It's strange the way things work out, but they do work out in the end


Monday, 9 March 2009

Finally Watched the Watchmen

(best played while reading - 'tis long)

Much has been written and said already about Zac Snyder's adaptation of Watchmen, so I'll try to keep this brief.

Some have said it holds too close to the novel and what works in one medium doesn't work in another. Some have said they've changed too much and lost the essence of the novel. Some have said the casting is off. Some have said Snyder's style is too flashy and much of it is over the top. Some have said it's too baffling to those who haven't read the novel or misses too much to appease the long-term and passionate fans.

I agree.

To a degree...

Yes, a lot of the dialogue is patchy and brimming with exposition - better suited to a comic than a film - but then, it was no different with Sin City ("She smells how angels aughta smell...") and is forgivable if delivered right...which it wasn't always. Malin Akerman in particular struggled quite a bit, but I don't think that was entirely down to the script. She also features in one of the most comically out of place soft-core porno scenes ever committed to film. I realise the fetishistic appeal of putting on a costume to fight crime had to be highlighted, but it ran about a minute too long (which, in non-porn movie sex scenes, is a long time). Fortunately, the punch-line took some of the cringe-worthy edge off.

In terms of what they did change, the biggest question has hung over the absence of the ‘squid’ in the climax. I understood the reasoning behind this when I first heard about it - again, it goes back to the whole ‘what works in a comic might not work in a film’ thing - but it looked from the trailers that they’d gone for a straight up nuclear catastrophe, which worried me as it would completely undermine the point of Moore’s chosen disaster. Fortunately, this isn’t the case and the new idea works within in the context of the film, without missing the point from the book (though the aftermath is taken in a slightly different direction that isn’t quite as strong).

Along with Akerman, the only other questionable piece of casting was Matthew Goode as Ozymandias. The fact is, Ozymandias is a an imposing man in his 40s, with a perfect physique. Goode is a slim man barely out of his 20s whose costume is moulded to represent a perfect physique. However, physical shortcomings aside, Goode plays the part beautifully. He has wisdom beyond his years, is always cool and calculating and is absolutely believable as the world’s smartest man.

The rest of the casting is perfect, in particular Jackie Earl Haley as Rorschach. He’s the most enjoyable character to read in the book and Haley makes him the most enjoyable character to watch in the film.

(so much for keeping this brief)

Snyder’s direction is also pitch perfect, for the most part. The aforementioned sex scene may have been drawn out, but a certain precursor to it, that could have been equally as cringe-inducing, was handled with surprising subtlety. The action, though extreme (and ridiculous) at times, fits in with the context of the film, with only a fleeting reliance on wire-work. The gore may have been out of place, but helped to contrast against the heroes’ now quiet lives, most notably in a scene where Laurie (Silk Specter II) and Dan (Nite Owl II) are accosted by (beat living snot out of) a ten-strong gang. And kudos to him for mostly restraining his love of slow-motion.

As for the question of whether the film will baffle new-comers or disappoint fans, that’s really down to the individual. The introductory montage set to Dylan’s Desolation Row does a decent job of filling in some of the back-story, but the plot still plays out in quite a jumpy fashion. It also feels like it’s moving at a snail’s pace, at times, though that is fortunately made up for.

Personally, I loved it. A brilliant and complex story, told with love (if not always with skill), and an entertaining visual feast.

I’d also like to give a quick nod to My Chemical Romance at this point. Though I enjoyed their cover of Desolation Row, I failed to see the point of it - it’s a fast, heavy-ish scream-fest that could frankly have been a cover of anything - but when it explodes into the film's closing credits, it all makes sense.


The film actualy opens with Dylan's The Times They Are a-Changing.

Saturday, 7 March 2009

This Place Seems Oddly Familiar...


This thing on...?

Testing, 1, 2, testing...


My name's Bebbet, (aka Michael). I'm a 28 year-old Creative Writing student from Sunderland, UK, currently studying in Cheltenham.

