Saturday, March 7, 2009

We Could Be Heroes?

I have succumbed to the marketing steamroller known as "The Watchmen". I spent the week reading the 80's graphic novel, and then the brothers Inada and I saw the 3 hour movie last night. It was fascinating and depressing at the same time. The movie follows the book so closely that in some ways it suffers from the same ills. The movies' super heroes are endlessly interesting and powerful, but ultimately they are just bystanders viewing the massive failure of society. This makes for a very un-Hollywood ending for the film. There are no bright bows on this package, no happy sunsets, and the only character who seems to embody some sense of justice chooses death in the end (i.e. if this is what we are choosing for the world, I am going to opt out). But I think this is the point of the cynical perspective that The Watchmen presents - there's no such thing as "control" over the world's future, just an endless set of uncomfortable compromises that are very hard to swallow.

I have to say this movie made me uncomfortable, because it mirrors many of the issues we're experiencing in our world today. I'm a huge media consumer, and although I'm highly connected to the information super highway, I still feel like I'm observing a horrible train wreck from afar. Am I alone? The news is so full of tragedy lately that I've found myself wanting to not be informed, and I've been searching for that ignorant break from reality.

Sorry for the downer post, but this is how I feel after watching this movie. Today I'm actually in a good mood and looking forward to riding bikes with the kids. Following the 80's retro hipster trend I "CHOOSE LIFE", but not with a white t-shirt or the WHAM! soundtrack. Btw, Jackie Earle Haley deserves an Oscar for his portrayal of Rorschach. He nailed it. It's amazing to think of him as the punky pitcher from Bad News Bears, and good to see him get some props.


Daniel said...

Yes, well I now have seen it twice... the first time was definitely awesome. But the second time, was kinda, meh.

It's a good movie. The hype makes it slightly overrated though.

anyhow... here is an interesting trailer to a Watchmen Saturday morning cartoon spin-off.

Daniel said...

Oh, and I read the novel. Excellent book. One of my favorite books I've read in awhile.

The movie did an excellent job staying close to the book, while still retaining the upbeat cadence of a modern movie.