Sunday, March 15, 2009

Your note has been published. All alone smoking his last cigarette....

Sweet Holy fucking shit! 57 Degrees tomorrow! I can't believe that for one second. Wow! Straight up wow. I do not know what to say. I hope the forecast is correct for a change. It will be about 76 degrees in Vegas tomorrow. Not that I am checking in on the City of Sin or anything.

Did anybody else catch Tracy Morgan on Saturday Night Live this past weekend? The show was nothing remarkable except for Brian Fellow's Safari Planet as well as Astronaut Jones. Those are throwbacks to a time when SNL was funny nearly every week.

On Saturday I finally got around to seeing “Watchmen”. I had been reading the graphic novel so I could fully appreciate the movie. Well, I decided to not finish the novel before I saw the movie. The word was that the movie was fairly in sync with the book, so I figured I would like a surprise. Now, it must first be noted that I really liked what I read in the graphic novel. I am not one who regularly reads any kind of comic book, but after reading “Watchmen” I can see why some people are big fans of that particular type of media.

In case you never heard of it, let me give you a quick synopsis. “Watchmen” is based on a 1985 graphic novel by Alan Moore which takes place in an alternate universe in 1985. Richard Nixon just one his fifth term as President and we are amidst the cold war with Russia. The Russians are at war with Afghanistan and the leaders of the free world are watching it very closely. The threat of Nuclear war looms overhead as a set of retired masked avengers sits in waiting. Well, one of such characters, The Comedian (Jeffery Dean Morgan – you know him as Denny from Grey's Anatomy) is thrown from his high rise apartment by an unknown assailant. Add to that an assassination attempt on genius superhero Ozymandias (Matthew Goode) and the public humiliation of Dr. Manhattan (Billy Crudup), a glowing blue meta-human who has the ability to manipulate matter. This series of events has the masked paranoid sociopathic Rorschach (Jackie Earl Haley) on the trail for some answers. There is in fact a conspiracy at foot and it could lead to cataclysmic results.

So, my thoughts on the movie? Well, it was by no means as fantastic as “The Dark Knight”. However, it was still quite good. Reading the novel probably enhanced the experience for me, but that shouldn't mean that a random movie goer would not find themselves engaged in the movie. From the opening of the movie, where we were given exposition in the form of moving photographs, you could tell that “Watchmen” was going to be a living and breathing comic adaptation.

Zack Snyder, the director, really nailed it. He got the tone right. The characters seemed spot on with what I had been reading the past several weeks. Hell, he even did a great job sequencing together all of the various plots and flashbacks. This last detail is something I have heard a few people touch on. Apparently there were plenty of people who couldn't follow when in the time-line the events on screen actually took place. Quite frankly, I am a little baffled as to how they weren't able to piece things together. It was quite evident when they were doing a flashback. The average season 5 episode of “Lost” was more confusing in terms of time-lines. All you need to know is that there is a storyline in the present (1985 for the characters) and then there are flashbacks filling in details. Once you can grasp that simple concept, the movie should be no problem to follow.

In fact, it is the flashbacks that are some of the most satisfying scenes. Much like season one of “Lost”, the flashbacks in “Watchmen” are the keys to our characters' motivations and actions. They are masterfully woven into a tapestry of suspense, action, and doom. Snyder did a much better job with this one than he did with “300”. I thought that movie was a cluster fuck of insanity. “Watchmen” was organized insanity.

Yeah, I did say it was insanity. But that was a compliment. The story wasn't ever meant to be psychologically fulfilling. It was a grim look at how writer Alan Moore viewed the Cold War society. This story is by no means intended to be a fun adventure romp like “X-men” or “Spider-man”. It takes a realistic approach to the superhero story. What really would happen if someone got dressed up in a costume and fought crime? Well, these people aren't going to sleep well when they are done. Or hell, they never slept well, so to speak, in the first place. There are two ways of looking at it. Either these characters became broken due to their crime fighting or the reason they ever became vigilantes was because they were already broken. Regardless of the reason, when we finally catch up with this team, they are not the most noble group of heroes. Hell, its even arguable that they are heroes at all.

“Watchmen” is rated R. That is for good reason. The content dictates that much. It needed to be this way if it were ever to be an accurate depiction of the graphic novel. Some people were apparently not understanding that it was an R rated film. They were rounding up the kids or taking their spouse on to the local cinema to catch a popcorn flick. A popcorn flick isn't what they got. What they watched was gritty, intense, and dark. Did I mention very sexy at times? Yeah, that one caught people by surprise. There are reports that people left the theater, with or without children in tow, once the steamy sexy scene between two characters occurs. This is probably their own fault since they should know what they are paying to see. Also, Warner Bro. Probably could have made it a little more clear with their marketing that the movie wasn't for PG 13 crowd.

As I mentioned earlier, the movie is very dark. Some might even say twisted. There is some graphic violence. Blood is plentiful in many scenes. That should not deter you. It is there for a purpose, unlike any movie from the 80s. All the death and despair leads to a feeling of dread when you see this movie. I would have felt a little down because of this dread if we as a society weren't already feeling it. These are trying times. One wrong move in the economy and there could be an all out panic. Things could get real fucking ugly. When people's livelihood is on the line, they will do just about anything. If you see this film it'll get you thinking about who you want out their fighting for your well being.

I'll give this one an 8 out of 10. Or 4 and a half stars if you do it that way. Things weren't perfect, but there was a bit of something missing that “The Dark Knight” had. Granted it was a ensemble cast of characters, nobody came out and gave me chills. There are a couple great performances though. Jackie Earle Haley is just terrific at times as Rorschach. Not only did his unmasked persona reflect the book, but he delivers the lines how one imagines them while reading the book. There is a scene at the end of the movie that nearly did give me the chills, but the fact that his character is kind of a bastard kind of ruins the magnificent moment. Patrick Wilson, who plays the Night Owl, needs to be given some props as well. He brings forth the decency we all are looking for in these characters. In the mess of it all, he really does an admirable job portraying one of the true good guys. Go out and see this one while you can still appreciate it with the full theater experience.

Oops, I rambled a bit, didn't I? Well, who cares? You'll get over it. Time for some random thoughts:

Like my friend Tina, I think I am slowly becoming hooked on Monster Energy drink. The blue stuff, with less sugar.

Guess who is working a shit ton of overtime this week? Papa needs to support his gambling habit (in Vegas, not at the local casino). The fun part is that I am reading medical records. Yeah, it sure isn't the easiest thing in the world. Have you ever tried to read a doctor's chicken scratch? His is difficult as hell.

Hmm. Random texts at 1:00 am are not cool. One would assume there is a better time to reach me. And as a call if its really that important.

I am hooked on MLB: The Show 09. I could play for days on end if work would let me stay home.

The rumors are true. I did buy an iPod Touch. It is so beautiful. I can't wait to get acquainted with it. I am selling the iPod video for $50 or so if you need one. Comes with an armband I never used.

The second episode of “Castle” airs Monday night. The first was ok. Let's hope they make it get better.

Looks like next week of “Dollhouse” is going to be the episode that makes or breaks that series. It looks fucking awesome from what the preview showed.

Anybody else a fan of the whipped cream candy eggs? Also, do any of you feel the need to mail me some of the Cadburry chocolate eggs with the hard candy coating.

March Madness has arrived. I suppose I should get interested in order to participate in low level gambling.

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