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Movie Review: Watchmen
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Week of Geek: Watchmen

Watchmen movie posterWatchmen
Directed by Zack Snyder
Starring Malin Akerman, Billy Crudup, Matthew Goode, Carla Gugino, Jackie Earle Haley, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Patrick Wilson
Rated R
Release date: March 6, 2009

This movie should not exist. There have been rumors of its making finally happening for many years. How many acclaimed visionary filmmakers have tried and failed to make this movie? Terry Gilliam, Paul Greengrass, and Darren Aronofsky are the most well known. I’ve been reading the reports of development and false starts in the pages of magazines like Wizard and entertainment web sites since I was a kid. The material first came to me more than a decade ago after I had read about it for many years and after digesting the collected volume in a single setting I stared off into space wondering how in the hell they could ever make a movie of this. It was impossible, a mad folly that would frighten even Werner Herzog. There was just too much in this book to absorb. I myself even attempted to create a movie version in my head just for fun and see how it would play. It practically fried my brain, but then again I wasn’t a director or a screenwriter.

What brave soul would take on Watchmen, the landmark comic miniseries created by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons that ran for twelve remarkable issues from 1986-1987 and has been credited with ushering in a darker and more introspective age of comic book storytelling, and not just live to win to tell the tale but conquer the bloody thing? Why did George Leigh Mallory attempt to climb Mount Everest 75 years ago and die in the process? “Because,” as he said in an interview with the New York Times in 1923, “it’s there.” But his son John also had something to add: “To me the only way you achieve a summit is to come back alive. The job is half done if you don’t get down again.” Zack Snyder, the former music video and commercial director who made a blazing feature directorial debut with the 2004 remake of Dawn of the Dead and followed it with the blockbuster 2007 adaptation of Frank Miller’s graphic novel 300, took on the mountain that defeated many a great filmmaker before him and reached the goddamned summit.

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