Friday, November 14, 2008

I'll Be In My Bunk

Babe Ruth and Satchel Paige could come back from the dead, have their pick of whoever they want for their teams, and schedule an all-time World Series of Eternity, and if a game was scheduled to be played on March 6, 2009, I would not watch it.

Why?

This is why.

33 comments:

Anonymous said...

I'm not sold on the Watchmen. I have burned so many times on Moore films that looked so right and then completely missed the point in theme and plot: V for Vendetta, League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, From Hell... also I can't stand that slow down action editing from 300.

tadthebad said...

So disappointed (shaking my head disapprovingly).

Craig Calcaterra said...

Anon -- I can't say I had much of a vested interest in the other Moore books, so I can't really opine on the adaptations (the films were all pretty awful in their own right). I'm pretty irrational about Watchmen, though, so no amount of reason is going to calm me down before I actually see it (and if it sucks, well, I'll live with it).

Tad: sorry, dude. You can't choose when to be a geek and when not to be a geek. The sickness has its own agenda.

leez34 said...

I don't understand why anyone thinks this will be good. Everything that made Watchmen great simply cannot translate to the screen. Case in point - the pirate story. The pirate story is AWESOME, but there is no way they could do it.

Plus, to even do it B+ level justice, it would have to be 12 hours long. I won't be seeing this movie based on my favorite story of all time. (But I did like V for Vendetta and From Hell.)

Craig Calcaterra said...

My view on adaptations of big books: don't go in expecting for the film to "do the book justice" because it obviously can't for the reasons stated. I still have the book and will still obsessively re-read the book, and nothing the movie does or doesn't do will take away my enjoyment of it.

The movie, though, may very well take a handful of scenes that I like and put them in action in a satisfying way, thereby giving me a bit of value added goodness to something I already love.

I look it very much the way a person may look at finding a nice website or a short essay that explores a book you like a bit deeper. Of course it doesn't measure up. How could it? But it can scratch that itch a bit more, and what's the harm in that? Wasn't my $100M they spent on it.

Anonymous said...

The only thing I ask from the movie is that every time the camera cuts, Rorschach's mask changes. That's all I want.

Jimmy P said...

Everytime the camera cuts Rorschach's mask changes? They've already showed it changing while the camera is focused on his face.

I'm pumped about this movie. I love the story and the characters.

Craig Calcaterra said...

Yeah, it's the "black oil from the X-Files" technique, which is pretty easy to pull off I imagine.

One beef: looks like Nite Owl has hard body armor. One of the things that made that character so, um, well-rounded, was that his post-retirement gut stuck out of his super hero spandex when he re-donned it. It served as a nice symbol of (a) the silliness and maybe sickness of grown men dressing up and fighting crime, which is a major theme of the book; and (b) Nite Owl's own atrophying since he hung it up.

With body armor, I suppose he's going to look all buff and awesome in the present day scenes, and that's kind of a shame.

mkd said...

apologies for the length, Watchmen gets me all fired up:

My trepidation over a Watchman movie comes from a realization I had after about the third time I read it: it is a graphic novel about superheroes that contains virtually no action. There is the scene where Dan and Laurie get jumped, some stuff during the final showdown, and a couple of flashbacks to when they were actually active heroes, but other than that it's all talk-talk. Even the bulk of the reminiscing about the Minutemen-era focuses on what? A cocktail party they all attended? A contentious board meeting? Not exactly the stuff the unwashed masses expect in a summer blockbuster.

Don't get me wrong, this is exactly why Watchmen is so completely badass. It is by far the richest, most realistic and intimate portrayal of superheroes ever set to page- but Moore was able to achieve this by turning the genre on its head. Dan and Laurie fighting off thugs takes maybe two pages. Dan and Hollis chatting over coffee unfolds over 20 pages! This is the exact opposite of what a conventional superhero graphic novel looks like. I'm afraid that in an effort to please studio heads and focus groups they will beef up what little action there is and strip away all the great character development, leaving us with a very superficial treatment of the story- pretty, but shallow.

If they have artistic balls it could be awesome, but I'm skeptical.

(but, to leez34, from wikipedia: A DVD based on elements of the Watchmen universe will be released; it will include an animated adaptation of the comic Tales of the Black Freighter within the story, starring Gerard Butler, and the documentary Under the Hood, detailing the older generation of superheroes from the film's back-story. An extended edition of the film, with Tales of the Black Freighter interspersed through the main storyline in a manner reminiscent of the comic, is also possible.) So that's a step in the right direction.

Craig Calcaterra said...

Excellent point, MKD. You have a handful of origin stories in there too which, while I love them, tend to be the draggy parts of these kinds of movies.

Doug said...

One of my friends borrowed my copy of Watchmen like 10 months ago. That bastard still has not given it back to me. Threats will be made, asses will be kicked, but I will get my watchmen back. And soon.

Craig Calcaterra said...

Give me smallest finger on man's hand. I'll produce your copy of Watchmen.

mooseinohio said...

And this relates to baseball, the Babe and Satch how?

Craig Calcaterra said...

In no way whatsoever. It's a slow day and I reserve the right to be a geek whenever the spirit moves me.

mooseinohio said...

Geek on.

Eric Hartman said...

I'm so excited it causes me physical pain.

Chris Simonds said...

"I'll be in my bunk."

That slays me. Adam Baldwin's impatient resentful voice just fills right in. Good title for the post.

