I'm nursing a bad back and a recuperating wife so I'll keep this short. We had a huge tree limb fall in our back yard during the recent snow storm. (14 degrees one day, 80 the next. That's Richmond for ya.) It fell in the exact same place as another limb about three weeks ago, which I'd just cleared. Seems ground zero in our back yard is somewhere between the posts of our clothesline. While I managed to cut the last one up with a handsaw, this one required the chainsaw as it was about the size of a small tree. In the process, I managed to aggravate my already-sore back. Suze and I went to see WATCHMEN at the midnight show on Thursday night and we got there early. Four hours in a theater seat and my back was crying in protest. Follow that with three hours in a chair in the E.R. and, well...
Why the E.R.? Well, Suzanne had a...thing. I won't go into detail because it's kind of her business but it's nothing life-threatening and it happens every few years so we're used to it. She's perfectly healthy and happy. Suffice it to say I feel a little guilty because the midnight movie I dragged her to was probably a contributing factor. I'll know better next time.
Was it worth it? No, but it was pretty darned good. I hear a lot of people complaining that they followed the book too closely and people who aren't fans of the book won't like it. But you know what? If you aren't making the movie for fans of the book, who are you making it for? Yes, there are problems and yes, there are some things missing I would have liked to have seen included. But mostly these were minor tweaks that I completely understand the need for. The movie is already nearly 3 hours long and I understand that a lot of footage will be added in the DVD release anyway.
One of the minor changes relates to the story Rorschach tells his prison therapist. (If you've read the book, it's the scene with the dogs.) This scene was probably changed to avoid comparisons to a similar scene at the end of MAD MAX and it's not a big deal. What is a big deal is the ending. If you care, you've heard by now that there is no squid. I assure you, it doesn't matter. I was initially disappointed but after having some time to think about it, I think it's a better ending. (Oh, blasphemy!) It works in the context of the story and, I think, isn't as contrived or hard to swallow. And that's all I'll say about it so I don't ruin it for anyone.
If I was going to sum it up, I'd have to say that this is the movie comic fans have been waiting for. A movie that is much better and much closer to the source material than we had any right to expect. I've read the Sam Hamm script that was written for Terry Gilliam and THAT movie would really have pissed off the fans. This movie won't make the splash that the graphic novel did because that was lightning in a bottle. What it did for comics has already been done for superhero movies by BATMAN BEGINS, THE DARK KNIGHT and, to a lesser extent, IRON MAN. It would have had to have been made ten or fifteen years ago. And I don't think they could have made this movie back then.
Anyway, I highly recommend you see this movie in the theater. It begs for that kind of presentation. Besides, I want it to make money so it validates the faith the studio had in making it. I want to see more movies like this. (But, please god, no sequels, prequels or spinoffs!) Do NOT wait for the DVD.
Unless you're my friend Paul, who actually lives in a theater.