Sunday, March 22, 2009

Read and watch "Watchmen"

I went to see Watchmen on IMAX today - and it is fantastic! This is also the first graphic novel I have read (I finished it last night) and I absolutely loved it. I was skeptical of the genre at first, but I found it very effective - somewhere between regular novels and movies. The visuals in this novel are not only cleverly done, but they present the story in a complex multi-layered format. If you are at all curious about graphic novels, read Watchmen.

The movie stays close to the novel and is also very well done. Since I finished the novel just yesterday, I did not expect to be completely drawn into the movie. But that was not the case and I loved the movie (I'm sure the IMAX experience didn't hurt the cause either). In addition the soundtrack is great with an excellent use of Dylan in the title track, and then Hendrix, Billie Holiday, Janis Joplin, Nat King Cole, etc. Plus, the movie has one of the best ever placements of Leonard Cohen's Hallelujah (you'll have to see the movie to appreciate it).

Now a warning: Both the novel and the movie are dark, intense, and quite violent (Often their ratings are idiotic - but if MPAA means anything to you, then this movie is "rated R for strong graphic violence, sexuality, nudity and language"). More The Dark Knight than Superman. The key thing is that it is a film that has superheroes - rather than a superhero film. From this blog perspective, it is an exploration of the fundamental nature of humanity and how we understand and deal with the existence of evil in the world. Of course, there is also a peripheral discussion of the existence of God. Plus, it provides an interesting intellectual exercise to see the consequences of being amoral - both good and bad.

Here is the trailer: