Watchmen Coming, Curb Your Critic.

leaguewatchmen

(Mina Murray from The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Walter Kovacs from Watchmen.)

I am a strange bird.  Yesterday, someone named “SnakeCharmer” hit my nail on the head during a discussion on the message boards.  We were talking about the upcoming Watchmen movie.  The topic veered sideways, as topics often do.  The conversation started debating the criteria for being considered an actual superhero.  I said something about doing impossible things all the time myself, and hilarity ensued.  Now I have another impossible thing to reveal.

I absolutely adore the film adaptation of The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen.

Nina does too, we have seen it at least 30 times together.  Everyone else I have ever heard offer their opinion?  They disagree.  Strongly.  It seems the whole world is against us.

I know the screenplay takes many drastic liberties with the source material.  I know Alan Moore himself nearly coughed up a lung trying to disavow the cinematic version of his myth.  I still know that it will remain my second favorite comic book movie experience until something else knocks it off. 

Doesn’t that seem impossible?  How can my taste be so non-humanly twisted?  Let me try to offer an explanation.

I like my superheroes to be pop iconic sweetness.  My formative years were influenced by Wacky Races and The Banana SplitsThe League of Extraordinary Gentleman reminded me a great deal of that sort of perfect candy caricature, with just enough darkness to make it magically delicious.

I know I may catch some heat when I say this, but I am saying it anyway.  I hope Watchmen is just as good as League.  It has the potential.

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20 Comments

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20 responses to “Watchmen Coming, Curb Your Critic.

  1. My number one favorite comic book movie? Hellboy. Of course.

  2. jetman07

    I also enjoyed The League of Extraordinary Gentleman and have seen it at least 15 times. Great Movie.

  3. Cool, I guess there are a few birds of our feather out there.

    I had a student one time that liked it as well, and I have never completely understood the blanket trashing that it has gotten from the critics.

  4. You know, I’m one of these compulsive DVD purchasers (and I’m the same with books as well) who purchases movies to eventually watch but I never get around to watching some of them. I have The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen and have not yet watched it… it’s on my to-dos for the weekend now.

    The problem with translating a graphic story (or any story for that matter) into a movie is that there will always be some who feel that there was something that got lost in the translation. I think that the ideal way to view such things is to watch the movie as a separate entity from the story from which it evolved. The mythology of the story usually survives but the journey is sometimes different, but mostly just as good. I am very rarely disappointed in movie adaptations… looking forward to checking this new one out. 🙂

    Cheers,
    Adriane

    P.S. Hey, thanks for visiting my blog… I feel just a smidgen less of an alien now… 😀

    Hey… you’re blog rocks! Great stuff!

  5. Thanks so much, Adriane. I really appreciate that. I look forward to your take on the League movie, as an artist you will surely have some interesting insights.

  6. K.

    I adored The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen movie, but I don’t usually speak up about it. I’ve never read the source material, so I guess I don’t really feel qualified to judge it fully. I thought it was really great fun, though.

  7. Canadian Bacon

    You just liked Hellboy because of Selma Blair. Though I can’t say I blame you.

    Personally, Batman Begins is at the top of my list.

  8. Liz Sherman for the win!

    I completely understand the Batman Begins, but I like my hot candy. Especially when it is nestled in such deep magick. The exquisite ritualism of Hellboy is tops in my book because it most closely resembles my real life.

    Or something.

  9. rorschachinkblog

    I would be perfectly happy if they were able to meet the level of V for Vendetta or Batman Begins. Watchmen is illustrated as a storyboard would be … so hopefully they leverage that to take a few “classic” shots. Heck, I ended up watching the entire Birds of Prey series, which takes huge liberty with the source material. Ultimately though, if they make an effort to embrace the source material, it should come out alright. I never go into a film expecting it to exceed the source material … it’s a new spin. Heck, Douglas Adams took each new adaptation of the Hitchhiker’s Guide as an excuse to make revisions … not only for the sake of his own sanity (who really wants to do the same thing over and over, in different mediums) and for the sake of the audience (if you’ve already read the book, why not include something new, in addition to leaving in the old favorites) but also because he understood that each medium has it’s own quirks. A joke like the “things that smack you if you think” … work best in a visual medium. It’s possible to write about them, or talk about them on the radio, perhaps with sound effects, but a film, especially one with the budget to pull off the effects, allows that joke to be very seemless. Inner monologue, however, works much better in print than in a film.

