6.3.09

TOYSREVIL WATCHES THE WATCHMEN (SHORT VERSION)

First and foremost, WATCHMEN - for all intents and purposes is a "genre" movie. Make no mistake, this may not be your run-of-the-mill popcorn flick for the masses, nor a generic date movie for the uninitiated. And with a M18 rating in Singapore ("Mature 18") it sure isn't for the kiddies.

From the fanboy point of view, expectations are high, not just the question of it being faithful to the revered source material, but of it's ability to adapt it unto the silver screen - to awe and astound the harshest of pop culture perusers.

What's in store for the uninitiated? An accessible story? An entertaining movie experience just seventeen minutes shy of three hours? Is it worth all the hype it's been building up to be? Does it have as much slow-motion moments, as it did director Zack Snyder's 300? The answers are varied. See the list below for the "Short Version" with *minor spoilers*.
[FYI: The "Long Version" to come will be spoilerific].

The hype will bring both fanboys and the curious to the cinema. The current superhero-slash-costume celluloid-parade will ensure cinema seats be filled, and popcorn overflowing, cascading down the aisles. Let's be frank, folks couldn't get enough of The Dark Knight, had developed a taste for metallic with Iron Man, and can't wait for Wolverine to snikt-pop his claws.

Flawed mortal men and women performing non-mortal feats wearing dark-tight-leather and muted spandex is the eye-candy rage and guilty-free fantasy escapade for the near-decade old millennium, and looks set to last longer than anyone would have dared expect nor imagined it to. We like our heroes (super or non) in costume. Regular joes with superpowers are so reality tv reruns (But I still like me my HEROES ;p). Fanboys rejoice. Everyone else gets a taste of geekdom long since buried under a hush-loud of shame and ridicule. Man, it's such a great time to geek-out now!




SHORT-VERSION / *MINOR SPOILERS*:

- It was as faithful as it could get (IMHO), in an uncomfortable marriage between comicbook-brilliance, and cinematic cheese-cake. Tasty tho. Oh so tasty.

- It was too faithful to a fault, to be able to let the adaptation breathe on it's own. But if you hold your breathe til you turn Dr Manhattan-blue? All will make sense.

- If you dislike ("hate" is too strong a word, but if it be so, then you'd hate this film) Zack Snyder's slow-motion style from 300, then this might irk you. But I heart it to bits, and feels it's justified in the context of freeze-framing a moment within a sequence of moving visuals, very much like the 2D illustrated panels within the pages of comicbook.

- Even I who is familiar with the source material, found it hard at certain moments to catch up with what the movie was trying to tell me, which I fear would alienate those who do not know the story beforehand. The Dr Manhattan-flashback was one key moment which I felt did not translate as well.

- The apprehension of seeing a glowing blue-schlong is softened by the supple nakedness of a young second generation female crime-fighter. I feel dirty after typing that ... actually no, not really.

- The exclusion of costumed super-villains, I feel, waters the movie down a tad.

- Some significant story-tweaks and changes that bugged me at first, but upon gentle reflection, seems the better possible way to engage the audience given the context in modern times, versus the two decade old source material. More geo-political rather than conceptual.

- The pop soundtrack positively glows with nostalgia (I smiled when 99 Red Balloons blared), while the score was a strange and somewhat uneasy fit with the visuals, some parts dragging e back to Vangelis' Blade Runner. Still can't decide if that's good or bad.

- The costumes are darned cool. The actors are (unfortunately) quasi-flaccid, with the distinct exception of Jackie Earle Haley as "Walter Kovacs" aka "Rorschach", and Carla Gugino as "mummy" Silk Spectre.

- Yellow is the new Black.

- Is it worth all the hype. Yes, and then some! But then again, I am thoroughly biased in this regard. *cough*


[March 5th 2009 / 2:35PM screening]

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