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March 03, 2009: "Watching and Waiting" 
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Post March 03, 2009: "Watching and Waiting"
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Tue Mar 03, 2009 6:01 pm
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Post Re: March 03, 2009: "Watching and Waiting"
I am eagerly awaiting this film for sure. Count me as one of the fanboys, but I won't be rushing out to be the first in line to buy a ticket for the opening. Too old to care about that kind of thing. I do have reservations for a Tuesday, 8:30 showing though.

Yes, reservations. Front row balcony, which has big comfy leather chairs and enough legroom to put your feet up. I love that perhaps the best theater in Munich is also the one that shows most movies in Original language. Nothing like being enveloped in a wall of perfect sound, a big cup of Ben & Jerry's ice cream in your lap and a real Budweiser Budvar from the Czech Republic in your cup holder. :D


Tue Mar 03, 2009 6:23 pm
Post Re: March 03, 2009: "Watching and Waiting"
As for the topic, I increasingly despise the whole approach to studio film releases, where the opening weekend is the end-all, be-all goal and the prime measure of its success. It seems that if a movie doesn't have the big bang opening, it is already tagged as a failure.

Frankly, I don'T care at all about the box office results and fail to see why it is tracked so closely by the public. If a movie make more money, does that make it a better film? Obviously not, but even on these pages, which are beginning to rival Jim Emerson's Scanners user comments pages for quality film discussion, some people equate how underrated or overrated a film is by how much it managed to take in at the cash register.

That's just wrong.


Tue Mar 03, 2009 6:29 pm
Gaffer

Joined: Tue Mar 03, 2009 6:23 pm
Posts: 16
Post Re: March 03, 2009: "Watching and Waiting"
It's strange, I consider myself a geek, and have enjoyed comics in my past, but have never read, or even really heard about, Watchmen until this movie started making headlines. I started to read the graphic novel about a moth ago after hearing about it's reputation as one of, if not the best graphic novels. However, I stopped reading about mid-way through Chapter 2. I got a sense that I would enjoy the movie more if I didn't know the source material first. I also have the feeling that the graphic novel will still be just as good even if I have seen the movie. In fact, I might still think it better than the movie.

What are others' thoughts on this? Should I stick with my plan of seeing the movie first?


Tue Mar 03, 2009 6:31 pm
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Post Re: March 03, 2009: "Watching and Waiting"
I would read the book first. Personally, I would rather have a good movie "ruined" by a great book than a great book spoiled by a good movie.

Watchmen is definitely in my top 10 graphic novels. Maybe even top 5, but I wouldn't call it the best. I guess I should start a thread in the Lists forum, but I would put The Sandman, The Preacher, and Transmetropolitan ahead of Watchmen.

Sandman being #1. A work of genius.


Tue Mar 03, 2009 6:39 pm
Post Re: March 03, 2009: "Watching and Waiting"
1) How can WB say that they think its length will be an obstacle? They're not Focus. If they thought that that would be a problem, they would have made it shorter. I think they want to create a "it's an epic movie" bait for the not-novel-fan audience.


2) James, I don't think the Dark Knight had to try hard to "cross over to the mainstream". Batman IS maistream. Its accomplishment is not that it won the mainstream audience but that it won an even higher percentage of it than we could predict.


Tue Mar 03, 2009 6:48 pm
Post Re: March 03, 2009: "Watching and Waiting"
MunichMan wrote:
I would read the book first. Personally, I would rather have a good movie "ruined" by a great book than a great book spoiled by a good movie.

Watchmen is definitely in my top 10 graphic novels. Maybe even top 5, but I wouldn't call it the best. I guess I should start a thread in the Lists forum, but I would put The Sandman, The Preacher, and Transmetropolitan ahead of Watchmen.

Sandman being #1. A work of genius.


great list. I hope Sandman will be adapted as a mini-series or something in the future. It's a fantastic series.


Tue Mar 03, 2009 6:57 pm
Post Re: March 03, 2009: "Watching and Waiting"
I've seen the film, and I'll be surprised if it's a blockbuster. If you haven't read the book, there's a lot to take in. There are lots of characters, lots of esposition, and ultimately too much too absorb. The dialogue, which may have read well on the page, does not work well when spoken. Ultimately, it will thrill many of the comic book fans, but I don't see non-fans of comic books converted. I expect a good opening, but word of mouth from general audiences will doom it to quick declines after the opening, and getting to 300 million is about more than opening week.

I will also admit I didn't see 300 doing as well as it did, but I also think 300 had more appeal to action fans than Watchmen will.


Tue Mar 03, 2009 7:23 pm
Post Re: March 03, 2009: "Watching and Waiting"
I think I'm one of the only comic fans in the entire world who doesn't think that the Watchmen is the best (or one of the best) series ever. I don't even think it's the best think Alan Moore has done (I enjoyed V for Vendetta, Lost Girls, From Hell, Killing Joke more). I mean Watchmen is undoubtedly good. I am excited for the film, and because it's an adaptation of something I like rather than love, I think I will be quite open to (what I would predict to be significant) changes from the source material.


Tue Mar 03, 2009 7:28 pm
Post Re: March 03, 2009: "Watching and Waiting"
I haven't read Watchmen, but in my mind the Sandman series should be hard to top.


Tue Mar 03, 2009 7:43 pm
Post Re: March 03, 2009: "Watching and Waiting"
I'll be watching it Thursday evening (I work in a theater so can screen it a little bit early).

