The incoherent blathering and deranged rantings of the self-styled Guru Bob...

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Alan Moore Knows The Score*

Barnes and I went and saw the Watchmen on Imax after our big feast last Friday. It was quite an experience and I thought that I must have been still hallucinating from all of the chilli in our Chilli Pork stewy thing - just like that episode of the Simpsons...

Arriving at the cinema we went and subjected ourselves to nearly three hours of imagery and loud sounds that were pretty bloody amazing. I had read Watchmen many years ago when it first came out as a graphic novel and basically set up the whole genre. The film is incredibly true to the book in so many ways - it replicates scenes and images exctly as they were depicted in the book, but it also suceeds in making the characters come to life as well.

I hacve heard some geeky criticisms of it on RRR that seemed to suggest that ithe films wasn't grungy enough and its CGI was all too slick. But I do have to ask these critics how else did they think a film-maker was going to replicate a 100 foot tall glowing blue naked man or a strange crystalline spaceship flying through the Mars atmosphere without some sort of CGI? I think it may have been a case of the technology having to catch up with the imagination of the original author/creator Alan Moore.

Anyway I enjoyed it a lot and so did Barnes (which probably goes with out saying) even though it was his second viewing in two days (he is committed to these things). He did mention Sharon's very pointed comment that basically the Director had replicated the graphic novel so closely that there was basically no room for any 'interpretation' by them. Which I think is right on the mark - if you compared the Batman 'Dark Knight' graphic novel with the film of the same name and there was nothing in common at all except for a 'gothic' sensibility, however a comparison between the Watchmen movie and the graohic novel is the graphic equivalent of 'word for word'...

If you want to know more then you will just have to go and see the movie and make up your own mind...

* lyric from Pop will Eat Itself song "Can You Dig It" on 1989 album This Is the Day...This Is the Hour...This Is This!


  1. I'd never even heard of the Watchmen until a few reviews popped up here on blogger - so I probably shan't see it. Lunch looked pretty good though!

  2. I do love Sharon's approach to pop culture. If it's actually interesting from a plot point of view, clearly there's something dreadfully wrong with it.

    Mind you, that's not unexpected from a PhD in Victorian literature. Everybody knows that 'plot' wasn't discovered until very, very late in the 19th century, and scholars of the Victorian period have always regarded it as entirely superfluous. Who needs plot when you've got Charles Dickens and the Brontesaurus mob on your side, eh?

  3. I found it scene for scene spot on visually, but I was put off by the awful acting of night owl and silk spectre. However the movie was saved by rorschach.

  4. I thought it was simply brilliant. Alan Moore does, indeed, know the score. (Saw Poppies in concert three time. Also awesome. )

  5. I am going to end up seing this but out of curiousity more than anything.

  6. Rorschach was an amazing character. Some of the transitions in that film blew my mind.

  7. Ok, I had marked this one down as "see on DVD", because I hadn't read the Graphic Novel and there were mixed reviews. But I am seeing more and more reviews that like it for the reasons I would normally like a film.

    I am offically upgrading it to "MUST see on DVD, only because I am too broke to see it at the theatre".

  8. Lerm - definitely go and see it!!! Us blog geeks are probably just analysing it too much because we know the material - it is a great movie.

    FH - Sharon is spot on as usual - but I understood from Barnes' comments that she enjoyed it as well.

    Uamada - I would forgive Spectre anything because of that outfit. But Rorschach was outstanding.

    Ysambart - saw PWEI, TSIM and Died Pretty at one of the early Livid Festivals when everything was under one big top - the lead singer did the whoel gig with a broken leg in a cast - danced around nearly as much as I did.

    Doemstic Daze - as good a reason as any.

    Natalia - good to see you back again and agree wholeheartedly with you there.

    Naut - don't see it at Imax because it costs over 20 bucks but definitely try and see it on a big screen somewhere when they have the half price Tuesdays or something. Huge movie with huge impact.

  9. Thank you, GB for coming to my aid.

    FH, I have and do enjoy popular culture, particularly adaptations of literary culture--and yes, often 'even' those which function principally at the level of plot. You might recall I loved the Watchmen in the late 80s, and there is far more going on in the film than merely plot. My comment was in the context of Adaptation theory--which you could not be expected to realize--and my struggle is how to 'interpret' a film which is so meticulous that it leaves no room for 'interpretation' and whether that in itself constitutes interpretation in its own right.

    How Dickens--king of the plot-driven social realist novel (which itself dominated early and mid-Victorian lit but begins to waver late in the century with the rise of pre-Modern generic experimentation eg Decadents)--goes beyond plot I have no idea and would merely ask respectfully wtf are you talking about? Oh, and just to be picky there are no Brontesauri, unless you are referring to Mary Anning and her lot.


  10. Watch out FH - you have awakened the wrath of Sharon!!!

  11. The review I saw slated it. Bizarrely enough the review I saw was in Nature, of all places. Since when did they give a rat's about film adaptations of graphic novels?