#260 In which our hero finds his inkblot-related enthusiasm dimming
The new Watchmen trailer is out.
You may recall that I was nearly beside myself with excitement after viewing the first one. This new one? Not so much.
There will probably be spoilers after the video if you've not read the book or heard anything about the movie. So, y'know, heads up.
Maybe I find myself disappointed because I loved the first trailer oh-so much. And actually, there's little new content here. But what is new really brings to light some of the rumors I've heard about the movie... changes that I'm not really hip on.
0:10 Starting here we get a couple seconds of material that's only hinted at in the book. While inventing new material might seem like high treason to hard-core fans, I think this is actually well done.
0:16 "Just a matter of time, I suppose." Cool line!
0:30 I'm not really digging the music, either. That might have something to do with my dislike of the trailer.
0:33 I saw some online criticism of Rorschach calling the group "Watchmen" when the real name (in the book) was "The Crime-Busters." To which I say, "Dude, seriously? You're upset about that?"
1:00 And at one minute in comes my two biggest beefs:
1:01 This appears to be a nuclear explosion in New York. I've read that the ending has been changed considerably... and, y'know, as much as I don't like it, I understand it. I mean, if you walk into that theater and sit there for two hours and fifteen minutes only to see a giant space squid teleport into NY, you're going to be like, "What the fuck?!" From what I've read the space creature has been replaced with a more conventional explosion.
Which causes ALL sorts of problems.
In the book the only reason that Ozymandias' scheme worked is because the threat was so large, so un-understandable that the world had no choice but to lay down their arms and rally together to face it. But if it's just a bomb... how's that going to unite the world?
Now, I'm still holding out hope because the explosion in the trailer doesn't look like your typical mushroom cloud. I'm hoping it's a crazy extra-dimensional rift or some BS like that so the flavor of the ending is still there, sans giant space squid.
But... how's that going to work with the rest of the movie? Remember that The Comedian saw the secret island where this thing was being created, which set into motion everything that follows: his visit to Moloch (a character we saw in the first trailer), his death (which we just saw 30 seconds ago), the investigation by Rorschach... basically, everything in the movie hinges on this discovery. So, if it's just a bomb... why would The Comedian react the way he does? How could he grasp the enormity of Ozymandias' plan?
I'm not opposed to this change, again, I understand why, but I just wonder how they're going to maintain the carefully crafted structure of the narrative without the squid. Anyway, back to the trailer:
1:03 Oddly enough, I'm more bothered by this part than the change in the ending. If you listen to Rorschach here, he sounds way out of character to me. "... so we can't do anything to stop it." We? He's not exactly a team player by this point in the story. And worse yet:
1:10 "An attack on one, is an attack on all of us." What? Now, Rorschach cares about people (especially Nite Owl) in his own fucked-up way, but for him to articulate this solidarity like this just doesn't seem right to me at all. And finally, worst of all:
1:18 "Retribution." No way. Rorschach is logical and coldly calculating... he's not out looking for retribution or revenge for the death of his former teammates. This characterization is completely wrong, in my opinion.
Now, I'm hoping that this is just marketing. That the editors have stitched together bits and pieces of dialog to sell the story to those who aren't familiar with the source material (because, admit it, if you've read the book you ARE going to see the movie. I don't care how shitty the trailers get or the reviews are, I'm going to be right there in line opening night--so they don't need to market to me). If you're trying to explain these characters in two minutes, it's easy to paint Rorschach as the psychopath looking for revenge. That's easy to grasp.
1:23 Huh? Is Ozymandias English now?
1:36 Dr. Manhattan speaks! I appreciate the director not giving him a crazy echo-y, over-processed voice. Because you know the temptation was there.
1:49 The owl ship crash landed in the Antarctic. Will we get to see hoverbikes? Let's hope so (but don't hold your breath).
1:51 The capture of Rorschach. Frankly, if they get this scene right, that'll go a long way toward making me like the movie. If the actor can nail his screaming "Give me my face back!" it will be worth the price of admission for that alone.
2:13 Hmm, nuclear dream sequence. Does that mean we'll get to see Silk Spectre's boobs?
2:29 Release date is still set for 3/06/2009. Let's hope this means that the legal wrangling over studio rights has been settled. I'll be super pissed if this thing is delayed.
So there you have it. I'm still hopeful for the movie version that I have in my head, but lots of little things give me pause.