top ten trailer recuts

Of all the entertaining crack to be found on YouTube, some of my favorites are fan-made versions of movie trailers.  Here are ten of the best ones.  Don’t start watching one while drinking soda unless you want it to come spurting out of your nose!

Continue reading

watchmen: my review

[A note on spoilers: if you’re familiar with the graphic novel, this shouldn’t be terribly spoilery for you, because I don’t go into detail about any big plot changes.  If you’re not familiar with the graphic novel and wish to remain 100% spoiler-free regarding who lives and who dies and who sleeps with whom, proceed with caution, but really, go read the freaking novel.]

Wow.

The way I put it to my friends upon leaving the theater was, I think that was the best possible movie that could have been made based on the material.  The graphic novel was described as “unfilmable” for a reason, and this gutsy attempt at defying that pronouncement wins my thumbs up.

That said, I respect negative reviews like CNN’s, where the reviewer clearly understands the significance of the graphic novel but has a critique of the way it was adapted for the screen; what I cannot stand are reviews like USA Today’s, which dismisses Watchmen as a smidge better than Catwoman but not as good as the Spider-Man movies.  If you approach Watchmen as just another comic book movie, you’re missing the point.  It’s not a comic book movie.  It’s an indictment of human nature, that just happens to involve a group of people who dress up in costumes and fight crime.

The alteration to Adrian Veidt’s plan worked well and didn’t bother me at all.  What bugged me were some of the much smaller changes – those moments of “but that’s not what Rorschach did to the kidnapper.”  One small change I did like was having Dan witness Rorschach’s death and be affected by it.  In the novel he was too busy boinking Laurie to care, and Rorschach deserves someone to mourn him.  After repeatedly dismissing New York as a city of whores and politicians, not worth saving, he’s the only one who can’t live with the compromise of letting Veidt get away with killing them all for the sake of a beautiful lie.

When NYC was being destroyed, I was waiting for the obligatory shot of the Twin Towers disintegrating, and it didn’t come.  What a master stroke by Zac Snyder: instead, the camera pans across the desolation, and the Twin Towers are the only recognizable buildings left standing.  It’s a “wow” moment.

Music selections – awesome or distracting?  Some of the song choices were a bit jarring, but I think that sense of dissonance was intentional, to put a subtly different spin on what would otherwise have been completely serious scenes.  We’re meant to consider whether this is all, after all, a big joke, as the Comedian claimed.  The one time it seemed over the top was the use of Ride of the Valkyries over Dr. Manhattan’s intervention in Vietnam.  That was just too much.

Overall, seeing the story brought to the screen deepened my appreciation and enjoyment of the graphic novel.  Sometimes seeing a shot in motion instead of as a still comic panel, or hearing a line spoken aloud instead of reading it as dialogue in a bubble, makes you pick up on things you hadn’t realized were there.  The movie has inevitable flaws and will always be one of those films that a lot of people just don’t get; I don’t think it has a chance in hell of being nominated for a Best Picture Oscar, as interesting a choice as that would be.  But the important thing is, here it is the next day and I still can’t stop thinking about this movie, going over and over it in my head, and I can’t wait to see it again.  Bravo.

i watched the watchmen last night

[Note: a proper review will be up sometime later today or tonight, but for now, this is just my experience of seeing the movie.]

There are some movies that need to be experienced at midnight, in a theater full of geeks.  Watchmen is one of those movies.  If you’re a geek and you didn’t have your butt in a movie theater chair at 12:00 AM this morning, you missed out.

We arrived at the theater about an hour and a half early, picked up our tickets, and then headed over to the comic book store next door, which was staying open late to cater to all the Watchmen fans.  I was mildly disappointed that they were sold out of the Star Trek prequel comics, but it was fun just looking around and chatting with the guys that worked there.  Roomie and I were the only girls in the store.

Finally we went back to the theater to buy some snacks and stake out our seats.  I was actually really disappointed with the lack of people in costume – there was just one guy who came as Dr. Manhattan, with this really odd-looking blue bald cap.  So even though I’d brought my camera I didn’t end up taking any photos.  We kept running into people we knew, though.  The local geek community was out in force.

Finally it was trailer time… yay!  Can you guess which one I was super super excited about?  It was fun to hear everyone in the theater calling out their judgements of the movies being advertised.  Angels and Demons?  “Lame!”  Knowing, that Nicholas Cage movie?  “Lame!”  Star Trek?  “Not lame!” someone shouted.  Glad to hear my baby getting that vote of approval from the crowd.  I actually like this Star Trek trailer a lot better than the first one – you can see it here.

And then the screen turned that distinctive Watchmen yellow.

Almost three hours later, the lights came up and we all made our way back out through the lobby to the car, listening to all the animated conversations about this bit and that bit.  One of my friends wondered if we should wait, just in case there was a surprise scene after the credits.  No, I told him.  That was the end.  You can’t add an extra scene to Watchmen.

It was 4 AM by the time I got to bed, but it was totally worth it.  And so far, I haven’t been stricken with boils or turned into a toad, so maybe Alan Moore didn’t put a curse on everyone who went to see the movie (as we’d halfway feared).  Life is good.  And I’m already trying to figure out when I’ll have time to see it a second time.

back from watchmen

Sleepy.

Disappointingly few people in costume at the theater.  But, WOW.  DAMN.  MOVIE.

Much longer and more coherent review sometime tomorrow.

eek!

EW’s review of Watchmen is out.

I just got through re-reading the chapter with Doctor Manhattan’s backstory.  Three more days.  I’m dyin’ here.

re-reading watchmen

When I first read the Watchmen graphic novel about a year ago, I could easily see why it looms so large in the history of the superhero genre.  I liked it well enough, enough to be super psyched about the idea of a movie, but I knew that to really appreciate everything that was there would take more than one reading.

So, with the movie coming out this week I decided it was time to pick it up again.  And WOW.  It’s gone from “yeah, I can see why this is so highly regarded” to “OHMYGOD this is amazing.”

Nite Owl, Rorschach, and Doctor Manhattan, the three central characters, are so complex; part of what makes the story so compelling is that there’s no real clear-cut good guy.  But in a way, the most vivid character of all is the alternate version of New York City they inhabit.  This time through, when I already know where the story is going, I’m taking the time to notice all the little details: the graffiti, the newspaper headlines, the advertisements.  The city is a living, breathing thing, with fast food joints and gangs and gossip.  Dan has his front door lock repaired by the “Gordian Knot Lock Company.”  I LOLed.

I am so very very excited for this movie.  I’m seeing it at midnight Thursday night.  I can’t wait.