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Geeks Gear Up For ‘Watchmen
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Week of Geek: Watchmen

Widely considered to be a groundbreaking series that changed the way the world viewed comic books, Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons’ Watchmen showed us that comics could be more than just funny books, but a place for challenging, thought-provoking literature that extends beyond the mere cape and cowl of typical innocuous superhero tales.

Some of us geeks just found out about Watchmen when director Zack Snyder announced that he was be making the film adaptation for Warner Bros.; the rest of us have been waiting for over 20 years to see a Watchmen movie done right on the big screen. After years in development hell, a potentially damaging lawsuit, and the stigma of being called the “unfilmable” story, the theatrical opening of Watchmen is finally upon us! Whether you highly anticipate the movie or are as skeptical as can be about it, there’s no doubt it’s at the forefront of all of our minds: will Zack Snyder and his propensity for slo-mo be a distraction or will he bring the printed page faithfully to life the way we all hope?

Here’s some anticipatory thoughts from those of us on the Doom Crew — who happened to be huge lovers of both movies and comic books — on this most auspicious occasion.

Why am I excited for Watchmen? Well, the first thing would be that three years ago I wasn’t sure if Watchmen ever could or even SHOULD be made into a movie, and now we stand a short time away from seeing it with our own eyes. The second thing is that throughout the production, I kept hearing things that made me believe the creators cared about the project as much as we fans do. Making the Tales of the Black Freighter sequences, fighting to keep the film at a substantial running time, and getting the involvement of series artist Dave Gibbons are all positive steps. The third thing that has me excited is what I’ve seen so far. Every image seems to be taken straight from the book, and it looks awesome. Sure, there are a few things to be concerned about: the cast of largely unknowns, the somewhat goofy costumes, the possibility of male full frontal nudity, but these are things I can easily get past, and I fully expect to be blown away by this film. It’s beginning to approach levels of anticipation not seen since The Dark Knight, and I love it.

The Movie God
I must admit, when I first saw the trailer for Watchmen, I really had no idea what it was. I had literally just started getting into certain graphic novels, and it was not one I had been informed about. Then I started writing here at Geeks of Doom, and our gracious leaders, Empress Eve and Dave3, were having none of that — they made sure I got my hands on that book and read it before this movie came knockin’. After reading (and completely loving, of course) the graphic novel, watching the trailer presented a whole new level of excitement for me; where I was interested in seeing it before, now it was a no question must-see movie for me like it was to everyone else. I’m currently reading through a second time before I even go out to see the movie, and not surprisingly, the book is even better on the second time through. Movie-related events like this just don’t come around very often, and if Watchmen was made twenty-something years ago as it was supposed to be, most of us wouldn’t have been able to experience it. Breathe it in deep.

Cultural Learnings
I was lying in bed on Christmas Eve when I remembered that I had told my relatives that I was interested in joining the rest of the geek world in reading what is considered to be the definitive graphic novel, Watchmen. I had seen the trailer, followed the online coverage of the film’s production, and was right there with everyone else biting my nails when the lawsuits started flying. And yet, once I opened it on Christmas morning and spend the next month slowly taking it all in, all of that seemed to bleed away. I was left with a giddy feeling, an excitement driven by the knowledge that millions of Americans who haven’t had the chance to read the graphic novel are going to see a film based on Alan Moore’s complex and fascinating story and Dave Gibbons’ definitive artwork. Sure, I’ve got my apprehensions about whether or not Snyder can turn a conclusion driven by an expositional conversation that plays out more like a video game boss battle than a cinematic climax into a fitting end to the story’s thematic genius, but at the end of the day it’s hard for any geek not to feel at least satisfied that the phenomenon that is Watchmen will suddenly burst into the mainstream. More than seeing the film, or seeing the film in IMAX, I look forward to being able to bring along friends who are not yet on the bandwagon, and have carefully printed my name inside the front cover of my copy so that it can begin making the rounds, spreading the word of Watchmen to the masses.

