Friday, March 20, 2009

Sadly, I Watched the Watchmen

Last night I went to see Watchmen. I had recently read the 'graphic novel' (I say graphic novel in quotes because, well honestly because I think it's stupid. Comic books. That's what they are).

Anyways, unlike my friend Sterling who had this to say, I actually liked Watchmen the book. Admittedly I don't have a lot of comic book experience. Previously I read a series called Transmetropolitan which I quite enjoyed but other than that I'm not too familiar with the genre.

I thought Watchmen the book was interesting. I thought it was a nicely layered story. I liked the way it moved around in time. I liked that every character had a distinct voice. I thought it had an interesting premise. And I found the ending very satisfying. I also really liked the visuals. The clock ticking down with each chapter break, the look on the Comedian's face as he was thrown out a window, Dr. Manhattan as a child watching his clock pieces being thrown out a window by his father.

Novel, good.

Movie, bad.

Remember how much we all loved Sin City? Or at least I assume we all loved it. Because it was awesome. Watchmen was like the opposite of Sin City. It did not feel like a comic book come to life. Which is probably why it was so flat. Unlike Sterling, it only took me about 15 minutes until I was bored and waiting for the movie to end. Which is especially tragic in a 3 hour movie.

I think, in many ways, Watchmen was unfilmable. It may appear that there is a great deal of content that you can simply cut out of the book to make time for a movie. Tragically, as with many translations when you cut out those subplots you lose all the subtlety that made the book any good in the first place. Add to that 7 characters with required back story and you have something that would be better formatted to a miniseries.

1 comment:

Sterling said...

I plan to re-read the book -- especially after your comments here.