My take on the film, Watchmen, is best characterized by the feeling I get when my daughter gives me a picture she has colored at school. I’m not expecting a perfect or flawless work of art; I’m just so thrilled that such a work exists and I am without words to evaluate it with anything nearing objectivity.
Last Friday afternoon, I spent three hours in the movie theater smiling (and cringing where appropriate) with sheer delight at Zack Snyder’s efforts to translate one of my favorite graphic novels to the silver screen. Since then, I’ve found something to admire in nearly every mixed review of film, particularly those that demonstrate a true appreciate for Alan Moore’s story whether they liked the movie or not. (And many did not.)
At PrettyFakes, Professor Fury opines:
I thought there should have been a credit somewhere that said “Watchmen: Adapted from a 9th-grader’s book report on the graphic novel!” Not a dumb 9th-grader, mind you, just one who had to finish that book report in a hurry and so, in the time honored tradition of procrastinating 9th-graders everywhere, summarized the plot and just decided to ignore all the stuff that was over his head.
Over at WriteBlack, Anika muses:
It’s fair to say that I approached the news of this movie and its ultimate existence with both unparalleled anticipation and dread.
I shouldn’t have worried so much.
No, it’s not Casablanca, or even The Dark Knight, but I didn’t expect it to be.
It was, though, as good a film version of Watchmen as could possibly have been made.
One thing we can all agree on, however: those opening credits were awesome. I’m still waiting to see what Rich Watson has to say over at Glyphs…. But in the meantime, he shares this lovely Wired Magazine interview with Alan Moore.
Here’s my favorite passage:
Wired: You’ve had the double problem of not only the difficulty of [film] adaptation, but also having suffered through some pretty egregious adaptations.
Moore: I’ve never watched any of the adaptations of my books. I’ve never wanted to, and there’s absolutely no chance of me doing so in the future. So I haven’t really suffered through them…
My books are still the same books as they were before they were made into films. The books haven’t changed. I’m reminded of the remark by, I think it was Raymond Chandler, where he was asked about what he felt about having his books “ruined” by Hollywood. And he led the questioner into his study and showed him all the books there on the bookshelf, and said, Look—there they all are. They’re all fine. They’re fine. They’re not ruined. They’re still there. And I think that’s pretty much the attitude I take. If the books are as good as I think they are, then they are the things that will endure. And if the films are as bad as I think they are, then they are the things that will not endure. So, I suppose we’ll see at the end of the day, whenever that is.
Today the graphic novel, Watchmen, is currently the number one selling book at Amazon. (Take that, Steve Harvey!) Moore’s being discovered by a whole new generation of readers, which is so exciting. So I need not worry. It’s fine. It’s not ruined. It’s still here.