I am totally psyched for the movie. This is the one comic book that I have read multiple times and have gotten something new out of it every single time. It is like the Animal Farm of comic books for me. Is it going to live up to the hype of the comic book? Of course not, but I would love to see it try. From what I have seen in trailers and commercials, the movie looks to be as close to the source material as possible. My only concern is the replay value of the movie itself. Zack Snyder last film 300 was a blast to watch for the first time but was extremely boring the second time around. Either way, good or bad, I am definitely going to see this in theaters.

After many lawsuits and aborted attempts, it is finally here: the movie adaptation of the greatest graphic novel of all time. The trailers look amazing; I loved Zack Snyder’s gorgeous look of 300 and he has continued his good work here. If Snyder can get Alan Moore’s formidable story right I might even forgive his propensity for s”¦l”¦o”¦w”¦m”¦o”¦t”¦i”¦o”¦n action sequences. The casting is near-perfect (apart from Jeffrey Dean Morgan who is perfect for the Comedian) and in David “˜X2′ Hayter the script is in pretty good hands. This could be the movie event of the year. I think Alan Moore might even sneak a peak at this one.

Empress Eve
The Watchmen graphic novel probably the most prized collected comic in my vast collection. It’s one of those stories that not only captures you and really makes you think, but also compels you to read it over and over again, each time walking away with something new learned from it. I’ve been hearing about and eventually covering the news of a Watchmen film adaptation for many years, and while most considered it “unfilmable,” I thought that it the right hand, it’d turn out to be a gem — a cinematic masterpiece for our time. After watching all the videos and featurettes and knowing that artist Dave Gibbons had an influence over all the work director Zack Snyder did on the Watchmen film, my anticipated has only grown over time. As I am writing this, I’ve already seen the first 25 minutes of the film two already and just those amazing opening credits were enough to get me misty-eyed. There’s no way this movie can disgrace the genius that is the graphic novel — or at least I sincerely hope not. I’m going in with high hopes on this one.

First time I ever heard of Watchmen, it was in a collected hardcover edition being offered through one of those subscription mail-order book services. My mom had weened me on the characters of her youth — Spider-Man, Iron Man, Daredevil, the Flash — and had now discovered something new; something hailed, I can only imagine, as the greatest comic ever written. So, she ordered it, probably expecting something we could read together. When it arrived, it wasn’t quite as pretty as the other comics in my collection. Not as bright, not as colorful, and there were a lot more words than I wanted deal with just then. I remember thinking there were actually two Doctor Manhattans (though I didn’t know his name at the time); one with the black underwear, and one with the weird lumps where his underwear should be. I think it was 1987. I was six.

Exactly twenty years later, I finally read it. To my great relief, none of my six-year-old page flipping had revealed the final outcome of the story to me, and at last I understood what the blue guy’s lumpy things were.

Two years after that, with people already singing the praises of the pre-screenings they’ve attended, I’m readying myself for what may be the most religious cinematic experience since the night I saw Fellowship of the Ring for the first time. And through it all, I can’t help but wonder if my mom ever actually read the book.

I’ve read Watchmen a dozen times in my life. The first time I was a 13-year-old kid and I happened upon the single issues while I was “working” at Shelly’s Comics in Brooklyn. I went into it as a naive kid expecting some kind of DC version of The Avengers, and come out of it a jaded world-weary cog in the machine I never knew existed before. I credit Alan Moore’s Watchmen as the impetus of my mental puberty. I can understand how Alan Moore feels and why he wants no part of these transmutations of his creations, Watchmen being the ultimate creation to date of his. I’ve always agreed that it had no place in cinema. I could honestly never see Watchmen working as a film because of the massive amount of undercurrent and subtext in the story. I’ve done everything possible to avoid seeing or hearing anything about the film and I steered clear of any mentions or visuals of the movie… until NYCC at which I had no recourse but to watch the first 18 minutes. That first 18 minutes didn’t convince me that the film was going to work. It was exciting to see the attempt, but it wasn’t until we were shown the additional scene of Rorschach in the prison commissary that I got that knot in my stomach and started to believe that I was going to see the Watchmen movie I never dreamed would happen. As far as I’m concerned, the movie all hinges upon Rorschach’s performance, because he is the main character and main focus and that one minute of Jackie Earle Haley portrayal convinced me that Zack Snyder had done his best to lift the scene directly from the page. It put tears in my eyes and make me want to do nothing else but see this movie.

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