lead.

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