Thursday, March 12, 2009

Watchmen in trouble?

The weekend box office gross was lower than expected. There are reports of audiences walking out on the movie. And now the screen writer is begging fanboys to go see the movie again this weekend.

Alan Moore said that the comic book was unfilmable, and maybe he was right. What happens when you take a great comic book and slavishly transcribe it to film? You get a great comic book and a mediocre movie. The common complaint among the critics is that the movie is so faithful to the source material that it's embalmed. One of the great joys of the comic book was that it made no attempt to explain itself to the reader--instead it deliberately confused you and gradually revealed itself over the course of 12 issues. Compressing that into a movie, even one with a running time of three hours, is probably impossible.

I've always argued that there's no point in releasing a cover for a song if it sounds exactly like the original. What's the point?