I'm 5'10", 11st. Brown hair. Blue eyes. Slim build. Pasty complexion.

Intersts include writing, reading, films, music, Xbox, eating, Capoeira, coffee, whiskey and socialising.

I have a full driver's license (3 points), plenty of office experience and hope one day to make a living as a novellist.

Okay, now that reintroductions are out of the way; Hi! :)

Yes, it has been some time since I last posted here, beyond the occasional trailer or music vid. It's ironice really, seeing as I now have a social life. I posted more frequently when I was bereft.

So, yes. Here I am, still at university. Not only that, but I'm doing well!

Well, when I say well; I'm doing okay. My results range from a high of 75% to a low of 50% and I'm currently averaging just below a B grade, but I’m hoping my next few assignments will raise that. Annoyingly, my biggest struggle has been in the two modules I should’ve found the easiest. The problem isn’t so much the writing (though what I handed in last semester was far from my best work), it’s this thing called a Reflective Critical Understanding, whereby I must talk about the influences behind the piece (thin, seeing as I don’t read nearly as much as I should) and the processes and techniques I used when writing it (thinner, seeing as I tend to start writing and see what occurs). Fortunately, now that I’m settled, getting the hang of reviewing my own work and have a broader genre scope to work with, the next assignments for those modules should be far stronger.

Elsewhere, things are faring better. I’ve had to take two Literature modules to fill the yearly requirement, but I got through the first okay, and the second’s going well. I’m taking Screenwriting this semester, which is fun (according to our lecturer, the average mark for the last assignment was mid 50s - which, for a class doing its very first Screenwriting assignment, is a good average - and anyone in the 60s is doing excellently. I got 64% *smug* :) and continuing with Playwriting, which I only took because Screenwriting wasn’t available last semester, but which has turned out to be my strongest module (I apparently have a gift for dialogue).

In terms of personal life; I have one! w00t!! It has slowed a little this semester on account of money being scarce, but I’m still having fun.

The future holds more work and more fun and, hopefully, more posting than I’ve managed in the past few months.

At least I’ve gotten back on top of my post alerts (just because I haven’t commented, doesn’t mean I haven’t read :)

Wednesday, 4 March 2009

U2 - No Line on the Horizon

For any of my British chums who are interested, Tesco Digital are currently selling U2's new album for £3.97.

This be my favourite song from it (forgive the poor quality - it's the best I could find):


Tuesday, 17 February 2009

Long Lost Movie Moments of Yester-Year

One thing I've found since coming back to university and being surrounded by 18 year-olds is that a lot of the films I consider classics, that I cannot imagine my library being without, are unheard of to the majority of my peers. The Crow, for example.

Even the few that have been heard of, have never been seen. I was floored by the number of people who'd never seen Pulp Fiction. Many hadn't seen a single Tarantino film!

The upside is, it's fun to introduce people to my childhood, as I did tonight by watching the original Transformers: The Movie with a friend. Admitedly, I do cringe at some of the overboard 80s cheese, but for the most part, it still makes me giddy.

One thing I hadn't realised before was just how different the theme tune was. Obviously I knew they'd hair-metalled up the original, but only when listening to the two together did I realise what an impressive piece of musical adaptation it was:

It's even received a more modern update:

Sunday, 15 February 2009

Watchmen Widget

Sunday, 1 February 2009

Augie March

Till I was over on Gyspy's blog, catching up with posts, I'd never heard of them. A few YouTube vids later and I think I've got some shopping to do...

Tuesday, 13 January 2009

Ode to Joy

YouTube's been acting a bit funny recently when it comes to trying to watch a playlist. It used to play the videos one after the other automatically, or at least bring up the next video on the list as the first of the related options. Tonight, I was thrown a handful of completely random vids with nothing at all to do with what I was watching.

Naturally, I clicked one, just to see what I'd get:

I shall be doing that more often :)