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Sunday, March 01, 2009

HOPELESSLY DEVOTED: NEW YORK MAGAZINE'S DAVID EDELSTEIN ON WATCHMEN

I just saw NEW YORK MAGAZINE's David Edelstein give his two cents about the upcoming WATCHMEN movie on the CBS SUNDAY MORNING news magazine show and it's the first negative review I've come across for it. From what he had to say it was clear that Edelstein has read the graphic novel and as a result he had an informed viewpoint, so I take him at his word when he described the film as being "so reverential that Zack Snyder must have been directing from his knees," an aspect he says robs the film of any life or spirit of its own.

Curious to read his NEW YORK MAGAZINE review, I found it online here and suggest you read it for yourself, but here are some choice quotes:

"It is, at least, an awe-inspiring corpse: huge, noisy, gaseously distended by its own dystopia."

"As you watch the surviving characters slink away after a long two-and-three-quarters hours, you might long for the relative giddiness of The Dark Knight."

And the one that most sums up the fears I've held about this film for quite some time:

"Elements come to fleeting life, but numbness overtakes all. Alan Moore refused (in advance) to put his name on the movie, which must have hurt Snyder and company terribly; they’ve made the most reverent adaptation of a graphic novel ever. But this kind of reverence kills what it seeks to preserve. The movie is embalmed."

I'll be seeing WATCHMEN on Tuesday night and will get back to you with the skinny shortly thereafter, probably Wednesday morning, but Edelstein's review only serves to bolster my philosophy of attending the film with zero expectation of anything other than another bloated Hollywood product. I'm there for Rorschach and that's about all.

8 comments:

Scott Koblish said...

I won't go to see it until there's an edit of the damn thing that has all of the f@^*ing movie in it. There's four cuts that I know of. the regular theatrical, a "souped up" theatrical released at the same time, with a little more of Dr. Mahattan's naughtybits, the planned DVD cut, with more than an hours worth of material, and the whole thing with the animated TOTBF and bumpers with the Bernies added in.

Why would I watch the first HALF of the film, so they can only make me pay a second time to see all of it? Nuh-uh.

Bunche said...

Hey, I'm just glad I'm seeing it at a free screening and no longer have to shell out the $12.50 ticket price gouged by some NYC theaters.

Jared said...

I'll pay extra it they leave "Tales of the Black Freighter" out.

Bunche said...

Believe it or not, that "Tales of the Black Freighter" mess is getting its own separate DVD. No, seriously!

demonrock said...

If this makes me wish to see Dark Mess again for it's giddiness, I will stay away from this forever.

Actually maybe it will take the bad taste out of mouth for Heath Ledger winning the Oscar.
Are you serious? All he did was lean to one side, brush his hair back and lick his lips...through out the WHOLE movie.
this for an oscar?
ANY current brat pack fool can be the Joker now.

Sorry got caught in a rant...

Satyrblade said...

*shrugs* I'm gonna leave out my various disagreements on this thread until the movie comes out. I'll judge it then.

I've gotta say this, though: it may be the first time I've seen a comic book adaptation being slammed for being too faithful to its source. Really - would y'all rather see the version that Synder says he was originally pitched: a PG-rated 90-minute Bush-era retelling with Dr. Manhattan in Iraq chasing terrorists and cracking Hollywood one-liners and so forth? In my book, a faithful retelling is a plus, not a minus... especially after League of Ecch-straordinary Gentlemen.

Also, personally, I LIKED 300 - a lot. Sure, it's a big, stupid homophobic macho brawl of a movie... but it's a a big, stupid homophobic macho brawl of a comic, too. Aside from the idiotic subplot about the queen, everything that was dumb about the film 300 was also dumb about the comic 300. I use both Sin City and 300 in the classes I teach at the Art Institute, and having watched both films repeatedly, I feel that 300 is by far the better film. Sin City was fun, but it doesn't stand up to repeat viewings nearly as well, or work as a film nearly as well, as 300 does.

Satyrblade said...

PS: In case Dr. Manhattan doesn't provide enough Big Blue Cock for everyone out there, this flick looks like it might be fun to hunt down once it hits DVD:

http://www.reelpridemichigan.org/films.php?flmid=the_gay_bed_and_breakfast_of_terror

Satyrblade said...

PS: That "Watchman Babies - V for Vacation" thing made me snort my breakfast. :)