It is hard to put a finger on this one though, I agree. I am friends with a lot of comic book geeks, and they are obviously excited. They got me excited enough to read Watchmen and now I'm excited. We're all telling every one we know about it in order to get them excited...
I don't know how far that excitement will spread into the mainstream though.


Tue Mar 03, 2009 7:46 pm
Post Re: March 03, 2009: "Watching and Waiting"
I'm sure the midnights will be crowded. 300 numbers for the first weekend will happen, but I can't say about after that. Depends on if it's a good movie or not. How depressing would it be if, after writing this column, Berard gives the film a negative review? Let's pray for its quality.


Tue Mar 03, 2009 7:51 pm
Gaffer

Joined: Tue Mar 03, 2009 6:23 pm
Posts: 16
Post Re: March 03, 2009: "Watching and Waiting"
So the movie is pretty complicated? Not that I think of myself as easily confused as a movie-watcher, but that might be a good enough reason to read the book first. I'd hate my first viewing tainted because I was too concerned about keeping track of who is who than enjoying the plot.


Tue Mar 03, 2009 8:50 pm
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Post Re: March 03, 2009: "Watching and Waiting"
loomis2 wrote:
So the movie is pretty complicated? Not that I think of myself as easily confused as a movie-watcher, but that might be a good enough reason to read the book first. I'd hate my first viewing tainted because I was too concerned about keeping track of who is who than enjoying the plot.

I would read it afterward at this point.

Most of the reviews I have read said it is a good movie, but faithful to the graphic novel to a fault. That is to say, if you know the book very well, there is not much to surprise you.


Tue Mar 03, 2009 9:17 pm
Post Re: March 03, 2009: "Watching and Waiting"
I just read the graphic novel this weekend (first comic book I ever read by the way) and liked it a lot more than I would have guessed. Not being a comic book fan, are most comic books this intelligent and creative? I always thought they were more action hero orientated, smash em ups, then something that was this well thought out.

I am eager for the movie to come out, but will be waiting to see it Sunday with someone else.

Jeremy


Tue Mar 03, 2009 9:34 pm
Post Re: March 03, 2009: "Watching and Waiting"
My friend in the UK tried to get me to read this some time ago. He worships Alan Moore and is frenzied about the movie.

I am interested in box office and have been following this quite closely. BOM has the opening weekend pegged at $70m with an eventual gross at about $250m. Very few see it going north of $300m. As James stated, the big comic book movies have been based on iconic characters rather than great stories.

Warner should relax as just about every movie in 2009 has over performed at the box office.

I desperately want to be excited about this movie. The trailers leave me cold and the story is unclear. I'm just hoping the reviews from my favorite critics get me excited.

Rob


Tue Mar 03, 2009 10:35 pm
Post Re: March 03, 2009: "Watching and Waiting"
After The Spirit I just can’t get excited about Watchmen. I know Frank isn’t involved but The Spirit made me cry it was so bad. I mean it was painful!


Wed Mar 04, 2009 12:25 am
Site Admin

Joined: Thu Jan 22, 2009 10:55 pm
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Location: Mount Laurel, NJ, USA
Post Re: March 03, 2009: "Watching and Waiting"
Having seen it, I'd bet money this is going to underperform versus 300. It may match the first weekend's grosses but it will probably take a nosedive after that. The movie has ZERO mainstream appeal. It's very tightly tied to those who have read the graphic novel and will likely baffle, annoy, and frustrate those who don't find themselves already in the Watchmen fan club.

As for why box office grosses are important... It's true that receipts have nothing to do with quality, but they have everything to do with future trends. If a particular kind of movie repeatedly does well, we will see many more similar films coming down the pike. If a kind of movie underperforms, we won't see many more of them. Plus, if you really like a movie, you want to see it do well as a "reward" to all those involved.


Wed Mar 04, 2009 1:30 am
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Post Re: March 03, 2009: "Watching and Waiting"
Watchmen is certainly not going to come close to 300. 300 held more mainstream appeal because of its subject-matter and kinetic action.

JB's statement that Watchmen is an event movie is spot on, though, so it will make serious money. I tried to book tickets for a preview tonight, but they were all sold out (got tickets for Thursday, though). It might have something to do with the fact that it will be shown on "men's night", i.e. two pints of beer are sold for the price of one ...


Wed Mar 04, 2009 4:41 am
Post Re: March 03, 2009: "Watching and Waiting"
thered47 wrote:
I just read the graphic novel this weekend (first comic book I ever read by the way) and liked it a lot more than I would have guessed. Not being a comic book fan, are most comic books this intelligent and creative? I always thought they were more action hero orientated, smash em ups, then something that was this well thought out.


There are certainly comic books out there that rival Watchmen in quality, but it’s considered one of the best comics out there for a good reason. Truth be told, most comics you’ll find in comic book stores are the action hero smash em ups that you’d expect. There are some absolutely brilliant books out there, but the medium still doesn’t have the variety you’d expect it to have at this stage.

I haven’t been into comics for that long, but I’d definitely echo the recommendations for titles like Sandman. It might be worth checking out some of Moore’s other work too, I hear From Hell and League of Extraordinary Gentlemen are excellent. I’d start randomly recommending other titles, but I’ve got no idea what you’re looking for. For something different and a bit more recent, I’d recommend Walking Dead to just about anyone, provided you can put up with the constant bleakness and bursts of gore.


Wed Mar 04, 2009 5:01 am
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