Is your coat kind of a brownish color?

Daniel said...

I am not a comic book/graphic novel guy, but not because I don't like the genre, I've just never felt compelled to get into it. Based on the praise from a lot of people, I may have to pick up Watchmen.

However, I don't think I will until after I see the movie. I like superhero movies and this one intrigues me. I actually enjoyed V for Vendetta. I also tend to be a book-movie snob - I think I'm the only one who doesn't really like Jurassic Park (the movie) because I like the book so much.

So I'm coming into this with a completely open mind about the plot and characters and such. That trailer does look pretty badass.

Daniel said...

Your enthusiasm, Craig, reminds me of my excitement when Lord of the Rings first came out. My friends and I sewed our own costumes for the premier, so I can fully appreciate your geekiness.

Craig Calcaterra said...

Shhh!! Don't mention the costumes, dude, or else the chicks will never want to hang out here!

What? Er, you're saying that I already scared them away?

Oh, well, carry on.

Keith Law said...

So, who else has no plans on 3/6/09?

Craig Calcaterra said...

I was waiting for that.

For those of you who haven't seen it, go over to Law's personal blog and check out his review of Watchmen:

http://www.meadowparty.com/blog/?p=157

It's a shame that even the smartest among us so often miss the point. ;-)

Mr. Thursday said...

I own the super-deluxe hardback edition of Watchmen and read it...I don't know, every 6 months or so. Love the book. I'm also wildly skeptical that the things I love about the book are going to be present in any significant way in the movie. I will also be present on opening night, on the biggest, digital IMAX screen I can find.

I liked this trailer a lot more than the first one, though it does sound like Rorschach is doing an impression of Christian Bale as Batman.

Sara K said...

So what's geekier, the comments on this post, or the chick that bothers reading them? (And note the singular noun there...)

mkd said...

Yikes! A girl! Everyone be cool...

Ken Dynamo said...

Klaw's review of the watchmen on his blog was an embarrassment. Klaw is to comic books as Murray Chass is to blogs.

i am geeked up for this movie too but i doubt it will, nor can it, do the book proper justice. i hope they add lots of comedian flashbacks.

by the way, anyone looking to enjoy the rich medium of sequential art i'd suggest starting with something other than the watchmen. anything alan moore writes is going to be a treat but the whole fun of watchmen is the fact that it deconstructing the entire super hero genre as it has existed up to that point. so a lot of the subtlety and nuance may be lost. its still a fun as hell read tho.

Daniel said...

So I won't appreciate the Watchmen unless I've read a bunch of other graphic novels and comic books first?

That's disappointing. Maybe I'll pass on the book entirely and just see the movie.

The movie may not do the book justice, but I haven't read it, so I'll just go see the movie for Malin Akerman.

Eric Hartman said...

Ken,

I Love Watchmen, but could not disagree with your take on Law's review of it more. Not everyone likes everything. He had an opinion about Watchmen, I (and many others) disagreed. That doesn't make Keith dumb, it just wasn't his type of book.

Craig Calcaterra said...

You have to understand that Keith was coming at it from the perspective of a guy reading the list of the 100 greatest novels and comparing it to the others on that list. I love Watchmen -- really I do -- but while it's perhaps the greatest comic book of all time, it isn't a novel on par with the real great novels, and it's going to suffer by comparison. By that measure, Keith was being fair even if he was being harsh.

I don't think you can appreciate Watchmen unless you have some familiarity with and affinity for comic books overall. Note to Daniel: You certainly don't need to have read a ton, but you do need to generally be aware of the overarching themes. Secret identities, origin stories, etc. You need to be aware of the overarching conflict between law and order and vigilantism at the center of all of the super hero stories, because the real value of Watchmen is how it explores and plays with all of those themes.

It's great for what it is, but unless you have at least some interest in comic book themes, I think it's asking far too much to find greatness within its pages.

Repoz said...

And after 43 Bgztl-filled years...I'm still waiting for The Legion of Super Heroes movie to come out.

Must..type..childlike..letter..to..Shooter.

BTW...clip looked awful. Kept waiting for Cristi Conaway drabass to pop up.

Eric Hartman said...

"And after 43 Bgztl-filled years...I'm still waiting for The Legion of Super Heroes movie to come out."

I know it's not much consolation, but the Legion (well Saturn Girl, Cosmic Boy and Lightning Lad at least) will be on an episode of Smallville in January.

Mr. Thursday said...

"By that measure, Keith was being fair even if he was being harsh."

I'm going to have to totally disagree with you there, Craig. A significant part of Keith's complaint about the book is what he calls an anachronism. Namely, that in the 1980s, the USSR was already in economic collapse. In my mind, this inability to accept the world of the story: a world in which the main population believes in the Red Threat (even if there isn't one), renders irrelevant most of Law's other criticism. If he cannot suspend disbelief, that's fine, but it colors the rest of his comments in a sour way, I think.

His review is only fair, I think, in that he explains how he came into the book with significant bias. It isn't fair in that he necessarily gave it an honest chance, trying to approach it for what it is. It is true that even ] Watchmen isn't for everyone, though, and it's fine that it isn't for Keith. I just don't think much of his criticisms.

Ken Dynamo said...

mr thursday points out a big reason why Klaw's review was pathetic. the only redeeming quality is that he had the decency to admit his utter an shameless bias against the comic book medium.