The Watchmen adaptation gets Smashing.

This is one of the few times my personal views will really skew a post on this site. I really shouldn’t even be posting this as it is so non-musically related, but hell it’s my ship and I’ll turn the rudder when I want to! First the music business: this may be the best use of Machina-era Smashing Pumpkins track…EVER (Nolen from Double Dagger agrees).

Watchmen is, in my eyes, one of the greatest works of fiction in any genre. Following the tortured existence of superheroes in an alternate reality 1985 Cold War USA, characters such as Rorschach, a vigilante force-of-nature whose only superpower seems to be tenacity and resilience, make the work truly engrossing. It puts brutally realistic and flawed characters in extremely unrealistic situations, while addressing universal themes and philosophical struggles.

One of the few works truly deserving the descriptor epic (it would seem I am in good company, as Time magazine agrees in its All-time 100 Novels feature in 2005). The news-stand meta-commentary and analysis running concurrently with the main storyline. Intrigue. Love. Death, unceremonious and final which is such a rarity in the graphic novel/comic book genre. For me, this work is probably the most compelling argument for the validity and power of the graphic storytelling medium, proving that it is just as valid as any other method of storytelling and can carry as much weight. In fact, the visual elements by Gibbons are so well done, so integral to the pacing and meaning of the work, it’s hard to imagine ever writing this story without the aid of visuals. Which bodes well for the film adaptation forthcoming from 300 director Zak Snyder. His attention to detail and fantastically accurate reproduction of scenes from the graphic novel onto the big screen will likely be a big asset.

If you saw The Dark Knight this weekend in a mainstream theater, then you’ve already seen this and probably though “WTF is this about?” If you haven’t then please, take a gander at this.

Now start salivating and praying this is more substance and less flash than Hollywood is used to.

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4 Responses to “The Watchmen adaptation gets Smashing.”

  1. gws says:

    uhh… Smashing Pumpkins? Do you think Alan Moore would be psyched about having that mincing featherweight rockstar Billy Corgan’s work linked with his own? The guy who just brought back together his most successful band with Iha and D’arcy lookalikes?

    Word on the streets of bmore is that the Pumpkins (or the management, not a big diff imho) specifically restrain light operators from illuminating the faces of the members of bands that open for SP…

    I trust Moore’s reaction to the Watchmen movie.

  2. Greg Szeto says:

    I don’t think Alan Moore gives a flying bat-shit about anything related to his work anymore. I love his work, but he is myopic and conceited about it. (hey wait, isn’t that old Billy?)

    While Corgan may be an asshat at times, I still enjoy much of his SP output. But I never said Moore would be happy with the association of SP with his work; Moore is pretty damn grumpy about a lot of things. I was just pointing out that the track works great with the trailer.

    Moore’s reaction to the Watchmen is much like his reaction to V for Vendetta or From Hell. But both of those were highly entertaining works in their own right. In my opinion, worthwhile ventures even if they don’t hold quite the same impact as the original works.

    I am looking forward to seeing someone’s interpretation of Moore’s work, especially Snyder since he keeps a lot of the staging from original panels intact. Maybe in the process of losing some elements or dimensions, new ones that are just as rewarding will emerge. But maybe I’m just too much of an optimist for you.

  3. gws says:

    Optimist is putting it lightly. Moore writes books that make you think and see the world in a different way. The movie versions of his books– especially that completely undefendable piece of shit FROM HELL (opium? absinthe???) do not make people think or see the world differently. They sell tickets, they sell DVDs, and they sell the idea that you can be smarter than Alan Moore if you agree that things aren’t “that bad.” You can enjoy the escapist yarns wrung out of his ingenious original tales and poo-poo his criticism of our blind descent into people who vigorously defend complacency, emulation, illusion.

  4. Greg Szeto says:

    Sorry, maybe I’m not as smart as you or Alan Moore (doubtful, we each can probably school each other in our own areas of expertise); but if the requirement for that is dwelling in only the bleakest recesses of art every waking hour, then I’ll pass on your version of intelligence. I take a more positive-yet-balanced view of things, more akin to Vonnegut than Moore, aware of the problems but still hopeful and watchful for solutions.

    I don’t see anything wrong with escapist yarns based on fantastic and admittedly superior source material.

    And by acknowledging and enjoying some movie adaptations of his works, I am hardly poo-pooing his beautifully constructed criticisms of the world. As far as giving people a pass on complacency, emulation and illusion, I think you can see this whole site is dedicated to viewing things with a critical eye, but always with appropriate context.

    I don’t measure the movies against the books, I measure them by entertainment value. I don’t expect to see an equivalent to the Bridge on the River Kwai or Dr. Strangelove when I goto movie adaptations of Moore’s works. But V for Vendetta, Constantine and yes, even From Hell (great atmosphere and some fantastic images), were all movies that entertained me.

    Let’s hope Watchmen does the same. And maybe it’ll finally be the adaptation that can stand its own when judged in the same realm as the source material. There has been consistent evolutionary trend in Moore adaptations that suggest Watchmen may be quite good (V>Constantine>LeagueSwamp Thing).

    But let’s agree to disagree on this, and just wait and see. And maybe bash Spider-man 3 some.

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