  10. Excellent thoughts Ryan, thanks. Your choice of V and Batman Begins as a level you would be happy with triggers something in me.

    Level Pop: X-Men, Spider-man, Hellboy, The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Superman, Batman before “Begins”.

    Level Lit: V for Vendetta, Batman Begins.

    Level Loud: Sin City, 300.

    Just a sort of random categorization. Can anyone else see it? Where would the other movies I did not include fit? Where do you predict Watchmen will land?

  11. I’ve never understood why so many people didn’t like “League” – I love it.

    And now that I know that I’m not alone, I can walk outside again, happy to be a comic book movie geek. 🙂

    Cheers!

  12. Bah!

    I love and hate the League movie. It was fun, but I can never get the bad taste of “What Could Have Been” out of my mouth while watching it.

    I think Hellyboy is a bit Lit, a bit Pop and even a bit Loud. You need more of like a triangle and degrees of how much a movies leans which way.

    Making such a rigid list reminds me of the scene in Donnie Darko when the teacher wants them to categorize random situations on the Life Line (I think) and the only two extremes are love and fear. lol

    -Mike

  13. OMG, that Donnie Darko scene! Patrick Swayze!

    Time for a prayer circle…

    Thank Mike, you are correct about the categories. That’s what makes them so much fun.

  14. Dude. League did exactly what it needed to do, it introduced a world of people to an absolutely amazing mythos and gave them punch right along with the cookies. If you look at it from Moore’s prespective, it wasn’t what he wrote and he’s very, very protective of his intellectual property. I think League was handicapped from the gate by his responses to the comic community before it was even released and I think the ensuing backlash was a direct result of his feelings. Most comic fans want to see their icons on the big screen, if the story is not exact, that’s ok, as long as the characters make it to flesh.

    I am reminded of Jurassic Park. A movie I hate due to it’s completely irreverant lack of using the source material for the screenplay. League is nowhere near that same level of shoddy story telling. It was fun, fast, and close enough to make me happy. Hell if you were that picky about comic movies you could find something to hate in all of them.

    So, I say to you, League was a good movie, I enjoyed it, I own it, I watch it on occasion. Watchmen will be a good movie too, it will not match the source material unless they break it into 3 movies, and each one is “lord of the rings” long, but it’s still going to be good. I look forward anxiously to seeing Rorscach walk across the big screen and to see Ozymandius in all his glory(not to mention the giant blue guy whose name totally escapes me at this moment).

    I’d put Watchmen in the LIT category, but I would move Sin City to Pop as well as Loud.

    FYI – Comic movie i’m MOST looking forward to EVER? “Y the last man”. I’m giddy as a school girl.

  15. somethinginconspicuous

    that’s a really good picture of Mina, she looks hot…

  16. foilball08

    my thoughts on League? i don’t even remember watching it.

  17. Michael, you may be giddy as a schoolgirl, but your analysis was written like a sage. Thanks so much.

    Somethinginconspicuous? Vampire chicks in push-up bras for the win!

    Billy, natch.

  18. theryanlayne

    i first read watchmen 5 years ago, as was suggested to me by a friend. i’m not a total comic book guy, and i figured that “the graphic novel” would be more of the same that i had come to expect from comics. watchmen opened up my assumptions of what a “comic book” could be. since, i have gone on to read a couple of the batman graphic novels and the one with the DC universe and superman and batman are both really old and fight at the end. those were good, but watchmen kicks ass. the idea of “heroes” without super-powers is awesome. i received my own copy of watchmen for christmas and have read through it twice now. i’m soooooo geeked up for this film, it’s probably going to be disappointing. but whatever. all great things get ruined. (i.e.- star wars) i’m just looking for the anime-type version of “shadows of the empire”. they could still totally do it too, what with all the actors still being able to at least do some voice work.

    p.s. – i totally agree with the jurassic park comment.

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