Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Lowered Expectations vs. Watchmen

Like nearly every other passionate lover of Alan Moore's Watchmen work, I've been fawning over each new trailer, behind-the-scenes clip, and movie still released, in awe of the attention to detail and overall magic captured. As a result, my calendar has been checked off daily in anticipation of the film's March 6 street date (or whenever I can slide my way into an early media screening, knock on wood). I've even interviewed director Zack Snyder (Dawn of the Dead remake, 300) about the project, and was immediately won over by the guy's know-it-all perspective on Moore's story and the tireless efforts he and his team put on. Plus, Snyder is one of those great interview subjects who says shit like, "The studio didn't give a rat's ass," and "The people in charge behind-the-scenes are clueless," and you got to love that.

I've been figuring, Nothing can ruin Watchmen's chances of rocking the shit, right? It's practically failproof. Prematurely, though, I'd forgotten about the one crucial factor that had yet to be seen: the acting. Sure, it's a special effects superhero spectacle in one way, but Watchmen is ten times more about the story and the deeply-drawn characters than any other traditional comic book situation. Poor performances could derail the film into fireballs, no matter how amazing-looking the film is on a technical level. I'd also forgotten about Snyder's overindulgent use of slow-motion, and just how much the man could possibly be tempted to slow the movements down in a film that'll clock well near two-and-a-half hours long.

And now, several clips have made their way onto the Intertubes, and I'm officially worried. Not one of the clips I've seen has impressed me on any level other than, "Yeah, the costumes and that set sure look cool enough." The exchange between Nite Owl and Rorschach is awkward and unconvincing, the rampany slo-mo in the scene with Silk Spectre II and the building fire is off-putting beyond belief, Adrian Veidt's voice has some unexpected inflection that needs work (possibly the actor, Matthew Goode's natural accent, but still...), and the musical choice in the scene where The Comedian jumps down (in slo-mo, of course) onto the street is quite hokey.

Fuckity fuck fuck. See for yourselves, and quiver in anxiety along with me now:

I guess it's just time to bring the expectations down to realistic levels, is all. Bubble partially burst.

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