Friday, March 6, 2009

I'm too old for this...

Thursday was a LONG day. I was up by 5am, even early for me, but I was up and I hit the day. It ended when I got home around 315am on Friday morning, fought my way through the three dogs (on of ours, two we are sitting), answered The Other Half's brief questions, but on the breathing machine and off to bed it was closer to 345. The Other Half kept pestering me (Sorry Honey, you were) all morning and wouldn't just let me rest, so up we got for some Breakfast.

The main reason for telling you this is to filter the Watchman review that is forthcoming. I picked up Steve around 730 and after some chit chat, we headed over to the theater to pick up the tickets I had pre-purchased. We got to Hooters which was very quite, got a table and Heath and Becky arrived shortly afterward. The Hooter girls were a little sub-par, and our waitress was even pregnant, which is OK I guess, just not what you expect when you go to a Hooters.

Heath had brought Traders of Carthage and taught us how to play. Interesting game that is pretty fun. The victory points structure is a bit odd, but we finally figured it out and still didn't need a degree in math. We finished with a game of Pandemic on the easy setting. First time Steve had played so we played open handed. We did pretty good with all but the Researcher on the board. Near the end of the game Heath kept making trips to the LBR, and Heath and Becky opted out of the show. We closed down Hooters at 1030 (Yes... Last call was at 1030? WTF?).

Steve and I made our way over to the theater, got to the Imax and found a pair of seats on the back of the main landing on the right hand side aisle. All in all pretty good seats. We had about an hour to burn so we had some good conversations on D&D, the multiple campaigns that are on going, video games and upcoming movies. Good times. The crowd was wound up tight. I think I might have been the oldest person in the room. Mostly 20'ish types with body tats and piercings. We had one annoying kid (18?) near us that must have been consuming prior to the start, but he fell asleep about 20 mins into the show and never made a peep again. At midnight, with all tickets sold out, the show began. Only one preview, Harry Potter, which looked pretty good, but I haven't been following the series so it is hard to say.

The Watchmen

It was good. Not great, not best movie ever, but a solid flick. If, I had not read the book, I might have been confused and not understood some of the nuisances. I'm sure plenty of girl friends were disappointed and didn't 'get' some of it, but that is OK as the movie wasn't made for them. We saw Cashew at the show. Why he was in CB instead of Lincoln to see it is beyond me, but he came up to me afterward and told me it was 'horrible and he felt betrayed' and I was like... 'What?' I think Cashew is retarded, but that is just me. Could it have been better? Yes, but short of some serious lengthening (five hours anyone), I'm not sure what they could have done. Could it have been worse? Oh god yes it could have been soooo much worse.

Acting: By and large I thought the ensemble cast did a great job.
  • Jackie Earle Haley had the strongest performance by a long stretch. I was worried when I saw that he was cast, as I didn't think he had the stature for it, but man did he rock as Rorschach. He captured the tortured conflict that poor Walter faced. I hope that the even longer directors version has more of his story line with the psychiatrist to help bring out his troubled past more. The classic scene in the chow line in the prison was just way too cool for words.
  • In a close, very close second, was Jeffery Dean Morgan who played the Comedian. He had the best range in the film, taking him from a young arrogant punk full of piss and vinegar to a crusty and jaded old man that has been broken by something bigger then himself. His intro fight scene was really well done and showed that despite his age, that the Comedian was still ready for a fight.
  • Of all the main characters the one I liked the least was Adrian Viedt (Ozymandias). You would think that the 'smartest man on earth' would be a better speaker or at least get a better screen writer. The character was just too cold. I get that Dr. Manhattan was cold, I understood that as he was detaching from humanity and I think that Billy Crudup did a very good job, but Viedt... Just didn't connect. The few scenes he had were so disconnected it made it hard for someone trying to follow the story, that didn't read the book, could easily get lost.
Story: Zack Snyder did an outstanding job of cramming one of the most dense books into a story on the screen. There are so many sub plots and back stories going on that you can run out of creative ways to express them, but I felt that Zack hit the big ones that needed to be addressed and covered the depth of story well. Now I will admit that I have read the book about once a year or so for the past two decades I get the story. Someone trying to catch it cold, might disagree. My biggest complaint was the modification to the ending. I get it, I do. Post 9-11 he was trying to reach beyond NY as the epicenter of the disaster, but I think he failed to sell the point that Dr. Manhattan was the cause. I thought he could have kept the squid approach, but broached it globally... But that might have been more then the audience could grasp.

Action: Wow. This is Zack's true calling. He can pull some kick ass action scenes. This along with top notch effects (Antarctica building the main exception) was just great. If your an action/effects grunt, then this should make you happy.

With all that said, can I recommend this movie? Yes and no. If you liked the comic and you have an open mind that it isn't 100% the comic, then by all means, go and enjoy the movie. If you can't separate the comic from the movie or if you feel it will 'rape your childhood' or some other stupid notion, then do us all a favor and just stay away.

In the end, I would give it 4 Giant Blue Nuclear Physicists out of 5. Let me know what you thought about the show.

None of you understand. I'm not locked up in here with you. You're locked up in here with me.

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