Who watches The Watchmen?

Well, Amy and I will be in about 22 hours, so we'll be sure to post some spoiler-laden goodness once we've seen the movie. In the meantime, you can read an interview with Zack Snyder, the director, over at The Rumpus, if you like.

I can't quite claim to be a comics geek--I read them and collected some when I was in high school, but was never an ardent fanboy, even though there was some really good stuff being written at the time. The Watchmen came out then, and I had it at one point, as did The Dark Knight, which I didn't buy because I couldn't afford it. X-Men, The Avengers, Alpha Flight, even the stuff with The Beyonder; I read lots of it, but was never quite as wrapped up in it as lots of my friends were. Wish I still had some of them, that's for sure.

But as this movie approached--and I've known I'd see it on opening night from the second I saw the first trailer, trepidations aside--I held back on the temptation to reread The Watchmen, which I bought for Amy a few years ago for Christmas. (Is it any wonder we've been together for 8+ years?) I did so because the details of the story are hazy for me now--I haven't reread it whole since I was a teenager--and I didn't want Moore's story to affect my appreciation of the film.

Edit: I need to clear something up. I didn't introduce Amy to The Watchmen, though the aside might make it seem that way. Amy was a Watchmen fan, and an Alan Moore fan, long before I met her, and indeed knows far more about both subjects than I do. I bought her the collection after discovering that fact during a conversation in the early stages of our relationship, and all I was trying to say with the aside was that it was a sign of our shared interests that predated our getting together. If it weren't for Amy's love of Moore's work, I'd never have read the other graphic novels. She introduced those to me, and she's the real expert on this out of the two of us.

I'm a firm believer in the idea that you can't judge books and films against each other. They're completely different monsters, and to expect a film to do what a book does or vice versa is just silly. You have to judge them on their own merits. I'll go into this film hoping to be engrossed in a story for the 2-3 hours I'll be in there. I judge films by bladder pressure.

If I don't look at my watch or don't even notice that I have to pee, then the film is a rousing success. If I notice the bladder pressure but am willing to stave off the discomfort so as not to miss anything, it's a good movie. If I'm holding off but miserable and start anticipating the credits, not so good. And if I actually get up and miss part of the movie, it's a piece of crap. I'm hoping for one of the two top tiers, obviously.

But I'll be judging the film on its own merits, not against Alan Moore's vision, because this isn't Moore's movie. It's Zack Snyder's, for better or worse. If I want Moore's vision, I'll reread the book, which I'll probably do in a couple of months, between spring and summer semesters. Wonder how it would go over if I assigned it as part of my World Lit class?

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