Sunday, March 8, 2009

I saw Watchmen and have an opinion

So the day has finally arrived. The unfilmable comic book has made it's big screen debut. Judging by the early numbers and media hype, most of you have already seen it so to say "Spoilers Ahoy!" would be moot.

I am a huge fan of the Watchmen comic/trade/graphic novel. When it came out in the early 80's I was very naive and did not read it until some ten years later. This work, arguably, changed comics since. From the way they are written to the way we read and interpret them, it has never been the same since.

Now, was Watchmen the movie the same genre changing experience? Sadly, no. That doesn't make it a BAD movie, just a flawed, almost imperfect movie.

As mentioned above, I love the Watchmen in it's original format. It was even the book that I used to trick my wife into reading comics. So the original source material holds a very near and dear place in my heart. I knew there would be changes going in and tryed my hardest to avoid them leading up to seeing the film. The changes made in the movie, while necessary, were almost maddening at time.

Not to detail them all here, which I could as that's the type of nerd I am, just some of the main ones:

  • the cut of the newsstand characters is very understandable, as well as the "Tales of the Black Freighter." This is movie that must appeal to not only me and my ilk, but our friends/relatives/co-workers who only know Spider-Man, Superman and Batman. Which leads me to...
  • The action scenes were almost over violent for the sake of violent. I love seeing a gory slasher film or the latest Tony Jaa chop socky flick. I just don't want them in my Watchmen
  • The moving of dialog from one character to another or addition/removal of a character to a scene. With the essential "new" ending, I think it would have made sense to keep Dr. Manhattan in the scene where the riot is quelled before the Keane Act flashback. Or why was it changed to Dan telling Ozymandias about the Mask Killer instead of Rorschach? Or the added scene of Dan attacking Ozymandias after Rorschach leaves us at the end? They were trying to re-create the comic on the screen, so why such subtle changes?
  • Hollis Mason and his eventual fate. What, in the movie he didn't have one? Then why bother introducing him?
  • Nite Owl - leave your goggles on or off. Stop messing with them!
  • The flash of light as Nite Owl and Rorschach approach Ozymandias hideout. Did we need that beat over head of what was up?
  • I don't see why aliens would not have accomplished the same effect as using Dr. Manhattan as the scapegoat. It worked for the movie and could have worked in the comic as well, but still, I guess that was more of a pacing issue.

The above issues would have you believe I did not like this movie. Quite contrary, I did, it's just not the same feel as the original story. It was made to be every other superhero story, which it's not. Watchmen is better than that. So, for me reading habits, I'll take Watchmen over pretty much any Iron Man story, but if I'm going to watch a comic book movie, Iron Man wins.

And lastly, regarding the "Big Blue Wang." If YOU had the powers Dr. Manhattan had, wouldn't you add a little length? He was no bodybuilder before the accident and he was just shredded after! He’s still a man after all.

Definitely check it out and see for yourself.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Best of What I Read This Week

Daredevil # 116 "Return of the King: Prologue"
Writer: Ed Brubaker
Artist: David Aja
Daredevil has been on of Marvel's best books (to varying degrees) for the last 10 plus years. With writers varying from Karl Kesel, Joe Kelly, Kevin Smith, Brian Michael Bendis and now Ed Brubaker, outside of a few scattered issues, has been a great read, even with the changes in tone from writer to writer.
When Ed Brubaker took the book over with issue #82 of this run, things have been going non-stop since. The run started with Matt Murdock in prison and his identity as Daredevil being known to the public. That story (collected in the trade the Devil in Cell Block D) is very good and highly recommended to anyone, whether you like Daredevil or not.
This issue is a continuation of past threads set up for the Kingpin. He has left the US and is living abroad, trying to escape his past life. There are many scenes where "the Kingpin" is referred to as a separate entity, almost like when Bruce Banner and the Hulk are treated as different people.
And I guess that's as good as an analogy as it gets. Wilson Fisk is afraid of the Kingpin returning and the storm he brings. Brubaker and Aja do such a good job of conveying how Fisk feels about this and really pulls you into the story. A very compelling and heartbreaking story.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

ebay - the Scourge of the X-Box 360 Gamer

I've been a user (both seller and buyer) on ebay for quite sometime, going on 10 years with only one problem ever, a KitchenAid Mixer for my wife, which was handled and resolved very quickly.

However, since purchasing an X-Box 360 for Christmas (long story short, if Rock Band 2 actually WORKED on my PS2, I'd still be happy living in the past) I've been trying get some of my favorites (Katamari, Lego series, etc.) as cheaply as possible.

Usually ebay is the best place for low prices, however, for some reason, with three X-Box 360 games I 'attempted' to purchase since December, I've gotten fleeced.

Now, I'm no piker or rube and made sure I purchased from sellers with thousands and thousands of positive feedbacks, but this did not stop these sellers from IMMEDIATELY closing up shop the SECOND I send them the money.

I have gotten all my money back from from these frauds and had to treck to my local stores to get these games, however, I'm just putting this out there. I find it odd that off all my transactions through ebay, I've never had the frequency of problems I've had of recent once I started buying X-Box games.

Maybe someone's trying to tell me something...