Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Ego Ipse Custodes Custudio (I think that's what the button said)

Ever since I saw it a few hours ago, I've been toying with what could've been done to make the Watchmen film a better movie. For a variety of reasons my daylight savings time/yoyoing weather pattern-fried brain couldn't possibly begin to accurately describe at this moment, I find myself semi-convinced the film would've worked better if they kept the squid and cut Dr. Manhattan.

The big thing I keep coming back to is how much the elements largely drawn from Watchmen #4 were nowhere near as successful in depicting Manhattan's 4-D perspective onscreen. Partly I think that's down to time limitations, but the voiceover also really took me out of the movie. I also tend to believe Moore really used the techniques specific to comic storytelling to full advantage in a way that a dynamic medium couldn't--the fragmentation of time worked on the page because the reader was able to visually perceive two pages worth of crosstime panels/information at a time. He returned to those techniques, arguably refined them somewhat, in the Hypernaut story from 1963 and bits of Promethea.

At least, so it seems to my aforementioned fried brain, which is tossing all this out from a memory that's dodgy at the best of times.

In any event, I now feel inspired to reread Watchmen, just to remind myself what so affected me about that book and maybe better understand why the film didn't get the job done as well as it could have. I don't think it was bad, but I also don't think it was particularly good, and it certainly wasn't good enough. For me, it's just kind of...there. I'm engaging with it on an intellectual level rather than an emotional one, even more than I do most films these days.

I could go further, but I've procrastinated on revising this screenplay I'm supposed to be working on far too long as it is. More later, if you're unlucky.


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