eric b. introduced me to watchmen. growing up as a kid in the 80's i'd seen it being sold in comic book stores but it never registered to me as something great. eric was all "you have to read it!" and let me borrow his copy. i finished it and thought it was just "meh." i thought the ending was cool, bringing peace to mutual enemies be introducing a third enemy, but that was pretty much it. i thought the story was confusing, there wasn't enough action (too much talking!), and the artwork wasn't particularly attractive. so imagine my surprise when i hear people say how watchmen is a masterpiece. i guess i'm one of those people who think its overrated. nevertheless, it's easy to get caught up in all this watchmen hype, even if i'm not a big fan of the work itself. when watchmen the movie arrives in theatres, i have no choice but to see it.

i've acquired my own copy of the comic and have been rereading it over the past few weeks. just like the first time, the story is confusing and takes several perusals to fully appreciate the narrative. looking at it again, my opinions still haven't changed, but it's prepared me for the movie.

i was meeting dan and the gang at the boston common theatre for the 6:30 showing. i got there at 5:00 and was the 7th person in line. the line stretched long enough that they started letting some people in early, myself included. this was actually a second line, outside the screening room, to allow the theatre workers to clean the place up before letting us in. the audience was mostly young men, with about 20% female. nobody dressed up but somebody was inspecting a box of model spaceship parts. i got into the screening room before dan showed up and reserved some seats (besides dan, it was mike, elias, and yvonne).

although watchmen is a good movie, i wouldn't necessarily recommend it to everyone. if you've read the comic, you'll love this film (unless you're a strict constructionist). if you like the scifi slash action genre, you'll love this film. but if you're anyone else, it might be hit or miss. part of the weird thing about reading the book before seeing the movie is i already know the story. watching the movie then becomes an exercise in comparison, figuring out what was removed and was added. being that the source material is a graphic novel, there already exists a visual template, so comparing the print to celluloid is an easy thing to do. in fact, zach snyder the director used the comic book as a storyboard, and many pivotal scenes are faithfully recreated on film. if fanboys are disappointed by this version and are hoping for one better down the road, it's going to be a long wait, because this is as accurate a depiction of the comic book anyone is going to get. much of been made about the changed ending, that the giant monster squid from the original has been removed. i think to have included the squid would've made the ending so weird that only hardcore fans would enjoy it, while everybody else would be left scratching our heads. i think the new ending is better, a logical improvement over the original. the violence level is surprisingly graphic, something i wasn't expecting. fight scenes are filled with fleshy crunches and broken bones, with the occasional full-on dismemberment. there is also a rather explicit (think thrusting) sex scene, which i didn't seem to mind so much as the violence (it's not everyday you see two masked crimefighters doing it in a floating owl ship). the film itself is quite dense. a part of me wanted it to go on forever but another part of me was tempted to look at my watch. i think viewers who haven't read the comic might get lost in some of the details. the best way to see the movie if you haven't read the comic is to go with someone who has. that way s/he can fill in any plotlines you might've missed.

after the movie ended, we saw a woman dressed as sally jupiter standing outside, surrounded by a crowd of men snapping photos with their cellphones. by then it was already 9:30, a little late for a chinatown dinner, so i opted to head home instead. i grabbed the red line with elias and got a burrito from anna's tacqueria before coming home.